Some years ago, the Reader's Digest caused quite a stir by issuing a condensed version of the Bible. Televangelists were up in arms, some going so far as to burn the book and calling for an all out boycott of the Reader's Digest organization. Despite all the outrage, no one seems to care that there … Continue reading The Bible Tells Me So
Science shows us what makes up the world around us, but it's not always so concerned with the metaphysical why. Water is a basic building block for life on Earth, for instance. Does it matter why hydrogen and oxygen combine to create water? Was there some sort of divine plan underlying this behavior? A divine … Continue reading Universal Deism
Voices in Our Heads
Somewhere, out on the plains in Africa, just shortly after humans had learned to talk, a tribe got into some sort of trouble and all seemed bleak. Suddenly a man in the tribe heard the voice of his father, who had died years before, instructing him on what to do. He got everyone's attention and … Continue reading Voices in Our Heads
Beware the savage jaw of 1984. --David Bowie In his novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell presents readers with a society so repressive that even the mere thought of dissent is outlawed. Every citizen has a 24-hour monitoring device, the telescreen, installed in his or her home, and even the English vernacular has been altered to … Continue reading Thought Crime
The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn't understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had. --Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google The Internet was once solely the province of academics and researchers; universities communicating with the governmental and military facilities that financed their research; and … Continue reading Communication Breakdown
War of Words
For centuries, those attempting to manipulate the public conscience have understood that appealing to emotions or instincts is far more effective than appealing to intellect. The advertising industry makes a fortune each year manipulating the audience's emotions to sell everything from coffee and toothpaste, to candidates for all levels of public office. In his review … Continue reading War of Words
The Cheese Toast Project Now Available!
My collection of essays, The Cheese Toast Project (ISBN: 978-0-9848913-4-4), is now available in print at online booksellers, and in print and Kindle versions at Amazon.com. The essays are about family, writing, music, drama, religion, politics, and history. Early drafts appeared on my blog, Raised by Wolves and have since been revised and expanded.
Guidelines for Writing, First Draft
I have recently been considering a set of guidelines for writers and have come up with an initial set of principles, listed below. These are by no means comprehensive and will continue to expand and evolve as time goes on, but provide a basis for further discussion. I welcome comments, inquiries, and constructive criticism. … Continue reading Guidelines for Writing, First Draft
Rise of the Know Nothings
Americans frequently exhibit a dangerous bias toward experts. The more educated and informed one is, the less likely one is to be trusted in this country. We see evidence of this in schools, in business, and most particularly in politics. The newcomer, uncompromising and untainted by years of corruption or back room deal making, always … Continue reading Rise of the Know Nothings
Not a Love Song: The Tragedy of Juliet
Shakespeare's best known tragedy is the story of two star-crossed lovers, who, in death, end their families' conflict. Despite being hailed as a great romance, Romeo and Juliet is, in no way, a love story, but very much about individual responsibility and the consequences of making decisions in the heat of passion. Romeo is very … Continue reading Not a Love Song: The Tragedy of Juliet