Remembrance Day: Frye on In Flanders Field and Mythological Peace November 9, 2012

On Remembrance Day, remembering how Frye viewed war and peace and poetry, how he says in what is probably my favourite book of his, Words with Power, that working in words and other media, may be our only way to salvation on earth, that is, the only way to show instead of argue with  the warmongers among View Full Page…

“Or Else” February 11, 2012

Bad Lip Reading does Rick Santorum Over the long hiatus I gave some thought as to how the blog portion of the site might be improved. The encounter with current events from a Frygian perspective is rewarding enough, but perhaps occasionally too fleeting. My strategy has increasingly been to bring current events to Frye ratherView Full Page…

“We Are All Anarchists”: Frye on Anarchism November 3, 2011

OWS Declaration of Occupation: “There is no hierarchy.” The declaration was crafted at a general assembly of all those who wished to participate. It is being recited here by means of the “human microphone,” passed through repetition from the front of the crowd to the back. * [W]e are all anarchists, wanting the society thatView Full Page…

Frye on “Pastoral Anarchism” October 27, 2011

News report on Marine sergeant and Iraq war veteran Shamar Thomas facing down NYPD officers for assaulting and arresting peaceful demonstrators. Frye in Notebook 19, c. 1967: There were always two sides to anarchism: one a pastoral quietism, communal (Anabaptist, Brook Farm) or individual (Chaplinism). Its perfect expression, in an individual form, is Walden, in aView Full Page…

Frye Quote of the Day: “Those excluded from the benefits of the social contract feel no obligation to it” October 15, 2011

Here’s Frye in The Modern Century: In political thought there is a useful fiction known as the social contract, the sense that man enters into a certain social context by the act of getting born.  In earlier contract theories, like that of Hobbes, the contract was thought of as universal, binding everyone without exception.  FromView Full Page…

“Class Warfare” October 13, 2011

One of the most jaw-droppingly deft rhetorical reversals conservatives have ever accomplished has been to appropriate the term “class warfare,” which is being rolled out again as the Occupy Wall Street protests have finally made the people who matter nervous/annoyed. Whenever the privileges of the 1% of the population who possess 40% of the wealthView Full Page…

Levant, Harper and “Ethical Oil” September 26, 2011

EthicalOil.org’s campaign against Saudi Arabian oil with a message that is very simple: Muslims bad, Alberta good. This ad began appearing last week.  Frye in “The Present Condition of the World” (1943) observes that North America is “a happy-hunting-ground of all forms of advertisement, propaganda, and suggestions. Advertising and ‘publicity’ are based on the factView Full Page…

Frye Quote of the Day: “Free speech is the one thing a mob can’t stand” September 25, 2011

The Harper government does not like the press (Sun Media excepted), does not like its political opposition, does not like critics, does not even, it appears, like free speech that extends to any of these. As we’ve seen, the Conservatives are willing to go to great trouble to suppress videos of Stephen Harper in orderView Full Page…

Video of the Day: “The Underlying Social Contract” September 22, 2011

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htX2usfqMEs I picked up the buzz about this video of Elizabeth Warren on the campaign trail in Massachusetts a couple of days ago and thought I’d post it at the end of the week. Now I find that I’m an also-ran as it begins to pop up everywhere. Even Rush Limbaugh has lumbered onto the scene, pre-emptivelyView Full Page…

“Harperland: The Politics of Control” September 19, 2011

From the conclusion to Lawrence Martin’s new book: It was no small wonder that Canadians feared what Harper might do with a majority government. With that kind of power he could establish a hegemony the likes of which Canadians could not imagine. It’s no secret what’s coming: the construction of new prisons despite our steadily decliningView Full Page…