Neophilia & Neophobia, Fear v. Wonder: Differential Effects of the Sublime on Closed and Opened Minds

When I was younger and entertained more grandiose pretensions of becoming a literary light than I do now, I wrote the following would-be aphorism about the difference between “intellectuals” and true-believing “fanatics”: An intellectual submits the narrowness of his mind to the breadth of experience; a fanatic submits the depth and breadth of experience to [...]

Animum nodis exsolvere: Unknotting the Mind and Freeing the Self from Self-Imposed Bonds, Part II, On Novelty, Fear, Death, & Wonder

In his 2014 book Nature's God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic that I wrote about last time, author Matthew Stewart is keen to trace a latter-day Epicureanism that he argues provided “heretical origins” to our own nation’s struggle for independence. He follows this tenuous thread as it weaves in and out of European [...]

Legacy Post: Finally Got My TX Card

Introduction I’ve migrated this piece over from a former personal blog I once kept on Tumblr that I resolved to shut down a few months back owing to that service’s decision to demonize and ostracize sex-workers. (See? Ain’t my Good Guy Badge all nice n’ shiny?)  I wrote this essay during the winter of 2017, [...]

The Unexpected Satanic Gift of Skating

My wife’s off-the-cuff decision to purchase a pair of roller skates for our oldest daughter as a Christmas present nearly broke my arm. It also caused me to stumble, both literally and figuratively, over a set of realities that proved unexpected both in their continued existence and their incidentally Satanic nature. Here’s how it all [...]