Sunday, September 20
Shadow

Laughter

Receiving Stollen Property … (No, That’s Not A Typo … Keep Reading … )

Receiving Stollen Property … (No, That’s Not A Typo … Keep Reading … )

Advent, awareness, Challenge, Change, Character Building, citizenship, Compassion, critical judgment, culture, Discernment, empathy, Ethics, humor, jokes, Laughter, mindfulness, Rationality, reflection, Satire / parody, story, Uncategorized
I freely admit that this "Skeptic's Collection" column is shamelessly self-indulgent. I wrote it about a year ago this coming Christmas, and it was one of the 2 or 3 most fun columns I have ever written in the five-plus years I have been Beguine's Skeptic-In-Residence. So, as a Christmas present to myself, I am republishing it here. Enjoy and merry Christmas! ============================================== OK! OK! So I am publishing the "stollen" column again, with minor emendations. Why? Because it was fun to write and to read. That's all! ============================================== I have good news and I have bad news. The good news is that the week preceding Christmas Eve, my wife and I took the ferry up to Victoria, BC, where we had high tea at the venerable Empress Hotel.&nbs...
Shhhh! … Don’t Tell Anybody … But Art Is Fun!!!!

Shhhh! … Don’t Tell Anybody … But Art Is Fun!!!!

"Life" Issues, affirmation/s, Art, Artistic Afternoons, awareness, Change, Christianity, Christianity/Catholicism, Classical / Baroque music, community, Creativity, culture, Discernment, Enlightenment, Fascism, humor, Ideology, jokes, Joy, Laughter, Play, postmodernism, praying with art, praying with music, Renewal, Secularity, Trump, Uncategorized
Would someone please answer the following question for me:  Why do Americans – actually, I think Westerners generally, but I will stick with Americans – believe art is something that must be approached so … well … seriously? With most art, most Americans seem to believe that, when looking at a painting or a piece of sculpture or seeing a play or listening to a piece of music, they are obligated, on pain of being branded as culture-phobic philistines, to wear a facial expression that announces to the world Pity me! I am dying of terminal hemorrhoids! Well, before anyone makes any cracks about that remark, I will back up a step or two and say that, yes, to be sure, some works of art are explicitly intended to evoke play, laughter, and light-hearted dalliance. A good example is ...
A Good Reason To Hit The Bottle

A Good Reason To Hit The Bottle

"Life" Issues, Abundance, autonomy, awareness, Challenge, Consumerism, critical judgment, culture, Economy, General Interest, humor, jokes, Laughter, life, Play, Poverty, Secularity, simplicity, temptation, Uncategorized
Admittedly, this is a seemingly trivial problem, as are all the related problems I discuss subsequently, but it drives me certifiably bat-shit crazy, notwithstanding. In fact, I am beginning to suspect that the following problems, though seemingly unrelated, are in fact constitutive of a profound and irremediable  flaw in the deepest foundations, ideologically and psychologically, of knowledge-based late / 21st-century capitalist economies. OK … enough preamble … this is my problem … o You know those bottles of, e.g., hand soap and skin lotion you buy that have bottle caps that double as pump mechanisms? Initially, in their right-off-the-shelf condition, those bottles’ pump mechanisms are all locked down to prevent accidental or inadvertent pumping-out of the contents. Quite reasonab...