William Golding: "I think women are foolish to pretend they are equal to men, they are far superior and always have been." The author of "Lord of the Flies" was explaining why he did not use girls for his story. [Snopes] ... ... After rereading "Death in Venice", I can see a connection between Aschenbach and the protagonist in the short story "Joker". They seem to represent Mann's greatest fear, whether it's being a young dilettante who becomes a middle-age dilettante, or being an older middle-age man who gives in to his baseness and appetites and forgoes his art. It is as though he created these stories as scare-stories for himself to keep him on his vaunted discipline as a true and productive artist. You could say that my life was his worst nightmare: the writer-pretender who never actually produces anything. ... ... Arthur Koestler: "Without education of the masses, no social progress; without social progress, no education of the masses." [Orwell: Essays (1944)] ... Struggling through Schopenhauer, I found myself rethinking my reading life. Don't get me wrong: I think Schopenhauer, along with Plato, is my philosopher, but I am afraid that German idealism might be too much of a luxury this late in my life, especially with an ailing 75 year-old father/provider. I am going to continue to read Schopenhauer but at a much more leisurely pace. I also decided that I need to get more of my favorite voices back into my life. I am still into Mann, but I don't think I want my reading life exclusively devoted to him. There are a lot of wonderful writers out there. That is why I have picked Orwell back up. I don't think that I am on my death bed, but I am feeling this intense need to have more of my 'friends' near me. I want to talk with them, hear what they have to say. ... ... "Do you want to see it on the big screen, Pop?" He does. The Cowboys had a play-off game today. Pop gave up on the Boys early and settled in the kitchen, giving the big room back to me. However, the Boys came roaring back. The Boys and the Packers had dueling field goals over the last two minutes of the game. When the Cowboys tied it up, I thought they were going into overtime, and I gave the room back to Pop. But the Packers came back fast and wrapped up the game in the closing seconds.