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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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UPDATE! Coming Up on Interchange: “Later also headache”

The title of this post comes from Naomi Baron’s Words Onscreen which will serve as the basis of an upcoming Interchange program. “Later also headache” was a description given by a German respondent as to a negative aspect of “reading onscreen.” Here’s a look at the schedule for the next month or so, but you […]

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What Else Was There?

From Donald Hall’s Essays After Eighty, “A Yeti in the District.” The next day I got back to writing. What else was there? Well, there was anticlimax. When Linda and I returned to my house, we found a stack of five Concord Monitors, the local paper, delivered in kindness by the morning deliverer. Top of […]

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A Nothing More Blank

Stevens and Frost “The Snow Man” by Wallace Stevens One must have a mind of winter To regard the frost and the boughs Of the pine-trees crusted with snow; And have been cold a long time To behold the junipers shagged with ice, The spruces rough in the distant glitter Of the January sun; and […]

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A Discernment: Frost or Stevens

To ask the question concerning he daemon is to seek an origin of inspiration. Whereas Robert Frost is possessed by an external daemon whose name is Loss, hence the power of Directive, Wallace Stevens undergoes possession by the rival daemon of a Supreme Fiction. Frostian unmaking of a diminished thing contrasts antithetically with Stevens’s proposing […]

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Soldier-Sentimentalist-Poet

Two snippets from Ford’s The Good Soldier (1924). The word “sentimental” or some form of it occurs 28 times in the novel–a use for big data! ************ For all good soldiers are sentimentalists—all good soldiers of that type. Their profession, for one thing, is full of the big words, courage, loyalty, honour, constancy. And I […]

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This is 40: Will Johnson’s Best

In 2011 Will Johnson turned 40. In that same year his rock and roll project, the group Centro-Matic, released what I think is their best album (I might qualify this by calling it their most cohesive album–the center holds), Candidate Waltz. The next year Johnson released the album Scorpion under his own name and it, […]

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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 […]