I would say my list from last year could easily be repeated/continued, except for #14, which I accomplished and have absolutely no intention of doing again.
These wonderful, rather intimidating (loud, travel in packs, large) birds were all over Rome, but nowhere more so than at the Protestant Cemetery. Here are a few pictures, taken late November.
This has been making the rounds on the internets, and I think it’s lovely. Apparently, these were Jacques Brel’s New Year’s wishes for 1968 and they are just as suited to 2017. I’m too lazy to translate them for you, so if you can’t read French, it’s time to learn.
Friends, readers, please enjoy this New Year’s Eve greeting, brought to you by ABBA. May your 2017 be as excellent as ABBA’s lyrics. Not being ironic – I believe they were among the best pop music lyricists in modern times. And they weren’t even writing in their own languages. I love all the Scando-angst in this song, and the Bergman-esque angles in the video. (On another note, what I wouldn’t give for a dress like the one Agneta is wearing.)
…and to all a good night. (More numinous here.)
Oh, how I love Kathleen Ferrier.
Sing a carol written by a Jew! There are plenty. Today, I offer you this one, from a couple of crooners you might recognize:
If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning; let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth.
With Obama’s abstention on yesterday’s anti-Israel UN resolution (just another day the UN), the Western Wall and the Temple Mount are now declared to be “occupied” by the Jewish people. This was a dark, sorry decision from Obama, and as petty and ignorant of history as I knew him to be, I never imagined he would sink this low. He has brought the U.S. and the Democratic Party down to such depths, especially when you consider the greatness of a Daniel Patrick Moynihan on pretty much this same issue.
Is Obama an anti-Semite? Or is he just so personally vindictive and nasty that he wanted to kick Netanyahu on his way out the door?
I have doubts about Trump — many, in particular about his isolationism and his relationship with Russia — but at this point, January 20th can’t come soon enough. Heckuva job, Barack.
A George Harrison song I did not know, which is rather amazing. He is my favourite Beatle. Perfect for the season.
I mentioned — in my post about Trump (“Curb your Hysteria” – see below) — that I know some real chattering-class types who are convinced his victory was not only something maleficent — a rejection of their brilliant, tolerant ideas — but the “last gasp” of the bad people among us (i.e., people who don’t think like them), to boot. Further, they seem convinced that it’s only a question of a generation passing before they will be in power again. They are, I think, projecting their own rigidity and lack of self-awareness onto everyone else. They assume that, because their world view has never changed, no one else’s will either. (Some of us do learn and grow in this life, however slowly and painfully.) This is where they are insanely, embarrassingly wrong.
They ought to read this terrific Mark Lilla piece from the NYTimes. Money quote here:
A convenient liberal interpretation of the recent presidential election would have it that Mr. Trump won in large part because he managed to transform economic disadvantage into racial rage — the “whitelash” thesis. This is convenient because it sanctions a conviction of moral superiority and allows liberals to ignore what those voters said were their overriding concerns. It also encourages the fantasy that the Republican right is doomed to demographic extinction in the long run — which means liberals have only to wait for the country to fall into their laps. The surprisingly high percentage of the Latino vote that went to Mr. Trump should remind us that the longer ethnic groups are here in this country, the more politically diverse they become.
Emphasis mine. Spot-on. Fyi, Mark Lilla writes brilliantly about France a good deal, as well.
Here is some haunting Norwegian Christmas music. (My mom used to give me haircuts like the singer’s haircut. It’s a Norwegian thing.)