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Paper originally written for a fascinating The Bible as History & Literature class, circa the late 1990's. In the time of the Diaspora, the Jews must have suffered a great crisis of faith. In fairly rapid succession, they got to see their lands overrun by foreign barbarians, their property confiscated, their families enslaved or sent […]

Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, New Edition In this book Benedict Anderson discusses the imagining and rise of nationalism. He lists several ideological changes that allowed the creation of this concept. First is the loss of the 'sacred silent languages,' which held together religious communities that spanned continents. These languages […]

5. Homosexuals are destroying the institution of marriage The social ritual of marriage in the United States today is highly unstable, as the 50+ % divorce rate shows. I don't think it's fair to blame that instability on late-comers to the institution of marriage. That's like seeing a tire is getting low on your car, […]

Originally posted August 2004 Credits: Thanks go to Lou, Bob, George, & Ian, for input and answers to difficult questions My May Firestarter, Why not Same-sex Marriage? prompted some wonderfully fascinating discussion. I've been told by a friend this is the hardest he's ever thought about issues like this. He thanked me for encouraging that, […]

Physical characteristics One other interesting observation: almost all the people there were White. I saw a small handful of Asians or Pacific Islanders, and maybe three black people all week — a Navy guy and his family. I didn't notice any Hispanics at all, although Bob said he heard some Spanish. It was… a little […]

Air conditioning! Remember I said the weather was unseasonably wonderful? I loved the warmth, but I felt really sorry for the island's local folks when I found out most of the buildings on Whidbey (including all the Navy buildings — what were they thinking?!) have no air conditioning. There were interesting side effects of this […]

Originally posted July 2004 Credits: For my extended family, who gave me cause to be there. It was a great reunion! I recently spent a week on Whidbey Island, in Puget Sound off the coast of Washington state. It was lovely, and I had a great time. It was also fascinating from an anthropological perspective, […]

Wisdom Sits in Places: Landscape and Language Among the Western Apache The Apache feel that speech should be used with economy. Verbosity is not considered precocious, merely loud. Indeed, careless use of language can be perceived as both rude to the listener and disrespectful of the ancestors. It is considered better to listen, observe, and […]

Wisdom Sits in Places: Landscape and Language Among the Western Apache A sense of history is given by the Apache location stories. The stories relate the past, but are usually told in the present tense. Quotations are frequently used, to invoke a sense of current presence, and the language is concise and avoids redundancy. The […]

This is the first paper I handed in for my "Language and Culture" class. I found it an interesting window on what the professor expected. I was really worried about it, before handing it in, for several reasons. Firstly, I had no real idea of what the professor expected in a good paper. Secondly, it […]

Bestiaries depict mythical, moralizing animals, but are also potential allegorical sparks that can bloom into brilliant mental bonfires. My bestiary is this mythologizing animal's fascinated exploration of beauty & meaning in the wonder of existence -- in the hopes of inspiring yet more joyous flares of intellectual passion.

Enjoy!

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