The Politics of Nostalgia


As any hope of an actual break with business-as-usual fades into the heat and glare of a summer in which discontent does not lead to action to address its causes; but becomes nothing more than a nuisance of disaffected noise signalling on both sides of our political theater that everyone – with the strongest push… Continue reading The Politics of Nostalgia

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Division, a not-so-timely second look…


This post has sat in draft form for many months. It's neither been published nor can I definitively side-line it. As time has passed, it seems unseemly to return focus to the event of Paul Kingsnorth's Apotheosis in The New York Times, but there are things here that still matter, that have grown in importance… Continue reading Division, a not-so-timely second look…

Startling Sleepwalkers, On the Prospects of Waking Them from Their Nightmares.


The New York Times article on Paul Kingsnorth and Dark Mountain. I'm left with a feeling that – if my response were to be reported in The New York Times – the headline would read, "Petulant Doomer Disappointed at Being Misunderstood!" As calm as this story is, its passive aggressive antibodies hidden from view by… Continue reading Startling Sleepwalkers, On the Prospects of Waking Them from Their Nightmares.

The Consequences of Our Precarity


"Most of all you can break out of your mind’s silo and initiate yourself into the tribe -- become one of the people. But however you move, you know you can’t do this stuff on your own. Somehow you have to decipher the law. Our ways of understanding life in graphs and linear narrative are… Continue reading The Consequences of Our Precarity

Pattern Which Connects, Finding Community


One reason things have been a little slow here in the past few weeks has been the work involved editing this conversation with Jeppe Dyrendom Graugaard. It is now up on his site: Pattern Which Connects. Here is his introduction: Last February I approached Tony Dias for an interview about his involvement in and thoughts… Continue reading Pattern Which Connects, Finding Community

Jeppe Dyrendom Graugaard’s Conversation with Andrew Taggart


I've come across an opportunity to extend what goes on here by pointing you at another conversation. For me there is great Joy in being able to do this! It is a sign of the growth of community I've been experiencing lately after so many decades in the wilderness. Let me leave it at that… Continue reading Jeppe Dyrendom Graugaard’s Conversation with Andrew Taggart

Intertwined Time


A man and woman pose in Dagestan, ca. 1910 Following a link supplied by a friend, I found this series of photographs taken a century ago in southeastern Russia. The magic of these pictures comes in large part from their being in color. This was done with three b&w exposures using color filters, then projecting… Continue reading Intertwined Time

The Trouble with “Uncivilization”


There is a tremendous lurking flaw in any initiative that frames itself as a negative. We know that, yet we struggle with finding a framework, and a simple title for it, that denotes the activities around weening our attention from the grip of civilization without resorting to this awkward and negative term, Uncivilization. This may… Continue reading The Trouble with “Uncivilization”

Innovation as Impermanence


Watching this BBC documentary about the Islamic History of Europe I came across the Islamic roots of Convivencia, a term I've associated with Ivan Illich, perhaps its most recent heir, himself part of an Hispanic tradition going back to Al Andaluz. This film is a refreshing look at the contributions of Islamic Culture to the… Continue reading Innovation as Impermanence

Innovation, Creation, and Change


Sick as we are, finding further bad news of our diagnosis and prognosis at every turn; we look to innovation, creation, and change for some way to turn back the clock, or at least carve out some detour from the horrors we see in our path. This is understandable. Predictable. But is it good or… Continue reading Innovation, Creation, and Change

Afloat, not Adrift


A fresh breeze blows in my window this morning, cutting through the haze of so many muggy hot days. I awoke in a dream of delayed sailing, a farce in five acts of finely delineated procrastination on the verge of setting sail, but never getting there. The excuses kept unrolling before me like a finely… Continue reading Afloat, not Adrift

On Conservatism


Humans have been profoundly conservative for most of our existence. That statement is rendered meaningless if we take conservatism to mean what is sold in its name today, or believe in what passes for the span of human existence as our self-professed conservatives would insist it to have been. Let's pry the term away from… Continue reading On Conservatism