New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Archive for the ‘Nancy Mattina’

Party Time

March 10, 2017 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Nancy Mattina, Politics

You’ve Got to Fight for Your Rights…

by Nancy Mattina

Pine if you will for the eloquence, dignity, and erudition of our 44th President. Tragically, history will not accord him the status of a transformative political figure. What our highly selective record of accident and argument will show is that our first African-American Commander-in-Chief took the stage when our country was wracked with economic apartheid, spawn of greed. His response was cautiously pragmatic. He assumed that the nation would come to its middle class senses once the immediate crisis had passed. For maintaining his faith in capitalism and American exceptionalism he was jeered by the right as dictatorial and cowardly, by the left as fatally compromised.

Obama’s cool as he stood alone in the cloaca of party politics made him a culture-hero. But his style and personal belief system did not translate into faith in the political party he represented. More like us than not, the Democratic Party ran the last election as if a moral victory guaranteed an electoral one. With Obama gone, electoral defeat has never been more consequential. (more…)

To Divine Is Human

February 11, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Ecology, Nancy Mattina

In the Beginning There Was Science…

by Nancy Mattina

Despite all the ardent prose glowing from the electronic gadgets that surround me, I still find myself browsing my undusted shelves for something to read. I rarely buy bound books anymore, which is why my collection of mostly paperback editions reflects the quirky canon I came of age on: Henry Miller, Kazantzakis, Joyce Carol Oates, James, Zola, Gordimer, Bellow, Steinbeck, Austen, Heinlein, Flaubert, Dostoyevsky, and the like. These wistful sentinels have long lined my walls, the listing pillars of my literary crèche, the ones who expected me to think about the world as it was, is, and might be. I don’t sell them off even though the words in them have since ascended spotlessly to the digital cloud. (more…)

Report from Palermo

November 21, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Nancy Mattina, Politics

Reflections from Abroad on Electoral Politics

by Nancy Mattina

Who says we can’t yet travel into the future? For the two weeks prior to the 2012 Presidential elections I woke up every morning in a proud republic that’s suffering from a bad case of stunned. A place where the national debt exceeds GDP and family savings have been drained by unemployed adult children, declining wages, and stone-faced lenders. Where abortion is illegal and ‘choice’ means having a family or a job. Where all media outlets, including public TV, are unapologetically affiliated with political parties. Where anti-immigration rhetoric demonizes the destitute. Where a prominent editorialist advises women to accept the fact that they are ‘sitting on their fortunes’, no metaphor intended. (more…)

Thinking Small

July 12, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Ecology, Family, Nancy Mattina

“Go to the Ant, O Sluggard”

by Nancy Mattina

Thinking small doesn’t come naturally to an American. Even in straightened economic times we urge ourselves incessantly to swing for the bleachers, reach for the stars, be ready for the big break. In the Far West, our daily landscapes conspire with our propensity to dream large. We get ten-gallon-hat ideas about life and liberty whether we are hiking above the clouds in the Rockies or streaking across the limitless deserts in our half-ton trucks.

With just an average amount of human imagination, it is easy to extract a can-do spirit from towering volcanic cones, glaciated valleys, and great canted slabs of the Earth’s crust. Never mind what must be done merely to survive, the preoccupation of all of the non-human species that surround us. We yearn to be so much more than mere survivors. (more…)

War of Words

March 21, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Nancy Mattina, Politics

No Waging It in My Name, Thanks

by Nancy Mattina

I filter the world’s doings through my inbox for several hours a day in the safety of my home office. When my eyes tire or my lower back starts to ache, I get up to stretch and make a cup of tea. The dog might signal that she needs a walk. If not, there’s the radio to turn on, tuned unwaveringly for years now to the nearest public radio station. Another stream of words, this time flavored by audible voices, pours in through my ears. I can turn the sound off with a flick of the remote. Even so the words and phrases I’ve let in through this typical morning toss in my mind like sneakers clunking in the dryer.

This week the thunk, thunk is the “Republican War on Women.” I’m a woman, so it catches my attention, as it’s meant to. (more…)