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Tag: dollar dollar bill ya’ll

Endless Summer

“Agamemnon, aggression, Agnew (Spiro), agnosticism, agreement (grammar), agribusiness, air pollution, air quality index, Akron, Ohio.” E.D. Hirsch, Jr.: Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know, c. 1987 This is a sample from a book-length list some guy put together to help culturally illiterate people catch up with their more educated fellows. Of course, cultural ignorance is hard to define, and snobby to even contemplate.…

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plays well with others

Some things to consider about communal living . . . How many people do you want around? On what basis will you select them? How will you support yourselves? How will each person have privacy? How will you deal with the government, with transient people, with runaways? How will you educate your children? How many dogs will you allow?   from Living on the Earth,…

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the spoon-fed ant heap

  “Ultimately, the criminal and the madman are pure objects and solitary subjects; their frantic subjectivity is carried to the point of solipsism at the moment when they are reduced for others to the state of a pure, manipulated thing, or a pure being-there without a future, prisoners who are dressed and undressed, who are spoon-fed. On the one hand are dream, autism, absence; on…

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That Hamilton Woman

  “It is yearning that makes the heart deep.” Augustine   Starting in first grade, my younger brother played little league baseball. His team was the Reds. I did not play little league baseball. It was not offered to girls, not optional, not done. I remember being very bored at the games, but I entertained myself by picking hardened chewing gum off the bottoms of…

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First Bank Ever

     “I helped make Mexico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenue in. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers. . . . I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras “right”…

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but someone has to do it

    “one’s position determines one’s feelings. And yet to walk on top of a thing is not to prevail over it— it is more the opposite, a disguised dependency, by which the slave completes the master.” Louise Gluck       In which Barbara Ehrenreich goes undercover as a maid and writes an exposé of the horror of the working poor. She then returns…

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thank heaven for little grills

“By enabling farmers to generate food surpluses, food production permitted farming societies to support full-time craft specialists who did not grow their own food and who developed technologies. Besides sustaining scribes and inventors, food production also enabled farmers to support politicians.” Jared Diamond, from ‘Guns, Germs, and Steel’    This is the backyard of a spec home in _____?______. Grass fed beef costs around $25…


striking it rich



“After reading Howitt’s account of the Australian gold diggings one evening, I had in my mind’s eye, all night, the numerous valleys, with their streams, all cut up with foul pits, from ten to one hundred feet deep, and half a dozen feet across, as close as they can be dug, and partly filled with water—the locality to which men furiously rush to probe for their fortunes—uncertain where they shall break ground—not knowing but the gold is under their camp itself—sometimes digging one hundred and sixty feet before they strike the vein, or then missing it by a foot—turned into demons, and regardless of each other’s rights, in their thirst for riches—whole valleys, for thirty miles, suddenly honeycombed by the pits of the miners, so that even hundreds are drowned in them—standing in water, and covered in mud and clay, they work night and day, dying of exposure and disease. Having read this, and partly forgotten it, I was thinking, accidentally, of my own unsatisfactory life, doing as others do; and with that vision of the diggings still before me, I asked myself why I might not be washing some gold daily?”

Henry David Thoreau, Life Without Principle*Henry David Thoreau: “Life Without Principle.” (Not to be confused with “Life Without Principal.”) Taken from The American Transcendentalists, edited by Perry Miller, Johns Hopkins University Press: 1981. Transcendentalism. Such a yummy word. I never have felt like it delivers up to its promise.



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