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June 13,2020

16th Street NW — DC’s Corridor of Light

  This sign beckons us to remember and say their names. I noticed it in a neighbor's yard on 16th St. NW DC about two blocks south of the Circle during my Friday night my walk through my neighborhood. A week ago, neighbors had gathered along to support the resistance in the District. There is a tradition of protesters lining 16th Street because it ends at Lafayette Park. The address of the White House is 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Historically, 16th Street is the city's "Corridor of Light." In Anthony Browder's "Egypt on the Potomac: A Guide to Decoding Egyptian Architecture," on December 20, 1973,...

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May 25,2020

“I Can’t Make This Up; Life Lessons: A Memoir” By...

In our May 2020 Zoom meeting of the North Portal Readers, we discussed “I Can’t Make This Up; Life Lessons” by Kevin Hart (2017). Our discussion leader’s 32-year-old nephew had recommended the book to his aunt. While many of us were very familiar with Hart, it was highly unlikely we would have read his memoir. We all thought it well was well-written and presented and worth reading. Two key reasons for this are it helped us understand Hart, the person, and comedian. Also, the book provided an insight into what it takes to be a successful comedian. The memoir’s last...

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January 25,2019

Communities of Critical Thinkers: The Manchurian Candidate

“Major Marco” (Denzel in The Manchurian Candidate 2004) had a palpable feeling that something wasn't right. His internal incongruence kept him pushing despite his seemingly preposterous claims. He, along with others of his platoon, new they were crazy. Our challenge is to turn our internal everyday incongruities into a search for answers. "What are we going to believe" -- to paraphrase Groucho Marks -- the messages coming our way or our internal incongruities. I hear more and more people saying: “Something is not right.” To pull a quote from the movie, “Network:” They are mad as hell and don't want...

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January 25,2019

Against Creativity

In "Against Creativity," there is a chapter titled "Politics: Austere Creativity." "Coping" is a creative response to imposed, harsh political conditions. In news reports today, we are reading about how "coping" is happening, or not, amid our current political crisis. For Oli Mould, as we are engaged in "austere creativity," we need to be moving towards "true creativity," which takes us beyond "coping" to (i) envisioning a society where each of us is "thriving" and (ii) working to bring that type of community into existence.

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