To renew our optimism . . . we’ll have to allow ourselves to forget, just a little, what Trump made us see . . .

Paul Waldman

A question. Now that a bit of time has passed, how are you feeling about what went down at the Capitol on January 6? Has the way you think about this country, and/or your location with regard to it, changed? If so, is the change made grudgingly, or do you see it as a good thing under the circumstances? To those who, like myself, answer “yes” to at least one of those last…


It’s the time of year for staying inside while the weather does its own, expectable thing. And a time for reading a classic story or two. You know, the comfortable, familiar ones. As it happens, I have one at hand —the old original condensed and updated to fit in with today’s world[1].

It’s the one about the man whose one defining feature was that he was unhappy with his time in life. No, not with the fact that he was growing old. Not that. It was that he wished he lived in more adventurous times — preferably back in the…


The election is, mercifully, over! So why do I find myself this year wanting to add. . . “and long live the election”? It’s not a reaction to the claims of fraud that are still running about — at least not directly so. The roots are deeper and go further back than that. And the whole situation makes me want to offer the President-elect some advice, silly though that sounds. As I read through the daily discourse, though, I see that I’d just be one of his many volunteer “advisors,” so I think I’ll just forge ahead. It’ll be fun…


A month ago I contributed to this venue with a piece titled “It’s Time to Start Thinking Legitimation.” (My thanks to the surprising number of you who read it.) In it, I characterize some of the governmental goings-on in the US that, in my view, were (and still are) leading the country toward what, following Jürgen Habermas, I label “legitimation crisis.” …


First some relevant early history . . .

In the year 1525, the court of King John III of Portugal was treated to a dramatic presentation. It has come down to us labelled “The Beira Judge” (the word “Beira” designating an inland swath of Portugal and also suggesting cultural backwardness). The little play’s author was Gil Vicente, considered, by some who make such designations, to have been the West’s first “modern” playwright. The play’s title character is one Pero Marques. His name too suggests backwardness — “Pero” being a “rustic” rendering of “Pedro.”

If we were attending the play and…

Ron Sousa — The Long View

Ronald W. Sousa has authored a number of books and periodical articles in the areas of social and cultural criticism (he is “googleable” in this regard).

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