Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Missing the old NAACP

Dear Hannah,

Sometimes when you tell an old joke the joke is on you.  Some jokes are so relevant that they have to be told until the end of all time.  Such are jokes about easy moms* and mothers-in-law, and when you tell a good one you can join the ranks of Cicero.  But there's no such thing as a joke about a great grandmother-in-law.  You don't go back in time.  You either target the mother-in-law or you leave it alone.  You can say you just shot a bear in your underpants and then question how the bear got there in the first place.  What you can't do is tell that joke to an old person.  You have to start with kids or the whole thing is lost.

Monday, May 29, 2017


Dear Son,

Before I knew anything about Augustine I read City of God.  I'd heard that it was written by someone called a father in a religion where we were commanded by the Founder to not call anyone a father except our Father in Heaven; and although I hadn't any knowledge about Augustine as a person, I was told that it was written because Rome had fallen to the barbarians.  I picked it up and read all thousand pages.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

On wudu

Dear Hannah,

The concept of breaking wudu is a singular development of the Muslim religion.  It may be defined as follows.
Wudu, or ablution, is both a traditional ritual and a practical means by which Muslims seek to maintain good physical and spiritual hygiene. Traditionally, Wudu refers to the mental preparation and physical cleanliness of Muslims for the Salat (prayer), one of the Five Pillars of Islam