Monday, July 31, 2006

Naming Rights

The cat had kittens. They talk a lot in the sports biz about Naming Rights. The Skydome in Toronto was bought by Rogers Communications and is now legally The Rogers Centre. But the citizens of Toronto still call it Skydome; they don't know what you're talking about if you ask -- where's the Rogers Centre? To them Rogers means phones. To them the baseball stadium is still Skydome.

Back in Ancient Days they gave Naming Rights to the Emperor. The new kittens were born on the last day of Julius Caesar Month. I was born on the last day of Augustus Caesar month. Augustus stole a couple of days from February so that Augustus Month would have that same max number of days as Julius Month: 31.

What shall I name the three kittens?

Sunday, July 30, 2006


Topical information dies. You want to say something true in a thousand years? Solomon praised the cedars of Lebanon; I prefer the cedars in the Hamptons. Christ has been in man’s thoughts two thousand years; he’ll probably be there a thousand hence. Honeysuckle will smell as sweet. Good information guides and entertains us but dies quickly; or “lives” only as history. Information of traffic and weather dies; I urgently turned the dial seeking last night’s score. Greek and Latin tease. Falling in love with Marcus Aurelius, I sought the original Latin; he was the Roman emperor, after all. Alas, he wrote in Greek. And so I studied Greek, but prefer Homer to the philosophers. We are information for the future.

Sunday, July 23, 2006


Israel’s deconstruction of Lebanon seems brutal and excessive. They’re imitating Bush in Iraq. Some wars solve problems; this war may just make everything worse. Israel and the United States are giving democracy a bad name.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Johnny Depp and George Bush

Was Milton’s Paradise Lost a farewell to Cromwell and the Congregationalist Commonwealth? Sometimes I think I’m living in 17th century Britain. I had grown hot for Rochester’s poetry just before Johnny Depp made The Libertine. Oft do I ogle Dyke’s Sucking at the Musee Prick; translation: I love van Dyke’s portrait of Sir John Suckling, the Cavalier poet, here in New York at the Frick Museum. Michael Leapman’s book on Inigo Jones and Ben Jonson filled in some blanks on the arts and the court. I have just finished The Cradle King, a biography of James I by Alan Stewart of Columbia U. In the 17th century, England evolved from a monarchy into a democracy. But the people at the time didn’t realize what was happening. Cromwell, for instance, thought the English Civil War was all about religion. And thus it seems even stranger that Bush and Blair could march into Iraq and “impose” democracy. Bush is a blind actor on history’s stage, but I myself am conscious mostly of the fog.