Each year, the British monarch opens parliament with a speech. Once seated in the House of Lords, he or she sends “Black Rod” to summon the members of the House of Commons. As Black Rod approaches the House of Common, the door is slammed in before him to symbolize the independence of the House of Commons. He must knock to be allowed in. (This stems from 1642, when King Charles I stormed into the House of Commons in an unsuccessful attempt to arrest the five members for treason. Since that time, no British monarch has entered the House of Commons when it is meeting.) Did you know that the President of the United States must be invited to Congress to give his State of the Union Address? Some are suggesting that Congress make a not so subtle statement about the separation of powers next year by making President Obama give his speech somewhere else. Though it would be an unprecedented congressional response to unprecedented presidential acts, such symbolic protests to usurpations are not without precedent in our Anglo-American tradition.
Country Poetry November 19, 2014
Country music is not my favorite genre, but I find that it’s the most fertile field for well-written lyrics. Today I heard a fine example in Travis Tritt’s 1996 song, “Where the Corn Don’t Grow“:
Garfield’s Halloween Special October 31, 2014
This is one of my favorite Halloween memories. It was a very formative cartoon for me. Still to this day, as a rule, whenever I get frightened by something, I run at least five laps around it before darting away in terror.
I wish I could have interviewed that 110 year-old-man while he was still alive. I’m sure he had some great stories about the Pirate Wars of 1885. I would have liked to ask him why he was hanging-out in the cabin that Halloween night if he didn’t want to stay there until the pirate-ghosts arrived. Perhaps he was a castaway and the serendipitous arrival of Garfield and Odie’s boat was his first chance to escape that isolated river-island. Or perhaps he was oath-bound to protect the treasure (like the knight in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade) until his former crewmates returned. I wonder how those pirate-ghosts ended up spending all that treasure.
Comparing Deals – Shrewd Stewardship October 26, 2014
My new video could save you money for the rest of your life.
Context Clues September 17, 2014
I didn’t know what “Context Clues” were, but this helped me to figure it out. Word.