“I don’t want to change too rapidly,” Professor Plum said as he oh-so-slowly stepped into the mail room.

He read the mail…. (More)

Professor Plum and Ms. Scarlet then left to join the resident faculty in the wine cellar library, where they’ll spend the weekend drinking thinking on our motto of Magis vinum, magis verum (“More wine, more truth”).

In the staff poker game, the Professor of Astrology Janitor also didn’t want to change too rapidly. He had opened by raising with the Ace and King of Hearts. The Squirrel folded but Chef called, and the flop brought the Queen and Ten of Hearts and the Seven of Clubs.

That gave Professor of Astrology Janitor a royal flush draw – but nothing else yet – so he put in a small semi-bluff bet. Chef thought for a moment and added a pot-sized raise, and the Professor of Astrology Janitor pretended to think for a moment and called.

The Seven of Hearts on the turn gave him a Heart flush, which the Professor of Astrology decided to slow play. He checked and, after a few seconds’ thought, Chef offered a half-pot-sized bet. The Professor of Astrology Janitor considered raising then, but he thought Chef might fold. He wanted to win another round of bets at the river. And he wanted to see if he could make that royal flush. So he just called.

Alas, the Nine of Clubs at the river did not make his royal flush. Yet again, the Professor of Astrology Janitor checked and, yet again, Chef put in a half-pot-sized bet. The Professor of Astrology Janitor hoped Chef might put a few more chips in the pot, so this time he raised.

And Chef calmly said: “I’m all in.”

Might she have a pair of Queens or Tens, or a Nine-Seven suited, for a full house? Or was she betting a smaller Heart flush? The Professor of Astrology Janitor decided he had to know, so he called.

“Heart flush?” Chef asked as she turned over the Sevens of Spades and Diamonds, for four-of-a-kind.

The Professor of Astrology Janitor nodded and showed his cards. “I was so close to a royal.”

The Squirrel tapped at his Blewberry: “Not really. I folded the Jack of Hearts with the Three of Clubs.”

The Professor of Astrology Janitor began his plaintive mewling and Chef went to the kitchen to finish her Shepherd’s Pie Breakfast Casserole, leaving your lowly mail room clerk to review the week’s correspondence….


Dear Ms. Crissie

London is close to unrecognizable from the city I knew as a teen. Its skyline has a touch of Dubai to it, the wealth is tangible, even obscene, the prices absurd, the energy young and incredibly diverse. “It’s not our capital any more, is it?” my brother asks, as if seeking confirmation from me. I can see what he means, by virtue of not being there continuously as change accumulated and transformed. In a little less than a week in London, I have yet to buy anything from someone English. Everywhere I hear foreign accents or one of the more than 300 languages London now incorporates. Thirty-seven percent of the capital’s population is foreign-born – the same as New York City – and that share is predicted to be 50 percent by 2031. But New York has always been a thriving immigrant city; newcomers have always defined the place, and it’s just one of several vast metropoles in America. But London is the overwhelmingly dominant city in the U.K., and has never previously been a city of immigrants in the English psyche. London, in fact, is synonymous with the essence of England, and has been a national center since the Roman era. The counties surrounding it are called the Home Counties, because London has always been home.

The left intelligentsia regards Trump supporters as bigots, racists, xenophobes, and even “privileged” – attitudes and statements that are re-broadcast every hour of every day to the white and culturally anxious viewers of Fox News. What few on the left seem to see is that cultural anxiety, given the ethnic and cultural transformation of the last few decades, is an entirely predictable and entirely understandable response. If people felt that someone in charge actually saw their point of view, sympathized with it, and attempted even minor changes to accommodate it, we would have a different politics. But all they had was Trump. And all they still have is Trump.

Home is indeed where one starts from. Change it too rapidly and it will disintegrate. We have been fools on mass immigration, we have been fools for preventing an honest debate about the benefits and drawbacks of diversity, and we have been contemptible in our contempt for so many of our fellow citizens. Both countries are now paying a terrible, terrible price.

Andrew in NYC

Dear Andrew,

We wonder if you see the irony in Englishmen complaining that foreigners are moving in and upending the local culture … after Englishmen did that to the rest of the world – often at gunpoint – for almost 400 years.

We also note that Democrats, both leaders and voters, are very much aware of the “white and culturally anxious viewers of Fox News.” How could we not be, as their “cultural anxiety” has been howled and echoed daily, at almost deafening levels, from conservative pundits, talk show hosts, and GOP leaders, for over a decade? During the 2016 campaign and especially since that election, hardly a week has passed without some mainstream news outlet – the New York Times, Washington Post, etc. – publishing yet another elegy for Anxious White Men.

We further note that America’s struggle against white male supremacy is hardly a new process. From the Seneca Falls Convention through the struggle for the Nineteenth Amendment and then the failure of the Equal Rights Amendment, from the Civil War to Jim Crow and the KKK’s reign of terror to Brown v. Board of Education to the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts and then housing and school resegregation and new voter suppression laws, from the Stonewall Riots to the callous disregard for AIDS victims to Obergefell v. Hodges and then ‘religious freedom’ lawsuits and ‘bathroom bills’ … women, people of color, and LGBTs have worked, marched, sometimes died in search of equality … for over 160 years.

And still, now five generations since that struggle began, we’re still told that we need to “accommodate” the still-white-male-dominant status quo. We’re still warned: “Change it too rapidly and it will disintegrate.”

So we’re left to wonder how many more generations must pass before white men are ready to accept women, people of color, and LGBTs as fully equal human beings? How many more generations of women, people of color, LGBTs, Muslims, and immigrants must be lectured about their duty to “understand” and “sympathize with” and “accommodate” white male dominance … lest society “disintegrate?”

We conclude that the “white and culturally anxious viewers of Fox News” need to be told, in clear and uncompromising terms: “The rest of us will not go away. We will not sit down. We will not shut up. We will not be second-class citizens. You have had five generations to adapt and you’ve spent that entire time howling ‘You want too much too fast!’ Well … time’s up.”


Dear Ms. Crissie,

Is Shepherd’s Pie an English recipe, and how does Chef make it as a breakfast casserole?

Shepherding Breakfast in Blogistan

Dear Squirrel,

Chef says that Shepherd’s Pie is known as an English recipe, although similar dishes are traditional in other cultures as well. She makes the breakfast version with leftover mashed potatoes, leftover dinner vegetables, cooked and crumbled breakfast sausage, and shredded cheddar cheese. Chef says this is a very forgiving recipe, and you can easily adapt it to your own tastes and the contents of your fridge. She mixes the mashed potatoes, veggies, and bacon together, in an oven-safe bowl, sprinkles the cheese on top, and bakes it at 350º until it’s warm and bubbly and the cheese is browned. Bon appétit!


Photo Credit: Screenshot HBO/Real Time

Andrew in NYC


Happy Sunday!