Archive for July 2013

J.K. Rowling: A Muggle with a Magical Imagination

  Born today was J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter has brought her  great wealth and extolling. Under a pseudonym*, we now learn the truth: She’s written a  novel** whose hero’s a sleuth. *Robert Galbraith **”The Cuckoo’s Calling” Quod verum est?  Lumos:  “‘The truth?’ Dumbledore sighed. ‘It is a beautiful and terrible thing and should therefore be... Read more »

Henry Ford: Automobile Mogul and Marketing Genius

Today’s birthday is Henry Ford’s. His  Model T’s came with running boards. You could choose any color right off the rack As long as the color you chose  was black. On the other hand:  “Ford was a vicious anti-Semite. He despised Jews, bankers, and unions. And wrote hate-filled pamphlets linking all three.  He seemed to have associated... Read more »

Ken Burns: Award-Winning Documentarian and Chronicler of the American Experience

Today is the birthday of Ken Burns. In documentaries, he discerns The nature of what came before, Like the Brooklyn Bridge and the Civil War.* His masterpiece: “I am passionately interested in understanding how my country works. And if you want to know about this thing called the United States of America, you have to... Read more »
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Beatrix Potter: Beloved Author and Illustrator of Children's Books

Today is the birthday of Beatrix Potter Kids read her Tale of Peter Rabbit in prose. He  barely escaped  from MacGregor, the rotter, And saw  later a scarecrow dressed up in  his clothes.   In a personal sidebar, with H.A. Rey, Munro Leaf, Robert McCloskey, Richard Scarry, and (of course) Dr. Seuss, Beatrix Potter was a... Read more »

Leo Durocher: Fiery Manager from a Bygone Era

Born today: Leo Durocher. On the baseball diamond, he’d lose composure. About his temper he was asked, And said that nice guys finish last.* *A clarification: “I never did say that you can’t be a nice guy and win. I said that if I was playing third base and my mother rounded third with the... Read more »

Carl Jung: Plumbed the Depths of the Human Psyche

Born today was Carl Jung,* A psychotherapist , he hung With Sigmund Freud, but got less hype: Sex sells more  than an archetype. *”Jung believed the human psyche exists in three parts:  the ego (the conscious mind), the personal unconscious and the collective unconscious. Jung believed the collective unconscious was a reservoir of all the... Read more »
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Thomas Eakins: Once a Pariah, Now a Recognized Master

Today’s the birthday of Thomas Eakins Whose portraits include Gladys Deacon’s.   Perhaps to prove he was no prude He painted people in the nude. The Swimming Hole Eakins also was a pioneer in the art of photography:   Testimonials: John Russell of the New York Times: ” We prize Eakins above all for a... Read more »

Robert Graves: Classical Scholar and Poet

  Today’s the birthday of Robert Graves. He wrote historical novels and poetic staves. Read “I, Claudius” for its narrative art. Read “Symptoms of Love” for a tender heart.*   *Love is universal migraine; A bright stain on the vision, Blotting out reason.   Symptoms of true love Are leanness, jealousy, Laggard dawns;   Are omens... Read more »

Anthony Kennedy: Supreme Enigma

Born today was Anthony Kennedy, The swing vote on our highest court. For some a paean, for others a threnody, A middle of the road,  and a  fence-straddling sort.* *Whether the issue is abortion, race or gay rights, Kennedy is the man in the middle on the Supreme Court, more often bridging the gap between... Read more »
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Edward Hopper: Art Noir

Born today was Edward Hopper Whose paintings some might think improper.* In most of them a mystery stalks. A good example is “Nighthawks”. *Like the following painting: Morning in a City Envoi: “If you could say it in words, there would be no reason to paint.” [Edward Hopper]