Three New Poem Drafts and Three Poem Re-Drafts
10 hours ago
Where Religion, Philosophy and Demographics Meet
You may know her as the bright-eyed Victorian beauty popularized by the American Girl series, but by 1912 Samantha Parkington was a seductive 18-year-old heiress traveling home from her European Grand Tour. Educated, liberated, and uninhibited, she had turned heads across the continent, but not until the voyage home did she meet her match in the capable arms of the son of the 15th Duke of Denver, 22-year-old Lord Peter Wimsey. (Peter, a recent Oxford graduate, has been sent to America by his uncle to forget the flighty but beautiful Barbara.) The ship on which their passions ignite? A vessel as immense as their desires, the majestic, unsinkable Titanic.
Further development from the comments:
Lord Peter puts the ladies in a lifeboat, but Samantha gets out to rescue steerage passengers because she's a crusader and doesn't believe in steerage. (Samantha's aunt was also liberated; hence the lack of oversight.) Peter jumps off the ship and ends up standing on top of an upside down lifeboat (historically accurate: Collapsible B), while Samantha dies because I say so.
While he could manage a stunning turnaround, at the moment Trump seems to have put together one of the worst presidential campaigns in history. Let’s take a look at all the major disadvantages Trump faces as we head toward the conventions:
A skeletal campaign staff. Trump succeeded in the primaries with a small staff whose job was to do little more than stage rallies. But running a national campaign is hugely more complex than barnstorming from one state to the next during primaries. While the Clinton campaign has built an infrastructure of hundreds of operatives performing the variety of tasks a modern presidential campaign requires, the Trump campaign “estimates it currently has about 30 paid staff on the ground across the country,” a comically small number.
Not enough money, and little inclination to raise it. Trump hasn’t raised much money yet, and he doesn’t seem inclined to do so; according to one report, after telling Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus that he’d call 20 large donors to make a pitch, he gave up after three. Fundraising is the least pleasant part of running for office, but unlike most candidates who suck it up and do what they have to, Trump may not be willing to spend the time dialing for dollars. Instead, he’s convinced that he can duplicate what he did in the primaries and run a low-budget campaign based on having rallies and doing TV interviews. As he told NBC’s Hallie Jackson, “I don’t think I need that money, frankly. I mean, look what we’re doing right now. This is like a commercial, right, except it’s tougher than a normal commercial.” It’s not like a commercial, because in interviews Trump gets challenged, and usually says something that makes him look foolish or dangerous. But he seems convinced that his ability to get limitless media coverage, no matter how critical that coverage is, will translate to an increase in support.
Despite raising $3.1 million and loaning himself another $2 million, Trump began this month with less than $1.3 million cash on hand.
Clinton, by comparison, raised $28 million and started off June with $42 million in cash. Bernie Sanders, with his campaign winding down, still brought in $15.6 million last month and had $9.2 million cash on hand.
Trump spent $6.7 million in May. That’s down from $9.4 million in April, but it’s actually a pretty stunning amount when you consider that he’s not advertising or building a serious field operation. So where did all the money go? Matea Gold and Anu Narayanswamy report that the campaign paid out more than $1 million to Trump-owned companies and to reimburse his own family for travel expenses. Here are some of the campaign's biggest expenditures:This lack of organization on its own is going to hurt his campaign, reducing turnout in a GOP which already includes a lot of people (myself included) who loath the presumptive nominee. But it also provides another, subtler reason not to rally round the party banner. In normal times, a vote for the Republican nominee is a vote for the party. Sure, someone like McCain or Romney had significant weaknesses, but they at least followed the rule of having a large campaign organization full of the best among GOP policy makers and operatives. You weren't just voting for the guy at the top of the ticket, you were voting for the whole organization, many of the members of which agreed with a conservative Republican like me more than the actual nominee did.
- Campaign swag and printing - $958,836: Hats, pens, T-shirts, mugs and stickers
- Air charters - $838,774: “Nearly $350,000 of the money spent on private jets went to Trump's own TAG Air.”
- Event staging and rentals - $830,482: This includes the fees for renting facilities such as the Anaheim Convention Center ($43,000) and the Fresno Convention Center ($24,715). But the biggest sum went to Trump's own Mar-A-Lago Club, which was paid $423,317. Meanwhile, the Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Florida, got $35,845, while the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Fl., was paid $29,715. And Trump’s son Eric’s wine company received nearly $4,000.
|An AR-15 can be assembled using swappable parts from many manufacturers.|
True or false:***
It is irresponsible and negligent for a parent to take a picture of his or her small child in public, especially at a crowded, dangerous place like the zoo. Every photograph of grinning, sticky-faced siblings, posing in front of the aquarium or the cat house, is evidence of the crime of child endangerment.
Well, let's think about what has to happen for a parent to take a photo of her child in public. First the parent has to let go of the child. She needs both hands to manipulate the camera or the smart phone. Then she has to step a few feet away -- maybe a dozen feet or more, certainly out of arms' reach. She has to take her eyes off her charges for long enough to select the proper settings or apps before finally locating them in the viewfinder. Once the picture is taken, she may pause to stow the camera away before returning and once again securing the child in a firm grip.
She lets go. She steps several feet away. She looks elsewhere. It is long enough.
I think we can extrapolate from the evidence (many small children at zoos, the existence of preschool educational programs at zoos) that it is widely believed (whatever some folks may think) that a zoo is a good place to take small children for a fun family outing. So to go so far as to say "well, of course you don't take a 3-y-o to a zoo, that's for older children" is, shall we say, OUTSIDE THE MAINSTREAM of thinking.
The notion that no reasonable parent would ever enter a situation where a 3-year-old might escape her notice long enough to get into serious trouble is a little more understandable, given the low amount of experience that many people have with the wide variety of three-year-olds. Most people only ever parent zero to two of them.
Some commenters who take a position closer to my own have been focusing on "It's not possible to keep your eyes on a three-year-old 100% of the time so they can't escape." I'd like to point out that we don't really WANT mothers (it's always mothers, isn't it) to do what would be necessary to prevent three-year-olds from escaping. Because we would have to do more than just watch them all the time. We would have to grip them all the time. That is why I began by having you think about picture-taking, how it is an utterly normal thing for parents of children to do at zoos, take their child's picture; and how the act of taking a picture contains within it all the possibility that allows for an escaping child.
There's this strange thing about children: they want to explore the world around them. They will pull and actively try to escape you. The zoos, along with science museums and other places that attract children, incidentally, have this odd feature (often, not always) -- they have exhibits here and there that seem to encourage children to explore the environment. "Please touch," they will have signs up for the petting zoo, or they will have fish tanks that are down near the eye level of toddlers, or they will have buttons to push and things like that. It seems almost as if the zoos.... EXPECT there to be three-year-olds with their parents, three-year-olds who are not buckled into strollers! I think the last few times I've been to the zoo I've even seen groups of preschoolers on a field trip, not with their parents, but with teachers and chaperones!
Plot is not just a sequence of connected events (in this sense, every TV drama or novel equally has a plot). It is something rarer: the unfolding of a hidden design. Plot involves the laying of clues, the implicit promise to the reader or viewer that the true significance of what we read or see is not self-evident, but will eventually be revealed. A good plot exploits not just suspense, but also a kind of retrospective curiosity. When we know that a story has a plot we find ourselves asking not so much, “What will happen next?” as, “What has already happened?” The hidden design has, we trust, been contrived by an author, so when we enjoy a plot we are enjoying being manipulated by him or her. Perhaps this is why such enjoyment has often been thought suspect.
Plot has lost its prestige. Only a few of those novelists who feature on Man Booker shortlists give us plot-reliant fiction. Those who do – such as Michael Frayn and Sarah Waters – are sometimes underrated for their skills. It is notable that Ian McEwan, a leading literary novelist who is deeply interested in plot, and in playing tricks with a reader’s expectations, has gone to spy novels for the machinery of two of his most carefully plotted novels, The Innocent and Sweet Tooth. His reader can feel confident that everything is part of a plan that pre-existed the novel. Yet this rare skill leads some critics to suspect him of chilly manipulativeness.