Have I done one of these bullet-pointy posts lately? I'm not going to go back and look in case the answer is "yes."
• I'm surprised the islamophobes -- the kind of people who are urging Europeans to make babies or succumb to the rising hordes in the banlieues -- haven't made more of The Song of Roland, what with stuff like this:
He saw the Saracen seize his sword;When you realize that the poem rewrote history (to make the Basques into Moors), you think it would be even more appealing to those folks. Why hasn't the Wall Street Journal editorial page already run an article asking why there aren't more archbishops like these:
His eyes he oped, and he spake one word—
“Thou art not one of our band, I trow,”
And he clutched the horn he would ne’er forego;
On the golden crest he smote him full,
Shattering steel and bone and skull,
Forth from his head his eyes he beat,
And cast him lifeless before his feet.
When Turpin felt him flung to ground,• This has got to be one of the longest death scenes in literature. In stanza 154, Roland, sounding his horn, literally blows his brains out ("Burst asunder his temple's vein"). Then he has a tender scene with his special friend Olivier, who's just been killed. Then he fights some. Then he carries Olivier back for a proper benediction. Then, as you've seen, he kills one last Saracen who tried to get his sword. Then he tries to destroy the sword, lest an Arab get it (sword = constitution, in our time). And then, like a good Frenchman, he makes sure his death is orderly:
And four lance wounds within him found,
He swiftly rose, the dauntless man,
To Roland looked, and nigh him ran.
Spake but, “I am not overthrown—
Brave warrior yields with life alone.”
He drew Almace’s burnished steel,
A thousand ruthless blows to deal.