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Hoarders

I recently read a local newspaper story about an eccentric mother and son who were hoarders, midnight garbage rummagers, and isolationists. The mother was eventually admitted to a hospital’s nursing home. She died not long after the remains of her 79 year-old son’s body were found in the basement rubble of their home, two years after he had been reported missing.

They were harmless hoarders,
Midnight garbage rummagers,
Mother and son magicians
Lifting startled rabbits
From top hats,
Unable to slide them
Into memory.

Phone books, used cue-tips,
Jars of minced garlic,
Basement shelves of tuna fish
And winter-weight oil,
Like pieces of cardboard
On top of candy wrappers,
In the backyard’s melting sludge
Of stained snow.

A car trunk full of
Damp novels,
Desk drawers with
Unearned pennies and
Broken 2h pencils
Magnified by a hoarder’s
Cry to vacancy:
“Nothing will be emptied,
No orphaned space unused,
Infinity, impotent against clutter;
There will be room for everything.”

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Slavoj Zizek and Moral Relativism

Mind you, I have my own ongoing battles with academic theorists in the Humanities, Communications, Social Sciences, and the Arts.

Many of these tenure-track theorists continue to live in the realm of abstraction that has become elitist, exclusionary, and so far removed from primary sources that their journal-driven monographs have morphed into theoretical meta-narratives about themselves, not about the works or events they are supposedly critiquing.

Having said that, however, I do not sympathize with Slavoj Zizek’s not-so-subtle contempt for what he sees as the moral relativism of the academic left. Continue reading

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Anti-Big-Government Movement in America

(I would ask my readers to please keep in mind that my analysis of the anti-big-government movement in the U.S. is only an analysis. In general, I do not reach the same conclusions that many of these sometimes disparate anti-big-government groups come to).

In a densely-packed essay in The Nation, Eric Alterman outlined his reasons why Obama and the Dems will never be able to get an untainted progressive agenda through the hollowed halls of Congress.

Alterman sees the problem as structurally rigged against such any progressive agenda: the media-controlled narratives; the filibuster threat; the supermajority rule; the ability of any one Senator to put a “hold” on legislation; the corporate/lobbyist money running Washington and now the media with a recent Supreme Court decision. Continue reading

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Trust

I remember the day. It was fifteen years ago. I was standing outside my father’s apartment. We were engaged in a conversation about Mary, my stepmother, who had just been diagnosed with esophageal cancer.

My dad made a vain attempt at telling me that he wasn’t bothered by my stepmother’s inability to travel. I didn’t believe him. Continue reading

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Man of My Dreams

The mottled crowd
Had refused to interrupt
My slowly raised head,
Feeling, as I did,
Like a dazed bird
Rushing from an
Aging falcon.

I crawled up the stairs,
Stopping to rest
My right arm on
The damp concrete
As I lifted the strands
Of my hair,
Imagining, for a moment,
A daffodil-of-an-Austrian
Prince leaning over
My shoulder with his
Soft cottony breath,
Mint-green eyes,
And long fingers.

“Sorry,” I paused,
“I’m not here.”
He left without
A word.

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Health Insurance and the Profit Motive

(The next two blog entries I will be posting consist of a two-part series about the American Health Insurance crisis. In the first essay, I discuss the Health Care industry in the U.S. as a profit-driven corporation. In the second essay, I will be looking at privatized Health Insurance as a crap-shoot)

Before I begin this attempt at getting my mind around the issue of Health Care in America, let me preface my remarks by thanking Ann from Baltimore who has promised to intervene on my twitter messages when I become too obsessed and frantic about the state of private Health Insurance in America.

To those who have not heard of Ann from @annq, check her twitter venue out. She’s my steady force of calmness in the sometimes frenetic world of cyberspace. Love you, my dear.

Now, Let’s play ball.

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Alcoholism and Free Choice

I was listening to an NPR program, “On Point,” the other day and a writer was being interviewed about his book in which he claims that alcoholism is not a disease but an ism of  choice.

I don’t believe there are too many recovering addicts or alcoholics who would give themselves over to the generalized assertion that all you have to do is “will” yourself into sobriety. Those of us who have been in the rooms for a while would not deceive ourselves into the naïve belief that one’s individual will can unilaterally “conquer” or defeat the enemy of addiction.

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