The Short Attention Span Philosopher #295

#295 Anais Nin

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In The Name of Friendship by Frank Bird Linderman

In The Name of Friendship by Frank Bird Linderman

In the old west a man has reached bottom and is determined to kill himself. As there are consequences to suicide in the hereafter, the bartender at the Silver Dollar offers to kill him in the name of friendship.

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The Short Attention Span Philosopher #294

#294 Mary Shelley – author of Frankenstein

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Crooken Sands by Bram Stoker

Bram Stoker is best known as the author of Dracula. This is one of his short stories.

An English merchant goes on holiday to Scotland with his family. He admires the traditional dress of the Highland chiefs and commissions such an outfit for himself before leaving London. Upon debarking in Scotland he insists on wearing the costume, much to the embarrassment of his family and the amusement of the locals. Saft Tammie, a man considered a bit daft but respected for his warnings of doom, tells the merchant that, for his vanity, he will see himself face to face and then meet his fate in the coastal quicksands. Sure enough, one evening he meets his doppelganger and strays into the quicksand before being rescued. He is haunted by the experience but keeps it to himself.

The author wrote the speeches of the Scots in dialect and I read them that way. The main character is described as Cockney but his speeches weren’t in dialect so I read them plain. There’s nothing quite so tedious as a Cockney accent done badly.

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The Short Attention Span Philosopher #293

#293 George Santayana

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The Short Attention Span Philosopher #292

#292 Evelyn Waugh

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The Short Attention Span Philosopher #291

#291 Graham Greene

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The Speeches of Samuel Clemmons aka Mark Twain

Known the world over as Mark Twain, Samuel Clemmons was a popular public speaker and did it both for pay and pleasure. His speeches were often just for fun but could also be very pointed with humor used to drive home his point.

Each of these programs is based upon a collection of his speeches that were preserved for posterity.

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The Short Attention Span Philosopher #290

#290 Don Quijote

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The Short Attention Span Philosopher #289

#289 – Selections from Midsummer Night’s Dream by Shakespeare

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The Short Attention Span Philosopher #288

#288 Lewis Carroll

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The Raggedy Man by James Whitcomb Riley

Some feel this poem was the inspiration for Raggedy Ann. It’s a child’s eye view of a hired hand who was very good to his employer’s children.

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Little Orphant Annie by James Whitcomb Riley

A scary poem about the goblins who’ll get you if you don’t watch out. James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916) was known as the Hoosier poet.

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The Short Attention Span Philosopher #287

#287 Ambrose Bierce

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The Hypnotist by Ambrose Bierce

A young man has the kind of eyes that engage others. He is a natural hypnotist and also a sociopath. As a teenager he routinely takes the lunch of a young girl who is convinced that she has eaten it. He makes a prison warden think he is an ostrich and the man dies while trying to swallow a doorknob. His own parents are made to believe they are wild broncos and they fight to the death.

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An Imperfect Conflagration by Ambrose Bierce

A father/son team have committed a burglary and are dividing the spoils when the father holds back a fancy music box and denies he has it. This causes the son to end their partnership. He accomplishes this with a handy hatchet which he later uses on his mother. An insurance policy is taken out on the house to enrich the son when he burns it down. The fire is also intended to dispose of his parents bodies. The story is an example of Bierce black humor.

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The Realm of the Unreal by Ambrose Bierce

A hypnotist trained in India is skilled at infusing others with illusions.

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At the Gates of Tombs by Carl Sandburg

At the Gates of Tombs

I enjoy exploring the work of poets. Some poems become dated while others written long ago could have been written yesterday. That is the case here. Sandburg comments on the fate of civilizations and the fate of those seeking to stave off the inevitable.

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Ch16 Myths and Legends

The Old Lodger

This tale, from Myths and Legends of Our Own Land by Charles M. Skinner, tells of a non believing landlady who encounters her dead lodger.

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Ch15 Myths and Legends

Riders of the Deserts

A Spanish trader has his way with the wife of an Indian brave and drives her mad. Upon the braves return his wife commits suicide and he seeks revenge. He kidnaps the trader and ties him on a horse face to face with the corpse of his victim. They ride the desert until he too is driven mad.
This story comes from “Myths and Legends of Our Own Land” by Charles M. Skinner.

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