I've been amusing myself by reading Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson. I'm not sure why other than the fact that I like the way those 18th century dudes talk and this book is all about conversation. Back in the day, Johnson was a literary lion, although he is scarcely read today and lives on mostly through his biographer.
Anyhow, old Sam struck a nerve in this morning's reading in a discussion of Italy:
"A man who has not been in Italy, is always conscious of an inferiority, from his not having seen what it is expected a man should see. The grand object of travelling is to see the shores of the Mediterranean. On these shores were the four great Empires of the world; the Assyrian, the Persian, the Grecian, and the Roman.--All our religion, almost all our law, almost all our arts, almost all that sets us above savages, has come to us from the shores of the Mediterranean."
I wouldn't go that far, but he has a point. The sad part for me is that I actually did get to go to Italy last summer and ran around quite a bit for the little time I was there. BUT, alas, I didn't get to see the Mediterranean. I was pretty close at Ravenna but we only had a little time and it just didn't work out.
It is my custom when I meet a worthy body of water to touch and bless myself with a few drops of it on my forehead the way observant Roman Catholics use holy water and I REALLY wanted to do that with the Mediterranean.
Maybe next time. If there is one.
I HATE TO SAY I TOLD YOU SO, but the stimulus, aka American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, actually worked.
RUNNING BEHIND. I meant to include this item by Jared Bernstein on the latest Census poverty data last week. Here's the good news: for the first time in ages, the percentage of uninsured Americans actually fell, thanks largely to the Affordable Care Act.
WILL DISNEY SUE? Here's a look at Mickey Mouse on Mercury.
GOAT ROPE ADVISORY LEVEL: ELEVATED