Tag Archives: existentialism

How the World Works

We all carry around with us an idea of how the world works. This idea isn’t necessarily super detailed, but it does lay down the general guidelines for what we deem possible in the world and what we deem impossible. … Continue reading

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Tree of Smoke

I’ve just finished reading a book. One line—”Now James felt as if his head had been chopped off and thrown in boiling water.”—made me burst out laughing. Another two—”Courage is action. Thought is cowardice.”—made me burst into tears. There is … Continue reading

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It Doesn’t Get Better, You Have to Make it Better

Commiserating with a friend about jobs a few years back, it turned out that while we both expressed dissatisfaction with our then current situations, we were also pessimistic about finding attractive alternatives. [Ironic aside: Neither one of us is at … Continue reading

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You Live in a World Without You

Jerry Garcia once said something like, “You have to remember that we live in a world without a Grateful Dead.” It’s an interesting perspective. When you are the Grateful Dead, you are known to millions and adored by many. You … Continue reading

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The Myth of Freedom

The New York Times ran a story on Friday about the spotlight Glenn Beck had cast on an “obscure CUNY professor,” Frances Fox Piven, and how this had attracted some very hostile attention from Beck’s followers. One fine fellow had … Continue reading

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Publish and Perish

There are many reasons why my academic career didn’t pan out, but among them is undoubtedly the fact that I didn’t publish very much. For example, I never turned my dissertation on the Baader-Meinhof Gang into a book (though part … Continue reading

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Man against Nature, Nature against God

Conservative critic Ross Douthat recently took James Cameron and Hollywood to task for rampant pantheist sympathies writing that pantheism “represents a form of religion that even atheists can support.” While I believe he is mistaken to equate, as he does, … Continue reading

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Epistemology versus Ethics

A local, recently gender-reassigned nanny drove a car which featured the following bumper sticker: While sympathetic to the sentiment expressed, believing, as I do, that reality, taken in the totality of its sordid, mundane, and astonishing details, is nothing if … Continue reading

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The Joker

I may be late to the party, but I always have a good time. See, I final caught Heath Ledger’s swan song in The Dark Knight and, like many people, his performance as the Joker really got under my skin. … Continue reading

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