Tag Archives: thoreau

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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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 and wishes of complete knowledge are always disastrous. If you know the hour of your death you live “against it” or are perhaps completely tugged into the orbit of it. In Climate disruption; in the […]

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Bubbles Like a Burning Glass

It takes little effort to find, all throughout the vastness of the digital nowhere, blog posts reproducing the words of Henry David Thoreau, in any season, on any natural or political phenomena. And here too you will discover photos of Walden Pond (I have taken a few of these as well). What I find disheartening […]

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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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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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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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Pouring Out of Various Devices

After reading pages 40, 43 and 44 of the 9/25/14 New York Review of Books. 1. p 40: a review essay by Robin Lane Fox on several gardening books and an exhibition at the New York Botanical Garden called “Groundbreakers: Great American Gardens and the Women Who Designed Them.” Gardening is for the “birds.” It […]

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The Impossible Principle

Melville wrote books that could be said to be about: Christian hypocrisy in the Marquesas, authoritarian coercion, military rule, torture, the Leviathan state, labor and brotherhood, wanton slaughter for the benefit of human “profit and progress,” the fraudulence of democratic institutions, the manipulative mysteries of the priestly caste, the politics of the confidence scam, the […]

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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 […]

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Becoming Commoner

Let’s give Henry a prefatory statement to center our thinking before we dither about in the malleabilities the minded self: The penny-post is, commonly, an institution through which you seriously offer a man that penny for his thoughts which is so often safely offered in jest. And I am sure that I never read any memorable […]

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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 […]