The Norse myths are singular among mythic narratives for a fascinating reason: the gods lose. They do not just lose a treasure, nor just a battle. They lose everything. Fatalism, the idea that the future has already happened in the sense that it is fixed, feels primitive to the modern mind. Dystopic Fatalism, the belief everything we have known and have experienced will one day be annihilated in a disaster of apocalyptic proportions, seems even more distasteful. And yet, it may be the only thing left with any hope of saving us from ourselves.
The themes of homecoming and the father-son relationship have received a lot of literary attention recently. Marilynne Robinson just published Jack, the fourth novel in her Gilead series, about the Ames and Boughton families’ complicated stories of homecoming, fatherhood, and sonhood in an American small town beset by racial and religious tension. The tensions between fathers and sons, and the son’s struggle with finding his way back home are timeless and cross-cultural, and trigger some of the deepest issues we have with identity and belonging. Look to any cultural literary tradition, whether of the West, the East, or the Middle East, and you will find tales of fathers, and those sons who attempt to find their way back into their recognition. Songs by the Canadian musician Leonard Cohen, who died four years ago at the age of 82, suggest that he grappled with the father-son relationship, and with the emotional desire for home and homecoming. Cohen might not at first seem to have much in common with an ancient Greek figure, but a comparison yields rich and provocative similarities between Cohen and Odysseus, the hero of Homer’s poem of homecoming, the Odyssey. Odysseus, a fictional warrior with talents, like Cohen, as a language-artist, is better-known for his homecoming as a husband, but he ultimately returns to his broken father as the honored and beloved son. Homer’s and Cohen’s poetry have some surprising parallels on this theme. The fictional character of Homer’s ancient epic and the real-life contemporary poet and musician speak to each other across time and space.
‘Twas Election Day eve and all through the states, / Strange forces were brewing, motivated by hate; / Guards ordered to precincts in order to scare / The minority voters that might show up there. / The children, who were lying dead tired in bed, / Dreamt of zoom calls and masks and had feelings of dread. / My wife in her shirt, and I in my shorts, / Were viewing the news channel’s latest report, / When over the sound waves there came a long beep… / The news was the latest on a new POTUS tweet.
When Is The Right Time To Nominate a Supreme Court Justice After One Has Passed Away – A Flowchart by the RNC
A totally non-partisan and not-at-all-self-serving flowchart to SCOTUS nominations beginning with the question: Which Party has Control of the Senate?
A Literary Review of Sex and Technophobia in Leonard Delaney’s Digital Desires: Taken by the Tetris Blocks
Jon S. Skolnik, writing for American Institute of Technology for Sexual Linguistics in 2099, argues that Taken by the Tetris Blocks is a touchstone of 21st-century American literature, capturing the unique technophobic milieu of the 2000s by way of the emergent technology’s sexual influence.
Death is a great leveler and, a virus that strikes at individuals indiscriminately, a potent reminder of just how precarious life can be and why, much like the pioneers, it might be in humankind’s best interest to re-invest in a philosophy that acknowledges man’s ability to understand the real world around him. Ayn Rand’s maxim that “nature to be commanded, must be obeyed” seems particularly appropriate (9). The question is, do we have the courage and the humility to subject ourselves to the laws of nature and identity?
I think that sometimes people (myself included) have unintentionally caused misunderstanding with the use of terms related to BLM. I definitely don’t have all the answers. Nevertheless, here are a few of my thoughts, which I hope will be helpful.
I hope you enjoyed the first two acts of the play, “Our American Cousin,” on April 14th, 1865, because American’s have been living the nightmare of the tragic third act ever since.
To imply, in an absolutist fashion, that we can think or act our way out of suffering presents a bootstraps mentality to mental health. It’s a Kanye West-esque view on suffering that, like Paltrow’s products, is both useless and dangerous. And when this view is widely propagated by those of profound privilege—the view that suffering is a choice—it reveals the narrowness of its applicability.
From our lockdowns we glimpse once more, at least on a biological level, the chaotic ‘state of nature’ laid out by Thomas Hobbes in Leviathan; a life underscored by the continual ‘fear and danger of a violent death’, in which ‘every man is an enemy to every man’.