Only 10 months ago, Mrs. Obama was described as an angry black woman by some conservatives and as a liability to her husband. Now, she is widely admired for her warmth, and her vibrant and accessible manner, and her race seems almost an afterthought to many Americans. She has the highest favorability ratings of any incoming first lady since 1980, and is even more popular than the president.
Reads the NYTimes today. That is, when Mrs. Obama was being ‘strong’ she was seem as simply ‘bitchy’, and even worse, a bitchy ‘shorty’ yelling when she could simply talk with some hint of civilization. Now she gardens vegetables, and talks about taking care of the kids. Now America loves her.
I was born when “old-fashion” feminism, i.e. the ‘angry’ type (should I say bitchy, or maybe dykish) was just dying out, giving way to yuppism and the celebration of masculinity in the form of money power. Flower power giving way to money power. Or perhaps coke powder.
In any case, I feel attached to the ghost of ideals past. I have a Darwinian perspective to feminism: women and men are simply human beings with different bodies which grow to complement each other’s reproductive functions. This is called sexual dimorphism, I just learnt. Female and male bodies have essentially the same matrix (think men’s nipples/resquicial breasts and women’s clitories/resquicial penises). The same way their differentiations help continue the species, the differences resultant from these differentiations should also help bring more completeness to another of human necessities and achievements: society.
“Our ancestors were able to evolve because cooked foods were richer, healthier and required less eating time – Dr. Richard Wrangham’s ideas sound against the grain of modern health eating ideal.Cooked foods healthier? We used to eat raw meat, which was certainly rougher.
But Dr. Wrangham doesn’t circumscribe his evolutionary ideas to meat. In any case, I’m deeply fascinated by the idea of jumping out of a tree and all of a sudden (not so suddenly, but geologically, yes) becoming full-fledged us.
I am not foolish enough to think we are any sort of marvel of sophistication in ideal humanistic terms, but if you think purely in terms of evolution, it is ridiculously important that one species as wimpy as us became the quasi-masters of nature. Or the idiotic mass trying to do so.
Their ties to money make them the undead zombies in the slash-and-burn horror flick that is American politics: No matter how many times their discredited theologies are stabbed, torched and shot down by verifiable failure, their careers cannot be killed. Somehow, these political immortals are allowed to mindlessly lunge forward, never answering to rivals…
Remember, while Obama said he wants to slash “billions of dollars in wasteful spending” at the Pentagon, his national security team is demanding a $40 billion increase in defense spending (evidently, the “ludicrous” faction got its way). Obama also said he wants to crack down on the financial industry, strengthen laws encouraging the government to purchase American goods, and transform trade policy. Yet, his economic team is not just promising to support more bank bailouts, but also to weaken “Buy America” statutes and make sure new legislation “doesn’t signal a change in our overall stance on trade,” according to the president’s spokesman.
The controversial Jesus Camp in the US has shut down after a documentary film which featured events of children praying in tongues and sobbing with repentance in the camp met with a negative response. Continue reading →
Freedom of will is the most basic requirement of dignity, proposes Todorov in his book about the moral life in the holocaust. He also suggests that the extreme of the lager bares the foundations of our more ordinary moral choices. Thus, ordinary moral actions, which pettiness would render invisible, become more visible when analyzed under the cold light of the concentration camps. By understanding them, we could also notice the woven texture of our everyday virtues and morality. Continue reading →
The famous debate between William F. Buckley Jr., the alleged the father of the conservative renaissance in America, and Noam Chomsky, social scientist and democrat.
Buckley tries to substitute accurate historical knowledge with mockery. Chomsky knows what he is talking about, and his points are logical
It is difficult to decide who won the debate in the end. Although Buckley’s ignorance made him look like a fool in most of the debate, America ended up embracing his republican views in the decades to come.
Meanwhile, Chomsky became an increasingly famous activist and neglected academic.
That is, Buckley’s ignorance became mainstream and Chomsky’s pristine ethics and accuracy went underground.
Fast forward to the 2008 US Presidential Elections. Christopher Buckley (William F.’ son and speech writer for George Bush) announces he is voting for Obama and gets kicked out of the conservative journal founded by his father.
This story sounds like a paragraph by Kurt Vonnegut Jr, this great chronicler of the American saga.