Clubbing with Consonant Prejudice

Goosey Goosey Gander, whither shall I wander? Upstairs and downstairs and in my Lady’s chamber. There I met an old man who wouldn’t say his prayers, So I took him by his left leg and threw him down the stairs. *** On two recent Interchange programs, one hosted by me and one hosted by Alycin […]

Against the Real Creationists

I just finished reading “The New Synthetic Biology: Who Gains?” by Richard Lewontin in the New York Review of Books. I believe this article makes clear that there are tremendous amounts of insight and ingenuity in the ways that humans try to be creators and fixers. Or rather, to create fixes for errors of human […]

Neither Men Nor Toadstools

AUDIO: Neither Men Nor Toadstools I’m inclined to think “teaching” and “instruction” in institutional contexts are only misguided industrial practice. The best that can be done (and one might admit it’s not nothing though suspect) is to learn a way to speak about the mechanics of language conventions. The only way to “master” these conventions is […]

To Act, or Not to Act

The final section (XII) of Harold Goddard’s essay on Coriolanus found in his brilliant book The Meaning of Shakespeare screws a brilliant reading to the sticking place (to steal a line from Lady M.). Basically, Goddard wants you to think on the last acts of Hamlet and Coriolanus and measure them as representative of human wisdom–or […]

Let No One Be Called (Updated: Audio)

Let No One Be Called (3:11) Perhaps it is better to have no legends. Let there be no letters composed into rigid words. Let no words be graven onto replicating presses. Let the forms be broken and the letters be molten. Let there be no more legends on the earth. Let life live and death die. […]

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Audio: Walden “Economy” B

Audio: Walden “Economy” B

I’m not sure how to label these so I’ll just use the alphabet to keep them in order. This recording sounds different than the last (more tinny, big-roomy)–my production values aren’t my highest priority at present. So, to continue chapter one of Walden, “Economy”–here’s about 13 more minutes. Walden Economy-B When we consider what, to […]

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12 Minutes of Walden

12 Minutes of Walden

To begin reading Walden by Henry David Thoreau. (Apologies for my Latin.) AUDIO FILE: Walden-Economy-A ECONOMY WHEN I WROTE the following pages, or rather the bulk of them, I lived alone, in the woods, a mile from any neighbor, in a house which I had built myself, on the shore of Walden Pond, in Concord, […]

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The Great American Anything

Here is a parody of the idea of “The Great American Anything” offered by the character Jerusalem Webster Stiles (who is the “devil” to John Shawnessy’s “Faust”) in Ross Lockridge, Jr.’s Raintree County. One should be aware that Lockridge’s novel was his considered entry into the “GAN” (Great American Novel) sweepstakes. The cynicism of Stiles […]

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Bantling Psalms

Hard upon the last entry I remembered that Waldo penned his own “psalm” to the new nation commemorating a commemoration of the Battles of Lexington & Concord (April 19, 1775). I thought it would serve to put that poem in close proximity to Melville’s. Concord Hymn Sung at the Completion of the Battle Monument, July […]

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Law On Her Brow

One would guess that “The Portent” is far and away Herman Melville’s most well-known poem (perhaps the only poem of […]

Just a Kiss Away

In the post yesterday, admittedly a jumble, I began with “Gimmee Shelter” by the Rolling Stones from the album Let […]

Just a Shot Away

Oh, a storm is threat’ning My very life today If I don’t get some shelter Oh yeah, I’m gonna fade […]

The Ungraspable (Extractable) Phantom

“But the list is artful…” (Harold Beaver) Melville opens Moby Dick, often considered the greatest book written by an American, […]

The Tatters of Pragmatism

I just reread the section of Louis Menand’s The Metaphysical Club  where Chauncey Wright is introduced and his importance to […]

The Games People Play

I can’t really do this anymore. That is, trying to find ways to “convince” anyone about the hazards of what […]