cultural analysis 17-1

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

17.1 (Winter 2017)

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

            Literary Criticism and Analysis

Narrative Predilectics” One More Time: How Moral Fiber Enters the Weave of a Pleasing Text     John R. Harris

The art of weaving a story from human activity conjures into existence the paradox of “moral aesthetics”, since the credibility of arranged events depends largely on our personal estimate of human nature. This essay applies moral analysis to six very distinct literary texts.

            Political Correctness

Feminist “Achievement” in Generation X: Victimization Required     Peter T. Singleton

The fascinating evolution of Padma Lakshmi into a kind of multicultural icon strongly suggests that the new generation of feminist “achievers” must list crippling prejudices overcome—with numerous accompanying scars—on their résumé.

A Brief, Honest Conversation About Race in America     Peter T. Singleton & Friend

The author’s one-time student, now long-time friend, shares some thoughts about race in America which justify neither the view that our nation is a white racist hornet’s nest nor that impoverished minorities just need to buck up and work harder.

           Pop Culture

Examining the Space Opera/Star Empires Subgenre     Mark Wegierski

The author looks at space opera/star empires in literature, film, television, and gaming.

            The Polis vs. Progress

Polish Language Knowledge and Polish-Canadian Identity     Mark Wegierski

The author questions whether there can exist a Polish-Canadian identity with declining Polish language knowledge in Canada?

Structural Issues of the Polish-Canadian Community     Mark Wegierski

The author argues that the Polish-Canadian community must somehow build up significant infrastructures – or find itself fading away.

On the Absurdity of the Technician-Prophet’s Inevitability     John R. Harris

The contemporary technician-prophet’s version of inevitability has us fusing with robots (or simply being supplanted by them) within the remaining decades of this century. Yet eyes that can see clearly far down a very narrow road sometimes fail to notice the hole awaiting the next step.

The Human Costs on Main Street of Digitally Defined Progress     John R. Harris 

Curiously, the most recognized advocates of the conservative lifestyle often promote a digitally defined progress and clamor for a “hands off” approach to high tech. Just what world is it that they think they’re conserving.


A Casual Collection of Kindle Inanities: The Wacky World of Post-Literate Erudition        Staff

The audience of literate people available to incentivize the publication of good books has grown tiny. This short piece probes the tastes and skills of a much more typical readership by sampling various “Kindle inanities”—blurbs that hawk the latest bestseller on the device’s idle screen.

               Fiction & Poetry

Decline, Without Regrets      George Shirley

The poet responds to an invitation to attend a fortieth high school reunion in terms that leave us wondering (among other things) how we can revive childhood unless we have never left it behind