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Reading, Looking, Listening, . . . Questioning
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Bust portrait of a young man representing the nativist ideal of the Know Nothing party, from Harp Week collection of American political prints, 1766-1876

“I Know Nothing”: Faith, Fear, and Politics in Antebellum America By Emily Sosolik   Let our opponents torture and distort the truth as they may, no specious reasoning, no political sophistry can alter the fact that those who are constantly laboring to fight down Americanism and Protestantism are enemies of their country, and tories or […]

Article
Wendy Artin, Tamara on her Side with Foot in Hand, 2003, watercolor on Fabiano Ingres paper, 12 x 9, © 2003-2014

At sea in these thunder-clouded days we write out of habit and wishing that we might find some magical, Archimedean fulcrum that would right the ship or allow us to gather the pieces and start building anew. At present we cannot be sure how, or if, these pieces fit together.   In any critic’s work, we […]

ZiLL
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Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Anima dannata, 1619, white marble. Embassy of Spain in Vatican City, Holy See, Rome

Review of H.L. Hix, American Anger: An Evidentiary (Etruscan Press, 2016).   “I’ve got a family to feed, a neighborhood to defend.” “I’ve got a family to feed, a principle to defend.” “I’ve got a family to feed, my honor to defend.” — H.L. Hix, American Anger   These lines taken from separate poems in […]

Review
Whig primary, 1848 - An Available Candidate, The One Qualification for a Whig President

Many people in Europe believe without saying, or say without believing, that one of the great advantages of universal suffrage is that it calls men worthy of the people’s confidence to take charge of public affairs. The people do not know how to govern themselves, but, it is said, they always want the State to […]

ZiR
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Residents of Flint, Michigan continue to be subjected to dangerously high lead levels in their drinking water. The long-term effects are likely to be catastrophic, especially when it comes to the brain development of Flint’s young children. Naturally, questions have arisen about what members of the Michigan state government knew, and when they knew it. Local […]

ZiR
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People console one another outside the emergency room entrance to Loma Linda Medical Center after two shootouts in San Bernardino. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

  Details are still emerging about the San Bernardino shootings, but evidence mounts that this was terrorism. Public reaction appears to be much more disturbed and fearful than it was a few days earlier when a lone domestic gunman shot people at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood office. The extent of the San Bernardino reaction […]

ZiR

In 1949, the French writer, artist, and filmmaker Jean Cocteau wrote a few lines about French politics at that time, lines that might help Americans today view their own political battles with more optimism than usual. In my translation: I know well that in 1949 politics are a big deal and the clashes of different […]

ZiR

  In the woods of Michigan in 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville recounts, he found a not entirely unfamiliar solitude, but what was unusual was that, unlike previously, when he had visited the ruins of ancient European civilizations, the solitudes of America led his mind to project forward, losing itself “dans un immense avenir” (in a […]

ZiR

1 I’m just waking up. News radio. Listening for the weather. The solemn voice of a commentator: . . . what we’re dealing with . . . dedicated, well-armed sociopaths who’ll stop at nothing to impose their will on as much of the world as possible. It’s July 2015. I’m in the USA. Even groggy […]

ZiR

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A Syrian man holds lifeless body of his son, killed by Syrian Army, Aleppo, Syria, October 3, 2013, photo by Manu Brabo - AP

1 I’m just waking up. News radio. Listening for the weather. The solemn voice of a commentator: . . . what we’re dealing with . . . dedicated, well-armed sociopaths who’ll stop at nothing to impose their will on as much of the world as possible. It’s July 2015. I’m in the USA. Even groggy […]

ZiR

February 8, 2017

How does the slogan “man is a wolf to man” fit in with your later, somewhat hopeful image of camaraderie in the class struggle? I mean, if your starting assessment of human nature is correct, then doesn’t the class struggle actually come down to one group of savage beasts fighting another, the exploited class merely comprising those wolves with less opportunity to express their lupine ferocity? And don’t the exploiters no less than the exploited regularly turn against one another, so that besides the strife of classes, there is also the strife of each wolf against every other wolf? Wha...

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Beyoncé

1 I’m just waking up. News radio. Listening for the weather. The solemn voice of a commentator: . . . what we’re dealing with . . . dedicated, well-armed sociopaths who’ll stop at nothing to impose their will on as much of the world as possible. It’s July 2015. I’m in the USA. Even groggy […]

Article

December 13, 2016

Any doubts I may have had have been thoroughly quashed.

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Categories: Review | Add a Comment

1 I’m just waking up. News radio. Listening for the weather. The solemn voice of a commentator: . . . what we’re dealing with . . . dedicated, well-armed sociopaths who’ll stop at nothing to impose their will on as much of the world as possible. It’s July 2015. I’m in the USA. Even groggy […]

Review

November 29, 2016

What a nice review ! I've read Bakewell and admire her courage and skill in mixing biography and philosophy in such an attractive way -- and I admire your skill in presenting the figures and themes of existentialism in an equally attractive way ! Mazel tov !

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