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Lance Mannion
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Funny thing. At almost exactly the same time I gave up thinking I was going to be a great novelist---a thought I took too long to let sink in---I gave up caring who among my contemporaries were great novelists or on their way to becoming great novelists. Even more emphatically, I gave up caring who wasn’t. Isn’t that an interesting coincidence? Obviously, both those letting-gos were the same thing. I was giving up my vanity about my talents as a writer of fiction. Since I was no longer going anywhere as a novelist and short story writer, there really wasn’t... Continue reading
Posted 2 hours ago at Lance Mannion
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I would like to see the job the minions would make of it picking pumpkins. Guarding the parking lot of Tantillo’s Farm Stand. Gardiner, New York. 9:34 this morning. Wednesday. October 29, 2014. Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Lance Mannion
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This would be the coolest of all things. Marvel Studios is out to sign Benedict Cumberbatch to play Doctor Strange. They’ve already got Chadwick Boseman for Black Panther, which is also pretty cool. Hat tip to Mrs M. Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Lance Mannion
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November 19, 1977: Congresswoman Barbara Jordan of Texas (at the podium left) delivers a speech to the National Women’s Conference while fellow Congresswoman, New York’s Bella Abzug (in one of her trademark wide-brimmed hats, center) and First Lady Rosalynn Carter (right) look on. Photo courtesy of the Jewish Women’s Archive. I hope I didn’t turn anyone off from reading Rick Perlstein’s The Invisible Bridge with my gloom and doom-ridden post Nixon’s Ghosts last week. I thought it was clear that I wasn’t reviewing the book but describing how my reading of it was colored---gray and grayer---by my insomniac’s middle of... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Tuesday. October 21, 2014. Ernest Hemingway when he could still sit down to write without the pain killing him. I think Hemingway would have taken to blogging. In fact, I think he’d have been a blogging maniac. He would, however, have appreciated the value of taking time to rewrite and revise. Photo courtesy of the Hemingway Collection at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. My students are blogging maniacs. Tonight after class one of the maniacs came up to me to talk. He’s the maniac’s maniac. I usually assign three blog posts to write each week, due by... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Lance Mannion
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“John F. Kennedy arrives at the Democratic National Convention on July 9, 1960 held in the Sports Arena in Los Angeles, California”. Photo courtesy the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. Norman Mailer’s in that crowd somewhere. The afternoon he arrived at the convention from the airport, there was of course a large crowd on the street outside the Biltmore, and the best way to get a view was to get up on an outdoor balcony of the Biltmore, two flights above the street, and look down on the event. One waited thirty minutes, and then a honking of... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Lance Mannion
Sunday. October 26. Scroll down for new posts. Got some good news the other day that's going to make next year somewhat easier than this year has been. So things are looking a bit brighter. But we've still got to get through the rest of this year and the next two weeks are going to be tricky. There are some immediate expenses we could use some help with So... If you like what goes on around here and you can swing it, please consider making a donation. It'd be much appreciated. Thanks to everybody who's donated so far. And thanks... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Lance Mannion
NBC’s Chuck Todd has been on a road trip in an RV just like regular folks use on their road trips to Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone, which makes him a true man of the people in touch with the heart of real America, taking the pulse of the nation as only a celebrity journalist based out of Washington D.C. can do. I imagine his jaunt through what I’m sure he calls the Heartland when he’s not calling it that god awful place where you can’t get a decent brioche is making him feel like Charles Kuralt. Isn’t it amazing? Most... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Lance Mannion
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One of my dreams since I’ve been blogging has been to make a road trip around the United States visiting friends I’ve made online along the way. Some of these friends I’d be meeting in person for the first time. At the top of my itinerary was Texas where I’d get to meet one of my very favorite online friends Phil Barron and his wife M and their famous cats. I really wanted to meet those cats, even though as you probably know I don’t like cats. But they were Phil’s cats. I was also looking forward to eating some... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Lance Mannion
The process of handing over the economy to a generation of not very bright but very, very greedy sociopaths began longer ago than 1984, but by Mid-Morning in America it was going ahead full tilt. From Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local - and Helped Save an American Town by Beth Macy: The first time John Bassett visited an Asian factory was in 1984, and it was only after dinner and way too many drinks that an elderly factory owner in Taiwan revealed his real opinion of American business leaders. The man was so candid that... Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2014 at Lance Mannion
Thursday. October 23. New posts below and more on the way but please read this first: As you know, things have been rough here. We’re doing our best but you know how it goes. It's going to be a scramble to get through the next few weeks. So if you like what goes on around here and you can swing it please consider making a donation. It would be a big help and much appreciated. Thanks to everybody who helped out with the gas the other day. And thanks to all of you for your patience and understanding. And thank... Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2014 at Lance Mannion
In a way, Times Square hasn't changed in a hundred years, has it? Times Square cluttered with signs, 1909 | #NYC #NY pic.twitter.com/wV9wEfGWy7— NewYorkologist.org (@NewYorkologist) October 18, 2014 Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2014 at Lance Mannion
The great Wev McEwan: …any job where there is a real possibility of injury (and dealing with hot cooking equipment and oil contains a real possibility of injury) actually takes some skill. And any job that necessitates dealing with the public, and successfully navigating the abuse that unhappy people heap upon people in service positions, actually takes a lot of skill. This isn't low-skill work. Not really. It's low-valued skill work. These aren’t McJobs. The people working them are not McPeople living McLives. They are being paid McMoney while the chains and corporations that employ them abuse them, degrade them,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 21, 2014 at Lance Mannion
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Updated below. Monday evening. October 20, 2014. Cartoon by Pat Oliphant courtesy of the Library of Congress, from the exhibition Pat Oliphant’s Anthem. I’m enjoying Rick Perlstein’s The Invisible Bridge but I don’t recommend it as middle of the night reading for insomniacs awakened by nightmares and kept awake by personal demons and family ghosts. It’s not that the ghost of Richard Nixon is terrible company during a dark night of the soul. Not just that, at any rate. It’s that he’s not doomed to walk the night alone. He travels with lots of company, including his gang of attendant... Continue reading
Posted Oct 20, 2014 at Lance Mannion
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Maybe you only know Cotton Mather from his role in the Salem Witch Trials. That’s pretty much all I knew about him, until I read this: Disease was an inseparable part of the New England story from the beginning. It arrived with the Great Migration of the 1630s, aboard the very ships that brought so many families to New England. It returned in 1666, and again in 1678, when an epidemic killed 340 Bostonians. A young Cotton Mather wrote, “Boston burying-places never filled so fast.” With time, local leaders began to develop crude public health policies—burying the dead quickly, flying... Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2014 at Lance Mannion
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October 5, 2014. She’s a beaut, ain’t she? 1915 Ford Model T. I took this and the photos below one year ago today, October 5, 2013, intending to post them here back then. I don’t know why I didn’t. Yes, I do. The car and its crew were on their way to Detroit on their way back from Detroit which they’d reached the first time by way of Winnepeg by way of Edmonton by way of Yellowstone by way of Vegas by way California by way of the Grand Canyon by way of Texas by way of…Africa by way of... Continue reading
Posted Oct 18, 2014 at Lance Mannion
Tuesday, October 21. New posts below but please read this first: I’m sorry to do this again but I need to do some urgent fundraising. As you know, things have been rough here. We’re doing our best to muddle through but you know how it goes. Money we were counting on isn’t going to come through and things are a little dire. We;ll have to scramble to get through the next four weeks. A big expense is the trips up and back to Syracuse and getting the guys to and from school everyday.. So I’m asking for your help with... Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2014 at Lance Mannion
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Tonight's delicious feature for Mannion Family Movie Night. It's going to be hard to be content with pizza and wings. A master chef in the kitchen but an incompetent newbie when it comes to social media, Carl Casper (Jon Favreau, right) starts a Twitter flame war despite the warnings of his saucier Martin (John Leguizamo, far left) and sous chef Tony (Bobby Cannavale), accidentally setting in motion his own downfall and eventual redemption in Chef, a comedy about the joy of cooking and other things, written and directed by Favreau. House special: Click on the photos above and below for... Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2014 at Lance Mannion
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Details from “The Passion of Sacco and Vanzetti” a mini mural by Ben Shahn illustrating one of the reasons Columbus Day became a national holiday. Image courtesy of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art via Blouin ArtInfo. October 13, 2014. Happy Columbus Day! Or as I’ve fondly grown to think of it: “Happy Sanctimonious Liberals on the Internet Congratulate Themselves on Their Moral Superiority to a Delusional, Incompetent, and Possibly Mad 15th Century Genocidist and Imperial Freebooter Day!” I kid. You know I love you, fellow sanctimonious liberals! Seriously, though, in making the case that Columbus Day should be... Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2014 at Lance Mannion
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Sunrise over Syracuse. Seven this morning. Wednesday. October 15, 2014. Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2014 at Lance Mannion
fdchief, you'll like The Invisible Bridge. Perlstein does a good job of depicting Reagan's meanness and his skills as a salesman. Just for the record, though, it was Nixon who smeared Douglas as the Pink Lady when they ran for the Senate in 1950. Greg Michell wrote a good book on that campaign, Tricky Dick and the Pink Lady : Richard Nixon vs Helen Gahagan Douglas-Sexual Politics and the Red Scare, 1950. You're right, though, about how the real Reagan has been buried by the Right. Vixenstrangely, I'm not sure and I'll try to check it, but I think in W's case it was just that he bought what was once a working ranch and he had even less to do with actual cattle than Reagan. I don't think he ever tried to pass himself off as a cowboy though. He was content for it to be implied. The point of his going to "the ranch" was to show how much he disliked Washington and that his heart was really down home in Texas. It was part of his trying to pass himself off as a regular guy and a real Murkin. I'm sure you know all this, but times got worse economically as the 70s moved along and by the time you were 8 inflation had reached 13 percent which is partly why we ended up with President Reagan. And I think a lot of people forget that what he and his administration did first to "stimulate" the economy was to deliberately cause another recession so it's no wonder why by the time you were 10 things were so hard for your father and your family. Roger Green, conservation means being too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. Ronald Reagan told me so.
El Jefe, always wanted to visit Oregon. Luckily for you the entrance onto I-84 West isn't directly on the way to school and requires several turns to get to and I'd have to think about what I was doing or one of these days I might be showing up on your doorstep.
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I’m still kicking myself for having missed the Democratic primary here and blown my chance to vote against Andrew Cuomo twice. You can be sure I’ll be voting against him next month, but here’s the thing. I really shouldn’t be having to vote against him at all. I mean two things by that. One is that as a good Franklin Roosevelt-revering liberal Democrat from New York I shouldn’t be presented with the likes of Andrew Cuomo on the ballot as the Democratic nominee for governor at all. As I’ve said, Cuomo isn’t a closet Republican. Also, as I’ve said, the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 11, 2014 at Lance Mannion
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Pretty day, huh? Almost wish I could sail a boat down to New York City instead of take the train. Looking west across the Hudson from the Beacon train station platform. Eight-fifteen, Tuesday morning. September 23, 2014. Continue reading
Posted Oct 11, 2014 at Lance Mannion
Jonah turned around and walked out of the bar. He looked out at the city: his home. If this was his home, what did that make the man he had just seen, to him? What was the fellowship that existed between two people in the same home? It had to be fellowship of some kind. Hadn’t he been that man---a thousand times? He knew then was was so awful in his visions, what gave them their power to terrify, to torment---to make his life seem so peculiarly hollow all of a sudden: They were true. That fragility he had seen... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2014 at Lance Mannion