CSotD: Sense and Sensibility

If I’m going to use Jane Austen’s intentions in today’s headline, I might as well use a quote of hers which is a hint of her wit and perhaps personality.

The specific topic came up as I was scrolling through Twitter:


Mira Jacob posted this, and my response was that I don’t like crowds and I don’t like parties and so I don’t go to them.

Granted, it’s a solution I only discovered when I was nearly 60. Before that, I’d go and not realize how uncomfortable I was because, gosh, everyone loves parties.

Then again, going to parties is how you meet people who publish books.

Mira Jacob has some books and goes to parties but apparently hates it if you ask her about her writing.

Which reminds me of perhaps my favorite passage from Epictetus:

Well, she has her lettuce and I have my obulus and let’s see what else we’re making choices about today:


On a closely related topic, Bill Bramhall addresses the boycott of SoulCycle and some related fitness place I’d also never heard of until now.

The nearest SoulCycle is apparently 125 miles away, so boycotting it doesn’t take a great deal of effort. In fact, I had a Y membership some years ago and I might have been boycotting them as well for as often as I went in there and worked out.

Gosh, I hope they didn’t take it that way.

But I think Bramhall is demanding that the perfect be the enemy of the good.

At least he’s calling on people to be consistent, which brings us to Emerson rather than Epictetus, given the familiar  “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds” quote.

In the days of my youth, there was a strong sense that we should abandon the creeping meatball, which led to some people living in domes out in the wilderness and growing their own vegetables.

But most of them found they couldn’t forge their own nails or get along without some form of automobile and that compromise was necessary.

Also that domes leaked and that it helped if someone in the commune was rich and owned the land.

And possibly had a job in town.

The idea of doing it was good. The idea that any compromise was bad is “see Emerson, above.”

I don’t see the fault in choosing your targets.

Just as I can’t afford to support every Patreon from every cartoonist or to subscribe to every news source I respect, it works in this arena, too: It’s easy, on my budget, to boycott a chichi fitness center, but I can’t afford the prices at my local farmer’s market, so I can’t be a localvore.

Also, BTW, it’s easier to be a localvore in the summer. Our forebears lived on bread, potatoes, salt pork and sauerkraut for about half the year.

Bottom Line: You have to do something, but you don’t have to do everything. And you probably can’t.

Jeff Boyer points out the ecological disadvantages of a beef-based dietary system, and it’s the same perfectly valid things Frances Moore Lappe was saying back when people were living in domes.

Response? Well, you can become vegan, but you can also choose to be a thoughtful omnivore.

I tried a couple of those new Beyond Burgers and they taste like beef but, oddly enough, they don’t smell like it, which is a bit off-putting.

And they taste like a mediocre burger, not a good one.

And they’re more expensive than beef, even the local beef at my co-op, which doesn’t require cutting down any rainforests and tastes much better than the mushy, extruded crap at the grocery store.

Being an informed, thoughtful consumer remains your best policy.


Juxaposition of the Day

(Michael de Adder)


(Matt Davies)

I shouldn’t laugh at Matt Davies’ cartoon, even though he has it labeled “NRA” and not “gunowners.”

One of the issues in gun control is distinguishing between responsible gunowners and irrational extremists, and, as in all such controversies, the more you lump them together, the more you drive moderates to make common cause with idiots.

I grew up around hunters and gunowners and still count many of them among my friends. I even shot for NRA medals (Sharpshooter, Bar 4) and was on an NRA-affiliated rifle team, back before they went crazy.

And de Adder makes his point without a word of preaching.

Someone shared his cartoon on-line, to which someone else shared a picture of a hunting rifle with pistol grip and so forth.

But just because they make them doesn’t mean very many good hunters are going to buy them.

For one thing, a slimmer profile is easier to carry through brush quietly.

For another, you don’t need more than a five-bullet clip for deer hunting, and, if they made two-bullet clips, that would probably be sufficient, not because you’re such a great marksman but simply because you’re not gonna get a third shot anyway.

Anyway, how’s about we country people stop snickering at people who go to spinning classes and city folks stop snorting at gunowners?


Won’t someone think of the children?

Ann Telnaes improves on the most appalling bit of pornography (i.e. — the writing of whores) ever published in major papers.

While, on the same event …


NYTimes Editor Dean Baquet admits they blew that utterly misleading headline.

Nearly every reporter has had the experience of seeing a headline that in no way reflects the story under it.

If you were lucky, the same copy editor who edited the story would write the head. Often, however, it was passed on to a layout editor who only glanced at the first two paragraphs.

However, newspapers have found a way to deal with the problem: They’ve stripped down their newsrooms by firing all the copy editors and now nobody but the reporter ever reads the entire story.

I don’t mean just little 12-pagers in Podunk. I mean major metros.

I wish I were exaggerating.

The First Amendment is being undermined from within.

3 thoughts on “CSotD: Sense and Sensibility

  1. First, thank you for your insightful, rational, calmly stated daily column.

    And now…

    I hunted and shot trap during the 70s and 80s. My entire family shot trap. My parents taught Hunters’ Safety. My father and I still shoot trap. At the trap club, you weren’t allowed to chamber a shell until it was your turn to shoot. Guns were on safety, unloaded, and with actions open. To fail to do any of these things would get you a reprimand.

    Most of my neighbors (fathers and sons) hunted at our cabin in Northern WI. If any of the sons would’ve walked into the cabin with a loaded gun, we’d have had the gun taken from us. If we’d have put a gun in a vehicle without it being unloaded and cased, we’d have had the gun taken away from us. (The uncased part of that law has since changed.) In Hunters’ Safety, where we handled (unloaded) rifles and shotgun, we were taught you must unload a gun when you crossed a fence, or climbed into your treestand. One kid failed the course (a many weeks course, not just a single day) because he failed to ‘unload’ his gun during a scenario. When we duck hunted, you had to put a plug in your gun so that you couldn’t fill the magazine–so it was more sporting. In WI, you still have to be a certain distance from a road to hunt.

    So WHY do we allow people to carry loaded, uncased, safety-off guns that can be loaded with dozens of bullets, on city streets, in our vehicles, and in our homes?

    My father stopped being a member of the NRA long ago. This is the same man that repeated ‘when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.’ He knew that the ‘right to bear arms’ DOESN’T mean ‘NO restrictions on guns; ZERO rules concerning guns.’

  2. Couldn’t agree more.

    It would be interesting to do a count of how many in-home tragedies stem from people storing a gun with a chambered round.

    I wish I thought it would also be persuasive.

  3. Just last month, a five-year-old nextdoor to my workplace picked up a loaded handgun in the house. He was shot and killed as an adult tried to take the gun from him.

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