Reimagining American Community
Feb
09

On Going to the Postbox

Do we have to call postal systems imperialist tools, sinister manifestations of forces that are destructive of local community? The Empire was lost, but the postal system remained, and that was all to the good: surely even the most ardent Gandhian wouldn't take self-rule to require a
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Feb
04

The Coming of the Grief Counselor

And then, one momentous day, a man from the University walks into town and hangs a shingle reading “Grief Counselor”. A new need is subtly imputed to people who, as individuals in community, have successfully grieved for generations. Professional dependence begins to be established.
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Feb
04

Boxed In

Drifters are those who either out of choice or necessity reflect the essential rootlessness of modern American life, a rootlessness defined not just by the lack of attachment to and affection for place, but by a disinterest in education and achievement, a detachment from the social mo
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Feb
04

“You Can’t Say That!”

I like to tell people, here’s how you can tell whether you’re in Corvallis or Albany: in Corvallis the cyclists have helmets and they ride on the right side of the road, with the traffic. Whereas here in Albany, the cyclists ride bare-headed and smoke cigarettes as they ride over on t
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Feb
04

Zombie apocalypse update

It's hard to keep up with all the zombie-apocalyses and their attendant fallout. But here's more grist for your distopian fantasies...
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Feb
01

Against “being informed”

This is why a slogan telling people to “be informed” is quite harmful. It tells society that being passively informed is an appropriate path to truth. It subtly says to them “here are the facts, don’t bother yourself about the interpretation.”
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Jan
28

Stories in the Storm: Howard Beach, Part II

In the wake of the hurricane, and in the midst of all the chaos that ten days without electricity had caused, the thing that A seems to care about most is whether her neighborhood’s story is being told. She has a feeling that it’s not, despite the astonishing things that she’d witness
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Jan
28

Italian Diary: From Rome to Orvieto

Old Italian towns or cities, it occurs to me, are like Greek statues. The city itself, with its meandering streets and minor buildings, is the body; the cathedral is the head. Even when the head is missing, the remainder will still be perfectly human, and almost equally beautiful. Th
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Jan
25

City Kids

What makes a city good for families is exactly what makes it good for singles. Hint: it's not more parking.
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Jan
25

The Red Tory View of Capitalism

The following video has been floating around since 2008, but hasn’t gained the wide viewing it deserves. Here, Phillip Blond summarizes his critique of capitalism while calling for what he terms a “catholic” economy (in the non-sectarian sense).
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Jan
23

GKC on I’ll Take My Stand

What particularly delights an inveterate Dickensian is that Mr. Allen Tate makes his argument hinge on a distinction between a Northern type of mind, for which a horse is either an abstract idea or a contributor to a statistic, and the Southern kind of mind—which is surely the human m
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Jan
23

Suburbia and the American Dream

Suburban sprawl, characterized by enormous houses, big-box stores, massive park­ing lots, and high-traffic multi-lane roads, is in conflict with the tradi­tional wisdom about the connection between the built environment and the moral order.
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