When conjuring up a still-frame of “man vs. nature,” one may imagine a musher dog sledding across a frozen tundra or a pioneer trailing through desolate badlands or a voyager floating down the Congo River into Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness. Yet, no one pictures the Hillsgrove Township of Sullivan County, Pennsylvania. In this small upstate township, the 186-foot-long Hillsgrove Covered Bridge spans the Loyalsock … Continue reading What the Covered Bridge Reveals About Our Struggle Against Nature
Growing up in a large family, the most controversial dinner table discussions didn’t center around politics, money, or religion. Get enough of us siblings in the same room long enough and one question always comes up: “Who is mother’s favorite child?” And, “if she has one, why won’t she admit it?” Mother stays above the fray, parrying the question delivered by chirping children. “I … Continue reading Should Parents Admit Having a Favorite Child?
J.R.R. Tolkien wrote the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Middle Earth collection to create a new body of mythology, and largely to showcase more than a dozen original languages, including Elvish. The fictional Elvish language can be heard spoken by fans at conventions like Comic-Con, but its real life counterpart, Elfdalian, is actually spoken in the dense woodlands of Alvdalen, Sweden. The … Continue reading Elvish Has Been Spoken for Centuries In This Small Swedish Community
When I was eight days old, an unlicensed surgeon took a scalpel to my penis and left an ancient covenant where my foreskin used to be. The brit milah or “covenantal circumcision” marked my permanent spiritual inclusion in the Jewish nation. I was branded as Jewish, whether I wanted to be or not. Continue reading How to Keep Jews Jewish by Being More Like the Amish
With a knife in hand, the purple-clad, face-painted Joker springs up from the pool table, retorting in his own self-indulgent way, “You wanna know how I got these scars?” The Joker then details a narrative of a father who “was a drinker and a fiend.” One night his father goes “off crazier than usual” and his mother “gets the kitchen knife to defend herself.” He explains … Continue reading Why So Serious, Part One: Child Abuse
Regardless how one may feel about Ayn Rand, her “philosophy,” or her generally unpleasant demeanor, she does comprehend at least one underpinning truth of our species: “I am, therefore I’ll think.” By subverting René Descartes’s famous cogito proposition, Rand exposes its flaw. For Rand, “I’ll think” is volitional, since one’s existence is not predicated on whether one chooses to think or not. Moreover, in a … Continue reading Ayn Rand in the Age of Anti-Intellectualism