Link Log for November 13

Categories: Animals, Boys & Girls, Censorship, Movie Stars, Politics, Writing. Some links and comments about Gardening & Farming are being scheduled for Sunday.


This reminds me of Heather’s half-grown son Elmo, who shouldn’t be at the Cat Sanctuary any more, but he is…his coat’s much redder than this cat’s coat appears to be on my screen, but he has the same kind of mackerel stripes, the same kind of adolescent look, and the same kind of attitude. (Elmo aged past being adopted by one permanent home and has yet to be claimed by another permanent home.)

Thanks to Mei/Poke for this:

Boys & Girls 

Some men, young sisters. Only some men. I’ll never dispute that being willing to kill the rotten ones is an asset when it comes to finding the precious ones. (And curbing the rotten ones, too–some of them may eventually outgrow their current rottenness.) Women should, like men and like the United States, not start a fight and not lose a fight. But seriously…I’ve met a few jerks too, but what I really wish were different about men is that the good ones are so fragile. They die so young. They’re so precious that even if they’re ninety-nine years old, when they die, that’s still far too young.


I agree with Jason Howerton, and apparently many of the students: hatespeech is not a crime, and shouldn’t be treated like one. However, in view of the crimes that were probably triggered by hatespeech and have been reported at this campus…is it appropriate to summon the campus police to watch in case a crime does occur?

In my home town, Gentle Readers, you can be arrested for “public drunkenness and disorderly conduct” for using, on the street, some Washingtonians’ favorite words. The assumption is that if a Virginian is in mixed company and uses the F-word or the S-word, or arguably even “Hell” in a sentence that does not refer to Michigan, he or she is probably drunk. And y’know, although I oppose censorship… not only do I not feel that this needs to change, I feel that printable-but-obnoxious words like “honey” and “lousy” should be added to the list.

Movie Stars 

I think Billy Hallowell posted this one just for us old ladies who’ve never really got into Denzel Washington’s guy-oriented movies or adult-content soap opera:


Lots of working people have violent fantasies about their bosses. If the said bosses ever go into politics, nobody is surprised when the said working people declare their support for the opposition…or even for the said bosses. Well, I voted for Ralph Nader, and people who’ve worked with him campaigned for Terry Kilgore, but they are men you don’t meet every day. So I wasn’t terribly upset to read that a former employee of hers said he wants to strangle candidate Carly Fiorina. Or that opposition candidate Hillary Clinton laughed, even. But Jason Howerton has a point here. Remember how the Democrats screeched and carried on when Republican candidates said much less inflammatory, nonviolent things…?

This one is long, serious, recommended to policy wonks and Washingtonians…Charles Cooper argues that Justice Thomas has come into his own, in recent years. (For a while there he was perceived as Justice Scalia’s shadow.) Thanks to Patricia Evans for sharing:


This cartoon post is about drawing, actually, but it’s relevant…When I get halfway through writing something and realize that I’m bored, I take that as an indication that other people might agree that it’s boring. It might need revising, or re-thinking, or recycling into the compost of my mind.

This, of course, is a useful policy only for the more “creative” type of writing. Fiction readers might not want to read a story about a four-year-old watching baby chickens scratch in the yard. Blog readers might not want to read a post about an old textbook I have for sale, even though somewhere out there is somebody who used that book in college, lost or sold it, misses it, and wants it back. But no matter how boring a post about reviews of baby buggies on Amazon may be, the only reason why I started to write such a thing is that somebody out there is paying for it. So, while trusting my intuition that most people would agree with me that that post is painfully boring, I just push on and finish it…and the handful of people who wanted it to be written are delighted.

Now about grammar…I saw another example of comma confusion more recently. Apparently a Catholic author wanted to dedicate a book to three separate sources of inspiration, and had been taught that it’s acceptable to omit the comma before “and” or “or” in a list that ends with an “and” or “or” phrase. So the book was dedicated “To my parents, the Pope and Mother Teresa.” (I’ve not seen the book, but have read reports that it was printed that way.)


Book Review: A Creative Companion

A Fair Trade Book

Title: A Creative Companion

Author: SARK (Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy)

Author’s web site:

Date: 1991

Publisher: Celestial Arts

ISBN: 0-89087-651-7

Length: 80 pages

Illustrations: drawings on almost every page, some in color

Quote: “It is good to read this book lying down, because that is how it was written.”

Like other SARK books, this one is a collection of calligraphy and cartoons, plus poems, quotes, a few photos, an occasional story. SARK lives in, for, with, and of creativity. Her brooks are wacky, goofy, intimate, inspiring, and fun guides for fellow artists.

This one tells us how to shake loose our creative blocks and build castles with them. You’ve probably heard of unblocking yourself by working with your less dominant hand, talking to someone much older or younger than you, or taking a long brisk walk. These techniques work, and SARK tells us about them, but she knows goofier ones too.

“Lying down” and “naps” are mentioned often, for a reason. Sleep deprivation is known to cause that “blocked” feeling. On the other hand, when creative people give our bodies the rest they need, they reward us with inspiring dreams.

When you’re rested, alert, and ready to write or draw, A Creative Companion offers lots of simple, affordable brain teasers to get you started. Some pages are left partly blank to encourage you to answer questions and fill in decorations. Five pages contain scaled-down versions of SARK’s original calligraphy posters; some of the black-and-white pages are suitable for photocopying, enlarging, and embellishing so that you become SARK’s “creative companion” in finishing the posters. (Attention any plagiarists who know how to read: SARK’s style is quite distinctive—if you tried selling these posters as your own, they’d be recognized.)

There are some artistic problems A Creative Companion won’t help you solve, such as thinking of something fresh or original to say on a topic a commercial sponsor has requested…but these techniques will go a long way.

SARK is alive and well and fundraising to help pay for expenses related to her partner’s cancer treatment. If you can possibly afford it, buy her books (this one and as many others as possible) new from to show respect. A Creative Companion is widely available secondhand, so I can resell clean used copies as Fair Trade Books for the usual $5 per book + $5 per package, from which SARK or a charity of her choice will receive $1. But check first; you might find as good a price there.

Book review cat, courtesy of Morguefile:

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