Monthly Archives: May 2016

Reading the Landscape: 31

New Jersey was the last state in the northeast to outlaw slavery. Look closely enough at enough old cemeteries, and you can figure out where all the bodies are  buried.

Reading the Landscape: 30

John (no relation to Reese) Witherspoon, an important figure of the Scottish Enlightenment, a signatory of the Declaration of Independence, and the sixth President of Princeton University — his students included not only James Madison, but 37 judges (three of whom became justices of the U.S. Supreme Court), 10 Cabinet officers; 12 members of the […]

Reading the Landscape: 29

History goes to the nursing home.

Reading the Landscape: 28

NAFTA blew through the American economy like Hurricane Sandy.

Reading the Landscape: 27

God is dead.

Reading the Landscape: 26

“If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.” ― Francis of Assisi

Reading the Landscape: 25

Riding my bike through the exurban countryside, I discover a site where they grow artisanal food for artisanal people.

The Dirty Business of Mt. Everest

If you ask the typical American the name of the first person to climb Mt. Everest, he will tell you that it was a British climber named Edmund Hillary in 1953. A well-informed American will add a footnote. In reality. Sir Edmund Hillary was the first European to reach the summit of the tallest mountain […]

Reading the Landscape: 24

I was once accused of being “disrespectful to the troops” for taking a photo of my bike in front of the Westfield, New Jersey Vietnam Memorial. But I ask you this. Isn’t it disrespectful to humanity to build a memorial to the American soldiers who served in that genocidal war, and not to the Vietnamese […]

Spectre (2015)

Spectre begins with a lovely tracking shot through a Day of the Dead festival in Mexico City that has us follow masked figures through the pageantry, up some steps, up an elevator, through a hotel room (where one of the masked figures turns out to be none other than James Bond), and then across a […]