Arts, Culture, Endeavors, Life

A Life Worth Studying

Chicago philanthropist Richard Driehaus (1942-March 9, 2021) has passed and the praises of his life coming from so many circles leave me convinced that his was a life well lived. By sheer happenstance, I learned of his existence, of his interests, his influence, and the compatibility of all that he stood for with the things that I also stand for. Sadly, I never met him, for we would have found tremendous common ground. In my estimation, Driehaus stands shoulder to shoulder with two others whose philosophies have stood tall against the present degradations of modernity: Dana Gioia (who I have met) and Sir Roger Scruton (who my other half briefly corresponded with). Such personages are not to be taken lightly. Their lives are worth studying.

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Editing Your Goals

“For we put the thought of all that we love into all that we make.”

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Before I tell you precisely where I’m taking you, let me give you the backstory that turned into a game changer when I learned how to work some practical helps into my life

Responsible people finish all their chores. Really? Prove it!

You know how people tell you to make lists so you don’t forget to carry out tasks? I make lists—lots and lots of them. Then I lose them, make new ones, find the old ones again and think, “Oh, here is something I forgot to put on my new list,” or, “Here’s something that would really put me over the top.” That list never gets shorter. Never.

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Arts, Culture, Literature

Bringing Sacredness Back to Art

While I am currently tied up finishing a nine-year-old book draft, there has been no time to post fresh material here. But I ran across something this morning that struck me as so outstanding, I knew it had to stand in for me today.

Mark Jackson recently published an outstanding critique of a resurrected 10-year-old film, The Black Swan (2010), which starred Natalie Portman. I know people who loved that film; I personally detested it. In his article, “Rewind, Review, and Re-rate ‘Black Swan’: Making a Case for Bringing Back Sacredness to Art,” Jackson admits that the performances were all sterling. (Portman won an Oscar, by the way.) In fact, even I admit it is a literary masterpiece. But does that redeem its darkness?

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