American gothic  from art institute

MatthewJB Free

Recent Comments

  1. about 3 hours ago on Working Daze

    Thanks. I have never come across that use of the word “canon”.

  2. about 8 hours ago on Pearls Before Swine

    Ricotta is essential in lasagna, and it definitely improves scrambled eggs to scramble them with ricotta. Ricotta is also delicious on crackers.

  3. about 8 hours ago on Pearls Before Swine

    So, when you’re eating, there’s some meat beside you? How much does the meat eat?

  4. about 8 hours ago on Working Daze


  5. 4 days ago on Pearls Before Swine

    That’s a nice typo, “morality rate”. The Bacchae showed us not to preen about who has the higher “morality rate”. That’s a recipe for losing your head!

    Causes of death are myriad. Frequency of death is 100%. No one gets out of here alive. If you are arguing that a longer life is better than is a shorter one, that is definitely just a matter of opinion, personal taste, one’s own urges and genius, and a thousand other factors. I recall a friend of Samuel Beckett’s, walking down the street with him, in beautiful weather, and observing that a day like that one made one feel lucky to be alive. Beckett replied, “Well, I wouldn’t go that far!”

    Anyway, I agree with you: we don’t really have an argument. You practice absolute moderation, and I merely point out that such a practice is itself immoderate, but, please, feel free, to continue with your immoderately moderate life.

  6. 5 days ago on Pearls Before Swine

    Both classes of thought have the same mortality rate: Everyone dies, both Mr. Risky & Mr. Prudent.

    I haven’t seen “sensible points” from you yet because you keep changing the terms. No one said that “lack of moderation is required to enjoy life”. Indeed, I would say that that is much more your stance than it is mine since you demand that the best life is one that is moderate ALWAYS. I simply point out that that stance is itself immoderate, and that the ancient Athenians, recommending moderation, recognized that such a society also needed an exception to the moderation in order to continue to practice the moderation. It’s a kind o’ paradox.

  7. 6 days ago on Pearls Before Swine

    Everything is imperfect, of course, and everything has negative aspects. To think otherwise is a delusion, and I don’t think that you are deluded, but you do seem to want to argue, rather immoderately, about this matter.

    I am not encouraging folks to walk on the edge of the cliff, but we know that we all enjoy occasional activities that get the adrenaline pumping.

    What’s interesting about your immoderate need to continue to argue this point is your continual changing the terms of the discussion. Who spoke of a “beneficial or productive life”? Those criteria are both very subjective and very questionable. Recall the advice: “Live fast, die young, leave a good-looking corpse”. Some of us do that and provide both beneficial and productive lives (Dylan Thomas, e.g., or Jimi Hendrix).

    By the way, we were discussing crystal and now you want to discuss ceramics. I suggest dropping both—figuratively, that is. The literal dropping, which we can all envision, and which is part of what makes us treasure such beauty, I don’t, currently, recommend.

  8. 8 days ago on Pearls Before Swine

    In the Bacchae, Pentheus is killed because the Bacchae think that he is a leopard, but he was going there because he wanted to stop the bacchanalia, which people need to keep their moderation in moderation. That is the reason that Athenians worshipped, above the other gods, Athena (wisdom) and Dionysus (wine).

    To claim that “moderation has no negative aspects” is an immoderate statement. Everything has negative aspects. As The Persuaders sang, “It’s a thin line between love & hate”.

    I agree that we have too little moderation in contemporary American life. That is due to a confluence of factors, but it doesn’t deny the fundamental wisdom of the Athenians that a society dedicated to moderation will need, to maintain that moderation, moments, ideally societal not simply individual (the overweening emphasis on the individual is a weakness in contemporary American society), of bacchanalia, carnival. Our invention of Mardi Gras is an example of this. The awareness that we may need a Lenten sparsity also spawns an organized festival before such a time.

    Lenten sparsity, Carnival excess, and regular, consistent moderation are all necessary parts of humanity. Part of our valuing of the crystal vase is the awareness of how delicate & vulnerable it is. In addition, don’t forget, that it was created by first subjecting its elements to incredible heat (passion), controlled, shaped, and finally cut but supreme care & discipline.

    Crystal exemplifies both the passion and the discipline.

  9. 12 days ago on Pearls Before Swine

    Mr. Pastis is really showing his age here. No one has called them “books on tape” for over twenty years.

  10. 12 days ago on Pearls Before Swine

    It’s the lesson of Euripides’ Bacchae, where an individual, Pentheus, who is too rigid in his moderation tries to stop the frenzied women in their yearly bacchanalia and, for his pains (so to speak), is decapitated by them, led by his mother. An annual blowing-off of steam helps a society lead a reliably temperate life.