Saturday, July 14, 2018

1962.................................



Apparently there was a "flash crash" on Wall Street in May of 1962.  It passed unnoticed in my world.  I was only ten years old and my parents were not huge participants in the stock market.  It did have a large enough impact to make the cover of the June 8, 1962 cover of Life magazine:




As Ben Carlson says, "It’s actually kind of refreshing to know that investors in the 1960s were dealing with many of the same fears and uncertainty we’re all forced to deal with today."


Do visit his blog post on the subject.   After ample coverage of the "flash crash", he posts some of the advertisements that graced the pages.  One example:


Fifty years ago..........................


Joe Cocker..........................With A Little Help From My Friends

 

Friday, July 13, 2018

Opening paragraphs.......................



     It was supposed to be a brief assignment - eighteen months or so, tops.  In 1954, with the centennial of the Civil War approaching, Bennett Cerf, the president of Random House, wrote the novelist Shelby Foote to propose a "short history" of the conflict.  In mid-summer the author traveled from his home in Memphis to meet with the publisher in New York, and the two quickly came to terms.  The target was 200,000 words, the advance, four hundred dollars.  The plan was to get the book done fast and return to writing novels.  "Fiction is hard," Foote recalled thinking; "history I figured, well, there's not much to that."
     He was then thirty-seven.  By the time he finished the third volume of his The Civil War:  A Narrative, he would be fifty-six.  In a notable case of literary understatement, Foote later observed, "It expanded as I wrote" - ultimately to just over 1,500,000 words, or, as Foote said, "a third of a million longer that Gibbon's Decline & Fall, which took about the same length of time to write."  The war had come alive in his imagination - he heard the hoofbeats and smelled the gunpowder and felt the anguish and the anxiety of Lincoln and Davis and the hundreds of thousands of unknown soldiers.  Don't underrate it as a thing that can claim a man's whole waking mind for years on end,"  Foote said of the war.


-Jon Meacham,  from American Homer:  Reflections on Shelby Foote and His Classic The Civil War: A Narrative

Fifty years ago..........................


Jerry Butler........................................Never Gonna Give You Up

 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Fifty years ago...............................


Beach Boys.................................................................Do It Again

 

Better audio version here

Don't......................................


"In your actions, don't procrastinate.  In your conversations, don't confuse.   In your thoughts, don't wander.  In your soul, don't be passive or aggressive.  In your life, don't be all about business."

-Marcus Aurelius,  Meditations, 8.51

via

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Fifty years ago.........................


Tommy James & The Shondells....................Crimson and Clover

 

Day by day................................


"But what does Socrates say?  'Just as one person delights in improving his farm, and another his horse, so I delight in attending to my own improvement day by day.'"

-Epictetus, Discourses, 3.5.14

via

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

All retired now............................


I am wondering what became of all those tall abstractions
that used to pose, robed and statuesque, in paintings
and parade about on the pages of the Renaissance
displaying their capital letters like license plates.

Truth cantering on a powerful horse,
Chastity, eyes downcast, fluttering with veils.
Each one was marble come to life, a thought in a coat,
Courtesy bowing with one hand always extended,

Villainy sharpening an instrument behind a wall,
Reason with her crown and Constancy alert behind a helm.
They are all retired now, consigned to a Florida for tropes.
Justice is there standing by an open refrigerator.

Valor lies in bed listening to the rain.
Even Death has nothing to do but mend his cloak and hood,
and all their props are locked away in a warehouse,
hourglasses, globes, blindfolds and shackles.

Even if you called them back, there are no places left
for them to go, no Garden of Mirth or Bower of Bliss.
The Valley of Forgiveness is lined with condominiums
and chain saws are howling in the Forest of Despair.

Here on the table near the window is a vase of peonies
and next to it black binoculars and a money clip,
exactly the kind of thing we now prefer,
objects that sit quietly on a line in lower case,

themselves and nothing more, a wheelbarrow,
an empty mailbox, a razor blade resting in a glass ashtray.
As for the others, the great ideas on horseback
and the long-haired virtues in embroidered gowns,

it looks as though they have traveled down
that road you see on the final page of storybooks,
the one that winds up a green hillside and disappears
into an unseen valley where everyone must be fast asleep.

-Billy Collins,  The Death of Allegory

Fifty years ago.........................


Sly & The Family Stone....................................Everyday People