The Center for Literate Values ~ Defending the Western tradition of responsible individualism, disciplined freedom, tasteful creativity, common sense, and faith in a supreme moral being.


A Common-Sense Journal of Literary and Cultural Analysis

15.1 (Winter 2015)

A Quarterly Publication of the Center for Literate Values


1515-5436 (c)

All contents of this journal are copyrighted by The Center for Literate Values of Tyler, Texas (2015), and may not be cited at length or reproduced without The Center’s express permission.

View the previous edition of Praesidium.



John R. Harris, Ph.D.

University of Texas, Tyler


Thomas F. Bertonneau, Ph.D.

SUNY Oswego


Helen R. Andretta, Ph.D.

York College-CUNY


Michael H. Lythgoe

Lt. Col. USAF (Retd.)



Contents of This Issue

                 Academe in Decay

The Great Lie: High Tech and Superior Education       John R. Harris

Not only are computers and mobile devices NOT improving the quality of education in most classrooms: they are priming young minds to be a fully automated age’s cannon-fodder under the guise of “preparing them for the future”.

                The Polis vs. Progress

The Pristine Self: Psychodynamics of the Anti-Bullying Movement     Howard S. Schwartz

No evidence suggests that bullying has suddenly become a more severe problem than ever in our society—yet concern about it has exploded. Why? A distinguished professor believes that, in Freudian terms, we are witnessing an anti-Oedipal “war on the father”.

A Modest Proposal: Paying Border-Jumpers to Go Home and Read       Pancratistes

The idea in the title is far less tongue-in-cheek than it sounds at first flush—though it might as well be a joke, because the carefully veiled coalition of elitist snobs, ambitious megalomaniacs, and tinpot rabble-rousers which keeps our national border scuffed up will never yield to reason, transparency, or humanity.

Pop-Culture & Social Crisis

Role-Playing Games – an Alternative to “Late Modernity”?       Mark Wegierski

Mr. Wegierski continues an examination begun in the previous issue: namely, into whether certain popular fantasy games, perhaps in spite of themselves, may harbor distinctly nostalgic or conservative qualities.

Dark Futures in Gaming: Some Further Explorations (Appendix One)       Mark Wegierski

This addendum to a piece published in our pages several years ago weighs what measure of realism is to be found in boardgame-projections about American society’s impending dissolution.

                Faith & Cultural Meltdown

The Church Purulent: How a Friend That Won’t Fight Becomes a Foe’s Accomplice     John R. Harris

Civil society is falling to pieces in lurid, almost routine incidents of hostility: this author has recently suffered the invasion of his own home. Yet the organized Christian church, rather than deploring acts of lawlessness, too often abets them in a bid for political power or quasi-moral prestige. Children reared in such settings cannot even define basic human nature.


The Old Pretender (short story/vignette)        David Z. Crookes 

In the vein of La Bruyère, Mr. Crookes captures the essence—with exquisitely understated humor—of the academic hack incapable of surrendering lifelong pretensions to scholarly superiority. 

King of the Mountain (short story/humor)        Peter T. Singleton 

Franz Kafka once penned a short story in which an exceptional ape delivered a formal speech. Mr. Singleton’s furry primates speak only Chimpanese, and only to a maverick field-researcher… but behind the monkey business lurks a moral about our own variety of higher-primate presumption.

“Broken” and “The Cruelest Month” (poetry)        Michael H. Lythgoe 

Col. Lythgoe muses with dignity—and restrained indignation—upon the lonely figure of the forgotten warrior, often a subject of unwelcome pity even when he is remembered.

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