May Days 1970 at University of Virginia, photo by Andy Stickney, http://faculty.virginia.edu/villagespaces/essay/

Forgetting The Past

The student protests in this country during the turbulent 1960s led by well-intentioned, idealistic young people, seem to have marked the death-throes of the American spirit. Directed as it was, unsuccessfully, against the “establishment” of materialistic, commercial and militaristic power that increasingly controlled this country, the effort sought in its blind way to breathe life…

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Extreme Virtue 8: Not by Bread Alone

Not by Bread Alone by Randall Auxier  Emma Goldman spent two years in the dank prison on Blackwell’s Island (now called Roosevelt Island) for saying in a speech to a group of workers: “Give us work. If you do not give us work, then give us bread; if you do not give us either work…

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Extreme Virtue 7: My Brother’s Keeper

My Brother’s Keeper by Randall Auxier Chang and Eng Bunker were joined at the sternum by a bit of cartilage, and although their livers were fused, they would have functioned independently. Contemporary medicine could have separated them safely, but in 1811 it was too dangerous. So they lived together, making money enough to buy land,…

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Extreme Virtue 6: And Then Again, I Could Be Wrong

Extreme Virtue 6: And Then Again, I Could Be Wrong by Randall Auxier I used to play in a musical duo with a wonderful singer/songwriter named Robert Hoyt (here’s a link to some stuff). He was an Earth First! activist who later lived in his truck with a cat going from town to town and…

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Lost Piety

A  good friend of mine some years back sent me a most interesting comment made by the Swedish film-maker Ingmar Bergman. It keeps coming back to me as one of the most profound insights into modernity’s spiritual malaise. Bergman is speaking about art, but we must remember that art creates culture; where the artist goes…

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Extreme Virtue 5: Like a Horse and Carriage

Like a Horse and Carriage By Randall Auxier I was shuffling through the available radio stations on a long trip when the seek function paused on a preacher. I usually pass over such offerings, but he was launching into a sermon, promising to reveal the secret of successful marriage. “Well,” I thought, “this might be…

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Extreme Virtue 4: With Malice toward Some

With Malice toward Some  Randall E. Auxier Leon Czolgosz is not a name people recognize. Yet, his act sketched above was a great turning point in American history (all of the Americas). The Republican Party had installed Theodore Roosevelt in the Vice-President’s office, an isolated deck of the ship of state, where a loose canon…

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Death and Taxes

We lump taxes together with death as the two things we dread and can be certain of. But I would like to suggest that we think of taxes as a way of helping our neighbors who may be in need and improving our schools which are failing to get the job done. We pay less…