Dear visitor, if you take the trouble to read : I apologize for all the bad, syrup-thick blog prose here. Man is it bad, so much of it. I wish hereby to take responsibility and express regret for many wrongs committed by keyboard.  — pdb

H ere is a nice little Latin phrase, and rare too, (one can’t be too recherché or brief in one’s Latin, it’s getting so common) …

That’s Poe in full smirk, ‘How to Write a Blackwood Article’ — parody it might have done me good to come across sooner than I did, some years back now.

Quare id faciam I pulled from one of Catullus’ better-known little verses, encountered in low-level Latin courses in college. Embarrassing, yes, that I borrowed it in the first place (albeit without much pretension; just liked the excised snippet for itself) twenty-odd years ago. More embarrassing that I’m kind of using it as a handle still !

Well, I’m kind of attached to it still — what can I say? Not every dumb thing you do when young has to be repudiated utterly.

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5 May 2024updated : 6 May 2024

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Turning point: U.S.A.

26 Dec 2023

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I often go to Google News for an idea of what’s current in headlines. I don’t like it, but for this bare, quite specific purpose, it’s the convenient and (so far) all-too-difficult-to-replace tool. Google News disgusts especially for systematically representing news- and newslike-media from every corner as though all were,  …

Citizen cartoonist

8 Dec 2023updated : 14 Dec 2023

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I’ve had quite a rough year. Not the first rough year in recent years, to be sure. And then, too, at the same time, by no means an all bad year. Far from an all bad year. Something I haven’t been able to do for a lot of the year  …

World order

21 Oct 2023updated : 23 Oct 2023


An organization I’m involved in from several years ago now, never as a central participant but nevertheless in a continually deepening way, the National Writers Union, put out quite a strongly worded statement last week calling for coverage of new open warfare in Israel-Palestine that isn’t tilted in favor of  …


23 Jul 2023updated : 24 Jul 2023


I’ve had a little bit to say about social media, very occasionally, in what I write on this site, and once in a while have the thought that it’s a topic I ought to be discussing only more. It’s certainly a topic that takes up space in my head. It  …


1 Jul 2023

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I’m going to try for something relatively short, here, in the way of a follow-on attached to the previous post, mid-June, about democracy talk. Again I take my cue from recent Vlad Vexler video content. He’s making it so damned convenient! The convenience is just in the character of his  …

Lib dem

12 Jun 2023

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‘What is democracy.’ Um, democracy can be thought about in two distinct ways. One a banal way — which is really useful. It’s the most basic thought about democracy, and that’s that there are counter-majoritarian institutions, there are checks and balances that work. So a democracy is when you can  …


2 Apr 2023

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Here in the academic enclave neighborhood of southern-Chicago shoreland where I’ve been living just a few years — on multiple counts a foreigner-outsider, no doubt permanently — I got myself out to a book talk organized through an arm of the divinity school last week. There are a lot of  …


22 Feb 2023

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In an online venue I’ve had involvement with in recent years, an essayist addressing one of the world’s more terrifying current cases of official oppression of a people group within borders wrote something that’s been a little bit under my skin since. Can we expect now, the writer asks, a  …

Masking up

11 Feb 2023

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Thanks to the YouTube feed (in my case, with judicious use, not the mere garbage-dump brain-damage engine it can easily become), I learned this week about a touring exhibit now open at the United Nations facility in New York, headlined ‘#FakeImages.’ The video is included here, below. It might have  …

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