What I’m Reading — Billy Budd

Billy Budd

The hull deliberately recovering from the periodic roll to leeward was just regaining an even keel, when the last signal, a preconcerted dumb one, was given. At the same moment it chanced that the vapory fleece hanging low in the East, was shot thro’ with a soft glory as of the fleece of the Lamb of God seen in mystical vision, and simultaneously therewith, watched by the wedged mass of upturned faces, Billy ascended; and, ascending, took the full rose of the dawn.”

Melville is my favorite tragic author (from a personal basis) — Billy Budd — arguably his most accessible work, wasn’t published until well after his death when it was discovered in some papers and brought to the public in the mid-1920s. As a stylist, he could turn a beautiful phrase, and I am especially hit with the force of repetition in emphasizing the tragic execution of the hero with “Billy ascended; and ascending, took the full rose of the dawn.”
Verbal pearls like this put me in awe of great writers.

Why pro sports suck

1. Tour de France becomes the Tour de Petri Dish
2. Barry Bonds is the human asterix
3. NBA ref bets on games. Games he officiates
4. Dog fighting NFL player
5. Mechanics cheating in NASCAR
6. Lawsuits in the America’s Cup
7. Steroids in golf

What ever happened to the ideal of non-commercial, amateur athletics? Parent-free children’s sports? Nationalism free Olympics?


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