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Lance Mannion
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Adapted from the Twitter Feed, Tuesday night, June 2, 2020. Posted Friday morning, June 5. “Hmm...I wonder how this thing works?” Trump fumbling with a Bible as he gets ready for a photo op in front of St John’s Episcopal Church near the White House which he staged to show how brave and tough he is when surrounded by cops and snipers protecting him from being yelled at by peaceably assembled protesters protesting peaceably. Monday, June 1, 2020. AP Photo by Patrick Semansky via Patch. I think a lot of what Trump's been doing and saying through this sorrow and... Continue reading
Posted 7 hours ago at Lance Mannion
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Posted Thursday morning, June 4, 2020. A “gift for communicable emotion”: British Prime Minister Winston Churchill tours a bombed-out neighborhood during the Battle of Britain, September 1940. Via Democratic Underground. No politicians should ever compare themselves to Churchill during the Blitz… Just as there is surprise, looking back, at the normality and amenity of life over the summer of 1940, so the rigors of existence in London...as the nights drew in and the sirens wailed ever earlier...was not just a matter of defiance and glory. At first the bombing onslaught was mainly on Docklands and East End and the fight... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Lance Mannion
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Posted Saturday night, May 30, 2020. “Columbian Exposition–The Grand Basin Court at Night–Electrical Illumination of MacMonnnies’ Fountain and the Administration Building.” Drawing by Charles Graham, Harper’s Weekly June 1893. Via Chicology. The White City illuminated at night was a radiant electrical vision long remembered by all who witnessed it, acclaimed as the most fabulous spectacle in a fair brimming with fabulous spectacles. On Monday evening, May 8, as twilight gathered...the sky darkened to a deep indigo over the lake, and the air grew perceptibly chillier. Suddenly, the gold-domed Administration Building came brilliantly to pulsating electrical life, provoking a prolonged sigh... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Posted Saturday morning, May 30, 2020. Night scene at the Maui Street Fair. Uncredited photo courtesy of Pride of Maui. Today’s the poet Garrett Hongo’s birthday... I swear that, in Gardena, on a moonlit suburban street, There are souls that twirl like kites lashed to the wrists of the living And spirits who tumble in a solemn limbo between 164th And the long river of stars to Amida’s Paradise in the West. As though I belonged, I’ve come from my life of papers and exile To walk among these penitents at the Festival of the Dead, The booths full of... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Posted Friday morning, May 29, 2020. Mystery flowers with big blossoms and egos to match. The Old Mannion Homestead. Friday morning, May 29, 2020, around nine. The view out the front window this morning. Anyone know who these showoffs are? I’ve been told they’re peonies. But it’s a little early for them and they’re stand alone flowers, long-stemmed individuals, and the ones that grew in our backyard in Syracuse were white. Somenone else suggested rhododendrons. But the rhododendrons here at the Homestead bloomed and blew at the beginning of the month. The ones back at the ranch came and went... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Posted Wednesday night, May 27, 2020. Detail from “The Umbrella” by Marie Baskirtseff. 1883. The Russian Museum, Saint Petersburgh. Via Wikipedia. I think Pasternak captures Lara’s youth and her naivete perfectly in having the only way she can begin to understand what happened to her---what was done to her---is to see herself as a character in a what she regards as a grown-up’s novel and in how she can only see what happened as her fault... The weather was trying to get better. “Drip, drip, drip,” the drops drummed on the iron gutter and cornices. Roof tapped out to roof,... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2020 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Wednesday night, May 27, 2020. Detail from a drawing, “Boris Pasternak Writing”, by Pasternak’s father Leonid Pasternak. 1919. Courtesy Tate Gallery, London. This is memoir as much as fiction, and “Doctor Zhivago” is that book of biographies… Yura thought well and wrote very well. Still in his high school days he dreamed of prose, of a book of biographies, in which he could place in the form of hidden explosive clusters, the most astounding things of all he had managed to see and ponder. But he was too young for such a book, and so he made up for... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2020 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Monday night, May 25, 2020. Detail from "Boris Beside the Baltic at Meretkule", a portrait of the young Boris Pasternak by his father Leonid Pasternak. 1910. Via Wikipedia. But greatly as he was drawn to art and history, Yura had no difficulty in choosing a career. He considered art unsuitable as a calling, in the sense that innate gaiety or an inclination to melancholy could not be a profession… ---from “Doctor Zhivago” by Boris Pasternak. Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2020 at Lance Mannion
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Mined from the notebooks, Sunday afternoon, May 24, 2020. Posted Tuesday morning, May 26. Our most godly President, leading a prayer in praise of himself at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, February 6, 2020. AP Photo by Evan Vucci. He’s a bad man. We all know it. The general tendency is not to say it directly. We call him a sociopath, a malignant narcissist. He’s destructive, divisive, vindictive, malicious. Corrupt. He’s a thug. He’s a bully. A con artist. A grifter. The Criminal-in-Chief. He’s worse than racist. He’s far more than merely sexist. He’s vicious and cruel. We use... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2020 at Lance Mannion
Updated Tuesday evening, May 26, 2020. This post has been moved. I'm sorry for the inconvenience. To see the post follow the link to "Yura Zhivago considers his calling". Continue reading
Posted May 25, 2020 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Monday morning, Memorial Day, May 26, 2020. “Gassed” by John Singer Sargent. 1919. Imperial War Museum London, via Wikipedia. The first fallen soldier laid to rest in the Tomb of the Unknowns died in World War I... Nearly all the arguments about the war turned out to be wrong. It did not make the world safe for democracy, or usher in a new world order as Wilson had hoped. Roosevelt was wrong in predicting it would smash German militarism. Jim Europe was wrong in expecting it to improve the standing of African-Americans. Mencken was wrong in predicting that it... Continue reading
Posted May 25, 2020 at Lance Mannion
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Mined from the notebooks, Tuesday, May 15, 2018. Posted Sunday morning, May 25, 2020. Because I can’t sketch fast enough anymore, I'm casting 1962 Shirley MacLaine to play the part of the young woman I overheard talking on her cell in the cafe. MacLaine as Gittel Mosca in “Two for the Seesaw”. Still determined to remember all of it. Another note from the Department of In Search of Lost Time: Tuesday, May 15, 2018... In the cafe... “Did you tell her you were married?” (Pause while she listens to whoever’s on the other end of the call.) “How would you... Continue reading
Posted May 24, 2020 at Lance Mannion
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Mined from the notebooks, Friday morning, May 23. Posted Saturday morning, May 24. "Can I help you?": File photo of a woodchuck via "Naturally Curious With Mary Holland". 8:00 a.m. Cardinals are the best birds. 8:15 Pair of sparrows coming and going. Down into the grass, up onto branches overhanging the far corner of the roof. I think they have a nest in the gutter. 8:30. Woodchuck nosing through the clover that’s beginning to cover the mud in the marshy patch at the back corner of the yard. Crow lands nearby. Woodchuck sits up and takes notice. “Can I help... Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2020 at Lance Mannion
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Adapted from the Twitter feed, Friday, May 15, 2020. Posted Thursday morning, May 21. The shop in Kingston, New York, where the barber Oliver Mannion calls the Speak-Easy Barber claims he didn't cut the hair he was accused of cutting: Photo Ivan Lajara, the Daily Freeman. A barber who continued to cut hair at a shop in New York over the past few weeks in violation of the state's stay-at-home order has tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, according to the Ulster County Department of Health and Mental Health. In a statement Wednesday, the county health... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2020 at Lance Mannion
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Mined from the notebooks Sunday, May 6, 2018. Posted Wednesday night, May 20, 2020. I wonder if I’d appreciate this statue more if I didn’t know who’d sculpted it: Close-up of “Perseus With the Head of Medusa” by Benvenuto Cellini. Circa 1545-1554. Loggia dei Lanzi in the Piazza della Signoria, Florence. Via Wikipedia. Another note from the Department of In Search of Lost Time: Sunday, May 6, 2020… [More mining of the notebooks from May of 2018. Mrs M was asleep or unconscious most of the five weeks she was in Westchester Med, which left me a lot of time... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2020 at Lance Mannion
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Mined from the notebooks, Monday morning, May 7, 2018. Posted Wednesday morning, May 20, 2020. All business: House Sparrow. Breeding male. Chris Woods, Macaulay Library. Via All About Birds, Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. [A note from the field, two years delayed. Like I was saying earlier, I need to remember all of it.] More from the Department of In Search of Lost Time: Monday morning, May 7, 2018... Arrived at Westchester at seven a.m. and parked under a young Hawthorn still in bloom but beginning to leaf under the flowers. A sparrow on a branch directly over the hood, chirping... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2020 at Lance Mannion
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Mined from the notebooks, Monday morning, May 7, 2018. Posted Wednesday morning, May 20, 2020. Somewhat upstream from where I crossed the river on the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge. Hudson-Athens Lighthouse. Copyrighted photo by Paul R. Abitabile, courtesy of the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse Preservation Society, via Hudson Valley magazine. [In case you’re interested in how the weather was two years and thirteen days ago today, which you probably aren’t. But I am. I have to be. I need to remember all of it….] A note from the Department of In Search of Lost Time: Monday, May 7, 2018... Monday: 6:02 a.m. 50 degrees.... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2020 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Tuesday morning, May 19, 2020. George Orwell diligently at work failing as writer. “Orwell at Marrakech”, 1939. Courtesy of the George Orwell Archive, University College, London. Not the most encouraging thing to read first thing in the morning as you’re settling down to at your desk hoping to get some writing done... George Orwell did not expect to be so successful. In fact, he spent much of his life anticipating failure. In his long essay about his school days, “Such, Such Were the Joys,” he wrote, “Until I was about thirty I always planned my life on the assumption...that... Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2020 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Monday morning, May 18, 2020. Gabrielle Pierce, Xavier University of Louisiana Class of 2020, at her driveway graduation ceremony in front of the stage and podium rented for the occasion by her father Torrence Burson. Gabrielle told CBS’ Steve Hartman that she thinks her commencement was “better than a regular one.” Image courtesy of Gabrielle Pierce via CBS News. Saturday afternoon, on our way back to the Homestead after checking on the Mannion Ranch to make sure it was still standing and had not been taken over by squatters or squirrels, we swung by the SUNY New Paltz so... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2020 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Sunday morning, May 17, 2020. Detail from “Prayer” by John Phillip. 1859. Courtesy of the Royal Academy, London, via the Victorian Web. Lara was not religious. She did not believe in rites. But sometimes, in order to endure life, she needed it to be accompanied by some inner music. She could not invent such music each time for herself. This music was the word of God about life, and Lara went to church to weep over it. ---from”Doctor Zhivago” by Boris Pasternak. ______________________________________________________________________________ It seemed strange to the young woman that they said grace before meals in this house.... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2020 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Saturday morning, May 16, 2020. It’s even more of a jungle out there: Tony Shaloub reprising the obsessive-compulsive, germophobic, anxiety-ridden genius detective Adrian Monk for the Peacock Presents At-Home Variety Show. Monk in self-isolation: “While I have you, you guys have any extra hand sanitizer? I’m down to my last twelve cases.” “”That’s hoarding! He’s hoarding!” “No, no. It’s not hoarding, Randy, if you bought them twenty years ago.” Do like Monk, only maybe dial it a little back, particularly when choosing your hand-washing song… The sketch starts at 1:40 in, but I recommend watching Seth Macfaralane’s intro for... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2020 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Thursday night, May 14, 2020. Detail from “Leo Tolstoy” by Leonid Pasternak, father of author Boris Pasternak. Circa 1902. Via Wikipedia. He was one of those followers of Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy in whose heads the thoughts of the genius who had never known peace settled down to enjoy a long and cloudless repose and turned irremediably petty. ---from “Doctor Zhivago” by Boris Pasternak. Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2020 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Thursday morning, May 14, 2020. “Looking Oceanward from Todt Hill” by Jasper Crospey. 1895. Courtesy of the Staten Island Museum. It doesn’t look like Staten Island changed much in the hundred years between when Cornelius Vanderbilt was born and Crospey, himself a Staten Island native, painted this scene. I enjoy it when writers “draw” good topographical maps with words. Here biographer T.J. Stiles is setting the scene for the birth of his subject, Cornelius Vanderbilt, by mapping the terrain into which he was born... [Vanderbilt’s mother] Phoebe Lived in Port Richmond, that most ancient kind of community---a farming village,... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2020 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Wednesday afternoon, May 13, 2020. The notorious early 20th Century medium Eusapia Palladino (center) levitating the table at a seance in 1909. Photo via Wikipedia. In case you’re still wondering how Trump’s approval ratings continue to hover in the 40s instead of having plummeted into the 20s with only actual Nazis, Klu Kluxers, neo-Confederates, Second Amendment absolutists, and other racist lunatics and fools left supporting him: Submitted for your approval… Eusapia Palladino, the great medium of the [pre-World War I] period, had something none of the other recent pretenders could claim---the backing of respected researchers…[These] scientists reported that Palladino,... Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2020 at Lance Mannion
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Mined from the notebooks, Monday afternoon, May 13, 2019. Posted Wednesday morning, May 13, 2020. Detail from “Barroom Dancing” by John Lewis Krimmel. Circa 1820. Courtesy of the Library of Congress, via Wikipedia. Another note from the Department of In Search of Lost Time. Monday, May 13, 2019: Monday: 5:22 p.m. 45 degrees. Spring has unsprung. Cold steady rain all day so far. Thinking how important coziness was to people before central heating. They relished coziness, reveled in it, because it was a rare condition. Coziness, though, meant more than warmth. It included the company of other people. The sound... Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2020 at Lance Mannion