Archive for May 2004

Rorty on Wolin on Postmodernism *

May 31st, 2004 | Filed by

Spirited and informative, but neglects the arguments.… Read the rest

Liberalism is 10,000 Years Old *

May 31st, 2004 | Filed by

It’s about learning to live and to trade with strangers.… Read the rest

John Gray on Richard Wolin on Postmodernism *

May 31st, 2004 | Filed by

‘just another shot fired in the unending American culture wars.’… Read the rest

Sontag and Kael *

May 31st, 2004 | Filed by

Trash, frivolity, seriousness, moral pleasure, respectability.… Read the rest

Jokes and Conversations

May 30th, 2004 11:20 pm | By

One or two or more unrelated items of interest. One from Normblog, a moment of dialogue with a very sophisticated theorist of some sort –

All Googling, and that includes self-Googling, is culturally specific and also gendered. There’s an excellent paper on it by Lesley DeTrobe. He-or-she – that’s Lesley I’m talking about, who has renounced maleness and femaleness since June 1999 – there deconstructs the notion of a universalizing universalism, showing this to be a grwelphdoop. The concept of grwelphdoopism is one of DeTrobe’s most illuminating accomplishments. Think Foucault, think Derrida, think Dr Susie Nupledor Jr and her black dog Melvy. Of course, ‘dog’ is itself one of the very grwelphdoops sent packing by DeTrobe, but in the

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Visiting Colin Wilson *

May 30th, 2004 | Filed by

‘Humphrey fell asleep when I was explaining what I meant by non-pessimistic existentialism.’… Read the rest

Ben Pimlott on Biography *

May 30th, 2004 | Filed by

Against biographies which combine hagiography with salacious exposure of sex lives. … Read the rest

‘Stella Dallas’ and Nietzsche *

May 30th, 2004 | Filed by

Emerson and Hepburn, Thoreau and Bette Davis, Hollywood and Stanley Cavell.… Read the rest

John Gross Reviews Stanley Wells *

May 30th, 2004 | Filed by

Yes Shakespeare loved sexual jokes, but ‘lewd interpreters’ exaggerate.… Read the rest

The Gulf

May 29th, 2004 8:31 pm | By

It’s all quite interesting, as I said – albeit in a rather depressing way. It shows what a great yawning gulf there can be between secular modes of thought and the non-secular variety; between rational discussion and irrational discussion; between unbelief and belief; between atheism and theism. I’m not sure I think that’s always the case. I think it may be possible for atheists and theists to find some common ground at least sometimes. At least I think I think that – but maybe I only hope it, or would like to think it, or feel as if I ought to think it, because it seems so rude not to. (Which of course is a bad principle, and just the … Read the rest

Freudians Duke it Out *

May 29th, 2004 | Filed by

College of Psychoanalysts versus British Psychoanalytical Society.… Read the rest

I’m Knitting a Guillotine

May 28th, 2004 8:22 pm | By

Well, I tried to preserve the anti-secularist’s anonymity, but I was not permitted. So very well. Now that that’s not an option, I’ll just go ahead and take a look at some more over-the-top religious rhetoric. Barn door me no barn doors, this sort of thing is both interesting and important, so I will not machine-gun it (despite being Mme. Defarge) but I will question it.

Cite me, if you will, Mr. Halasz, the secular leftists in the French Revolution who fought its excesses. Cite me, if you will, the secular leftists in Stalin’s Soviet who did not support it or look the other way when churches were razed. Cite me, if you will, all the secular leftists, in

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Indian State Changes Textbooks *

May 28th, 2004 | Filed by

Delhi chief minister: ‘these books reinforce the secular traditions of India.’… Read the rest

Pinochet Stripped of Immunity *

May 28th, 2004 | Filed by

Chilean court ruling makes trial on charges of human rights abuses possible.… Read the rest

The Joy of Being a Woman (or Girl) *

May 28th, 2004 | Filed by

Raped and impregnated so a pariah so forced to sell self to UN peacekeepers for a banana to feed baby.… Read the rest

Gotta New Pair of Shoooooes

May 28th, 2004 1:22 am | By

Okay I just got through saying I don’t drone about personal stuff here and don’t chatter about trivia, and now I’m going to do just that. Well not trivia – it’s immensely important, actually. But chatter, and drone, and personal(ish), yes. Well not exactly personal, but of more interest to me than to some people. Most people. Okay all people.

What, what, what, what is it, you’re screeching, what can it possibly be, hurry up and tell us, we’re on the edge of our chairs, please please tell us. Okay. You remember the baby. The one that got launched into the world in such an almighty rush, the one that zoomed off into the distance without a backward look, the … Read the rest

Law Authorizing Assisted Suicide Upheld *

May 27th, 2004 | Filed by

Federal Appeals Court rebukes Ashcroft for overstepping his authority.… Read the rest

Good on Sparkle, Not so Good on Substance *

May 27th, 2004 | Filed by

Francis Wheen can seem to be taking potshots at easy targets.… Read the rest

List of New York Times Articles *

May 27th, 2004 | Filed by

Some later corrected, others casting doubt on reliability of some defectors.… Read the rest

Remember, Check Your Sources *

May 27th, 2004 | Filed by

A major newspaper wishes it had been more aggressive in re-examining some claims.… Read the rest