6 am/5:31, 69/86. The Almanac notes two notable events on this date in 1867: the launch of Mark Twain’s unprecedented transatlantic pleasure cruise (which eventuated in Innocents Abroad) and the birth of Spinozist architect Frank Lloyd Wright. “I believe in [a god] but I spell it ‘n-a-t-u-r-e’… Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.”
It’s also the birthday of Francis Crick, who thought he and his partner Watson co-discovered “the secret of life.” DNA was a secret, or at least mystery. It’s not the whole story, nor is it a god. But the double helix explains a lot.
But back to Twain, and a reminder to get busy soon knocking out that Study Abroad syllabus: “The gentle reader will never, never know what a consummate ass he can become, until he goes abroad.”
And, before I go abroad on my morning walk, a reminder to myself to see Tomorrowland, a new Disney film about the retro future that most critics are complaining is too heavy-handedly insistent with its message. (“Be optimistic, damnit!”) Older Daughter and I shared a ride into the lovely and desolate rural countryside south of here on our way to “Decoration” at the cemetery yesterday, listening to some of them in a spirited podcast discussion of Tomorrowland. I taught a course a few years ago called “The Future of Life,” the topic’s always been a personal obsession. “Don’t stop thinkin’ about tomorrow,” don’t forget to find happiness in the present too… and notice how we tend to misrepresent the past in ways that mirror our mistakes about the future. More on this after I’ve seen the show.
Cards beat the Dodgers last night. That’s a propos of nothing, really. I just mention it because it makes me happy. 38-19, not a bad W-L ratio.
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