Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Ellen Goodman on "youth" in general, and Obama in particular

I enjoyed this piece by Ellen Goodman, which appeared a few days ago in the Boston Globe. (I actually read it in today's print edition of the Arizona Republic, but liked it so much that I decided on the spot to find it online and post it here.)

I am 53 years old, which puts me squarely in the middle of the baby-boom generation. There are a lot of things I actually enjoy about growing older, but lately I have also been reflecting on Pope Paul VI's observation that as we age, the days tend to grow longer, but the years shorter. In addition, I have been following the media hype about Barack Obama, who, at age 45, seems a bit young to me, especially for a Presidential candidate. After all, we're talking here about a man who was born in 1961, a year I actually remember rather well; among other things, it was the first year of the Kennedy Presidency and the year the Berlin Wall was erected. This column focuses on Sen. Obama, but the author's more general observations about age and perspective are, in my view, its chief points of interest.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Some glad tidings

For several years, I have been eagerly awaiting the publication of the Hollander edition of Dante's Paradiso, the third and last canticle of the Divine Comedy. A few days ago I learned that it is scheduled for publication in August of this year. I have the Hollander editions of Inferno and Purgatorio, with their lavish footnotes and commentary, and have spent many happy and challenging hours studying both of them. When the new Paradiso comes out in a few months, my world still might not be complete or perfect, but it will be just a little closer to that ideal.

For details, check here.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Canyon Lake

Canyon Lake
Originally uploaded by gwilmore.
I happen to be quite fond of this picture, which I took about a month ago, but that is not the reason I am posting it here today. I recently switched over to the new version of Blogger, and today discovered that I also had to change my Flickr settings in order to be able to continue posting photos to my blogs. So I merely decided this would be my vehicle for doing it here. (I posted a picture of one of my Iranian friends to Convivio, which is how I learned that I needed to go through this process with both of my blogs.)

Incidentally, if you happen to be among the contributors to this blog and no longer find your name on the list, don't be concerned, because you haven't been expelled. Just go to your Blogger profile and follow the links, and within five minutes or so your name will appear on the new version of this site.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Escape from ugliness

I found this article by Greg Crosby in today's edition of Jewish World Review, and wholeheartedly endorse what he says. He starts by lamenting the ugliness of 21st-century popular culture, repeating the word ugly (or its derivatives) so frequently as to emphasize that it is -- well -- ugly, in and of itself. Then he suggests old movies as a way to escape from this sewer. (He specifies that by "old," he means pre-1960s films.) Finally, he supplies a list of his "top 10," which actually numbers 25, for reasons he mentions in the column.

In the same spirit, I present here a few of my own favorite pre-1960 movies, and invite my readers to weigh in with lists of their own.

1. "High Noon"
2. "Singin' in the Rain"
3. "Rear Window"
4. "The Ten Commandments"
5. "Magnificent Obsession"
6. "Twelve O'Clock High"
7. "It's a Wonderful Life"
8. "Pride of the Yankees"
9. "Sergeant York"
10. "Gone with the Wind"