The Art of Tetman Callis

Some of the stories and poems may be inappropriate for persons under 16

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Entries from August 2018

The expendables

August 31st, 2018 · No Comments

“The natural sex ratio at birth is skewed in favor of boys, but they are more likely than girls to be born preterm and die in their first years of life. Women live longer than men and recover faster when they fall ill. Science is yet to find out why.” – “The way we are,” […]

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Tags: Economics · Open Science Collaboration

Pointed

August 30th, 2018 · No Comments

“What is the point. That is what must be borne in mind. Sometimes the point is really who wants what. Sometimes the point is what is right or kind. Sometimes the point is a momentum, a fact, a quality, a voice, an intimation, a thing said or unsaid. Sometimes it’s who’s at fault, or what […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Renata Adler

A never-ending tale

August 29th, 2018 · No Comments

“Of all minor afflictions, house-cleaning is the worst.” – Rachel Henning, March 1, 1854, The Letters of Rachel Henning, ed. David Adams

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Tags: Verandah

The backhanded compliment

August 28th, 2018 · No Comments

“It certainly does not do to have too low a threshold for being insulted. Even the affectionate insult, or the compliment with any sort of spin on it, can reverberate in memory in awful ways. ‘I love your little fat legs,’ Paul said to Joanne. He had watched her walking toward him on the beach. […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Renata Adler

Parking on the left is now parking on the right

August 27th, 2018 · No Comments

“So strong is this propensity of mankind to fall into mutual animosities, that where no substantial occasion presents itself, the most frivolous and fanciful distractions have been sufficient to kindle their unfriendly passions and excite their most violent conflicts.” – James Madison, “The Federalist 10”

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Tags: James Madison · Politics & Law · The American Constitution

The rowing or

August 26th, 2018 · No Comments

“There is a mystery in lawyers’ expressions. False and misleading statements, for instance. Always together. False and misleading. Can’t understand what the ‘misleading’ is doing there. It’s always there. And I’ve found, I think, the strongest ‘or’ in language anywhere. It’s the lawyers’ phrase: as he then well knew or should have known. Well knew […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Renata Adler

Imagine that

August 25th, 2018 · No Comments

“Computers in the future may weigh less than 1.5 tons.” – Popular Mechanics, 1949

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Tags: Economics · Open Science Collaboration

Counting flowers on the wall

August 24th, 2018 · No Comments

“The wallflower sat reading in the Paris restaurant. There used to be so many categories of wallflower: the anxious, smiling, tense ones who leaned forward, trying; the important, busy, apparently elsewhere preoccupied ones, who were nonetheless waiting, waiting in the carpeted offices of their inattention, to be found. There were wallflowers who clustered noisily together, […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Renata Adler

Statistically

August 23rd, 2018 · No Comments

“Most murder victims in America are black people shot dead by other black people. Blacks represent 13% of America’s population, yet in 2015 they represented 52% of the slain. . . . Criminologists have for decades argued about what makes young black men so much likelier to commit murder than young men of other ethnicities. […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law

The art of the deal

August 22nd, 2018 · No Comments

“It is not at all clear to me what a negotiation is. Union and management, say, terrorist and foreign minister, buyer and seller, kidnapper and F.B.I. agent, husband and wife, at least two parties anyway, disagree. They exchange views. A strike, perhaps, a war, a bankruptcy, a murder, a divorce impends. One side begins, and […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · Renata Adler

I didn’t want it to turn out like this

August 21st, 2018 · No Comments

“Nobody really says anything honest until they know they are dying.” – Alex McElroy, “Responsible Fear”

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Verandah

If you don’t resist, you won’t be hurt

August 20th, 2018 · No Comments

“The idea of hostages is very deep. Becoming pregnant is taking a hostage—as is running a pawnshop, being a bank, receiving a letter, taking a photograph, or listening to a confidence. Every love story, every commercial trade, every secret, every matter in which trust is involved, is a gentle transaction of hostages. Everything is, to […]

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Renata Adler

So the hell with it

August 19th, 2018 · No Comments

“You can think ahead, and you can see ahead, a little, but, turns out, you can’t see far enough ahead to get a good enough look at the things that are going to matter.” – Kate Kaplan, “Used to Be”

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Tags: Lit & Crit

It’s over there

August 18th, 2018 · No Comments

“ ‘You can’t miss it’ always means you’re never going to find it. The shortest distance between two points may well be the wrong way on a one way street.” – Renata Adler, Speedboat

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Renata Adler

How do we know this

August 17th, 2018 · No Comments

“Marine insurance is the granddaddy of all insurance. It predates written history. The ancient Phoenicians and Egyptians developed the concept of insurance to reduce their risks in commerce on the Tigris, Euphrates and Nile. Waterborne commerce offered huge rewards. A ship owner could realize a 300-percent profit on a single voyage. The risks, however, were […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law

Boys will be like this

August 16th, 2018 · 2 Comments

“Plastic bat and ball, you were with me when I learned life’s meanest lesson. That to be a girl and smaller is always worse. In the park, I’d play with whoever wanted. Andy and his family or anyone there on picnic. Under the pavilion where I learned to read bad words on the rafters, two […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Shaindel Beers

Pulling a national rabbit from an imperial hat

August 15th, 2018 · No Comments

“A remarkable aspect of the Revolution is that for almost seven years, the war was conducted by a government that, strictly speaking, had no governing powers. The wonder of this becomes all the sharper when one reflects that the war was both a struggle with Britain and an internal or civil war. No one has […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Coin of the realm

August 14th, 2018 · No Comments

“Look, the sun is a sort of bribe, you know, and so is a heavy thunderstorm or a snowfall. So is a dawn, though not I think a sunset. So is a warm bath or a shower, and a sound sleep. Bribes all, in the conspiracy of everything to continue to exist.” – Renata Adler, […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Renata Adler · Verandah

And still do

August 13th, 2018 · No Comments

“The ‘Tidewater’—the broad coastal plain along the Atlantic—had spawned one kind of culture. The ‘upcountry’ beyond—the great central plateau or Piedmont and the mountains forming its western border—had engendered a far different one. Tidewater North Carolina was rich. Upcountry was poor. Tidewater was a land of rice and indigo plantations worked by armies of slaves. […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · The American Constitution

In the beginning

August 12th, 2018 · No Comments

“The world is everything that is the case. And in the second place because.” – Renata Adler, Pitch Dark

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Renata Adler · Verandah

The ghosts that haunt us still

August 11th, 2018 · No Comments

“Colonial policy had always been to exclude Negroes from militia service, but more often than not a need for soldiers had dictated a contrary practice. Many blacks had fought in the French and Indian War. As the dispute with Parliament neared breaking point, Negroes volunteered for the New England militia. All were accepted. . . […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution · The Forever War

The driver on the right has the right-of-way

August 10th, 2018 · No Comments

“Drivers of large cars drive extremely badly. So do old men; men wearing hats; men with thick necks and florid faces; hunters; drivers of cars with dented fenders, or with more than one generation in them, or with college stickers on their rearview windows, or with slogans on their bumpers, or with license plates of […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Renata Adler

And that’s what I know

August 9th, 2018 · No Comments

“All I know about method is that when I am not working I sometimes think I know something, but when I am working, it is quite clear that I know nothing.” – John Cage, “Lecture on Nothing”

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Tags: John Cage · Other Stuff

Same as it ever was

August 8th, 2018 · No Comments

“This is the age of crime. I’m sure we all grant that. It’s the age, of course, of other things as well. Of the great chance, for instance, and the loss of faith, of the bureaucrat, and of technology. But from the highest public matters to the smallest private acts, the mugger, the embezzler, the […]

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · Renata Adler · The American Constitution

Right here, right now

August 7th, 2018 · No Comments

“Everybody has a song which is no song at all: it is a process of singing, and when you sing, you are where you are.” – John Cage, “Lecture on Nothing”

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Tags: John Cage · Other Stuff

Finding the value

August 6th, 2018 · No Comments

“What’s new? the biography of the opera star says she used to ask in every phone call, and What else? I’m not sure the biographer understood another thing about the opera star, but I do believe that What’s new. What else. They may be the first questions of the story, of the morning, of consciousness. […]

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Renata Adler

And it burns, burns, burns

August 5th, 2018 · No Comments

“Having too many rules leads to a culture of non-compliance that is every bit as lethal as having too few.” – “The tower and the anger,” The Economist, June 24, 2017

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law

We always sacrifice a virgin

August 4th, 2018 · No Comments

“When I learned about the shrew, the poor unevolved, benighted shrew, which will keep jumping high in the air at a place in its accustomed path where an obstacle, a rock perhaps, once was but no longer is, well, I wondered about all those places where, though the obstacles have long been removed, one persists […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Renata Adler

And can be led in chants

August 3rd, 2018 · No Comments

“The mind of a living public is quickly alarmed and easily tormented. It not only suffers by the stroke, but is frequently fretted by the cure, and ought therefore to be tenderly dealt with, and never ought to be trifled with. It feels first and reasons afterwards.” – Thomas Paine, “The Affair of Silas Deane” […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Thomas Paine

We can fix that

August 2nd, 2018 · No Comments

“There exists an order of social problem that appears to be insoluble, but is not. At least not in the terms in which resolution of it is represented as impossible. A problem of that sort has at least some of the following features: it appears immensely complicated, with a resolution of any part of it […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · Renata Adler