PrattPupilsinFrontofPratts'QuartersCarlisleIndianSchool1885L

Extreme Virtue 14: The Heart in the Dark

The Heart in the Dark by Randall Auxier   A bleeding heart liberal. That’s what Richard Henry Pratt was. At this late date it doesn’t matter whether he believed “white civilization” was superior to other ways of life, or whether he just saw the inevitability of its march. Either way he stood on the advancing…

Of all the additions to Dad's photograph collection, the present offering is perhaps the best known.  He originally titled the image Charlie Potato, the Navajo's name, but protests from the subject led him to drop the specific for the more general title of 'The Navajo.'

Extreme Virtue 9b: Culture Wars Old and New

Culture Wars, Old and New by Randall Auxier   I lived in Oklahoma for some years, and learned to be suspicious of pictures like this one. Friends there helped me begin to grasp the depths of my own unconscious racism. One day I was walking with a colleague and our Dean to the faculty lunchroom.…

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Extreme Virtue 13: Isn’t It Rich?

Isn’t It Rich? by Randall Auxier   This fellow stands out in a crowd. I’ll bet he wants it that way. Most of us would be unable to connect with him. Say, you and me are having coffee and he wanders into the Starbucks. Are we allowed to stare? Surely the answer is “yes, you…

Confessions

My name is Hugh and I am a football junkie fan. I am fully aware that there is an overwhelming stench of corruption at the collegiate level and an alarming number of the players at both the pro and college levels are borderline felons — some of them over the borderline. I also know many…

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Extreme Virtue 12: Belly Up, Boys!

Belly Up Boys! by Gary L. Herstein, Guest Blogger      Let me tell you a story. Well, first, let me explain why I want to tell you a story. Science (for example) can give us a pretty compelling account about what and how things are, employing the tools of logical coherence and empirical adequacy.…

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Extreme Virtue 11: The Land of the Free

Extreme Virtue 11: The Land of the Free by Randall Auxier   The stray apostrophe on this sign doesn’t surprise me. No one likes a grammar snob, but I don’t like this sign. It comes from “Goldwater country,” now world famous for its inhospitality. The meaning of “white” is a moving target, isn’t it? With…

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Extreme Virtue 10: A Giant Leap

A Giant Leap    by Randall Auxier There was no internet, needless to say. That gave the US government a kind of control over images that we can barely imagine today. No one fully understood the power back then. I like watching the characters in Mad Men as they gradually discover what images can do…

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Extreme Virtue 9a: Of Mushroom Clouds and Old Bastards

Of Mushroom Clouds and Old Bastards by Randall Auxier These are famous images from the infamous “Daisy” TV ad created for the Lyndon Johnson campaign of 1964. The little girl picks petals from a daisy, counting upward to ten. Being so very young, she makes mistakes. As she reaches ten a booming, disembodied voice counts…