Saturday, January 7, 2017

About the Freedonia Institute

The Freedonia Institute is a grass roots organization based in Tucson, Arizona dedicated to working toward the "Three P's":
  •  Preserving CULTURAL CANONS 
America in 2016 is a fractured, divisive place in which fanatics on all sides snipe at and talk over one one another with tedious regularity. In such an environment, the notion of a shared "canon" or a lingua franca of cultural touchstones -- whether literary, musical, or in other creative genres or fields of knowledge -- may seem reactionary and absurd. We argue that although even if adherents to canons seldom can agree on what should be in them, this concept is nevertheless a necessary effort towards coherence in these confusing times and can include a wild diversity of points of view. Additionally, experiencing (and debating what constitutes) the best of what's been thought and created from previous eras and historical epochs can be a source of great pleasure and insight and lay the groundwork for a more hopeful and less nihilistic future.  The initial project in this vein (admittedly focused on an aspect of pop rather than "high" culture) is an upcoming multi-media presentation done in tandem with Tucson's Constant Con: "Steve Ditko's Strange Paranoia: How it laid the groundwork for the Watchmen era."
Regardless of one's political bent, it's a stone cold fact that we've got one earth and we're wise to learn how to live more sustainably on it. Topics to be explored will include urban gardening, do it yourself solar energy projects, radical frugality, and easy to use tips on how to implement the newest findings of the science of happiness into one's daily life. 
Between primate-level squabbles over territory and resources resulting in most of humanity's wars, and religious fundamentalism of all stripes regarding which way to interpret metaphors about life's nameless mysteries, humans too often have made a garbage heap out of our time on this planet. At Freedonia, we believe in recycling garbage, tossing out what's true trash, improving upon what we can and living with the rest. Of all spiritual viewpoints, the perennialist philosophy to us makes the most sense -- since it affirms the commonalities of the world's religious traditions, and denies that any one system or philosophy has a monopoly on truth. Speaking of which, "truth is one, the sages call it by many names."

Our affiliated group, the Freedonia Center of Light, will hold regular spiritual get-togethers to promote this spirit of ecumenical and non-dogmatic questing. 

YouTube channel: Inquisitive Mindsets, a program of thought provoking interviews and wide-ranging cultural commentary

About T.S. Steve Minton 

T.S. Steve Minton is a graduate of Boston University with a B.A. in English literature, as well as an educational testing professional and a certified nursing assistant by trade. He also has extensive experience as an editorial advisor, proofreader, researcher, interviewer, armchair pop culture historian and public speaker. As his avocation, Minton is a DIY publisher and writing maven of longstanding, co-founder of the radically diverse and ragged zine Hieroglyph Gumbo (Boston, 1991, see also here) and founder of Whoof Session arts zine (Tucson, mid-1990s), the early effort at an online arts publication Eleusinian Visions (winner of the Ernest Slyman Award for Best Webzine, 1998) as well as various websites, blogs and self-published materials such as The Virtual Writing Tutor: How to Ace Your College Essays and Term Papers Without Cheating, the poetry and experimental prose collection Talking Back to the Trees, and the visual art collection Neo-Humans on Regenerative Earth. Professor Barbara Jackson of Harvard University referred to his poem Cascabel Meditation: Sunrise(1990 - 1995, Boston & Tucson) as "one of the most remarkable bodies of work I have ever encountered," and Dr. Jon Klimo of Rutgers University and Rosebridge Graduate School of Integrative Psychology referred to Minton's semi-satirical, automatic writing experiment of agnostic poetic reverie Transmetamorphosis: Messages From the Emerald Host (1998) as follows:

These inspirational/channeled/whatever writings of yours…had a familiar ring to me, because it was sort of channeled, sort of self-transcending, sort of “flow,” sort of inspirational, and also quite beautiful, like a gifted lyrical poet/writer. I found the writing to be especially attractive aesthetically, speaking as a literature lover and poet. It has a lot more lyrical figurative loveliness to it and attention to how things are said than most New Age typo writing…of so much of the material that I end up reading, and it sure is a lot, your writing is especially aesthetically pleasing to me. And what it’s saying, the ideas, are right-feeling and thinking to me as well. I like the way you get going in techno-shaman-expertise mixed argot riffs. I also think of the late Terence McKenna and a number of others…some of us form this invisible college club of sorts in this genre, this mode, this way of being and doing. So I recognize in you a bird of the same basic feather.”

Eleusinian Visions - Recipient of Ernest Slyman Best Webzine Award (1998)
"Terrific pages. Great design. Great contribution to the World Wide Web." - Ernest Slyman, poet and editor, The Poet's Watch.

Additional commentary and nice things said about Steve Minton, by some people far wiser than I:

“He was the best student in a class of superior students. What struck me at the time was his wide intellectual range and his ability to gather and to synthesize information from diverse areas. Steve not only has has talent and intelligence; he has dedication and commitment."
- Dr. Tom Goldpaugh - Associate Professor of English, Marist College, Poughkeepsie, New York.

“Steve Minton has an eagle eye for proofreading.”
- Mark Joyner, bestselling author of "Mind Control Marketing" and "The Irresistible Offer" and founder of

"Steve is a wizard of internet marketing. I wouldn't dream of making a move online without consulting with him first."
- Philip Tardibuono, #1 sales agent at Century 21 Realty and Intuit Inc. software, Tucson, Az. and Century City Mortgage, Los Angeles, Ca., owner/operator of Tom's Firewood, Big Bear City, Ca.

"You're gonna make a name for yourself as a writer and an artist."
- Jack Kirby, comic book storytelling pioneer, co-creator of Captain America, the Marvel Universe and the New Gods

"You could travel to the edge of the cosmos and not find somebody like you. You're my hero...because of your intellect."
- Carlos Hadaway, southwestern oil painter, western movie bit actor and folklorist, The Arizona

"I like what you have to say (in your piece "Transmetamorphosis: Messages from the Emerald Host")."
- Ted Loman, founder of UFOAZ and Off the Record community cable tv programs

I like the wisdom and the humor (of 'Transmetamorphosis')."
· Prof. Mark B.Woodhouse, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Georgia State University, author of "A Preface to Philosophy" and "Paradigm Wars: Worldviews for a New Age."

"It will amuse you to learn that from your controlled intellectual tone, I initially mistook you for a renegade academic."
- Kenneth Smith, PhD, fantasy artist (Phantasmagoria, Creepy, Eerie), retired philosophy professor, publisher of Memnon Press and author of "Otherwise: 100 parables and paradoxes on the reality alongside of us"