Daily Office: Thursday


¶ Matins: Yesterday, in this space, we quoted Jenny Diski; last week, we began with Mark Lilla. Today, a piece in New Scientist links “denialism” with the urge — common among Tea Partiers — to push back against the wisdom of the elites.

¶ Lauds: Anthony Lane sweetens his review of the rather dreary-sounding Ridley Scott Robin Hood with a truly unforgettable crack.

¶ Prime: At Fortune, Daryl Jones sounds an alarm about inflation in China. (via Abnormal Returns)

¶ Tierce: Two notes on that very gloomy subject, dementia (whether Alzheimer’s or not). The failure of the mind strikes us as the worst possible personal tragedy, because it entails the premature death of the self (and not in a nice way, either). It’s not surprising to read, at Wired Science, that “Dementia Caregivers [are] More Likely to Also Get the Disease” — not that it’s necessarily catching: there might be a “tendency of people who are prone to distress or mental illness to find and marry one another. Second, and even less surprising, Simon Roberts catches mention in the Times of studies showing that, as was the case with Iris Murdoch, the mental decline of Agatha Christie was palpable in her work prior to diagnosis.

¶ Sext: The always-entertaining Dave Bry explains the attractions of Red Bank, New Jersey to its newest celebrity resident, Jon Stewart. (The Awl)

¶ Nones: At The Bygone Bureau, Peter Braden recounts his trip to Bosnia last year, and how a visit to Mostar left him feeling “a little bit Bosnian.”

¶ Vespers: We had not really registered the existence of The Nervous Breakdown, a site that we are not even going to attempt to categorize just yet, but we agree with J E Fishman that there’s something wrong with the way books are handled at The New York Times if 13 of the 29 book-related alerts that Mr Fishman has received from the Times since late April relate to the work of dead writers. (via The Millions)

¶ Compline: At The Second Pass, John Williams shares a snippet from a friend’s interview with New Yorker contributor Jill Lepore. Just when you think that our schools might as well be closed, a flash of eccentric brilliance glimmers in the rubble.