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Thomas James Farrell is professor emeritus of writing studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). He started teaching at UMD in Fall 1987, and he retired from UMD at the end of May 2009. He was born in 1944. He holds three degrees from Saint Louis University (SLU): B.A. in English, 1966; M.A.(T) in English 1968; Ph.D.in higher education, 1974. On May 16, 1969, the editors of the SLU student newspaper named him Man of the Year, an honor customarily conferred on an administrator or a faculty member, not on a graduate student -- nor on a woman up to that time. He is the proud author of the book WALTER ONG'S CONTRIBUTIONS TO CULTURAL STUDIES: THE PHENOMENOLOGY OF THE WORD AND I-THOU COMMUNICATION (Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 2000; 2nd ed. 2009, forthcoming). The first edition won the 2001 Marshall McLuhan Award for Outstanding Book in the Field of Media Ecology conferred by the Media Ecology Association. For further information about his education and his publications, see his UMD homepage: Click here to visit Dr. Farrell's homepage.
On September 10 and 22, 2009, he discussed Walter Ong's work on the blog radio talk show "Ethics Talk" that is hosted by Hope May in philosophy at Central Michigan University. Each hour-long show has been archived and is available for people who missed the live broadcast to listen to. Here are the website addresses for the two archived shows:
Monday, October 24, 2016(1 comments)
Trump and Women
Because of the number of undecided voters, it is still not unthinkable that Donald J. Trump, the Republican Party's 2016 presidential candidate, could emerge victorious. But at times, his campaign has seemed to be about his right to insult and denigrate certain women. In the second presidential debate, he said that he is not proud of his crude comments to Billy Bush in 2005. But that still leaves a lot of other comments.
Monday, October 10, 2016(7 comments)
Bottom-up spirituality: For Rob Kall
As OEN readers know, Rob Kall is fascinated with bottom-up imagery. I recently read a book chapter that reminded me of his fascination with bottom-up imagery. It was in Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks' new book on ethics. So I've decided to write about it in the larger context of the thought of the American Jesuit cultural historian and theorist Walter J. Ong (1912-2003), whose thought fascinates me.
Thursday, September 22, 2016 Rabbi Sacks' New Book of Essays on Ethics (REVIEW ESSAY)
Progressives and liberals who are interested in political philosophy might want to consider taking a look at Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks' new book of essays on ethics. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Oxford University, and he knows a lot about our American cultural and political history. You will probably not be bored with his new book, especially if you are interested in the ideas of covenant and equality and freedom.
Friday, September 9, 2016 Tom Wolfe Spoofs Certain Secular Sacred Cows (REVIEW ESSAY)
As OEN readers know, the developer Donald J. Trump of New York, the Republican Party's 2016 presidential candidate, has garnered a lot of free media coverage by saying things that are offensive to the spirit of political correctness. But Tom Wolfe's new book THE KINGDOM OF SPEECH satirically spoofs certain secular sacred cows of the political-correctness crowd, including Noam Charisma's linguistics. It's a fun book to read.
Saturday, August 20, 2016(1 comments)
Eric McLuhan Reminds Us of Connection Consciousness in Roman Catholicism (REVIEW ESSAY)
We in Western culture today tend to think of connection consciousness among indigenous peoples, including American Indians. But Eric McLuhan, son of Marshall and Corinne McLuhan, in effect reminds us of connection consciousness in Roman Catholic tradition in his 2015 book. But it is a wee bit under-researched. Connection consciousness in Roman Catholic tradition is far more extensive than what he suggests, as I will indicate.
Sunday, August 7, 2016(1 comments)
Stanley Fish's New Book WINNING ARGUMENTS (Review Essay)
As OEN readers know, Donald J. Trump, the Republican Party's presidential candidate in 2016, likes to categorize people as winners and losers. I'd like to be a winner in life, but I can remember times when I felt like a loser. In arguments, I'd prefer to win. I don't aim to lose arguments, but I can remember times when I have not won arguments. But will Stanley Fish's new book WINNING ARGUMENTS really help me win arguments?
Friday, August 5, 2016(6 comments)
Both Brooks and Blow Analyze Trump
No doubt Donald J. Trump, the Republican Party's presidential candidate in 2016, is evoking deep hates and fears and resentments in many white working-class men without a four-year college degree who ardently support him. Recently two regular columnists at the New York Times, conservative David Brooks and liberal Charles M. Blow, analyzed Trump and his ways of appealing to his supporters in competing op-ed pieces.
Friday, July 29, 2016 Lesley M. M. Blume on Hemingway's Hypermasculinity (REVIEW ESSAY)
Through his personal and public life, Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) exemplified the spirit of hypermasculinity, which he also celebrated in his breakthrough novel THE SUN ALSO RISES (1926). When Donald J. Trump today says that he wants to make America great again, he means that he wants to bring back the spirit of hypermasculinity that Hemingway helped popularize. As a result, Lesley M. M. Blume's book on Hemingway is timely.
Monday, July 4, 2016(10 comments)
The Declaration of Independence and Our American Identity
Will our American covenant hold, or fall apart, in the 2016 presidential election? Our idealistic Declaration of Independence will be put to the test in the 2016 presidential election by the mud-slinging of the Republican presidential candidate. Perhaps we Americans can draw some strength from the Servant Songs of the anonymous ancient Hebrew prophet known as Second Isaiah, especially from the Suffering Servant Song.
Friday, June 24, 2016(3 comments)
Clara Bingham Revisits the 1969-1970 Year of Revolution (REVIEW ESSAY)
In her informative new book WITNESS TO THE REVOLUTION: RADICALS, RESISTERS, VETS, HIPPIES, AND THE YEAR AMERICA LOST ITS MIND AND FOUND ITS SOUL, New York-based journalist Clara Bingham inter-cuts passages from numerous interviews she conducted with certain people who were involved in the tumultuous and still controversial events between August 1969 and September 1970. But her book could help ignite anti-60s conservatives.
Monday, June 13, 2016(2 comments)
Secondary Oral Culture Roils Our Psyches Deep Down
Walter J. Ong's account of the communications media that accentuate sound in our contemporary secondary oral culture can help us understand why many conservatives today, including many white males who support the wealthy developer Donald J. Trump of New York.
Sunday, May 29, 2016 Sebastian Junger's New Book TRIBE: ON HOMECOMING AND BELONGING (Review Essay)
Monday, May 30, 2016, will be Memorial Day. Surely it is fitting for us to remember those American soldiers who died in combat. But Sebastian Junger's new book TRIBE: ON HOMECOMING AND BELONGING reminds us not to forget the problems of post-traumatic-stress-disorder (PTSD) and suicide among combat veterans after they return. I found certain parts of his elegantly written short book called to my mind numerous associations.
Monday, May 23, 2016(7 comments)
Disaffected White Men
Many disaffected white men have supported Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont in the Democratic presidential primaries, just as certain other disaffected white men have supported the billionaire developer Donald Trump of New York in the Republican presidential primaries. Writing in the New York Times Book Review, the white novelist Mary Gordon inadvertently provides us with a hint about why so many white men are disaffected.
Friday, May 20, 2016(1 comments)
In Memoriam: John Bradshaw (1933-2016)
Progressives and liberals who are interested in personal development and growth may already be familiar with the recovering alcoholic and psychotherapist and self-help evangelist John Bradshaw. Drawing on his 2014 book, I will review what his use of Silvan Tomkins' work on nine basic human affects (feelings). I will also briefly discuss how Bradshaw's perceptive psychological insights can help us understand conservatives.
Wednesday, May 18, 2016(3 comments)
Is Donald J. Trump a Fascist Candidate, or a Semi-Fascist Candidate?
Is Donald J. Trump a fascist candidate, or a semi-fascist candidate? I don't want to sound unduly alarmist about Trump. But I want to review nine features of fascism that Robert O. Paxton in history at Columbia University discerns as characteristics of fascism in Europe in the twentieth century. Then I want to turn to Peter Steinfels recent op-ed piece describing Trump as a semi-fascist.
Friday, April 22, 2016(3 comments)
Sarah Bakewell Wants Us to Become Existentialists (REVIEW ESSAY)
In her informative and accessible new book AT THE EXISTENTIAL CAFE: FREEDOM, BEING, AND APRICOT COCKTAILS: WITH JEAN-PAUL SARTRE, SIMONE DE BEAUVOIR, ALBERT CAMUS, MARTIN HEIDEGGER, KARL JASPERS, EDMUND HUSSERL, MAURICE MERLEAU-PONTY, AND OTHERS (2016), the British author Sarah Bakewell aims to persuade people in the English-speaking world to reconsider the existentialists. -- and perhaps become existentialists ourselves.
Saturday, April 16, 2016(1 comments)
Marcia Pally Does the Heavy Lifting to Advance Bernie Sanders' Political Revolution (REVIEW ESSAY)
Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has been channeling the ancient Hebrew prophet Amos. But our contemporary American consciousness and culture are a wee bit more evolved. As a result, the political revolution that Senator Sanders calls for in the U.S. will probably need the heavy lifting that Marcia Pally ably undertakes in her new book COMMONWEALTH AND COVENANT: ECONOMICS, POLITICS, AND THEOLOGIES OF RELATIONALITY.
Thursday, March 31, 2016 William Egginton Celebrates Cervantes' Achievement (REVIEW ESSAY)
OEN readers might want to take a step back from the news cycle by checking out young William Egginton's accessible new book THE MAN WHO INVENTED FICTION: HOW CERVANTES USHERED IN THE MODERN WORLD. When Cervantes died in 1616, the American colonies were struggling. But the emerging American culture went on to epitomize the modern world that Egginton credits Cervantes with ushering in. But what about American culture today?
Tuesday, March 29, 2016 What's Coming Next in the Republican Presidential Primary?
In the spirit of giving credit where credit is due, I want to give Donald J. Trump credit for NOT taking out his male appendage and displaying it on national television to show us how big it is -- after he had boasted on national television about how big it is. By NOT doing this, he showed a modicum of restraint. More recently, he and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas have exchanged barbs about their wives. So what's coming next?
Tuesday, March 15, 2016(1 comments)
The American Catholic Law Professor M. Cathleen Kaveny Addresses Our Culture Wars (REVIEW ESSAY)
Many non-Catholic progressives and liberals may understandably be weary of conservative American Catholic cultural warriors. The American Catholic law professor M. Cathleen Kaveny addresses our contemporary American culture wars in her new book PROPHECY WITHOUT CONTEMPT: RELIGIOUS DISCOURSE IN THE PUBLIC SQUARE. Ironically, it has come out at a time when Donald J. Trump is freely expressing contempt in the public square.
Saturday, March 5, 2016(3 comments)
President Donald J. Trump?
Progressives and liberals should carefully consider the possibility that Donald J. Trump could be elected the next president of the United States. At the present time, his grass-roots appeal is spreading like a contagion in the Republican primaries. He could emerge as the Republican Party's presidential candidate in 2016, and he could be elected president of the United States in November 2016.
Wednesday, March 2, 2016(3 comments)
Progressives and Liberals Should Keep an Eye on the Republican Presidential Primaries
Progressives and liberals should keep an eye on the Republican presidential primaries. For understandable reasons, progressives and liberals may not be interested in the Republican presidential contestants. But one of them will emerge as the Republican Party's candidate. Thus far, Donald J. Trump has emerged as the front-runner in the primaries because of the insurgency of anti-60s rage-aholics in the Republican Party.
Monday, February 29, 2016(1 comments)
Three Cheers for Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette's 1990 Book: Bravo! Bravo! Bravo! (REVIEW ESSAY)
OEN's Rob Kall is interested in charming psychopaths. One way to understand charming psychopaths is to recognize that they are manifesting certain "shadow" forms of the archetypes that Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette ably discuss in their accessible short 1990 book about the four masculine archetypes of maturity. Of course women may also be charming psychopaths, who are manifesting "shadow" forms of the feminine archetypes.
Wednesday, February 10, 2016(1 comments)
E.J. Dionne's New Book about Radical Conservatives (REVIEW ESSAY)
Progressives and liberals who are interested in following the old military advice to know the enemy might want to read E.J. Dionne's new book WHY THE RIGHT WENT WRONG: CONSERVATISM -- FROM GOLDWATER TO THE TEA PARTY AND BEYOND. Dionne says the right went wrong by following the radical conservative Senator Barry Goldwater, who lost the 1964 presidential election, instead of the moderate Republican President Eisenhower.
Saturday, January 30, 2016(5 comments)
Hillary Rodham Clinton as Symbol of the 1960s
Hillary Rodham Clinton (born in 1947) may emerge as the Democratic presidential candidate in 2016. But her political journey in the 1960s and 1970s and later makes her a symbol of the 1960s. For decades now, conservatives have used anti-60s rhetoric to denounce the 1960s and 1970s. So to understand the 1960s and 1970s, we should try to grasp the import of Walter J. Ong's account of print culture 1.0 and oral culture 2.0.