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Intriguing things about John Wesley on the 230th anniversary of his death.

John Wesley | English clergyman | Britannica

“Methodist” was originally a term of abuse of course, or, perhaps more accurately a joke that Wesley and his supporters were never offended by. Many of Wesley’s publications refer to “the people who are called Methodists”. As a young man at Oxford, Wesley’s circle was determined to live “methodically”, to ensure that Christianity informed every waking detail of life. William Law’s Serious Call was something of a textbook. (The later Law, the mystical Law informed by the pantheistic infinite extension of Divine Substance as suggested by Jakob Boehme, was a Law that Wesley could never have embraced.)

Henry Fielding used “Methodist” to describe any kind of abuse of religious rhetoric under any circumstances. Blifil ends up a Methodist. Indeed, when it came to attacks on religious enthusiasm, mainstream latitudinarians were keen to suggest that the Methodists were closer to Catholics than they were to conventional Anglicans.

Wesley lived and died an Anglican. The issue of separation became an issue of ordination. The Anglican Church hierarchy could not keep up with or endorse “the people who are called Methodists” in their programme of expansion and so unsanctioned ordinations, particularly in America, started to go ahead any way. But Wesley could claim at the end of his long life that he had never sought or intended separation. The founding of a new dissenting protestant denomination was never any part of his plan.

Throughout his life, he had an obsession with not wasting time. He used to try to read on horseback. When the day was done and it was time to go to sleep, he would do so very abruptly. Samuel Johnson, who had much to talk to him about, used to complain that Wesley was never “at leisure”. Relaxed, undirected conversation was something that Wesley never felt he could justify or countenance. Perhaps he never quite “lived in the moment”. Perhaps if you’re not prepared to “waste time” on occasion, then you lose a degree of spontaneity. Perhaps he never learned to appreciate the value of meandering chat that sends you in unforeseen directions.

He was also a convinced Lockean. He felt that the kind of conversion experience he had experienced could be assimilated to Lockean epistemology. Any that represented a experience or an “impression”, he felt could be theorised accordingly. He felt that the “impression” that God had made upon him deserved the same philosophical respect as any other empirical sense impression.

At the very end of his life John Wesley subscribed to William Cowper’s translations of Homer, but never got the chance to read his copy. Cowper felt rather moved and pleased to see Wesley’s name among the subscribers, even though at an earlier point in his life, under the more direct influence of John Newton, Calvinist Cowper would have regarded Wesley as an Arminian troublemaker.

Wesley was not a teetotaller. He abstained from wine rather more towards the end of his life, but the idea of abjuring or denouncing all alcoholic drinks did not occur to him. Such an idea occurred to hardly anyone in the eighteenth-century.

Karma Karma Karma Karma Karma Albanian. Albania’s 2021 Eurovision entry.

🇦🇱 Anxhela Peristeri confirms Karma will remain in Albanian for  Eurovision -

Anxhela Peristeri – Karma – Albania 🇦🇱- National Final Performance – Eurovision 2021 – YouTube

Yes, Eurovision is happening this year. In hindsight it could have happened last year as well, but we were newbies to pandemic stagings back in those far off distant days of May 2020.

In all honesty, Eurovision is rather less of a contact sport (usually) than Six Nations Rugby, so it really should not be beyond the collective wit of Europe to organise something relatively safe.

Some of us were convinced that there was nothing to prevent a virtual staging last year- but virtual stagings were strange and unfamiliar things in those distant, frightened, innocent times. We didn’t, perhaps, even know how to “be” virtual audience. Now, it’s an open question whether we’ll ever be able to learn how to be “real” again.

A great many participating nations are sending exactly the same artists as last year, just to be nice – as it were. I’ll say it now – Iceland’s song by returning DaĂ°i og GagnamagniĂ° isn’t as unfailingly charming and persuasive as last year’s. Shame.

Albania, on the other hand, is not going with last year’s entrant but is instead sending Anxhela Peristeri, who was proclaimed Albania’s challenger the moment she won the 59th Festivali i Kenges in Tirana. And let’s be fair – this song and performance has Eurovision stamped all over it.

She’s wearing a big silly shiny sparkly flowy yet gapey dress. There’s fire and ice motifs dancing in the background. She has four slaves crawling to meet her who toss her about a bit before making clear their abject devotion. It starts loud – with electric guitars and drums – an urgent call to prayer just to wake up anyone who has dozed off at the back. There’s a verse melody that’s just a drone, a counting of bars until the chorus comes back again.

And there’s a big shouty chorus that you’ll remember for a bit and may even find yourself humming for up to twenty minutes after the song has concluded.

The slave dancers have very tight very shiny head-dresses that will distract you a fair bit. The overly serious look on their faces when they cluster round Anxhela and turn to face us will make you chuckle.

I think the main, perhaps unforeseen problem with the overall song and concept is that hearing the phrase “Karma-Albanian” will make you hum an entirely different melody for the remainder of your day.

The Bob Willis Diet. Two months done and dusted.

Bob Willis: Former England cricket captain dies aged 70 | UK News | Sky News

At the beginning of the year I attempted a musical experiment. I recalled that for decades, legendary fast bowler Bob Willis listened only to the music Bob Dylan and Richard Wagner. And it occurred to me that if this diet was good enough for someone who could take 8 for 43 at Headingly in 1981, then surely it was good enough for me?

And so, for two whole month, I have listened to nothing but the songs of Bob Dylan and the operas of Richard Wagner.

I’ve never really invested in Wagner before. I decided immediately that I’d bite the bullet and experience The Ring Cycle on YouTube. Fifteen hours. Except that my poor uncultured brain never feels that it can experience any “serious” piece of music until I’ve heard it three times. And Wagner’s ring cycle is about as serious as you can get ain’t it? So that’s forty five hour of Wagner. I did take breaks.

I watched two complete cycles from Bayreuth and four more unconnected productions from Vienna, Valencia, and Copenhagen.

The two from Bayreuth were the 1980 productions directed by Pierre Boulez and the 2016 productions directed by Marek Janowoski. The first of these was sort of modern dress, but managed so austerely as to feel inconspicuous. At no point did the scenery overwhelm the music. The performance by Gywneth Jones as BrĂĽnnhilde was the outstanding performance embedded within the 45 hours of opera I’ve been experiencing. Jones was outstanding not just as a singer but as an actor – it was a comprehensive inhabiting of a role. I didn’t even feel that she was “singing” at all.

The 2016 production was designed by Aleksander Denić for a massive revolving stage. Das Rheingold was set in a seedy motel on Route 66. Die WalkĂĽre showed us an oil well during the Russian Revolution (a setting that gave me exaggerated expectations of the ring of fire at the end – we got nothing better than a village fete barbecue). Siegfried was set partly at the foot of a Mount Rushmore style monument to Marx, Lenin, Stalin and Mao and partly just outside Berlin Alexanderplatz U-Bahn station. Götterdämmerung is focused on a kebab stand in a slum neighbourhood. Not everybody appreciated these interpretative insights and I heard some booing at the end of each opera (rather expensive booing I should think). Even my eyebrow found itself hoisted in the scene where Erda gives Wotan a blow job.

I think there is an inherent difficulty watching operas on YouTube. It involves the close ups. Operas are generally performed by very experienced singers who tend to be rather older and wider than the characters they portray. This might be fine if you are half way down the stalls of a medium sized opera house. When you are forced to stare at the detail of faces however, the make up appears rather excessive. Now I know that for more than a century “opera glasses” have existed – but these close up devices were always meant to be used on a discretionary and selective basis. I frequently experienced the awkward feeling that I was seeing things that I was never intended to see.

And Wagner? I was struck by his intimacy. He felt unnervingly bourgeois. In some ways Wagner seems startlingly cognate with Strindberg and Ibsen. The cycle is dominated by repressed sins and domestic traumas. As an operatic ignoramus, I am too ill-informed to construct a drama out of the music using my mind’s eye. Maybe if I hear another six or seven cycles, I’ll be able to just listen to the music and experience the swell and swoop of the progressive emotional logic in a “purer” sense. Maybe. Wagner seems to me all about subtle leitmotifs, recurring themes and strategic echoes. Right now he remains mixed media to me. I cannot imagine listening without seeing. This may change.

In between the Wagner, I listened to Bob Dylan. I listened to Dylan while cooking, or folding clothes or making a sweaty mess of myself on the exercise bike. Of course, Dylan is far more familiar to me than Wagner – but I’ve never before gone strictly chronological in terms of listening to his endless releases.

I failed to finish Dylan alongside Wagner in a two month period. This is because I was committed to listening to all the live albums and the bootleg series. I listened to all those mid to late seventies performances where Dylan would play the game of performing one of his best loved songs and inviting the audience to guess which one it was. While other prolific artists struggle to fix and preserve their legacy – Bob Dylan has always done his best to confuse it.

Dylan has never had a concept of record production. Albums are places where versions of songs can be showcased – nothing more. Melodies are dispensable. There are words that need to be delivered and tunes are flexible vehicles for delivering these words. The Dylan completist (such am I) involves listening to the same words mangled, rephrased, slowed down, sped up, over and over and over again.

I was particularly struck by how very very funny the young Dylan was. As a cold-war satirist, he rivaled Tom Lehrer – who oddly enough implicitly mocked Dylan in “The Folk Song Army”.

By the time I’ve exhausted all that Dylan has ever released I’ll feel no closure. I’ll just feel that I’ve still got a long road ahead of me. And him.

So tomorrow I will start to listen to other kinds of music. I have a recollection that it exists.



Corinne Fowler “Green Unpleasant Land: Creative responses to Rural England’s Colonial Connections”… Reviewed.

Exploring the dark side of landscape is hardly new. Within my discipline it’s been going on for decades. John Barrell and Raymond Williams are just two examples of theoretical heavyweights who built their reputation considering the extent to which imaginings of the countryside must negotiate exploitative contexts. There is a very important sense in which aspects of this book is only doing what many of us have been doing for a long long time. Corinne Fowler acknowledges this legacy, but this book is decisively different in terms of form, content, and structure.

In the hysterical branches of what passes for journalism these days, Fowler has been accused of some kind of “woke” attack on national heritage and, worse still, “politicising” something that should only be experienced in a celebratory and unproblematic ways. She stands accused of “rewriting history”, when all she (and a great many other people) have been doing is simply writing it. (Never underestimate how angry some people will get when you tell them new stuff.) It is Fowler’s connection with the National Trust which has provoked this reaction. She has taken ways of arguing that are commonplace in the academy and disseminated them in imaginative and accessible ways.

Simmering just below the surface of this outrage – and sometimes bubbling right over, is the fear that “diversity” is polluting a version of England that has long been assumed to be reliably monochromatic. Nothing of course is reliably monochromatic. So much of the Flora and Fauna of the so-called British Isles is “invasive” in any case. No appreciative reader of this book should want to ever again fetishise words like “native” or “indigenous”.

The idea that rural England offers some kind of pristine repository of reassuring values is very old. Such a belief has always been untenable of course, and this book describes the effects of people knowing and not knowing things at one and the same time. Fowler reports the latest findings on the dependency of stately homes on the slave trade. The slave trade, far from being the vulgar occupation of jumped up parvenus, was undertaken by the most “respectable” and well-established families in the country. Furthermore, the money extracted from torture and slavery was likely to be invested in land back in England that served to launder that lucre by establishing a facade of gentility overlooking rolling hills and hedgerows. The most stereotypically “English” of environments has always been not only funded but formed by imperialism and by those who sometimes showcase and sometimes obfuscate the economic base on which English idylls are built.

More and more research dispels the notion that ethnic diversity in England postdates Windrush and/or ever was confined to London and a couple of other port cities. Black and brown people have built and rebuilt the English rural world for centuries – whether at an imperial distance, or by simply living and working across the British Isles. By being the British Isles

For millennia, the imagined countryside has always been defined by legacies and threats of despoilation and appropriation. Even when (especially when) Virgil is writing his idyllic eclogues – the proximity of civil war and dispossession sharpens the sense of yearning. The idea that rural England should be disinvested of uncomfortable politics is, quite possibly, an early twentieth century invention. Poets such as William Cowper, Oliver Goldsmith, George Crabbe, and John Clare moved easily between detailed observation and macro-economic commentary.

Many of us working in the eighteenth century might include some contemporary material our introductions and conclusions, as a way of contextualising our scholarship and demonstrating its continuing relevance. Fowler, on the other hand, includes twenty-first century material throughout – deftly organising a conversation between modern Black British and British Asian responses to an ever changing countryside alongside familiar yet defamiliarised voices from the past which have themselves been over-simplified over many decades. She also includes a short story and examples of her own verse. This is, in short, a book that is determined to communicate on many levels, to acknowledge and encourage an ever expanding community prepared to love as well argue about what “heritage” has ever been about. This is also, among other things, a beautifully written book and its conclusion is remarkably optimistic. Its purpose is not to “ruin” the English countryside, or even to make people “feel bad” in some sort of unfocused retributive way. The purpose of problematising the English pastoral is to reconnect with a longer and truer tradition of experiencing the countryside which has always known that the land has never delivered on its promise, that so-called heritage has never been shared, and that a more holistic, authentic, and ultimately productive way of living with the natural world remains tantalisingly possible because it has never yet been realised.

Will I ever see Little Gidding again, and does it matter? Thoughts on Nicholas Ferrer’s birthday.

Image result for little gidding

Today is Nicholas Ferrer’s birthday. Ferrer founded something like (but not quite) a formal religious community in Little Gidding. He had befriended George Herbert. It is thanks to Ferrer that The Temple was preserved, edited and published.

And of course, “Little Gidding”, the culmination of T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets, tracks back to Ferrer. Eliot is good at transcendence – a transcendence based on difficulty which is both hermeneutic and penitential. There is much to irritate in Eliot. There is fussiness, pomposity, and outright prejudice. But The Four Quartets is, among other things, an act of atonement that tries to cover unacknowledged as well as acknowledged sins.

You are here to kneel
Where prayer has been valid. And prayer is more
Than an order of words, the conscious occupation
Of the praying mind, or the sound of the voice praying.
And what the dead had no speech for, when living,
They can tell you, being dead: the communication
Of the dead is tongued with fire beyond the language of the living.
Here, the intersection of the timeless moment
Is England and nowhere. Never and always.

It’s notable that Little Gidding is not a site of pilgrimage as such for Eliot. It is not a place where prayer is valid but rather a place where prayer has been valid. Prayers are not more special and privileged in one corner of Cambridgeshire than they are any where else. But it’s a place that is a reminder of time. It’s a site of resonant mnemonics. It’s a place of rhythm.

Eliot is always talking about poetry itself and its struggles. He’s writing about his own need for liturgy and the need to live rhymically – which is – I think, what Nicholas Ferrer’s community was looking for as well. The Little Gidding people were accused by the puritans of being Arminians – of striving for salvation by works rather than faith. Perhaps it would be fairer to say they were attempting to live not by rule so much as by rhythm. They tried to work out their salvation with a version of faith that was both mobile and recurring, a life that tried to balance the surprising and the predictable in a way that only poetry can. Ferrer’s people tried to according to liturgy, taking the Book of Common Prayer as a way of life. This was regarded as idolatrous by some.

It seems unlikely I’ll ever return to Little Gidding. Dwindling life provides dwindling possibilities for such efforts aimed at such out of the way places. Increasingly, recreational, non/essential visits to England feel inappropriate.

Ferrer and Eliot speak to anyone who wants to make forms of words, liturgy, or poetic convention – central to their lives. They lived wanting to find words that were strange and familiar at the same time. They wanted every surprise to be an echo of something half remembered. They wanted the most persistent and mechanical of chants to feel startling.

In short, happy birthday Nicholas Ferrer, whose passionate commitment to forms of words inspired a sense of numinous rhythm that embraces far far more people than have been narrowly conceived of as “religious”.

Stanislavskian Accounting. Thoughts on “professionalism” provoked by the first season of Dix pour Cent/Ten per Cent/Call my Agent.

Image result for dix pour cent season 1

I realise we’re the last two people in Europe to have discovered this show.

And we’re not binging it either. We’re watching one or two a week.

I’ll probably attempt a more conventional “review” of the series when I’ve seen more of it.

There was something so elegant about the ending of the first series that I got to thinking about the nature of the so-called “creative industries” and the issue of “professionalism”.

In the series finale, as the state-appointed tax auditor Colette Brancillon delivers her damning indictment of ASK agency’s unprofessionalism, she exposes the inability of its employees to separate the personal from the professional – as evidenced by a litany of murky expense claims. But of course, she is not just exposing financial irregularities – she is (from the viewers’ point of view) offering a summation of the entire way in which these agents live their lives. There is no point where play stops and work begins – or vice versa.

(Colette of course, has just emerged from a traumatic relationship with AndrĂ©a – a relationship which foundered because Colette cannot accommodate the all pervasive performative aspects of AndrĂ©a’s lifestyle. Colette regards performance as a species of treachery and duplicity. For Colette, the numbers do not add up.)

It’s been remarked on many occasions that although we all have to work for a living – only a few occupations are deemed worthy of dramatisation. Detectives, lawyers, doctors, and politicians get to be seen on screen at work while the rest of humanity is only deemed worthy of representation during their leisure hours. These Parisian agents, however, are at work all the time – and there is no aspect of their waking lives that doesn’t have some indirect bearing on the agency’s reputation and prosperity.

This is a show that treats actors – at one remove. The core cast are not playing actors but they are playing people who minister to actors, who have to understand actors, and who have to perform a great many roles themselves.

People who work in any aspect of performing arts talk a great deal about “professionalism” – and they do so because professionalism is both impossible and necessary. In order to protect others as well as oneself as an actor – a degree of focused attention to a professional goal is essential. But this goal cannot be pursued dispassionately, without reference to one’s personal and emotional experience.

We suspect while watching this series that the larger, more corporate, rivals to ASK – “StarMedia” – are far more dispassionate. They might have the clout to negotiate the bigger percentages, but they don’t know and love actors the way ASK does. This is the sympathetic premise for the series. The ASK agents know what makes actors tick, they know their hopes and their fears, and they can predict their plausible emotional trajectories.

This kind of intimacy is open to abuse and exploitation of course. HĂ©lène Kerr, widow of the firm’s founder, is desperate to offload her shares in the company because she cannot forgive the acting profession for having been too intimate with her late husband. When you mix your personal and professional lives you make yourself vulnerable to abuse and betrayal. The struggle to create a version of “professionalism” that protects people who are passionate about self expression is therefore never ending. It’s a very necessary struggle.

Perhaps something of this issue is applicable to anyone who works for love rather than money. Twenty-first century capitalism takes a very dim view of people who are primarily motivated by love, believing that this love means that they should forfeit sympathy. “Well, they could always get another job… in the REAL world” etc. etc. etc. There is the organised misperception disseminated that if you love your job then it isn’t really hard work – that it doesn’t really tax and drain you. Above all, if you love your job you should never complain about not having enough money to apply for a mortgage or start a family.

Dix pour Cent/Ten per Cent/Call my Agent is a sympathetic drama about people who are remarkably good at their jobs (insofar as they seem to be able to resolve impossible looking situations most weeks). It’s also a drama about people who have not thought hard enough about what “professionalism” means in the context of a world where all forms of social interaction have a professional element. Actors, as it happens, have already done much of this work – and continue to do it.

So is there a way to achieve life/work balance?

For sure there is. Only one way. It’s called “collective bargaining”. Ask me tomorrow and I’ll say the same thing.

Thoughts on Thoughts on the Education of Daughters, by Mary Wollstonecraft

Book page image

Of course, we all approach this text from the wrong direction. I’m not sure anybody in the past two hundred years has read this book without first having read the Vindication of the Rights of Woman.

This early work, Thoughts on the Education of Daughters (1787), is often regarded as Vindication-Lite – a far more conservative and conventional work than its revolutionary successor. And so it is. But it’s also a fascinating in its own right for that very reason. It is written within the conventions of a conduct manual while gestating something far more radical.

This short book consists of very short chapters. Each themed chapter takes just a few minutes to read. It is therefore, a very easy work of reference. There is no conclusion and the final chapter feels very arbitrary, being a discussion of how to encourage young women to behave in public places and at public entertainments.

It also differs from Wollstonecraft’s later life in its avowed Christianity. Wollstonecraft had yet to be converted to Paineite deism.

This book is fairly complacent about its own narrow focus on girls of a certain class. Even the Vindication is addressed primarily to people who possess leisure and servants and neither text questions the economic basis for possessing either leisure or servants. The Thoughts regards servants as probably incorrigible and certainly a “bad influence” on impressionistic young genteel female minds.

Like Rousseau, she advocates maternal breastfeeding with some urgency. However, this is not the sort of text that is trying to engage controversy by citing the likes of Rousseau. More tellingly, she observes that “the marriage state is too often a state of discord; it does not always happen that both parents are rational, and the weakest have it in their power to do most mischief.” Rationality remains the explosive touchstone for the remainder of this conduct book which, throughout, is determined to reinforce the fundamentals of moral self fashioning at the expense of extraneous and./or showy “accomplishments”.

“Above all, teach them to combine their ideas.” This innocuous sounding suggestion pulsates with possibilities. Rote-learning may impress visitors, just as exquisite handwriting still festoons the walls of primary schools on parents’ evenings. But the ability to combine ideas is the essence of self actualisation. There can be no greater explosive charge laid within the foundations of patriarchy than the notion that girls, from an early age, should be trained to take concepts and forge them together on their own initiative.

It is worth remembering that even the Vindication of the Rights of Women did not provoke universal outrage in the mainstream review press when it was first published in 1792. It was only when Mary Wollstonecraft was “outed” as a Paineite radical and French Revolutionary sympathiser that the full radical import of the book was highlighted and denounced. Likewise, the Thoughts on the Education of Daughters, with its conventional piety and sturdy moralism demonstrates how Wollstonecraft was able to slowly build a transformative superstructure on something like a consensual foundation.

As Wollstonecraft herself said more than once – as soon as you concede that women are in possession of immortal souls – then an an emancipatory logic should be permitted to exfoliate.

Fighting back in the history wars: Some practical ideas

Anno Domino: A Blog by Dominic Dean

The UK government is currently engaged in an open and multi-layered campaign to control and change the nature and quality of historical research in Britain and, in particular, of its presentation to the public. Our government is seeking to restrict public funding to presentations of history that fit the government’s own preferred narrative of Britain’s past, and to deter publically-funded institutions from presenting history in ways that diverge from this narrative. We currently face the most direct and aggressive attempt to undermine historical rigour, and promote a sanitised and restricted version of history, that the UK has seen for many years.

In this post, I want to suggest how academics and their allies might fight back. This is particularly aimed at academics in the UK, but hopefully will be of interest to a much broader audience – not least because the British anti-history agenda overlaps with similar efforts…

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Silence of the Lambs is within a Hemi-Demi-Semi Quaver of being a Comedy

Old blog, reposted on the occasion of the 30th birthday of SOTL


silence of the lambs

Yesterday morning I had the disquieting experience of watching (with a child I very hastily add) an episode of the tween (or-pre-tween) comedy show Sam and Cat, a show stapled together out of leftovers from iCarly and Victorious.  The entire episode was a parody of Silence of the Lambs  – a movie that hopefully, none of the target audience for the programme have ever seen.

Silence of the Lambs is remarkably easy to parody – it has strong one on one scenes full of memorable nuggets that are now virtually catchphrases.  I have a great affection for French and Saunders memorable Silence of the Lambs parodies – but then thoughtful extended cinematic parodies were very much a niche of theirs.

The fact is, though, that Silence of the Lambs comes very close to being a comedy itself.  It ends on a joke involving having the odious Dr Chiltern…

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Gabe. Born OTD 2006. Now bigger than me.

Yes, this dangerously tiny infant, who spent weeks in a neonatal intensive care unit following his premature birth is now fifteen years of age and bigger than me.

The circumstances of his birth were chaotic and frightening. The first twenty minutes of his life take up most of his entire medical record. In the weeks that followed, every slight weight gain was treated with elation, every measurement scrutinised on a daily basis. He literally “turned a corner” when he learned to breathe unaided and was moved to the slightly less intensive part of the NICU. Weeks after that, he finally passed his “car seat challenge” and was permitted to come home with us.

And now, fifteen years on, there’s a man living in our house. A teenager, but in height, bulk and hairiness most definitely a man.

He can’t spend his birthday with his many friends. He can’t saunter about the town as he ought to – swaggering about, laughing and whooping and generally acting his difficult and wonderful age. Instead he’ll have an indoor day, socialising online.

And the sky is blue. It’s a beautiful day.

But the main thing is, of course, to support your local human milk bank.

About EMBA | EMBA (

Support the people within reach of you who recruit women who donate their own excess breastmilk to clinical environments where premature and otherwise vulnerable infants have mothers who cannot produce enough milk . Support the people who organise to ensure that babies are naturally protected from infections like necrotizing enterocolitis. Support the people who reduce the time infants need to spend in neonatal intensive care units.

Support the people who brought our tiny/huge boy/man home.