cultural analysis 17-2

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

17.2 (Spring 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

            Literate Values in Crisis

Heading for the Last Round-Up     John R. Harris

The Center for Literate Values will face major changes, and possible dissolution, after seventeen years of an ambitious but frustrating and usually stagnant Internet presence.

Change as Idolatry: A Very Ancient Cult     John R. Harris

French author Guy de Maupassant was a master of the nineteenth-century short story–but his essential outlook upon Western civilization and his moral estimate of humanity betray a contempt all too familiar in today’s academy.

            Political Correctness

The Stupid: America’s Most Privileged Class     John R. Harris

Though humorously intended (as what piece about political correctness could not be?), this series of observations does little more than draw examples from current events. The alternative to laughter may be too grim to mention.

  The Campus in Crisis

Thoughts on New-Age Faculty Orientation (or Why I Am Definitely Retiring)      Peter T. Singleton

A veteran English teacher writes of the faculty orientation that opened his school year with a humor concealing serious concern about our growing cultural and political insanity.

            The Polis vs. Progress

Whither Québec? Past, Present, and Future     Mark Wegierski

The surprising results of Québec’s provincial elections in 2014 seem to signal a return to a kind of regionalism observable elsewhere in the world and, as such, may imply that Canada as a whole is headed in a more grounded and realistic direction.

Ecology: A Long and Difficult Path Ahead     Mark Wegierski

On the 47th anniversary of the first Earth Day, and despite superficial political conflicts, Mark Wegierski examines various possible convergences of ecology and traditionalism.

               Faith vs. Cultural Meltdown

On False Forgiveness: When Childish Fantasy and Moral Cowardice Mask as Mercy        John R. Harris

True forgiveness allows people to identify moral absolutes through honest exchange: false forgiveness is a drug that allows both parties to flee the truth.

The God of Science: A Delicate Balance        John R. Harris

Though the scientific mindset would seem to occupy the far polarity from tribalism, its acceptance of “thingness” as identical to reality betrays a significant and surprising similarity.

               Fiction & Poetry

The Coelacanth (poem)      John R. Harris

Like the dinosaur-aged fish, this poem was dredged up from the depths of years upon years.