The Fleming Foundation Cultural Commentary


Hoisting the Donkey, Part One of Two

  In a country where patriotism is a thought-crime, nothing could be more radical than an immigration reform proposal that recognizes a nation’s right to exist and to control its own destiny. This perspective on Italian politics was first published in August 2000. In troubled times we look for something to hold onto as the dangerous currents are sweeping us downstream to destruction. Some will have the clear sight (or unthinking prejudice) to grab onto some rooted feature of the landscape–the overhanging limb of an oak tree, the steeple of a church, the arm of a brother— while others make...


Wednesday’s Child: “Class A” Democracy

We have municipal elections coming up in Palermo, a feast of democratic disingenuousness that happens every five years when a raft of corpulent men with moustaches gets replaced, from the mayor on downwards, with another raft of corpulent men with moustaches.  There are posters of these hopefuls all about town, and my wife says the men in the photographs look like actors who have been asked to portray the Seven Deadly Sins – except, of course, there are many more than that number in the race, so every sin has about a dozen understudies. Some wear glasses, I’ve noticed, which...


Mamma Mia! POB II.D: The Italian Family

The variety of family forms that Italians have embraced is bewildering and have proved to be the rock on which many a sociological theory of the European family has foundered.  Even today, Sicily is far more different from Lombardia than South Carolina is from Minnesota, and some evidence suggests that as Central and Northern Italy continue to shed the last trappings of Christianity, the still Catholic Mezzogiorno is becoming even more alien to postmodern northerners.  Italy still offers a distinctive cultural continuum, and while marriages are sometimes strained by arguments over cuisine—the garlic-olive oil-tomato culture of the South at war...


Join the Counter-Revolution Against 500 Years of Treason

Revolution & Resistance   Dear Friend and Fellow-Reader: “The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time.”   Sir Edward Grey’s famous remark was inspired by the outbreak of World War I, the European civil war that was the beginning of the end of our civilization.  Now that we are closer to the end than to the beginning of our descent into the abyss, it is more vitally important than ever to understand what has happened, or rather, what we have done to ourselves.   At our first Summer School, we...


The Return of the Alien, Finale.

The alien found the good old rebels still making merry in the Elbo Room, and, for the sake of health and sanity, they ordered a pizza.  Nursing their drinks as they waited for their food, they listened to the thunder overhead and watched the people, giggling and wet to the skin, bustling in for dinner.  More rain meant high water and bad fishing, but it had also broken the back of the heatwave.  They repeated the Finlander jokes they had heard, and then moved on to Polish jokes and redneck jokes.  Mississippi did  not blink at the usual changes rung...


Wednesday’s Child: One-Upmannship

This is my eighty-seventh Wednesday’s Child, and I’ve always prided myself on posting these tearjerkers of mine on time – except this week, when I didn’t.  Appealing to our sainted editor’s sense of scribblers’ camaraderie, I pleaded that I’d had my mind on other things and my body in too many places to be able to produce something intelligible, in short, that I’d been uncommonly busy.  The sainted editor fired back, reminding me of the Amos and Andy episode in which the loafer is lectured on the stress of modern life, with the peroration running something like this: “First you...


The Hundred Days Myth

The chattering classes are all aTwitter about Trump supposedly failing to do much in his first “Hundred Days” haunting the Oval Office, which ends on April 29. Actually, I think he has done fairly well, as I’ll write about more in detail once he actually has passed the supposedly crucial milestone. FDR started the Hundred Days craze in 1933 during the depths of the Great Depression. He used it as a marketing gimmick to push his New Deal socialist schemes which, far from ending the Depression, extended it. His New Deal actually was an expansion of President Hoover’s schemes –...


Season 1, The Best Revenge, Episode 8: Preparing Lamb for Easter


In this episode of The Best Revenge, Dr. Fleming grills and roasts Chef Garret Fleming on how to prepare lamb for Easter. Original Air Date: April 25, 2017 Show Run Time: 43 minutes Show Guest(s): Chef Garret Fleming Show Host(s): Dr. Thomas Fleming   The Best Revenge℗ is a Production of the Fleming Foundation. Copyright 2017. All rights are reserved and any duplication without explicit written permission is forbidden.


The Return of the Alien, Part C

He leaves the two storytellers drinking their lunch and walks five blocks up Tower Avenue to the offices of the Tyomies Society.  He had written to a dozen newspapers in Northern Wisconsin and received only two responses: one, from Joan Melchild who writes for the paper in Shell Lake (population 1300), and one from the Finnish American Reporter, published by the socialist/communist Tyomies Society. The history of Tyomies is an American saga.  The newspaper, which was founded in Massachusetts in 1903, and moved first to Hancock, Michigan, and then in 1913 to Superior, was generally known as the second largest...


The Free Press is a Free Lunch. Season 1, From Under the Rubble, Episode 11:


In this episode of From Under the Rubble, Dr. Fleming examines the veracity of the existence of “the free press” within the “American Democracy.” Original Air Date: April 24, 2017 Show Run Time: 33 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.