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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 a bit of “warrior philosophy” to give our hero motivation near the beginning of the film; it’s about sheep, wolves and sheepdogs. Well, this was cribbed for the movie (it’s not in Kyle’s autobiography according […]

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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 repetition. Further on Whiplash (The Dystopian Perfection of Whiplash), the movie starring J.K. Simmons (Daniel Fletcher) and Miles Teller (Andrew Neimann). I have decided it was intended to show us how the world has gone […]

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Proving the Need to Resist Government by Shadows

Last night on Interchange I talked with Scott Horton of Harper’s Magazine about government secrecy–more specifically the secrecy of “dark budgets” and “dark operations” and “dark lords”–inherent in the National Security State. [A Power Unto Itself: Scott Horton on the National Security Elite] Horton traces the history of the meaning of “government by the people” […]

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To Catch a Noddy

The tops were large, and were railed about with what had once been octagonal net-work, all now in sad disrepair. These tops hung overhead like three ruinous aviaries, in one of which was seen, perched, on a ratlin, a white noddy, a strange fowl, so called from its lethargic, somnambulistic character, being frequently caught by […]

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Energy and Doom

The future is incompatible with human thinking. That’s not to say we cannot imagine “tomorrow” but that what we imagine will always be cobbled together out of “pastness.” Further, the very same thinking that is assertively addicted to narratives of repetition (the sun rises, the sun sets, the sun rises, the sun sets)–I think we […]

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The Spirit of America: The 13th Amendment

I must admit to an utter ignorance of the depths of duplicity written into the United States legal codes. I might have once thought myself an astute cynic of the “law” as I have long understood it to be protective of, primarily, as the “founders” surely intended, White Men with Property. But it is worse […]

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Our Surround: A Final Word

A final word here. Power proceeds to find force unnecessary and counterproductive. This turns out to be the end of that great experiment called America; the democratic ideal its philosophy; industrial consumption its means. Power does not need to force anyone into compliance in “this evening land.” We march as directed to any number of […]

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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 his remembered or read by anyone other than an academic). It opens his book Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War (1866), and so opens the “Battle-Pieces” section of the book. This poem is about John […]

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…and ride Mankind

What boots thy zeal, O glowing friend, That would indignant rend The northland from the south? Wherefore? To what good end? Boston Bay and Bunker Hill Would serve things still: Things are of the snake. The horseman serves the horse, The neat-herd serves the neat, The merchant serves the purse, The eater serves his meat; […]

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A Manual on Suppression of Dissent

A Manual on Suppression of Dissent

Does it never occur to so many folks that monotheism–belief in an authoritarian ruler (male, though I don’t suppose Gee Oh Dee needs genitalia)–is the locus of totalitarianism? Furthermore, Judaism–as Christianity and Islam would later do–codifies intolerance. The story of the Exodus, to take the most obvious example, reads today like a Stalinist manual on […]

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Building the Insanity In: Ex Machina

This is not a movie review. This is me thinking about empathy. Last night, lonely little ol’ me sat in […]

Dislodged Giant: Can We Use Stevens to Interpret Dickinson?

You tell me. “I thought that nature was enough” by Emily Dickinson I thought that nature was enough Till Human […]

By Metaphor Alone

Motivation matters. If the scientific method (which we make into the massive all-encompassing abstraction of SCIENCE to compete with the […]

By Force of Law

Nothing new under the sun. Why do you suppose a “Sanders” presidency would change what is described below in Chapter […]

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 […]

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 […]