Wedneday: Hili dialogue

It is, as we vulgar Americans call it, “Hump Day”, referring to the peak of the work week, after which the days are downhill till the weekend. It’s Wednesday, July 26, 2017. It’s also “National Bagelfest,” so if you can, have a bagel with a schmear and some nice lox. Sadly, the small, chewy bagels of yore have been greatly debased. Now one gets donut-shaped Wonder Bread: giant squishy pillows of floury fluff lacking the density and bite of a proper bagel. Things fall apart; the center is a hole.

Political news: at a rally in Ohio, Trump defended his odd style of governing with his characteristic hubris, saying this:

“It is much easier to act presidential than what we are doing here tonight, believe me,” Trump said. “With the exception of the late, great Abraham Lincoln, I can be more presidential than any president that’s ever held this office.”


Finally, many religious and right-wing websites have gone after me for suggesting in a post that we should consider euthanizing newborn children who are doomed to a short and painful existence due to disease and deformity. I am following philosopher Peter Singer here, but there are those who think the suffering of terminally afflicted or severely deformed children should be prolonged because, after all, humans have souls, unlike the dogs and cats we euthanize to end their sufferings. I’ll write more on this later, as it’s a complex topic, but here’s Breitbart‘s attack on me (this is one of about a dozen I’ve seen).  Am I famous now?

On this day in 1745, the very first women’s cricket match was played near Guildford, England. In 1882, Wagner’s opera Parsifal premiered in Bayreuth, and in 1908, the agency that was the forerunner of the FBI, the “Office of the Chief Examiner,” was founded.  On July 26, 1945, the results of the July 5 British General Election were announced: it was a big victory for Labour and meant that PM Winston Churchill was removed from power. (He later became PM again.) How could they do that to a man who had done so much for England in wartime? On this day in 1948, Harry Truman signed an Executive Order that desegregated the U.S. armed forces, and in 1953, Castro’s first attack of the Cuban Revolution took place. On July 25, 1977, the National Assembly of Quebec made French the official language of the provincial government. And exactly one year ago today, Hillary Clinton became the first female Presidential candidate of any major party when she was nominated in Philadelphia. What a great pity she lost!

Notables born on this day include George Bernard Shaw (1856), Carl Jung (1875), George Grosz (1893), Aldous Huxley (1894), James “Gaia” Lovelock (1919; he’s 98 today), Mick Jagger (1943), Helen Mirren (1945), Dorothy Hamill (1956), Kevin Spacey (1959), Sandra Bullock (1964), and Kate Beckensale (1973). Here’s a nice Grosz:

George Grosz, Daum marries her pedantic automaton George in May 1920, John Heartfield is very glad of it, Berlinische Galerie

Those who died on July 26 include Sam Houston (1863), the great cartoonist Winsor McCay (1934), Eva Perón (1952), Diane Arbus (1971), and Merce Cunningham (2009). McCay produced one of the greatest comic strips of all time, Little Nemo, and it’s worth getting a book of these colored and surrealistic dream fantasies (I have one). They’re too detailed to reproduce here, but check this link.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili appears to be talking about gods, but since she’s an Atheist Cat, she really means “the laws of physics”:

Hili: I’m watching.
A: Watching what?
Hili: What Providence has up its sleeve.
In Polish:
Hili: Przyglądam się.
Ja: Czemu?
Hili: Co opatrzność ma w zanadrzu.

Finally, here is Bongo, one of Gus’s predecessors and a beloved cat of Taskin. Sadly, Bongo is long gone, but she was a lovely moggie:



  1. Posted July 26, 2017 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    On July 26, 1945, the results of the July 5 British General Election were announced: it was a big victory for Labour and meant that PM Winston Churchill was removed from Power. How could they do that to a man who had done so much for England in wartime?

    The war in Europe was over. The war in the Pacific was a long way away and also in its final act. I suspect people just wanted a fresh start. The slogan of the winning Labour party during the campaign was “Cheer Churchill. Vote Labour”.

    Also, a minor nitpick: Churchill did so much for the whole UK, not just England.

    • Posted July 26, 2017 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      Agreed, and not just the UK!!!

    • Posted July 26, 2017 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      I recently completed some of the volumes of William Shirer’s memoirs of the 20th century.

      His feeling (as a politically very liberal person) was that the voters of the UK were tired of the entitled, arrogant, centuries-long domination of the UK by the wealthy and powerful. Stick a thumb in their eye! (Maybe even a parallel with the Drumpf success on 8-Nov-2016.)

      • chris moffatt
        Posted July 26, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

        I remember those very sentiments being expressed by my uncle (RN – arctic convoys & D-Day)when I was a very young person. Many considered they were fighting as much as anything to get rid of the prewar status quo – depression, unemployment, low wages, low living standards (Road to Wigan Pier anyone?). Changing it was put on hold for “the duration” but when they all came back to vote they were happy to toss the tories out including Churchill, who was “one of them”.

  2. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 26, 2017 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    “Things fall apart; the center is a hole.”

    Nice Yeats allusion, boss. Mere anarchy is loxed upon the world.

    • pdmanson
      Posted July 26, 2017 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      I like it – very erudite. But …
      My first thought was the Chinua Achebe novel, ‘Things Fall Apart’. Given it was published in 1958, and ‘The Second Coming’ in 1920, is Achebe guilty of cultural appropriation?

  3. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted July 26, 2017 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Little Nemo – a Taschen copy at my library! Looking forward to it!

  4. Posted July 26, 2017 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure where to post this, but watch the cats in this video.

    Aside from the cooking skills Jun has, he involves the cats in the cooking process.

    There is a whole series of videos – many with the cats.

  5. Posted July 26, 2017 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Nice concept.

  6. Randy schenck
    Posted July 26, 2017 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    The only comparison between Abe Lincoln and Donald Trump is that both were President in the Republican party, although vastly different parties for sure. Lincoln was the first and by far the greatest while Trump, with a little luck may be second to last.

    • bric
      Posted July 26, 2017 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      I was impressed that P45 knew Lincoln was dead

  7. Nicholas K.
    Posted July 26, 2017 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Well, we vulgar Americans may snicker at “Hump day.” But I still laugh at that Geico commercial with the camel. Fun stuff.

  8. DrBrydon
    Posted July 26, 2017 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    I invite Mr. Trump to prove us all wrong, and start acting presidential. Like the scorpian, I am afraid it’s not in his nature.

  9. Posted July 26, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Congrats on being attacked by Brietbart. The assault of clowns speaks for itself.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted July 26, 2017 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Yes, the avoidance of great pain and suffering is very ung*dly.

  10. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted July 26, 2017 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    The premiere of Wagner’s Parsival was ironically conducted by Jewish conductor Hermann Levi, son of a rabbi, and longtime friend of RW.

    Some sources claim Wagner objected and wanted Levi to be baptized before conducting, though this is disputed.

    IMO, unlike “Gotterdamerung”, “Parsival” does not earn its 6 hour length, 3 2-hour acts. You could cut Act I down to 45 minutes, and lose little.

    • bric
      Posted July 26, 2017 at 10:26 am | Permalink


  11. Fernando Peregrin
    Posted July 26, 2017 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    As Spain celebrates Grandparents Day, The Local takes a look at what makes Spanish ‘abuelos’ so special…

    7 reasons why grandparents in Spain are simply the best
    With pride of a Spanish ‘abuelo’ (grandfather)

    My oldest grandson (nine years old) speaks to me from the top of the Burj Khalifa tower (Dubai) and tells me with great joke, “Grandpère, now that I am closer to God than you, do you want me to tell him something from you ? “

    • Diane G.
      Posted July 28, 2017 at 2:09 am | Permalink

      “7 reasons why grandparents in Spain are simply the best”

      I did not expect one of them to be, “they swear a lot.” 😀 (I qualify on that count.)

  12. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Just got the Taschen Little Nemo book (ISBN 978-3-8365-6310-9) from the library – its enormous! So much fun to look at. I think It’s supposed to be just like if you had the newspaper in front of you. If you can get a peek at this book, do it – such a treat!

    Thanks for writing about this!

    … mostly I nrelated : I just got another book to share with Diane G., but the comments for the relevant WEIT post from May, 2017 are now off : J. Allan Hobson interview about sleep, in “Q & A : Conversations With Harvard Scholars” p. 233-240, ISBN 0-674-74009-9, Harvard University Press. Hopefully that helps.

    • Diane G.
      Posted August 28, 2017 at 2:38 am | Permalink

      Hi Thy! Could you possibly provide a link to said thread? My memory is like a steel sieve…

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