The Art of Tetman Callis

Some of the stories and poems may be inappropriate for persons under 16

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Entries from November 2017

Discourse deployed along networks of power

November 30th, 2017 · No Comments

“The paramount concern of a popular religion cannot be, and never has been, ‘Truth,’ but the maintenance of a certain type of society, the inculcation in the young and refreshment in the old of an approved ‘system of sentiments’ upon which the local institutions and government depend.” – Joseph Campbell, The Masks of God: Occidental […]

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Tags: Joseph Campbell · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

The crown jewels

November 29th, 2017 · No Comments

Stars, darkness, a lamp, a phantom, a dew, a bubble; A dream, a flash of lightning, and a cloud: Thus should we look upon the world. – from The Diamond Sutra

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Tags: Lit & Crit · The Ancients · Verandah

What a piece of work

November 28th, 2017 · No Comments

“How small a part of the boundless and unfathomable time is assigned to every man? for it is very soon swallowed up in the eternal. And how small a part of the whole substance? and how small a part of the universal soul? and on what a small clod of the whole earth you creep? […]

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Tags: Marcus Aurelius · The Ancients

Neither responsibility nor right

November 27th, 2017 · No Comments

“No one achieves excellence in his life task without love for it, in himself without love for himself, or in his family without love for his home. Love brings everything to flower, each in terms of its own potential, and so is the true pedagogue of the open, free society.” – Joseph Campbell, The Masks […]

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Tags: Joseph Campbell · Lit & Crit

Not exactly propaganda

November 26th, 2017 · No Comments

“The world is full of origin myths, and all are factually false. The world is full, also, of great traditional books tracing the history of man (but focused narrowly on the local group) from the age of mythological beginnings, through periods of increasing plausibility, to a time almost within memory, when the chronicles begin to […]

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Tags: Joseph Campbell · Lit & Crit

Keeping a healthy perspective

November 25th, 2017 · No Comments

Make merry, day and night; Make of each day a festival of joy, Dance and play, day and night! Let your raiment be kept clean, Your head washed, body bathed. Pay heed to the little one, holding onto your hand, Let your wife delight your heart, For in this is the portion of man. – […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Verandah

The broken circle

November 24th, 2017 · No Comments

“In the older mother myths and rites the light and darker aspects of the mixed thing that is life had been honored equally and together, whereas in the later, male-oriented, patriarchal myths, all that was good and noble was attributed to the new, heroic master gods, leaving to the native nature powers the character only […]

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Tags: Joseph Campbell · Lit & Crit

Something durable and modest

November 23rd, 2017 · No Comments

“Truth is a powerful and a dangerous commodity and needs to be adequately guarded. It should be clothed for the occasion, and not indiscriminately exposed.” – M. Esther Harding, “The Way of All Women”

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Verandah

A new world order

November 22nd, 2017 · No Comments

“Now: try to imagine real gender equality. Actually, try to imagine an America that is female-dominated, since a true working democracy in this country would reflect our 54-46 voting advantage. Now imagine such a democracy, in which women would be valued so very highly, as a world that is accepting and responsible about human sexuality; […]

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Naomi Wolf · Politics & Law

The tautological law

November 21st, 2017 · No Comments

“Shinto doctrine holds that women should make offerings to aborted foetuses to help them rest in peace. If one believes that abortion is killing and yet is still pro-choice, one could try to use contraception for every single sex act; if one had to undergo an abortion, one could then work to provide contraception, or […]

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Tags: Naomi Wolf · Verandah

The price of life

November 20th, 2017 · No Comments

“The pro-life warning about the potential of widespread abortion to degrade reverence for life does have a nugget of truth: a free-market rhetoric about abortion can, indeed, contribute to the eerie situation we are now facing, wherein the culture seems increasingly to see babies not as creatures to whom parents devote their lives but as […]

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Tags: Economics · Naomi Wolf · Politics & Law

Some other time

November 19th, 2017 · No Comments

“The morning of the election I thought about what it means to vote for a woman. Voting for a woman felt like voting for respect, for tolerance, for justice, for peace, for empathy, for righteousness, for equality, for color, for movement, for understanding, for listening, for strength, for kindness, for hope, for openness, for braveness, […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

A road not taken

November 18th, 2017 · No Comments

“By around 1970 Europe and Japan had more or less recovered from the Second World War and were becoming economically competitive with the United States, which had recently wasted enormous resources in Southeast Asia. The US responded by reneging on the Bretton Woods regime: going off the gold standard, establishing the dollar as the world’s […]

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Tags: Economics · George Scialabba

Proportionality

November 17th, 2017 · No Comments

“When a person exercises a common right, without negligence or malice, to render such action a nuisance, and therefore to hold the defendant liable, it must be such an act in itself as to be a nuisance to all or to a majority of the persons living in the neighborhood, and not simply, by exceptional […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Whiskey in your water? Sugar in your tea?

November 16th, 2017 · No Comments

“As technologies become the protagonists of the drama, people become props. The machines do the work — observing us, anticipating our needs or desires, and acting on what they take to be our behalf.” – Geoff Nunberg, “Creepy Futures”

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Tags: Economics

Not to mention the MAD years

November 15th, 2017 · No Comments

“There had been a deep and unsubtle optimism among Americans. The Great Depression and Pearl Harbor created a different sensibility that suspected that prosperity and security were an illusion, with disaster lurking behind them. There was a fear that everything could suddenly go wrong, horribly so, and that people who simply accepted peace and prosperity […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · The American Constitution

It only costs a nickel

November 14th, 2017 · No Comments

“Step right up; show me your life. I’ll show you the story you’re in. Nothing more important in this world, kid. Figure that out and you’re halfway out of the dark. Call them fairy tales, if that makes you feel good. If you call them fairy tales, then you don’t have to believe you’re in […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit

From tiny acorns grow

November 13th, 2017 · No Comments

“If man is not to live by bread alone, what is better worth doing well than the planting of trees?” – Frederick Law Olmsted, “Trees in Streets and in Parks”

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Tags: Economics · Other Stuff

Not so clever by half

November 12th, 2017 · No Comments

“If there is a choice in explaining a government action between a Machiavellian, clever, ingenious plot to achieve that result and sort of blind, bumbling, well-meant incompetence, choose number two all the time.” – Admiral Dennis Blair, Director of National Intelligence (interviewed by Kathy Gilsinan in The Atlantic)

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Succinct

November 11th, 2017 · No Comments

“The Greek poet Yiannis Ritsos, jailed for political reasons, wrote his poems on cigarette papers while in prison, stuffed them into the lining of his jacket and, when he was released, walked out wearing his collected poems. They were mostly short.” – Daniel Halpern, “A Few Questions for Poetry”

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

The font

November 10th, 2017 · No Comments

The Valley Spirit never dies. It is named the Mysterious Female. And the Doorway of the Mysterious Female Is the base from which Heaven and Earth sprang. It is there within us all the while; Draw upon it as you will, it never runs dry. – Tao Te Ching (trans. Arthur Waley)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Verandah

He’s got his work cut out for him

November 9th, 2017 · No Comments

“The task of the human-hearted man is to procure benefits for the world and to eliminate its calamities. Now among all the current calamities of the world, which are the greatest? I say that attacks on small states by large ones, oppression of the weak by the strong, misuses of the few by the many, […]

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · Verandah

The Great Divide

November 8th, 2017 · No Comments

“Now to all who acquired the use of them these new weapons [horse, chariots, and swords] gave a powerful horizontal thrust that carried all before it, and the older, basically peasant, land-rooted civilizations were simply helpless. But not only a new striking power, a new arrogance, too, had arrived: for is there anything more flattering […]

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Tags: Economics · Joseph Campbell · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

The children of lesser gods

November 7th, 2017 · No Comments

“In Egypt a sequence of psychological stages progressed (or, if the reader prefers, declined) from a state of mythic identification, through inflation, to mythic subordination, and in the last of these a certain standard of human decency not inherent in the order of nature was by projection attributed to God. The Pharaoh—that great ‘Nature Boy’—was […]

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Tags: Joseph Campbell · Lit & Crit

Even in seven-league boots

November 6th, 2017 · No Comments

“From the child of five to myself is but a step. But from the newborn baby to the child of five is an appalling distance.” – Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Verandah

Twitter me this

November 5th, 2017 · No Comments

“Good faith is no defense where the fraud and deceit practiced consist of making false statements of fact as of the knowledge of the one speaking, for if one asserts a thing to be true of his own knowledge when it is not true, or when he does not in fact know whether it is […]

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Tags: Politics & Law

Sufficiency

November 4th, 2017 · No Comments

“We do not have ideology. We do not have theology. We dance.” – Unidentified Shinto priest (quoted by Joseph Campbell in The Masks of God: Oriental Mythology)

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Tags: Joseph Campbell · Lit & Crit

Painting the picture

November 3rd, 2017 · No Comments

“[Florida Department of Corrections] inmates convicted of property crimes and weapons-possession offences have the most tattoos, while sex offenders, particularly those convicted of paedophilia, tend to have the fewest. Inmates with at least one tattoo were actually 9% less likely to have been incarcerated for murder than those without. The effect is even more pronounced […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Vizarts

Distillation

November 2nd, 2017 · No Comments

“When we consider the nature and the theory of our institutions of government, the principles upon which they are supposed to rest, and review the history of their development, we are constrained to conclude that they do not mean to leave room for the play and action of purely personal and arbitrary power. Sovereignty itself […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

For those keeping track

November 1st, 2017 · No Comments

“The fourteenth amendment to the constitution is not confined to the protection of citizens. It says: ‘Nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.’ These provisions are universal in their application, to […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution