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The Seannachai

A CULTURE SHAPED BY STORYTELLING By Maeve Binchy EXCERPTED FROM THE N.Y. TIMES ARTS SECTION NOVEMBER 4, 2002 In Ireland, we used to have a class of people in the old days before books and printing called the seannachai, or storytellers. They would walk around the country going from house to house just telling stories. Sometimes they told historical stories, sometimes just gossip from the next parish. All they had to be able to do was to entertain with words, and people gave them room read more

Mar 29, 2004 |  Comments: 0/0

Compulsory Miseducation

The title is taken from a book by one of America\'s premier social critics, Paul Goodman. read more

Feb 10, 2009 |  Comments: 0/0

Sports Authority

This essay was originally written over seven years ago. In that time my views have changed. I now view coaches as transmission system for jingoism and nationalism - the seeds of fascism read more

Feb 10, 2009 |  Comments: 0/0

Middle Class Values Inconsistent with Education

Those who live in the web of illusion called the middle class automatically assume their values are superior to all others. This is not surprising given the fact the middle class are lauded and heralded in mass media every day, while other classes and value systems are unseen. How are middle class values taught? Public and religious schools are the cultural transmission system for all values, customs and mores in our society. What is taught? What values might be substituted in a different system read more

Nov 8, 2008 |  Comments: 0/0

Sociology & Socialism

Sociology and Socialism study the class system in society.  As an academic, the sociologist observes, analyzes and describes the class system. The academic is neutral or disinterested in regard to class. The finest such sociological investigation is, to my mind, "The Urban Villagers" by Professor Herbert Ganz. It is a study of working class Italian Americans in Boston in the 1950\'s. I think of it as a monumental historical work. There is no acknowledgment of the working class  read more

Nov 8, 2008 |  Comments: 0/0

Hierarchy & Hegemony

Among the many misconceptions (propaganda) taught in school is the idea that America is a democracy. The fact is, America was never designed to be a democracy, nor has it become a democracy. The American revolution was an argument among the wealthy elites in England and America. It was aristocrats arranging a divestiture. After America became independent these wealthy American aristocrats continued to rule. In terms of a class analysis, there was no revolution at all. The so called "Foun read more

Nov 8, 2008 |  Comments: 0/0

Iraq Quagmire - Support Our Troops - Bring Them Home, Now!

This essay was written, and appeared on, shortly after the war in Iraq began, in early 2003. read more

Mar 30, 2004 |  Comments: 0/0

The Social Critic & The Middle Class

Recently, a user named Max Powers (an Internet pseudonym) interpreted what I do as hatred for the Pascack Valley. I responded to Max\'s observation by saying that all of America is much the same and that I thought of myself as a social critic. This brings us to the question; what is a social critic? There have been newspaper writers, like I.F.Stone, who were great social critics. Then there were non-fiction writers called muckrakers such as Upton Sinclair ("The Jungle"). Theodo read more

Nov 9, 2008 |  Comments: 0/0

Growing Up In Upper Manhattan In the 1950\'s

The neighborhood I grew up in ranged from 187th St to 192nd St on Broadway in Manhattan. It was a valley separate and apart from neighborhoods called Washington Heights and Inwood. While Irish gangs ruled Inwood and Washington Heights, our Broadway valley was a mixed message. While Jewish immigrants from Germany, and other places in war ravaged Europe, thought our Broadway hangout as a tough place, your Irish reporter continues to remember Broadway in the 1950\'s as the only intellectual mil read more

Nov 9, 2008 |  Comments: 0/0

Religion 101 (video)

How did Trappist monk Father Thomas Merton, pragmatist philosopher William James, and sociologist Max Weber view religion? What were their perspectives?  read more

Nov 7, 2008 |  Comments: 0/0

Religion 102, parts 1 and 2 (video)

What did Emile Durkheim -- one of the fathers of sociology -- consider the essence, origins and social function of religions? Why did he study totemism of the Australian aborigines? How did he view the origins of religion in group behavior?  read more

Nov 7, 2008 |  Comments: 0/0

Sell Town Hall! (video)

The Township of Washington is encouraged to have a larger vision of the community to include senior housing for the most mature among us.  read more

Nov 7, 2008 |  Comments: 0/0

Sociology 101 (video)

How the fathers of Sociology developed an important social science. The key sociological paradigms are considered.  read more

Nov 7, 2008 |  Comments: 0/0

Why the American Middle Class Hates the Poor (video)

\"The Protestant Work Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism\" by a founder of sociology, Max Weber, is used to describe how the Calvinist theology of predestination causes Protestants and others to hate those they consider sinners & reprobates. read more

Nov 5, 2008 |  Comments: 0/0

Cornel West - parts 1 thru 7 (video)

If you view this series of videos you will be treated to a great stand up performance by one of the worlds best thinkers and speakers. Professor Cornel West manages to be both informative and entertaining. His style is a cross between preacher, pundit and prophet. He embodies the spirit of Socialism and Christianity, as he inspires us all: young, old, black,white, yellow & red. No man packs more humanity in his ideas. read more

Nov 2, 2008 |  Comments: 0/0

The Social Critic & the Middle Class

Who are the best social critics? read more

Dec 30, 2006 |  Comments: 0/0

Why Do We Hate the Poor? What Did Max Weber & Thorsten Veblen Think?

This essay studies the conditioning referred to in a recent essay entitled: Conditioned to Hate the Poor. read more

Dec 30, 2006 |  Comments: 0/0

Obsequious Nation

Obedience to Authority – Why do People Genuflect to Power? Is There an Alternative to Hierarchy? read more

Dec 28, 2006 |  Comments: 0/0

John Dewey Ignored! - Schools Teach One Narrow Category of Reality

Students seen as neo-fascist. Culture of the Pascack Valley affected. read more

Dec 28, 2006 |  Comments: 0/0

Meaning & Metaphor - What Is A Senior Center?

Is it a building or something more? read more

Dec 28, 2006 |  Comments: 0/0

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