Saturday, October 12, 2019

Extraordinary Discourse 453

Zagging Samizdat

Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, Thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought is great and swift and free.
Bertrand Russell

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Extraordinary Discourse 452

Free Range Seeking And Finding

Pleasured equally
In seeking as in finding,
Each detail minding,
Old Walt went seeking
And finding.
Langston Hughes 

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Extraordinary Discourse 451

Other Wise

A product can live on one great idea. An interior needs 1,000 great ideas to really live, which makes interior design a whole orchestration of this art of juxtaposition, placement, and combination.
Marcel Wanders

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Extraordinary Discourse 450

Smart Ass School

The first quality that is needed is audacity
Winston Churchill

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Extraordinary Discourse 449

Free Thought-Lunch For Free Thinkers

To abstract is to construct a plane upon which otherwise different and unrelated matters may be brought into many possible relations.
McKenzie Wark's Hacker's Manifesto

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Extraordinary Discourse 448

To Chez Repartee

Imagination is the highest form of research.
Albert Einstein

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Extraordinary Discourse 447

Gamechanger Markers

The play concept as such is of a higher order than seriousness, for seriousness seeks to exclude play, whereas play can very well include seriousness.
Johan Huizinga, 
Homo Ludens

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Extraordinary Discourse 446

Logos Superceding Doxa

We do not lack communication. On the contrary, we have too much of it. We lack creation.
Gilles Deleuze

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Extraordinary Discourse 444

All Thoughts are Toys

We shed as we pick up, like travellers who must carry everything in their arms, and what we let fall will be picked up by those behind. The procession is very long and life is very short. We die on the march. But there is nothing outside the march so nothing can be lost to it. The missing plays of Sophocles will turn up piece by piece, or be written again in another language. Ancient cures for diseases will reveal themselves once more. Mathematical discoveries glimpsed and lost to view will have their time again. You do not suppose, my lady, that if all of Archimedes had been hiding in the great library of Alexandria, we would be at a loss for a corkscrew?
Tom Stoppard, Arcadia

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Extraordinary Discourse 443

Geniuses and Jesters

This, I believe, is the appropriate image of human intercourse -- appropriate because it recognizes the qualities, the diversities, and the proper relationships of human utterances. As civilized human beings, we are the inheritors, neither of an inquiry about ourselves and the world, nor of an accumulating body of information, but of a conversation, begun in the primeval forests and extended and made more articulate in the course of centuries. It is a conversation which goes on both in public and within each of ourselves.
Michael Joseph Oakeshott,
Rationalism in Politics and Other Essays

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Extraordinary Discourse 442

Colloquy A La Carte

Break a vase, and the love that reassembles the fragments is stronger than that love which took its symmetry for granted when it was whole.
Derek Walcott


Saturday, July 20, 2019

Extraordinary Discourse 441

Oh, Yeah?

Conversation is a dynamic interplay between each person’s choice to speak or listen. When those choices are conscious and respectful, conversations tend to be more productive and enjoyable.
Oren Jay Sofer,
When to Speak and When to Listen

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Extraordinary Discourse 440

Surprise Conversation Chorus

                         The world requires me to re-write its wretched dialogue!
                                Richard Greenberg

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Extraordinary Discourse 439

Chautauqua Chop

When you say “old school,” I say “new playground.”

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Extraordinary Discourse 438

Midrashic Aporia

Midrash is biblical exegesis by ancient Judaic authorities, using a mode of interpretation prominent in the Talmud. Midrash and rabbinic readings "discern value in texts, words, and letters, as potential revelatory spaces," writes the Reverend and Hebrew scholar Wilda C. Gafney. "They reimagine dominant narratival readings while crafting new ones to stand alongside—not replace—former readings. Midrash also asks questions of the text; sometimes it provides answers, sometimes it leaves the reader to answer the questions."

Iris DeMent, Livin' in the Wasteland of the Free

Krista Tippett, On Being 

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Extraordinary Discourse 437

On Beyond Second Thought

There is for me an utterance bare and grand as the colossal chisel of Phideas, or trowel of the Egyptians, or pen of Moses or Dante.
R. W. Emerson

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Extraordinary Discourse 436


The writer who has spent some time in the collection and subsequent analysis of material is liable to feel ready to start putting it all into a script. But the result can be disappointing if what is really needed is a story, a concept. The data may be at hand, the subject has been explored and represented, but what about the idea? It remains to be found... There is, of course, no practical system for assuring that a good idea will come next. Good ideas, feeble ideas, marvellous ideas - they all seem to have life of their own, arriving unannounced. In fact one way to discourage their visit is to be too impatient. It's not so much something you do, it's something that happens. Why then does it seem to happen more to brilliant men and women than to stupid ones? The answer may be because of the two earlier stages. Materials collected and then placed in a frame of reference are stored in memory, and the more that is accumulated the more likely the inspired short-circuit will spark. But it may not be all that accidental. What has been called 'sideways thinking' may be more a kind of relaxed mental state than a deliberate act, one that can be recognised and to some extent cultivated.
Paul Cronin (2005) On Film-making: An Introduction to the Craft of the Director

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Extraordinary Discourse 435

Crafted Convo network television has given way to the Internet, it has become easy for people to create their own idiosyncratic mix of sources.
Henry Farrell

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Extraordinary Discourse 434

Synthe Tic Talk Time

If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it's not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take.
That's why it's your path.
Joseph Campbell

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Extraordinary Discourse 433

Torch/Torque the Noggin

In what lies the significance of human life in which machine power has grown to be the destructive factor that it now is in the hands of the Money Power? There will come a universal margin of leisure, greater rational freedom for the individual than any known by previous civilizations - but that only if the creative artist is there in his true place, the machine in his hand as a tool. Money should have no power whatever in itself. Employment is not enough! What a man [sic] wants, if democracy works, is not so much employment as freedom to work at what he believes in, what he likes to do.
Frank Lloyd Wright,
The Living City, 1963

Recommended: On Being, with Krista Tippett, for great conversations.
                          CBC's Tapestry, with Mary Hynes, same.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Extraordinary Discourse 432

At Least This Got Said

My idea of good company is the company of clever, well-informed people who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company.
Jane Austen

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Extraordinary Discourse 431

Eclec Ticktalk Time

What is known is apt to be identified with what the common language readily describes, and novel combinations are so difficult to achieve that people gifted that way are given the special name poets, and run the special risk of having their communications thought insubstantial.
Hugh Kenner (On Buckminster Fuller)

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Extraordinary Discourse 430

Rock The Boat

You know, the Greek word sophia, what we’ve translated as the word "wisdom," comes from crafts—carpenters and hand work. The earliest uses of the word "sophia" is the tiller—the man at the tiller of a boat. He’s always making little moves to keep you on course. That’s all it is. It’s not big sentences. It’s just little moves.

That’s the way I think about wisdom, so I don’t use the word. It’s usually used in our culture in terms of big platitudes.
James Hillman

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Extraordinary Discourse 429

Thoughtpile of a Wordchopper

What happens when a new work of art is created is something that happens simultaneously to all the works of art which preceded it. The existing monuments form an ideal order among themselves, which is modified by the introduction of the new (the really new) work of art among them. The existing order is complete before the new work arrives; for order to persist after the supervention of novelty, the whole existing order must be, if ever so slightly, altered; and so the relations, proportions, values of each work of art toward the whole are readjusted; and this is conformity between the old and the new.
T.S. Eliot,
Tradition and the Individual Talent

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Extraordinary Discourse 428

A Big Hatful Of Talk

...he did realize that any such changes would become intertwined with a kaleidoscopic and immensely profitable expansion of choices and forms of expression. Thus Marcusean analysis is immensely useful in understanding the profusion of tattoos and pornography, the Internet and smart phones, coffee houses and art fairs, T-shirts and jeans, oral sex and divorce, yoga and foreign travel, Twitter and Facebook, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, “your comments” on everything under the sun. A combination of movements and markets led to a space freer, more inclusive, more interesting and diverse, and humanly and socially richer than any of us would have imagined upon closing the pages of One-Dimensional Man.
Marcuse Today
Ronald Aronson
Boston Review

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Extraordinary Discourse 427

Wit And Wisdom Of Witty Wise Persons

We are still bullied into serving the boring boring boring idiots, our lives deftly determined by beliefs we know are totally false. … How amazing is it that even young people knew back then, almost a half century ago, how horrific the world of work was becoming. Never give up calling out the phonies, goosing the world, and remembering you are a human, and not a chair.
Judy Parker 

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Extraordinary Discourse 426

Maverick's Melange

That so few now dare to be eccentric, marks the chief danger of the time.
John Stuart Mill

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Extraordinary Discourse 425

Train of Open Traps

Neoliberalism has upended how language is used in both education and the wider society. It works to appropriate discourses associated with liberal democracy that have become normalized in order to both limit their meanings and use them to mean the opposite of what they have meant traditionally, especially with respect to human rights, justice, informed judgment, critical agency, and democracy itself. It is waging a war over not just the relationship between economic structures but over memory, words, meaning, and politics. Neoliberalism takes words like freedom and limits it to the freedom to consume, spew out hate, and celebrate notions of self-interest and a rabid individualism as the new common sense. Equality of opportunity means engaging in ruthless forms of competition, a war of all against all ethos, and a survival of the fittest mode of behavior. The vocabulary of neoliberalism operates in the service of violence in that it reduces the capacity for human fulfillment in the collective sense, diminishes a broad understanding of freedom as fundamental to expanding the capacity for human agency, and diminishes the ethical imagination by reducing it to the interest of the market and the accumulation of capital. Words, memory, language and meaning are weaponized under neoliberalism. Certainly, neither the media nor progressives have given enough attention to how neoliberalism colonizes language because neither group has given enough attention to viewing the crisis of neoliberalism as not only an economic crisis but also a crisis of ideas.

Education is not viewed as a force central to politics and as such the intersection of language, power, and politics in the neoliberal paradigm has been largely ignored. Moreover, at a time when civic culture is being eradicated, public spheres are vanishing, and notions of shared citizenship appear obsolete, words that speak to the truth, reveal injustices and provide informed critical analysis also begin to disappear. This makes it all the more difficult to engage critically the use of neoliberalism’s colonization of language.
Henry Giroux

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Extraordinary Discourse 424


Eloquence is a kind of architecture, and there is the old adage that ‘God lives in the details’, in small places, in the space between the words, in the hesitations, in the punctuation. I mean, these things are all as mandatory to achieving deep eloquence as anything that’s between the periods and the commas.
You know that’s what punctuation is: It’s an attempt to recreate the vocalizing and the style of expression and the moment in which it’s expressed.
Stephen Jenkinson

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Extraordinary Discourse 423

Deeper Dabbling

Life is not that sweet all the time. Sometimes, you just need to awake your brain and feed it with hopping words.
Ayuba Muhyideen Kolawole

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Extraordinary Discourse 422

Prime Cuts, Facultus Ludendi

People think that stories are shaped by people. In fact, it's the other way around.
Terry Pratchett
Awake and in play

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Extraordinary Discourse 421

Critical Interventions

Yeah. Yeah. You’re talking about an eloquence in the ear there. You could say that eloquence is a free floating life form, and when it attaches itself to a particular language or practice it’s mistaken for that language or practice. But you know all forms of deep artistic merit really require disciplined practice, of years-long duration, without an audience, without any witnesses, so that the depth of the thing, the depth of eloquence in the made world, has a chance to respond to the pleas which are the practice of disciplined learning and hearing.
Stephen Jenkinson

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Extraordinary Discourse 420

Portentous Remarks

Mastering our minds begins with mastering our mouths. We spend the first 10 years of our lives learning “elementary right speech”: how to interact politely, respectfully, and inoffensively; when to speak, when not to speak. Then we spend another decade learning to express more complex feelings and ideas to others. We might call this intermediate right speech, although what we study even on these two preliminary levels is bottomless. Even something as simple as when to speak and when not to speak can’t be determined by a formula; it is a skill refined over a lifetime.
Krishnan Venkatesh
How to Practice Right Speech Anywhere, Anytime, and With Anyone

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Extraordinary Discourse 419

Playing With Sophia

It’s astounding to make these little observations, really. Linguistic differences are more than just windows and doors. Sometimes they’re barred windows and chained doors. Sometimes there are no walls at all. Sometimes they’re a little bit of a tent out in the desert, where everything is blowing through and the sky is there just above your head.
Stephen Jenkinson

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Extraordinary Discourse 418

Beaded Mercury

...with new knowledge, admired by some and despised by many for abandoning the old ways, begins to rebuild the walls with new material.
Udesh Habaraduwa

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Extraordinary Discourse 417

For The Deviant Minded

Real eloquence makes a shambles of standardization, and that’s one of the ways it’s really trustworthy.
Stephen Jenkinson

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Extraordinary Discourse 416

Some Woo Woo, Some Hardcore

As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn't go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Wendell Berry

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Extraordinary Discourse 415

Madogiwazoku at the Overton Window

"I have no time; I've got my noon chores to do."

"To the deuce with your chores!" said I.
Herman Melville,

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Extraordinary Discourse 414

Uber-Talk in Parataxis

Trying to get somewhere

In creative work — creative work of all kinds — those who are the world’s working artists are not trying to help the world go around, but forward. Which is something altogether different from the ordinary. Such work does not refute the ordinary. It is, simply, something else. Its labor requires a different outlook — a different set of priorities.
Mary Oliver
thanks to Maria Popova

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Extraordinary Discourse 413

When You're Ready a world driven by data, metrics, and the replacement of knowledge by the overabundance of information, educators need to enable students to engage in multiple literacies extending from print and visual culture to digital culture. They need to become border crossers who can think dialectically, and learn not only how to consume culture but also to produce it.
Henry Giroux