Table of contents

Scent of a woman 2

Some notes considering the moral virtues

The man is blind. First, this foregrounds the sense of touch: he hates being touched. Apparently, self-defense & aggression are one. – Sex & a Ferrari, the man tells the boy, are the two important things in life, in that order. Then he promises an education & gives […]

Scent of a woman 1

Some notes on gentlemanliness

Apparently, the story of a poor prep school senior from Oregon on a merit scholarship to New England can teach boys what they need to know for college. This teaching is done outside college. Apparently, college is not as important to a young man as being a man. College embellishes […]

The Hunt for Red October 2

The end of war

Jack Ryan is a former Marine, crippled in service. He endured years of recuperation. War is still in his blood, but he now tries to understand it. This knowledge, however, is practical. Soon duty & urgency again threaten to kill him. When he gets into trouble, he curses to himself: […]

The Hunt for Red October 1

The Americans & the Soviets

Cold War thrillers reveal secrets, above all that the Cold War was not a war. Spies fought; black ops. The American military was not asked to sacrifice for God & country. The private war must therefore reveal to us the men’s virtues & problems. We see the death & […]

Game Of Thrones I.8-10

Seizing the advantage

Stark’s heir, left in his capital, was right to declare war. If the major battle was inevitable, he should have fought in his own land, trapping his enemies everywhere. But he went to war without allies, for nobody trembled in fear of him: No man saw his victory tied to Stark’s […]

Game Of Thrones I.7


Stark faces the Lannister queen with her incest, adultery, & attempted murder. He honorably tells her to take her family & leave.

She asks, puzzled, why he had not assumed the throne, having as good a title as anybody, being furthermore the battlefield victor… She says death is the alternative to the throne, […]

Game Of Thrones I.6

War with honor

Peace is lost; the king slaps the queen; he must join his former king’s hand & start war. – He cannot bring North & South, Starks & Lannisters together. He cannot use either to destroy the other. He cannot destroy both, which would anyway destroy the kingdom.

The Lannisters have money, […]

Game Of Thrones I.5

Men of honor

The spymaster tells Stark his mentor was assassinated for asking questions. Stark calls him a man of peace who held his position for thirty years. How did he survive this long? – Asking questions does not itself get men killed, or else there were no intrigue, that favorite sport of courts… […]

Game Of Thrones I.4.2

The art of war

The teaching about leadership is the other half of the story. In the wild, the bastard must learn to put weak & strong together & unite the army which defends men from beasts. The laws must appear as strong as the encroaching wilderness. But the boy first tries to persuade […]