Are You Pondering What I’m Pondering?

Today is the anniversary of the birth of the following people (among others, naturally): Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Auguste Rodin, Charles Manson, and Neil Young. So, as you can see, some Novembers the 12th look good on reflection, while others have some explaining to do.

Jeanette Winterson’s depiction of a fundamentalist mother in Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit reminded me of my grandmother, who devoted herself to Christian Science’s idea that faith can heal illnesses. The total cost: my aunt’s hearing in one ear, my maternal grandfather’s and great uncle’s deaths, and finally her own life, painfully ended in 1988 by a long, unidentified ailment. It’s impressive when people follow their beliefs in spite of everything–not always in a good way.

An interesting, yet in many ways unsurprising, analysis of racist post-election tweets and their origins. (Note to those with weak constitutions: the tweets are quoted in the article, and they are deeply offensive.)

Video One (Hugh Laurie, “Sophisticated Song”):

Video #2: (RFK at the 1964 Democratic Convention, introducing a film about his recently murdered brother. It’s an extraordinary scene, with an extraordinary standing ovation that simply won’t end. After the speech, RFK broke down and wept on the fire escape. The speech starts at 12:35, but it’s better, I think, to watch it in full.)

Quote for the day: “It strikes me as gruesome and comical that in our culture we have an expectation that man can always solve his problems. This is so untrue that it makes me want to cry — or laugh.” –Kurt Vonnegut, Playboy interview

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