The story of the United States of America: we write this chapter.

I’m sorry I’ve been so quiet here lately–aside from the usual new semester kerfuffle, it’s been difficult to decide what to say or when to say it when one’s outrage-o-meter is stuck on full blast all week long.  Being the sunny, positive person that I am, I’ve been looking for wisdom on the internets that … Continue reading The story of the United States of America: we write this chapter.

Bubble, bubble, who’s in the bubble?

Recently, it’s been fashionable for pundits and journalists to blame liberals and leftists for the political and cultural segregation of the United States today.  Liberals, so the story goes, have up and left middle America (AKA “real America”) and decamped for Democratic-leaning states on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, and maybe a few liberal college … Continue reading Bubble, bubble, who’s in the bubble?

Living portraits of the dead and dead portraits of the living: “Posthumous Portraiture in America,” early Tennessee, and artist Ralph E. W. Earl

Max Nelson offers a fascinating overview of a current exhibition at the American Folk Art Museum in New York, “Securing the Shadow:  Posthumous Portraiture in America.”  I find this subject both touching and horrifying, especially considering the understandable impulse to commemorate lost children.  But as Nelson notes (per the exhibition), the practice of painting or … Continue reading Living portraits of the dead and dead portraits of the living: “Posthumous Portraiture in America,” early Tennessee, and artist Ralph E. W. Earl

Sunday door-knocking in Greeley: a report from the ground on election 2016

This Tuesday, I’m taking a break from my Teaser Tuesday feature to urge you first to GET OUT AND VOTE if you haven’t already!  VAMOS A VOTAR, mi amigas y amigos. OK then:  now for my report from the ground in my no-longer-so-swingy swing state.  I spent all day Sunday knocking on at least 80 doors in … Continue reading Sunday door-knocking in Greeley: a report from the ground on election 2016

American biography in the age of the Human Stain

As you while away the hours today waiting to vote tomorrow, and/or obsessively clicking on political news stories and the latest, last polls–click on over to my refreshing, totally non-political chat with Sara Damiano at the Junto about The Many Captivities of Esther Wheelwright.  Sara asked what I’d like people to take away from my … Continue reading American biography in the age of the Human Stain

“An Election All About Sex & Gender.” Who ever would have predicted this?

What a surprise! Who among us ever would have forseen this?  I’m not mocking Rebecca Traister; I truly appreciate her analysis this year and am glad she’s finally getting the teevee time she and her–well, our–ideas deserve.  Men’s marital infidelity and sexual adventurism, even sexual abuse, is fundamentally knitted into the spoils successful male pols … Continue reading “An Election All About Sex & Gender.” Who ever would have predicted this?

Sexual humiliation in American women’s political history: the longue durée

On my way to and from work lately, I’ve been listening to the original cast album of Hamilton, which is of course as catchy and terrific as everyone says it is.  (Trust me:  it’s worth even more than the hype, and I bow to no one in trashing the so-called Founding Fathers, although I do … Continue reading Sexual humiliation in American women’s political history: the longue durée

OMG. LOLz! WTF? “Shrill tyranny of the left” to blame for the Human Stain, everything wrong in the nation.

The New York Times apparently has an inexhaustible supply of so-called liberals who are baffled and enraged by any criticism of their views by the so-called “left.”  Desperately worried that Yale’s 2015 Halloween memo has faded into distant memory, they publish Lionel Shriver’s complaint that young people criticized her opinions on social media!  As the kids … Continue reading OMG. LOLz! WTF? “Shrill tyranny of the left” to blame for the Human Stain, everything wrong in the nation.

The prince’s body and the body politic, 2016

(Deep background:  This post recalls some of my earlier arguments about the dynastic nature of American politics, about which Americans are mostly in denial, at least when the dynasties involve male pols only.  American politics became even more royalist in the first half of the twentieth century, when the U.S. emerged as a major international … Continue reading The prince’s body and the body politic, 2016