Hilary Putnam

Recent

He’s the Guy

Those social media posts of ‘this moment in this famous film was totally unscripted!!!’ as if that by itself makes it better miss the point. Moat unscripted material, like most ideas, inventions, ideas, notions, &c … fails — such is the nature of creativity: the best stuff, it is devoutly to be wished, sticks around;

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‘Round Here

Imagine someone, potentially anyone, even you, perhaps, but let us, in any case, say. Yes, you. You pull into the diner – Earl’s, Norm’s, Dinah’s, something like that. A sort-of Googie architecture … but maybe not quite, as if it’d been a little late for the Space Age, and late is the one thing you

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Trick Shot

Sometimes successful films — ones that aren’t expected to be, by many excellent people — spawn copycats, a fact as well-known as well-attested. The followers aren’t as awesome as the originals but they’re not always so awful, and the makers, if they care a little, will throw some new stuff in, or at least get people

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No Prizes for Subtlety

It was the sort of place you wouldn’t be found dead in; the guy on the floor didn’t agree. Didn’t seem to like the floor — but it was in better shape than his face. Then someone had gone duck hunting on his chest. And either another guy was standing in front of me, or

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Random

Size 46 Walmart

There was a time when my weight goal was to fit into size 46/30 khakis from Walmart, and that time was last Thursday, when I bought them. I weigh some 334 pounds. I am 42 years old, heading to 43. I am officially diabetic, per my doctor’s adjudication of some recent unfortunate blood tests.* The

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Dirty Rotten Scoundrel

Some of my best friends have a problem with the dirty poor. These are the folks below the dirt-poor — which describes a financial level not the person himself. These are the dirt-encrusted, unemployed, possibly begging (relying on strangers, kindness, and a fair economy as much as the rest of us, anyway), frequently transient (the weather

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The Weighty Beauty of the IBM Selectric III

As Annie Dillard might say, I didn’t write this, I typed it. In fact, I typed it on a black 15″ IBM Selectric III — correction, a Correcting Selectric III, which began production, I am informed, in 1980. It’s the one I learned to type on and, I know now, began to learn to write.

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I Wasn’t Talking To You

There is a story from the Johnson Administration which has PBS journalist Bill Moyers, at the time LBJ’s communications director, praying before a meal. With many guests attending, Moyers was at one end of the table and the Leader of the Free World at the other. As Moyers said grace, President Johnson said, “I can’t

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