Something’s Fishy–But Not Very–At Dinnertime

tilapia July 23, 2014
Ingham County, MI As darkness falls upon what a friend of mine charitably calls “Jack-Ass Acres,” and as the promise of rain comes with the moving clouds at the end of one of the few really warm days we’ve had…
Read the full article →

Rollin Coal and the Empire of Desire

rollin coal July 21, 2014
Thanks to a good friend, I’m now up to speed on the phenomenon of “Rollin Coal,” which one commentator describes as “a new trend in which anti-environmentalist idiots with nothing better to do modify their diesel engined trucks to burn…
Read the full article →

Place and the Role of Planning

city planning July 17, 2014
[This post is adapted with permission from “The Space Was Ours Before We Were the Place’s,” an essay in the anthology Why Place Matters: Geography, Identity, and Civic Life in Modern America, edited by Wilfred M. McClay and Ted V.…
Read the full article →

Trust, Community Ties, and Letting Your Children Play

outside-play July 16, 2014
[Cross-posted to In Medias Res] The story has exploded all over the internet : Debra Harrell, a Georgia woman, dropped her 9-year-old child off at a park–not an isolated and run-down one, but a park with playgrounds, splash fountains, and…
Read the full article →

The Dumb Ass Suffers a Cardio-Semantic Arrest

tail-lights-00 July 16, 2014
It’s the Big One. Tell the kids I love them. Wait at least a week to remarry.
Read the full article →

Civic Engagement and the “Native Country”

alexis_de_tocqueville July 15, 2014
[This post is adapted with permission from “Making American Places: Civic Engagement Rightly Understood,” an essay in the anthology Why Place Matters: Geography, Identity, and Civic Life in Modern America, edited by Wilfred M. McClay and Ted V. McAllister.] The…
Read the full article →

Accreditation to the Rescue (for real?)

blanshard July 14, 2014
Hillsdale, Michigan. I am a little late to the surge of 1s and 0s in response to Peter Conn’s less than tepid essay about faith and higher education. The gist of his gripe is the well-worn Voltairian notion that faith…
Read the full article →

Architecture and Urbanism: Traditional vs. Modern

urbanism July 10, 2014
[This post is adapted with permission from “Metaphysical Realism, Modernity, and Traditional Cultures of Building,” an essay in the anthology Why Place Matters: Geography, Identity, and Civic Life in Modern America, edited by Wilfred M. McClay and Ted V. McAllister.]…
Read the full article →

Four Words to Change the World

jack pine tree July 9, 2014
Situate the preference where it is, not where it isn’t.
Read the full article →

An Alternative to Cosmopolitanism

the world July 7, 2014
[This post is adapted with permission from “Making Places: The Cosmopolitan Temptation,” an essay in the anthology Why Place Matters: Geography, Identity, and Civic Life in Modern America, edited by Wilfred M. McClay and Ted V. McAllister.] When people use…
Read the full article →

Who Knew Independence Could Be This Easy?

scottihboy260_tcm4-690612 July 3, 2014
Hillsdale, Michigan: While Americans are gearing up for fireworks, automobile sales, and burnt hot dogs, the Scots are debating whether to declare their independence from the United Kingdom.   It took Americans one revolutionary war to gain autonomy from…
Read the full article →

Patriot Games

July 2, 2014
Holland, MI [Note: This is the shirt my son wore to the big screen simulcast on the lawn of the Ford Presidential Museum for the US v Belgium soccer game. He wore it because it's awesome.] As our nation –…
Read the full article →

Walker Percy and the Recovery of Place

percy July 1, 2014
[This post is adapted with permission from “GPS and the End of the Road,” an essay in the anthology Why Place Matters: Geography, Identity, and Civic Life in Modern America, edited by Wilfred M. McClay and Ted V. McAllister.] In…
Read the full article →

Hang the Nanny-State Meddlers

ball-peen-hammer June 25, 2014
Wearing your seat belt is a sign of good citizenship.
Read the full article →

Fences, Vines, Bees, and Huge Chickens

fence June 22, 2014
Hidden Springs Lane. We’re building fence this summer. I purchased 150 eight foot posts and we’ve been slowly planting them. We’re putting a paddock in the front and a larger one in the back. But before doing that, I put…
Read the full article →

Dispatches from the Barn Jester and Purveyor of Haufenmist

horse-manure-bruce-ritchie June 17, 2014
Be worthy of your place.
Read the full article →