Pooping Elephants

ANTHONY BOURDAIN

I like food and I like folks who can carry a good conversation, so I liked watching Bourdain’s shows.  Our older son and I got to meet him years ago at Book People.  We had to wait for a few hours as we were at the back of the line.  We got to him after he signed autographs for hundreds.  He was present with our son, affable, and very kind.

A good interview with Bourdain.  HT: James K.A. Smith

https://www.newyorker.com/podcast/the-new-yorker-radio-hour/anthony-bourdains-interview-with-david-remnick

 

LITTLE THINGS MATTER

Adapted from my reading of After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory by Alasdair MacIntyre:

In the Pensées, Pascal remarks “Cleopatra’s nose, had it been shorter, the whole face of the world would have been changed” (180). Ironically, what he means is that, had her nose been smaller, she would have lacked the dominance and strength of character which, in the physiognomy of the seventeenth century (or, indeed, the nineteenth), a large nose symbolized. It is a salutary reminder that the aesthetics of beauty change over time and place. 

http://penelope.uchicago.edu/~grout/encyclopaedia_romana/miscellanea/cleopatra/bust.html

William died at Kensington Palace where he had moved the royal household to escape swampy Westminster, which was bad for his asthma. His demise was the direct result of a fall from his horse which stumbled on a molehill, throwing its royal rider.

“…to the little gentleman in the black velvet waistcoat.”

LEARNING FROM PRESIDENT JAMES POLK!

Yes, that’s right.  You heard me.  Here are a few things about Polk I learned from reading Walking Giant: America in the Age of Jackson by David Reynolds:

He determined to serve one term.

He rarely took vacations.

He sought to address four main campaign promises and did!

He worked extremely hard.

(Waking Giant, p. 351-53 by David Reynolds)

ABRAHAM LINCOLN AND AMBITION

I recently read Allen Guelzo’s terrific new history of the Civil War, Fateful Lightning

Guelzo describes how restless Lincoln was for more responsibility.  Others around him, even early on with his law practice, commented on Lincoln’s ambition.  It was sobering to read of Lincoln’s ambition in the 1850’s for the next decade would obviously find him with more responsibility than he could ever imagine.

If you are ambitious for more influence, that is not necessarily a bad thing.  God hard-wired us for making a difference, but we must be ever so careful.  Being ambitious for God’s glory and kingdom is one thing.  Being ambitious to “make a name for ourselves” is no less sinister than those in Babel who wanted to do the same thing.

Remember God’s words to Baruch, “Should you then seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them. For I will bring disaster on all people, declares the Lord, but wherever you go I will let you escape with your life.’”

MY FAVORITE DEAD PEOPLE…WELL THEIR BOOKS

Augustine, Confessions

Kempis, Of the Imitation of Christ

Pascal, Pensées

If you purchase this book, make sure to get the edition that is edited by A.J. Krailsheimer.  For some reason, Amazon is not allowing me to link to that edition.

Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress

Kierkegaard, Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing

Chesterton, Orthodoxy

Lewis: Loads to pick from, but I choose Surprised by Joy