The beauty in such strange and singular little clubs, the delight in the face-to-face human encounter, the social aspect, the person-to-person sharing, the fun of the collective search: All this is lost on Madsbjerg.
“While de Beausobre was engulfed in Stalin’s terror,” Varden writes, “she encountered an old nun who assured her she must one day leave Russia and convey a message to ‘our brethren beyond the border.’
“We have to renounce far more than we accomplish.” –Paul Tournier, The Seasons of Life “How can we possibly entertain the idea that we are different from other men, when we shout, cry, feel afraid, lack determination, and behave atrociously just like everybody else?” –Carlo Carretto, Letters from the Desert
In the space of a couple of hundred square miles and nine cities, the state of California’s highest and lowest per capita incomes can be found. The winter “snowbirds” clear out in the summer heat for their second (or third) homes. The Palm Springs area boasts more private jets than commercial airlines.
We’re almost no longer “allowed” to have fun, or to read anything that hasn’t been vetted for “sensitivity triggers,” or to enjoy our day without taking sides, inwardly arguing, wringing our hands over climate change, bemoaning the misinformation-censorship complex, calling out those who won’t mask — or those who are still masking, as the case may be — or waiting for a civil war to break out.
The people of Omelas have no king, no sword, no stock exchange. They don’t resort to violence. They are joyous. But are they happy? The narrator isn’t taking sides, only observing. “Happiness is based on a just discrimination of what is necessary, what is neither necessary nor destructive, and what is destructive.”
Consider, for example, the closing lines of “Desert Fury” (1947), a deliriously over-the-top love pentangle directed by Lewis Allen and shot primarily in Arizona: one of the few noirs filmed in (lurid) color.
In a saga that has been well documented in recent weeks, the Los Angeles Dodgers recently issued an invitation, retracted it, then, under mob pressure, issued a groveling apology and implored a group of “drag nuns” who call themselves, all in good fun, of course, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, to participate in an upcoming Pride Night celebration at […]