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I sort of think that reading Danielle Steele or something is better than watching TV, or texting, etc. But yes, staring at a tree is probably preferable to any of the above.

I'm not sure what D Steele is like, i.e. how bad, but I probably disagree. Depends on what you're watching, who you're texting to, etc. :-)

It wasn't so much fiction that provoked my reaction as the other stuff. One thing I really noticed (saying this at risk of offending women) was the amount of junk written by women for women--all the "how to be powerful" stuff.

We had John C. Maxwell here on campus last year and I thought he was the biggest blowhard self-help fool I had ever listened to. I was at that B&N a while back sitting over by the Cafe and noticed there was an entire rack dedicated to him.

I do think the various "how to survive the zombie apocalypse" books may prove to be invaluable.

Danielle Steel writes romance garbage for I suppose primarily a female audience. I sort of associate her with the epitome of junk reading.

My interest in poetry was relegated to hearing Garrison Keillor recite one on his writer's almanac occasionally if I happened to be listening to NPR when it was broadcast. But I'll be happy to participate with Ogden Nash animal poems. :)

Nash is great. I haven't heard of John C. Maxwell but am certainly willing to believe your opinion. Good point about the zombie books.

Funny, I had I See Satan... on my shelf for years but finally just read it myself a month or so ago after hearing a talk on Girard by a priest friend. I think my response was somewhat similar to yours: it makes an awful lot of sense, but I'm not totally convinced (yet). The priest, an extremely intelligent guy with degrees in both mathematics and theology, recommended for further reading a study of by Wolfgang Palaver, Rene Girard's Mimetic Theory, which I've bought but haven't started yet.

Re: 52 Things, I wouldn't be averse to poems but I'm not sure how many I could do or how well they'd come out. Although I read it fairly often I haven't written anything on poetry since college.

And just as an FYI, I think we also may have toyed with the idea of 52 songs and 52 books.

52 Books would be fun, but not this year, because it would require a fair amount of writing from me. 52 songs, maybe, since I could just link to a YouTube video if I didn't want to take time to say anything much. But I think something literary would be preferable to music, since we just did that. 52 Novels would be another possibility (for another year).

Re Girard, I guess I could sum up my view at the moment as "he overstates his case but he's still illuminating."

"I think something literary would be preferable to music, since we just did that."

Yep, I thought the same thing.

Re: Girard, I'm going to read the Palaver book and see where I go after that.

If you want to make it real easy do 52 quotes. I vote for poetry, though, although I tend to be a formalist snob.

I wish I could post a picture here.


I will absolutely promise to do poems.

Hope I find the time to do more than scan this tomorrow.


But how many? I guess if I felt like I could count on at least 26 from other people I'd be willing to proceed.

Quotes? Hmm. My first thought on that was "nah, that wouldn't be much fun." But then I thought "yes, it would."

Will we be allowed to compose our own? ;)

No. Among many things I don't need is to have to pass judgment on my friends' literary efforts. [insert Facebook "oh no" emoji]

This project does seem to be very easy. I pay no attention to poetry at all, which means the last time I studied it was in college back in the 80s. However, finding a poem that is mildly interesting and sending it to you properly formatted seems like way less stress than writing an essay. It seems like it would be up to each of us whether we feel like saying anything critical or otherwise about poetry given for each week, right?

That's what I was thinking for me, anyway. I'll leave it up to other people whether they want to include any commentary, but if I'm going to do more than a handful through the year I don't want to feel obligated to write something. It will be easy to choose a poem and post it with little or no commentary.

I will promise 10 anyway. I have to make up for my lack of participation this year.


You did start us off with the Beatles though...

Looks like 52 poems

I'm wondering if we have anything to worry about with regards to copyright since we're going to post the actual works.

John Keats and William Wordsworth won't mind, and any poets living would probably be happy to have their work published anywhere at all, as long as it isn't a terrorist-related website.

In principle it's a problem for most modern poets, but as Stu says I don't think it really matters much. Poems are reproduced pretty widely on the web. There's so little money involved that I don't think living poets would care that much as long as they're credited (and as Stu says not drafted into bad causes) and I don't feel all that obliged to honor the copyrights of poets who have been dead for 50 or 75 years, but whose copyrights are held by corporate publishers.

By the way, Stu and Rob, I think you both had planned to do one more album, correct? There are only three weeks left.

I'm tempted to say that I'll do the last one.


Yes, Janet must do the last one in order for us to go full circle!

I will write my Lyle Lovett piece this weekend, or do you need it like tomorrow or something?

Just go make yourself a dang quesadilla, Mac!

Argh. I just started trying to lose a few pounds. I would love a dang La Cocina chorizo quesadilla.

I would be happy to have you do the last one, Janet, but I'm not sure that slot is going to be open, assuming Rob really does want to do another one. Unless I get Stu's or Rob's tomorrow I'll have to come up with something, which would leave only the last two for them.

First of all Mac, you begin to diet following the holidays, not during them. :)

I'll do my best to write something tonight. I've been thinking about it so it shouldn't be too hard.

He needs it tomorrow, Stu.


I will do it!

I am in the process of doing mine as well. May finish it tonight, but probably tomorrow.

Good. Tomorrow's fine. Tomorrow night's ok in fact. It normally doesn't take me more than an hour to do the posts, frequently less.

I'd be up for 52 poems.

Very good. There seems to be enough interest to go ahead with this. I don't see a need to even pretend to have assignments and claims and schedules, which in the past have collapsed pretty quickly. I will post a poem on Thursday January 4 2018. After that I'll just see what appears or does not appear in my in-box. Sometime before the end of the year I'll publish the formatting instructions. I don't think they'll be very burdensome.

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