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Meanwhile on planet Plantagenet

Monday, April 24th, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — a DoubleQuote too far — or too good to miss? ]
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On the benfits of having been British, even if it was a while back..

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Looks like we Brits would get to reclaim Eleanor‘s Aquitaine.. and it’s hard for me to tell, but I fear we’d miss out on Carcassonne of the Cathars..

Keeping it pop in natsec and politics

Friday, April 21st, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron –0 a DoubleTweet from Foreign Affairs deputy managing editor Justin Vogt ]
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Halal Dunkin’ Donuts in Karachi..

and Ted Nugent gets a private tour of the White House from President Trump — with Kid Rock and Sarah Palin:

“He gave us a wonderful personal tour of every room and talked about the origins of every carpet and every painting — there was a Monet — and then we had dinner,” said Mr. Nugent, who has referred to former President Barack Obama as a “mongrel” and to Hillary Clinton with an array of unflattering epithets.

Running — the pragmatic and the ecstatic

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — .. a runner moves between prose and poetry, mere winning and the runner’s high ]
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The pragmatic:

The ecstatic:

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The pragmatic tells you what most running is like: the ecstatic tells you how you feel when you hit “runner’s high — here’s one athlete’s description of winning, where winning itself becomes the least interesting aspect of the race:

The starter gave us instructions, and the gun went off. I ran a few steps into a dimension I didn’t know existed.

Suddenly I seemed to be up in the rafters of the arena, looking down at my race far below. I could see the black framework of the high catwalks vaguely around me, the cables, the great spotlights, the blazing brilliance of the tiny track so far beneath me, and myself running in the midst of the others in my race that was on both with me and without me.

And in the total silence of this incredible vantage point, a voice said tome clearly, in a kindlysort of way, “Well, Grace, thisis what you always wanted.”

And then I was back down in my race again, winning it, setting a new U.S. record. Afterward, exuberant, curious, and a little wistful, I asked some friends who were there, “Didn’t anyone clap or cheer or anything?” I didn’t remember hearing the crowd at all.

“Sure they did! Everyone was yelling and screaming. Didn’t you hear them?”

No. I hadn’t heard anything. Except the voice. I don’t even remember anything about the race itself except for what I saw from up there.

That’s Grace Butcher, from Garth Battista, The Runner’s High: Illumination and Ecstasy in Motion. And the “high” doesn’t have to include an out-of-body experience, though I had that myself one day when I was very young. It’s just a matter of transcendance, of what the Buddhists would call “gone beyond” without further specifying..

Life as poetry.

Trump, Flynn and immunity

Friday, March 31st, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — tweets, and how they become, for me, a problem in number theory ]
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The initial question is, should I pair this:

with this:

Or this:

— or the last two with each other?

Such are the hazards of imprisonment within the DoubleQuote system — two, when three or more are available and relevant, becomes a constraint rather than a facilitation. So would any other positive integer — and god save us from the irrationsals!

William Owens’ widow and father

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — a meditation on grief, politics and the raid in Yemen ]
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That long moment with SEAL William “Ryan” Owens‘ widow, Carryn Owens, was the central human moment of President Trump‘s speech to the Joint session of the United States Congress today.

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My emotions were varied and braided. The widow’s grief was obvious, and I felt and grieved for her, as I’m sure we all did.

At the same time, the President featuring it in his speech seemed manipulative and, in the worst sense, political:

As I say, my emotions were varied and braided.

**

Nor let us forget the father’s grief, which expressed itself in an angry, anguished question —

— nor, finally, the grief of the Awlaki family at the loss in that same raid of Nawar Anwar Al-Awlaki, Sheikh Anwar Awlaki‘s 8-year-old daughter — an American girl among the civilian casualties.

I grieve again.


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