A Winning Liberal Strategy For 2020: Scolding The ‘Hard Left’

With the 2018 elections only a few months away and with the 2020 election season about to commence, concerned citizens should begin devising strategies for wresting back control of the House, the Senate, the White House, and many blocks of affordable housing in Washington DC back from the feckless Republicans dunking the American republic inContinue reading “A Winning Liberal Strategy For 2020: Scolding The ‘Hard Left’”

Letter To A Young Girl

Dear A__,. The decision to have you, to bring you into this world, was not an easy one; your mother and I agonized about it a fair amount. We went for it in the end because we were excited to see how our lives would turn out with someone like you in our lives. OurContinue reading “Letter To A Young Girl”

Jerome Bruner On Cultures That ‘Breakdown’

In Acts of Meaning (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1990, pp. 96-97), Jerome Bruner writes When there is a breakdown in a culture…it can usually be traced to one of several things. The first is a deep disagreement about what constitutes the ordinary and canonical in life and what the exceptional and divergent….this we know inContinue reading “Jerome Bruner On Cultures That ‘Breakdown’”

The Republican Base’s Malevolent Algorithm

An entirely unsurprising poll shows that sixty-seven percent of the registered Republicans in the US support the current administration’s policy of separating children from their undocumented immigrant (or asylum seeking) parents at the border. (Those children are then imprisoned in cages in concentration camps with no plans for their release or reunification with their parents.)Continue reading “The Republican Base’s Malevolent Algorithm”

Late Work And Shying Away From Decay And Death

In ‘Late Francis Bacon: Spirit and Substance‘ Colm Tóibín writes: It would be easy to imagine…that Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice was written toward the end of his life. In fact, it was written in 1911, when Mann was thirty-six. It is a young man’s book; its images of desire, decay, and death could not be soContinue reading “Late Work And Shying Away From Decay And Death”

Suicide And Our Many Personas

Over a decade ago, a friend of mine killed himself. As we, his many shocked and grieving friends, exchanged notes of commiseration and regret and nostalgic remembrance of a life we had all drawn pleasure from, one refrain made the rounds: “I guess I didn’t know him as well as I thought I did.” Indeed.Continue reading “Suicide And Our Many Personas”

Jordan Peterson Is A Sexist Tool

Jordan Peterson gets quite upset when he is accused of being sexist and misogynist. Unfortunately, his latest response in the ongoing series of debates over whether he is the reincarnation of Nietzsche or merely the latest in a long line of privileged provocateurs claiming the mantle of ‘radical’ while committing themselves to defending conservative socialContinue reading “Jordan Peterson Is A Sexist Tool”

Ayer On Wittgenstein As Pragmatist

In Wittgenstein (Random House, New York, 1985), A. J. Ayer writes: [Wittgenstein] never adopted the phenomenalist thesis that physical theories can be translated into the set of propositions describing the observable states of affairs that would confirm them…he declared the confirmation of a hypothesis is never completed. In the same set of remarks he characterizedContinue reading “Ayer On Wittgenstein As Pragmatist”

Science And The Provision Of Existential Comfort

Stephen Asma offers a well-worn and reasonable defense of religious belief in The Stone–but ironically enough, in a plea for more tolerance, strikes a rather dogmatic note himself. The defense of religious belief and ritual is a familiar one: religion may be an opiate but it is an effective painkiller as a result. Asma offersContinue reading “Science And The Provision Of Existential Comfort”