Thursday, June 30, 2011

Durant on the past

It may be sentimental rubbish, but I love Will Durant's approach to history as a great living museum in which "the creative spirits of the past, by the miracles of memory and tradition, still live and work." Not dead yet. 

But I do worry about the miracle of memory. I forget what I need to remember.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"We always live at the time we live..."

...and not at some other time, and only by extracting at each present time the full meaning of each present experience are we prepared for doing the same thing in the future. This is the only preparation which in the long run amounts to anything. John Dewey,   Experience and Education

Did Woody Allen read Dewey in preparation for "Midnight in Paris"?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"Armageddon in Retrospect"

Just caught up with Kurt Vonnegut's posthumously-published Armageddon in Retrospect: And Other New and Unpublished Writings on War and Peace.  It's introduced by his son Mark, who observes that his Dad was "an optimist posing as a pessimist" who believed in writing as a spiritual exercise. It did not come easy to him.

He rewrote and rewrote and rewrote, muttering whatever he had just written over and over, tilting his head back and forth, gesturing with his hands, changing the pitch and rhythm of the words. Then he would pause, thoughtfully rip the barely written-on sheet of typing paper from the typewriter, crumple it up, throw it away, and start over again.
Makes me miss my old Smith-Corona, as well as Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. He said:
We Humanists behave as well as we can, without any expectations of rewards or punishments in an Afterlife... We don't fear death, and neither should you. 
And then he said "I thank you for your attention, and I'm out of here." Simple, honest, clear. Thankfully the books remain.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

precarious and stable

 " is the intricate mixture of the stable and the precarious, the fixed and the unpredictably novel, the assured and the uncertain in existence, which sets mankind upon that love of wisdom which forms philosophy..."

Thursday, June 16, 2011

"Go Cubs Go"

Chicago, my kind of town. Why do I only go every thirty-nine years? I actually think I appreciated it more this time, through the extended perceptions of my younger traveling companions. Wrigley in '72 was not nearly the "religious experience" of Monday night, when a capacity crowd rose yet again in the 7th inning to give spirited,  full-throated, unironic voice to our real national anthem. Harry's been gone for several years, but only in body.

Then, the improbable 1-0 win against the 1st-place Brewers sealed, there was this victory anthem. Younger Daughter, a Cubs fan by choice, was in heaven. We all were.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Has it really been thirty-nine summers since a fifteen-year old boy and his Dad took a long week-end in the Windy City, seeing both of the hometown teams on successive days? Time to go again, you're only fifteen once.

Found the box-score from the summer of '72. We were there.

St.Louis Cardinals

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Lou Brock LF512000.317.7520.0480.790.093-0.0440.5202·SB
Ed Crosby 2B411010.225.5350.0121.190.100-0.0880.8232B
Bernie Carbo RF312020.256.7070.1501.190.162-0.0121.420
   Jorge Roque PR000000.000.0000.0000.000.0000.0000.0
Joe Torre 3B501001.303.833-0.1151.970.110-0.225-2.611GDP
Ted Simmons C511200.291.777-0.1722.200.161-0.3330.3602B,GDP
Donn Clendenon 1B301110.191.5950.1170.700.134-0.0161.872
Luis Melendez CF401002.231.630-0.0610.730.013-0.074-1.020
Dwain Anderson SS301001.255.5890.0260.750.061-0.0350.123HBP
   Dal Maxvill SS000000.235.5950.0000.000.0000.0000.000
Dennis Higgins P100000.000.000-0.0130.520.000-0.013-0.200
   John Cumberland P100000.091.182-0.0170.670.000-0.017-0.200
   Diego Segui P200000.100.200-0.1221.640.000-0.122-1.201GDP
   Joe Grzenda P0000000.0000.000.0000.0000.000
Team Totals36410344.278.699-0.1471.200.834-0.979-0.32410
2B: T Simmons (21, off B Bonham); E Crosby (6, off B Bonham).
HBP: D Anderson (1, by T Phoebus).
TB: B Carbo 2; L Brock 2; T Simmons 2; E Crosby 2; L Melendez; J Torre; D Anderson; D Clendenon.
GIDP: J Torre (15); T Simmons (10); D Segui (1).
RBI: T Simmons 2 (61); D Clendenon (9).
Team LOB: 10.
With RISP: 3 for 11.
DP: 1. E Crosby-D Anderson-D Clendenon.
E: D Anderson (4).
SB: L Brock 2 (41, 2nd base off B Bonham/K Rudolph 2).

Chicago Cubs

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Bill North RF411011.143.376-0.1982.300.050-0.248-0.710
Glenn Beckert 2B501201.264.6490.3233.150.523-0.2000.2362B
Billy Williams LF201130.339.9830.2301.600.248-0.0181.8402B,IW
Joe Pepitone 1B501001.261.763-0.1762.080.037-0.213-1.3130
Ron Santo 3B301010.294.841-0.0221.480.079-0.102-0.012
Rick Monday CF412001.259.7820.0701.880.233-0.1630.1002·2B,GDP
Ken Rudolph C311000.214.5630.0131.030.048-0.0350.131
   Frank Coggins PH010010.000.5000.0643.280.0640.0000.4
   Jack Aker P000000.000.3330.0000.000.0000.0000.000
Don Kessinger SS301110.268.6670.1012.370.140-0.0400.924
Bill Bonham P100000.333.833-0.0311.980.000-0.031-0.303SH
   Jose Cardenal PH100001.276.793-0.0281.140.000-0.028-0.2
   Tom Phoebus P000000.067.1330.0000.000.0000.0000.001
   Jim Hickman PH010010.286.8600.0064.300.0060.0000.2IW
   Randy Hundley C000000.218.5740.0000.000.0000.0000.000
Team Totals3159485.290.8550.3522.111.428-1.0781.22717
2B: G Beckert (17, off D Segui); B Williams (22, off D Segui); R Monday 2 (12, 1 off D Higgins, 1 off D Segui).
SH: B Bonham (1, off J Cumberland).
IBB: B Williams (9, by J Grzenda); J Hickman (3, by D Segui).
TB: R Monday 4; B Williams 2; G Beckert 2; D Kessinger; J Pepitone; K Rudolph; R Santo; B North.
GIDP: R Monday (4).
RBI: G Beckert 2 (26); B Williams (69); D Kessinger (26).
2-out RBI: G Beckert 2; B Williams.
Team LOB: 11.
With RISP: 2 for 14.
DP: 3. D Kessinger-G Beckert-J Pepitone; R Santo-D Kessinger-J Pepitone; G Beckert-D Kessinger-J Pepitone.
E: G Beckert (12); K Rudolph (6). Accelerating Intelligence News