The Fleming Foundation Cultural Commentary


A Satire on Eloquence

Once there was a little boy whose name was Robert Reese;

And every Friday afternoon he had to speak a piece.

So many poems thus he learned, that soon he had a store

Of recitations in his head and still kept learning more.


To Marry or To Burn: The Question of Celibacy

Although the revolution did not take place all at once, the Christian doctrine of “one flesh” influenced virtually every aspect of marriage.  Celibacy remained the highest ideal in the Middle Ages, but marriage was an institution created by God for the procreation of the human race, though the pursuit of sexual pleasure for its own sake was condemned even in marriage. 


The Ballad of Jesse James

Jesse James was a lad that killed many a man,
He robbed the Danville train,
He stole from the rich and he gave to the poor,
He’d a hand and a heart and a brain.


Wednesday’s Child: Letter from London

They say that truth will always out in the end, but the truth is that awls can be hidden in sackcloth for generations.  Take the ordinary umbrella – the kind without a poisoned tip – and tell me honestly if a more ineffectual contraption has ever existed; and yet no wife, mother, or grandmother ever neglects to remind the man of the house to avail himself of one whenever it looks like rain.  In London, of course, it always does. Rain has a mind of its own, which is called wind, and consequently, however large the umbrella, within ten minutes...


Born Out of Due Time, a Fantasy by Ched Rayson. Chapter Three, Part A. Available to Silver, Gold, and Charter Subscribers

Fly to Mexico City some time and go to the Museum of Meso-American antiquities in Chapultepec Park.  They don’t pull any punches.  I had real nightmares for several days after seeing the so-called ‘Aztec Calendar.’  It was actually a sacrificial stone depicting their sun god.  His tongue is shaped into an obsidian knife that was used to cut the beating heart of the victims who were still alive.”

“Why did they do that?”

“Maybe they thought it tasted better that way.  The biggest food fad in China these days is to eat live animals while they are still squirming in the mouth.