I am now writing on Medium, so I think something on the order of an introduction is called for.

I have never been crazy about talking about myself. I always thought that the world at large is a lot more interesting than I am. But I am part of this…


Romantic Pessimism in The Psychedelic Furs’ Book of Days

Richard Butler, “Noisymouth”, 2013

Romanticism can be edifying: a tale of the ways of Spirit-in-the-World, elaborated in Wordsworth’s chronicles of the lake district or Caspar-David Friedrich’s exhilarated man standing on a mountaintop. But too much exhilaration usually leads to disillusion, even exhaustion, and that is also part of the Romantic legacy. Pessimism as an…


Photo by Author

Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror, The Whitney Museum of Art, New York City, New York, September 29, 2021, through February 13, 2022

The received “discourse” among artworld historians goes something like this: Abstract Expressionism shifted the focus from Paris to New York City. With the help of critics like Clement Greenberg and…


“Battle of Jena “ colored litho by Antoine Charles Horace Vernet (called Carle Vernet)(1758–1836) and Jacques François Swebach (1769–1823) Wikimedia Commons

Review of Molly Farneth, Hegel’s Social Ethics: Religion, Conflict, and Rituals of Reconciliation (Princeton University Press, 2018)

What has Jena to do with Jerusalem? Or Washington D.C., for that matter?

Plenty, it turns out. It was in Jena, as Napoleon’s armies were advancing on the city, where Georg Wilhelm Friedrich…


(Wikimedia commons: Archangels’ Chapel in Rila Monestery, Jacob’s Ladder)

Hodos anō katō mia kai hōutē. (The path up and down is one and the same.) — Heraclitus, Fragment 60

Five years ago, I managed to execute a simultaneous exit and re-entry: I started transitioning from male to female and began my return to the Christian church. Were you to…


This piece is absolutely spot-on. Kudos!

One thing that I've noticed is that in the contemporary "discourse", no distinction is made between an "expert", an "authority", and a member of "the elite". But they all connote and denote different things. "An elite" wields power, whether legitimately or not. An "expert"…


Associated Press (Fair Use)

They were careless people, Tom and Daisy — they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made. . . . — F. …


Georges Rouault, Wikimedia commons

Dilige, et quod vis fac. [Love, and do what you will.]” — St. Augustine of Hippo, Easter Sunday Sermon, 407 CE

When asked about my political position, I will sometimes reply “somewhere between a Social Democrat and a Democratic Socialist.” …


Photo by Heidi Kaden on Unsplash

The January 6th House Select Committee hearings, which took place last Wednesday, were troubling, to put it mildly. Both the testimony of the witnesses from D.C. and Capitol police and the new video footage made it very clear that the Capitol rioters wished to stage a hard coup against the…


(Photo by Sushil Nash on Unsplash)

Review of George Packer, Last Best Hope: America in Crisis and Renewal (Farrar Strauss and Giroux, 2021).

1

George Packer begins his reflections on the state of the nation with the following quip: “I am an American. No, I don’t want pity.” (Kindle loc 30) Packer’s book expresses his hopes…

Laura Nelson

Writer, philosopher, information technologist,guitarist, neurotic, polite radical, avid and indiscriminate reader, Episcopalian, trans woman.

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