Author: Thomas Fleming

6

I Had a Dream

Lying awake, I half-dreamed a novel plot in which an ordinary man dies, technically, on the operating table. The doctors revive him, and after weeks of slow and painful recovery, he goes back to his old life.

10

Ruth Bader Ginsberg

It is certainly true that we can see, in a man’s childhood and early youth, the seeds of what he was to become, but it is equally true that we can also perceive, in the final chapter of a human life, the culmination of of a life’s work, of things done and things left undone, of loves and hates, and of joys and sorrows.

12

The New Dark Age, Part Two

f you are looking for someone to blame for the riots that destroy American cities, you might start with President Eisenhower, and his cadre of smug Republicans, who were willing to violate constitutional law and common sense in order to promote policies that made them proud of themselves. Without their high-minded social reforms, the concept of reparations would be laughed out of court and off the continent.

0

The New Dark Age, Part One of Three

Our American barbarians are not, of course, anything like those sturdy tribal Germans who would, in a few centuries, discipline their own vigorous customs into something like a civilization. Our post-civilized men and women lack even the healthy instincts of the wild beast: They are more like the feral dogs who know only enough of human beings not to fear them.

8

Poem: Pletho on Prayer

Pletho had concealed his growing attachment to what he thought was the old religion of the Greeks, though it was in fact NeoPlatonic Neopaganism, but some part of his explicitly pagan work The Laws came to the attention of his more Orthodox friends. However the last fragment of the Roman Empire had more on its hands in the 1450’s than a brilliant pagan

9

Poem: Hateful is the dark-blue sky

I think I listened to this on an Audibe book the second night in the hospital. A real cheerer-upper, as Holden Caulfield would say Alfred. Lord Tennyson From “The Lotos-Eaters”) Hateful is the dark-blue sky, Vaulted o’er the dark-blue sea. Death is the end of life; ah, why Should life all labor be? Let us alone. Time driveth onward fast, And in a little while our lips are dumb. Let us alone. What is it that will last? And things are taken from us, and become Portions and parcels of the dreadful past. Let us alone. What pleasure can we...

20

Reports of My Demise

Most recipients of this message will know that I have been held in durance vile, for the past six days, as a prisoner of the International Medical-Industrial Complex. Yesterday after the lunch I did not eat, I returned home from Swedish-American Hospital. Please no jokes about “Da Swedish Surgeon.” Miracle of miracles I am walking—slowly and briefly— around the ground floor of the house, using only walker or cane. I even ate a breakfast of one half an English muffin, with yoghurt cheese, a glass of grapefruit juice, a small fruit cup, and my first cup of coffee since last...

6

Burn This Book, Part II

To produce the tough and resolute men who create, sustain, and defend civilization requires a discipline that more resembles Parris Island than the Fantasy Island schooling in America that leaves no whim unfulfilled, no vicious tendency unstimulated.  Imposing academic rigor and tough discipline may be the most difficult challenge faced by home-schooling parents, even those less indulgent than Michel’s father.  None of us, probably, has had the success we planned for.