Max Peintner, The Continuing Attraction of Nature (1971), pencil drawing

American Transmedia and Entertainment Catholicism

In October 2015, following the passage of an anti-communism law in Ukraine, a Vladimir Lenin statue turned into Star Wars’ Darth Vader overnight. De-communist measures have long been synonymous with America’s pop culture missionary work. This image was a reminder that the aggressive-style political realism practiced by the Putins of the world has been outstripped…

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The Curses and Blessings of Privileged Observers

On January ninth, influential sociologist-philosopher Zygmunt Bauman passed away at the age of ninety-one. A central theme Bauman taught over the decades is that we should work hard to resist the tenets and dogmas of seclusion, loneliness, or independence of modern selves. Our Individual personal worth is, Bauman contended, so much more complex, interdependent, and…

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Monstrous Moderns Without an Alibi

Scientists announced on January 26th, the first successful human-animal hybrid. It is yet another confirmation that modern monstrousness has been unleashed. We are well into the epoch of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. To be modern increasingly means to live within the blurred lines of the acceptable and unacceptable. Revealed in the new sapiens-pig species is that…

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Philosophers in the Cognitive Mines

American philosopher Alfred North Whitehead writes in Modes of Thought: “If you like to phrase it so, philosophy is mystical. For mysticism is direct insight into depths as yet unspoken” (MT, 1938, 237). Unlike religious mystics who look to the upper regions of the “unspoken”, philosophers are tasked with going into the deep. As lovers…

Jean-Léon Gérôme's Pollice verso (1872) Enraged crowds of bloodthirsty onlookers demand more action

The Mask of Empathy: How to be a White Social Justice Warrior

Co-Author: Laura J. Mueller It has become all too normal that what the average American citizen refers to as a “national tragedy,” such as police-initiated homicides of the unarmed, or mass shootings, is treated in predictably routine, hollow fashion. The oxymoronic tension between the tragedy and its therapeutic treatment is the New American Norm. The…

Langston Hughes at his typewriter in Harlem

Bojangles at the Zoo: The Anti-Social Teleology of Fame

The decade of the Harlem Renaissance was not only an important moment in American cultural history but, as Langston Hughes writes in his autobiography The Big Sea, it was a time in which even “the Negro was in vogue.” Hughes gives a vivid description of how precarious the social situation had become White people began…

Mark Twain with his friend, John Lewis, in the permanent collection of the Mark Twain House & Museum

“Look at my African American over here!”—Last Gasps of White Supremacy: Hegel’s World Soul on Horseback Found in the Descendants of Slaves by Myron Moses Jackson

Current events point to a future that forces whiteness into a state of chronic self-irritation. This week we have seen Muhammad Ali is being honored and memorialized no differently than a head of state. In his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, he went from not being able to enjoy the use of equal facilities or sit…

photo by Michael Casim

“Racism: A Place without a Self” by Myron Moses Jackson

The steadfast persistence of racism is particularly acute in an America which has found no way or means of honestly dealing with this flabbergasting inhumanity. Was there ever a council for truth and reconciliation, such as was the case at the end of South African apartheid? Have any attempts at across the board, non-discriminatory reparations…