The Fleming Foundation Cultural Commentary

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Wednesday’s Child: A Magic Mountain (Free)

Our precious Mount Etna, which happens to be the tallest volcano in Europe, has been exploding, with streams of molten lava descending into the Valle del Bove from elevations of some three kilometers at the crater’s rim.  A BBC team of reporters nearly didn’t make it down, which showed them that nature could be as violent as the teenage drug lords and tattooed single mothers they had been used to interviewing in their line of duty. ‘“a Muntagna,” the locals call it in dialect – the Mountain with a capital M – as attested by a man named Gaetano Perricone,...

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Season 1, From Under the Rubble, Episode 10: I Hate the Constitution

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In this episode of From Under the Rubble, Dr. Fleming examines the idea of “Hating the Constitution” via the well-known song, “I’m a good ol’ Rebel.” What does it mean to love and worship and protect the Constitution? Is this something that traditionalists and conservatives should be engaged in? Original Air Date: March 22, 2017 Show Run Time: 37 minutes Show Guest(s): Dr. Thomas Fleming Show Host(s): Stephen Heiner   From Under the Rubble℗ is a Production of the Fleming Foundation. Copyright 2017. All Rights are Reserved.

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The Shaming of Shame, Conclusion

I can already hear the catcalls from the feminist bleachers: Propriety, indeed! Propriety would have us back in menstrual huts for a week out of every month. Propriety is just a polite taboo. I am woman! I bleed. Get used to it…. So the chant resounds. But propriety is more than “keeping up appearances.” It is, as Edmund Burke once said, “the soft collar of social esteem” – a necessary act of repression that makes civilized life possible; it is the expression – often hypocritical, no doubt – of a moral and aesthetic order which we discard at our peril....

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The Modern Constitution–Blueprint for Revolution

I hates the Constitution, This Great Republic too “That’s unconstitutional!”  Hardly a day goes by that we do not hear some proposal of the Trump administration denounced as a violation of the Constitution.  It is beginning to appear that NPR and other organs of the revolutionary left cannot invoke Trump’s name without throwing in “unconstitutional,” something in the way that “swift-footed” always precedes Achilles. A good example of this rhetorical tactic is the headline Unamericans for Disunity (or is it Americans United ?) put on their latest propaganda screed: “AU Continues The Legal Fight Against President Trump’s Unconstitutional Muslim Ban.”  Counting...

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Wednesday’s Child: Letter from London (Free)

Persons unfamiliar with Anthony Powell’s twelve-volume cycle of novels, A Dance to the Music of Time, ought to bear in mind that, socially, cocaine may well be a less problematic alternative. Certainly the book is more addictive, but the real trouble is that it makes one eschew all human contact for the duration.  I remember sinking into it some ten years ago.  For three weeks I did not open the shutters or answer the telephone, waking up every morning with the same terrifying thought that one day it would end. Spanning roughly half of the twentieth century, Powell’s novel revolves...

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The Shaming of Shame, Part A by Jack Trotter

Warning:  This in a brilliant and original essay on a difficult and unpleasant subject that goes to the evil and perverse heart of contemporary feminism.  Of necessity it includes precise  references to the female anatomy, questions of hygiene, as well as obscene quotations from feminist writers.    It is not recommended for children or adolescents or for any reader who visits this website in order to escape from, not wallow in, the muck of the world around us.   When I first became an editor, I should never have dreamed of publishing such a piece, but as times change, and...

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Properties of Blood I.1: The Family Castle, Part B

The Independent Household Thousands of volumes have been published on every aspect of family and household, and, for a work on the history of these institutions, there may be hundreds of books worth consulting.  This is not, I hasten to assure you my readers, a work of family history, though I shall have to burrow into some of the  details—not at too tedious  length, I hope—of the several cultural traditions that have formed our own:  Greek, Roman, Jewish, Medieval European, and early American. However, before digging into the details of history and law, let us try to form a “big...

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Women of the World Unite:  You Have Nothing to Lose but Your Freedom and Dignity.

“Two paradises ’twere in one To live in paradise alone” Reading those lines from “the Garden,” an incautious reader might imagine that the poet—Andrew Marvell—did not limit his Puritan tendencies to theology and politics but hated womankind with the fury of a John Knox.  In fact, Marvell was a woman-loving man who wrote several of the best erotic (I don’t mean dirty!) poems in English.  God bless him: He was only a hypocrite. Marvell’s lines came to mind when I read news of the feminist plans to mark today’s international celebration of women by refusing to go to work.  At first...

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Properties of Blood Volume II, Chapter 1: The Family Castle

It little profits that an idle king, By this still hearth, among these barren crags, Match’d with an aged wife, I mete and dole Unequal laws unto a savage race, That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me. In Tennnyson’s poem, Ulysses, growing old on Ithaca, longs to resume his travels.   In the ancient legend, however, Ulysses—or, to give him his Greek name, Odysseus—was forced against his will to lead a life of adventure.  He fought in the greatest war his people ever heard of; he knew gods, befriended by some and hated by others; he fought...

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Wednesday’s Child: This Way Up (7)

Was that biography ever going to work?  I honestly don’t know.  Even if I had been writing the book not in a foreign tongue but in my own, and not for foreign readers but for those familiar with my subject since childhood, even then, insofar as it ran contrary to the Pasternak myth, an explanation of feeling might run into outraged silence.  The explanation I actually attempted, in these strange circumstances, was still more improbable. To focus on a single episode of Russian culture, its most blinding moment, and to develop it against the fuzzy background of certain historical events...