Thursday, June 28, 2018


1. It isn't often, these days, that I'm working in an office all day every day, but that's what I've been doing this week as my congregational library undertakes its inventory and barcoding project, of which I am in charge, giving instructions and advice to as many as a dozen volunteers at once, plus answering questions and resolving snags. It will probably take most of next week too, and then there's some equally consequential followup to undertake. Thus recent bouts of radio silence.

2. Justice Kennedy is retiring, thus providing another opportunity to prove that the US Supreme Court is nothing but a turf war. That he chose this time to retire speaks volumes, as do some of his recent opinions. Tonight I had dinner in a mall food court, and found myself sitting within earshot of a woman trying futilely to explain to her male companion that it's inconsistent for the Court simultaneously to prohibit states from requiring anti-abortion outfits from revealing that they're not medical clinics (on the grounds that free speech means you can't make someone say something) while allowing states to require doctors to read medically nonsensical anti-abortion statements to their relevant patients. That the man was so soft-spoken I couldn't hear his replies is the main reason I was able to resist the impulse to join in and back the woman up.

3. Harlan Ellison has died. (Perhaps reading the recent teeth-grating biography of himself was enough to kill him.) Truly, though, one thought he would live forever, because in a sense he has. He maintained the status of enfant terrible to a greater age than anyone else in human history. And at times he wrote some searingly memorable stories. ("I have no mouth. And I must scream.") So now what happens to The Last Dangerous Visions?

4. Milo Y., up until recently a conservative darling, told people he'd like to see some journalists shot up, and now someone has. I await the declarations as to why there's nothing wrong with Milo's statement, coming from the same people who insist that social shunning of Trump administration officials for their immoral policies is going too far.

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