TV America Breaks News

Talky talky head head, talky head, talky head.

Heady heady talk talk, heady talk, heady talk.

Talky head, talky head, screeny fully talky head.

Heady talk, heady talk, fully screeny heady talk.

Repeaty-peat, repeaty-peat, peat-peat, repeaty,

Peat-repeaty peat-peat, peaty-peaty poot.

(c) 2019 JMN

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Parting Looks Video

Video by For information: Rox Slaughter, 361-571-1926. (c) 2019 JMN

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“Bid for Connection”


Jorge Luis Borges. Credit Charles H. Phillips/The LIFE Picture Collection, via Getty Images.

Frank Bruni has written about his personal confrontation with potential loss of vision. In this column he writes of Joel Burcat, an environmental lawyer who has published a debut novel, “Drink to Every Beast,” after becoming legally blind. Bruni celebrates other authors who were blind or partially so, including James Joyce, James Thurber, John Milton, and Jorge Luis Borges.

[Burcat’s] words remind and comfort me, as I contemplate my own uncertain future, that writing isn’t an act of stenography. It’s a bid for connection. A search for meaning. Oliver Sacks said it well in “The Mind’s Eye,” a book inspired by his partial loss of vision: “Language, that most human invention, can enable what, in principle, should not be possible. It can allow all of us, even the congenitally blind, to see with another person’s eyes.”

(Frank Bruni, “Writing With Your Eyes Closed,” NYTimes, 7-6-19)

(c) 2019 JMN

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Amazing Apology


By T. Sulman – Martin, Bernard (1950), John Newton: A Biography, William Heineman, Ltd., illustration between pages 222 and 223., Public Domain,

The man who wrote the words of “Amazing Grace” was a reformed English slave trader. He wrote the following:

“I am bound in conscience to take shame to myself by a public confession which, however sincere, comes too late to prevent or repair the misery and mischief to which I have formally been an accessory.” (John Newton, 1788)

It’s the most abject, poignant, unvarnished, soul-baring, unsparing, uncowardly and realistic apology uttered by mortal man that I have encountered. The moist evasions drooled through clenched teeth by today’s “men” reek of slobber by comparison. A world in which “I’m sorry that you were offended” is the excuse for so much offense is a sorry world.

If there’s a heaven, I hope John Newton looks down from it. Our misery and mischief are enduring, but his words were an atonement.

(c) 2019 JMN

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The Saving Grace of Dinghies


Photo illustration by Susan Derges.

I have had a soft spot in my heart for the humble dinghy since boyhood. At age 14 I ordered the plans for building a one-design sailing dinghy called the El Toro. Regrettably I never got the thing built, but I kept the plans for years. This essay on dinghy rowing by Heidi Julavits is sweet, clever, lyrical — a modest gem, like a dinghy.

Dinghies… demand humility, as well as a basic grasp of buoyancy and physics… They become unstable when incompetent, rash or hubristic people get into them…

Learning to row a dinghy requires surrendering to the illogical: You need to first accept the seemingly counterproductive fact that to move the dinghy forward, you have to face backward…

… Rowing provides an opportunity to regularly identify and assess my imbalances, many of them a result of years of unthinking behavior… You must learn to always correct for them…

Mornings are best, before the wind picks up, because the water is glassy and promotes reflection. You can ask yourself hard questions about everything as you watch your past recede… What awaits you, you cannot see. With the help of a rock or a tree, however, you can take aim. You can reassure yourself: This is not your last chance to get it right.

(Heidi Julavits, “Letter of Recommendation: Dinghy Rowing,” NYTimes, 7-3-19)

(c) 2019 JMN

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Art… (and Love)

milton glaser

Milton Glaser.

“Art and making things — particularly making things — are essential to our salvation,” [Milton Glaser] said. “I come to work every day and I sit down and I feel so happy, because I’m capable of taking something that exists in my mind and making it a physical thing. Whether it’s good or bad or art or not is irrelevant. But the act of doing it has kept my brain intact. I always say that retirement is this horrible conspiracy to prevent people from being alive. My God, who invented that?”

(John Leland, “Why This Famous Graphic Designer, at 90, Still ♥s NY,” NYTimes, 7-4-19)

(c) 2019 JMN

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Patrician Passion With an Accent

vita virginia

Unafraid of mockery … Gemma Arterton, left, and Elizabeth Debicki in Vita & Virginia. Photograph: Piccadilly Pictures/Allstar.

The drama – featuring the kind of flat, chirruping upper-middle-class English accents that aren’t usually voiced on screen – is intriguing and uncompromisingly high-minded, right on the laugh-with/laugh-at borderline, but interestingly unafraid of mockery.

(Peter Bradshaw, “Vita & Virginia review – a hothouse of patrician passion,” The Guardian, 7-4-19)

Talk more about the accent, please.

(c) 2019 JMN

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