Contributions by John Samuel Tieman

The Party of “No!”

By | John Samuel Tieman, Prose

If Democrats want an emotionally charged, yet meaningful bumper sticker, I suggest, “Republican = Anarchy + Nihilism.” I am not anti-Republican. Nor am I anti-conservative. I am anti-anarchy. I am anti-nihilism. Our republic is based upon dialogue and compromise among groups committed to loyal opposition. In other words, I am fond of the African poet, …

Red State

By | Humor, John Samuel Tieman, Prose

All this talk about red states and blue states reminds me of one of my favorite historical quotes. When asked in 1860 about secession, old Judge Petigru responded that secession will never work for his home state, because “South Carolina is too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum.” Some things …

The Joke, The Tense, The Stare

By | John Samuel Tieman, Prose

I’ve given more thought to a psychiatrist, whose work I’ve always admired, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. I’d like to add three stages of recovery to her five stages of grief. My father-in-law just died. Phoebe’s father, Mario Cirio, died peacefully in his sleep. He was 93. I am not being clichéd, as one often is at these …

in my Nam dream

By | John Samuel Tieman, Poetics, Prose

the army drafts me back to the war I’m the oldest corporal in the 4th Infantry I curse my neighbors who are all my father the barracks is French I beg my wife not to leave me the Red Alert siren turns to an alarm Phoebe is surprised I would ask —– Allowing for a …

Ann Richards

By | Humor, John Samuel Tieman, Prose

I’ve never understood how the people of Texas could have elected George W. Bush over Ann Richards for governor back in the 90’s. Perhaps they got tired of her rancorous wit and wanted to have a simpleton instead. I remember Michael Moore made a film called “TV Nation” in which he went around to all …

Education And The Politics Of Shaming

By | John Samuel Tieman, Prose

A fellow teacher, a friend from California, asked a question of a workshop presenter. The teacher began in a self-deprecating manner, but the presenter immediately interrupted, saying, “There are no stupid questions, only stupid teachers.” An art teacher, in rural Missouri, was told at a faculty meeting that her subject was not important, because art …

Elegy for an Age

| John Samuel Tieman, Prose

by John Samuel Tieman I almost did my dissertation on post-modernism, but in the end decided to opt for a Ph. D. rather than a bullet in my head. But one thesis I had was that post-modernism is a critique rather than a fixed position. And it is a critique of Romanticism, Modernism being redefined …

On Cunnilingus And Psychiatry: In Memorium, James Gandolfini

| John Samuel Tieman, Prose, Reviews: Film and Visual Art

By John Samuel Tieman Why did my wife and I fall in love with James Gandolfini and his Tony Soprano? Because art speaks in ways that are at once both clear and unconscious. We missed the first episode or two. But we heard from buddies that “The Sopranos” is a good show. We’d also heard …