the tain from the irish epic tain bo cuailnge
(Irish pronunciation: [t̪ˠaːnʲ boː ˈkuəlʲɲə];
so, so good. bloodier and more casual about congress than the greeks. and listen to this brilliant description of our hero, cuchulainn ([kuːˈxʊlˠɪnʲ] ), and his feats:
So Cuchulainn’s training with Scathch in the craft of arms was done: what with the apple-feat—jugging nine apples with never more than one in his palm; the thunder-feat; the feats of the sword-edge and the sloped shield; the feats of the javelin and rope; the body-feat; the feat of cat and the heroic salmon-leap; the pole-throw and the lap over a poisoned stroke; the noble chariot-fighter’s crouch, the gae bolga; the spurt of speed; the feat of the chariot-wheel thrown on high and the feat of the shield-rim; the breath-feat, with gold apples blown up into the air; the snapping mouth and the hero’s scream; the stroke of precision; the stunning-shit and the cry-stroke; stepping on a lance in flight and straightening erect on its point; the sickle-chariot; and the trussing of a warrior on the points of spears.
you haven’t even heard about his warp-spasm yet.
bakunin: the philosophy of freedom
so, young friends, leave this dying world—these universities, academies, and schools in which you are now locked, and where you are permanently separated from the people. go to the people. this is your field, your life, your science. learn from the people how best to serve their cause! remember, friends, that educated youth must be neither the teacher, the paternalistic benefactor, nor the dictatorial leader of the people, but only the midwife for the self-liberation, inspiring them to increase their power by acting together and co-ordinating their efforts.
a delightful book about a mythic man. it is perhaps the most relevant thing I have ever read.
how the university works: higher education and the low-wage nation
a weak ending, but before that, a strong argument about the deterioration of the university
women and gender in islam
a useful review of the past and consideration of the present.
the innovative university: changing the dna of higher education from the inside out
ugh! yuck! ick! badly documented, speculative, myopic, factually incorrect sometimes. college presidents, please do not need or use this instruction manual. please learn and do something more real.
an action-packed tragedy, and one that seems relevant and comprehensible than some of the others. I can’t wait to see what ralph fiennes does with it.
and a dash of this:
Let me have war, say I; it exceeds peace as far as day does night; it’s spritely, waking, audible, and full of vent. Peace is a very apoplexy, lethargy: mulled, deaf, sleepy, insensible; a getter of more bastard children than war’s a destroyer of men. (servant 1; act iv, scene 5)
pity the billionaire: the hard-times swindle and the unlikely comeback of the right
catchy! catching! catch this!
what a frightening world we’ve made for ourselves. and let’s not forget this paragraph, the opening lines to a chapter about the weakness of the democrat and his reliance on the expert to hide his liberal shame:
“well, reader, we’ve had a lot of fun poking holes in the things conservatives say, haven’t we? they blow off the facts when they feel like it; they swipe symbols from the other side; they illuminate arguments on economics with fairy tales. the reasoning you used to hear on the glenn beck show seems like something from a brainwashing session at lubyanka prison. it is preposterous. it is contemptible.
“but you know what it’s better than?
“it’s better than nothing.”
“the actual political descendants of jackson and bryan and roosevelt took years to rise to the occasion. they didn’t seem to understand that circumstances called for a profound change. they couldn’t embrace the requirements of the moment even though they were the ones pledged to traditional hard-times measures (regulation, reform, social insurance) and even though responding to hard times was once their party’s very raison d’etre.”
alice’s adventures in wonderland
alice is really a very silly little girl with lovely little dreams.
the handmaid’s tale
clever and insightful, but certainly no substitute for the good mr. orwell.
stephen king sure loves his apocalypse stories with god-devil standoffs.
war is a force that gives us meaning
well, yes, chris, it does. a passionately argued point, and meaningful vignettes, but I’m not quite sure about his conclusion.
grimm’s fairy stories
much less grim to me in my old age than they were when I was a little guy.
death in spring
what a beautiful, strange work.
footnotes in gaza
an amazing piece of journalism.