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The week began with the forgotten Josiah Mitchell Morse, (who as of May 14 has been granted his Wikipedia page) and ends with the very few sentences from his typewriter that are remembered online. The first is a bonbon, a letter Morse wrote to the New York Times, in 1989:
To the Editor:
Here is a true story about Samuel Beckett that is not in any of the many books about him.
In the summer of 1971 a student of mine at Temple University went to Europe without taking along enough money. When he was down to his last few centimes, walking along a Paris street, wondering what to do, he saw Samuel Beckett coming toward him…(continued)
And the second (and, sadly, last) came to my attention via the gracious David Lull. It is a brief sermonlet that begins:
Ayenbite of inwit [Remorse of Conscience], a popular fourteenth-century handbook of virtues and vices, says we don’t sin unless we first consent to sin. It refers specifically to sexual sin, and to conscious decision. But the sins of the mind are more subtle, and the decision is not necessarily conscious. Our inner labyrinths are in so devious that often when we sin intellectually we think we are making a decision for virtue…
More from Wyatt Mason:
Conversation — October 2, 2015, 8:26 am
“By committing to the great emotional extremes demanded by Greek tragedy,” says Bryan Doerries, author of The Theater of War, “the actors are in effect saying to the audience: ‘If you want to match our emotional intensity, that would be fine.’”
Freddie Gray’s relatives arrived for the trial in the afternoon, after the prep-school kids had left. By their dress, they seemed to have just gotten off work in the medical and clerical fields. The family did not appear at ease in the courtroom. They winced and dropped their heads as William Porter and his fellow officer Zachary Novak testified to opening the doors of their police van last April and finding Freddie paralyzed, unresponsive, with mucus pooling at his mouth and nose. Four women and one man mournfully listened as the officers described needing to get gloves before they could touch him.
The first of six Baltimore police officers to be brought before the court for their treatment of Freddie Gray, a black twenty-five-year-old whose death in their custody was the immediate cause of the city’s uprising last spring, William Porter is young, black, and on trial. Here in this courtroom, in this city, in this nation, race and the future seem so intertwined as to be the same thing.
Average speed of Heinz ketchup, from the mouth of an upended bottle, in miles per year:
After studying the fall of 64,000 individual raindrops, scientists found that some small raindrops fall faster than they ought to.
The Playboy mansion in California was bought by the heir to the Twinkie fortune, and a New Mexico man set fire to his apartment to protest his neighbors’ loud lovemaking.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”