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May 2018
Vol. VIII, No. 305

May 2018

Rites & Rights of Spring

"Music," by Henri Matisse (1910), Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia.

“Music,” by Henri Matisse (1910), Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Elizabeth Boleman-Herring: We have passionate writers here at Weekly Hubris—passionate about their (our) causes; passionate in their prose, or poetry. Look up passion. You’ll find that the modern English word comes down to us from the Old French; from the Latin passio (suffering); from the Proto-Indo-European pe(i)- (to hurt); and is related, also, to the Old English word feond (devil, enemy), as well as the Gothic (faian, to blame). Quite a provenance! That should give you an inkling of what to expect from Helen Noakes, Drs. Guy McPherson and Skip Eisiminger, and Ross Konikoff—passionate people one and all. (I and Alexander Billinis, Claire Bateman, William A. Balk, Jr., and Diana Farr Louis have also contributed pieces this May; and we offer, as well, an evergreen essay by Jerry Zimmerman and a moving picture from Tim Bayer.

Alexis de Tocqueville: “If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

Alexis de Tocqueville.

Waking Point

“Democracy in America,By Helen Noakes

SAN FRANCISCO California—(Weekly Hubris)—May 2018—Something compelled me to reread Alexis de Tocqueville’s marvelous Democracy in America . It’s a book worth reading, especially in our current political situation Although written almost 200 years ago (it was published in1835), de Tocqueville’s observations are uncannily relevant to the America we’re experiencing in 2018. Consider: “There is not, I think, a single country in the civilized world where less attention is paid to philosophy than in the United States.” (Read more . . .)

Archbishop Desmond Tutu: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Going Dark

“Had Enough, Yet?” By Guy McPherson

SAN ANTONIO Belize—(Weekly Hubris)—May 2018—Fascism has come to the industrialized world, and the evidence is particularly clear in the United States. As I wrote in my 2005 book, Killing the Natives: Has the American Dream Become a Nightmare? , regarding the executive branch of the US government: “[The administration] is characterized by powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism, identification of enemies as a unifying cause, obsession with militaristic national security and military supremacy, interlinking of religion and the ruling elite, obsession with crime and punishment, disdain for the importance of human rights and intellectuals who support them . . . .” (Read more . . .)

Skip the B.S.

“Gun Battles: 2018,” By Skip Eisiminger

“Gun Country,” an art installation made of 150 toy guns, by sculptor Michael Murphy.

“Gun Country,” by sculptor Michael Murphy.

CLEMSON South Carolina—(Weekly Hubris)—May 2018—“In the name of freedom, Christmas, and mom,/give every man a nuclear bomb,”/said Kip from a stump—“One man, one nuke!”/Kip still regrets not killing more gooks,/and he’s still “gun-ho” as his friends used to say/behind the bulwarks of Cam Ranh Bay. (Read more . . .)

She was dressed to stay in: sandals, black pants, and a blue silk T-shirt that was lousy at keeping secrets.

She was dressed to stay in.

West Side Stories

“Love on East 13th Street: III, Interplay,” By Ross Konikoff

MANHATTAN New York—(Weekly Hubris)—May 2018—Seven-fifty-nine finally ticked over and I tramped up the steps into the vestibule. Tracking her name, scrawled on a piece of tape next to the #2C buzzer, I gave the button a good thumbing. The door clicked and I pushed my way in. I climbed the badly sagging staircase, wondering all the way up if I might be the last one to do that before the whole damned thing collapsed into the basement. Speeding up as I neared the top of a dark hallway, I approached her door and gave it three confident raps. (Read more . . .)

Dean, on our building site, in Pendleton SC.

Dean, on our building site.

By Way of Being

“Our New Old Home Place,By Elizabeth Boleman-Herring

PENDLETON South Carolina(Weekly Hubris)—May 2018—Prepare yourselves: if ever there is a lede in one of my essays, it shall be buried. It seems I prefer to meander towards meaning; always approaching; rarely arriving. Either that or, by writing, and at length, I sometimes happen upon small-t truth. By writing, in writing, I figure out what it is I’m trying to say; what it is I know. In writing, I draw the thing itself by means of blowing smoke rings: I look up (and perhaps you do, too, for a moment), and see something almost corporeal . . . before it vanishes into thin air. (Read more . . .)

What broke asunder might well break asunder again.

What broke asunder might well break asunder again.

Roaming East Roman

“Thoughts and Prayers for The American Empire,” By Alexander Billinis

CLEMSON South Carolina—(Weekly Hubris)—May 2018—When we first repatriated to the United States from Europe, in 2013, America was, for most of my immediate family, essentially a foreign land. My Serbian-born wife had lived in America—in Chicago and, briefly, in Milwaukee—from 1996 to 2006, and my son was born in Chicago in 2004. From 2006 to 2013 we lived in three European countries in succession, and my daughter was born in London in 2009. (Read more . . .)

Veronica Schuder. (Photo: Morgan Vicedomini.)

Veronica Schuder.

Speculative Friction

“Postcard Poems,” By Veronica Schuder

GREENVILLE South Carolina—(Weekly Hubris)—May 2018—Veronica Schuder teaches composition, literature, and creative writing at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana. She earned an MFA from the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, where she studied contemporary poetry under Miller Williams. She has published poetry in various print and online magazines, including “SoFloPoJo,” “The Laurel Review,” “The Florida Review,” “War, Literature, and the Arts,” and “The New Ohio Review.” (Read more . . .)

Deer in the garden.

Deer in the garden.

Epicurus’ Porch

“Wild Thing, I Think I Love You,” By William A. Balk, Jr.

ELKO South Carolina—(Weekly Hubris)—May 2018—I am able, remarkably, to celebrate both the unmatched offerings of nature on its own terms as well as the joys and challenges of trying to make a garden. The close presence of nature, however, does make some aspects of gardening more challenging than I would like; the reality of caring for the garden (however ineffectually) constantly affronts my affection for the natural world surrounding it. (Read more . . .)

To Valsamo, a sidewalk spice cupboard.

To Valsamo, a sidewalk spice cupboard.

Eating Well Is The Best Revenge

“Athens Is The New Athens,” By Diana Farr Louis

ATHENS Greece—(Weekly Hubris)—May 2018—Last spring and summer, when Athens hosted Documenta 14, the first city outside Germany to host this prestigious, Kassel-based art festival, enthusiastic (foreign) reviewers started proclaiming, “Athens is the new Berlin.” “You’ve got that wrong,” Greeks retorted. “Athens is the new Athens.” Meaning that the city is indeed a cultural capital, but with its own distinct identity; and that, despite years now of deep economic depression, it is witnessing a resurgence of creativity in all sorts of sectors, from the visual and performing arts to the culinary—and, particularly, in the art of survival. (Read more . . .)

Lightning in a bottle: Aikido.

Lightning in a bottle: Aikido.

Squibs & Blurbs

“The Big Smack, or How I Found Aikido (From 2014),” By Jerry Zimmerman

TEANECK New Jersey—(Weekly Hubris)—May 2018—It’s not often that you’re struck by lightning, particularly while you’re sitting in your living room quietly reading “Esquire” magazine. But that’s exactly what happened to me. For real. How is that I’m still here writing this account of that moment? The lightning was a real, authentic strike, but it was not electric volts from the skies that got me but, rather, the story I was reading that shifted my life in an instant. (Read more . . .)

Stop lies. Use the Universal Truth Finder.

Stop lies. Use the Universal Truth Finder.

Won Over By Reality

“Use The Universal Truth Finder,” By Tim Bayer

BRIGHTON New York(Weekly Hubris)—May 2018—Yes, there is now a Universal Truth Finder and it’s available to everyone. In fact, you have access to the Universal Truth Finder right now, and you can use it whenever you choose. A technologically linked world is no longer a Dick Tracey telephone watch science fiction. It is now our smart phone and internet reality. The dark side of speed-of- light communication in a social media-linked world is that it allows for the rampant spread of unverified rumors, false claims, and deliberate lies. (Read more . . .)

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