You show up to the party with the Times or Playboy on your arm and people always, always, always think that you are the half of that relationship that is the lucky one. There are a lot of squinty glances. Really? What do they see in you? Are you rich or something? Hung? Family friends? — Finding this piece on freelance journalism resonant to my current project of shopping a novel and/or short fiction.
Things about Boston that I don’t miss: having Harvard Avenue to myself, walking to the T at 6am.
Took this at the Detroit Zoo the other day. Furry and wet!
For the half-life of radioactive material often far exceeds the parameters of historical time, even as if infers, by its lethal effects, the principle of mortality. Further, since the half-life of a radioactive body may far exceed the duration of what we call “life” - like a god, it cannot be killed or eliminated - the radiant body functions at once as an emblem of immortality and, through the destructive effects on living flesh precipitated by its own decay, of ephemerality. — Daniel Tiffany, Toy Medium, 214.
When sentiment gets overripe, it becomes sentimentalism. The sentiment for nature which has been so assiduously cultivated in our times is fast undergoing this change, and is softening into sentimentalism toward the lower animals. Many a wholesome feeling can be pushed so far that it becomes a weakness and a sign of disease. Pity for the sufferings of our brute neighbors may be a manly [Pg 60] feeling; and then again it may be so fostered and cosseted that it becomes maudlin and unworthy. When hospitals are founded for sick or homeless cats and dogs, when all forms of vivisection are cried down, when the animals are humanized and books are written to show that the wild creatures have schools and kindergartens, and that their young are instructed and disciplined in quite the human way by their fond parents; when we want to believe that reason and not instinct guides them, that they are quite up in some of the simpler arts of surgery, mending or amputating their own broken limbs and salving their wounds,—when, I say, our attitude toward the natural life about us and our feeling for it have reached the stage implied by these things, then has sentiment degenerated into sentimentalism, and our appreciation of nature lost its firm edge.
— Ways of Nature, by John Burroughs. He says sentimentalism like it’s a bad thing.
a. Ascription of a human form and attributes to the Deity. —
* 1753 Chambers Cycl. Supp., Anthropomorphism, among divines, the error of those who ascribe a human figure to the deity.
Oldest OED definition & use of anthropomorphism. And here I thought it and personification were mere synonyms. Anthropomorphism’s first use in English is as a theological objection. Personification starts out being all about concepts or objects being given human attributes, and is more value-neutral.
But I wanted to see its factual errors! Damn!
My friend Andrew got this card catalog and refinished it last summer. Stunning, no?
While I’m on the subject, I may as well mention that they also come in unattainably beautiful, quartersawn oak.