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Independence Day Remains Worth Celebrating

Tomorrow is Independence Day, the 4th of July.  Most Americans will do their best to celebrate the holiday, despite the limitations of the present pandemic.

That’s as it should be. While the bold Declaration would not be brought to fruition on the battlefields of the Revolution for another five years, and not recognized by Treaty for another two years after that, the Declaration was one of history’s turning points, and set the infant nation on a course of republican representative government, in which the sovereign would be elected and there would be no hereditary aristocracy.

Why A Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful Life are the Same Story

Every December, I make it a point to watch Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life and Clive Donner’s version of A Christmas Carol. In my opinion, they are the two greatest Christmas movies ever made. But after watching them this past year, I realized something; both movies are telling the exact same story, inverted from each other. 

 

My 2019 Christmas Book-Lover’s List

A good book is almost always a great gift idea. It may inspire or educate, but it will never expire. It provides hours of entertainment or enrichment, and it can be the door to another world or another path in life. That’s why I’ve compiled my 2019 Christmas book lover’s list. I’ve tried to include literally something for everyone – well, age group.

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance: The Mayflower Compact Goes West

In his National Review piece Kyle Smith notes that this movie is most famous for its cynicism of the press, and the puncturing of Old West mythology; its most famous line being “This is the West, Sir.  When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” In this view, the film was pioneer postmodern.  There should not be an abundance of joy in the destruction of myth. As Jordan Peterson often reminds us, shared mythology is part of the cultural cement that holds us together, just as the Arthurian legends instructed actual knights on the meaning of chivalry.

Which Is More Terrifying: The Haunting Vs. The Devil’s Advocate?

Evil from Within or Evil from Without?

When I was in 3rd or 4th grade I considered myself a horror film aficionado – mostly watching old horror classics on Friday nights like the original Dracula, or more recent B-rated schlock, like Jack Nicholson in The Terror.  Then one evening I began watching 1963’s The Haunting, and had to shut it off after the first few scenes. I didn’t finish the movie until years later.  The fright was from pure atmospherics; there’s no monsters jumping out at you, no blood, flesh and gore flying about – but it’s was like walking into someone else’s black & white nightmare. Martin Scorsese ranked it the best horror film of all time.

Halloween Movie Picks: Pumpkinhead

Nature manifests its horror script through biology: old age, disease, and death. Camille Paglia is right to name biology the real fascist ruler of mankind. Added to nature’s brew are the conscious decisions made within the human heart—jealousy, revenge and murder.

Pulling Your Cosmic Trigger: Why July 23 Is Robert Anton Wilson Day

An Overview of the Unique Sci-Fi Novelist and Occult Explorer Who Made Contact With *Something* Today in 1973

If I had to pick a single author who has influenced me more than any other it would be the counterculture godfather Robert Anton Wilson whose books, speeches, and ideas have influenced generations of oddball individualists since the 1970s.

 

Happy 4th of July!

Liberty Island wishes everyone a fun, safe 4th of July!

Memorial Day Memories and Small Town Virtues

Memorial Day in the sleepy little Massachusetts town where I grew up was a big deal (not so much here in Florida or elsewhere in the south, since its origin was a commemoration of  Union dead).  Next to Christmas it was also my favorite holiday, despite the somber ceremonies.  It marked the beginning of summer – cook-outs, the filling of swimming pools, flowers in full bloom, and fresh clean air.  Not long before school’s out!

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