Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

Ever start thinking about a subject and have your brain reply to a thought with an eyeroll and, “Yes, Grandpa, you have told us about that before.” I was thinking about homonyms, never mind why, and thinking how they must be the bane of most writers’ existences. They are certainly mine. Now, everyone who writes […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

The two descriptors that define this month of May, 2020, are Closed and Cancelled. Around us, events and places everywhere have been cancelled, and closed, due to the Wuhan Coronavirus Pandemic. For this Memorial Day, services at the two cemeteries near our home have been Cancelled, and this is a general rule around Western Washington. […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. In Ancient Times, Hundreds of Years Before the Dawn of History…

 

…lived an ancient race of people, the Druids.
No one knows who they were or what they were doing
But their legacy remains, hewn into the living rock of Stonehenge…

‘Tis May, when our thoughts turn to parody. And what is the greatest parody of all time? Oh there are many that rate a 10 on the Gossamercat-o-meter. Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, The Rutles, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, A Mighty Wind. But only one rates an 11. That’s right: This Is Spinal Tap, the original mockumentary. The hard rock masterpiece featuring David St. Hubbins, Nigel Tufnel and Derek Smalls, the rocking and clueless alter egos of Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, and Harry Shearer. Not even the presence of Rob Reiner can diminish its place as the pinnacle of parody. The movie was released in 1984, back when he was amusing and not insufferable.

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Continuing ruminations on C.S. Lewis quotes regarding good/evil apropos to lockdown (first post here) we come to the question, What is good? Lewis’ writing is the product of a well-developed mind in a man who turned to Christianity in his thirties, which frames these brief thoughts on absolute good and the choice of good or evil: […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Happy, Merry Birthday

 

It’s hard for me to think how to make this something grander than just a personal vignette in the life of a suburban mom. Sometimes (frequently?), my pet peeves can be quite shallow.

But I suppose everyone has one of those silly, shallow things that you swear would ruin your life if it ever happened to you, but you really don’t mean it at all. It’s those things you mildly wished wouldn’t happen, but recognize their happening really isn’t that big a deal and maybe the half-hearted animus to this event that actually happens may make for a fun story on Murphy’s Law or serendipity.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Merry Month of May: Laughter on the World Wide Web

 

And isn’t there an awful lot of that pointless, incessant barking on the Internet? But there are some fierce sites, some magical sites, some hella informative sites (I’m immersed in one on the art and science of building beehives at the moment), and some that just make me laugh out loud. (Sometimes, I don’t think this effect is intentional.)

I always bookmark a site that cheers me up when I see it, or when someone passes a link along, and I certainly have my favorites. Perhaps I’ll mention some of them in the comments. Meanwhile, won’t you please share the sites that make you laugh, and tell us why? (Please try and keep it clean, or at least let people know what they’re in for if they follow a link-of-ill-repute.)

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Drawing from CS Lewis’s Well of Wisdom

 

Clive Staples Lewis is one of my favorites. The Chronicles of Narnia books were da bomb as a child (still are) and he’s a frequent font of wisdom as an adult. We could probably fill Quotes of the Day for years and not dry out his wisdom well, so deep and clear is his thinking. Not to worry, I picked just a handful I’ve been pondering during lockdown, interspersed with brief narrative tying them together to fill a few days this month. No need for explanation on the correlation between lockdown extremes and these first two:

The greatest evils in the world will not be carried out by men with guns, but by men in suits sitting behind desks.

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The Quote of the Day is the easiest way to start a fun conversation on Ricochet. You don’t have to be intelligent, pithy, or eloquent yourself. You can share a written passage that you find interesting, or even something from a favorite movie. You can present the naked quote, or add your thoughts on how […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. QOTD: Bonding Over Birthday Cakes or Other Shared Experiences

 

Early on, when my wife and I were dating, we went to the grocery store, and I told her that sometimes I just buy birthday cakes, and I eat them. And she said: ‘Really? I do, too.’ –Tom Cotton

I couldn’t help but chuckle over this comment by the dignified and reserved Senator Tom Cotton. It was good to see that he could see the silly and sweet parts of courtship.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Marry Merry Month of May

 

All of my life, there have been aspects of May that made it quite merry, indeed. As a child, it featured wonderful events like The Last Day of School! It also meant that winter might actually be over in our high-altitude Rocky Mountain valley. We’d experience snow flurries sometimes on Memorial Day, but Old Man Winter was no longer in charge. There were always newborn foals, and calves, and lambs to enjoy. My closest sister was born on May 23rd, just 15 months after I was born the year before. She was the fourth child and fourth girl for my parents.

We also have two brothers and two more sisters, but we older girls did the work for years: milking cows, hauling hay, branding, shoveling, etc. etc. We became known as “those Welch girls” who could throw bales up on the wagon and lift milk cans as well as any boys our age. And, I’m not sure that some adults even knew us individually by name.

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I’ve done a few QsOTD and it usually seems they’re inspired when I’m reading something and a quote jumps out and smacks me in the face: “Here’s one!” I’m reading Amity Shlaes’ latest, Great Society, and as usual her book is insightful, well-researched, and pertinent to the time she’s writing about as well as our […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. May Merriment: Three Slices of Happiness

 

On the way to more serious content, I ran across three very different but equally, quietly, joyful YouTube videos. Enjoy three great slices of Americana:

  •  A woman making cheeseburger pie, with camera work by her husband of many years.
  • A woman and her heavy Chevy.
  • The ice cream man and the truly diverse community he serves.

The cooking video is one of a series, shot in a couple’s kitchen. To be completely accurate, it is clearly the woman’s kitchen, and her husband is there in support and in appreciation of her cooking. How could you not like Mae Mae’s Happy Table? You will surely gain five pounds just watching, but the video is worth the weight.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Corruption

 

I just finished Profiles in Corruption: Abuse of Power by America’s Progressive Elite by Peter Schweizer. I would recommend it highly, but only in chunks of no more than a chapter at a time. Your blood pressure won’t take any more.

Each chapter focuses on a different politician: Kamala Harris, Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar, Eric Garcetti. The author has already treated the Clintons in a separate book — Clinton Cash.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Merry May Is Mary’s Month

 

Here at Toad Hall we love to celebrate in the month of May by hosting a Crowning for Our Lady. This traditional Catholic devotion involves making a crown of flowers for a statue of Mary and placing them on her head, accompanied with prayers and singing. As a child, I participated with my school. As a homeschooling mom, I’ve hosted or at least organized somewhere on the order of ten to fifteen May crownings.

Yesterday it was so beautiful, if chilly, here in New York that I called up my parents and invited them over to pray, sing and share some fellowship and lemon cake with us. 

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Good journalism does not consist of lying. It does not consist of competitive adventurism in twisting these episodes to make them better stories than they are. More

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Merry Month of May: My First Beatles Album

 

Bach Meets the BeatlesSomehow, even as a child of the sixties, I survived to adulthood without a single Beatles album to my name. My mother, whose musical tastes were quite eclectic, never cottoned to the Lads from Liverpool, and they didn’t “send” me much, either. We came to the United States in October of 1963 thinking that perhaps we’d escaped the phenomenon–but, No! They followed us here, making their first stateside appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show on February 9 of the following year. But I never traveled hundreds of miles, or stood in line for hours or days, to buy tickets to a Beatles performance. I never formed part of a hysterical mob of screaming young women greeting them at the airport, or at the arena or concert hall. I never howled, or fainted, or threw my panties at the stage while watching them perform. I never even bought one of their records, not 45, or 33 1/3, single, or long-playing, ever.

Mr. She, although growing up in earlier times, likes The Beatles, and I discovered when we took up together, that he did have a few of their albums. “Oh, well,” I said to myself. “Can’t win ’em all. He’s really fond of jazz, too. Argh.” So our home was occasionally graced by what I considered some caterwauling, in between my playing what amused me–early twentieth-century music hall songs and ballads, eighteenth-century Scottish music, old fashioned country-and-western, some African composers, Flanders and Swann. And Bach. You know, the stuff every girl plays on the gramophone when she has a chance. Still no Beatles for me.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Blaming and Finding Fault

 

“Let those who are fond of blaming and finding fault while they sit safely at home ask, ‘Why did you not do thus and so?’ I wish they were on this voyage. I well believe that another voyage of a different kind awaits them, or our faith is naught.” — Christopher Columbus, Lettera Rarissima to the Sovereigns, Fourth Voyage (7 July 1503), quoted in Admiral of the Ocean Sea, by Samuel Morison

Columbus’ choice of language was more genteel and diplomatic than Morison’s paraphrase of his sentiment: in other words, they can go to hell. Teddy Roosevelt echoed the sentiment more than 400 years later in his “man in the arena” speech. Men of great accomplishment have surely been frustrated by their critics throughout the ages. Columbus was well aware of his contemporary critics, but he could not have known how many people would be denouncing him more than 500 years after his death. I find it reassuring that he anticipated all the elite progressives and liberal arts students who protest any recognition of his accomplishments, while enjoying the relative safety and comfort of modern life. And it’s a fitting rejoinder for many people today who write tweets or columns, but never shoulder the burden of taking action.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Group Writing: Wait, Is This Guy Real?

 

The best sorts of parodies and fun are the ones where at first, you think it might be real. As you’re watching for awhile, a few clues start to pop up. I’m thinking about things like the show Fishing with John. Have you never seen Fishing with John? Why not? It’s time you find it and see it. In the first episode where John Lurie goes shark fishing with a friend, it’s a little odd. When I first saw it I thought, well, modern productions by modern musicians, whatever. But with each episode, it got stranger. Tom Waits sticking a live fish in his shorts, well it’s believable. But then Lurie and Willem Dafoe die in the ice fishing wilderness … or so the narrator claims. By that episode, one is already under the impression that the narrator may be unreliable.

So it also was when I first started seeing some of J. P. Sears works. Was this guy for real? Well, no, but he is really funny:

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Group Writing: The Old Master

 

When we speak of parody, there is a very long history, and considering our topic for Group Writing for the month of May is all about such foolishness, I knew I could go to only one source:

The Old Master

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Jane Bennet vs. Alex Jones

 

“… I have no idea of there being so much design in the world as some persons imagine.” — Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Those are the words of Jane, the saintly elder sister of Austen’s spunky heroine, Elizabeth Bennet. Jane believed in the goodness of others, until she was given irrefutable evidence of their perfidy. Even then, she was reluctant to condemn.

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