Thursday 25 November, 2021

The wild Atlantic way

The view from Muckros Head in Co Donegal looking across to Slieve League. It’s one of our favourite places — and one of the most infuriating things about the pandemic is that we haven’t we haven’t been able to go there since 2020. It was taken the other day by John Darch who is one of the best landscape photographers I know.

Quote of the Day

“Life is like playing a solo on the violin, and learning the instrument as you go along.”

  • Samuel Butler

Musical alternative to the morning’s radio news

Eric Bogle | The Band Played Waltzing Matilda


This takes a few moments to get going, but stick with it. It’s one of the most moving anti-war songs I’ve heard. And the guitar accompaniment is lovely. Military glory is a sunset suffused with blood.

Long Read of the Day

 The neoliberal era is ending. What comes next?

This is long (took me 22 minutes) but IMHO worth it. Rutger Bregman is a radical Dutch journalist who is interested in ideas and the long view and is temperamentally an optimist about human nature. (Which makes him a very unusual journalist!)

More Faith, Less Sex?

The Institute for Family Studies is wondering why are so many unmarried young adults not having sex?

My guess is that faith doesn’t have all that much to do with it; it’s probably more a product of demographic and social change.

Some of this rise in sexlessness is driven by the broad social trend of increasingly delayed marriage. Married people are more likely to be sexually active than unmarried people: in 2021, only about 5% of ever-married people under 35 reported no sex in the past year, versus about 29% of the never-married. As a result, declining marriage tends to reduce sexual activity as married people make up a shrinking share of the population of people under 35. And indeed, in the General Social Survey data, the never-married share of under-35s rose from just over 50% in the early 1990s, to 60-75% over the last decade.

Here’s a gloomy thought: I wonder if climate crisis has anything to do with it? After all, if the worst-case scenarios about climate change are accurate, who’d want to bring an innocent kid into such a world?

My commonplace booklet

A new party game: “Republican or Not?”

Lovely 5-minute Saturday Night Live video.

This Blog is also available as a daily email. If you think that might suit you better, why not [subscribe]? One email a day, Monday through Friday, delivered to your inbox. It’s free, and you can always unsubscribe if you conclude your inbox is full enough already!