- Farrokh Bulsara was born 67 years ago today.
- In which the motherfucking NRA and me stand in agreement.
- Also, Jen Ruben hearts Obama.
- Strangest fucking days of my life.
- Escalation rhetoric in six easy steps.
- Speaking of which: bioweapons! make the front page of Your Fucking Washington Post this morning.
- The shameful history of American chemical weapons use.
- Obama's high confidence.
- The next ten billion years. How about a hundred years from now? It has been a difficult century. After more than a dozen major wars, three bad pandemics, widespread famines, and steep worldwide declines in public health and civil order, human population is down to 3 billion and falling. Sea level is up ten meters and rising fast as the Greenland and West Antarctic ice caps disintegrate; fossil fuel production ground to a halt decades earlier as the last economically producible reserves were exhausted, and most proposed alternatives turned out to be unaffordable in the absence of the sort of cheap, abundant, highly concentrated energy only fossil fuels can provide. Cornucopians still insist that fusion power, artificial intelligence, and interstellar migration will save us any day now, and their opponents still insist that human extinction is imminent, but most people are too busy trying to survive to listen to either group.
- A reminder that when my daughter is my age it will be 2047. The bitching here is for her life, not mine.
- Purple Line.
- Great television shows of the western tradition?
- Mary Tyler Noir.
- Are novelists too wary of criticizing other novelists?
- Knausgaard, for those of you who do (or, in this instance, did, wish didn't). For the record, I read the first 75 or so pages of Vol 1, hated the motherfucker (the author; just disliked the book).
- Beckett, for those of you who do.
- Studying the language.
- All the other songs here are Freddie Mercury songs, but yes, this is a Brian May song, it's also - have I said this? - a personal Theme Song, it's been vouched.
Fly from me does all I would have stay,
the blossoms did not stay, stayed not the frost
in the yellow grass. Every leash snapped,
every contract void, and flying in the crows
lingers but a moment in the graveyard oaks
yet inside me it never stops so I can’t tell
who is chasing, who chased, I can sleep
into afternoon and still wake soaring.
So out come the bats, down spiral swifts
into the chimneys, Hey, I’m real, say the dream-
figments then are gone like breath-prints
on a window, handwriting in snow. Whatever
I hold however flies apart, the children skip
into the park come out middle-aged
with children of their own. Your laugh
over the phone, will it ever answer me again?
Too much flying, photons perforating us,
voices hurtling into outer space, Whitman
out past Neptune, Dickinson retreating
yet getting brighter. Remember running
barefoot across hot sand into the sea’s
hovering, remember my hand as we darted
against the holiday Broadway throng,
catching your train just as it was leaving?
Hey, it’s real, your face like a comet,
horses coming from the field for morning
oats, insects hitting a screen, the message
nearly impossible to read, obscured by light
because carried by Mercury: I love you,
I’m coming. Sure, what fluttered is now gone,
maybe a smudge left, maybe a delicate under-
feather only then that too, yes, rained away.
And when the flying is flown and the heart’s
a useless sliver in a glacier and the gown
hangs still as meat in a locker and eyesight
is dashed-down glass and the mouth rust-
stoppered, will some twinge still pass between us,
still some fledgling pledge?