• My selections from our trip the Shoreview Public Library today. Looking forward to some reading time over the next few days off… but I may have overestimated just how much time I’ll have. 📚

  • DL: 270x3 OHP: 102.5x5 🏆

  • Sq: 225x6 BP: 180x3 🏆

  • Learning to play the piano without a piano 🔗🎶

    This is a remarkable story, though disappointingly brief.

  • OHP: 110x3 🏆

  • “Chelsea are back in fashion – but Roman Abramovich is out in the cold” 🔗 ⚽️

    Speaking of Chelsea FC, here’s a fascinating essay by David Conn on owner Roman Abramovich’s rise to oligarch status, purchase of the club, & influence on the EPL:

    It is a stretch now to remember how alien it was to England’s traditional football culture when Chelsea began to splurge on mostly overseas stars, funded by an owner with no previous connection to the club, to capture the game’s highest prizes. In his second season, after hiring José Mourinho and signing for him Didier Drogba, Arjen Robben, Petr Cech – and Ricardo Carvalho, Paulo Ferreira and Tiago Mendes, three Portuguese players represented by Jorge Mendes – plus several more stars and the wages to attract them, Chelsea were on their way to acquiring titles and recorded a financial loss of £141m.

  • Martin Filler on the MOMA’s expansion 🔗 🖼

    The mindset that bigger and more are preferable to less but better has incrementally eroded the average person’s ability to experience the world’s greatest collection of modern art under pleasant conditions that previous generations took for granted.

    A truth that applies to many areas of our lives in contemporary America.

    You could summarize Filler’s comprehensive review in a single word: arrogance.

  • The Poverty of Economics & The Wealth of Religions: an essay on the limits of the economic analysis of religion. Unsurprisingly, when you struggle to define the object of your analysis, the analysis isn’t particularly illuminating. 🔗

  • I’ve never like Chelsea FC—I’ve actively disliked them, in fact. But now, with Pulisic playing—playing well—and with the funny, sharp Frank Lampard managing, I’m happier to see them succeeding. And I’m certainly glad to cheer for them when they’re playing Manchester City. ⚽️

  • “Miguel Ibarra’s My Friend” ⚽️ 🔗

    He played his heart out on the pitch and quite fittingly wore his heart on his sleeve. He would often tweet inspirational quotes when it was obvious that he was struggling with not getting playing time or not playing as well as he wanted. He was a player that every fan wanted to succeed, because he made you feel like your support mattered.

    A truly moving tribute to Batman, written by my friend Wes Burdine.

  • Nothing too surprising in MNUFC’s contract-deadline-day decisions… other than the club unceremoniously cutting loose Miguel Ibarra, one of our best & longest-tenured players. At the very least, letting him go for nothing seems like bad business. ⚽️

  • Money & Government: Against Economics 🔗

    From a long, but very readable review by David Graeber of Robert Skidelsky’s new book, Money & Goverment: The Past & Future of Economics:

    Economic theory as it exists increasingly resembles a shed full of broken tools. This is not to say there are no useful insights here, but fundamentally the existing discipline is designed to solve another century’s problems. The problem of how to determine the optimal distribution of work and resources to create high levels of economic growth is simply not the same problem we are now facing: i.e., how to deal with increasing technological productivity, decreasing real demand for labor, and the effective management of care work, without also destroying the Earth. This demands a different science. The “microfoundations” of current economics are precisely what is standing in the way of this. Any new, viable science will either have to draw on the accumulated knowledge of feminism, behavioral economics, psychology, and even anthropology to come up with theories based on how people actually behave, or once again embrace the notion of emergent levels of complexity—or, most likely, both.

  • Andrew Delblanco on Rethinking the Puritans 🔗

    From a review essay in The Nation entitled (brilliantly) “Vexed and Trouble Englishmen”:

    Rodgers’s book is not only a close reading of the reception and history of Winthrop’s speech but also a rescue operation for Puritanism itself. Rather than instigating the pernicious idea of the United States as God’s most favored nation, the Puritans, he argues, were unsure of their worthiness and subjected themselves to “the moral scrutiny of the world.”

  • Wendell Berry’s essay “The Pleasures of Eating”—beautifully illustrated and with a new introduction by Alice Water—has just been republished by Emergence Magazine.

  • Two Views On Art and Politics 🔗

    Will Arbery:

    It basically boils down to a dissatisfaction with the ending, on both sides. People want a clear thesis, or they want to know what my diagnosis is. On both sides, you hear, like, Clearly, he’s still confused and doesn’t know where he falls.

    That for me is sad, because I don’t think that what they’re talking about is art. I think they’re talking about something else that I’m not interested in making.

    But I understand the temptation, on both sides. The play is dealing with things that are very timely, and there’s a lot of debate, and so you want to be able to know who wins the debate.

    I’m much more interested in what debate does to a person’s body, how it changes the air. How it turns fugues into these aggressive ways of thinking, and makes Teresa unrecognizable to her mentor. I’m so much more interested in all of those elements, rather than just giving people some answers.

    Lin-Manuel Miranda:

    At the end of the day, our job as artists is to tell the truth as we see it. If telling the truth is an inherently political act, so be it. Times may change and politics may change, but if we do our best to tell the truth as specifically as possible, time will reveal those truths and reverberate beyond the era in which we created them. We keep revisiting Shakespeare’s Macbeth because ruthless political ambition does not belong to any particular era. We keep listening to Public Enemy because systemic racism continues to rain tragedy on communities of color. We read Orwell’s 1984 and shiver at its diagnosis of doublethink, which we see coming out of the White House at this moment. And we listen to Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific, as Lieutenant Cable sings about racism, “You’ve got to be carefully taught.” It’s all art. It’s all political.

  • Hjemkomst

    Spent the morning at the Hjemkomst Center in Moorhead. It’s a history museum centered (literally) around a large ship, the Hjemkomst, built by a Moorhead man and sailed to Norway. It’s a remarkable place; we all loved the story and were fascinated by the massive boat. 🇳🇴

  • I was in Fargo for a couple days for my mom’s birthday. While there, I enjoyed an all-too-rare gift: an hour of free time to play jazz with my dad.

    Our set list:

    • Midnight Mood
    • Little Waltz
    • Stolen Moments
    • Lucky Southern
    • Autumn in New York

    🎶

  • Ethan Iverson's ECM Artist's Choice Playlist 🎶

    I’ve been exploring the ECM Artist’s Choice playlist curated by pianist Ethan Iverson (available on Apple Music & Tidal).

    It was cool enough to have these ECM tracks hand-picked by him. But then I discovered that he has also annotated each selection. Iverson’s notes illuminate the music—but they also provide a window into the listening biography and musical development of a great jazz pianists.

  • Silence & Music: two of my favorite things. Also the name of a beautiful album by the Gabrieli Consort. 🎶

  • Daylight savings time: my semi-annual reminder that the government delights in tormenting parents.

  • I voted today after work. The poll workers seemed genuinely surprised when I walked in—I bet fewer than a dozen ballots were cast at my precinct today.

    In defense of my neighbors, the only item on the ballot was the school board; 3 candidates were running for 3 open seats.

  • Lots of news regarding my beloved MN United today ⚽️:

  • Early morning nature hike. 📷🍁

  • MInnesota United ⚽️ declined contract options on five players today:

    • Carter Manley
    • Collin Martin
    • Wilfried Moimbé-Tahrat
    • Ally Hamis Ng’anzi
    • Rasmus Schuller

    I’m not too surprised, though I am excited to see who they bring in. It’s going to be a long offseason…

  • The Trees of Windsor Green 📷🍁

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