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July 2020

Elizabeth Cary

Or, as we commoners ought to keep in mind, Elizabeth Cary, Viscountess Falkland. I suppose that if we were to address her we would need to use some honorific of the "your ladyship" sort. But that won't be necessary, as she died in 1639. 

I only know of her because the June issue of Magnificat had a short article about her by John Janaro. You can read it, just slightly revised from Magnificat, here

Elizabeth Cary was a remarkable woman in her own time.  Indeed, among women or men of any period she would qualify as a genius.  She was born about 1585 in Oxfordshire; in her desire to learn she outpaced her tutors almost from the beginning of her education, and she was fluent in multiple languages and widely read by the time of her marriage to Henry Cary, Viscount Falkland, in 1602. 

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Bill Monroe: "Midnight On the Stormy Deep"

I was out running an errand last night and heard this on a bluegrass radio show. When I got home I immediately looked for it on YouTube. There is just nothing like Bill Monroe. I think he recorded this song at least twice, and that this one is from 1967. The story told in the song is sort of a folk staple, with many variations.  

The First Two Pink Floyd Albums

There was an exchange here not too long ago about the way music made by and for young people may not speak in the same way if heard first when youth is getting pretty small in the rear-view mirror. That middle-aged-or-older person may like and/or appreciate it, but not take it to heart as might have been the case in youth.

That probably describes my view of the first two Pink Floyd albums. I didn't hear them when they were released in late 1967 and mid-1968, though I think they were reasonably popular among the people I knew. The first of the group's albums I heard was 1969's Ummagumma. I liked it, or at least parts of it, and have liked a good deal of their music since, though I wouldn't say I'm a zealous fan. Several years ago I picked up used CD copies of their first two albums and only recently gave them a good listen.

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My Grapefruit Shandy

Two summers ago the beer section of the supermarket I normally patronize (Publix, in case you wonder) added something called "grapefruit shandy," made by Leinenkugel's.

As far as I can remember the only Shandy I'd ever heard of was Tristram, but I learned that it's a term for beer combined with lemonade--apparently the default meaning--or some other sweet beverage. I like beer a lot and I like grapefruit juice a lot, so I thought this sounded interesting enough to justify my buying a six-pack. I did like it, and I also tried Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy, which is the lemonade version, and which I liked, but not nearly as much. Toward the end of summer both disappeared from the shelves at Publix.

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The Gentlemen

I can't remember whether the previous Guy Ritchie film I saw was Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels or Snatch. I do remember that it was very cleverly plotted, well-acted, quick-witted and quick-moving, and at least half-funny in its depiction of the British underworld. The Gentlemen is very much the same, and I enjoyed it. But there is something not quite right in treating rather vicious criminals as witty and glamorous, and imparting a light-hearted quality to acts of violence. It's all done with an ironic wink, which I guess is better than doing it seriously, but still, it seems unhealthy. 

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Did Trump Actually...oh, never mind

Every few days, at least once a week, I see headlines about something outrageous Trump has said. Until recently my reaction tended to go like this:

1) Gosh, that sounds bad.

2) I wonder if he actually said it.

3) I will look for the transcript or the tweet and learn the truth.

Two months ago, I wrote a post condemning the way journalists distort Trump's words. At least one commenter (who hasn't been heard from since) seemed to take this as a defense of Trump, but it wasn't. It was an objection to the press making a bad situation worse by making Trump look even worse than he actually is: pouring gasoline on an already dangerous fire. From that post:

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Tales From the Loop

I guess it was roughly a month ago that I watched the first episode of this Amazon series. I thought it was wonderful, a beautifully executed story about a little girl who loses her mother and receives help and comfort from a very unexpected source.  

It's a sci-fi series, more or less, a set of eight interconnected stories of several families living in a community which is centered on a mysterious thing called The Loop. By now I've forgotten whatever explication of that idea may have been included in the first episode. Suffice to say that it is at the center of some sort of science and engineering organization, also referred to as The Loop, which in turn is the center of a small town. The concept is pretty loose; mainly it serves to establish an atmosphere of technological mystery, with the accent on mystery.

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