The Thinking 

Theatrical Women and their Trials

June 24, 2009


Where is Shakespeare on this pie chart?

This article in today’s New York Times states an amazing fact. Apparently, female artistic directors and literary agents have a tendency to discriminate against female playwrights. Are women naturally more competitive with other women? If so, the more women in positions of influence the harder time women trying to break in will have. In other words, the idea that women will be kinder to women is false. Or do women agents, sick and tired of the feminist claptrap that lands on their desks, secretly wish to purge the field of all women? Whatever the answer, the solution is this: Feel sorry for women.

Here’s another question: Is it possible for artistic endeavour to survive in a world where people are charting its progress?


‘Fantastic, Mutable, Illusory’

June 24, 2009


James M. writes:

Your piece on clouds reminded me of a passage from one of my favorite obscure books: V. M. Yeates’ Winged Victory, a semi-autobiographical novel about RAF pilots during the Great War.

    It climbed well, and in a minute reached the cloud layer, which was at fifteen-hundred feet.  After a few preliminary obscurings he was involved in the grey deleting mist. The world had gone; dissolved into intangible chaos. Nothing had form except the aeroplane and himself and perhaps that queer circular ghost of a rainbow that sat in the blankness in front. Every motion had ceased, for all the roaring of the engine. Nevertheless, he knew by experience that in this no-world it was necessary to keep the pitot at eighty or more, and the joystick and rudder central, or bad sensations as of dizzying flopping would follow. The mist grew darker. He put his head in the office and flew by his instruments. He kept the speed right but he could feel that all was not well, without being able to tell what might be wrong. The mist brightened. He came suddenly into sunshine. A cloudless blue sky arched over a gleaming floor of ivory rocks. It was all around him in the twinkling of an eye, and the grey chaos away in another universe, a million years or a few feet distant. The two sphere were as close together and as far apart as life and death. He saw that he was flying with unintentional bank.
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What do Fathers Want? II

June 24, 2009


Bill writes the following in response to earlier entry on fathers and daughters:

I think (decent) fathers want for their daughters what they have always wanted: a home and a life which give them the greatest chance of rightly-ordered flourishing.  For a long time, back to say Greek antiquity, giving her the best chance at this or something close to it meant preparing her for her role in a rightly-ordered home and helping her find a proper mate.  But this is much less true today and is becoming less true as we go along.

Women cannot simply expect that they will be able to find a suitable man who wants a traditional marriage.  The norms supporting that expectation are weak and are perhaps getting weaker still.  In northern europe now, most babies are born out of wedlock.  Among the American underclass, the same is true.  Even among the more functional elements of our society, the expectation that wives will make large contributions to the family’s financial support is nearly universal.

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