Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘forgiveness

Star Wars Day Links! Yay! Episode II Attack of the Procrastination

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(episode one, the procrastination menace)

* Apropos of what I was saying before about Return of the Jedi: When Luke confronts the idea that his father is his enemy and that he is doomed to become him unless he can somehow accept him, it’s a thunderbolt as true and clear as any Jungian/Freudian missive can be clear. It’s not complicated, but Luke’s refusal at the end to murder his own shadow is underestimated as a watermark in the panoply of generally vengeful, bellicose popular entertainments. What Disney movie, for instance, ends with the embrace of the villain at something other than the tip of a righteous sword? No matter the degree that Lucas’s blinkered populism cripples Return of the Jedi, what remains is this guide to better living. Hard work is good. Courage in the face of entropy is good. Loyalty to your friends is good. Fear is bad. So is self-interest. This basic codification of rules resonating as it does is, after all, only what good cults do: provide a template, easy to follow, of commandments. May the Force be with you.

sw_final.0Every Star Wars movie, according to its colors.

Star Wars medical merch from Scarfolk, the horror-town stuck in the 1970s.

Beloved media property from my childhood coming back, what could go wrong?

* China Miéville, “On Social Sadism.”

How austerity destroyed Europe’s economy, in one graph.

* A case study in the notion that academic freedom is not a blanket excuse for any and all antisocial behavior: College Moves To Fire Sandy Hook Truther For Allegedly Harassing Victim’s Family.

The rich-poor divide on America’s college campuses is getting wider, fast.

The question is why humanists have not been able or willing to recognise their own sustained success.

* “Speechbros” vs. The left should support speech rights because the left is weak. In my old age I’m really becoming more and more of an absolutist on this, alas, despite disliking absolutism and also liars, fools, and knaves.

* “Harvard placemat serves up social justice for Christmas.” Sorry for the Campus Reform link, I couldn’t find anything better.

* And another article on its contemporary reception for the next time I teach Lolita: Men Explain Lolita To Me.

Monday Morning Links

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21 Emotions For Which There Are No English Words.

* The better-looking are different from you and me.

Through behavior like this, the government has turned the entire financial system into a kind of vast confidence game – a Ponzi-like scam in which the value of just about everything in the system is inflated because of the widespread belief that the government will step in to prevent losses. Clearly, a government that’s already in debt over its eyes for the next million years does not have enough capital on hand to rescue every Citigroup or Regions Bank in the land should they all go bust tomorrow. But the market is behaving as if Daddy will step in to once again pay the rent the next time any or all of these kids sets the couch on fire and skips out on his security deposit. Just like an actual Ponzi scheme, it works only as long as they don’t have to make good on all the promises they’ve made.

“Last year was a great one for the world’s billionaires,” said John Catsimatidis, the billionaire owner of Red Apple Group Inc., in an email written poolside on his BlackBerry in the Bahamas. World’s 100 richest people got $241 billion richer in 2012.

Most modern justice systems focus on a crime, a lawbreaker and a punishment. But a concept called “restorative justice” considers harm done and strives for agreement from all concerned — the victims, the offender and the community — on making amends.

* Facebook, women’s bodies, and gendered labor.

“White House weighs broad gun-control agenda in wake of Newtown shootings.” Probably just a trial balloon, but let’s hope there’s something real here.

* Today’s indescribable nightmare: anesthesia awareness.

* Flirtation rules (1800s).

* How Tide detergent became a drug currency.

* When Hugo Gernsback invented online dating.

* And The Guardian profiles the New York Jacobin/TNI literary scene.

Sunday Night

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* Game of the night: Entanglement.

* The Declaration of Independence, in American.

When things get so balled up that the people of a country got to cut loose from some other country, and go it on their own hook, without asking no permission from nobody, excepting maybe God Almighty, then they ought to let everybody know why they done it, so that everybody can see they are not trying to put nothing over on nobody.

* “Reconciliation” has become a darling of political theorists, journalists, and human-rights activists, especially as it pertains to the rebuilding of postwar and post-genocidal nations. Nowhere is this more so than in the case of Rwanda. Numerous books and articles on the topic—some, though not all, inspired by Christian teachings—pour forth. It can plausibly be argued, of course, that in Rwanda—and in other places, like Sierra Leone and the Balkans, where victims and perpetrators must live more or less together—reconciliation is a political necessity. Reconciliation has a moral resonance, too; certainly it is far better than endless, corpse-strewn cycles of revanchism and revenge. Yet there is sometimes a disturbing glibness when outsiders tout the wonders of reconciliation, as if they are leading the barbarians from darkness into light. Even worse, the phenomenological realities—the human truths—of the victims’ experiences are often ignored or, at best, treated as pathologies that should be “worked through” until the promised land of forgiveness is reached. This is not just a mistake but a dangerous one; for it is doubtful that any sustainable peace, and any sustainable politics, can be built without a better, which is to say a tragic, understanding of those truths.

* And how we nuked ourselves, 1945-1998.

Science-Religion-Politics Sunday

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Science-religion-politics Sunday!

* The Vatican has officially forgiven the late John Lennon for a off-the-cuff joke he made forty-two years ago. Let no one doubt the magnanimity of the Catholic Church.

* The “broken windows” theory has apparently been experimentally verified. Giuliani ’12? Via MeFi.

* Science confirms the Livia Soprano Theory of the Universe: it’s all just a big nothing. Also via MeFi.

* Science confirms that religion strongly correlates with unhappy lives.

In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy and abortion in the prosperous democracies.

* Science confirms that America miraculously became “a center-right nation” the day after Barack Obama won the presidency.

* The Cato Institute confirms “Blocking Obama’s health plan is key to the GOP’s survival.” Not because it won’t work, of course, but because it’ll work so well as to discredit their kneejerk anti-governmentism forever. More at DKos.

* Who will pray to Bush for clemency? And how many corrupt presidencies do we need in a row before we abolish the damn pardon power?

* Finally, prepare yourself to go deep inside the ant hivemind.