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Secret Writing

September 6, 2013


The political philosopher, Leo Strauss, argued convincingly that most of the great works of philosophy and political philosophy before the Enlightenment cannot be just “read” because they were written to conceal as much as they revealed. This makes sense, because before the emergence of secular liberal democracies authors had to be particularly sensitive to the […]

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Native Moments

August 17, 2013


Native Moments NATIVE moments! when you come upon me—Ah you are here now! Give me now libidinous joys only! Give me the drench of my passions! Give me life coarse and rank! To-day, I go consort with nature’s darlings—to-night too; I am for those who believe in loose delights—I share the midnight orgies of young […]

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Shopping as Theater or Grind

July 12, 2013


I recently watched a film in a movie theater in a ‘transitional’ neighborhood in Oakland and was more than pleasantly surprised on walking through the unimposing entrance to what could have been a very large garage. The scene opened up to a cheerful combination of café, pub and pizza parlor. Orders could be eaten in […]

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Roll Back The Regulators

May 11, 2013


I have spent countless hours during the past few weeks on what soldiers in the second world war called ‘chickenshit’ i.e. bureaucratic regulations so silly and so trifling that they don’t even measure up to the level of ‘bullshit’. Nowadays ‘chickenshit’ is everywhere. Virtually every occupation has a government and/or state licensing board and a bureaucracy […]

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Eccentrics, Those Very Peculiar People

April 19, 2013


Extreme ironing is a peculiarly British activity involving ironing clothes in remote and strange locations. That this activity originated in Britain should be no surprise, as the British have a reputation for producing world class eccentrics such as Oscar Wilde, who was known for taking his pet lobster for a walk on a leash, and Sir […]

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These are the times that try men’s souls.

April 13, 2013


I recently spent some time in a flyover state and had some surprising discussions with people who, despite their extreme views, appeared in every other respect to represent the solid heartland of America. By that I mean they were not rednecks, but rather, enterprising, middle class, church going citizens with strong family values. They included […]

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Poetry and Social Change

April 7, 2013


On August 16, 1819, 60,000 peaceful pro-democracy and anti-poverty protestors met in what is now St. Peters Square in Manchester, England. The square was filled with banners on which were written the words, ‘Reform’, ‘Universal Suffrage’, ‘Equal Representation’ and even ‘Love’. Magistrates panicked and ordered the cavalry to charge the field, which they did with sabres […]

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