Utopian Idiots

John Jalsevac
Things Should Take a Long Time
Created 29 Jan 2021
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  • Will Pemberton, RIP.
    06 Sep 2021 • 28 min read • 8 12
    Note: Will Pemberton was one of the three writers who founded Utopian Idiots. Will himself came up with the name, which was intended to lampoon and chasten our self-confessed idealism. He died this pa...
  • Frost's transgressive conservatism
    24 Jun 2021 • 7 min read
    I recently set myself the task of systematically reading every poem Robert Frost ever published. This amused my wife, who pointed out that it seemed unlikely that there was anything in the ratty, penc...
  • Ode’tdoors
    17 Jun 2021 • 1 min read
    That which windows only tease, Passing out the doors will please Into wilderland we go ‘Wheather’ rain or shine or snow Fractals formed from frozen mists Fall with fluid friction twists Just as nights...
  • The untold stories of James Herriot
    21 May 2021 • 6 min read • 1 0
    When I asked Alf Wight’s son why his father’s books were still so popular decades after his death in 1995, Jim had an answer at the ready. His father—popularly known by the penname James Herriot—wrote...
  • A man’s place is in the kitchen
    17 Feb 2021 • 3 min read
    I’ve never operated a dish washer – I am the dish washer. I measure clean dishes done in “sinks” not loads. The daily dish-washing ritual in my house is a sani-soaking, sud-scrubbing, step-by-step pro...
  • That glorious Tik Tok sea shanty craze
    12 Feb 2021 • 6 min read • 1 0
    If someone told me a couple of months ago that there would be a TikTok trend that I’d be on board with, I would have laughed in their face. Then, earlier this year, the sea shanty craze hit—and sudden...
  • How our bad manners are destroying democracy
    03 Feb 2021 • 10 min read • 1 0
    "Let them eat cake," Marie Antoinette said (but not really), when told that the peasants of France were starving to death. The queen's mistake is usually explained by the fact that she was so immersed...
  • Winter Games
    20 Jan 2021 • 4 min read
    My father didn’t like winter. Frozen pipes in the barn initiated a tedious process of thawing copper pipes with a blow torch where heating cables had let go their tight grip, seemingly on their own. W...
  • Thoughts on Wendell Berry’s ‘The World-Ending Fire’
    16 Jan 2021 • 4 min read
    My first thought is about Berry’s language. Every sentence weighs heavily in the mind, as gold weighs heavy in the hand. How does he combine ordinary words into such weighty thoughts? It is a gift of ...
  • Chickens are people too
    07 Jan 2021 • 7 min read
    One of my earliest memories is the realization that chickens are people, too. When I was still small, my dad set up a chicken coop in our backyard, built a pen, and headed off to various livestock auc...
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