Monthly Archives: December 2016

THREE SUPERIOR HOLIDAY MOVIES

There are a LOT of holiday movies out there on DVD.  Most of them are really mediocre.  Much is made about the old — and still pleasant — It’s a Wonderful Life, which is frequently seen on television every year … Continue reading

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GLAD YULE: THE WINTER SOLSTICE

Tomorrow — December 21st — is the Winter Solstice, the ancient holiday of Great Yule.  It is the shortest day of the year and the longest night.  It is also the turning point after which the days once more gradually … Continue reading

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TROLLING ANCIENT CAROLS IN YOUR GAY APPAREL

Though there are many “secular” songs for the holiday season such as the very popular “White Christmas” (written, oddly enough, by the Jewish Irving Berlin), there are also numbers of older songs which, even though one may not have the … Continue reading

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INTENTION AND TRANSLATION: BASHŌ’S ONE-COLOR WORLD

Bashō wrote an interesting winter hokku that is often found mistranslated.  It is, in Japanese: 冬  枯  れ  や   世は一色に 風の音 Fuyu-gare ya  yo wa hito iro [isshoku] ni   kaze no oto The mistranslation usually comes in the … Continue reading

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THE COLOR PURPLE: AN ENVIRONMENTAL WARNING

Anyone familiar with English literature and with history will know the term “Tyrian purple.”  This purple color was once the prerogative of royalty, thus the expression “to the purple born,” which we can trace back to the Byzantine Greek expression … Continue reading

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BECOMING ONE WITH EMPTINESS: ROBERT FROST’S DESERT PLACES

Today I would like to discuss a “snow” poem by the noted American poet Robert Frost.  To understand the title, we must not mistake “desert” as meaning a hot, dry, sandy place.  Instead, Frost uses it in its old sense, … Continue reading

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