Getting a Refund from American Exceptionalism

The view that is American Exceptionalism is one that I was greatly exposed to for a few decades. Later on, I got to visit other places on this great Earth and to know other cultural views face to face. Buildings, rituals, and clothes may look different around the world but everyone has the same feelings. One of those feelings is the entitlement to live free and well and not have that abridged unnecessarily. Continue reading

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Lessons from U.S. Slavery

Growing up in the South decades ago and watching Alex Haley’s Roots, I came away with an understanding of Slavery that was not abstract or theoretical, but real. As a person who was called the n-word on a few occasions by those of a different background who I thought were friends, I understood that some tensions have a long life indeed. Later, I became aware of media and historical representations of the North as liberators. At the time, the North, as a region, seemed so distant from the crass activity of debasement and seemed evolved when it came to the matter of the worth of others. Continue reading

We Will Be Watched All The Time

It is almost official, but not just yet. Around the clock, 24/7 surveillance will be our destiny. Where past societies failed, America, the land of the free will succeed. Others have talked about the slippery slope going as far back as the 1950s. It may also be useful to take note of the more recent history of surveillance. They who put more effort into a thing achieves it and more effort has gone into surveillance than freedom. Freedom of a certain kind was taken for granted and soon … it may be taken away.

Will it be so bad for more people to live in a real life version of The Truman Show? You will still be able to get up in the morning, drive somewhere, do some work, come home and watch TV. All that is being asked is you allow someone to observe how you go about your daily life everyday of your life. Maybe that is not so bad after all. You get more security and freedom from harm. Maybe the great designs laid out and encoded in popular fiction will play out to good effect for everybody. I cannot really say. Continue reading

Portrait de Château d’If dans la vie Moderne

Alexandre Dumas’ work, Le Comte de Monte-Cristo, is undoubtedly interpreted many ways in literary analysis. I do not purport any insights into such matters but only suggest that the themes expressed are worthy of consideration. If only in a general way. The tale of Edmond Dantès can be seen as a journey from severe naïveté to an emotional coarse state borne of the pain of tremendous loss. Within a domicile most cruel, Dantès sheds his warm nature as he slowly sees his plight as brutally unfair until he seeks a most vengeful compensation. Continue reading

Considering Neo’s Morpheus and the Internet

Not too far into the movie, The Matrix, did the character known as Morpheus let Neo know in uncertain terms what his life has come to mean within the world he lived. Neo is told that he is not free as he cannot see the cage in which he exists. Morpheus’ proof of a false life, false security nearly proves debilitating to Neo. Unlike Neo, we do not have to be shown the true face of the Internet to know what it really is. Continue reading

Mirror of Life and Forgiveness through Solitary Confinement

I was browsing through msn when an article caught my attention. The title is, Solitary Confinement: Punished for Life. The report is a sobering reminder of just how important relationships are to people. It almost proves the idea that people are a social species. After reading the article, you should also take another look at the Eighth Amendment. A person’s standing in society is important. Loss of standing is the most severe thing that can occur to a person. It can become insidious. Continue reading