What are Words For?

By Daniel A. Kaufman __ Prose consists less and less of words chosen for the sake of their meaning, and more and more of phrases tacked together like the sections of a prefabricated henhouse. --George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language” Our public discourse today has disintegrated into a wretched cant, in which words are... Continue Reading →

A Time to Keep Silent and a Time to Speak

by Andrew Gleeson ____ There is a great difference between doing what one does not approve and feigning to approve what one does. The one is the weakness of a feeble person, the other befits the temper of a lackey.                  --Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America On 6 July 1535, Sir Thomas More, the... Continue Reading →

Our Sporting Heroines (and Heroes)

by Miroslav Imbrisevic ____ Watching the Tokyo Olympics made me think about what we want from our sporting heroines (and heroes). What can we expect from them, and can we make demands on them? Texas Deputy Attorney General Aaron Reitz called the Olympic champion Simone Biles a “national embarrassment” after she withdrew from competing for... Continue Reading →

Love, Memory, and Children’s classics

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ All history was palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary. In no case would it have been possible, once the deed was done, to prove that any falsification had taken place. Books, also, were recalled and rewritten again and again, and were invariably reissued without any... Continue Reading →

Thought Control and Cultural Decline

by Mark English ___ Late last year I wrote a piece about censorship and humor, alluding to the fact that in times of oppression and excessive censorship, humor tends to bubble up and create a space for the expression of dissenting thoughts and feelings. The self-expression involved here may be controlled and deliberate (as in... Continue Reading →

Guns, Hardcore, Carnitas and Camp

by Daniel A. Kaufman One of the best articles I’ve read on America’s gun problem.  Particularly effective is the video which shows what happens when ordinary people, who have been given some gun training of the sort being proposed for school teachers in some districts, are confronted by an active shooter. https://www.vox.com/2015/10/3/9444417/gun-violence-united-states-america = = =... Continue Reading →

See Something? Don’t Say Anything.

by Daniel Tippens The children, on the other hand, were systematically turned against their parents and taught to spy on them and report their deviations. The family had become in effect an extension of the Thought Police. It was a device by means of which everyone could be surrounded night and day by informers who... Continue Reading →

This Week’s Special: George Orwell’s, “Politics and the English Language”

by Daniel A. Kaufman Orwell’s influential essay, published in 1946, when considered alongside his “The Prevention of Literature” (1946) and the Appendix to 1984, “The Principles of Newspeak” (1949), offers a powerful picture of language and its abuse, especially in the arena of politics.  It is one of those essays that seems more prescient with... Continue Reading →

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