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Watercolor Paint

Culture & The Arts

Articles on contemporary society--its beliefs, values, and accomplishments; plus, original poetry and fiction

Jun 1, 2024

Norman Lear Neo-Talmudic Sage of Democracy and Good Times

"Nobody wins democracy. It's not a possession, but a continuous process that requires everyone's participation."

Norman Lear Neo-Talmudic Sage of Democracy and Good Times

Jun 1, 2024

The Beatles’ Commentary on the Gospel of John

“Both Johns looked out their respective windows and saw their worlds on fire. Both Johns situated their profound and ultimately hopeful message in that apocalyptic context.”

The Beatles’ Commentary on the Gospel of John

Apr 15, 2024

The Wonder School

“Learning begins with curiosity and children are nothing but question-boxes.”

The Wonder School

Apr 15, 2024

The Concept of Death

“Change cannot entail the annihilation of what changes… Something of what was must be conserved or it’s not ‘change’ at all, is it?”

The Concept of Death

Mar 1, 2024

Arithmetic

“I want to repeal all the fundamental laws of Arithmetic.”

Arithmetic

Mar 1, 2024

Marcel Proust

“Who has not dreamed of reliving a cherished moment, not through the ghostly shadows of mind but, like Job, in the flesh?”

Marcel Proust

Mar 1, 2024

Leviticus and the Fed

"The Fed’s 2% inflation policy is a modern version of the Levitical program. It pays for the social safety net that is our way of redistributing wealth.”

Leviticus and the Fed

Mar 1, 2024

We All Live in a Yellow Submarine

“The occasional dragon notwithstanding, we hardly ever see monsters in Liverpool anymore.”

We All Live in a Yellow Submarine

Jan 15, 2024

Mythology Before Marvel Comics

“Sturluson searched for the universal patterns that connect all times, all places, and all scales…and, Glory be to God, he found them.”

Mythology Before Marvel Comics

Jan 15, 2024

What Are Farm Animals Thinking?

New research is revealing surprising complexity in the minds of goats, pigs, and other livestock.

What Are Farm Animals Thinking?

Jan 15, 2024

Home Alone

“Macaulay Culkin is ‘every boy’ and his Home Alone family is ‘America’s family’ – except it’s not!”

Home Alone

Jan 15, 2024

The Science Behind the 7-Second Rule

"First impressions swiftly shape neural pathways, steering our social interactions through rapid cognitive processes."

The Science Behind the 7-Second Rule

Dec 1, 2023

Love...Actually!

“…When your identity is indefinitely plastic, when events are no longer ‘orientable’, when relations are neither transitive nor commutative, that’s Love…actually.”

Love...Actually!

Dec 1, 2023

Why The World Needs More Polymaths

"Just as the ocean's waves weave tales in their dance, polymaths craft stories of innovation by seamlessly blending knowledge from diverse domains."

Why The World Needs More Polymaths

Oct 15, 2023

On Sukkot, the Jewish ‘Festival of Booths'

"Like at Passover, most Jews who celebrate Sukkot encounter it in spaces where people can honor their values, cultures or histories."

On Sukkot, the Jewish ‘Festival of Booths'

Oct 15, 2023

Memes About Animal Resistance Are Everywhere

"Nonhuman animals do, in fact, engage in resistance, even if their defiance is futile. The will to prefer life over death is a primary act of resistance, perhaps the only act of dissent available to animals who are subject to extreme forms of control."

Memes About Animal Resistance Are Everywhere

Oct 15, 2023

Is Childhood a Crime?

“Parents dote on their royal highnesses…and rarely miss an opportunity to damage them in the process.”

Is Childhood a Crime?

Oct 15, 2023

Political Alienation

“Marx’s hypothesis that a person’s voting habits would be determined by their relationship to the means of production was blown out of the water…”

Political Alienation

Sep 1, 2023

How ChatGPT Robs Students

"When AI does our writing for us, we diminish opportunities to think out problems for ourselves."

How ChatGPT Robs Students

Sep 1, 2023

The Ease of Burden

"Writing is not like Athena, springing fully formed from Zeus’ forehead. Writing is like all of Zeus’ other children, where he has to relate to someone for creation (and boy, does he relate). To create things, we need other people. It takes two to tango, two to make a child, and around 12 to make a sitcom."

The Ease of Burden

Sep 1, 2023

Divine Connection or Digital Dalliance?

"Prayer, for many, is more than just a laundry list of requests. It's a profound act of opening oneself to the divine, a dialogue between the mortal and the eternal."

Divine Connection or Digital Dalliance?

Sep 1, 2023

AI and the Quest for Humanity’s Answers

"AI will virtually obliterate the barrier between what can be known and what is known."

AI and the Quest for Humanity’s Answers

Sep 1, 2023

Wilber’s New Wife: A Theatre Odyssey©2023

"The evolution has begun, and I believe that the arts are going to be a very important partner for technology. Could this be the beginning of the next Golden Age? Absolutely."

Wilber’s New Wife: A Theatre Odyssey©2023

Sep 1, 2023

AI - Our New Frenemy
AI and the Human Quest for Love
AI - The Next Big Test of the Human Soul

"The longing is powerful. Perhaps because this is the longing for unconditional love and acceptance with which every human being is born."

AI - Our New Frenemy
AI and the Human Quest for Love
AI - The Next Big Test of the Human Soul

Jul 15, 2023

Read on a Beach

“Tell us what you did (read) on your summer vacation!”

Read on a Beach

Jul 15, 2023

What Are My Values

“We live under another emperor today. It is even more insidious than Constantine for it appears that this is all for our good.”

What Are My Values

Jul 15, 2023

Lord of the Flies Shows Humans Are Hard-Wired to Help Each Other

"We can only speculate what the six boys on the island in the Pacific Ocean would have done if they had run out of food – but whatever it is, I would certainly not draw any conclusions from it in terms of the essence of human nature."

Lord of the Flies Shows Humans Are Hard-Wired to Help Each Other

Jul 15, 2023

How To Think Like a Woman: A Brief Accounting of Unacknowledged Philosophical Genius

Author Regan Penaluna on female philosophy and the risks of being too smart throughout history...

How To Think Like a Woman: A Brief Accounting of Unacknowledged Philosophical Genius

Jun 1, 2023

Mentoring for His Kingdom

"I believe the role of a Christian mentor is ongoing, and it’s important to consider our role in the salvation of others."

Mentoring for His Kingdom

Jun 1, 2023

How to Summer All Year

"I wonder how different the rest of the year, heck, the rest of my life would be if I did bottle summer’s secrets."

How to Summer All Year

Apr 15, 2023

May Day

“This one day converges mythology (Norse), cosmology (Pagan), theology (Christian) and ideology (Marxist) with ancient fertility rites. And for my next trick…”

May Day

Apr 15, 2023

Messiah Redux

“Were Handel and Jennens dog whistle revolutionaries?... It is one thing to criticize the secular State, yet another to call for dashing it to pieces.”

Messiah Redux

Apr 15, 2023

The Resurrection Promises More Than Heaven

So much of Easter focuses on conquering death itself, but overlooking the freedom that the resurrection offers 'this' life, skips a sizable chunk of the miracle.

The Resurrection Promises More Than Heaven

Mar 1, 2023

Credit Where Credit Is Due

"I would like to share how I create music, but more importantly, where my music comes from."

Credit Where Credit Is Due

Mar 1, 2023

The Lottery

“The state lottery is just about the only financial vehicle that offers people of modest means a realistic opportunity to materially impact their economic circumstances.”

The Lottery

Jan 15, 2023

Educating Christians

“We must teach our children a totally counter-cultural model of nature. We must teach the doctrines of our Faith, not as exceptions to natural law, but as the highest expressions of natural law.”

Educating Christians

Jan 15, 2023

The Barrier-Breaking Power of Music

"We were both smiling from ear to ear, unable to communicate with words, music our only form of communication."

The Barrier-Breaking Power of Music

Jan 15, 2023

That Time You Told a Sunrise Lie

"...words are also just hollowed statements to avoid the truth. It’s far too tempting a cover-up. We love ideals, but we don’t like what they require."

That Time You Told a Sunrise Lie

Jan 15, 2023

The Crucible Challenge Winner: Integrity vs. Life

We are thrilled to share with you the winning essay from our first Young Writers Challenge, this one conducted exclusively at Cabrini High School in New Orleans. Our winner, Grace Krzenski, answered the prompt, "Why do you think Arthur Miller decided to call his play 'The Crucible' and which definition of crucible do you think Miller had in mind when he wrote his play?" Grace's essay has also awarded her $100. Congratulations, Grace!

The Crucible Challenge Winner: Integrity vs. Life

Nov 30, 2022

A Simple Christmas

"There comes a time when our souls need more respite than even the traditions of Christmas can offer us."

A Simple Christmas

Nov 30, 2022

Handel’s Messiah

"There is only one full proof indication that Christmas is coming: the endless performances of George Frideric Handel’s Messiah. Yup, it’s that time of year!

Handel’s Messiah

Nov 30, 2022

‘Happy Holidays’ vs. ‘Merry Christmas’: A Twist

"The argument for the “Happy Holidays” greeting is that because Christians have been imperialistic, and have erased everyone else (including Jews) from American culture, they now need to include us."

‘Happy Holidays’ vs. ‘Merry Christmas’: A Twist

Nov 30, 2022

That Time You Weren't Exceptionally Divine

They say that a watched pot never boils. That’s a lie. It does boil, but do you know what doesn’t?

That Time You Weren't Exceptionally Divine

Oct 15, 2022

Pronouns

Next time someone asks you for your ‘pronouns,’ try telling them, ‘you/you’…see what happens.

Pronouns

Oct 15, 2022

Kandinsky: The Painter of Other Worlds

The role of the artist is to challenge “common sense,” to point out the unrecognized assumptions that underpin naïve realism and to suggest certain directions we might travel in pursuit of deeper truth.

Kandinsky: The Painter of Other Worlds

Oct 15, 2022

Be a Bee

Why ‘milk and honey?’ Why not ‘sour grapes and corn mash?’ Turns out, it’s all about the honey!

Be a Bee

Oct 15, 2022

The Unexpected Sophistication of B Movies

Pulling that off was more artistic in his opinion than any of the “new age” stuff out there pushing the envelope.

The Unexpected Sophistication of B Movies

Sep 1, 2022

Learn to Swym

“Language Endures. We Don’t” – now that is a bumper sticker!

Learn to Swym

Sep 1, 2022

Social Dynamics

So, the thousands of people out there in America outside the herd are finding each other.

Social Dynamics

Jul 13, 2022

How to Coach an Undefeated Football Team

If football is nothing else, it is a metaphor for life. The values of determination, responsibility, teamwork, flexibility, and focus apply to every aspect of life, not just football. This is a formula for success on a football field, but it is also a formula for success in life.

How to Coach an Undefeated Football Team

May 31, 2022

Haiku Corner

Does this formal rigor seem like it would be inhibiting? The reverse is true. It’s liberating!

Haiku Corner

May 31, 2022

Mary Poppins, Sufi Master

The story of Mary Poppins is the story of one small boy’s initiation into the teachings of Sufi spirituality and the secrets of Sufi mysticism. When the initiation of Michael Banks is complete, Michael has come, at least in some measure, to know the mind of God. Not bad for seven-years-old!

Mary Poppins, Sufi Master

May 31, 2022

Parshat Emor: Making It All Count

“Counting the Omer – like the shemitah cycle – invites us to believe that each day, week and year is count-worthy, valuable and unique.”

Parshat Emor: Making It All Count

May 31, 2022

The Meaning of Music

We pray the Psalms hoping to conform our minds, our values, our wills to God’s. Remember, God is his essence; we, on the other hand, are each free to create our own essences. Unfortunately, most of us are making a hash of it! Music elucidates the pre-verbal, non-phenomenal structures of the real world. Its meaning is not subject to logical analysis, scientific verification, or mathematical proof. The only test of music’s validity is its beauty.

The Meaning of Music
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