Category Archives: Commentary

Opinion or analysis concerning whatever’s on my mind.

Make Us Better. Great’s Gone

From the confines of a rural burrow (!) in a republic reeling from 4 years of accelerated decline, the notion of national greatness has the consistency of a heat mirage. Still, it comes as a shock, amid a pandemic, that … Continue reading

Posted in Commentary, Quotations | Tagged | Leave a comment

Ether, Either, Eater

I’ve had a unique opportunity to parley with a friend over how the intervocalic “d” sounds in Spanish word endings such as “-ado,” “-edo,” “-ido,” “-odo,” and “-udo.” English-speaking students of Spanish will tend to say such endings with the … Continue reading

Posted in Commentary | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Shiny Objects and Hot Takes

When I re-read my EthicalDative posts at a later date they often seem overly arch or frivolous — less trenchant and cleansing than they felt at the moment of posting. “Stale” is the word to describe them, I suppose, with … Continue reading

Posted in Commentary, Quotations | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dada Besmirched

It is radical in its inanity, a legislative chamber designed by dadaists. No, Ezra Klein! Comparing the U.S. Senate to a Dada design sullies Dada and its legacy. There’s a better comparison elsewhere in Klein’s essay: In 2012, Steven Teles, … Continue reading

Posted in Commentary, Quotations | Tagged , | Leave a comment

‘Certitudes’

This is the Cubist revolution: Here, for the first time in Western art since the Renaissance, the world as we see it no longer has primacy. The picture is no longer an act of perception. It’s an act of imagination, … Continue reading

Posted in Commentary, Quotations | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Away with Wayward Words!

In a dispute with the EU, AstraZeneca’s CEO insists their contract requires only “best reasonable efforts” to meet delivery schedules. Lawyers disagreed over the language of the E.U. contract, which was only partly made public.(Steven Erlanger and Matina Stevis-Gridneff, “E.U. … Continue reading

Posted in Commentary, Quotations | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Style Is Character’

Didion once wrote, “Style is character…” Rhetorically, a “this is that” assertion that plops two abstractions around a copulative can be a facile expedient for simulating profundity. Nathan Heller comments that Didion’s observation about style has to do with “the … Continue reading

Posted in Commentary, Quotations | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Symphony of Tufts and Touches’

How is this doggyphile and wannabe painter not to love the rendition of a master? The art expert Frédérick Chanoit said the painting, measuring 32.5cm by 24.5cm, had been produced in 20 minutes and is an example of Manet’s technical … Continue reading

Posted in Commentary, Quotations | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Cruzifer

I’ve sometimes wondered what was meant by American “exceptionalism.” The term had a ring of smug superiority to it. A recent article by Adam Gopnik in The New Yorker broadened my perspective, however. Gopnik pointed out that autocracy has been … Continue reading

Posted in Commentary | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Transitioning

(c) 2020 JMN

Posted in Commentary | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment