I suspect the cat got its name at a time when my mother, like a lot of other intellectuals of that time, were drawn to the Communist Party. Vyacheslav Molotov was, among other things, the foreign affairs minister under Joseph Jugashvili, the man who became the Soviet dictator, Joseph Stalin. Communism, like Christianity, has wonderful principles which lose their luster in practice and my mother soon enough distanced herself from her earlier interest. The cat, however, retained its name.
-- The Rat Wars of Valley Street took a turn yesterday when a huge Dumpster was deposited in the driveway of the house accused of fostering a rat population in the neighborhood. One neighbor has an air rifle (legal in Mass. without a permit) and is allegedly popping them off. It is not legal to shoot air rifles across streets, alleys or, I suspect, property lines.) I have some sympathy for anyone who is forced to face and perhaps clean up accumulations made over the years -- accumulations, in this case, where rats can live in comfort. Each accumulated item has a meaning and importance that relates to another time and place and yet here it is, at last, reduced to rubbish, an albatros around the neck... and there's no escaping the responsibility.
-- Meaning and meaninglessness amount to the same thing -- a desire to put sprinkles on an already-delicious cupcake. It is probably not wise to mention this since meaning is frequently, if not always, so meaningful in anyone's life. Me too. I wouldn't waste a lot of time setting up meaning/meaninglessness as a straw man worthy of a good drubbing, but I do think it is something worth keeping an eye on: Meanings are limited and there is something that knows from the get-go that what is limited is far from being the whole story. So, OK, a rock may be a "rock" for communication purposes or meaningful purposes, but also, what is a rock?
-- Skimming through the newspaper idly, I came to a section devoted to television -- a pull-out tab with