common-sense-journal

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.

P R A E S I D I U M

A Common-Sense Journal of Literary and Cultural Analysis

15.3 (Summer 2015)

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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.

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John R. Harris, Ph.D.

University of Texas, Tyler

President

Thomas F. Bertonneau, Ph.D.

SUNY Oswego

Secretary

Helen R. Andretta, Ph.D.

York College-CUNY

Director

Michael H. Lythgoe

Lt. Col. USAF (Retd.)

Director

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Contents of This Issue

Academe in Decay

Angels Unchained: Toward the Liberation of Literature from the Professorial Plantation (Part Two)       John R. Harris

This second part of the author’s autopsy of our literary tradition’s murder most foul by an academy entrusted with her safekeeping profiles the academics themselves. Specifically, it analyzes the psychology of the bookish, introverted youngster and traces the gradual evolution of an elitist pseudo-intellectual.

The Polis vs. Progress

Gay Marriage: Pivotal Move in the Free Society’s Checkmate       Pancratistes

A professor who must conceal his identity in order to speak truth as he sees it argues that the “gay marriage” movement is merely one of many fronts in a culture war whose generals are maneuvering for a complete centralization of power. Gay activists themselves seldom perceive the degree to which they are manipulated by these shadowy architects.

Western Culture at Two Geographical Extremes

How I Spent My Summer Vacation, or A Curmudgeon’s Journey to the Other World     John R. Harris

The author drove halfway across the continent and back through the desert Southwest in mid-March. What he saw along the way was forbidding yet sublimely beautiful… except for rare patches infested with human beings, where the signs of our cultural malaise were numerous and, sometimes, appalling.

Remembrance of Things Past     Mark Wegierski

Mr. Wegierski inaugurates a series of five essays recollecting his travels in Poland just over a decade ago, when the new millennium seemed the dawn of a bright day for a people whose sufferings during the previous century beggar description.

A Voyage to a Land of History and Deep Meaning     Mark Wegierski

Despite the successive ravages of czarism, Nazism, and Stalinism, Poles have retained a keen awareness of their past and have even applied themselves to reconstructing it where they can.

Polish-American Relations: “American Day” in Historic Polish Town Eleven Years Ago     Mark Wegierski

It is a little-known, oft-forgotten fact that Poland emerged from the Cold War as one of the United States’ most faithful allies. A substantial connection to our own past, going back much farther than the Soviet era, is still celebrated there.

Visiting Torun, Birthplace of Nicolaus Copernicus, Eleven Years Ago     Mark Wegierski

While the name “Copernicus” would mean nothing to the typical American college student, the pioneer astronomer and theorist remains a national hero in Poland.

A Quick Glance at Fashion, Cosmetics, and Cosmetology: Memories of a Happier Time in East-Central Europe, Twelve Years Ago     Mark Wegierski

In the whimsically amusing conclusion to this short series, Mr. Wegierski recalls his first-hand observation of the Polish fervor for cosmetology, an art which purists considered in decline a decade ago.

Pop-Culture

Images of Elves: Examining the Extent of the Tolkenian Transformation, and Subsequent ‘Postmodern” Visions, Especially in Pratchett’s Discworld, and the Warhammer Fantasy, Shadowrun, and Castle Falkenstein Role-Playing Games      Mark Wegierski

The title pretty much says it all… but did you know that elves were not particularly lovable before Tolkien rehabilitated them?.

Faith & Cultural Meltdown

The Word, the Truth, and the Light, and the Life     John R. Harris

Continuing his meditation published in the Spring issue, the author suggests how a progressive awareness, moving from self to other to an abstract fusion of the two, begins humbly in spoken language and may lead to a mature spirituality over time.

Fiction/Humor

Clean Muses     David Z. Crookes

Not since Jules Romains’s short novel Les Copains has anything so insanely fun and perplexingly innocent as this saga of eccentric neighbors been written. Mr. Crookes holds out the distinct possibility that a sequel will appear.

Notes on the Planned Decimation of the World’s Human Population, Second Draft     Ivor Davies 

Mr. Davies has snitched a serious but despairing essay on the free world’s impending doom and “storified” it to the point that tranquilizers are no longer needed. 

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