Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Why Art?

    Why study the arts? Some politicians ask the question as a joke, mocking this or that discipline as impractical. Those who defend the arts and humanities answer in economic terms, arguing for the rich and versatile skills one learns in the humanities classroom. I have made that economic case myself. As far as it goes, it is true. But it is not the only argument, and it does not go far enough.

    We need the humanities because we are human. We need the arts because we are mortal. We need art and poetry because everyone we love will some day die.

    Ramona's picture

    On The Idea of Labor Day: Why It Matters.

    Every Labor Day I feel more and more like I'm at a labor union wake and all I can do is pay tribute to what once was a living, breathing, cherished part of so many of our lives.

    Danny Cardwell's picture

    Can We Grow Dagblog?

    My first post on Dagblog was December 27, 2014; I was a butcher at a grocery store and received a small salary from the church I serve. Dagblog has opened several doors for me: I've had some paid speaking engagements, I've appeared on three talk radio shows- none more frequently than The Hal Ginsberg Morning Show, and I now hold the title of station coordinator for WCHG Allegheny Mountain Radio.

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    Danny Cardwell's picture

    Evangelical Or White Nationalist: Does It Matter?

    America: where it takes a Muslim Killing homosexuals for Christians to view the LGBTQ community as people.

    Many Americans are (in my amateur opinion) experiencing a severe case of Anxiety Separation. Get the image of a toddler throwing a tantrum because mommy left them with the sitter out of your head. This anxiety is the result of a come to Jesus moment: America no longer looks like the America of the “good ole days”. Back when America was “great” those of us on the margins of society lived huddled in our respective corners; we bowed in fear and accepted the indignities we were dealt. That America is dead! I don’t know exactly when It died, but the rotting corpse of a separatist society tied to the legacies of white supremacy, patriarchy, and religious purity is on display for anyone who chooses to look at it. The realization that the future promises even more diversity has pushed some of those clamoring for the good old days to their breaking point. Without some violent reactionary response to the racial and cultural shifts in our society people of color, women, religious minorities, and homosexuals will be the future symbols of America. This makes me smile. After 41 years of living in the south I appreciate the symbolic seat at the table, but the demographic path we’re on almost guarantees an end of the crony tokenism that passes for diversity.

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    JFK's Birthday

    Today would have been John F. Kennedy's 99th birthday. I doubt he would have seen it, even if he had lived out his natural days. He was never in good health. But I grew up with a huge JFK poster in my childhood bedroom, and a little bronze bust of him, the kind banks used to give away, on my shelf. I was born Catholic in Massachusetts in the 60s; Kennedy loomed large in my childhood.

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    Ramona's picture

    Why I haven't been here

    Just a quick note/excuse for falling down on the headline job.  About a month ago I fell splat on a ceramic tile floor and broke my nose. Going today to see what the ENT guys wants to do about it.  I also have meniscus tears in both knees and something about ATL?  APL? ACL?  (Not an athlete and this is my first real fall.) Have an appt with the ortho surgeon in a couple of weeks.

    We've finished up our winter stint and have moved back home but I'm moving slower than I'm used to and I don't damn like it! 

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    Danny Cardwell's picture

    Social Media, Self Creation, Glamour Shots, and Justin Bieber

    Social media has given us the gift/curse of being able to express our fractal selves in a variety of ways. In society we're (x); at home we're (y), but on social media we can be whoever we want to be. The person in our profiles can be a refined caricature of ourselves or a new creation that reflects our deepest desires. Our social media personas, in many respects, have become as real as our flesh and bones.

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    A Personal Note

    As many people who read this blog know, my mother has been very ill for some time. I don't have much to say about that, but having mentioned how sick she was it seems strange to let the topic drift off inconclusively.

    My mother has passed away. We had her funeral a week ago. I may have more to say about that later, but right now I do not.

    If you are a praying type, spare a few thoughts for my dad, who was married to her for more than 47 years, and who has suffered the heaviest loss of all. Thank you.

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    A New Hampshire Primary Memory

    It's the New Hampshire primary today. I grew up in New Hampshire, and I remember those elections fondly.

    One of my my favorite memories, which I've blogged about a few years back, involves my Mom getting into it with Al Haig on the campaign trail back in the 80s. Haig was, of course, a retired general, former Supreme NATO commander, Nixon's last Chief of Staff and Reagan's first Secretary of State. Mom was a police lieutenant.

    So, Mom, who was interested in the question, asked Haig a question about women playing combat roles in the military.

    Danny Cardwell's picture

    Dr. King, Donald Trump, And The South

    The last few days have been very interesting in the Commonwealth of Virginia. On Saturday January 16th people attending Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. events in Lexington, VA were greeted by Confederate flag wavers. Since the removal of the flag from South Carolina's state house the Stars and Bars has been ubiquitous in this part of the world.
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    Ramona's picture

    Resolved: To Make 2016 A Year I Manage To Get Through

     

      Here it is, 2016, a fresh new start.  Things will be different this year, and not just different but better.  Way better!  So much better, next year at this time we won't even have to do a New Year's resolution.  Everything we resolved will have come true.  

    Perfect!  Can't wait!
     
    I'm lying! Not true!  
     
    But you knew that. 
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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    The Christmas Star

    It's Christmas, the second-most-important Christian holiday and the most important holiday for many Americans. Tonight is Christmas Eve. But for some families, every year, Christmas comes at a moment that seems dark and difficult. Many of my friends are in my thoughts tonight, and my own family is grieving.

    This will be our last Christmas with Mom. My mother is in hospice. She spoke during the fall about wanting to make it to Christmas, and she has. I am immensely thankful. I am very sad. We have her; we will lose her. The two truths are not separate.

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Brett Foster Goes Out Singing

    I was blogging today about art, especially about poetry and about grief, but that post was interrupted by the news of an old friend's death. My own thoughts about grief can wait. I will still be thinking them tomorrow. Today I give way to the beautiful, kind-hearted poet and scholar Brett Foster, who has passed out of this world. He was a better man than I have ever been, and I will miss him.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Praise for the Foremothers

    This is how it works: men and women do things - write books, build institutions, start movements - that change your life forever, and the men get into the history books. The women mysteriously fall out of the story, over and over. How many times have you heard or read the words, "Give me your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to be free"? How many of you can name the writer off the top of your head? That's what I'm talking about.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    What Is a "Good" College? Two Tentative Answers

    Sometimes, because of my job, people ask me advice about choosing colleges. It's always nice to be helpful, but talking about college reputations can be a minefield. Obviously, you learn quickly that you should never put any college or university down, but that's not enough. People can also get very prickly when you don't praise a particular college enough.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Ask Me About Shakespeare, Round Two

    So, last year I had an Ask Me About Shakespeare thread that people seemed to enjoy. (Answers to the first round of questions are at the link.) Let's try it again.

    Ramona's picture

    The Hopelessness of Homelessness - A Guest Post

    The post below was written by my internet friend and fellow writer, syrbal-labrys.  She posted it on her own blog, Experiential Pagan, about a month ago but I only just discovered it last week.  I asked her if I could re-post it here and she graciously agreed.  

    We talk about the homeless a lot, but most often as distant observers who can only imagine what it must be like.  This is a story of an encounter and a rescue, with an ending as elusive as the reasons why:

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Goodbye, My Second City

    Although "Doctor Cleveland" is my nom du blog, I've been splitting time between two cities for years. Like many academics in my generation, I've struggled with the "two-body problem" as part of a couple with teaching jobs at universities in different places. We've had homes in both places, but I've been the primary commuter and my spouse has held down the home front.

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