Tag Archives: Santi Tafarella

Mental Health Break: Neil Diamond Sings “Suzanne”

This song has all the disjunctures and ambiguities of a great poem: I always assumed that Neil Diamond had written the lyrics for the song, but Scarlet Letter tells me it is Leonard Cohen: Suzanne takes you down to her … Continue reading

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“H1N1”: A Poem by Santi Tafarella

I guess evolution’s true. It started as a pig virus, but then the swine flew. Bit pig, bit bird, bit us. Hybrid, efficient, new. Call it “pigavian flu,” sent from me to you. Obama can’t save us; no telling it, “sod … Continue reading

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“An Outing in Nature”: A YouTube Video by Santi Tafarella

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Mental Health Break: My Uncle Writing Jokes at a Kitchen Table

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My Uncle on Television with Woody Allen—and Forty Years Later

In February of 1967, Marty Allen and Steve Rossi were on the television show, What’s My Line? and Woody Allen was on the panel. Steve Rossi is my uncle, and “Rossi” is his stage name. His actual last name is … Continue reading

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Walt Whitman and Barack Obama are Large and Contain Multitudes?

I saw Walt Whitman in Obama here. Today I discovered that novelist Zadie Smith made the same connection recently: Obama can do young Jewish male, black old lady from the South Side, white woman from Kansas, Kenyan elders, white Harvard … Continue reading

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“The Vampire” (A Poem by Santi Tafarella)

                    She calls it love at first sight,   so I’ll play with her cliche,   let it trip and tickle back to her   upon my tongue, tease her with … Continue reading

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Negative Capability Defined: Walking in Mysteries—and the Shoes of Others—with Keats, Shakespeare, Whitman—and Barack Obama!

In a letter dated 22 December, 1817, the poet John Keats coined the term “negative capability” and defined it this way: I had not a dispute but a disquisition with Dilke, on various subjects; several things dovetailed in my mind, & … Continue reading

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Seeing the Decline of Religion with the Wide Lens

Heather Mac Donald of SecularRight.org looks past the up and down ticks of contemporary Gallup polls that gauge respondants’ self-reported religiosity, and looks instead at the larger historical trends, which show that religion in the Western world is in a slow, but thoroughly detectable decline: … Continue reading

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Should Parents Have Substantial Freedom in the Religious Education of Their Children?

As a liberal agnostic, whenever I hear illiberal agnostics or atheists hint that maybe the State should set parameters on parents’ ability to provide religious education to their children, I cringe.  It is extremely presumptuous to assume that the State can direct the … Continue reading

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Yin-Yang Fish (A Poem by Santi Tafarella)

  The highest cloud blocking the sun   moved   and the clouds below it, and the boat sails,   and the capping waves and gulls   broke   into brilliant white   even as you, barefoot   on the … Continue reading

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“Nothing Staged Can Stay” (A Poem by Santi Tafarella)

  before the night’s glittering black curtain   the Father of dung   beatles moves the moon   ——————– What was I trying to do with this tiny poem? For one thing, I was trying to think about the things that … Continue reading

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Obamageddon Cancelled: Rush Limbaugh’s and Sean Hannity’s Chicken Little Hysteria Act Over What an Obama Cabinet Would Look Like Proves Utterly Divorced from Reality

All through 2008, the far-right cried like Chicken Little about Obama being a secret Muslim, communist, and terrorist, and in their racism insinuated that he’d appoint a cabinet full of scary names (to conservatives) like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. … Continue reading

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“Lot’s Wife” (A Poem by Santi Tafarella)

  I am the salty sea your once   amphibious daughters   called home,   and all my vital organs are here,   in Sodom.   Mother, memories, my heart.   They are packed in this place,   like loaves … Continue reading

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Dr. McStrangelove?: In Debate #3, John McCain Seems to Channel Dr. Strangelove, Having Trouble Not Jumping Out of His Chair With Anger

Dreher: McCain was two tics away from a vein-popping “You can’t handle the truth!” Jack Nicholson moment, I felt. At one point, I thought: Which one of these men would I want in the White House when the 3 a.m. … Continue reading

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McCain’s “Terrorist,” “Traitor,” and “Secret Muslim” Inuendos Yield Their Fruit: Angry Hysterics Now Flocking to McCain’s Rallies

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Albrecht Durer, Female Objectification, and the Western Male Gaze: An Image of a Man Drawing a Woman Through a Perspectival Frame (1525)

The matter at hand. Are pornography, science, and art born of the same family of impulses—that is, to frame, and thereby comprehend, control, and derive pleasure from, cthonian forces? And is that a bush on his windowsill? And are those two hills … Continue reading

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“The Sunday Shakespeare Society”: A Charming Notice, from 1934, of a London Group That Met Once a Month to Read Shakespeare’s Plays Aloud

William Kent, in his 1934 book London for Shakespeare Lovers (Methuen & Co.), in the “Useful Information” section at the back of the book, had this rather charming notice (on pg. 174): The Sunday Shakepeare Society was founded by the late Dr. … Continue reading

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“Monastery Candle”: A Poem by Santi Tafarella

                      not uh oh nor   oh   no but ah so

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Near This (Russia) Therefore Know That (Foreign Policy): The Sarah Palin Logical Fallacy

For the 2008 election season, I hereby propose that a new informal fallacy be added to all college textbooks devoted to philosophy, composition, rhetoric, propaganda studies, and law: “The Sarah Palin logical fallacy,” or simply “The Palin fallacy.” It can … Continue reading

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