Author Archives: RJ

About RJ

Retired English prof (Ph. D., UNC), who likes to garden, blog, pursue languages (especially Spanish) and to share in serious discussion on vital issues such as global warming, the role of government, energy alternatives, etc. Am a vegan and, yes, a tree hugger enthusiastically. If you write me, I'll answer.

Love for All Seasons

  “I hope that I will be the last victim in China’s long record of treating words as crime.” Liu Xiaobo (1955-2017) China isn’t usually a quotidian staple of the Westerner’s mindset. Let’s face it: our culture operates in Eurocentric … Continue reading

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Baseball’s Decline

Last night, the Cleveland Indians won their twentieth straight game, tying the 2000 Oakland A’s, an American League record. Win one more, and they’ll have tied the 1935 Chicago Cubs. Still, they have a ways to go for the all … Continue reading

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The Left’s War on Free Speech

But what was strange was that although Goldstein was hated and despised by everybody, although every day and a thousand times a day, on platforms, on the telescreen, in newspapers, in books, his theories were refuted, smashed, ridiculed, held up … Continue reading

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Reflections on the 2017 Philip Larkin Exhibition at Hull

The Guardian (July 4, 2017) features a review of a favorite poet of mine, Philip Larkin, in connection with a current exhibit of Larkin artifacts at Hull’s Brynmore Jones Library, where he was a librarian for many years. It notes … Continue reading

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Perhaps Someday We Will Learn How to Live

Every morning I awaken to a country bristling with hate, intolerance, and violence.  Trump bullied his way to the presidency, exploiting public anxieties, e. g., steel belt resentment of jobs sent abroad, latent fears of a changing demographic replacing White … Continue reading

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America’s Unofficial Poet Laureate: Mary Oliver

Judging by her phenomenal sales, Mary Oliver surely rates as America’s unofficial poet laureate, and yet the anomaly that she’s never held the office since its inception in 1937. I have to confess that I hadn’t heard of her, despite … Continue reading

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On First Looking Into Milford’s Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind; Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave. I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned. –Edna … Continue reading

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Sarah Teasdale: “There Will Come Soft Rains”

Am in a poetry mood again, which just shows you how subversive reading a poet’s biography can be (Nancy Milford’s Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay). In doing so, I came across Sara Teasdale, a once in-vogue … Continue reading

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Is Mindfulness Warmed-over Buddhism?

Mindfulness meditation seems everywhere these days. Even the corporate world embraces it, e. g., Google, Facebook, EBay and Twitter. And in medical circles, it’s all the rage, particularly in psychiatry where it increasingly rivals pharmaceutical intervention as a primary therapy … Continue reading

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She showed us the way: Reflections on Mary Tyler Moore

LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 08: Actress Mary Tyler Moore attends NBC’s taping of ‘Betty White’s 90th Birthday: (Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images) A few days ago we lost Mary Tyler Moore, not only an icon from the entertainment world, but … Continue reading

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