Formerly Ad Orientem

"Irish Elk is original, entertaining, eclectic, odd, truly one-of-a-kind. And more than mostly interesting."
Amy Kane

"Puts the 'ent' in 'eccentric.'"

"The Gatling Gun of Courteous Debate."
Unitarian Jihad

"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.

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He is a very shallow critic who cannot see an eternal rebel in the heart of a conservative.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

Irish Elk - Blogged


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Irish Elk
Thursday, July 07, 2005  

I don't have to tell you that the one constant through all the years has been baseball. America has been erased like a blackboard, only to be rebuilt and then erased again. But baseball has marked time while America has rolled by like a procession of steamrollers. It is the same game that Moonlight Graham played in 1905. It is a living part of history, like calico dresses, stone crockery, and threshing crews eating at outdoor tables. It continually reminds us of what once was, like an Indian-head penny in a handful of new coins. WP Kinsella, Shoeless Joe

* * *

How about those Nats? And what kind of baseball karma or mojo (or call it what you will) would be at stake in a Washington-White Sox World Series?

The peculiar logic of the name "Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim" informs Jeff Kallman's creative new method of keeping the big-league standings.

In the New York Times: A remembrance of Shea Stadium, "worst ballpark in the world."

Around the Horn

* Are you an extremist? Take the test at ShrinkWrapped.

* Our Girl in Chicago waxes nostalgic for Ernie Harwell while listening to the Chisox vs Tigers, and excerpts Mary McCarthy on the vibrant spirit in a French convent school.

* At the Claremont Review of Books, the legacy of Wm F Buckley is appraised; seven historians debunk Queer Theory on the "gay" Lincoln, and Victor Davis Hanson has a few college presidents for lunch.

* On Evelyn Waugh, con and pro:

Stephen Baldwin

Bleak Mouse: Waugh was not a conservative; he was an arch-reactionary. He was not a profound thinker (though he had his moments); he was a bloody crank. To one who complained of his hypocrisy at being both a Catholic and a horrid person, he is said to have replied, "Think how much worse I'd be if I weren't Catholic." But I'd rather not…I loved Waugh when I was a young radical. I continued to love his works when I was a silly liberal. I don't admire his works now because I'm conservative, but because they are brilliant and quite funny.

* Via Armavirumque, Sir Arnold Lunn on Waugh's snobbery:

"One of the most amusing afternoons I ever spent with Waugh began in the London Library. He took me around in a taxi to White's, which was only five minutes' walk on foot, and ordered a bottle of champagne in the bar. To the barman, he said, 'I'd like you to produce a really nourishing sandwich for my friend. He's an author, but not successful like I am, and he looks rather underfed.'

"We took a specially chartered limousine to Paddington where he missed his train. Back to White's where Waugh ordered another bottle of champagne. He asked me to come down to spend the night with him in the country, but I never accept that kind of invitation after the second bottle of champagne. I did, however, again drive with him to Paddington. 'How do you propose,' he asked, 'to go back to the slum in which you live?' I replied that I'd take the Underground. 'No, my friend,' said Waugh. 'You shall go back in my car. This is a day in fairyland for you.'"

* A profile of Mark Helprin, literary warrior:

Helprin is a classicist. He believes in history, tradition, and eternal verities. He values aesthetic symmetries and the literary forms the centuries have passed down to us. To Helprin, the principles of modernism are fatal to art, and he has no truck with the avant-garde. “The avant-garde are frauds,” he bluntly declares. “Modern literature is all cool and detached, even though a lot of modern writers are passionate about their politics. To me, passion should be for literature, and reason and detachment for politics.

“A lot of people hate heroes,” he continues. “I was criticized for portraying people who are brave, honest, loving, intelligent. That was called weak and sentimental. People who dismiss all real emotion as sentimentality are cowards. They’re afraid to commit themselves, and so they remain ‘cool’ for the rest of their lives, until they’re dead—then they’re
really cool.”


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