cultural analysis 16-1

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

16.1 (Winter 2016)


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 (2016), 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

                 Writing and Thinking

The Orator’s Audience. the Orator, and… the Orator’s Teacher: Captives in Aristotle’s Labyrinth of Duplicity (Part One)        John R. Harris

Having taught classes in freshman composition for years wherein Aristotle’s Rhetoric was often cited with biblical authority, the author at last decided to acquire a personal experience of this classic. His conclusions do not leave him inclined to trust the Master’s judgment.

Three Paradoxes Hiding Between Our Shoulders     Peter T. Singleton

Several habits of contemporary thought tend to implicate us in hopeless contradiction if we cling to the strict logic (often poisoned by PC conditioning) that our narrowed perspective embraces.

A Report from the Maelstrom’s Vortex: How Bright College Students with Limited Intellectual Stamina Are Protecting Themselves from Reality     John R. Harris

Undergraduates are increasingly afflicted by symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder and an alarming inability to memorize.  There are also fewer real men in the humanities.

                Cultural Conservatism Hidden in Collapse

Cuspers: A New Generational Category Proposed     Mark Wegierski

A neglected subset of North American culture born between the Baby Boomers and Generation X exhibits distinct qualities that account for many cultural and political phenomena.

Questions of Ethnic Identity Persistence in Mass-Media Dominated North America     Mark Wegierski

Polish-Canadians have not been promoted nearly to the degree of other Canadian minorities, and their identity has indeed largely dissolved in a mainstream dominated by an insipid pop-culture.

Creative Writing and the Polish-Canadian Community     Mark Wegierski

Mark Wegierski reminisces about a recent Polish-Canadian writers’ conference and laments the paucity of awareness, either academic or popular, in this area.

            The Polis vs. Progress

Cuddling Up With a Hornet’s Nest: America’s Nonsensical Middle Eastern Policies     Editor& Staff

Iraq, Iran, Syria… the Saudis, the Kurds, the refugees… Assad, Erdogan, Putin… neither major party in the US brings either good faith or common sense to assembling this puzzle’s pieces.

            Generalist vs. Specialist in Contemporary Professions

Examining Two Possible Strategies for Success Today: Networking vs. “Borderdwelling”      Mark Wegierski

A young person’s decision to specialize in an area that promises to narrow with further advancement or to straddle the intersection of several related areas may well determine his or her professional future.

More on the Topic of Selecting a Profession       John R. Harris

An addendum to Mark Wegierski’s “Networking vs. ‘Borderdwelling’”, this piece warns against identifying one’s profession too closely with one’s identity.

               Faith & Cultural Meltdown

Iranian Christians, Resettled in Germany, Are Terrorized by “Refugees”        John R. Harris

A genuine refugee from the ISIS thugs and murderers would probably not be bullying his host-nation’s Christian population before taking his shoes off.


Hater’s Manifesto     George Shirley 

If George Shirley’s poetry continues to become more political, it can only be because politics continues to intrude upon our private lives.

Shovel-Ready Writing     Ivor Davies

This wryly ironic short story derides the academic assembly-line’s cynical technique for grinding out PC “classics” of creative literature. There is a formula, requiring immunization to the truth… and a few stiff drinks are a wonderful vaccine.

Clean Muses, Part III: From the Past    David Z. Crookes 

Another day—or night—on Mr. Crookes’ island of faith and imagination in the heart of British academe proves anything but tiresome and stodgy.