Barry Spector's Blog (207)

Barry’s Blog # 348: A Mythologist Looks at the 2020 Election, Part Nine

Let’s look at developments in a half dozen themes that I’ve been emphasizing.

The corruption of the Republicans continues unabated. Each day brings new revelations. Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe announced that he would be scaling back…

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Added by Barry Spector on September 8, 2020 at 2:41pm — No Comments

A Mythologist Looks at the 2020 Election, Parts Seven and Eight

Part Seven

In previous posts I offered several main points to consider about this election:

1 – The corruption of the Republicans / the Elephant in the Living Room

2 – The corruption of the Democratic National Committee

3 – The naïve innocence of liberals and intellectuals

4 – The surprisingly neutral position of the Military-Industrial Complex

5 – Boy psychology: do either of these…

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Added by Barry Spector on August 25, 2020 at 12:38pm — No Comments

Barry's Blog # 343: A Mythologist Looks at the 2020 Election, Parts 4-6 of 6

Part Four

Two Senile, Old White Guys Who Want to be President – Or Do They?

I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters. – Trumpus

This essay is not really about politics, except to the extent that politics reflects mythology. Our first responsibility as mythological thinkers is to cultivate discrimination, to take a step back and…

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Added by Barry Spector on July 22, 2020 at 6:26pm — No Comments

Barry's Blog # 340: A Mythologist Looks at the 2020 Election, Parts 1-3 of 6

Part One

The war is not meant to be won; it is meant to be continuous. – George Orwell

Watch what we do, not what we say. – John Mitchell, Attorney General under Richard Nixon

Let me be perfectly clear (Nixon said that). I want Biden to win in a landslide, win back the Senate, pick the next few Supreme Court Justices and send Trumpus (Trump = us) out beyond…

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Added by Barry Spector on July 22, 2020 at 6:24pm — No Comments

Barry's Blog # 334: American Witch Hunt, Parts 1-6

Part One

Their strictly Puritanical origin, their exclusively commercial habits, even the country they inhabit, which seems to divert their minds from the pursuit of science, literature, and the arts…a thousand special causes…have singularly concurred to fix the mind of the American upon purely practical objects. – Alexis De Tocqueville

More than any other people on Earth, we bear burdens and accept risks…

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Added by Barry Spector on June 20, 2020 at 2:53pm — No Comments

Barry's Blog # 334: American Exceptionalism

Part One

Their strictly Puritanical origin, their exclusively commercial habits, even the country they inhabit, which seems to divert their minds from the pursuit of science, literature, and the arts…a thousand special causes…have singularly concurred to fix the mind of the American upon purely practical objects. – Alexis De Tocqueville

More than any other people on Earth, we bear burdens and accept risks…

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Added by Barry Spector on June 13, 2020 at 3:15pm — No Comments

Barry’s Blog # 327: Black Swans and White Vultures, Parts One -- Seven

Part One

A dancer dies twice – once when they stop dancing, and this first death is the more painful. – Martha Graham

The 2010 film Black Swan is a deeply wise and convincing psychological account of the inner journey required of the ballerina protagonist in order to fully embody the dual female lead roles in a production of Swan…

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Added by Barry Spector on June 5, 2020 at 4:09pm — No Comments

Barry's Blog # 325-327: All Shook Up, The American Dionysus, Parts 5-7 of 7

Part Five

Historian Milton Viorst writes that the theme of the 1950s was “security: internal security (McCarthy), international security (massive retaliation), personal security (careerism). And yet no one felt secure.”…

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Added by Barry Spector on April 26, 2020 at 3:41pm — No Comments

Barry’s Blog # 320-324: All Shook Up, the American Dionysus, Parts 1-4 0f 7

Part One

For where there is dance, there also is the Devil.  – St. John Chrysostom

Bobo-malay, shushu maya (Lord, make this body dance!) – Dagara, West Africa

The Greek word xenos means both “stranger” (as in xenophobia) and “guest.” This etymological twist lies at the root of a profound mystery. As Carl Jung taught us, the repressed…

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Added by Barry Spector on April 26, 2020 at 3:39pm — No Comments

Barry’s Blogs # 309-312: To Sacrifice Everything — "A Hidden Life"

Part One

Every good deed brings its own punishment. – James Agate

Sometimes the spirit comes through me. I’m not saying this out of pride. I’m simply observing that one when is committed to his art – in my case, writing about historical, political and cultural issues through a mythological lens, when one asks to be a conduit for other voices – when one tries to pay attention – then one had better…

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Added by Barry Spector on January 20, 2020 at 12:32pm — 1 Comment

Barry’s Blogs # 306-308: A Tale of Two Families, Parts One --Three

Part One

The Adams’

The Adams’ are an old New England Yankee family. After attaining a Law degree from Yale (as both his father and grandfather had done before him), Frank Adams signed up to fight fascism in World War Two. He joined the Office of Strategic Services, America’s first national intelligence service. Most of its members came from conservative backgrounds, but quite a few, like Frank, were…

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Added by Barry Spector on December 26, 2019 at 12:01pm — No Comments

Barry’s Blogs # 304 & 305: Death, Where is Thy Sting? Death Poems, Last Words and Epitaphs, Parts One and Two of Two

Part One

Part One: The Far East

How do we want to be remembered? Death poems (jisei) developed in the literary traditions of Japan as early as the seventh century. Later, taking much energy from Zen Buddhism’s emphasis on the transiency and impermanence of the material world, the genre spread to China and Korea. Brief as they usually are, these poems consider the…

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Added by Barry Spector on December 9, 2019 at 3:59pm — No Comments

Barry's Blogs # 300-303: Military Madness – The Unacknowledged Metaphors in Our Daily Speech, Parts 1-4

Part One

                Military madness was killing my country. Solitary sadness comes over me. – Graham Nash

Imagination is not a solitary thing. Unlike fantasy, which is self-centered, imagination implies dialogue – between what is and what could be. Consider that some languages lack the verb “to be.” Speakers grow up expecting to communicate indirectly, use metaphors freely and tolerate ambiguity. Metaphors…

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Added by Barry Spector on November 19, 2019 at 4:44pm — No Comments

Barry’s Blog # 299: Grief and Remembrance in Greece

What shall I send you, dear one,

There in the underworld?

If I send you an apple, it will rot,

If a quince, it will shrivel;

If I send grapes, they will fall away,

If a rose, it will droop.

So let me send my tears,

Bound in…

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Added by Barry Spector on November 5, 2019 at 6:15pm — No Comments

Barry's Blogs # 288-90: Why Are Americans So Freaking Crazy? Parts 7-9 of 9

Part Seven

It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. – Jiddu Krishnamurti

 …divide us those in darkness from the ones who walk in light… – Kurt Weill

The price of hating other human beings is loving oneself less. – Eldridge Cleaver

Denial and fear; fear and denial, all electronically mediated. Do you remember the anthrax scare of 2001 – how it targeted only…

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Added by Barry Spector on August 28, 2019 at 3:31pm — 1 Comment

Barry's Blogs # 285-7: Why Are Americans So Freaking Crazy? Parts 4-6 of 9

Part Four

Every person you meet should be regarded as one of the walking wounded. We have never seen a man or woman not slightly deranged by either anxiety or grief. We have never seen a totally sane human being.  Robert Anton Wilson

Lesley Stahl on U.S. sanctions against Iraq (1996): We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in…

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Added by Barry Spector on August 28, 2019 at 3:22pm — No Comments

Barry's Blogs # 282-4: Why Are Americans So Freaking Crazy? Parts 1-3 of 9

Part One

Cut loose from the earth’s soul, they insisted on purchase of its soil, and like all orphans they were insatiable. It was their destiny to chew up the world and spit out a horribleness that would destroy all primary peoples. – Toni Morrison

I have lived on the lip of insanity, wanting to know reasons,

knocking on a door. It opens. I’ve been knocking from the inside. – Rumi

Warning:…

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Added by Barry Spector on August 28, 2019 at 3:06pm — No Comments

Barry’s Blog # 279-281: Who is an American? A Timeline

Part One

July 4th 2019: A Salvadoran father and his young daughter drowned in the Rio Grande River. Families separated. Concentration camps. Children subjected to inhuman conditions amounting to torture while their parents are deported. Mothers told to drink from toilets. Border Patrol agents posting racist and misogynist cartoons on Facebook. Every day now we hear heartbreaking news from the borderlands. How, we…

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Added by Barry Spector on July 18, 2019 at 2:47pm — No Comments

Barry's Blogs # 276-278: What Will the New Myths Be?

Part One

Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them. –  Albert Einstein

What is now proved was once imagined.  – William Blake

The situation is so dire that we can’t afford the luxury of realism. – Caroline Casey

My book Madness at the Gates of the City: The Myth of American Innocence first appeared in 2010. Since then…

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Added by Barry Spector on June 29, 2019 at 1:04pm — No Comments

Barry’s Blogs # 143 &144: What If We Allowed That To Happen?

Part One

Readers of this blog may recall that one of the basic aspects of the myth of American Innocence is what I have called the Paranoid Imagination. Previous essays on this subject include The Paranoid Imagination, Porn (Parts …

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Added by Barry Spector on June 20, 2019 at 6:03pm — No Comments

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