I admit to taking advantage, as often as I can, of all the wonderful creativity and analysis on the internets these days, without paying (when I can get away with that). But I have chosen to subscribe to Andrew Sullivan’s blog – what he offers is far more thoughtful than anything I could find in most newspapers or magazines. I followed him in the early aughts and loved his New York Magazine weekly essays, now sorely missed. When a small-c conservative as reasonable and open as Sullivan cannot find a place in the mainstream it is pretty frightening, and he deserves support, therefore. A quote from a recent posting of his about the nonsensical idea of defunding the police:
And when the likelihood of an African-American being killed by a civilian is almost thirty times the likelihood of being killed by a cop, it seems to me perverse that almost all the attention is on the police.
It’s even more perverse to respond to this by calling to abolish the police altogether. In order to tackle three percent of black lives lost, you favor removing the primary force trying to prevent 97 percent of them! However problematic the police, what kind of practical sense does that make? And the immediate results in a city like Minneapolis show just how reckless — how deeply dangerous to black lives — this kind of strategy is. Demoralized cops are quitting in droves; gangs are re-taking the streets; neighborhoods are becoming war-zones.
Sullivan also invites speakers like the brilliant, young Coleman Hughes to his podcasts. As I have, I believe, written before on this site, when I was Hughes’ age, I was still learning the alphabet.
No, I’m not doing PR for Sullivan as part of some kickback scheme – I do think he is worth your time, like Sam Harris or the Commentary podcast. There is so little sanity out there.
There are plenty of silly memes on the internets, most of which have no relationship with logic or facts. One such is the “men should not legislate abortion laws” or “those without female reproductive organs shall not legislate female reproductive organs.” I’ve seen the latter a lot of late. One wants to ask the people who post these things – all of whom are pro-choice (as I am) — if they are not aware that the Supreme Court that legislated Roe v. Wade was all male, or that the Governor of Alabama – the state that recently passed the restrictive abortion bill that has inspired these memes — is female.
Of course, what these people mean is, “men shall not legislate abortion laws unless they agree with me about said laws.”
…as E. M. Forster wrote.
I am from a family full of addicts (food, alcohol, drugs) and issues – perhaps we are not so different from other families in that regard. I am also from a family which has always lacked emotional connections (unless you count vicious bullying as a connection). I am certain this is why Johann Hari’s Ted Talk about addiction caught my attention. It’s a tad simplistic, but his main point is a good one: “The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. The opposite of addiction is connection.” But of course it’s a vicious cycle, because the worse an addiction becomes, the more the addict isolates from other people, either by choice or because friends/family can’t stand being around the addict. Addiction creates deep mistrust, deep guilt, and constant dishonesty. It is difficult to connect with those things in the way.
Not unrelated – a fun link and blast from the past about Ted Talks.
Today is as good a day as any to remind you to visit my other website.
Years ago I followed many animal-cams. In particular, I loved watching a heron family rear their wee ones. Don’t know why I got out of the habit, but I’ve found a new family – take a peek. They (the osprey mum and dad) are in Maine, and their names are Steve and Rachel. Currently, they have three eggs. Can’t wait to see those eggs hatch and the babies grow.
I’ll admit that I had a strong and immediate reaction to the video clip of the students from Kentucky seemingly confronting and belittling a Native American elder. I was bullied quite viciously by an older brother (when I was seven he was already an adult, so there was a severe power imbalance) when I was growing up and so I have strong reactions to the sight of someone bullying or picking on another. I know the cruelty of that kind of madness.
In this case, though, it appears all might not have been as assumed at first glance. These two stories are from sane sources – first from Reason, the second from The Spectator — and worth a look. I left Twitter a while back and this was one reason – the online mob is just painful to behold. Even if these boys were as nasty as initially suggested, I don’t think their lives should be ruined. This could be a teachable moment for them – they are very young, and I believe most of us can learn.
Update: another good analysis.
I feel for the kid. He is obviously an introvert stuck in a family of extroverts – this was my situation as a child and teen, and it was very difficult. It was made worse by the fact that I was viciously bullied by a family member (who frequently got other family members to join in). I hope poor Barron at least gets support at home – I sense he does. His mother seems very good as do his sibs. But he is now being bullied from the outside. Very unfair. He did not ask for this. I hope people will leave him be, as Chelsea Clinton requested.
I referred to Reggie Perrin in my Brexit post, and I have managed, through the wonders of the internets, to find what I consider one of the finest moments in the history of television. From season 2 of the Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, Reggie has created a business he hoped would fail, and has appointed a bunch of clowns and rubes and looneys to run the business, in order to ensure disaster. Well, of course, the opposite happens: the business booms. Reggie, trying to fire all the people who have made it so, finds that at least one of the buffoons he has hired has seen through him. Go to shortly after the 27 minute mark and listen to Seamus Finnegan as you watch the hilarious body language and facial expressions of Perrin. I believe the moral of the story is…never count out the English.
I am back posting at my tumblr, as well.
I direct you to my latest post at My Uncle’s Letters from the War, wherein my uncle mentions a trip to Winchester and a visit to its cathedral.
Made me think of this song, in which hippies are nostalgic for the days of vaudeville. Rather like when we are nostalgic for hippies, though God knows why we would be. The 1960s, as my late brother used to say, have a lot for which to answer.
But this song is cute.