Beryl O’Links: St. Brigid’s Day Edition

Whatever happened to Notre Dame’s bees?

A good piece (by Ray Pennings, an acquaintance from media circles) about the dangers in Canada’s assisted dying legislation.

Documentary confronts cost of Pius XII’s silence during the Holocaust; Vatican to open its archives on his pontificate.

Novel written at Auschwitz to be published in English.

Hussein Aboubakr gives me hope. So does Mohammed Saud.

Give this man – a kitten-rescuer – all the awards!

Another man who deserves all the awards.

In my view, this is a legitimate reason to nuke a country.

In Sweden’s most notoriously anti-Semitic city, a rabbi and an imam are trying to make a positive difference.

The librarian who saved Timbuktu’s cultural treasures from al Qaeda.

Never stop! Centenarian Japanese photojournalist is still working.

Disobedience

Apparently, it was Winnie-the-Pooh day last Saturday. I missed it, but I wanted to link to this piece about A.A. Milne, nonetheless. I was and am a Pooh fan, but I think I love Milne’s books of poetry for children more. They were a big part of my childhood – my mother would recite “Rice Pudding” to us if we complained about our meals – and they are so clever it would be a mistake to think they can only be enjoyed by children. “Disobedience” is, in my view, an absolute gem. I offer it, forthwith:

Disobedience

James James
Morrison Morrison
Weatherby George Dupree
Took great
Care of his Mother,
Though he was only three.
James James Said to his Mother,
“Mother,” he said, said he;
“You must never go down
to the end of the town,
if you don’t go down with me.”

James James
Morrison’s Mother
Put on a golden gown.
James James Morrison’s Mother
Drove to the end of the town.
James James Morrison’s Mother
Said to herself, said she:
“I can get right down
to the end of the town
and be back in time for tea.”

King John
Put up a notice,
“LOST or STOLEN or STRAYED!
JAMES JAMES MORRISON’S MOTHER
SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN MISLAID.
LAST SEEN
WANDERING VAGUELY:
QUITE OF HER OWN ACCORD,
SHE TRIED TO GET DOWN
TO THE END OF THE TOWN –
FORTY SHILLINGS REWARD!”

James James
Morrison Morrison
(Commonly known as Jim)
Told his
Other relations
Not to go blaming him.
James James
Said to his Mother,
“Mother,” he said, said he:
“You must never go down to the end of the town
without consulting me.”

James James
Morrison’s mother
Hasn’t been heard of since.
King John said he was sorry,
So did the Queen and Prince.
King John
(Somebody told me)
Said to a man he knew:
If people go down to the end of the town, well,
what can anyone do?”

(Now then, very softly)
J.J.
M.M.
W.G.Du P.
Took great
C/O his M*****
Though he was only 3.
J.J. said to his M*****
“M*****,” he said, said he:
“You-must-never-go-down-to-the-end-of-the-town-
if-you-don’t-go-down-with-ME!”

Greece vs. Rome

So I posted earlier about how we like to listen to Pepys while we are in the car. But this Christmas, driving back to Toronto, we listened to Boris Johnson versus Mary Beard in a debate about which ancient society was better – Greece or Rome. It was informative, fun, funny and I like both debaters immensely. It certainly goes without saying that those who compare Boris Johnson to Donald Trump are mistaken. I cannot imagine Trump – or, for that matter, Justin Trudeau – being in Boris’ intellectual league.

Sir Roger Scruton

A great loss – I feel as I did when Hitchens died.

A few appreciations: Essay from the Times Literary Supplement; Roger Scruton and the Burden of non-Conformism; Scruton himself on Why Beauty Matters; wonderful obit from National Review; Scruton again on how identity politics destroys freedom.

Lucky for us he was British. The UK has a robust media culture which allows for more dissent than the one in Canada. There could never be a Canadian Scruton, sadly.