"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
Search-engine queries that have returned this page: "Pipe smoking bluesmen" and "photos of scurvy victims." My favorite remains "how to make flowered popery."
Nom de Spam of the Week: Negating L Mythological
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As Maine goes, so goes the nation? From Maine Today, this AP report:
Support for Kerry dwindles in latest quarterly poll
PORTLAND - John Kerry's double-digit lead over President Bush evaporated Wednesday in a new statewide poll.
Bush and Kerry were tied at 35.5 percent, according to the latest quarterly survey by Strategic Marketing Services. But when those leaning toward the candidate were added to those who intended to vote for him, Kerry had a slight edge, 43.5 percent to 41 percent. Ralph Nader had 4.5 percent and 11 percent were undecided.
By contrast, the marketing research firm's Omnibus Poll in March showed 51 percent intending to vote or leaning toward Kerry, compared to 38 percent for Bush, 4 percent for Nader and 7.5 percent undecided.
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Meantime, as the Fourth of July approaches, the Portland Press Herald carries a report on the going fireworks trade in Seabrook, N.H.
Some years back I made a pre-Fourth pilgrimage to one of the border fireworks stores in Seabrook. Standing around in the front showroom looking rather disappointedly at the tame window-dressing selection of sparklers and snakes, I noted to the clerk that I'd come up from Massachusetts. He asked: "Are you a cop?" Assuring him I was not, I was shown past a curtain into a backroom with enough imported Chinese rockets, firecrackers and cherry bombs to keep a small armory in business. I left happy, and on the ensuing Fourth, nearly burned down my sister's wooden porch with a misfired skyrocket. (Tip to aspiring rocketeers: Orangeade makes a poor extinguisher.)
When I was a teenager, the pre-Fourth trolley trip into Boston's Haymarket and North End to procure black-market fireworks was a summer ritual. You'd hang around a certain playground, and a person would appear from an alley to take your order of so many gross of bottle rockets and so many bricks of firecrackers. Drive-through pyrotechnics?
Is grad school a cult? Erin O'Connor comments on Chronicle of Higher Ed article by Thomas Hart Benton that makes the (not entirely) tongue-in-cheek analogy:
Benton is, not coincidentally, an English professor, and his question arises from his inside observation of the rigidly conformist culture that one so often finds, paradoxically, in programs aimed at training aspiring scholars. You'd think that graduate education for people who plan to be originators of ideas, posers of problems, askers of questions, and producers of new knowledge would emphasize qualities such as responsible creativity, intellectual independence, informed skepticism, and categorical refusal to be pressured--on any level--to adhere to the prefabricated intellectual and ideological tenets of any group. But Benton has noticed that this is not so, that graduate education (and I assume he is speaking most particularly about the humanities, where qualitative evaluation reigns supreme) often works by very different means, to very different ends.
One commenter responds: Grad school isn't so much a cult as it is a pyramid scheme…
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Hillbilly swing aficionados will find here a wide selection of links and some fine vintage postcards: I'd like to have ordered the Blue Plate Special in this Amarillo diner to a backdrop of Rip Ramsay & his Texas Wanderers.