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No Gloating Zone

Two words for you: Tim Tebow. Also two more: Percy Harvin. That's the QB and the RB of the Gator football team that has a serious chance of making it four in a row next fall (championships in the two biggest college sports). This is not just the Year of the Gator. We're talking the Gator Decade. Or perhaps the Gator Century. Love the sound of that.

But we will not gloat today. This is a No Gloating Zone. We know what it feels like at rock bottom, staring up at Kentucky in basketball and Alabama, Georgia, Auburn et al. in football, and will not hazard a return by smirking and snorting and cackling with glee at this moment of supreme and unprecedented triumph. I haven't read the coverage yet (I'm in the Vacation Time Zone), but I hope everyone clapped for the way a bunch of young guys decided to forego a huge NBA paycheck to stay in school another year. What a great team. Beat OSU even with Oden playing like a guy who ought to suit up next week for the Lakers.

Best news of all: My bracket , which spent several weeks in last place, an appalling travesty of prognostication, made a miracle comeback, edging out Fisher's and Downie's and Steinberg's and Argetsinger's and Cillizza's.


[Couldn't stifle it.]



"...folly is a child of power. We all know, from unending repetitions of Lord Acton's dictum, that power corrupts. We are less aware that it breeds folly; that the power to command frequently causes failure to think; that the responsibility of power often fades as its exercise augments. The overall responsibility of power is to govern as reasonably as possible in the interest of the state and its citizens. A duty in that process is to keep well-informed, to heed information, to keep mind and judgment open and to resist the insidious spell of wooden-headedness. If the mind is open enough to perceive that a given policy is harming, rather than serving self-interest, and self-confident enough to acknowledge it, and wise enough to reverse it, that is a summit in the art of government."

-- Barbara Tuchman, "The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam," Knopf, 1984, p. 32

By Joel Achenbach  |  April 3, 2007; 12:56 PM ET
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Is CP first?

Posted by: CP | April 3, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Aha a nice shiny new kit for everyone to gather around and not discuss.

Except that it is about football, so most everyone will talk about it

Posted by: Kerric | April 3, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Is it just me, or does Greg Oden look like he's about 40 years old, and looks like Richie Havens? And didja catch a glimpse of Joakim Noah's momma? She's a former Miss Sweden. "Former" meaning about 20 minutes ago, from what I saw. AAaaiiiiiiyyeeeeeee.

Oh, Mr. Gloatperson, the "al" in "et al" needs a period after it.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | April 3, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Joel's been drinking the Gatorade again.


Posted by: bc | April 3, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

bc, as much as I hate to admit it, he's entitled. But only for today.

Posted by: Slyness | April 3, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

That picadillo recipe: raisins? I don't get it....

'Charming Billy' by Alice McDermott is an amazing novel.


Posted by: Maggie O'D | April 3, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

This kit is not about football! It is about basketball, subtle gloating, and the future supremacy of the Gators in every sport known to college (look for a curling entry next year).

Maggie O'D -- yup, raisins. Picadillo is something of a celebratory dish and thus has raisins and nuts in with the meat. Heck, you could probably include currants or apricots without ruining it. But not dried cranberries (too tart) or dates (I think). Well, maybe dates.

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 3, 2007 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I was right on the edge of my seat until with the picadillo recipe-until the raisins. Sorry, don't do fruity bits in savory dishes or baked goods. (Rhubarb the lone exception. Yes, again with the rhubarb lust.)

This part of the kit bears repeating:

"...If the mind is open enough to perceive that a given policy is harming, rather than serving self-interest, and self-confident enough to acknowledge it, and wise enough to reverse it, that is a summit in the art of government."

Posted by: frostbitten | April 3, 2007 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm not subtly gloating, you understand, nor do I predict a Gators dynasty lasting till the end of time. I'm merely interpreting the subtext in the Kit.

Reposting (off topic so soon!) from the last Kit:

The Times has an interesting article about the Baghdad market trip by McCain and some other Republican congresstypes. They went in with 100 soldiers, helicopter and sniper support, and the area was restricted, so they could wander around the market. All said that it was safe and peaceful and proves the surge is working and things are getting better. Afterwards, merchants who were interviewed essentially said the politicos had lost their minds. Locals noted the security was abnormal, that the visit paralyzed the marketplace and it was a media event. Merchants said that usual security provisions include the restriction of traffic and blast walls around the edges, and have made the market safer than before but not safe. They also said that, given the security problems and lack of shoppers, most stalls close in the afternoon.

So: did our politicians not notice the uniforms & helicopters accompanying them, or did they really believe these resources are deployed every day, for the benefit of the Iraqi citizens and merchants?

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 3, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I don't know why otherwise sane people make such a big deal about football. American football is merely that season to be endured until basktball starts.

Posted by: frostbitten | April 3, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Yannick Noah was the Sanjaya of pro tennis 20 years ago.
Yannick is busy with his singing career and charity these days. And siring more kids although he already has enough for a hockey team (Joakim, Yélena, Elijah, Jénayé and Joalukas). His father was a pro football/soccer player from Cameroon and his mother the captain of the French basketball team. I know, I know, but she must be a decent athlete nonetheless. So the big kid from the gators has some quality genes in him.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | April 3, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

As someone who had a major crush on Yannick Noah when I was younger - how dare you compare him to Sanjaya - Sanjaya is no Yannick!!

Posted by: dmd | April 3, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, I can't seem to concentrate on what time of year it is, stupid snow messing me up, stupid not coffee not keeping me awaker.

This is why I like golf, it's always golf season somewhere.

Posted by: Kerric | April 3, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

dmd, you have to admit that Yannick had some kickin' hair back in the day.

Anyone besides me fast-forwarding 20 years and picturing Sanjaya with male pattern baldness?

Posted by: Raysmom | April 3, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Your Gators helped me to win one pool and take 3rd place in another. Fantastic Final Four this year... the two best teams really play for the title, I think. More importantly, it was a good gambling year for me, which is what keeps me coming back each year for March Madness action. Whoooo!

Posted by: Meg in PA | April 3, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom, 20 years ago almost everyone had kickin hair! It is amazing what a can of hairspray could do.

Posted by: dmd | April 3, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Actually, the Tuchman piece has a quote that's useful to all on a personal level "A duty in that process is to keep well-informed, to heed information, to keep mind and judgment open and to resist the insidious spell of wooden-headedness."

A personal motto is: The vehemence with which I defend an opinion is in direct proportion to the embarrassment I will feel when proven wrong. And I seem to get proven wrong a great deal.

Posted by: Raysmom | April 3, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

There was a game last night? What???

Ivansmom, one COULD make the argument that U.S. politicians really ARE used to having uniforms and helicopters and snipers around them at all times...

If one really wanted to, that is.

*glancing over at the Capitol area*


Posted by: Scottynuke | April 3, 2007 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, you should sue this Mueck guy for such a shameless exploitation of the beauty of the male body. Did you pose for that or did he worked from pictures?

(Don't miss it if the expo comes near you, it is really interesting if a little disconcerting at first.)

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | April 3, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

With apologies to the non-East-coasters, why can't they start major sporting events before 9:25 p.m.? As it is, I get to see about 15 minutes of televised coverage before zzzzz takes over. Or don't they worry about us geezers?

Posted by: Raysmom | April 3, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

What were you thinking having Duke go deep this year!?! Just for that you deserve disqualification. I do like the bold N.D. pick--I had them too, damn them.

Posted by: jw | April 3, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to all who wished Frostdottir well. Testing went pretty much as expected, ready for anything except College Algebra. She'll do some refresher, and perhaps avoid taking a no-credit remedial math class-or default to her dream of joining the Coast Guard. Times like these make me angry with her bio mother-perhaps exposure to cocaine in utero didn't cause Frostdottir's learning difficulties, but it certainly didn't help. Not that Mr. F. and I don't support her enlisting in the Coast Guard, we just don't want it to be because she thinks she can't handle college.

I wonder what Senators think they're going to find on a "fact finding" mission to a war zone. Representative Leo Ryan is the only congresstype person I can recall who was actually on to something, and that didn't exactly end well.

Posted by: Frostbitten | April 3, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Frosty, your 2:07 shot my blood pressure up 20 points.

In 20 years Sanjaya is going to be assistant night manager of a Popeye's.

"Charming Billy": grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
(private joke to CP, Maggie)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | April 3, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I got that Charming joke when CP brought it up.

No surprise though, is it?

Meg, congratulations on your pools.
I ended up solidly midpack, undistinguished and out of the money.


Posted by: bc | April 3, 2007 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Mudge-I stand by my 2:07.

I think you're wrong about Sanjaya too. According to the Seattle papers he's quite the amateur hair stylist. He'll probably follow that muse.

Posted by: Frostbitten | April 3, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Joel, you have every reason to gloat. I say this is quite an accomplishment.

I also think a new rivalry for the 21st century has begun, my heart goes out to those poor Ohio State fans *not*. Finishing second is worse then finishing 122.

Mr.Oden does look like he is 40, he will make some lowly NBA team very happy.

BC, are the Gators a serious contender for the College world series title?

Posted by: greenwithenvy | April 3, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

greenwithenvy, I'm no baseball guy, but I see that the Gators are something like 18-13 at the moment, and 7-2 in the SEC.

Not bad. Not sure if they're national championship caliber, though...


Posted by: bc | April 3, 2007 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Now if the Gators field ice hockey teams...

*still grumbling over the Frozen Four*


Posted by: Scottynuke | April 3, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

I used to know a guy in high school who would come around early March with some type of heiroglyph that he called a "bracket" and that I was supposed to buy into and fill out and really care about and maybe win something. I felt about it then as I do now. Not something I want to waste time on. At all. Ever. I know that if Little Gomer plays on his school's football or basketball team, then I will have to support him, but I fear that I will never be able to care about it as much as I should, as a red-blooded American male. And pro sports... I think I already ranted on the inanity of those the last time the Alli-Gators won something and the kit and boodle descended into sports madness. Just the thought of sooooooo much money being spent on these competitions... it boggles my mind almost as much as the proportion this country spends on defense (or offense, if you're a terrist, or suspected of being one, or admitting to being one after torture). It's scandalous.

Posted by: Gomer | April 3, 2007 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Shriek, that's me in one of my cheerier moods. But I gotta tell ya, if that's the Canuckistani idea of art, you folks need to take a class in remedial Andrew Wyeth or something.

(Did kinda capture that perky twinkle in my eyes, though, doncha think?)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | April 3, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Kinda reminds me of Golem in an assisted living home in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | April 3, 2007 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Frosty, so glad you didn't go for "follow his mousse." You know how I hate puns.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | April 3, 2007 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Myyyyy Preeeecioussssssssssssss...

Oh, GOLEM, you said...

Don't mind me.


Posted by: Scottynuke | April 3, 2007 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I just realized the Nats have a center fielder named "Nook"?!? That has to be up there as one of the greatest baseball names ever.

Posted by: jw | April 3, 2007 3:49 PM | Report abuse


D'ya think I might cheer a little louder for him? *L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 3, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Off to the lake, where eagles may circle above the warm thermals off the water. One theory, among birders in the 'hood, is that these same eagles soar and swoop over the NASA grounds.....and over our very own dear Mr. "Ask me to tell a story" ScienceTim.

Enjoy your summer day this evening -- in early April even! -- for tomorrow we have rain and chill.

April is not cruel; just fickle.

Posted by: College Parkian | April 3, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Scotty, I just learned that the Frozen Four is going to be in D.C. in 2009! But you probably already knew...

Meant to tell you much earlier, so sorry about UNH.

Posted by: Raysmom | April 3, 2007 4:36 PM | Report abuse

At least Kentucky's unlikely to lure away UF's better-paid faculty, or the football coach. We need to raise the profile of competitive rowing, an inherently southern sport.

Meanwhile, a local lowland, presumably flooded during hurricane Jeanne, is being converted to townhouses.

Posted by: Dave of the coonties | April 3, 2007 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Dave, are the townhomes on stilts? Did anybody check the FEMA flood maps?

Posted by: Slyness | April 3, 2007 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Joel for just openly talking about football in April. Your rebelliousness in this matter satisfies. I remember wanting to start a pickup football game one Spring and my friends scorned me for not knowing it was against the rules to play football in April. This turned me irretrievably against the System. Who the h3ll are they to tell me when to play football?

But it's Gatorade I want to talk about. They changed the recipe! When it was invented it was just full of salt, and potassium chloride too, and the only sugar in it was pure 100% glucose, thank you very much. For energy so fast it was like you drank it 5 minutes before you started the game! 'Course nowadays the Safety Nazis have determined that a honed athlete, 275 lbs, sweating like a horse, might be somehow damaged by a little bit of that salt. So they took most of it out. And replaced the glucose with a mixture of cane sugar and corn syrup.

Posted by: Jumper | April 3, 2007 5:17 PM | Report abuse

In hindsight, I wish I had stressed the word "hindsight" more. That is, in hindsight. That form of Monday morning quarterbacking which is frowned upon by purists, because obviously no one has hindsight at the moment things are toughest. That's what I was thinking. In hindsight. Which must be stressed. So I am.

Posted by: Jumper | April 3, 2007 5:20 PM | Report abuse

The city supposedly has a flood management setup that lowers flood insurance payments. The neighborhood inland from the new townhouses flooded in Jeanne, so I assume a fair amount of fill dirt is being trucked in or excavated from the fairly large retention pond. It still strikes me as ridiculous to have new development along the low-lying mainland shore of the Indian River.

The only good news is that the Postal Service got out of its dumpy, ruined facility and moved into a disused supermarket that presumably still has its beautiful terrazo floors.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | April 3, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

If one must gloat, I guess gloating about college basketball is pretty harmless. 'Course I might feel differently if I were an Ohio fan or something. Or if I knew just what a "bracket" was.

Anyway, I am esconced here at Base Camp Lamcaster preparing myself both physically and emotionally for our assault on Philedelphia tomorrow morning.

I just hope I don't, you know, over prepare and end up hung over.

Posted by: RD Padouk | April 3, 2007 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Padouk, I went to Temple University; I don't know the meaning of the word "gloat." Really. Can somebody look it up for me? Because I ahvve no earthly idea of what it means to gloat about one's alma mater. I mean, here's the best I can do: I was in the same class as Hall and Oates, and Melanie. I mean, how freakin' lame is THAT? Jeezey-peezy. I'm goin' home. Cue the Chariots of Fire thing. I'm outa here.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | April 3, 2007 5:49 PM | Report abuse

A very nice question and answer session with Cal Ripken today in the post.

I must say one of the nicest things about Cal was the way he took care of every fan. Often staying hours after the game to sign autographs, chat about this and that, generally just make you feel special.

I will be making the trek up to Cooperstown this summer(the weekend of July 29th), all are welcomed on my road trip.

I was wondering just how many people I can cram in a Subaru wagon?

Posted by: greenwithenvy | April 3, 2007 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Anyone actually hearing Acton's comment "endlessly" would probably know that he said merely that power TENDS TO corrupt etc.. Jeesh!

Admit it! You "heard" it about twice, and both times second-hand at that.

Posted by: Yond Cassius | April 3, 2007 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Could make a guy wonder what Florida is paying to keep 'em taking all those gym classes, don't it?

Posted by: 12Quarts | April 3, 2007 6:28 PM | Report abuse

But Mudge, one must recall the "Achenbach Doctrine," which claims that actual attendance of an institution of higher learning is not necessary to secure gloating rights.

Posted by: RD Padouk | April 3, 2007 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Cal played classy, he retired classy, and he has lived classy ever since. If only there were more like him.

Posted by: RD Padouk | April 3, 2007 6:33 PM | Report abuse

All you really need is some rollerskates, Mudge and you are ready to go.

Posted by: dr | April 3, 2007 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone else feel like it would be useful to find out what the presidential candidates would list as their 10 favorite books, or 10 best, 10 most influential? After reading the boodle lists, the recent nuclear weapon history comments,and today's kit, it would be nice to know. I mean, I never mistook W for being well read, but...

Posted by: Frostbitten | April 3, 2007 6:58 PM | Report abuse

>I mean, here's the best I can do: I was in the same class as Hall and Oates, and Melanie.

Hey, Mudge, you can't complain about that! One of my favorite Melanie songs: "Lay Down (Candles In The Rain)"

Posted by: Error Flynn | April 3, 2007 7:00 PM | Report abuse


I did NOT know that! Good times!!!! *happy dancing*

And thank you, I just wish UNH would save something for the tourney one of these years...


Posted by: Scottynuke | April 3, 2007 7:20 PM | Report abuse

S'nuke-I was hoping for a North Dakota vs. New Hampshire final. Better luck next year.

Posted by: Frostbitten | April 3, 2007 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Melanie -- the Skate Key song. Sigh. Now I am officially old and dated.

Raysmom: lots of black bird sightings but it is so hot they are bemused and quiet. I am not sure if they have sealed the deals yet. I saw a belted I saw one plunge to the water and come up with a fish.

Posted by: College Parkian | April 3, 2007 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Scotty have you been passing boodle secrets to your brethren in NH? I see minutemen will be watching the NH/Can. border - but only on weekends. :-)

Posted by: dmd | April 3, 2007 7:44 PM | Report abuse

g.w.envy - If you ever have some reason to run across Lee Smith, I think you'll find that he's also an incredibly cool, classy guy. Like Cal Ripken, both before and after he'd locked in his reservation for Cooperstown he was usually the last guy signing autographs, often leaving only when someone told him that the team bus was about to pull away.

Posted by: Bob S. | April 3, 2007 7:57 PM | Report abuse

re: Lee Smith - I want to make it clear that he never played for a team of which I was a fan. He impressed me so much as a member of teams which were almost invariably the hated opposition!

Posted by: Bob S. | April 3, 2007 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Bob S.
He did play for Orioles and I did have a chance to meet him once. A very nice man as well.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | April 3, 2007 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Finally got here today. Hi, all.

Gomer, great 3:38.

Jumper, I wonder if the change in Gatorade you mentioned at 5:17 is due to selling it mostly in supermarkets and 7-11s rather than training rooms.

Posted by: LTL-CA | April 3, 2007 8:54 PM | Report abuse

CP: //Melanie -- the Skate Key song. Sigh. Now I am officially old and dated.//

Knowing the song doesn't do that. Having seen her live @ the Villanova Fieldhouse, however, . . . I still have those pictures around here somewhere.

Posted by: dbG | April 3, 2007 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Frostbitten, John Edwards lists his 3 favorite books on his website - so does Elizabeth and even Cate (not the little kids, though). The Edwards's (sorry, hope that's correct) favorite books:
(hover over "About", then click on the name for the others)
One of John's, Into Thin Air, is about the Mt Everest incident when 6 people died. Beck Weathers was one of the survivors - he gave a talk at a convention I attended, and was quite moving. Said he got his priorities straight after his near-fatal experience.

None of the other Dem candidates list their favorite books. But I learned that Michelle Obama got her BA at Princeton. I didn't check any Republicat candidates. I started calling them "Republicats" when they started using "Democrat" as an adjective.

I didn't realize the Gator player was Yannick Noah's son. Kewl.

Posted by: mostlylurking | April 3, 2007 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Wow - I like "the Republicat president" even more than my other suggestion! Obviously, it won't fly for candidates who wish to convey gravitas, but for the rest of us, I think it's superb!

Posted by: Bob S. | April 3, 2007 11:23 PM | Report abuse

mostly, you know, of course, that in his early playing days, he was known primarily as "that football dude who's the son of the tennis player with the dreads and the hot Swedish chick", right?

Posted by: Bob S. | April 3, 2007 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Well, obviously not. But, really (unfairly), he was!

Posted by: Bob S. | April 3, 2007 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Wow! That was a little creepy... I know that I MEANT to say/type "basketball"!

Posted by: Bob S. | April 3, 2007 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Bob S., no, I didn't know that! Tres hot, no? Wonder if he speaks fluent Swedish and [REDACTED]? If only I had known, I might have watched a little of the game...

Posted by: mostlylurking | April 4, 2007 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Where is everybody? It's just little ol' me, up late at night, working.

Posted by: ScienceTim | April 4, 2007 3:13 AM | Report abuse

I am in the same boat as you Tim, working another late night shift.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | April 4, 2007 3:39 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, boodle! 'Morning, Cassandra! Time to rise and shine, everybody!

OK, I really hate that cheerful morning thing with a royal passion. Anybody who wakes up that cheery persona (and isn't buzzed on triple mocha expresso) ought to be shot.

A couple of kits ago when we were discussing favorite books and book lists, I inadvertently made a tragic error, and omitted one of my all-time favorite novels, by Steven Millhauser, titled (wait for it, it's a doozy): "Edwin Mullhouse: The Life and Death of an American Writer 1943 - 1954 by Jeffrey Cartwright." No, Jeffrey Cartwright really ISN'T the author; he's part of the title. And I have to insert this in my Top 10 list somewhere around the number 5 or 6 slot. I was reminded of it last night on the bus when I was reading the current issue of Harper's which has a new Steven Millhauser short story in it (which I haven't read yet, so can't report).

Great, great novel. The book purports to be a literary biography in the manner of Boswell's life of Samual Johnson, but with a twist: the subject, Edwin Mullhouse, is an 11-year-old child genius, and his "biographer" and Boswell-like amenuensis is the 10-year-old Jeffrey Cartwright, who slavishly follows Edwin around everwhere copying down the Great Man's, Great Boy's...every word and deed, literally from cradle to grave. The subtitle (1943-1954) tells you at the outset that Edwin dies (by suicide) at age 11, one of those tragic artistic deaths that Great Artists are supposed to suffer, so of course this pall hangs over all 350 or so pages until the inevitable end -- which equally inevitable is tied up with Edwin's infatuation with the immorata of his life, the mysterious Rose, for whom poor Edwin pines in unrequited Great Artistly love. (And of course which drives biographer Jeffrey nuts to see his hero so cruelly abused.) And while all this sounds incredibly sad and morbid, it isn't; mostly, the novel is amazingly funny and extremely insightful. It is by no means a "children's book"; it is thoroughly "about" adults and the adult world, and all the great capital-letter abstracts: Art, Beauty, Love, Death, More Art, and Yadda and Yadda. Edwin's great artistic talent lies in cartooning, and Jeffrey duly chronicles Edwin's growth as an Artist, from his very first artistic scribbles with Gerber's baby food through his crayon-on-the-wall phase, all the way up to his great masterworks. One of the neat tricks in the book is the fact that although to some extent parts of Edwin remain something of an enigma, we learn a VERY great deal about the narrator/Boswell, Jeffrey, which is kind of the point: Art is Mysterious. And while Edwin is supposedly the Great Artist, it is obviously Jeffrey the Biographer, the Writer, who is at the end the true--if still unknown--artistic genius for writing such a biography. And of course there is the beautiful, unobtainable Rose, the Dark Lady--everybody has a Rose in their past. Uh, don't they?

Great, great fun, and a wonderous book.

The reason I was reading Harper's in the first place was the main cover article, "How Shakespeare Conquered the World," by Jonathan Bate, which examines how Shakespeare--who in his own time and for some time after was "just one" of half a dozen Elizabethan playwrights and who didn't stand out from the crowd [Beaumont and Fletcher, Marlow, Ben Jonson, etc.]--slowly emrged over several centuries to his clear pre-eminence today as the world's greatest playwright, yadda yadda. Pretty good article.

And there was an article that Joel might enjoy, since he follows this subject more than I do, but it was a literary thing by critic Cynthia Ozick, which started off discussing a literary street brawl between novelist Michael Franzen ("The Connections") and obscure experimentalist novelist Ben Marcus over the nature of readerships and the audience, etc., and what to do about declining readership in America. It took Ozick a while to get this stuff out of the way before Ozick hit her stride, discussing the state of Literary Criticism (or near-total lack of it) in the age of the Internet, where Criticism bounces from the absurd extremes of useless reader self-posted "reviews" to the wild shores of impentetrable academic criticism. I had to work to get through the first half of this thing, but it was worth the effort for the second half. (I didn't know who the hell Ben Marcus was, and now I really don't care to know.)

Whoops, gotta jump in the shower. Later, dudes.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | April 4, 2007 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Morning all!! *half-caff Grover waves*

dmd, that's almost hilarious, when you consider just how small the N.H.-Canada border is. *L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 4, 2007 7:32 AM | Report abuse

Matter of fact, I'm pretty sure the N.H. border is the shortest in the country.

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 4, 2007 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' boodle.

For those of you who like me didn't manage to get coffee yet this morning here's something that might wake you up a bit.

Posted by: Kerric | April 4, 2007 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, friends. Well don't shoot me, Mudge, I am not one happy camper this morning. Another busy day ahead, and doctor's appointment in the mix. Don't want to go. Just don't want to go.

I don't know what to say about football, and all those sports things. I am glad your team won, JA, and I suppose it is good that you are not gloating, but isn't that what one is suppose to do when their team wins?

Ivansmom, I like your take on the McCain trip. Perhaps they thought the set up you talk about in your comment happens every day. And if that was or is the thinking, should this person be President? I think I mentioned here that I thought McCain was a good choice, but he made a three-hundred and sixty degree turn somewhere, and I got lost. And I just can't get out of my mind the treatment he received at the hand of George Bush in South Carolina. It was nasty and nasty. But so was every African-American in America, treatment that is.

I hope all have a good day. It has rained here just a little bit, but we're suppose to have more, and a wee bit of temperature drop. Sounds good to me.

Morning, Mudge, Slyness, Scotty and all *waving*.

And morning to you, martooni, are you having a great day or what? Prayers, martooni, keep praying, and listen too!

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Posted by: Cassandra S | April 4, 2007 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Quiet morning on the Boodle, I'd say.

Hey, Cassandra.

The book sounds interesting, Mudge. And I may have to get Harper's to read the article about Shakespeare. The same thing is occuring with Jane Austen today.

So much sadness here, with the killing of two police officers Saturday night. The man arrested and accused of the murders had no connection at all to the call the officers were responding to. The woman who made the call is distraught; she needed help in getting her brother to leave her alone. The morning paper had pictures of the flowers at the site where the shootings happened, as well as a description of the short service the residents had there last night. That it is Holy Week punctuates the grief.

Posted by: Slyness | April 4, 2007 9:01 AM | Report abuse

You've got some adding to do with this list, but I think Delware's borders are the shortest, Snuke. The only state without a national park, according to Mary Bomar, national parks director. Biden wishes for one, I believe. Do you know which president--and there was only one--was a park ranger in our natonal park system?

N.H. has the shortest coastal border--18 miles.

Posted by: Loomis | April 4, 2007 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Sorry to disappoint you Scotty but NH gets beaten by Idaho for the shortest Canada/US border.

There is this from the US Embassy,

"The number of actual illegal border penetrations along the U.S.-Canada border is small in comparison to daily arrests along the U.S.-Mexico border...resources have been significantly increased since 9/11 from approximately 350 agents to almost 1,000 agents...along the U.S.-Canada border."

Posted by: dmd | April 4, 2007 9:18 AM | Report abuse

And, dmd, this last graf from the AP article you linked to--don't you think it's a bit egregious, ovr the top...

"People nationally are very concerned about the illegal immigration problem, or invasion, as I call it _ and that's indeed what is happening: We are being invaded by people from throughout the world," he said. "It's all ethnicities, it's all countries. The southern border has apprehended people from all countries. It's not just poor Mexicans coming in to do the work that we choose not to do -- it's not that at all."

Many crossing the into the United States from Mexico have strong family ties. They come over to feed and clothe and support their families. Invading? I think the Minutemen cause a lot of trouble with their patrols, and their presence and vigilante activities have been especially pronounced here in Texas.

Interestingly, Vicente Fox says the government takes into custody--and treats extremely well--the 250,000 people who cross Mexico's southern border each year.

The border problem cries for a solution described by Fox--legal, fair, humane. Loomispouse is home sick today, or otherwise I would pull out Spencer Wells.

Posted by: Loomis | April 4, 2007 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Poor sleepy little Boodle...

CP, our red-winged blackbirds have been strangely quiet, too. Could have something to do with the hawk that has been prowling around lately. The geese are definitely pairing up, although not nesting yet. And the robins have overtaken the cardinals in terms of horndog activity.

Slyness, my heart aches for the families of those two officers.

Posted by: Raysmom | April 4, 2007 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Ah yes, that famous Delaware - Toronto tunnel, forgot about that border.

And hmph, darn Idahoans and their straight-line border. The nooks and crannies of N.H.'s Canadian frontier are FAR more interesting.


Posted by: Scottynuke | April 4, 2007 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Kerric-you need to post a warning with that link. I thought someone was going to have TSA come get the woman with the laptop and headphones in the Memphis airport.

Hope my vehicle that's been parked at the Bemidji airport for 10 days will start when I in this afternoon. Three inches of snow at Chez Frostbitten North in the last 24 hours and temps in the teens.

Most boodlers seem to have settled their fundamental questions of faith, but just in case check out the Belief-o-matic quiz (Who doesn't enjoy a quiz on a Wednesday morn?).

Posted by: frostbitten | April 4, 2007 9:47 AM | Report abuse

SCC: when I get in, or when I arrive not "when I in"

Posted by: frostbitten | April 4, 2007 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Morning all... Can't Grover wave this morning: on the Amtrak to NYC with Daughter of G. We're taking a mother/daughter trip for a couple of nights. Going to see Spelling Bee tonight and Legally Blonde tomorrow night (previews began last night).

Using my Sprint bluetooth wireless connection. Seems to work well. We already watched a few episodes of 30 Rock, my new favorite show. Alec Baldwin really found his place, I think.

My grandfather was an illegal alien, Loomis. A fact my son declares proudly. He snuck onto a boat in Piraeus to Liverpool and from there went to Canada, where he crossed the border undetected. He became a US citizen by joining the army in WWI. He became a successful restaurateur (of course!) and businessman in DC. He never had any formal schooling, but educated himself and saw his children go to college.

You're right: this is what the folks crossing our southern border want. I just don't see a problem with it. I really don't think that most Americans think immigration is the issue politicians like to make it out to be.

Posted by: TBG | April 4, 2007 9:48 AM | Report abuse

The inspiration the classic "Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)" arose from the Woodstock audience lighting candles during her set.

1970 - "Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)" (#6 U.S. #5 Canada, # 4 Australia; #1 Denmark)

1971 - "Brand New Key" (#1, U.S, #1 Canada; #1 Australia; #4 U.K.; #8 Ireland, #23 Denmark; #1 South Africa)

Posted by: omni | April 4, 2007 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I'm afraid I have done little to stimulate conversation here.

Any thoughts as to why our local NBC Sports In A Minute this morning covered the Nats, the Caps, the Wizards, but not a peep about the NCAA Women's Finals? Please note that the men's finals were prominently featured yesterday.

Posted by: Raysmom | April 4, 2007 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I can report (by proxy) that bluejays are also on the prowl...

And yes, it's horrible that the officer shootings were so unconnected to the call.

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 4, 2007 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Raysmom-I was very disappointed in the coverage of the women's championship this year. We took a family vacation to see the women's final four in Boston last year and it was worth every bit of expense and schedule juggling to do it.

Posted by: frostbitten | April 4, 2007 10:01 AM | Report abuse

According to that belief-o-matic test I am 100% Secular Humanist and 7% Jehovah's Witness. Personally I think that 7% is a little high, ha.

The test was a pain in the rear for having only two questions per page though.

Posted by: omni | April 4, 2007 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Ahhhh moment of the day, the sea otters holding hands at the Vancouver Aquarium. Link to the youtube video is with the article.

Posted by: dmd | April 4, 2007 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Secular Humanism (100%)
Unitarian Universalism (96%)
Nontheist (81%)
Jehovah's Witness (0%)

I'm so surprised...


Posted by: Scottynuke | April 4, 2007 10:18 AM | Report abuse


Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww, cute!


Posted by: Scottynuke | April 4, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

I had this thought when reading about curling on the boodle, and realize it's probably not original and may have even read it here before: Give a woman a broom and she'll clean a room. Give a man a broom and he'll invent a game.

the sport of curling dates back to the 15th century, the modern version (Scottish style) originated in the early 17th century.

Curling was a demonstration sport in the Olympics 4 times (1924, 1932, 1992, 1994) before being admitted as a full medal sport in 1998. Canada has more curlers in total than any other country.

Posted by: omni | April 4, 2007 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Shrieking Denizen,

That Mueck sculpture on your link actually belongs to the Hirshhorn and has been floating around that museum for a couple of years. I affectionately call him the Fat Naked Guy. Mueck is a former movie special effects artist that took the tricks of the trade into the sculpture field. His works are eerily realistic looking, but usually subtly disproportionate.

Fat Naked Guy is anatomically correct and it takes some tricky photo angles to get a picture that is Safe For Work, if that is possible at all. FNG is also hollow from the back and is meant to sit in a corner. The illusion of an eight foot tall guy that decided to take off his clothes and pout in the corner is disturbing at first glance. And second glance. And tenth glance.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 4, 2007 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Methinks that Tuchman could easily write a sequel about folly marching from Vietnam to Iraq by way of the Florida electorate.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 4, 2007 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I'd say when it comes to religion I am a bit mixed up!

1. Unitarian Universalism (100%)
2. Liberal Quakers (95%)
3. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (94%)
4. Neo-Pagan (83%)
5. Secular Humanism (81%)
6. Orthodox Quaker (72%)
7. Mahayana Buddhism (67%)
8. Theravada Buddhism (65%)
9. New Age (63%)
10. Reform Judaism (58%)
11. Hinduism (58%)
12. Taoism (53%)
13. Nontheist (51%)
14. Seventh Day Adventist (48%)
15. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (47%)
16. Bahá'í Faith (46%)
17. Sikhism (46%)
18. Eastern Orthodox (45%)
19. Roman Catholic (45%)
20. Jainism (40%)
21. New Thought (36%)
22. Orthodox Judaism (32%)
23. Scientology (32%)
24. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (26%)
25. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (23%)
26. Islam (23%)
27. Jehovah's Witness (14%)

Posted by: dmd | April 4, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Kerric, I have to thank you for that link - I was laughing so hard I cried. And I really don't know why.

Posted by: Wheezy | April 4, 2007 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I came up Liberal Protestant even though I am a semi-practicing Catholic, which only came up number 17. Somehow I doubt many boodlers are going to come up Mormon or Jehovah's Witness.

1. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (100%)
2. Liberal Quakers (95%)
3. Orthodox Quaker (86%)
4. Unitarian Universalism (85%)
5. Bah�'� Faith (78%)
6. Reform Judaism (76%)
7. Neo-Pagan (72%)
8. New Age (71%)
9. Theravada Buddhism (67%)
10. Secular Humanism (67%)
11. Seventh Day Adventist (64%)
12. Mahayana Buddhism (62%)
13. Jainism (60%)
14. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (59%)
15. Orthodox Judaism (58%)
16. Eastern Orthodox (57%)
17. Roman Catholic (57%)
18. Taoism (54%)
19. Sikhism (54%)
20. Islam (52%)
21. New Thought (52%)
22. Hinduism (51%)
23. Scientology (50%)
24. Nontheist (46%)
25. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (41%)
26. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (28%)
27. Jehovah's Witness (23%)

Posted by: yellojkt | April 4, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

yello, I've seen the expo at the National Gallery (of Canada, about a mile down the street from where I sit). FNG is a bit disturbing but the 20ft baby (anatomically correct and complete, including the network of veins visible beneath the skin) was positively creepy.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | April 4, 2007 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Since it's a quiet morning, let me share the two coolest things about the internet I've learned about lately. If I'm the last to know about this and it's old news to everybody else, forgive me.

My co-worker has a cd player so we always have music (good news)--(bad news) her favorite singer is Barry Manilow, followed closely by Barbara Streisand, and today's choice is Il Divo. Okay, could be worse, but it's not my taste. But I have headphones and now I have my own customized internet radio station:

My station plays Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt, and other stuff I never heard before that was chosen based on my stated preferences. If I don't like a song, I just say so and the site says, "Sorry--we'll never play that song again." Now that's customer service. And the price is right, too. I'm loving this!

Not for work, but I will be checking this out at home: open source, peer-to-peer, all-volunteer audiobooks! This is an amazing concept. I read about it in Reason Magazine ("Free Minds, Free Markets") [I'm NOT a Libertarian, but I do like this magazine's advertising slogan: "Offend Leftists. Annoy Conservatives. Subscribe to Reason!"]

Posted by: kbertocci | April 4, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Howdy everyone! I'm sorry, Mudge, but I am one of those cheerful morning people. I bustle, I sing, I get things done around the house. I wake up my family with a cheery, "Good morning family!". I often throw in a snatch of song ("It's great to stay up late . . .") or a pithy saying ("the cows are in the corn"). I pull off covers. Frequently, I open both the curtains and a window. You'd think they'd have bought alarm clocks by now.

I was going to ask who Melanie was until college parkian identified the Skate Key Song. Thanks. I have a classical music station here blasting away on a symphony, and still can't get that out of my head.

Good luck at your doctor's appointment, Cassandra, and best wishes for another day, Martooni. I hope RD survives his first day in Philadelphia, that hotbed of licentious and riotous living.

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 4, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

yello, re my 10:50
Mueck's giant baby. (not good for lunch time...)

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | April 4, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Thanks all for the Mueck pictures. I wish I could see the installation, but if it travels I'm guessing it won't come here. Very disturbing.

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 4, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse

New Kit!

Posted by: dmd | April 4, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

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