More substance than you might expect

This afternoon NPR had a segment with two of the people behind SMITH Magazine.  They were talking about “Six Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak,”  the new book that has come from SMITH’s “six word memoir” feature.  The inspiration was a piece by Hemingway, as sad as it was brief: “For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn.”   Not all of theirs are that sad, I hasten to assure you.  Some of the more memorable:

Tried men, tried women, like cats. 

Confess in anguish to imaginary gods.

My Mom warned me about musicians.

Found love when apartment caught fire.

Years passed.  I never let go. 

Hates Valentine’s Day, loves me instead.

Yes, dear.  You’re right.  I’m sorry.

Here’s a promotional video for the book.

Is Your Marriage Ever Legal? Ask Ken Starr!

Gooey Love Cake

Make this relatively quick and impressive cake for your Valentine. 

vanilla cake mix, banana creme pudding mix, caramel ice cream topping, banana

suggestion: vanilla cake mix, banana creme pudding mix, caramel ice cream topping, banana

1 box cake mix

1 box instant pudding mix

1 jar (1 pound) ice cream topping

fruit, cut into small pieces as necessary

hint: Choose complimentary ingredient flavors. 

1. Make cake batter (do not bake yet) according to box directions.

2. Make pudding according to pudding pie directions on box (reduced liquid), pulverizing lumps between fork tines and your finger.

3. Swirl 1/2 cake batter and 1/2 pudding together in a large cake pan.

4. Place fruit on swirled mixture.

5. Drizzle remaining cake batter and pudding over fruit.

6. Bake according to briefest time box directions.

7. At end of baking time, turn off oven, then open over door quickly, then close oven door and allow pudding cake to cool in warm oven.

8. Cover pudding cake with plastic wrap and refridgerate overnight.

9. Pour at least most of ice cream topping over pudding cake.

10. Arrange fruit on top of topping.

The Nation (five issues)

The Democratic primaries dominate the issues of 25 February, 3 March, 10 March, 17 March, and 24 March.  Interesting bits do slip in, though.  What are these bits?

 25 February: A long review of a biography of Joschka Fischer and Stuart Klawans’ review of the Romanian illegal-abortion drama 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days

3 March: Alexander Cockburn declares that diverting Social Security taxes to Wall Street “was never a job for the Republicans, any more than was welfare ‘reform.’  Eradication of the social safety net is a job for the Democratic Party,” a job Bill Clinton would have completed had God not sent Monica Lewinsky to rescue us.  Kathryn Joyce writes on the New Natalists, right-leaning types who worry that too few white babies are being born.  Joyce identifies historian Allen Carlson as the intellectual godfather of this group.  I’ve read some of Carlson’s books and can attest that he is at once an excellent historian whose works anyone can benefit from reading and a far-right crackpot whose triumph in the realm of public policy would be catastrophic.  Jochen Hellbeck reviews two books on Stalin, tracing the development of Utopian plans into hellish institutions.  Ronald Grigor Suny reviews two other books about Bolshevism.  And from Charles Bernstein, a nifty little love poem called “All the Whiskey in Heaven,” which ended up in my Valentine’s Day package to Mrs Acilius.

10 March: Tom Hayden revisits Vietnam and is very uncomfortable with what he finds there; Daniel Wilkinson reviews four books on Hugo Chavez’ Venezuela and reaches far less rosy conclusions than have previous issues of The Nation.

17 March: Jeremy Scahill reports on Barack Obama’s stated willingness to continue using mercenary firms like Blackwater; and Daniel Lazare reviews two books on religious conflicts in early Modern Europe, arguing that secularism is older than the Enlightenment and defending it as the one tried-and-true means of overcoming religious conflict. 

24 March: Mark Mazower wrings his hands about the implications of the Kosovo’s “independence”; Neve Gordon reviews work on Palestinians who collaborate with Zionism; and Stuart Klawans reviews Chop Shop, a film which he identifies as part of “a small but fascinating group of Iranian-flavored movies made in New York City.”