I suppose there are still people around here and there who complain about the creeping secularism of the Holidays and who in consequence admonish others to “keep Christ in Christmas”. I well remember such exhortations from the time of my childhood, growing up in Wichita, KS. Such hortatory rituals were often accompanied by carols, religious services, and – I would argue, curiously enough – by a reading of Charles Dickens’ perennial A Christmas Carol. I say “curiously enough” because I have just finished reading Carol for the few-hundredth time and for the first time, I noticed the absence of Christ in Carol, except in a very "thin", allusive sense. Carol without Christ, or with Christ in the background of the background, is a much more universal, even “archetypal”, story of the awa
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring :
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.
-- Alexander Pope
I cannot remember when I first fell in love with the English language, but subjectively, it seems like I could have fallen in love with it in utero. (My parents tell me I talked at an exceptionally young age, and both times I took the GRE, I blew the top of the scale off the language-skills section.) So it always irritates me to no end to look at the way people misuse and abuse the English language. (It also irritates me when people misuse foreign words that are imported into English, like the German Weltanschauung and Angst, but these are rants for another time.) Sometimes the frustration cro
Would a couple of you please carry Uncle Sigmund’s luggage? (I’d do it myself, but this damn sciatica has laid me low for over three years now. OK … good … thanks … ) And, Uncle, please be careful of that first step down from the train. Remember, you’re not as young as you used to be. We have a lot to talk about, now that you’ve returned. On the way to your hotel, we can discuss some topics I’m sure you’ll be very interested in, specifically Donald Trump, Brexit, and the fabled sexual peccadilloes of conservative American televangelists. I have a feeling the world is finally catching up with you. What’s that you say, Uncle? All three phenomena are actually the same, like the heads of Hydra all belonging to a single monster? Fascinating. I guess this is a case of great minds thinking