All posts by Dr. Dean Albert Ramser

About Dr. Dean Albert Ramser

Happily married to Cindy who has shared and supported my GED2EDD journey. “Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.” ― Charles Dickens as of August 15, 2019 use:

All Architectures I Am: The (Unintended) Legacy of Charles Olson’s Projective Verse

1960s: Days of Rage

“Do you care about 20th-century American poetry? If so, you may be embarrassed to admit it. In our culture, too many regard poetry, and especially the poetry of the last century, as having all the real-world utility of underwater basket-weaving. That reputation, though unfortunate, may be well deserved. A quick glance at Ezra Pound’s sprawling, self-indulgent, showily allusive Cantos will reinforce this impression. Another glance at his political screeds may solidify it. Pound isn’t all of it, of course — and that raises another issue. What does one mean by 20th-century American poetry? Where does one start? Robert Frost’s rugged philosophizing or Wallace Stevens’s imaginative dreamscapes? And what binds Claude McKay’s socialist realist sonnets to the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets’ scientistic abstractions? Can we really expect to sort through so many different voices from so many different backgrounds? In fact, there are many points of entry. And one of the most…

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Stars, Poetry—Part I: Aries, Taurus, Gemini; Part II: Cancer, Leo, and Virgo; Part III: Libra, Scorpio, and Sagittarius; Part IV: Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces

1960s: Days of Rage

“I approach the language of the stars as symbolic patterns, and use astrology and other symbolic systems as forms of advanced pattern recognition. Here is the first of four meditations where I work my way through a wheel of influence in groups of threes after the modalities. The three modalities in astrology are Cardinal, Fixed, and Mutable. They describe how the sign operates. … Aries, March 21 – April 20, Tarot: The Emperor. Aries arrives at the start of spring, full of passion. The Aries clan are the fire starters and igniters. I instantly hear Baudelaire (April 9) shouting, ‘Make life beautiful! Make life beautiful!’ while throwing rocks at the ‘Bad Glazier’ in his Paris Spleen. To meet Anne Waldman (April 2) is to feel the fire of her mind, determination, and big-heartedness. … Edward Dorn (like Waldman, also April 2!): his poem ‘The Air of June Sings’ makes…

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when your writing plan gets stuck


There are load of reasons why planning doesn’t work. Life. Work. Other competing deadlines. Unexpected stuff. But sometimes our plans don’t come to fruition because of what we do. Or rather, what we don’t.

And yes, maybe the problem is that the writing plan wasn’t realistic and needs adjusting. But maybe the problem is more about the writer not doing what they really really want to do. But can’t.

Here are four strategies to try when you get stuck. When you find yourself with a book or thesis or paper that isn’t going to plan. When you just can’t seem to get the writing into any shape.

  • Try distraction.

Take a break. Go for a walk. Do the dishes. Garden. Have a massage. Reward yourself for what you have done.

Come back another time, not the same day. Leave the writing for a while. Maybe your subconscious will keep working…

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Unsettling the Score: Éliane Radigue

1960s: Days of Rage

In her studio, Paris, 1971.

“‘I only have one trick,’ Éliane Radigue told me a few years ago. ‘It is the cross-fade!’ She pulled her fingers apart as if stretching taffy and laughed. She was sitting on the couch in her apartment on rue Liancourt in Paris. Athena, con una Espada (Athena, as a Sword), a bronze sculpture by the late artist Arman, to whom Radigue was married from the 1950s until the late ’60s, stood by the wall. For decades, Athena shared the premises with an ARP 2500 synthesizer and a pair of huge Altec Voice of the Theatre speakers. Shortly after the turn of the millennium, though, they were packed away. What Radigue did before she divested herself of this equipment is exactly what she does now: listen. Her work in the twentieth century was electronic, made first with microphone feedback and then later with the ARP synthesizer…

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How Camus and Sartre split up over the question of how to be free

1960s: Days of Rage

“They were an odd pair. Albert Camus was French Algerian, a pied-noir born into poverty who effortlessly charmed with his Bogart-esque features. Jean-Paul Sartre, from the upper reaches of French society, was never mistaken for a handsome man. They met in Paris during the Occupation and grew closer after the Second World War. In those days, when the lights of the city were slowly turning back on, Camus was Sartre’s closest friend. ‘How we loved you then,’ Sartre later wrote. They were gleaming icons of the era. Newspapers reported on their daily movements: Sartre holed up at Les Deux Magots, Camus the peripatetic of Paris. As the city began to rebuild, Sartre and Camus gave voice to the mood of the day. Europe had been immolated, but the ashes left by war created the space to imagine a new world. Readers looked to Sartre and Camus to articulate what that…

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Memphis sanitation strike

1960s: Days of Rage

“The Memphis sanitation strike began on February 12, 1968, in response to the deaths of sanitation workers Echol Cole and Robert Walker.  The deaths served as a breaking point for more than 1,300 African American men from the Memphis Department of Public Works as they demanded higher wages, time and a half overtime, dues check-off, safety measures, and pay for the rainy days when they were told to go home. The Memphis sanitation strike was led by T.O. Jones and had the support of Jerry Wurf, president of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and the local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The AFSCME was chartered in 1964 by the state; the city of Memphis refused to recognize it. This resulted in the second sanitation Worker Strike in 1968 which began because of several incidents that…

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New Hollywood

1960s: Days of Rage

Arthur Penn, Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

“The New Hollywood, also known as American New Wave or Hollywood Renaissance, was a movement in American film history from the mid-1960s to the early 1980s, when a new generation of young filmmakers came to prominence. They influenced the types of film produced, their production and marketing, and the way major studios approached filmmaking. In New Hollywood films, the film director, rather than the studio, took on a key authorial role. The definition of ‘New Hollywood’ varies, depending on the author, with some defining it as a movement and others as a period. The span of the period is also a subject of debate, as well as its integrity, as some authors, such as Thomas Schatz, argue that the New Hollywood consists of several different movements. The films made in this movement are stylistically characterized in that their narrative often deviated…

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Old Forest

1960s: Days of Rage

“In J. R. R. Tolkien’s fictional universe of Middle-earth, the Old Forest was a daunting and ancient woodland just beyond the eastern borders of the Shire. Its first and main appearance in print was in The Fellowship of the Ring, especially in the eponymous chapter 6. The Old Forest lay near the centre of Eriador, a large region of north-west Middle-earth. It was one of the few survivors of the primordial forests which had covered much of Eriador before the Second Age. Indeed, it had once been but the northern edge of one immense forest which reached all the way to Fangorn forest, hundreds of miles to the south-east. The vicinity of the Old Forest was the domain of three nature-spirits: Tom Bombadil, Goldberry, and Old Man Willow. The powers of these beings doubtless contributed to its survival when other forests…

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Perry Bacon, Jr.: Education “Reform” Is Dying, Now We Can Begin to Improve Education

Diane Ravitch's blog

Perry Bacon, Jr. is a relatively new columnist at the Washington Post. He joined the Post a year ago and writes about national and state politics and race. His latest column in the Post startled me and perhaps others, because the Post editorial board has been an enthusiastic supporter of the worst kinds of punitive corporate reform. The Post editorial board frequently defended No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, and the teacher-bashing by Michelle Rhee and Arne Duncan. Seldom was a contrary view expressed, except on Valerie Strauss’ Answer Sheet blog, which was a haven for critics of the failed reforms based on testing, punishment, and privatization.

The article begins:

America’s decades-long, bipartisan “education reform” movement, defined by an obsession with test scores and by viewing education largely as a tool for getting people higher-paying jobs, is finally in decline. What should replace it is an…

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