Posts Tagged ‘Henry Venema’

Best New Year’s resolution for 2019 – from the third monkey on Noah’s Ark

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019
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The best resolution of the incoming 2019 may be the one that appeared on my Facebook newsfeed, by author and former bank robber Joe Loya, who served Lompoc Federal Penitentiary, with two years in solitary for violent behavior.

Why do I like it? Perhaps it’s because I, too, feel like the third monkey on the ramp of Noah’s Ark. Joe was profiled in the movie Protagonist, directed by Jessica Yu. He worked closely with director Edgar Wright on the 2017 film Baby Driver, which received three Academy nominations.

What’s he doing in 2019? Right now, he told me, he’s in the Bay Area producing a podcast about his recovery from childhood abuse, crime, prison and “an overall violent way of being.”

“I’m script consulting on films. Like Baby Driver 2″ – I consulted on the first Baby Driver film and even had a cameo in which I played a bank guard who was dispatched by bank robber Jamie Foxx. Ironies still abound in my life.”

And below his resolution, my own favorite New Year’s Eve Facebook post from Henry Venema. And below that, a photo from my own solitary (and curiously pleasing) New Year’s Eve over my laptop, with a fine single malt in my mother’s Waterford crystal, Józef Czapski‘s Inhuman Land, and The New York Review of Books holiday issue, which has a review of Evolution of Desire: A Life of René Girard. As Maria Adle Besson put it, “un reveillon d’intellectuelle.” Doesn’t get better than that.

It’s going to be a busy year – and I hope one as miraculous as 2018 has been. Thank you all for sharing it.


The sentence “People are afraid that all people are equal” is one of the chapter epigraphs and in the text of Evolution of Desire – it’s from a conversation with Stanford’s Dantista, Prof. John Frecceroa lifelong friend of René Girard.

Happy New Year everyone, from The Book Haven!

Postscript on Jan. 2: Well, Joe, it appears there’s a precedent for a stowaway on the Ark, so we’re in luck. From an illustration of Beatus of Liébana‘s commentary, The ‘Silos Apocalypse’; 1091-1109. Thanks to Ennius (@red_loeb) for the find on Twitter. Ennius asks: “Can you spot the stowaway on Noah’s Ark?” (Elisha ben Abuya @Elishabenabuya adds: “There is a Midrash that Noah had to take two of every living thing, so that included demons as well. – Midrash Rabbah Berashit 31:13)