Culture, High & Low

The Ailing Parson Malthus Project and the “New Sin of Pride”

malthus July 31, 2014
Anyone who’s had the good fortune to spend time reading Christopher Lasch might be able to identify with the specific experience of risable joy I feel when putting myself in his presence.  For me, the joy is found in a…
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Rituals of Embodiedness

A_time_for_a_cup_of_coffee July 29, 2014
[or “Talking with Our Stuff,” or “Salvation by Coffee”] This spring I had to buy a new coffee mill. Facing the loss of both my electric coffee grinder and my antique hand-cranked mill, I debated about what to buy. The…
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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…
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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…
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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.…
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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…
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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.]…
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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…
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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 –…
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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…
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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…
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Vulgar Adolescent Bigness Fetishizers

gulliver-morten16 June 12, 2014
I reflected what a Mortification it must prove to me to appear as inconsiderable in this Nation as one single Lilliputian would be among us.” –Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift Boy oh boy, if I had a dollar for every time…
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Love: Needs, Risks, Opportunities

love_park_philadelphia11 June 9, 2014
Love – it draws out the timeworn clichés and greeting card verse in us, yet it is serious and necessary and hard. Without it, there would be no popular culture; without it, there would be no culture at all. Without…
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Roots Along the River

scioto county June 5, 2014
Historically, the locals have called Pompaples, Switzerland the “milieu du monde.” Not to be confused as a claim about its importance as a cultural or political influence, the title refers to the interesting, well notable, phenomenon of the waters of…
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Soylent: It’s What’s for Dinner (and Lunch and Breakfast)

soylent meal May 23, 2014
Hidden Springs Lane. What if you never had to worry about food again? Possible answers: 1) Wow! Think of all the time I can save, all the hassle of shopping, cooking, eating, and cleaning. 2) But isn’t food and eating…
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Thoughts on a Graduation Weekend

millennials May 19, 2014
“We have a world bursting with new ideas, new plans, and new hopes.  The world was never so young as it is today, so impatient of old and crusty things.”  So wrote Walter Lippmann in 1912.  Of course, the world…
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