Sept. 29 was the day known in the Anglican church calendar as Michaelmas; if you’ve ever wondered with the fall term of study at Oxford was called the Michaelmas term, the date is the reason. It’s the day for St. Michael, who in the Book of Revelation leads God’s armies against Satan (and wins). Malcolm Guite has a sonnet for St. Michael the Archangel, and poet Brendan MacOdrum has a poem about “circuiting” Michaelmas.
The New York Times made waves this past spring for its Sunday magazine edition devoted to the 1619 Project. The former journalist who is head of the project received a Pulitzer Prize for commentary for the effort. But something has happened since then. Now the Times is quietly (and without comment or explanation) editing out the controversial statements in the magazine, and the founder is scrubbing her tweets on Twitter. There’s a name for this – stealth-editing – and newspapers do it more frequently than we realize. Jonah Goldberg has the story on the Times. And the organization Black Lives Matter has removed its “What We Believe” page, also without explanation or comment.
When people look for comparisons to the COVID-19 pandemic, inevitably what comes up is the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918-19, in which anywhere from 18 million to 100 million people died, depending upon whose study and projections you cite. Few if any people refer to two events in more recent memory – the flu epidemics of 1957 and 1968. In both, far more people died than the deaths associated (so far) with COVID. Both also originated in China. Vaclav Smil at IEEE Spectrum explores why we seem to lack any memory of those two pandemics.
More Good Reads
Jubilee Gardens and the World’s Longest Safety Poster – A London Inheritance.
Battle of the bells and the boutique hotel – Charles Saumarez Smith at The Critic Magazine.
Life and Culture
The Hippie of the Long Gray Hair – Jerry Barrett at Gerald the Writer.
No One Believes in Social Injustice – Tim Challies.
How algorithms discern our mood from what we write online – Dave Mackenzie at Knowable Magazine.
The Language of Privilege – Nicholas Clairmont at Tablet Magazine.
Is Critical Race Theory Racist? – Gary Houchens at The Imaginative Conservative.
They Came for the Tweeting Cyclist – Rod Dreher At American Conservative.
Beyond This Divide – Tony Conran at Kingdom Poets (D.S. Martin).
'The poems I remember are the milestones marking the journey of my life' – Clive James at The Guardian.
The ruins of the future – Seth Lewis.
Shakespearean Lore and Order: ‘All the Sonnets of Shakespeare’ – David Womersley at The Critic Magazine.
An Interview with A.M. Juster – Trinity House Review.
Can democracy survive the internet? – Jack Davies at Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Writing and Literature
The Wobbly Chronology of Disenchantment – Haley Stewart at Church Life Journal.
Stop Eulogizing the Local Church – Craig Thompson.
Why Should We Be Generous – Joel Morris at Tabletalk.
A Casket and a Bible – Tim Challies.
I Am the Rose of Sharon by William Billings – Voices of Ascension
Painting: Reading in the Garden, oil on canvas by Susan Ricker Knox (1874-1959).