Dear Senator Corker, Senator Alexander, and Representative Duncan, All my life I have heard people valorize Joseph Welch's 1954 words to Senator Joseph McCarthy: "Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?" Today when I sat down to write you about the despicable priorities encoded in … Continue reading Against the Cruelty, Hypocrisy, and Irresponsibility of Trump’s Budget: An Open Letter to My Senators and Congressional Representative
When the Mafia-backed entrepreneur and con man Donald Trump captured a majority of electoral college votes—although, of course, not the majority of actual votes, and that is before we inquire how the count may have been affected by “abnormal” Russian propaganda, “normal” Fox propaganda (overlapping with the Russian part), tampering with voting machines in swing … Continue reading Resisting Trump, Talking Respectfully to Republicans, and Recalling the Mandate of the 2018 Election—Can We Do All of This at the Same Time?
From the outset, I was far from clear about the purpose or future of this blogging experiment. It truly was experimental, albeit with a few “what if” ruminations associated: What if I liked having a sort of “first draft” outlet for thinking out loud about my projects? What if, little by little, I could spoon … Continue reading Should This Blog Live? How Can It Live? Where Do We Go From Here?
Starting next January, and continuing through Spring 2018, I will be at the University of Alberta in Edmonton as a Fulbright Research Chair in Arts and Humanities! No doubt I will have more to say about the adventure here. A couple of weeks ago I had a first taste when I traveled to Ottawa for … Continue reading Heading for the “True North Strong and Free”
Recently I visited a UT class session that was discussing Judith Butler. This provoked the perennial complaints about Butler’s prose—leading toward the perennial observation that she once won an award for the worst written sentence of the year. I actually agree that prose by Butler—not to speak of her less insightful imitators and competitors who … Continue reading “Resolved: Academic Jargon Is Bad.” Please Discuss
When I began my previous post, I imagined a short and sweet introduction to set up a lightly edited version of notes that I prepared for the student reporter whom I mentioned. Ironically—or is a better word “symptomatically? “pathetically?”—by the time I finished this introduction, it was already longish as an entire post, even though … Continue reading True and Useful Generalizations About U.S. Religion in 1000 Words or Less
Recently a reporter for the University of Tennessee student newspaper interviewed me for a special issue on religion. In this resulting article I am a key source alongside some local ministers—mashed together in an effort to capture dominant religious trends in Tennessee under a tight word limit. The reporter took this half-decent picture of me, … Continue reading All the News That Fits the Script