Trump Era: Friendship Between Races, Ethnicities, Various Religious Practitioners, and LGBTQ people?

Can’t we all just get along?

That question brings to mind and elaborates on the title of an article in the Sunday New York Times, Arts and Culture section this past weekend “Friendship Or Fantasy?” by Wesley Morris. The article asks whether motion pictures like Green Book, Driving Miss Daisy, Do the Right Thing and others explore a possible transcendent friendship between a prejudiced white person and a black person. Or he asks is the thought of such a possibility fantasy? As part of his argument the author states that always, money and position play a part in the positioning of the superiority of whiteness, and I would add that the position of superior whiteness in our 21st century USA is still more often than not buttressed by occupation and / or address.

As I read the article, I can’t help but compare the thoughts it inspires to my reading of the 2018 biography of Frederic Douglas by David W. Blight. I’m only about a quarter into the book, but I’m struck by the way our soci…

Trump, Nietzsche the übermensch and Superman

Picture it: It is September 11, 2001, and I am in my art classroom with 28 students. We have just watched the second plane crash into the World Trade Center on TV, and one of my students stands and shouts, “Where is superman and all the other super heroes when you need them?”

It is so complicated as to be impossible!

So, I start at the sophomoric position of so many young adults aspiring to be their own person - Nietzsche’s notion on finding one’s actual self midst the confusions of living in (any) contemporary society. And, that notion contains his ideation of the “übermensch,” which while roughly translated into English becomes “Superman,” has next to nothing to do with the plethora of super heroes invented during the past century. Or perhaps put more accurately, the notion has a complexity so elaborate as to just barely overlap our early 21st century notion of “Superman.” Instead his übermensch is a cultural goal in which the individual confronts existence in all its elaborate …

Recognize the Disease: Find a Cure

From my point of view the current president of the United States is but the most debilitating symptom among many of a long-standing illness. I believe the United States to be suffering a major social/cultural disease. And, the patient could die! There are many ways death could take place, among them a second civil war, death by total financial disaster, death by revolution or death by atomic missiles flown from North Korea to name but four.

So, what is this terrible social/cultural disease that could result in the death of the greatest democracy on earth? * It is the festering disease of slavery. We have never dealt with that illness that the (GREAT) forefathers gave to us. Forty-nine percent of the signers of the constitution were slave owners, including Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, and Thomas Jefferson. That disease still lives within the genes and the psyche of our nation. It has been handed down from generation to generation, and has caused many bouts of actual physical de…

The “Deplorables:” Reality – Speaking Truth to Politically Correct Thought

The 21stCentury ugly white American is female or male, often prejudiced against Obama and others of various colors, sometimes Christian, more often than not older than 35, often middle class or working class and quite often Republican though many Democrats switched to vote for Trump in the last election because they feared others of color taking jobs from them.
First, a disclaimer – I am writing this from my position as a 73-year-old white gay once Republican, now Democrat man.  I am making no attempt to avoid my own personal bias as is obvious in the title above. I do not claim that all Trump voters fit this mold, though a large portion do.  At the same time I will try to support my position with observations of newspaper and magazine articles, books and academic studies where possible.

I find particularly useful a perusal of  “White Studies" literature.  Yes, that is a thing. It is an interdisciplinary study that began in the USA during the final decades of the last century.  It …

Western Democracy by Nature Is Unstable and in the 21st Century Is Increasingly Unstable

1. I explore further how Western “binary opposition” interferes with the ability of our democracy to function domestically and internationally.
2. Why was it possible for Russia to meddle in our 2016 election, and why are we paralyzed, unable to take action to stop such meddling in the future?

My weekly ritual on Sunday morning begins with preparation of a pot of heavy brew coffee in our espresso maker, and my low fat Greek yogurt mixed with stewed prunes. I take these and the New York Times to our sunny guest room/library the quietest room in our house, and read the national and international news, the Arts, and food in that order. This morning I read an article that suggested China is the most stable of the world powers in the Pacific Rim region (not the USA). ‘“This is without question a big opportunity for China,” said Ian Bremmer, president of the Eurasia Group, a New York based research firm that forecasts global risks. “The United States has become a less certain partner for a …

Binary America and the Trumptocracy

The antecedent to our current orgy of angry partisan politics is the ancient Western epistemological error in which all things are viewed as binary opposition, and I mean everything of which the universe is made (positive and negative energy) whether as in this case, fact or not.* We see all of science, culture, the arts, history, nations, religions, peoples, politics and daily life tied up in binary opposition. Practically everything is understood as an either/or proposition; either you are Democrat or Republican, black or white, Northern European or Southern European, brown or white, Christian or any other religion, Native American or other kind of American, a citizen of the US of European origin or any other. And, I could go on and on with all the - one thing versus the other - binary comparisons though I’ll stop here in order to continue my argument. That all this “either/orness” is faulty epistemologically can be demonstrated through the analogical trope we very often use to …

How and Why I must Not Respond to Hate with More Hate

One night when I was 15 I died. One night when I was 42 I almost died. Today, I have the same chest bug that turned into walking pneumonia in 1986. Let me try to explain how these three things relate to Trumpageddon 101.

When I was fifteen I died (some would say I had an out of body experience). And I went to a place where I found God. It was not really a place, not space, not light, or dark, though as I am human I use human terms to describe it. There was no word, only God. I understood that I did not belong there, at least not then, that I must go back home. There were things that I had to accomplish. I was to learn over time that those things are not special in the way we understand "special." However, I have done them, do so now, and will continue to do them because they are necessary to complete my existence in this life. In short, I must live as best I can. I must love and be loved and use that which I have been given in humility because all that I have and have be…