Monday Link Encyclopedia

How Putin purchases Western celebrities and gets them to pleasure him for a modest price. Among the especially diligent of Putin’s whores are: Sharon Stone, Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner, Chris Noth, Sophia Loren, Steven Seagal, Andrea Bocelli, Francis Ford Coppola, Woody Allen, and others.

Rolling Stone’s new campaign consists of militating for a wife abuser. What a stupid worthless rag.

New research challenges the idea that willpower – a.k.a masochism – is a “limited resource.”  It’s a mystery why anybody could have thought that masochism was in short supply.

Wouldn’t you agree that people who seriously use the expression “dead white men” in 2015 are total dunces?

When participating in a seminar presented by the National Endowment for the Humanities on the Philosophy of Math (an area of study that I admit, was new to me), one of my fellow participants presented the question of “what is the middle number?” After some discussion, it was decided that the middle number was zero, as any negative number was offset exactly by a positive number equally far from zero.” I wonder how old people at the seminar were. Because I was taught this by grade 3, and my schools were the worst on the planet.

The dictionary of obscure sorrows.

Dear Black People: Stop Being So Forgiving.

And for those who want the update in the saga of a clingy woman and a divorced jerk, here it is.

The first flight of abortion drone.

Putin’s plot to get Texas to secede.

People who have an unresolved relationship with a parent often think: there must have been some moment of connection, some moment where we had it, and if I comb through my past I’m going to find that moment of connection, where he really saw who I am. And sometimes there is none.” Yes. It’s best to give up hope as soon as possible.

I have no idea why these crowds of idiots first force themselves into a profession they do not love and then persecute everybody with their moaning about how they can’t get themselves employed.

And in a similar vein, doctoral dissertation in the form of a graphic novel. I actually know somebody who did something similar. He’s obviously unemployed right now.

People living in tiny rooms in Tokyo.

Sexorship at Northwestern?

I also used to belong to marginalized communities and they did everything they damn could to convince people they couldn’t leave. Being told or heavily implied at “You are broken in this way and you can never fit in/change” (in regards to disability) was common once one got past all of the empowerment rtherotic. Or constant hyping of how scary and terrifying other communities are, which has the lovely side effect of making people essentially oppress themselves. Reading things from my supposed “in-group” almost always seems to upset me or make me feel more oppressed than I am.”

Only one in four students who place into noncredit remedial courses will earn a degree within eight years of enrolling. Last year, Florida’s legislature came up with the solution: allow students to skip remedial classes if they want to. A year later, the astonishing results are in: Enrollment in remedial courses is down, and failure rates are up.”

  “One of the many reasons that it is hard to take anything McCain says on Ukraine seriously is that he has been a reliable advocate for launching aggressive wars against other states when he thinks it appropriate.” It’s hard if you are three. If you are older than that, distinguishing between different situations is not such a huge burden.

Russians crack down on . . . yoga. The pseudo – religious paranoia continues.

The horrifying suffering of Rohingya people.

61 thoughts on “Monday Link Encyclopedia”

  1. I don’t write about every terror attack, but decided to update. People usually hear about Israel only when a new operation begins, w/o being interested in what happened before and led to it.

    Terror attack in West Bank: Four Israelis wounded in shooting. One seriously wounded, three suffer moderate wounds
    […] This is the fourth attack in four days and the sixth terror attack since the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan ten days ago,7340,L-4674258,00.html

    [From 06.28.15] Code red sirens heard in southern Israel.
    The siren heard in Hof Ashkelon marked the fourth rocket fired at Israel in the last three weeks. Just last week the Israeli Air Force struck a target in the northern Gaza Strip after a rocket attack from Gaza.,7340,L-4673542,00.html


      1. \ This is very very sad. Do you think a new “operation” is coming?

        I hope it will wait at least till next summer, but who knows? A big terrorist act, kidnapping or a rocket killing somebody may lead to war sooner.

        From a Hebrew article (google translate):

        \ Defense Minister Moshe ( Bogie) Ya’alon accused the Palestinian Authority of incitement that led to the recent terror attacks , and said shooting attacks were carried out by foreign Hamas network operated from Istanbul . He said that the money behind Hamas is Iranian

        From the 3rd link I gave:

        \ At present, the main actors, Hamas and Israel, don’t want another war,” said Nathan Thrall of the International Crisis Group think tank. “(But) in a year or two years, all policies are pushing Gaza to another war.

        And, on another topic, “The Imported Bridegroom” is good and often funny. If you like Abraham Cahan, his most important novel is:

        \ [wiki] Cahan’s most popular novel was “The Rise of David Levinsky,” which was semi-autobiographical, mirroring Cahan’s own experiences of immigration, describing a Jewish immigrant’s process of Americanization and demonstrating the Jewish-socialist cultural establishments in New York.


  2. This article appeared in English too:

    Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Tuesday that some of the recent “lone wolf” terror attacks have been executed by Hamas’ international headquarters in Istanbul and funded by Iran.

    The defense minister also said the attacks were fueled by incitement in the Palestinian Authority’s official media.

    He added that in light of the recent wave of attacks, including the stabbing of a female IDF soldier by a Palestinian woman during security check at the Rachel crossing on Monday morning, women will no longer be allowed to freely enter the Temple Mount and the age of men allowed to freely enter will change to 50 and older.,7340,L-4674648,00.html


      1. \ Things seem to be escalating. :-((((((((

        I hope not, however just checked news site and saw new announcements:

        [Published: 06.30.15, 18:15] Reported shooting at Kalandia Checkpoint – Palestinian injured

        [ Published: 06.30.15, 18:17] Malachi Moshe Rosenfeld, who was seriously wounded at a drive-by shooting attack near Shilo on Monday night, succumbed to his wounds on Tuesday, his family said.

        If there is something new, I’ll write a short update? Already seems that if I write about every terror attack, I’ll spam your blog. Says something about their numbers. 😦 I hate Ramadan. Levels of violence are often the highest during (Muslim OR Jewish) holidays.

        And then people don’t understand why Israelis don’t want to stop operatons till Hamas suffers big losses and till tunnels & numerous rockets are destroyed.


        1. “If there is something new, I’ll write a short update?”

          • Please do. We are not hearing anything about what’s happening in Israel here today. 😦 ISIS has eclipsed any other news from the Middle East.


  3. Do you agree with the following? I worry about children whose parents would decide to homeschool them instead.

    California Legislature passes mandatory vaccination bill

    The measure, spawned by an outbreak of measles at Disneyland that ultimately infected more than 150 people, cleared its final legislative hurdle Monday in the state Senate. Brown has not said publicly whether he would sign it.

    The measure — one of the toughest vaccination bills in the nation — would require children enrolling in school or day care to be immunized against diseases including measles and whooping cough.

    Those who decline the vaccinations would have to enroll their children in a home-based private school or public independent study program based off campus


    1. I don’t have a lot of problems with this. The law exempts people who have medical conditions that make them unable to take vaccines.

      It may be true that the state is trying to save money. Vaccines are relatively affordable, effective preventative medicine though. Further, parents who have so little regard for their own children’s health they’re willing to risk whooping cough (omg) or measles or polio and don’t mind spreading it to others are unlikely to want their kids taught by the public school system.

      I had to have a smallpox and a tetanus vaccine as a small infant to be allowed into the United States, so I don’t think the parents should be allowed to endanger other children because they want their Typhoid Snotleighs to be organic and pure in all things.


      1. The problem is that the children are being punished for something that is not their fault. Depriving children of education and proper socialization should never be the answer to anything. Just imagine what kind of education (not to speak of socialization) snti-vaxxer parents can provide at home. Imagine poor kids being locked in with them with no relief.


        1. In either case, kids are punished for something that’s not their fault. Should we punish children with outbreaks of preventable childhood diseases because of a few parents who’ve forgotten what life was before vaccines was like (TB is not romantic and neither is whooping cough)? What about children who legitimately have immune problems who depend on herd immunity (literally everyone else vaccinating) not to get sick? Doesn’t that interfere with their right to education and socialization? People not vaccinating their children actually hurts other children. Public schools go through all kinds of contortions (none of which harm the other kids) to protect kids with severe food allergies because they have a right to an education, so why wouldn’t they protect immuno compromised children and the ability of many other children to attend school? Do you think catching one of those diseases wouldn’t interfere with the education and socialization of kids?

          If the state feels its such a public health issue that they require it of people entering and leaving the country and and they want to make it mandatory for people entering school, it should be subsidized so money is not an issue. That’s my only real quibble.

          In general, it’s wealthy people who are avoiding vaccinations and homeschooling And these weird idiots see me or see other immigrants and start freaking out like I’m a disease vector when they hear of some outbreak somewhere else and they have the gall to lecture me on the benighted sanitation in India or China they saw in a documentary once. The next minute they start answering their cell phones on the toilet. Ugh no.


  4. The funniest news of the month:

    Haredim hire Mexicans to protest NY pride parade
    After rabbis forbid yeshiva students to participate in anti-gay demonstration in Manhattan for fear of ‘what they would see,’ Orthodox Jewish group forced to employ foreign protestors.,7340,L-4674398,00.html

    Other news:

    // After four people murdered over the past week in violent incidents in the Arab sector, Israeli Arabs are frustrated: ‘Arab MKs only care about Gaza, they don’t care about murders in the sector’

    Of course, caring about Gaza is a lot easier than doing something about crime levels. And I really don’t want to see the following:

    // Shin Bet chief says Hamas losing its ability to govern in Gaza, facing … increasing resistance by ISIS aligned groups from within the territory; ‘We will uproot the state of the Jews (Israel) and you and Fatah,’ ISIS militants tell Hamas in new video.

    Referring to the next possible conflict, Cohen said that the organization is speeding up its military preparations, including rehabilitating its tunnel program and efforts to develop and build more rockets. With that said, Cohen estimates that Hamas does not currently have the will to act against Israel, even though it has the capabilities to conduct a serious campaign with the means it has at hand now.,7340,L-4674758,00.html

    On the other hand, if ISIS takes over Gaza, may it not be a blessing in disguise for Israel?


  5. I read an opinion piece on the topic:

    // Op-ed: The American administration is directly responsible for the fact that we are receiving clips of crimes against humanity on a weekly basis, and that the world is not fighting ISIS with all its might.,7340,L-4674608,00.html

    Wanted to ask your opinion about the following claim:

    // If the Japanese had not attacked Pearl Harbor in December 1941, more than two years after the war broke out, causing the United States to join the war, it is not at all clear that Britain would have been able to survive vis-à-vis the Third Reich, with all the disastrous consequences of such a possibility.

    Would America have let Hitler win, if it hadn’t been attacked? A disturbing thought.


    1. The US had zero influence on Hitler not winning. Hitler was defeated by the USSR. Americans only kind of got involved a bit after every major battle of WWII had been fought.

      This quote you posted curiously erases the real winner of the war altogether.


      1. Lend Lease supplies to the Red Army by the US particularly of food, especially tinned meat, did play a role. Although I have no idea how to quantify it. But, along with fish from Arctic rivers caught by deported Volga Germans, Leningrad Finns, and Lithuanian Jews it was one of the major replacements for the meat production lost in Ukraine and other occupied areas.


        1. Of course, the lend lease helped a lot. Without it, many more people would have died before Hitler were defeated. But he’d be defeated anyway.


  6. Was surprised to see this on Israeli website:

    Poll finds dramatic decline in anti-Semitic attitudes in France
    ADL survey of adults in 19 countries also reveals significant drops in anti-Jewish sentiments in Germany and Belgium,7340,L-4674840,00.html


    \ For the first time, the ADL poll measured Muslim attitudes

    Belgium: 68% of Muslims harbor anti-Semitic attitudes, compared to 21% overall;
    Spain: 62%, compared to 29% overall;
    Germany: 56%, compared to 16% overall;
    Italy: 56%, compared to 29% overall;
    United Kingdom: 54%, compared to 12% overall;
    France: 49%, compared to 17% overall. \

    I am unsure how reliable those polls are. France shows the lowest levels here, but Jews think of leaving it and it is the country of French comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’balawith his Nazi-like ‘quenelle’ salute.


  7. Short News:

    The Shin Bet has arrested 6 residents of the Bedouin city in the Negev , after it was discovered they where active spreading the ISIS ideology, and attended secret meetings for the movement. Four of the suspects are school teachers. The official statement said that the suspects used their position as educators to spread the ISIS ideology.
    Report: Jordan foils Iran-backed terror plot
    Security forces said to apprehend individual possessing 45 kg of explosives in ‘most serious case in a decade’.
    Israeli Government strikes down conversions reform
    Despite objections from Bayit Yehudi, ministers vote to cancel legislation meant to enable less strict conversions to Judaism, give Shas authority over rabbinical courts.,7340,L-4676451,00.html

    Regarding the latter, I don’t see any good changes in the near future. Orthodox will continue to 100% control who is a Jew, marriage and burial, etc. And resist any attempts to push them study math at school, serve in IDF and (for men) to work too.


  8. Intelligence officer: Islamic State in league with Hamas to create Gaza smuggling route
    Southern Command’s intelligence officer tells Ynet that isolation has led Hamas to cooperate with its rival as it lays the groundwork for its next campaign against Israel – and that this was the motive for last week’s assault on Egyptian troops.
    The cooperation is going on despite the persistent struggle between Hamas and Salafi elements affiliated with IS inside the Gaza Strip, added A.
    A year after Operation Protective Edge, Col. A.
    “We hit 2,000 people in the operation,” he said. “I guarantee, as the Southern Command’s intelligence officer, that at least half of them were terror operatives. Show me anywhere in the world, especially in the West, a hit ratio of at least 1:1 in the most complex campaign in the most complex terrain that is possible. Is that not an ethical army? We could have had much more significant accomplishments, but we refrained from pursuing them only because we acted as an ethical army.,7340,L-4677365,00.html


  9. Gag order lifted: Two Israelis held captive in Gaza
    Possibly mentally ill Israeli Ethiopian apparently crossed border fence on his own volition in September 2014, and then captured by Hamas; second citizen also reported to be in the Strip.,7340,L-4677862,00.html

    Second citizen is an Arab, btw. A Bedouin, who also crossed to Gaza from his own free will. As you can see, it’s a very different case from a kidnapped soldier from Israel’s point of view.


    1. This reminds me of the rallying cry of Franco ‘ s fascists, “Death to intelligence! Long live death!”

      Walker hates educated, intelligent people because he’s not one of us and so he feels inferior.


      1. \ This reminds me of the rallying cry of Franco ‘ s fascists, “Death to intelligence! Long live death!”

        What were they meaning by ” intelligence”? Left-wing intelligencia?

        Otherwise, I find it hard to understand.


        1. They meant exactly what Walker does when he tries to remove “search for truth” from the university mission. He hates truth, they hated intelligence, killed every teacher they could find, especially the female ones.


  10. Anti-Arab vigilante group retakes streets of Jerusalem

    Lehava, a self-styled ‘anti-assimilation’ pressure group, has increased its presence in the capital, in order to fend off ‘harassment’ of Jewish women by Arabs. Critics say they terrorize the city’s Palestinians.,7340,L-4679367,00.html

    To be fair, it is safer to be an Arab in Jewish parts of Jerusalem than to enter as a Jew to Arab parts. Jerusalem is a divided city. For instance,

    Jewish families move into Jerusalem’s Silwan area amid Arab protests
    Fatah activist: Arabs who sold these properties should die; rock-thrower wounds policeman.


  11. I hoped to visit Paris this summer, but after reading this feel more worried. Also, there is antisemitism despite the survey I (happily) recently mentioned:

    Six men beat and rob 13-year-old in latest anti-Semitic incident in France.

    The 13-year-old boy (who was wearing a kippah) was attacked by six men, reportedly of African decent (who called “hit the dirty Jew”), while he was outside of school in Paris’s 19th district – and was taken to a hospital while suffering from head wounds.

    According to a report by the JTA news agency, the attack happened five days ago, outside the Gare du Nord train station, the largest in Europe.
    According to the JTA, 2014 saw 105 violent attacks and 423 anti-Semitic incidents. So far in 2015, the French Jewish community has suffered 241 violent attacks against Jews, within the overall 851 anti-Semitic incidents, more than double last year’s figures. Other European countries reported similar increases including the Netherlands, UK, and Belgium.,7340,L-4679059,00.html

    If antisemitism is dying, why the increase in VIOLENT attacks?

    Have you visited Paris?


      1. \ Go to Oxford instead.

        🙂 One can guess where you’ve been and enjoyed.

        \ And the locals are much nicer

        So you’ve been to France too.

        My mother and I are thinking of taking an organized trip which includes both London and Paris this summer. During the trip one may walk alone too sometimes, instead of going somewhere else with the group or in the free time.

        It’s still not 100% sure, though. But I wanted to ask you anyway about Paris vs London. Especially since you aren’t recognized as Jewish on the street, but my mother may be. Would it be better to go only to England (choose another trip) and have more time to enjoy it? How do those places feel?

        Somebody we know visited England and loved London’s parks, btw. You have lots of nature in USA, but I am excited about parks too. 🙂

        Also wanted to ask about your favorite places in London and Paris.


        1. No, I haven’t been to Paris. My sister has, so I was transmitting her impressions. She looks more Jewish than you, by the way. 🙂 But that trip was a few years ago.

          I will be in London tomorrow, so I’ll post photos from there as well. The last time in London the only place I liked was inside an Indian restaurant near Paddington. I still can’t get over that food. It’s what I will eat when I get to paradise. 🙂


          1. If you’re ever in southern california, you must come over for dinner! Open invitation for life.

            Do you have any favorite indian dishes?


            1. I love dahl soup. When I try to make it, though, it’s a disaster. Vindaloo, which is obvious, since it has potatoes. Saag paneer, butter chicken. Ok, I’m about to get hungry. 🙂

              I’ll definitely keep in mind the invitation, thank you! Remember that you are most cordially invited over if you are in my region.


              1. Thank you.

                Is that the yellow dal or the black/dark brown dal with kidney beans? Those are the most popular ones usually found in indian restaurants here.


    1. Have I heard about it? One can barely walk past a bookstore either here or in the US without having reams of these nooks stuck in one’s face.

      I’m not going to read it. I’ve had to read To Kill a Mockingbird several times back in Ukraine, and I’m sick and tired of Atticus Finch and Co. And I didn’t find it to be of a particularly good quality back then. Honestly, I think the novel is highly overrated. It’s saccharine and filled with stereotypes.


      1. What about “The Longest Journey” by E. M. Forster and “The Golden Notebook” by Doris Lessing? I am now still searching for a suitable bildungsroman. Haven’t read Lessing’s novel, but have just begun Forster’s and so far love it. Loved Forster’s writing style too.

        The problem is that loving a novel and having interesting things to say about it are two different things, and before I read those books don’t know what they’ll be like.


        1. I loved The Longest Journey!!! As for The Golden Notebook, I started reading it 3 times, and gave up every single time.

          If you love it, you’ll have interesting things to say about it for sure.


      2. I read “To Kill a Mockingbird” once, a long time ago, and now thought to reread it and then read Lee’s second book, hoping they would be the books I was searching for. After reading your view – “highly overrated” – I feel less hopeful, but will read it anyway, even if it will be just for fun.

        Asked your opinion about the other two books to avoid wasting time. Lessing’s book is very long and I read quite slowly. I am not interested in “women issues” of the 50ies and don’t like reading books about insanity (based on reviews I read), but was interested after reading Lessing describes the atmosphere of the Cold War and the heroine is a communist.

        Btw, we’re hopefully going to Paris and London!


        1. I don’t want to dash any hopes here. I didn’t like it but it might have a different impact on you.

          Have fun on the trip! You’ll enjoy it immensely, I’m sure.


      3. Why did they have you read To Kill a Mockingbird several times?

        From what I remember, it’s very easy to feel as a reader that one would have been just like Atticus or Scout and not like the townspeople or the Ewells. It’s an easy, easy book for adults and children.

        I wasn’t fond of the prose.

        Something like Invisible Man is very difficult for white high school students to understand emotionally. My peers reacted with boredom and confusion to this novel, and the teacher really wasn’t fond of it either or the other novel with a non-white character either.


        1. Every other year or so we’d have a new English teacher who’d be in love with the book and start teaching it to us. There was a great shortage of books in English so it’s possible that the teachers simply didn’t have that many other books.

          I couldn’t have verbalized it then but I had a vague feeling that the book was in the tradition of Uncle Tom’s Cabin and that was unsettling. I didn’t have the means to express this then because we had no awareness of the civil rights movement or things like the white savior trope. It was just a feeling.

          To my shame, I never read Invisible Man. I have a very strange history with this book where I get a copy and it disappears. It has been going on for years. Books have their own mysterious lives.


          1. I was always creeped out by Atticus Finch’s explanation for why it wasn’t right to brutalize black people, which goes something like this: just like you wouldn’t be cruel to dog or pet or a bird, you shouldn’t be cruel to a black person.

            “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”

            Lovely metaphor!


            1. That’s exactly it. I had no way of verbalizing it then but it all made me feel very uneasy.

              I’m hearing that in this Set a Watchman novel Atticus Finch says some heavily racist shit. And I’m not hugely surprised.


              1. \ I’m hearing that in this Set a Watchman novel Atticus Finch says some heavily racist shit.

                If so, both books as a couple could be better than “To Kill a Mockingbird” had been alone. Readers who idealized Atticus Finch would be confronted with a fact that an otherwise decent person can still be a racist.

                Some readers will search for signs foretelling this development in the first book. It opens possibility for a conversation among readers and seems to challenge the white savior trope.


          2. \ Every other year or so we’d have a new English teacher who’d be in love with the book and start teaching it to us.

            Your classmates must have known English very well, if they could read this entire book in English. In a usual school in Ukraine, in the 7th grade, my level of English was truly horrible. After immigration I had to begin reading long texts in a school book and it was very hard to me. Didn’t know ~ 0.25 of words and had literally pages of words to translate in a notebook I had for this purpose. My grandmother, who hasn’t studied English, did it for me (with a dictionary, we had no computer yet) since I simply didn’t have time to do this too, in addition to studying Hebrew and other subjects like math.


            1. We were a school with a specialized learning of English. Our program in math and physics was reduced compared to the regular one, and instead we had tons of English.

              Your English is outstanding! And soon you’ll get to practice the British pronunciation.


  12. 1) Uri wrote about Iranian deal and Greeks in his last two columns:

    2) There was a survey made by one of major Israeli newspapers. One of questions was:

    Do you support Israeli independent military action against Iran, if it’ll be needed to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons?

    47% – Support
    35% – Against
    18% – Don’t know


  13. I finished reading “The Longest Journey” yesterday and wanted to share impressions and ask you opinion regarding a few places. Btw, would love to read a post (book review) about your reading of the novel.

    I love reading Forster, but sometimes have a sad feeling of failing to fully understand him, as in those places.

    // Love, say orderly people, can be fallen into by two methods: (1) through the desires, (2) through the imagination. [ (1) ] is inferior. Yet those who pursue it at all events know what they want; they are not puzzling to themselves or ludicrous to others; they do not take the wings of the morning and fly into the uttermost parts of the sea before walking to the registry office; they cannot breed a tragedy quite like Rickie’s.
    // “If I had a girl, I’d keep her in line,” is not the remark of a fool nor of a cad. Rickie had not kept his wife in line. He had shown her all the workings of his soul, mistaking this for love; and in consequence she was the worse woman after two years of marriage, and he, on this morning of freedom, was harder upon her than he need have been.


    Have I understood it right that:

    Desires = physical attraction like Gerald and Agnes shared OR like Stephen’s marriage when he knew intellectually which kind of wife he wanted

    Imagination = idealizing the beloved and not seeing the real person in front of you in the process like Rickie

    But doesn’t imagination include physical desire too? May be, Forster simply refers to central components of each way of falling in love? And, if I am right, why imagination is superior? I feel I miss something central here.


    Both options fail to satisfy me since neither seems to include real mental closeness.

    When Forster blaims Rickie: “shown her all the workings of his soul … and in consequence she was the worse woman after two years of marriage,” I both don’t understand how she could become worse from it rather than from Rickie letting her control him while indulging her worst impulses (do you?) and still think:

    1) Real love includes this kind of understanding. Rickie’s mistake was choosing a wrong woman and then letting her help him in destroying himself, not being open with her. Rickie’s vision was right and superior to Stephen’s:

    “But woman was not to be “kept” to this line. Rather did she advance it continually, like some triumphant general, making each unit still more interesting, still more lovable, than it had been before.”

    I am a woman, but the same thing could be said about a man.

    2) Forster is sexist here. Stuart Ansell understands the workings of Rickie’s soul and is the better friend for it, but a woman must be kept in line? Rickie wouldn’t dream of keeping Ansell in any line (besides it being impossible), that’s supposed to be a trait of a true friend / lover.


    // “I did not come to comfort you. I came to see that you mind. He is in heaven, Agnes. The greatest thing is over.”
    […] “Dear Rickie—but for the rest of my life what am I to do?”
    “Anything—if you remember that the greatest thing is over.”

    Why? Forster seems to share this view and says elsewhere that Agnes could love only once, but Rickie doesn’t know it. Seems to be 100% his need to idealize people and imagine them as tragic heroes . Also, had Gerald the bully lived, Agnes’s happiness wouldn’t have lasted since Gerald was a pretty disgusting person. Sexual attraction does not suffice for a happy marriage and that couple had nothing in common except sex.

    On the first reading, I thought Stephen married Agnes and that she achieved happiness at last with a man resembling Gerald but a much better person than him. But they married different people (Agnes became Mrs. Keynes). I still think Agnes simply couldn’t love Rickie and finding a decent man with Gerald-like animalism (if that’s the word) could make her love again.


    1. I’ve known people who fall in love with idealized images that they attach to real people. These are always relationships that are not very long-lived.

      There is, however, a different aspect of this. People who are in love do become better because each of them sees only the best part of the beloved person. As a result, love becomes an opportunity for rapid personal growth.

      As for the author’s difficulty with sexual desire, remember what culture he comes from and what is the era when he’s writing. These were the men who took sexual desire to prostitutes because they felt it debased them.

      As to keeping in line, I have to agree with Forster. The expression sounds horrible but it points towards an important idea. Let’s call the process establishing and maintaining boundaries instead of keeping in line, although it’s the same thing and even the same imagery is present. Even the closest, most beautiful relationship will sour and collapse eventually if boundaries are not set and strictly enforced. The danger is much higher among lovers than friends because the physical merging of the bodies makes the collapse of the boundaries much easier to happen surreptitiously.

      I’ve seen beautiful relationships turning to sourness, recriminations and misery because people forgot they were two different individuals and tried to merge into a single entity.


  14. FOURTH (and last) – After Ansell says “He’s the son of your mother”

    \ The soul has her own currency. She mints her spiritual coinage and stamps it with the image of some beloved face. … And in time she forgets its origin; it seems to her to be a thing unalterable, divine. But the soul can also have her bankruptcies.
    Perhaps she will be the richer in the end. In her agony she learns to reckon clearly. … The face, however beloved, was mortal, and as liable as the soul herself to err. We do but shift responsibility by making a standard of the dead.
    There is, indeed, another coinage that bears on it not man’s image but God’s. It is incorruptible … But it cannot give us friends, or the embrace of a lover, or the touch of children, for with our fellow mortals it has no concern. … Have we learnt the true discipline of a bankruptcy if we turn to such coinage as this? Will it really profit us so much if we save our souls and lose the whole world? \

    Forster seems to be saying here that idealization of people, a trait of Rickie’s which helped to destroy his life, is required to live and love in this world. ???

    I do agree that we learn to love ourselves and then others through love we receive (and later return) in early childhood and that at first love includes idealization. Children naturally idealize their parents till a certain age, and often beyond it. Since nobody is w/o faults, idealized imaginings of people often lead to disappointment. However, Forster seems to say something more than that.

    My statement is supported by some things in the book. Rickie idealized his mother, but his reasons for stopping to do so (Stephen) are shown to be false. Moreover, Stephen’s voice sounding like his mother’s is what saves Rickie from that school and lets him feel himself a living person for a while and write his book / novel. Stephen’s daughter “to whom he had given the name of their mother” (last words in the novel!) realizes Rickie’s dream of his mother’s continuation. Wiki entry even claims “the development into one’s true self, has concluded successfully for Rickie,” but how can I agree with that when he died feeling himself a failure, resigned to return to Agnes?

    In general, Rickie’s lack of self-confidence and self-image as a failure from the novel’s beginning, partly stemming from his mother’s treatment of him, led him to try to live through idealized others: Agnes and Gerald, Ansell, Stephen and his mother.

    I even got the feeling that the novel support’s Rickie’s view of self at times. Some of his idols are revealed to be false, but others remain – the mother, Ansell and in a way Stephen. Ansell foretells “He won’t get famous. She will only see how thin he is and how lame” and Mr. Pembroke thinks “Of course death is a terrible thing. Yet death is merciful when it weeds out a failure”, while fighting with Stephen over money from Rickie’s stories. (!) Of course, Ansell is not completely right (he should’ve added “won’t get famous during Rickie’s life”), but Ansell’s words didn’t come 100% true only because he saved Rickie and pushed him to write. Also, see the paragraph about the mother above.

    I have written a lot since you said you loved the novel and I hoped you would be interested in the discussion. The novel was so sad and I both sympathised and emphasized with Rickie. Currently, I am a bit apprehensive about exploring female bildungsroman since it may concentrate on female sex(uality) and social forces controlling it. I didn’t feel any connection to the heroine of “The Bell Jar,” but much in Rickie’s life hit close to home.


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