Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Group Writing: Bringing up Baby

 

I signed up for Group Writing and chose my theme well before the events of January 6th and its aftermath plunged me into despair. Given what has transpired and what we will face after today, it seemed at first wrong somehow to focus on a screwball comedy from the 1930s. But then, life was not exactly a picnic in 1938, either. I’m sure that the assault on American values was felt keenly throughout the Depression, the New Deal, and their aftermath. It had only been 2 years earlier when FDR also proposed packing the Supreme Court. So that which is old is new again, unfortunately.

And yet, during those dark days, the screwball comedy was born. The first screwball comedies were Bombshell and It Happened One Night in 1933-34. But I believe the form reached a peak with Howard Hawk’s masterful 1938 comedy Bringing up Baby starring Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, and a leopard. If you haven’t seen it yet, I suggest that you do so instead of watching the inauguration. It too features a fossil.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Old and New: In a Pickle

 

pickle fermentation2021 puts conservatives and anyone right of Jane Fonda in a pickle. Some very bad old ideas are back in new and far more weaponized forms. Yet, the future does not ultimately belong to the left, nor need the next few years. We can bend the arc of history with time and effort. Speaking of time and effort, let’s talk pickles.

I grew up in a family that had a large vegetable garden every year, yard space provided. This necessarily led to freezing and canning. For whatever reason, cucumbers were never, to my memory, a part of my mother’s garden. We had plenty of squash, and tomatoes in places where they would ripen. Zucchini squash was shredded and packed into small freezer containers for use all through the winter months, hopefully used up just about when the next season’s crop was small, tender squash. Tomatoes went into larger Mason jars as stewed tomatoes, or chutney or governor’s sauce for meat. It took me a few decades to follow the family canning tradition.

I started canning about three years ago, driven by a surplus of lemons from a friend’s lemon tree and a desire to reproduce a tomato jelly recipe I had discovered at a microbrewery. I like good beer and started home brewing after my initial Army tour in West Germany, when it was West Germany. Put a pin in the home brewing. Accordingly, I also like trying new small breweries’ products. The Sleepy Dog Brewery had a tasting room at the front end of their brewery and food trucks on high volume nights. This included a pizza oven trailer, supplemented with pretzel dough buns topped with cream cheese and tomato jelly. So, a great deal on the right kind of tomatoes merged with a recipe search, generating my first batch of tomato jelly.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Group Writing: Mamaw Reviews

 

New ideas are borne of new experiences. New experiences require a willingness to move. That could be a new job, new house, new food or even new books or movies. Being flexible of mind and willing to consider new perspectives built this country and makes us better men and women. I see a lot of that on Ricochet. New ideas being filtered through the old.

My mom turned 87 last year. A former matron and dispatcher in our small town, she’s a nervous wreck around her grandchildren and tough as nails physically or mentally. She declined an offer out of high school to move to DC and work with the FBI; and instead started a family here in the rolling mountains of Southwest Virginia.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

Clifford’s topic for this month gave me the opportunity to look at the many things I have collected over the years and refused to give up, and to look at those items that I have purchased more recently for practical purposes. I realized that the old items reflected a very different time in my life […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

There has been a great deal of good writing over the years, inspired by monthly theme cues. Maybe you missed some, or joined more recently. Instead of searching on tags, just bookmark this post. This index will capture all of them in one post, updated monthly. A big thank-you to past keepers of the themes; […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

January 6 is the twelfth day of Christmas, so I am not out of season with Christmas music. Yup, the Twelve Days of Christmas are not part of Advent, the weeks leading up to Christmas. Rather, the Christian church, both east* and west,** commemorate this ancient feast day twelve days after commemorating Christ’s birth. To […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Auld and New Lang Syne

 

The song most associated with the (western) New Year is a Scottish tune with lyrics coming from Scottish folk roots. The words, as we know them, come from Robert Burns. The poet claimed he had found the words, yet he most likely wrote a significant portion himself, riffing on older sources. Here, then are a series of recordings, from the dawn of voice recording to this year, so that we do not forget the old times in the rush of the new.

The earliest recording I found was from 1910, performed by Frank C. Stanley:

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Hey you! Yes, you. Each month, Ricochet members like you share a few thoughts, a bit of knowledge or creativity, playing off a theme. Sometimes it is no more than a concluding line or a throw-away to shoe horn their post into the theme. We are very casual about that. The whole point is for […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: The Soviet Style in the US

 

From an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on December 23, by David Satter, titled “Soviet Politics, American Style”:

When the Soviet Union fell, it seemed the Soviet attempt to impose a deluded version of reality had died with it. Francis Fukuyama, in his 1989 essay “The End of History”, said that Marxism-Leninism was doomed as an alternative to liberal democracy. I argued at the time that the drive to make a religion out of politics had not disappeared.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. QoTD: Like a Barefoot Dash Across Fiery Coals

 

You don’t have to be certain you’re transgender in order to go on hormones. In fact, Kaylee adds, going on hormones is ‘probably the best way to actually tell if you’re trans anyways.’

You might have heard that testosterone comes with bad side effects— but you’ll rarely hear them mentioned here. YouTube and Insta gurus are about fun, and increased risks of various cancers and prophylactic hysterectomy are certainly not that. The most common side effect of testosterone that gurus talk about is the one that burnishes their trans bona fides: pain. The pain is acknowledged—even conveyed with relish. Like a barefoot dash across fiery coals, braving the agony of an intra-muscular injection proves you’ve moved beyond playing dress-up. You really are ‘trans.’ And you’re not messing around.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Group Writing: Happiness Is a Warm Panettone

 

…At least to some, it is. The traditional Italian Christmas fruited bread is moist, buttery, light, and next to sublime when toasted and slathered in butter. But not to all. And not to one in particular-my brother Larry.

We are a big Italian family with Italian traditions at holiday time. Our traditional dinner for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter was always homemade ravioli, braciola, sausage, and meatballs. Turkey and ham were served later in the evening, at the second supper which was just for sandwiches and pickings. Homemade wine and Italian pastries were served alongside the generous number of pies and cakes.

Despite the distinct Italian flavor to our celebrations, I don’t ever remember encountering a panettone at our holiday celebrations when I was young or seeing one at all until at least my late teens. But some time in the early ’80s, when gourmet Italian food was going mainstream, panettone seemed to pop up everywhere, not just in the Italian specialty stores. Also at this time, they started to appear reliably at our house at Christmas, as someone invariably gave one, or two or four, as gifts to my family. My father loved them but my brothers and I did not. Perhaps the first ones we had were poor quality or stale. I eventually came around when I discovered that they are quite delicious, and that toasting them took them to an entirely different level. But my brother Larry would not be moved. The very sight of that iconic rhomboid box annoyed the heck out of him and he would go into a rant about how they were worse than fruitcake.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: History Is Not a Moral Lesson

 

The full quote below is from the author Ben Macintyre, two of whose books I’ve read: Operation Mincemeat, and The Spy and the Traitor. They’re both excellent reads. I downloaded his Double Cross yesterday and will start reading it today.

The quote is from an interview in the January 2021 issue of Military History magazine. He’s written a new book (Agent Sonya), which I’ve not yet read, about a little-known female WWII and Cold War spy, Ursula Kuczynski. She was a German-born Jew who spied for the Soviet Union against the Nazis, and then for the Soviets against the West during the Cold War. Macintyre’s interview ends with his summary of how we should remember her, because, as he says, she was not an easy person to like in many ways.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. ‘Tis the Season for Evictions [Updated]

 

justice and COVID-19Mitch and the Gang, along with the leader* of the House Republican’ts, happily played Grinch to all but their paymasters in the corporate elites. They continued to willfully extend the pain and harm to all the Americans they not so secretly hate for electing President Trump twice. The forgotten Americans must be shoved back down the memory hole if the GOPe is to rise again to its lucrative faux leadership role. So, the uncounted Americans facing eviction from home or loss of a small business got only a Life Saver pealed off from a Life Savers® roll into their stocking.

The federal moratorium on home evictions was only extended to the end of January 2021. It was to be left to the 2021 Democrat-controlled new House and Senate to leverage the government-created personal and business debt crisis into a leftist bloodless revolution. Thankfully, President Trump has effectively vetoed this insult to non-elite Americans. He should do more than demand $2,000 per person; he should answer more of the pork-barrel with a non-partisan populist demand for government to assume some of the private debt imposed by government edict.

Member Post

 

I can only paraphrase the Canadian bishop I heard by chance. He recalled when the Apostles were caught in a violent storm, sure the boat would capsize and they all would drown. Jesus demonstrated His lordship over all by calming the water. Not your typical Christmas remembrance.  Preview Open

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Tis The Season For . . . Taking Stock

 

I’ve written a few times, during my tenure on Ricochet, of my late December penchant for coming up with twelve words (one for each month) to describe the year that’s on its way out. I can’t remember a year that I’ve been gladder, or more anxious, to see over the side than 2020. So, without further ado, here we go:

January“Weird.” It was warm. Not like winter at all. I barely used any hay, and as a result, at the end of the year I have a barn half full of old hay that, although not spoiled, because it’s been under cover, is old and which the sheep aren’t all that anxious to eat. Sigh. Rumblings of a virus from China. Trump has shut down travel. Wonder what that’s about.

February “Better.”  More like winter. Still no snow, though. Lovely respite in Florida with a Ricochet friend.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Jimmy Lai on Hong Kong

 

“When I escaped from China and came to Hong Kong, the contrast was that China was like hell and Hong Kong like heaven. Though I was very poor, I smelled the air of freedom and was full of hope for the future. That’s the way I thought heaven is.” — Jimmy Lai

Jimmy is a Hong Kongese Horatio Alger, arriving penniless in 1995, he made his fortune in the garment industry, going from rags to riches. He developed a reputation for straight-talking and defending liberty, which led him to create the Apple Daily. Under the new CCP oppression of the Hong Kongese, Jimmy and his Apple Daily were targeted. In the latest chapter, Jimmy was denied bail on December 3 and is currently being held under charges of cooperating with foreign powers.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Saran Wrap Can Kill You

 

“I think there are a lot of things out there that are humorous that people don’t realize until you actually show them what is going on. Saran Wrap for one thing. You know, you could pull enough of that out of the box and it will actually kill you. It will get a hold of you, stick to you, and choke you to death.” — Tim Conway

I’m a sucker for physical humor: Peter Sellers in the Pink Panther movies, Jim Carrey (in his early days), Buster Keaton, the Marx Brothers, Carol Burnett — they all crack me up. But Tim Conway stands at the top of my list.

I think slapstick or silly comedy gets a bad rap. Yes, it’s unsophisticated. Yes, it’s not for everyone. But to watch a person who projects a sweetness or naivete, yet has me falling on the floor with laughter, that person has a remarkable gift.

Member Post

 

Goal-setting is a common theme I seem to return to here on Ricochet, and as 2020 is nearing its end (and I’ve been setting up my 2021 bullet journal), I have been thinking about what my goals will be for next year. I don’t like to call them “New Year’s Resolutions” for some reason. Maybe […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Rush Limbaugh on the “Press” in America

 

This paragraph appears at the end of the December 2020 issue of the Limbaugh Letter, in an article entitled “American Pravda: Our Soviet-style Media”. Rush quotes numerous publications, in sections titled “Disinformation”, “Outright Lies”, “Race Propaganda”, “Orange Man Bad”, “Orange Man Voters Bad”, “Lies of Omission”, and “No-Fraud Gaslighting.”.

You have to wonder how these so-called journalists sleep at night, with all their intentional deception, disinformation, fabrication, and distortions to serve the agenda of the hard-left Democrat Party. In the old totalitarian USSR, reporters didn’t have a choice; but the American Pravda drive-bys do. Of their own free will they’ve surrendered their talents, their objectivity, their spirit of free inquiry, and even their curiosity to the socialist hive mind; they have become the totalitarians.