Author Archives: admin

Show Up the Fourteenth Century

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An Open Letter to the World Regarding Donald Trump (p.s. Don’t Put off Tomorrow…)

  Dear Planet Earth Beyond the Borders of the Fruited Plain:   You are probably struggling to identify where Uncle Sam’s penchant for reality TV and WrestleMania begins and its Republican Presidential Candidate policies end. Sorry, most of the time, no obvious line separates the twain:   Mike “Gaza Gunpoint” Huckabee jumps off the top rope and clotheslines The Iron Sheik!   Where to begin? On behalf of all 322 million U.S. citizens, I apologize. Of course, a certain Republican presidential hopeful and his pitchfork minions would like to reduce that number to a comfortable 222 million White Americans. But who’s counting?    The only good news is that we don’t know whether said candidate will export or exterminate those 100 million non-White Americans if given the chance. Yes, I actually took a step down the genocidal warning path. Why? Because a political personality worthy of crossing the Godwin Line is finally in our midst.   Two years ago, I wrote: “To compare any U.S. politician to Adolf Hitler is simply idiotic and downgrading to the cause.” Well, I was wrong.   I didn’t realize Donald Trump was capable…

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What is Reverence for Life?

  Swimming with my eight-year-old daughter requires patience.  Actually, she’s pretty much a mermaid and can swim circles around anything just shy of a dolphin.  But when the sun starts turning your skin oh-so-crispy bacon and your fingertips begin to resemble wrinkly raisins, she’s ready to devote another hour-plus in the pool, not to butterfly strokes, but to rescuing ants and bees and other creepy-crawlies that have fallen hapless victim to the water.   My daughter is amphibian in her devotion to preserving life.  The other night, in the dry confines of our living room, she lectured me following my “coldblooded murder” of a centipede that I caught trespassing across our carpet.  Her earnest chiding caused me to consider my thoughtless act of centi-cide.  Later that evening, my daughter asleep, I redeemed myself.  Another many-legged arthropod reared its forcipules; this time I captured it with a napkin and released it into the untamed wilderness beyond my porch door.   These days, I can hardly get away with swatting a mosquito in my daughter’s presence.  Yet I have no one other than myself to blame.  I’m the one who taught…

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Choosing a President for Alderaan Reasons: Modern Mythmaking & the “Dark Side” of Presidential Politics

Myth matters.   Gilgamesh slayed the great beast Humbaba. Persephone was abducted by Hades. Anubis weighs hearts at the threshold of eternity. There is great meaning to be gleaned from each of these mythological still shots, a meaning that does not depend on historical veracity, on whether they actually happened, or happen.   Oh, and here’s another one: Han Solo shot Greedo. First.   Again, myth matters. But modern myths may matter even more as we head into the heart of the 21st century and beyond. Homer had little use for sonic screwdrivers or tricorders, but it’s hard to imagine life in the pending centuries without some form of information magic wand—apologies to Thor’s Mjölnir.   Not all modern mythmaking is techno-laden, however. Neither the heroic brotherhood of Samwise Gamgee nor the swashbuckling courage of Reepicheep nor the scholarly witch-withal of Hermione require power couplings and warp drives. Even so, while no whirring T.A.R.D.I.S can ferry anyone to a point in space-time to witness their esteemed constitutions, these characters of true character are real in every ethical sense though they be composed…

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Train up a Child…

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Humanity, Not Quite Ready for Civilization: Reverence for Life in a Washed-Up World

  Click to read Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 in the “Humanity, Not Quite Ready for Civilization” series.   Sometimes you have to break a thing down into its simplest parts to understand it afresh.   At other times, you have to be broken, or nearly broken, by the Universe to understand a thing.   As I type this, the city where I reside, Columbia, South Carolina, has been inundated by a Once-in-a-Millennium Deluge. Literally more water than you can shake an insensitive Al Roker selfie at has fallen all around us. Businesses, homes, lives, washed away by raging floodwaters.   At present, we are without running water; we have no idea when we will regain running water. I had the foresight and enough life-in-Haiti experience to collect standing rainwater for toilets and other non-potable purpose. Plus I have a storehouse of bottled water to last four or five days—maybe a week. (Also, thank God I snagged the last two bags of Doritos at Target before it shut its doors. O, why didn’t I buy French onion dip?)   Most important of all, I have a Community. And I am an active member of my Community. People are reaching out to me to…

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Civilization. Barbarism.

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Humanity, Not Quite Ready for Civilization: Enemy-Making, Resistance is Everything

  Click to read Parts 1, 2, 3 and 5 in the “Humanity, Not Quite Ready for Civilization” series.   Enemies. Imagine a world without them. Yeah, that’s usually how most genocides start. . …   Have you ever noticed that humans seem to need enemies? How, even in relatively peaceful conditions, we hominids go far out of our way to create a reason, to invent a false border, in order to declare our fellow thinking biped an adversary?   Case in point: we have reached that point in the calendar when Americans devote weekend time to decorating themselves in preparation for pigskin war against their fellow citizens. Metropolitan area will march against metropolitan area. Institution of higher education will stand against institution of higher education. Hatred and violence will ensue. (Seriously.) And all in the name of be-helmeted jocks advancing a leather prolate spheroid across a rectangular playing field at great risk of concussion and ligament snapping.   Touchdown! I hate you. Blocked extra point! I hate you too.   For this reason, Ohioans shall rise up against Michiganders. Tigers shall stand against Gamecocks….

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Money, Mammon, Meaning & the Musings of Robert Frost

    Money, Mammon, Meaning & the Musings of Robert Frost (CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE)       There is little doubt what Jesus meant when he lectured from the hillside that money is the root of all evil. Wait a second—don’t make any memes based on that quite yet. …       August 20, 2015 /…

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Humanity, Not Quite Ready for Civilization: MLK’s Audacious Belief

  Click to read Parts 1, 2, 4 and 5 in the “Humanity, Not Quite Ready for Civilization” series.   Have you ever stopped to ask yourself what Civilization means?   Nobel Peace laureate and philosopher Albert Schweitzer did. In his book, The Philosophy of Civilization, the great thinker writes: “We have drifted out of the stream of civilization because there was amongst us no real reflection upon what civilization is.”   Thus, let us reflect. I mean it. Unless you’re performing CPR on a hapless victim of Blue Shirt brutality, stop whatever you’re doing. Trust me, that viral spoof news story about Donald Trump choosing between Ted Nugent and a Donkey Dung Sea Cucumber as his VP running mate will be there five minutes from now.   Find a writing instrument and scratchpad or a cellphone Notes app or a stylus and clay tablet and take one minute of your life to write down your personal definition of “Civilization.”   {Here’s some supporting theme music while you write.}   Read your definition aloud. Post it in the comments section below, if you feel up to it.   Most dictionaries and…

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