New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Beacon of Shame

August 07, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Current Events, Missy Beattie, Politics

Coping with Injustice in the ‘Land of Liberty’

by Missy Beattie

Warning: My circuits are overloaded, breakers tripping. There will be interruptions in the flow of this piece…

I ran. I ran and saw in the distance a child with a prosthetic leg — metal from her knee to her shoe. As I neared, I could see that the area above the bend was also artificial. I felt bad, passing her, my legs moving without an ache or pain. And I thought of war, the children whose limbs have been blown useless or off by US imperialism.

Home, I checked Google News. The top item — Anthony Wiener, his aide, and her apology for calling a former campaign intern a slut and a bitch.

Tripping backward to the other day: I was online, awaiting the Bradley Manning verdict. (His commander-in-chief declared him guilty before he was charged.) After hearing the verdict, I listened to Jeremy Scahill rip the mainstream media for lite coverage. Scahill said the couple that crashed the state dinner at the White House received more MSM attention than the court martial of Bradley Manning. (more…)

My Dinner with Bernie

July 29, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Family, Missy Beattie

The More Things Change…

by Missy Beattie

“That sounds like something Bernie would do. This is Bernie,” I’d said to Charles, years ago. He shook his head no.

Before we met, Charles lived in NYC, where he got his PhD. That’s how he knew Bernie, both at NYU in the department of nuclear engineering. My husband collected characters, and Bernie was one. Charles had plenty of Bernie stories but disagreed with my realization, couldn’t fathom that one of his friends could do what struck me as obvious.

A few years after Charles and I married and were living in Kentucky, Bernie visited. He drove a rental car from Manhattan to Lexington, on his way somewhere. He stayed a few hours and had dinner with us. (more…)

Walls Can Come Down

July 26, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Matt Meyer, Politics

Report from Palestine Chronicles Sense of Crisis, Hope

by Matt Meyer

We want everything, everything, everything
Other men aspire to.
What another’s entitled to we’re entitled to too.

— excerpt of “Everything,” from The Rothschilds (Brock & Harnick, 1970)

isr-pal3There is an emergency in Palestine right this very moment, but most internationalists are too caught up in our own entitlements, our own misunderstood history based on Broadway mythologies and Western distortion, to act with the intensity that is warranted. Unless solidarity and struggle shifts into high gear fast, there may be no averting the tragedy already in the making — one on a scale which dwarfs what has come before. These are the thoughts that whirl through this author’s head on traveling to the Middle East with my just-turned 13-year-old son, my daughter, and my partner. (more…)

Empty Vessel

July 22, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Missy Beattie, Politics

The Liar Negates His Own Existence

by Missy Beattie

“The liar negates his own existence.” I researched this quote, determined to find its source after e-pal, musician, and fellow writer Jeff Costello sent it in response to something I told him. I found plenty of interesting websites, one generating a precious memory and something else, but I’ll tell you more about that later.

On another, I bumped into Jean Paul Sartre and spent almost an hour with him — and Prof. Bob Zunjic’s analysis of Being and Nothingness. Here’s a sip to stimulate your thirst:

“In contrast to the conscious intention to distort something Sartre points out that ‘a man does not lie about what he is Ignorant of; he does not lie when he spreads an error of which he himself is the dupe; he does not lie when he is mistaken.’ This is a strong indication that there is a difference between a lie and a mistake.

After that detour, I continued to excavate, substituting the words “reality” for “existence” and “deceiver” for “liar” — but was unsuccessful. So this week, I wrote Jeff and asked him. He replied that it’s an original and gave me permission to use it. I had already, many times, just not in an article. (more…)

Getting Satisfaction

July 03, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Family, Windy Cooler

Living and Loving with One’s Whole Heart

by Windy Cooler

I haven’t been adding much new content to my blog. At some point it seems every blogger says something to this effect, breaking a several month’s long silence. I think I haven’t been writing because what I actually want to write about is so different than what I used to write about. Doing justice to the hope and happiness I feel, simultaneous to the grief and anger, is, well, hard. Mostly I don’t try to do it justice. Do I have anything to offer someone I don’t know? Well, I don’t know. (more…)

The Needs of Others

July 01, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Ecology, Family, Missy Beattie

What We Get in Exchange for Having to Die

by Missy Beattie

I ran out of my kingdom this morning, past businesses and houses with flowering lawns. Hearing music, I felt that ancient call of divinity and watched a perfect American family (wife, husband, son, and daughter) enter a place of worship, a sanctuary for some, a Sunday morning coming down or comeuppance for others, and usually, for me, real estate seldom noticed. I wondered what my mother would say, that quick-witted little woman who made pronouncements about proper church attire, if I heeded the sound of music and wandered in, wearing New Balance and spandex.

I ran on, continuing to think about my mother. The choice she made to stop medical screenings after Daddy died. Her decision to starve rather than endure weekly blood transfusions. I was at home in Kentucky during her last days.

As I write, sister Laura’s on her way to Kentucky. I haven’t been there since Mother died. I don’t know why I can’t go. I tell my siblings we should gather somewhere. (more…)

Pilgrimages

June 26, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Guest Author

Lessons Learned on Life’s Unfolding Journey

by Shinay Tredeau

A tourist can be spotted in a large crowd. Without saying a word, they boast loud cries of, “Look out world, I’m comin’!” A tourist travels with the intention to shop, eat, sleep late and see the world through a camera lens, or shielded behind dark sunglass shades.

A pilgrim comes humbly barefoot in search of answers to questions much bigger than their personal affairs. A pilgrim’s intention for travelling is to give back to the place that has birthed life, their own or the world’s. A pilgrim seeks refuge in the mundane: their heart is set on the other, not themselves. The pilgrim must lose everything before they can return “home.” A pilgrim is not swayed by the weather, the amount of money or food they have in their pockets; they maintain their journey because ultimately they understand that their journey is selfless. A pilgrim takes nothing in return for their efforts and offer continuous gestures of prayer and praise. (more…)