Jacques Barzun

Recent

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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Can We Tawk?

Comedienne Joan Rivers’ catchphrase was, ‘Can we talk?’ with all that that entails — its rhetorical nature, the Jewish thing, an implication that at least one of the parties will be better off for having done so … Like God. T’other day a priest spoke of ontological remembrance, the immediate and ongoing memory of past-present-future

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Hide and See

Something lost, Dallas Willard said once, might yet be very valuable. One’s car keys for instance. He was speaking somewhat in the context of salvation, if I recall … the general point was calling something lost doesn’t mean it’s not wanted — quite the opposite. Yet it remains … until finding its way out or being found

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Random

Sadie! Sadie!

Hadda dream that Zadie Smith asked me to babysit two kittens. She and her husband, an older Jewish man, had somewhere to go. He was involved in classical music of some kind, possibly a conductor or composer; seemed like a nice guy. One cat was incontinent, one only inconvenient … Zadie and her mensch were

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Trilemma

Bear no malice nor ill-will to any man living, for either the man is good, or naught: if he be good, and I hate him, then am I naught; if he be naught, either he shall amend, and die good, and go to God; or abide naught, and die naught, and so be lost.  

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People of Costco

We got some of our Christmas presents at Costco and I’m not sorry. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of volume discounting, for it is the confidence of 30 rolls of absorbent toilet paper and the power of barrels of mayonnaise unto certain kinds of satiation, and two items not unrelated in the

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More Research Necessary

A report from the lab — She’ll talk sometimes, make an endless series of noises with inflections and rhythm and pauses. Or she’ll just scream for as long as she can. — this from my son, the father of the girl in question, and questioning. Hmm, I said, I still do that. But for she,

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