Podcast #10–J.Q. Useless Guest Appearance on The Alembic Files: “Poetic Perplexities, Part 4”

English: September Massacres during the French...

English: September Massacres during the French Revolution (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Podcast #10 of Thoughts from a Useless Eater is another guest appearance by J.Q. on The Alembic Files, for Part 4 of the continuing series “Poetic Perplexities: Emerging Visions of Global Empire?” In this segment, J.Q. joins Al and Theo to continue the discussion of the poet Philip Freneau, zooming in on some of the historical highlights of the French Revolution. In examining this historical timeline, the intent is to gain more of a handle on the implications of a figure like Freneau being a supporter of the French Revolution (at least in its early stages), as “hooked in” as he was with highly influential members of the early Democratic Republicans—a single party that is in fact the root of the two-party system in the U.S. today.

As we delve into some of the more astonishing aspects of the French regime under the influence of Robespierre, such as the promotion of The Cult of Reason as a state-sanctioned, atheistic (but with strongly neo-pagan elements) “state religion” to replace Christianity, and the use of fears of terrorism as a justification for the increasing role of the Committee of Public Safety as the primary instrument of state control, are we seeing elements of a vision for the direction of American government and society among at least some of the Democratic Republicans? And are we, perhaps, seeing something almost “prophetic,” in terms of observing elements of a roadmap that in some sense may still be followed by factions within the American power structure today?


Related texts:



Podcast #9 – “When the World Stopped Making Sense,” Part 3


English: Photograph of Abraham Flexner

English: Photograph of Abraham Flexner (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Part 3 of “When the World Stopped Making Sense,” a continuing series within Thoughts from a Useless Eater–the podcast that seeks a better understanding of “the way things really are in the world,” from a Christian perspective.

In this segment, J.Q. Useless continues a multi-part examination of construct that he calls “material, middle-class fake rationality,” a way of looking at the world that was arguably promulgated to those in American society beginning with the post-World-War-II “baby boom” generation. It’s a worldview centered on ideas of naturalistic/scientific rationality, of a supposedly free-market economic system that allegedly operates according to a “fair set of rules,” and of a society with a social contract in which people who work hard and “play by the rules” can expect to be rewarded with a decent standard of living–a worldview in which the individual can rely on his or her own strengths under a social structure said to have been set up with the best interests of the individual in mind.

J.Q. continues the breakdown of this worldview into ten component parts, examining issues that point to the construct’s arguable invalidity and deceptiveness. As he discusses the third and fourth of the ten characteristics of the model, he touches on issues related to the rapid advances in the 20th century in medicine and technology, examining the extent to which these advances have lived up to their promise of being beneficial to the common man and the quality of life of the individual. Over the course of this discussion, J.Q. touches on The Flexner Report, a study sponsored by the Carnegie Foundation that was instrumental in changing medical education in the United States and by extension, the emergence of allopathic medicine (the pharmacology-oriented branch of medicine practised by those who hold the M.D. Degree) as the dominate mode of medical practice, at one point nearly extinguishing alternative approaches such as homoeopathic, holistic, chiropractic, and osteopathic medicine.

Critiques of the Flexner Report have not by any means been confined to the “fringe” or “conspiracy” realms. As a salient example, J.Q. discusses a retrospective analysis published in 2010 in The Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine. He then moves on to a key text from a more vociferous opponent of the Flexner Report and its impact on medicine: Emanuel M. Josephson, M.D., a New York City physician and author works viewed as central texts among many American conspiracy theorists, who alleges that Rockefeller and allied industrialists exploited the Flexner report’s findings to re-shape medicine to the benefit of the emerging pharmaceutical industry and, by extension, to the financial benefit of a monied elite as part of an ongoing effort to further consolidate power and influence.

The fourth characteristic of J.Q.’s model concerns the advances of science and technology and the almost religious faith the American middle class began to place in them. Through a mix of examples at the personal and societal level, J.Q. makes the case that this faith in science and technology had its peak in a period that began in the years following World War II in the United States but began to shatter some 25-30 years later as limitations, exposed through such developments as the emergence of drug-resistant infectious origins and insidious side effects of drugs whose introduction into the population may have been inappropriately accelerated for pecuniary motivations, and emerging questions about the efficacy and possible hazards of vaccines.



Thomas Duffy, M.D. “The Flexner Report – 100 Years Later.” The Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, 84(3), September 2011. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3178858/.

Emanuel M. Josephson, M.D. Your Life is Their Toy: Merchants in Medicine. New York: Chedney Press, 1948. Available at http://www.amazon.com/Your-Life-Their-Toy-Merchants/dp/B0007EL4NQ.

Contact the show at jquseless@aol.com or visit https://uselesseatersinstitute.wordpress.com


Podcast #8 – Introductions – Part 3

Harold Camping in 2008

Harold Camping in 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

J.Q. Useless concludes his introductory / personal testimony sequence, touching on Harold Camping’s prediction of the second coming of Christ in 1994, 9/11 and 9/11 truth movements, the financial crisis of 2008, and truth radio as they have related to his walk with Christ and his drive to explore the New World Order and related issues from a Christian, end-times prophecy perspective.

Podcast #7: J.Q. Useless Guest Appearance on The Alembic Files

Portrait of en:Philip Freneau

Portrait of en:Philip Freneau (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In this third segment of “Poetic Perplexities: Emerging Visions of Global Empitre?”, a continuing series on The Alembic Files, J.Q. Useless joins A.L. Aric to explore the perplexing life and career of Philip Freneau, the late 18th/early 19th century poet, sea captain, journalist, newspaper editor and friend or associate of many of the founding fathers, including Madison and Jefferson.

Freneau, who is reputed among some literary critics as “the father of American poetry,” is of particular interest to the general subject matter of The Alembic Files because he is also purported to have been “the Anti-Federalist poet.” By examining the content of selected poems of Freneau in the context biographical information and the surrounding historical milieu, A.L. and J.Q. explore the notion that Freneau may have been something quite different.

Is it even accurate to characterize Freneau, an early sympathizer with the French Revolution, as an Anti-Federalist at all? If so, we are arguably looking at a form of Anti-Federalism very different  from what those who study The Anti-Federalist Papers are familiar with–especially given Freneau’s engagement with Jacobinism which, at the peak of the French Revolution, led to a powerful state regime that prefigures many of the characteristics of the totalitarian systems that emerged in the 20th century.


Reading material:



Thoughts from a Useless Eater Podcast #3 – Introductions, Part 2

Part Two of the introductory segment of Thoughts from a Useless Eater, a podcast that seeks a better understanding of “the way things are in the world” from a Christian perspective. This segment picks up where Thoughts from a Useless Eater #1 left off, continuing with personal testimony from J.Q. Useless about his walk with Christ in relation to the subject matter of the show.