March 18th, 2007

Chris Keeley

Ben Franklin's thirteen moral virtues

Ben Franklin's thirteen moral virtues

The thirteen moral virtues listed by Benjamin Franklin in his Autobiography:

1. Temperance. Eat not to Dulness. Drink not to Elevation.

2. Silence. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself. Avoid trifling Conversation.

3. Order. Let all your Things have their Places. Let each Part of your Business have its Time.

4. Resolution. Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve.

5. Frugality. Make no Expense but to do good to others or yourself: i.e. Waste nothing.

6. Industry. Lose no Time. Be always employ'd in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary Actions.

7. Sincerity. Use no hurtful Deceit. Think innocently and justly; and, if you speak, speak accordingly.

8. Justice. Wrong none, by doing Injuries or omitting the Benefits that are your Duty.

9. Moderation. Avoid Extreams. Forbear resenting Injuries so much as you think they deserve.

10. Cleanliness. Tolerate no Uncleanness in Body, Cloaths or Habitation.

11. Tranquillity. Be not disturbed at Trifles, or at Accidents common or unavoidable.

12. Chastity. Rarely use Venery but for Health or Offspring; Never to Dulness, Weakness, or the Injury of your own or another's Peace or Reputation.

13. Humility. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.


The Morning Question, What Good shall I do this Day?

The Evening Question, What Good have I done to day?
Chris Keeley

Grown Up, Cleaned Up and ‘Back in the Game’

She says she is now sober and in a 12-step program, and that she is in a relationship with Ron Castellano, a New York architect.

Tatum O'Neal as a 43-year-old veteran actress on the comeback trail in New York in 2007.

Grown Up, Cleaned Up and ‘Back in the Game’

THREE years ago Tatum O’Neal, who remains the youngest person ever to win an Oscar, was on a plane flying home to New York from Los Angeles, where she was commuting every other week to auditions.

Discouraged by the frequent rejection and worried about money after years spent in and out of treatment centers for a widely publicized addiction to heroin and cocaine, Ms. O’Neal, whose newest movie, “My Brother,” opened on Friday, considered going into real estate.

“It was getting scary for me,” she said. “So I had this thought: I’ll become a real estate agent. It was the only thing I thought I could do, since I’d bought and sold some properties.”

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Chris Keeley

North American Scum is both vintage LCD Soundsystem and a textbook specimen of disco-punk

James Murphy, the mastermind and frontman of LCD Soundsystem, has a new album.

Still Disco-Punk, Still Spoiling for a Fight

THERE are probably more peaceable ways to usher an album into the world than with a single called “North American Scum.” But if you’re James Murphy, the mastermind and frontman of LCD Soundsystem, peaceable is hardly what you’re going for. Brash and propulsive is more like it, and by those criteria the track fulfills its calling. It may be lousy as diplomacy, but it’s a monster on the dance floor.

In other words, “North American Scum” is both vintage LCD Soundsystem and a textbook specimen of disco-punk, the subgenre that Mr. Murphy helped foment. The track bears some of his sonic trademarks: throbbing bass line, thudding kick drum, the snap of hi-hats and hand claps. It also has his attitude, an uneasy whorl of self-loathing and self-aggrandizing laced with casually stinging social critique.

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Chris Keeley

Left to her own devices by parents she thought were preoccupied with their careers, Rebecca Walker e

Left to her own devices by parents she thought were preoccupied with their careers, Rebecca Walker experimented with drugs, had sexual encounters with men and women, and had an abortion at 14.

Ms. Walker was saddened by what she called her mother’s lack of enthusiasm to the news that she was pregnant.

Evolution of a Feminist Daughter

REBECCA WALKER — the daughter of Alice Walker, the author of “The Color Purple,” and Mel Leventhal, a civil rights lawyer — was a nascent feminist when she laid bare the details of her freewheeling, lonely adolescence in her 2001 book, “Black, White and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self.”

The memoir, like the 20-something Ms. Walker, was impassioned, poetic and occasionally messy. But it hit a nerve with many critics who considered it a poignant meditation on race and sex.

It also chronicled the author’s efforts to cope with being hot-potatoed from city to city in the wake of her parents’ divorce and what she perceived to be her mother’s ambivalence about her existence.

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Chris Keeley

I was soaked to the bone by the mist, amazed by that most powerful and self-consuming of travelers'

Falls are paradoxical places. Geologists describe them as among nature's most destructive forces, places where fluid water destroys solid rock, carving canyons so slowly that progress is usually imperceptible within the span of a human life. Their destructive power, however, is mostly masked by beauty, eliciting an all but universal response: a heightened awareness of, and exultation in, the mere fact of being present. Early in Norman Rush's “Mating,” the novel's narrator visits Victoria Falls, in whose roar, she says, “you stop thinking without trying. ... The first main sensation is about physicality.

The State Department warns American visitors to Zimbabwe to take safety precautions and urges them to register upon arrival with the United States Embassy in Harare. (Political and economic turmoil under President Robert G. ;Mugabe has caused fuel shortages and a surge of violent crime.)

Visitors to Victoria Falls may not embark on a journey with a sense of purpose as powerful as Livingstone’s, but the sight of it is still magnificent and grandiose

Chasing the Ultimate Waterfall

IN his time, David Livingstone was Jacques Cousteau, Billy Graham and Bono, rolled into one — and the worldwide expansion of the telegraph allowed more people to learn, more quickly, more details about his exploits than the public had known about any previous explorer. Upon Livingstone's return from Africa to Britain in 1856, after having spent the previous 15 years exploring and evangelizing (and being more successful at the former than the latter, having made only one convert), he wrote a best-selling book, “Missionary Travels in South Africa,” made a legendary speaking tour, and then a much-publicized return to Africa. And yet, today, all of his words and deeds are overshadowed by that one line of Henry Morton Stanley's.

“Dr. Livingstone, I presume?,” the disingenuous greeting of a newspaper reporter eager to ingratiate himself with his subject, is all most people know about the old Scottish explorer. It seems particularly unjust that Livingstone's memory is banished to cliché — and, worse, one that suggests nothing of his character — because he so doggedly pursued true knowledge of the people he met in his wanderings. How did this man's memory get reduced to a sound bite? And why are we still repeating it?

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nglish public.

Chris Keeley

A Proposal for the Arab League Summit

TO: Distinguished Recipients
FM: John Whitbeck

On March 28-29, an Arab League summit will be held in Riyadh. It is
universally anticipated that the Arab states will reaffirm, yet again,
the Arab Peace Initiative conceived by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia
and launched into five-year-long doldrums as the Beirut Declaration at
another Arab League summit held in March 2002.
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