Recently, one of those who regularly posts comments on this blog said that he sometimes could not understand what I was trying to say. Well, there has been a lot of that going around lately and I have been a bit worried about it.
But on Sunday, in The New York Times Week in Review section, an article about the literary critic and scholar Richard Poirier, who died this month at the age of 83, put my worries to flight.
The author of the piece, Alexander Star, wrote: ".... Mr. Poirier's most important contribution came in his criticism, which tried to convey why the act of reading is - and should be - so difficult. The most powerful works of literature, he insisted, offer "a fairly direct access to pleasure" but become "on longer acquaintance, rather strange and imponderable." Even as readers try to pin down what a writer means, the best authors try to elude them, using all the resources of sound, rhythm and syntax to defeat any straightforward account of what they are doing."
Yes, yes, that's it! That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.
And now for the most disheartening story with the most ridiculous suggestion in the Post-Gazette this morning: "Rendition of Terrorism Suspects to Include Monitoring for Abuse."
This New York Times story by David Johnston began thusly:
"WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration will continue the Bush administration's practice of sending terror suspects to third countries for detention and interrogation, but pledges to closely monitor their treatment to ensure that they are not tortured, administration officials said yesterday."
Oh sure, those foreign torturers are renowned for their honesty.
Sometimes I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I do know that somewhere Dick Cheney is smiling.
A note to my contributors:
I am sorry to say, Mr. (or Ms) The Scarletpumpernickel, but I cannot divulge too much I learn at the better class of cocktail parties. Yes, I can confirm that wieners are present but they deserve their privacy. It's a matter of protecting my sources and sauces. I do hope you understand.
Mr. Toadsley: Do not believe the rumors about kookaburras. They are a most agreeable bird and are known in Oz as the "Laughing Jackass" because of their distinctive laugh, which fills the trees with gales of mirth, especially at dawn and sundown. In fact, they are only bird I can get a laugh out of. Some of the tough old birds that flock here are harder to amuse.
Also, I believe that you asked about the Laundramutt in Sewickley (Edgeworth really). I am a satisfied customer. This establishment has several times put my faithful hound Sooner through the wash.