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Glorifying War Shall Not Grow Old

Concerning War Movies (prompted by a conversation about Peter Jackson’s movie They Shall Not Grow Old). In J. D. Salinger’s “Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters,” Buddy Glass [the author's alter ego] comes across these words in Seymour’s diary [the "sage" of the family who committed suicide]; they concern what Seymour believes to be the […]

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Cutting Down the Clouds

This winter they are cutting down our woods more seriously than ever,—Fair Haven Hill, Walden, Linnaea Borealis Wood, etc. etc. Thank God they cannot cut down the clouds! Henry David Thoreau, journal entry, January 21, 1852 “A study just published in the journal Nature Geoscience shows that if we continue with business-as-usual fossil fuel emissions, […]

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Absolute Solutions Necessary

Only two things to do: 1. zero out carbon emissions 2. exception: all technological and scientific labor exploring new solutions may continue. What we can’t do: continue using electricity; continue “producing” anything. All systems are entangled. “We” also can’t do anything about anyone else’s use of electricity. Globally, we are not going to be able […]

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Bikes and Women

In Bloomington recently a man was run over and killed while riding his bicycle. A hit and run. It occurred to me that riding a bicycle is like being a woman in the USA. Neither is protected from the brute force of the dominant “cultural form.”

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LeRoi and Ornette – Becoming in Time

I was listening to a PoemTalk (PennSound) about LeRoi (Amiri Baraka) Jones’s early poem “Kenyatta Listening to Mozart“ and one of the guests mentioned that Ornette Coleman’s The Shape of Jazz to Come came out in roughly the same year as this poem was written. Coleman’s album is 1959 and the poem was published in 1963. […]

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Explanation and Example: Capitalist Nationalism

**Reformist consciousness was famously described by Gramsci as “dual” or “contradictory”; on the one hand accepting the permanence of the system, on the other rejecting the effect of its operation. The most basic expression of this contradiction is an acceptance by workers of the wages system accompanied by a rejection of the particular level of […]

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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 a hotel room in Laramie, Wyomig (inauspiciously named for Jacques LaRamie, a French or French-Canadian trapper who disappeared in the Laramie Mountains in the late 1810s and was never heard from again–nice choice, Laramie). I […]

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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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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 […]

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It Plays You: Mingus on Electric Instruments

Selections from a Charles Mingus interview from February 1972, in Mingus Speaks, by John F. Goodman. I think it’s time that good musicians get rid of electric instruments, because a good musician can’t play an electronic instrument; it plays you. For instance, if you want to bend a note, you’ve got to push a button […]

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Glorifying War Shall Not Grow Old

Concerning War Movies (prompted by a conversation about Peter Jackson’s movie They Shall Not Grow Old). In J. D. Salinger’s […]

Cutting Down the Clouds

This winter they are cutting down our woods more seriously than ever,—Fair Haven Hill, Walden, Linnaea Borealis Wood, etc. etc. […]

Representative Texts from Hawthorne to Dickinson

In your daily busyness you are pressed for time to think and often choose instead anesthetization – watching any number […]

Between Hope and Defeat, History and Heaven

“God himself culminates in the present moment.” (Thoreau) What is “now” for? What if you “know” the future? Fairy tales […]

Absolute Solutions Necessary

Only two things to do: 1. zero out carbon emissions 2. exception: all technological and scientific labor exploring new solutions […]

Rachel Carson’s book had no real effect

Facing Global Climate Disruption and the End of Everything All At Once… David Wallace-Wells’ The Uninhabitable Earth tries very hard […]