Blaise Pascal (on solitude as virtue)

I bought the April edition of Harper’s magazine — you can’t get it at the supermarket checkout (except in FantasyHowdyLand), but my chi-chi grocery emporium’s mag-rack wasn’t that far away — and, well, I bought it because it was Harper’s (and I was hungry), but also because of a perfect storm of stories highlighted on the cover. (I felt fated, head-spatially profiled, chosen.) “American Hustle” features basketball (good news for this hoops-head) and how hothouse youth coaches exploit African kids (possibly even more attractive to this highly conflicted coach who loves the game, loves excellence, hates what is done in the name of religion sport). “Rotten Ice” is a story of Arctic melting, not only for me but for EcoBride. Rebecca Solnit writes, perhaps just for this career English Creature, an op-ed titled “Abolish High School!” The cover piece, though, was both the initial eye candy and the clincher: “GOING IT ALONE: Fenton Johnson on the dignity and challenge of solitude”.

It starts well, pleasing my expectant reading tastebuds. I haven’t finished.

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