The Wednesday Curator – 12/30/2015

December 29, 2015

Curating, for anyone who has not focused on the word, is the act of selecting, organizing, and presenting content. I rely most heavily on the mainstream media, but I wander on occasion. With that introduction, the first selection for the last week of 2015 is a photo, taken from a stopped position at an intersection:


In the spirit of the back page of the New Yorker, the Wednesday Curator is having a caption contest. Post your caption here or on Facebook by 10 p.m., Tucson time, on Monday, January 4, 2016. The winner—Curator’s call—gets one of my Whole Wheat Lemon Pound Cakes. Here’s a picture:


Two worthy pieces caught my eye, both about know-nothings who want to be POTUS. Ben Carson Needs to Get Over Himself by Jim Newell for Slate on December 28 delves into the sense of entitlement which seeps out of every pore of the Dr. Ben Carson for President campaign. And John Cassidy’s same day piece for the New Yorker, Donald Trump Isn’t a Fascist; He’s a Media-Savvy Know-Nothing, focuses on the know-nothing whose welcome hasn’t worn thin yet. Soon, we’ll be posting an essay which explores why people are attracted to this sort of stupid. For now, though, it’s worth remembering, always, that the Carsons and the Trumps of the political world are nobodies without followers.

The weather has been all askew of late. Cold where it should be warm, vice-versa, and miserable in too many places. Frankly, though, it’s easy to see it as merely inconvenient. Reading The Storm That Will Unfreeze the North Pole by Robinson Meyer for The Atlantic brings the situation into focus. And for those who say “prove the connection”—Mr. Meyer notes the fact that “institutional science will take years, if not decades, to confirm a correlation between human-forced climate change and strong North Atlantic storms”—I fall back on words written years ago in A Life At 50-Ish:

What if they’re right? What if the Prius drivers–the very same people who hug trees, hate money, despise God, loath progress, bash the good old US of A, avoid taxes, eat granola, detest freedom and drink white wine (you know, your basic liberals)– are right? What if we’ve created a giant oven and are baking ourselves to a crisp? Does anyone want to wait around for the finished product? To learn in 50 years or so that increasing temperatures and rising sea levels weren’t just another climate cycle?

I go straight to the New York Times obituary page every morning. I’m not morbid, and in those rare instances where the passing gets close to me, I will find myself grieving in the normal way. So why do I go? The lives. They fascinate me. And what reaches me most deeply is the annual The Lives They Lived issue of the Sunday magazine, published this year on December 20. The editors focus on an amazing mix of people, some famous, some not, and many “almost-.” Definitely a must read!

From the food desk—you didn’t think you were only going to get cake, and only a picture at that—here’s Just Desserts by Katy Vine for the January 2016 issue of Texas Monthly. More cake, yes, but what you’re really getting is a story about thievery at Collin Street Bakery, the world’s most famous fruitcake factory.

Happy New Year! May you enjoy, health, happiness and prosperity in 2016!

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