Entries by Think Again

Stalin

“His was a low-slung, smallish figure, neither markedly stout nor thin, inclining, if anything, to the latter. The square-cut tunic seemed always a bit too large for him: one sensed an effort to compensate for the slightness of stature. Yet there was also a composed, collected strength, and a certain rough handsomeness, in his features. […]

Tambourine Man

March 1966 Playboy:  “you’ve said you think message songs are vulgar.  Why?“ Dylan:  “Well, first of all, anybody that’s got a message is going to learn from experience that they can’t put it into a song.  I mean it’s just not going to come out the same message.  . . .you’ve got to respect other […]

The Girl with Tattoo and Fire

It may be significant that a young Swedish author’s books are about evil, revenge, and justice.  The Sweden we all know is egalitarian, humane, rational, and kind.  The people are understanding and generous, and they abhor violence.  They were neutral in World War II.  Life in Sweden is neat, careful, sensible, and compassionate.  Emotions are […]

J.R.R. Tolkien

J. R. R. Tolkien, Author of the Century, by Tom Shippey, Houghton Mifflin Company 2000. “The oldest and deepest desire satisfied by fairy tales is to tell tales of the great escape: the escape from Death.” There is a sublime sadness in the eyes of the hero, Aragorn, within the triumph of resilience that is […]

Revolution Misremembered

Oh posterity, you will never know how much it cost us to preserve your freedom.  I hope that you will make a good use of it.  It you do not, I will repent in heaven that I took half the pains to preserve it. So speaks John Adams in the last line of the HBO […]

Beltway Nationalism

“Lobbyists need something to buy, and legislators need something to sell.” Milton Friedman Lobbyists have clients who pay them to purchase advantage from legislators who are writing laws that affect them.  Legislators have lobbyists who pay them – in campaign contributions – to create laws that favor specific individuals and businesses that are represented by […]

Modal Consciousness

Zen Mind is described as a state of egolessness, devoid of self consciousness.   One can utilize this state of mind, Zen shows us, in archery, martial arts, and calligraphy.  Zen and the Art of Archery, by Eugene Herrigel, is the short classic story of a westerner’s attempt to achieve Zen Mind and become a skilled […]

History of Christianity

Jon Meacham, the editor of Newsweek,  and author of American Lion, Andrew Jackson in the White House, reviews Christianity, the First Three Thousand Years, by Diamond MacCulloch, in the New York Times Book Review, April 4, 2010. Meacham tells us he is officially sympathetic to christianity.  ” I am an episcopalian who takes the faith […]

Men in Combat

“Combat fog obscures your fate…and from that unknown is born a desperate bond between men” In Sebastian Junger’s War, a book about a company of soldiers in the Korengal Valley of Eastern Afghanistan, we experience war conceptually, and devoid of the cynicism of most war commentary.  Junger doesn’t speak to whether war is good or […]

Something or Something else

“The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless.” Steven Weinberg. Science seems to have the unspoken goal of finding explanations that have no arbitrary element.   Nothing can be a certain way, when it could as well be another way.  Why it isn’t always has to be explained.   The result […]