I’ve long suspected that one of the reasons why human beings haven’t yet figured out how to carry on a conversation with bottlenosed porpoises, African gray parrots, et al. in their own language is quite simply that we’re terrified of what they might say to us—not least because it’s entirely possible that they’d be right...
- Darwin's Casino - The Archdruid Report
Sunday, July 12, 2015
Sunday, April 12, 2015
Image courtesy Le Colonel Chabert
An item at Truthdig brought to my attention a schism of perception between two thinkers concerned with inequality and privilege. I think it’s important to understand what is being said here. The Anand Giridharadas quote that ruffled the feathers of Connor Kilpatrick at Jacobin:
Don't console yourself that you are the 99 percent. If you live near a Whole Foods; if no one in your family serves in the military; if you are paid by the year, not the hour; if most people you know finished college; if no one you know uses meth; if you married once and remain married; if you're not one of 65 million Americans with a criminal record — if any or all of these things describe you, then accept the possibility that actually, you may not know what's going on, and you may be part of the problem.
Saturday, December 13, 2014
Still frame from The Turin Horse
God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?
- Frederich Nietzsche
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Photo: El Mercurio
This paragraph from a biography of Jean-Paul Sartre echoes my feelings today for the West in general, and the United States in particular.
(Emphases are mine, as is the inserted footnote. For the sake of sheer sanity on my part, I removed the footnotes provided by the author. You can purchase the book for those.)
Sunday, March 2, 2014
A very small business, from Sheknows Parenting
I listened to Rich Lowry yesterday, sounding very reasonable, on KCRW's Left, Right & Center explaining that Arizona's now-tanked SB 1060 bill was merely a tweak to existing state and federal laws protecting business owners from undue burdens upon their religious freedoms absent a "compelling government interest." This view is also expressed in this post at a "Right"-eous Christian blog.
I'm going to grant the point and proceed from there.
Saturday, February 8, 2014
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Cheney is just the gift that keeps on giving. On the deceased donor of a (now clearly lonely) heart:
"... the way I think of it from a psychological standpoint is that it’s my new heart, not someone else’s old heart. And I always thank the donor, generically thank donors for the gift that I’ve been given, but I don’t spend time wondering who had it, what they’d done, what kind of person.."Of course you don't, Dick. I mean, you've already "generically" thanked the Aristotelean donor archetype.
I'm going to be very sad when Dick Cheney dies. Unless we get to have a few days of rage in his memory, that is.
Sunday, October 27, 2013
[Crossposted from The Secret History of Sarin]
Over the past several months the world has witnessed the heinous and lethal effects of sarin gas as deployed in Syria, yet virtually unknown is the long history of this deadly chemical compound. Especially abhorrent in this history are sarin’s entangled roots in Nazi Germany and its subsequent exploitation by the United States government. This history also graphically underscores the brutal byproducts brought on by international conflicts and the insane subterfuge that frequently accompanies the aftermath of war.Read more >>
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Sunday, August 11, 2013
Image snatched from Andy in Oman
This may seem a silly question to many people (particularly to those of you who wander here,) but I am querying the psychological roots of contrariness. Additionally, there is a great deal of evidence that many - if not most - of us are content to "go along to get along" as long as some basic needs are met.
What is up with those of us who aren't willing to let the machine run the way it's running? It's easy to see how people who are suffering the consequences of an unjust social system might revolt against it, but what of those of us who would do just fine if we would simply sat down and shut up? Indeed, those of us who create negative experiences for ourselves by speaking out or acting against the status quo?
Certainly the hubris of Ego can be a part of the answer. That's what S. thought.
Saturday, July 20, 2013
Despair - Edvard Munch
(A quick note: While doing my standard cursory "research" to make sure I have my terms right, I ran across the Wikipedia entry on Learned helplessness and was reminded once again of the despicable nature of Behavioral Psychology research. What Seligman and Maier did to those poor creatures, in order to gain insight on what a simple fucking thought experiment will accomplish, disgusts me.)
"Learned helplessness," as applied to the state of political apathy here in the United States, is a meme I've been running across with increasing frequency here in cyberspace. The idea is that we - those of us who are not in that special class of uber-wealth - have become so disconnected from the mechanisms of power, so disenfranchised from the influence of our representative democracy, that we shrink from contemplation of, let alone action against, the insults heaped upon us by "the system," much as like Seligman and Maier's battered dogs.
Sunday, July 14, 2013
Image liftted from Patriot Acts
I am personally offended by some comments made by a Portland "newcomer," as quoted in Jon Talton's Sunday column in the Seattle Times, Check of Portland’s vitals shows signs of life. On Portland, Taz Loomans says:
...this place seems to lack a work ethic. There are too many loafers here unfortunately, too many people satisfied with doing service jobs and enjoying the time off, without developing themselves into something more.and
...the key is to attract weird people who are motivated and ambitious and want to contribute to society and the economy, not weird people who are satisfied living on the edge of homelessness.Well.