Goulash for Sunday, April 30

  • At a time when America is divided angry, and impatient, I hold fast to a favorite quote from Lon Milo DuQuette that applies to learning magic (or anything else) requiring long-time diligence: “The magical secret to learning more than I now know is in my ability to become someone who is more than I now am.” The quote comes from his book (one of many), Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot. Those of you who’ve read this blog for a while know that I swear by the Thoth Tarot, though on days when I’m not patient, I’m tempted to swear at it.
  • I also swear at waiters who serve me ice-cold red wine. The clown who started that fad needs to be given a lifetime sentence de-stemming pinot noir grapes while wearing a blindfold.
  • On a lighter note, I’ve been enjoying room-temperature red whine while re-reading Ruta Sepetys’ wonderful New Orleans novel Out of the Easy about a young woman (Josie) who works in a bookshop and cleans a whore house while trying to survive and save money for Smith College. In a starred review, Kirkus calls the book immensely satisfying, noting that, “There are some meaningful messages here: that love can come from the unlikeliest of sources—the rough-and-tumble brothel madam is much more supportive of Josie than her mother ever was—and that we are all in control of our own destinies if only we choose to be. With a rich and realistic setting, a compelling and entertaining first-person narration, a colorful cast of memorable characters and an intriguing storyline, this is a surefire winner.
  • Citadel TV Show Promotional PosterFor those of you who like spy movies and series, the Guardian loves”Citadel” even though Wikipedia says that the critics’ views were mixed. The review, written by Lucy Mangan was headlined, Citadel review – this absurdly fun spy thriller is televisual crack. The subhead is: “Prime Video paid $250m for this spy caper. Is it worth it? You betcha. It’s Mission: Impossible meets The Bourne Identity – with twists, turns and Stanley Tucci. What addictive bliss.” I think it looks promising and far more interesting than “True Lies”(TV series), the weak copy of the original 1991 James Cameron film by the same name. As Mangan writes about “Citadel,” “Twists, turns, explosions, old-fashioned fisticuffs, the deployment of outrageous gadgetry from Acme’s Deus Ex Machina range, torture scenes, new locations (the Alps, London, all over the States, Paris, Spain, Iran – I may have missed a few in my delirious, glassy-eyed state), are parcelled out in one long, glorious stream. “
  • Joe Biden Membership CardI thought the Biden campaign knew I’m a Libertarian. And yet, they keep sending me e-mails asking if I’ve recently changed parties. No, I’ve been a Libertarian for decades. Okay, okay, maybe they remember that I worked on George McGovern’s campaign in 1972, but that was mostly about the War and the Establishment as viewed by an impressionable Tarot card reader who saw (and still sees) government as the problem.
  • When I asked the Tarot how Biden’s campaign would go, I got this card. (But then, as Niels Bohr said, “Prediction is extremely difficult. Especially about the future.”) Here in the “five” card, we see that the Swords are finally shown they cannot prevail against fate. So it goes.