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Maclin Horton
Fairhope, Alabama [email: my first name followed by a period followed by my last name at]
Victor Hugo said "50 is the youth of old age." Now it's 60, I think.
Interests: music, literature, film, politics., catholic spirituality and doctrine
Recent Activity
It is not often that music on the radio stops me in my tracks. I remember it happening when I was seven or eight years old, with Thin Lizzy’s “Whiskey in the Jar”, and twenty years after that, with “’t Smidje” from Laïs, the debut album of the trio Laïs... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Light On Dark Water
The excitement of the week in Christian circles seems to be Rod Dreher's new book, The Benedict Option. If you haven't heard about it, its subtitle is A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation, and the Benedict of the title is St. Benedict. Here's a bit from the publisher's... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Light On Dark Water
Although I’m only a mild fan of John Michael Talbot’s music, there are three of his albums that I place very high on my list of favorites. Two of them, The Painter and No Longer Strangers, were made with his brother Terry. The Painter was the first music I had... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2017 at Light On Dark Water
I finally made it through Paradise. I hate to put it that way, but that's more or less how it felt. Back in May of last year I was reading Dante and was most of the way through Purgatory when I needed to switch translations (there was a blog post... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2017 at Light On Dark Water
What’s not to like about a band made up of three guitarists, bass, drums, a singer who doesn’t sing, and a classically-trained interpretive dancer? Bristol, England’s Blue Aeroplanes had put out several well-received independent albums in the 1980’s but it was their 1990 major label debut Swagger that gained them... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2017 at Light On Dark Water
I recall reading about The Undertaking by Thomas Lynch when it came out some years ago. I would have said, without checking, ten to fifteen years ago, but it was actually twenty. I remember reading some reviews at the time and thinking that it sounded interesting: essays by a poet... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2017 at Light On Dark Water
Time is short and here’s the damn thing about it You’re gonna die, gonna die for sure And you can learn to live with love or without it But there ain’t no cure The lyrics above are from the title track to John Hiatt’s very excellent 1988 release Slow Turning.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2017 at Light On Dark Water
In his review of SHEL, the group and the album, Robert Gotcher mentioned that their second album "is not nearly as good. They seem to have lost some of the innocence from the first album." I was reminded of this review, which I wrote ten years ago, of the first... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2017 at Light On Dark Water
This is not going to be an elaborate and insightful review of this album or Atkins. What can be said? He is the consummate musician, an amazing and versatile guitarist. He doesn’t pretend to be relevant or important or socially significant or insightful. He simply entertains by producing dazzling guitar.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2017 at Light On Dark Water
It was not long after Pope Francis was elected that I remarked to my wife that he seemed like someone who would be a wonderful parish priest, but I wasn't so sure that he would be good at running the Church. I've said it several times since, and it looks... Continue reading
Posted Feb 20, 2017 at Light On Dark Water
There was a moment in the mid-1960s when the irreverent new sensibility of English pop music met traditional culture on friendly terms: detached and maybe a little critical, but affectionate. You can hear it in some of the Beatles’ work—“Penny Lane,” for instance. In some of The Who’s songs. In... Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2017 at Light On Dark Water
Yesterday, I started to write a comment on the Favorites of the Year thread saying that my problem with the thread was that every find that I had last year was a movie or book that I learned about on this blog, so everyone else already knew about them, and... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2017 at Light On Dark Water
For most of my adult life, until I was getting near fifty or so, I spent a lot of time thinking about What Was Wrong with Society and what Society ought to be like. I tended to assume that Society was fundamentally messed up and therefore must be fundamentally changed.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2017 at Light On Dark Water
I used to be one of those people who thought the Beatles were the best musicians ever. I thought their compositions, arrangements, instrumentation, etc. were genius. My opinion of them has diminished considerably in the past few years. Now I find their music to be simplistic. McCartney is a great... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2017 at Light On Dark Water
Please use the comments on this post to discuss your favorite books, music, movies, etc. of the year. This post won't be at the top of the blog for very long, but there's a link to it in the "Here" section of the sidebar. Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2017 at Light On Dark Water
I'm beginning to suspect that Jean-Luc Godard is an over-rated filmmaker. Or at least that I don't care very much for his work. Maybe ten years ago I saw Band of Outsiders (Bande à Part), and really liked it. But I suspect that may have been only because of a... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2017 at Light On Dark Water
Imagine my surprise. Although I had read about it in Rolling Stone magazine and bought the cassette tape soon upon its release I was not prepared for the first song, or many thereafter. Rain Dogs sounded shockingly original and amazingly good, and since then I have collected through the years... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2017 at Light On Dark Water
Back in early 1970, during my last official undergraduate semester of college, I read Leonard Cohen's Beautiful Losers (1966) for a class. "Religion in the Contemporary Novel," or something like that. I had only six months or so earlier become really acquainted with his music, by way of the album... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2017 at Light On Dark Water
[Note: There are seven links to YouTube videos in this piece. I more or less arbitrarily picked the first and last to embed for quick access, but thought embedding them all might make the page annoyingly slow to load.--Ed.] At some point when I was a teenager I thought I... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2017 at Light On Dark Water
I'm going to start posting these on Thursday instead of Wednesday. That puts it closer to the middle of the week between Sunday Night Journals, which are posted either late Sunday or early Monday. My intention will be to post them first thing Thursday mornings, although occasional lapses are possible. Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2017 at Light On Dark Water
So now Trump really is the president. I was astonished and appalled when he got the nomination, and thought it only guaranteed that Hillary would win. I was more astonished when he won the election, and was only pleased by the result because it meant that Hillary would not be... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2017 at Light On Dark Water
My best estimate is that it was 1983 when my friend Robert sent me a cassette of which one side (and maybe a bit of overflow to the other side) was Rupert Hines’s 1982 release Waving Not Drowning. I don’t remember what else was on the tape, and it’s gone... Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2017 at Light On Dark Water
One night last week I dreamed that I was on a college campus that was being terrorized by small (about man-sized) blue dinosaurs. They looked like upright alligators, a bit like Albert the Alligator in the Pogo comic strip, except that they were blue, a rather pretty light shade, rather... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2017 at Light On Dark Water
I will happily accept that I am about as unmusical as it is possible to be without actually being tone deaf. It surprised me last year to notice that my contributions to the 52 Movies series focused on films with striking soundtracks, but I suppose in those cases the music... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2017 at Light On Dark Water
On Monday my wife and I watched the last episode of the second series of Man In the High Castle, the TV series (if that's the right term for a multi-segment drama released all at once for Internet streaming) based loosely on Philip K. Dick's alternate-history novel in which the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2017 at Light On Dark Water