Tag: titus techera

The Discontented Alphabet in Winter

 

History and the English Alphabet

When George Washington was a lad, he learned his alphabet, all twenty-seven letters. Back in the Eighteenth Century, the English alphabet still had twenty-seven letters. The alphabet didn’t end with Z, but with &. When reciting the alphabet, they would use a Latin phrase at the end, “Y, Z, and, per se, And.” According to some sources, this is how we got the word “Ampersand” was through millions of young kids running together “and, per se, And” while reciting their alphabet as fast as possible to get it over with.

When English was first written, though, it had twenty-four letters, not including several we know today, such as J or V or W. Because English was not Latin, when the English language was transliterated to the Latin alphabet, there were several sounds not represented, and as such, those founders of written English as we know it modified letters to represent sounds or they borrowed from the former alphabet that had represented English, the Futhorc system of runes. Thus English had letters that other languages did not. That caused problems several hundred years later. When the idea of movable-type printing first flowered in Europe, most of the printing was done in what we now call Germany by German people. English manuscripts would be sent off to Germany to be printed, and the German printers would have this sort of conversation:

ACF Middlebrow #34: Die Hard Christmas

 

Friends, the ACF brings you Chris Wolfe for Christmas–we talk about Die Hard, the story of an unexpected redeemer coming to deliver us from temptation in winter’s peril. No, really–Chris argues that we should take Sgt. Al Powell as–well, ourselves, the audience, who root for John McClane, but are powerless to do anything ourselves, but yearn to help him–Sgt. Al redeems himself in the course of the movie, as is indeed America redeemed by withstanding the corruption foisted on us by elite institutions that arrogantly remove from us any self-government, all the while exposing us to violence and lawlessness…

ACF Middlebrow #21: Brooklyn

 

Flagg Taylor and I bring you a movie fit for the festive season — a beautiful piece of selective nostalgia, a story devoid of anything sordid. A girl from Ireland is sent to America in the 1950s, to make something of herself, to find herself a future — to find her path to a decent happiness. You get to see her adventures in Brooklyn and it’s a perfectly Tocquevillian story of America’s many voluntary associations. It was a success and earned three important Oscar nominations, including protagonist Saoirse Ronan’s second actress nomination — she has earned a third meanwhile. I have an introductory essay over at The Federalist and, of course, the podcast for an in-depth, loving conversation about a wonderful movie.

ACF Critic Series #7: Teachout “On Dangerous Ground”

 

Terry Teachout and I continued our series on noir movies and also meet each other in the flesh for the first time. Listen and share, friends–we talk about Nicholas Ray’s On Dangerous Ground, about the touch of greatness in Robert Ryan’s portrayal of justice turning to loneliness and, eventually, cruelty–about Ida Lupino’s remarkable portrayal of realism and innocence mixed together–Ward Bond’s equally compelling turn as a father mad for revenge, driven to the limits of humanity–and, of course, Bernard Hermann’s impressively Romantic score, which adds a solid depth to characterization, enough to give an American story the tragic depth it needs. We also talk about the loss of innocence of WWII and how American movies took a turn for the tragic, becoming less lovely, but more beautiful, in the process.

PoMoCon One: The GOP as Budding Oligarchy

 

Hello, folks, just in case you’re not fed up with hearing my political opinions, there’s a new venue for that! I’m bringing back the old PoMoCon brand, a term the late Peter Lawler so skillfully and humorously used to describe the properly Tocquevillian American conservative of the 21st century.

My friend Pete Spiliakos, another old PoMoCon hand, also a columnist over at First Things online and writer at NRO, is my first interlocutor. We talk about elite corruption in the GOP. Some thoughts you’ll encounter in our discussion:

ACF#14: Carlito’s Way

 

New podcast, new interlocutor, and a new departure — defending gangster films as middlebrow! My friend John Presnall, from storm-beaten Houston, and I are also defending Brian De Palma from a conservative point of view and we’re introducing lawlessness studies as a way to get at the desire to free oneself, to be self-made, and to chase the American Dream. Carlito’s Way is the most self-reflective gangster film, one of the last memorable roles of Al Pacino and, get this, we’re arguing this is a superior movie to Scarface. We’re nothing if not fearless and we hope you’ll listen to and share our discussion wherever you can. Help me spread the gospel of Middlebrow, Ricochet! Hashtag as far as the eye can see!

ACF #10 The Nolan Brothers

 

Hello, everyone! I am joined on the American Cinema Foundation podcast by Jason Eberl and George Dunn, editors of the book The Philosophy of Christopher Nolan. They are professors of philosophy with an interest in pop culture, and editors of many books on America’s favorite shows and movies over the last 50 years. Our wide-ranging discussion of Christopher and Jonathan Nolan’s movies goes through Memento (2000), The Dark Knight (2008), Interstellar (2014), and Dunkirk (2017).

ACF #9: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman

 

Hello, folks, this week’s podcast completes last week’s discussion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with a discussion of the DC superhero movies. My friend and PoMoCon coconspirator Pete Spiliakos joins me–he is a columnist at First Things and writes for NRO, too. You can take my word for it, he’s the kind of conservative we need to hear more of!

ACF#8: Movies, Poetry, America, and Marvel

 

Hello, Ricochet! It is my pleasure to share my first public lecture on American cinema and society. I’ll start with thanks to my friends Tom Harmon and Matt Peterson, professors at John Paul the Great Catholic University–and, of course, to the university. And to the kids who did the audio-video work with precious little help from me. They’re too young I think for me to buy them a beer, but if they play their cards right… I’ll soon publish the written lecture, which is somewhat different, just in case not everyone wants to watch…

[Member Post]

 

Ed: Everyone, I have deleted the video link wherever it was found, and deleted the original video.  I need to re-do it so I can get the audio.  Sorry for the confusion, but it’s not my day job! I really can’t add much to @larrykoler’s narrative. Herewith, some still pictures, and a link to the […]

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It is not too late! You too can come to the Toad Hall MeetUp with Titus Techera on Sunday, September 4 at Toad Hall in New Paltz, NY, starting at 3 pm and going until everyone leaves. If you’re interested, let me know and I will send you a private message with contact information etc. […]

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Ricochet’s Own Titus Techera will be visiting the USA this summer. I am honored to be hosting him at Toad Hall in New Paltz, NY, on Sunday, September 4, 2016. So let’s have a Meet Up! The Toad Clan will host, Titus will be the guest of honor, and good food, alternative beverages, and interesting […]

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I thought you might like to see some of the comments that were made at the GoFundMe site: Kathleen Geraghty: Good luck! Laura Fuschino: Best Wishes for a great trip! Melissa O’Sullivan: Have an epic journey, Titus! Gary McVey: He’s Europe’s best. Let’s show him our best! Curious John: See you on the member feed Severely Ltd.: Oh, what have I […]

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Titus emailed me this morning that he got his visa application approved and should get it in the mail in a couple days. Hooray! I guess it was a short interview by the American Consulate guy — 3 minutes or less. He didn’t even want to see the details in the sponsorship package. Titus did […]

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The amount in the GoFundMe kitty is $5,250 now and I received $300 in the mail — this all nets out to $5,117.34 (after the ~8% fees from GoFundMe and the credit card company (wepay.com). I have raised the goal at the GoFundMe site to $7,000 for reasons as described below but I want to assure everyone […]

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Thanks very much to all of you who have donated and/or offered help for Titus in his plans for a trip to America this summer. It’s very exciting to see this come to fruition. Thank you all again. Just a short post to inform you of where we are now. The amount in the GoFundMe […]

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4/5 of the way there. Thanks to all of you who have contributed so generously to our fund to get Titus here this summer. Here’s the link to the site. Once we get to $5,000 we will purchase a flight ticket for Titus that has an open return date. He will choose a start date […]

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