By Force of Law

Nothing new under the sun. Why do you suppose a “Sanders” presidency would change what is described below in Chapter 12 of William Morris’s News From Nowhere? The concept of property trumps everything. ******* “I suppose you know pretty well what the process of government was in the bad old times?” “I am supposed to […]

Now You Know What A Horse Is: Views On Education in the 19th Century

Schools are scenes of extreme manipulation and coercion. Our national and state interest in them is less than benign, or as the soft-hearted among us might say, less than caring. Let us, residents of our towns where our children go to school, take them over and force the issue. The State has no interest in […]

A Rule of Storytelling and Unhappiness

As my friend began reading William Morris’s News From Nowhere, or, An Epic of Rest, I thought I might take that journey too–and the existence of an audio recording guaranteed it. (Plus, what a great damn subtitle to entice a guy like me!) I’ve only just started, just now finishing Chapter 5 on this morning’s […]

Pea Soup and Poetry

A poem, for me, is often very clearly a response to what I am reading and the way it fits into my material existence. The poem in other words is both a reflection on literature and the way that literature seems to become a meaningful part of my life, my thinking. Sometimes, it seems as […]

A Commons Or A Prison

I prepared the following for the Bergamo Conference on Curriculum Theory and Classroom Practice. From Robert Frost’s “Mending Wall.” Before I built a wall I’d ask to know What I was walling in or walling out, And to whom I was like to give offence. Something there is that doesn’t love a wall, That wants […]

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By Metaphor Alone

Motivation matters. If the scientific method (which we make into the massive all-encompassing abstraction of SCIENCE to compete with the millennia-eating abstraction GOD)…if the scientific method is a metaphor premising failure (we do not know and what we discover leads to a failure of knowing…the infinite is unknowable, the Nothing that came before is unknowable) […]

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The Working Day Redux

There are no honest capitalists. While there are no exact figures on the extent of wage theft, authorities say it is rampant in such industries as construction, garment manufacturing, restaurants and home health care. The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor reported in 2012 that of more than 1,800 restaurant investigations […]

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The Tragedy of Influential (White Supremacist) Liars: Distorting the Commons (Against Fair Housing and Civil Rights)

How can we measure the influence of bad ideas? If there is anything to learn from the “system” of social media it’s that bad news travels and expands exponentially while the “good news” is always sentimental and local (seems a “one-off”). Humans are perhaps best characterized by their affinity for gossip (what is the “gospel” […]

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Learn to Read, Güero

Last night we saw a movie with friends and then went out to share a meal and chat. Normal sounding stuff but really a bit sideways to normal. We went to Güeros, a Spanish language film. As I don’t know Spanish I was happy it was subtitled so my eyes could see what my ears […]

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Happiness Is Notoriously Difficult To Describe

Preface to the Paperback Edition of George Kateb’s Utopia and Its Enemies (1972, 1963). “Of course, no honest person claims […]

UPDATED: Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs, Oh My!

I watched American Sniper (prepping for an interview with Clint Eastwood biographer Patrick McGilligan tomorrow on Interchange) and there is […]

Sierpinski Schmierpinski – On What the Writer Intends

The below is from the radio program “Bookworm” (4/11/96) with Michael Silverblatt. It is an interview with David Foster Wallace […]

Ellen Willis Is Essential

About a year ago there was a very dismissive review written by Lisa Levy published in the Los Angeles Review of Books […]

The Tyranny of Technological Replication

I’m never sure how I can defend a critique against technology–it seems as though we have gained so much. And […]

The Reactive Consequence of Force: Whiplash as Cultural Critique

(Spoiler below) Will you listen? Let us first understand whiplash as a reactive consequence of force…but one that weakens with […]