Table Talk February 24, 2017

About half way through the Council of Elrond, moving slowly. My first readings echo. I think I first became aware of this book when I saw the Ace edition at the check out line in a Kresge’s store, so 1965. I was 15. I was unimpressed; the cover and blurb somehow connected with ‘hollow earth’ stuff. I don’t know how. I was reading a lot of C.S. Lewis at the time, but had no idea of his connection with Tolkien, and didn’t for some years. Later, in late 1965 or 1966, I saw the Ballantine paperbacks, gave it a go, and fell into Middle Earth. I had asthma rather badly then, not out of control but enough to restrict my activity; I was reading Lewis, Tolkien, and Dorothy Sayers all at the same time, without a clue of their connections.

Winter Bouquet

I’m thinking about witch-hazel. A few years ago, when we had winter, the polar vortex crushed the life out of a robust little bamboo (little meaning, 5 feet high and equally broad) that served to screen what we call the patio from the alley. The bamboo was evergreen, and didn’t like the 45 feet or so of snow that fell on it that winter. And stayed, and stayed. And froze. So the bamboo called it quits, and I’ve been wondering what to replace it with. Witch-hazel might work, and would go well with the two small dogwoods and the small potted japanese maple back there. Maybe this one.

I’m thinking of Meyer lilacs, too, a couple of them, to fill a perpetually bare spot in the front under the hedge. They’d perfume the neighborhood for a month, about. I’m not sure that there’s enough light. I shall think on’t. The “Palibin” cultivar is said to tolerate some shade, and “some” is what it would get there. I’d put a mixed drift of scilla and snowdrops under them, and maybe move some hosta that are overdue for division. The hosta would have to live in pots until fall when I can plant the wee spring bulbs. It’s a tediously awful and bare spot. Not even thorns infest that ground.

The Echo Chamber

I always have to begin this sort of comment with “I was and remain #nevertrump.”Nonetheless, I wish Mr. Trump well in his presidency: for which I think he’s remarkably ill-prepared.

So a local TV sports person has gotten himself suspended after crawling into the twitter echo chamber. Some norts spews guy in Toronto tweets ““Donald Trump: a hateful ignorant corrupt simpleton supported by 87% of Republicans.” Our local guy, a 1 per center who hasn’t bothered to vote since before 2010, just has to join the chorus, tweeting out, “So obvious, so disturbing. America exposed as a country full of simpletons who allowed this cartoon to be ‘elected.” And gets suspended. Without pay.

1.If you are in the biz of selling a product to the masses, don’t let them know you think they are simpletons.
2. If you work in the mass media, don’t feed Mr. Trump’s antagonism to your profession. Your animosity gives credence to his attacks. He wants to provoke you. Don’t give him the pleasure.
3. Doesn’t anyone realize how dangerous it is to make anyone, anyone at all, an authorized object of hate? Much less, a president?

As the Psalmist reminds us, “Leave off from wrath, and let go displeasure; fret not yourself, else shalt thou be moved to do evil.”

Speaking of the Press

Of course it’s partisan. Always has been. Most newspapers were founded to get out a viewpoint and opinion: let’s say, abolition. The wrongness comes from pretending to be neutral.

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