The Purchaser’s Option

A chilling song about slavery by Rhiannon Giddens:

I’ve got a baby. Shall I keep him?
Twill (ph) come the day when I’ll be weeping.
But how can I love him any less,
this little babe upon my breast?

You can take my body.
You can dig my bones.
You can take my blood
but not my soul.

I’ve got a body dark and strong.
I was young but not for long.
You took me to bed a little girl,
left me in a woman’s world.

Listen to Giddens’s remarkable performance and interview with Terry Gross on “Fresh Air.”

Symptom of Monogamy

In her fascinating essay on open marriage, Susan Dominus writes:

It took decades for sex researchers to consider the possibility that women’s fabled low libido might be a symptom of monogamy. An entire scientific field, well chronicled by Daniel Bergner (a contributing writer for the magazine) in his book “What Women Want,” has evolved to try to understand the near-total diminishment of lust for their partners that so many women in long-term monogamous relationships feel. One 2002 study found that men and women in committed relationships shared equal desire at the onset of their relationships, although for women, that desire dropped precipitously between one and four years into the relationship; for men, the desire remained high throughout that period. In his book, Bergner cites research suggesting that women desire novelty as much as men. The recent attempts to formulate medication to address waning sexual interest has been predicated on the assumption that one possible response — indulging an interest in newer partners — would never be practical and could be destabilizing.

That explains it. Call me old school but I don’t see open marriage is an option.

Con Tin và Con Nuôi

Một câu chuyện thú vị và cảm tình giữa người láy xe 71 tuổi và một trong ba phạm nhân (hai người Việt) trốn tù do Paul Kix kể lại. Bài này viết bằng tiếng Anh rất hay. Nên đọc.

Artless Jargon

Jia Tolentino reviews Ivanka’s new book:

“Women Who Work” is mostly composed of artless jargon (“All women benefit immeasurably by architecting their lives”) and inspirational quotes you might find by Googling “inspirational quotes.” Her exhortations feel even emptier than usual in light of Trump’s stated policy goals. “We must fight for ourselves, for our rights not just as workers but also as women,” Ivanka writes, and, elsewhere, “Honor yourself by exploring the kind of life you deserve.” The imagined audience for the book is so rarefied that Ivanka confidently calls paying bills and buying groceries “not enormously impactful” to one’s daily productivity.

Tolentino points out:

On page one hundred and four, she finally lays out a woman-specific suggestion: we should be more like men and apply for jobs for which we’re not completely qualified. Given the circumstances, it’s almost funny.

62 Years Apart

On December 1, 1955, a black woman was arrested for refusing to give up her seat. On April 9, 2017, an Asian man was dragged off for refusing to give up his seat.

Tình Dục Trong Ca Từ Của Từ Công Phụng

Nghe bài phân tích của Vĩnh Lạc Đoàn Thế Ngữ về bài “Như Ngọn Buồn Rơi” của Từ Công Phụng khá thú vị. Ông đưa ra một khía cạnh nói lên cảnh đẹp lãng mạng của đôi tình nhân vừa mới trao thân cho nhau:

Ôi nỗi dịu dàng nào đã ngời sáng
trên môi người
trên từng cơn lốc xoay đời
thuyền tình đã đắm trong vòng tay u mê

Mời thưởng thức

Vĩnh Lạc Đoàn Thế Ngữ

Vài tuần trước tôi tình cờ nghe được một đoạn radio nói về bài “Phố Buồn” của Phạm Duy do Vĩnh Lạc Đoàn Thế Ngữ thực hiện qua chương trình “Âm Thanh và Ngôn Từ.” Thế Ngữ phân tích nhạc và lời rất thú vị. Chê hay khen, Thế Ngữ trình bài rất chân thật. Tuy những chương trình này thu âm đã khá lâu nhưng tôi chỉ mới phát hiện. Những bạn nào chưa nghe, những đề tài nói về nhạc Trịnh Công Sơn, Phạm Duy, và Từ Công Phụng nên nghe cho vui. Tất cả các bài có thể nghe hoặc tải xuống ở đây.

Thanks Bảo

Ngô Thiên Bảo:

I found your website, and I am so glad to see someone distill all the thoughts that go into good Vietnamese typography.… I’ve sent my donation to support your online book as gift to future designers in our community.

I really appreciate your generous support.

Switched to HTTPS

All of the Scalia Law Sites are now switched to HTTPS. Mad props to my new developer. After many trials and errors, he finally figured it out. This has been on my to-do list for a while, but I couldn’t to it because I have other requests and projects. I am glad to have someone to just focus on getting this done. Now all of our sites, including the main one, are moved to HTTPS. An added level of security is an added layer peace of mind. I still have so much to learn about running and maintaining servers, but having great people to work with is awesome.

So Far So Good

My part-time backend web developer started this week. He’s knowledgeable and down-to-earth. He has been helping me out with smaller tasks like making online forms and some server administrations. His main project is moving all our WordPress Multisite to HTTPS. With his help, I can focus on design and front-end development; therefore, I am glad to have him joining us.