Willy Loman, Jay Gatsby & The American Dream

Journalists writing about politics too often seem to share the same glossary of offensive unthinking epithets. When one wishes to learn what a politician is doing that might improve public life writers simply revert to their derogatory journalese of racist and sexist. They rarely try to inform readers or television listeners precisely what a politician … More Willy Loman, Jay Gatsby & The American Dream

Rhetoric

The word rhetoric once denoted ways of communicating one’s thoughts by devices called “rhetorical devices” “Appeal to authority” (used in terms like “expert/scientists say”) is a rhetorical device often used by journalists to convince readers of the validity of their opinions. But today maybe 2500 years since the devices of rhetoric originated, the noun rhetoric  … More Rhetoric

Java, Genesis, Insurance

I’ve been reading Northrop Frye’s Anatomy of Criticism. This morning a television  news item announced the death of a 146 year old man,our planets oldest person, in a Java village: I couldn’t help but think of the hundreds of years long life spans of most of the major figures in the book of “Genesis”.Doubtless – … More Java, Genesis, Insurance

Time & Timelessness

Thoughts central to Shakespeare’s sonnets are beauty, procreation, nature and time. Personal beauty overcomes the ravages of time by procreation, “Die single and thy image dies with thee.”(sonnet 3) “For never-resting time leads summer on/To hideous winter and confounds him there;”(Sonnet 5) In the twentieth century T.S. Elliot sees time as a static mental construct, … More Time & Timelessness

Culture Clash?

Culture Clash? Inspired by reading that Confucius’ “Book of Songs” contained poems that offered China’s ancient ruler a way to govern better by presenting the sentiments of China’s populace expressed by a variety of poets, I began imagining American movies and American literature as means of revealing elements of American society. Last week I saw … More Culture Clash?