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ruby_slippersI recently started a new book called Discovery of the Asylum. The first chapter gives a thorough description and feasable explanation for the development of  a strong ethical culture in 18th century New England. The culture emphasized contribution to local society and was careful not to allow freeloaders into the area. Newcomers were often asked for a recommendation from their last home town.

The origins are largely religious in origin and sound Calvanistic to me. ‘Just watched Wizard of Oz with my daughter. When Dorothy says, “There is no place like home,” I thought it a similar kind of ethical teaching.

Now I run into an editorial by Marshall Blonsky, the author of American Mythologies. He describes a contemporary version of a similar kind of ethical mind-wash. It is commercial, and I have often thought it is something that needs to be better described by economists.

Progressive signifies by connotation that suburban men, settling down to make households, are powerless, ashamed, bewitched, bothered, and bewildered by our new world of sterile postmodern marketing, not to mention assaults on their gated little communities. Their mantra: “I didn’t know that!” Ditto for the women.

And the Vesicare Bronzed? They are stripped of every aspect of the Person, their actions just maniacal pursuit without any object of desire. The citizens of Bronze City signify citizenry of all cities. All of us mindless, mechanical, just there. Things.

Using subcomedy to catch you unawares, “creative” ad directors hold this distorting mirror before you: Under fatal threat (“Incoming!”), the nation has to be militarized, yes? – you, just a civilian, knowing nothing about anything, everyone else just like you, a void.

The joke’s on you.

(Don’t forget to visit and


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