Skip to main content


Showing posts from December 4, 2016

dead nestlings

  ”A peregrine soared above the valley in the morning sunshine and the warm south breeze. I could not see it, but its motion through the sky was re­flected on the ground be­neath in the restless rising of the plover, in the white swirl of gulls, in the clat­tering grey clouds of wood pigeons, in hundreds of bright birds’ eyes look­ing upward.” – J.A. Baker, The Peregrine On my birthday we went to see Seasons, a documentary film by the crew  - Jacques Cluzaud, Michel Debats and Jacques Perrin - that made my favorite nature film, Winged Migration.  As in the latter film, Seasons is full of hard to credit film – passages in animal life that seem impossibly out of reach of human perception, and yet, of course, must be commonplace among the beastly individuals themselves – from a owl waking up to catch a mouse to the last evening of a boar, separated from its fellows and chased down by wolves. It is the intimacy that is astonishing, and makes one think that surely this was somehow set up

RFK, the Beverly Hillbillies, and Chicago in the 60s

In 1968, Robert Kennedy made a much heralded visit to Eastern Kentucky. He’s interviewed here: It is a flashback to a time when Democratic politicians were not full of mush in their mouth (human capital, retraining, green jobs), but said things like look at how wealthy we are, and look how poor our citizens live, and this reflects on all of us. At the same time, of course, popular culture was nattering on libidinously and nastily, as it does. In 1968, the Beverly Hillbillies was in its sixth season. What Amos and Andy was to African Americans, the Beverly Hillbillies was to poor white folks. In Chicago, Studs Terkel had found thousands of poor white folks from the South crowding the North side. They lived below the belt of affluent white suburbs – where Hillary Clinton grew up. The mainstream idea is that black and white are two lumps, each homogenous in itself. But we know that this isn’t so – we’ve seen the Beverly Hillbillies, for insta