Saturday, August 31, 2019

Photo of the Day: Washington Square Arch, NYC, Late Summer

After emerging from a movie theater in Greenwich Village on Saturday late in the afternoon, I walked along the surrounding streets. From far away, I beheld the familiar, majestic Washington Square Arch. I’m not sure how often I have seen it over the years, but it still moves something in me—and certainly this weekend, when I took this photo.

Created originally as a wooden structure in time for the 1889 centennial celebration of George Washington’s inauguration, the site proved so popular that in a couple of years, enough money was raised to turn it into the marble neighborhood anchor known today. I think most visitors would agree that every penny raised to create it was money well-spent.

Quote of the Day (Roddy Doyle, on the Duty of the Writer)

“I don’t think writing, or the duty of the writer, should be too tightly defined. The duty of the writer is to write—as simple as that. If more comes out of the writing—an image that demands scrutiny, a story that promotes guilt, joy, rage, impatience—good. I’ve been lucky. I’ve written words that have caused controversy here in Ireland, and have provoked people to examine the way we live. But if this is to be the only purpose of writing, we’ll be left with a lot of very worthy, but dull, work. Writers can never anticipate the reaction of a reader. That’s the magic, and the danger, of the experience …. Language has always been abused but the practice seems to have become routine. Deny, deny, deny: only the stupid tell the truth….The duty of the writer is to be stupid—and tell the truth. It’s how we tell the truth, how we tell the story—that’s where the writing, the hard work, comes in.”—Irish novelist-screenwriter Roddy Doyle (The Commitments), in Tom Grimes, “An Interview With Roddy Doyle,” Tin House, Vol. 7, No. 4 (Summer 2006)

(Photo of Roddy Doyle taken by Christoph Rieger in the festival garden at Haus der Berliner Festspiele on September 14th, 2015, during his participation in the Children´s and Young Adult Program of the 15th International Literature Festival, Berlin.)

Friday, August 30, 2019

Quote of the Day (Andy Rooney, on the Joy of Easy Questions)

“There's nothing people like better than being asked an easy question. For some reason, we're flattered when a stranger asks us where Maple Street is in our hometown and we can tell him.” — CBS journalist and humorist (1919-2011), “If Not JFK, Why Not RWR?” Chicago Tribune, Dec. 1, 1981

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Tweet of the Day (Jeff Greenfield, on the Tan Suit 'Scandal' of 5 Years Ago)

“Funny how journalists love to ridicule pols for obsessing over their dress—then go nuts when the President shows up in a tan suit.”—Political commentator Jeff Greenfield, Aug. 28, 2014 tweet

We’re now “celebrating”—if that’s the right verb—the fifth anniversary of the contrived uproar over Barack Obama’s late-summer tan suit.

I’m glad I had stopped paying attention to Fox News at that point, because they chose that point to have a major snit over this apparel, which to them signified not that it was late the dog days of summer but that it “confirms he’s a Marxist”—something having to do with a dark suit emphasizing he was serious about the office.

This, from the same cable channel that, in this past week, had on-air personality Katie Pavlich proclaim, without irony, that she was “still on Team Manifest Destiny Greenland”—confirming that there’s a clown car doing an express run from Mar a Lago to the Fox News studio in Rockefeller Center.

Quote of the Day (Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, on Sacrifice and Awareness of an ‘Alternate Path’)

“Sacrifice is being aware of an alternate path and continuing on the one that might be less comfortable, guided by some belief that the greater good is being served. I see true beauty in sacrifice. I see something essential and elemental. You need to be humbled; you need to be reminded of your role in the lives of others.”—Wilco guitarist and frontman Jeff Tweedy quoted in “Soapbox: The Columnists: WSJ. Asks Six Luminaries to Weight in on a Single Topic—This Month: Sacrifice,” WSJ. Magazine, June/July 2019 issue

(Photo of Jeff Tweedy taken Jan. 22, 2012, by Tristan Loper. Inquiries: