Growing up, one of my favorite magazines -- my favorite and that of virtually every other boy I knew -- was Mad Magazine. I loved it's take-off of television shows ("Loused Up in Space"), the Spy vs, Spy cartoon, the ads, all of it -- it was perfect for appealing to the immature, juvenile mind. And the iconic figure always to be found portrayed somewhere (usually the cover) was Alfred E. Neuman. As it turns out, Alfred is turning 60 this year, and may actually date to the 1890s. The Paris Review (of all publications) gives us the scoop.
I wonder if Alfred would consider running for President.
The BBC has some wonderful photographs by poet Edward Thomas, taken in a bicycling tour in England in 1913. Thomas, one of the famous World War I poets, and a friend of Robert Frost, died in the Battle of Arras in 1917.
Did you think you could tell the history of the English language in five words? Professor Simon Horobin of Oxford gives it a try.
And art, more photography, poetry, sobering stories on politics, Walmart, Wendell Berry, and the Piano Guys mashing up Adele and Mozart.
Art and Photography
Newly discovered photos by poet Edward Thomas – Phil Coomes at BBC.
Bryant Woods Spring – oil on canvas by Randall David Tipton at Painter’s Process.
At Birdhaven – Tim Good at Poems, Pics, and Ponderings.
Lifting a Glass: An old Kentucky distillery – Sarah Hoskins at Oxford American.
Life and Culture
A boy with no birthday turns 60 (Alfred E. Neuman) – Paris Review.
“You can see it all over. It’s unwinding.” – Rod Dreher at American Conservative Magazine.
Lost and Saved on Television – Ross Douthat at First Things.
What Happens When Walmart Dumps You – Joel Kotkin at The Daily Beast.
Nature’s Leadership Ways – Jon Mertz at Thin Difference.
5 ways I break out of my introversion when needed – Ron Edmondson.
Mary Oliver – D.S. Martin at Kingdom Poets.
Five Haiku for Spring in Washington, D.C. – Maureen Doallas at Writing Without Paper.
When You’re Afraid, Focus on the Process – Mick Silva.
Through Wendell Berry’s Looking Glass – Gracy Olmstead at American Conservative.
The history of English can be explained in five words – Simon Horobin at Quartz.
Grace on Its Knees – Lynn Mosher.
Why the More Things Change, They Really Don’t Stay the Same – Michelle DeRusha at Graceful.
The Piano Guys: Adele (Hello) and Mozart (Lacrimosa)
Painting: Leopoldine Hugo (daughter of Victor) by Auguste de Chatillon (1835); Maison de Victor Hugo, Paris.