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Extreme Virtue 25: A Train Leaves Boston, by Randall Auxier

                                A Train Leaves Boston . . . by Randall Auxier You suffered though algebra, especially those awful simultaneous  equations in high school— if a train leaves from Boston and another from Chicago . . . and so on— but you might never have seen them as a sort of story, at bottom. The examples…

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Picktures and Pieces 8: Order in the Court

Order in the Court by Randall Auxier   Here is Mitch McConnell pounding on a little piece of wood instead of a Democrat. A gavel is an interesting symbol. Obviously it symbolizes authority, but more importantly, it marks beginnings and endings. The flow of time is interrupted by the opening rap, and a finite and…

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Troubadours Prologue: A Window in Your Heart

A Window in Your Heart by Randall Auxier A gas station in Pennsylvania, just north of Gettysburg. $3.45 a gallon. There is music beneath the canopy as we feed our machines. I know it well, and so do you. . . . The Mississippi Delta is shining like a National Guitar . . . .…

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Picktures and Pieces 7: Consumables and the Swedish Summer

Consumables and the Swedish Summer by Randall Auxier I don’t think you would want to be here in February. They say in Minnesota that if you don’t endure the winters, you don’t deserve the summers. How typical of the stoics who occupy these climes in the States. But I’m nonesuch. If these brave endurers of…

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Picktures and Pieces 6: Dawn of the Draculae

Dawn of the Draculae  by Randall Auxier Among the five worst movie-going experiences of my life I would list Dawn of the Dead. It was the first R-rated movie I saw on my own (and I sneaked in with my friend Anthony, because he was legal at 17, but I was still 16). I had…

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Extreme Virtue 23: Martyrs

Martyrs by Randall Auxier   Have you ever been in a room with someone important? There’s an energy some of these people exude that is pretty hard to describe. I was once in a room with Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Al Gore. They all had the energy, but to my surprise, Clinton’s energy overpowered…

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Extreme Virtue 22: The Fisted Glove

The Fisted Glove by Randall Auxier Stephen Stills once wrote “There’s a rose in the fisted glove, and the eagle flies with the dove.” I have never been able to get these images out of my head. I just see the fisted glove with the rose, and the eagle protecting the dove. It’s about power…

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Extreme Virtue 21: Tactic, Strategy, Philosophy

Tactic, Strategy, Philosophy by Randall Auxier   Nonviolence. This is a sculpture by Carl Fredrik Reuterswä rd. The original is outside the UN in New York. What is the “non” in nonviolence? Just refraining from hitting somebody? Some people say that is what ahimsa, means, the idea used by Gandhi that gets translated as “nonviolence.”…

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Picktures and Pieces 5: Urd or The Enigma Project

Urd, or The Enigma Project by Randall Auxier   You might not think you know this sentence, but you do: “Oy esd yjr nrdy pg yo,rd. oy esd yjr eptdy pg yo,rd/” I spent a couple of weeks in Poland this past summer, and for all the world, the language, lovely as it is, sounded…