Some recent essays of sociopolitical interest:
To update Marx: History happens, first as tragedy, then as farce; then as slapstick re-runs on cable channels.
Even the principles did not realize for some time that it was leading to a World War.
Yet it marked a powerful and permanent turn, of the groaning millwheel of History; and on that day, Clio laid aside her pen, and wept.
"The cabinet noir introduced, in a curious way, the Open Diplomacy advocated by the enthusiasts of the League of Nations."
The hyperconservatives’ public rhetoric may in many cases be simply ad usum minus habentium.
الدولة الاسلامية في العراق والشام
There is no more a logical contradiction between someone born by surrogacy coming (upon mature reflection) to condemn the practice, than in the analogous case of someone born by rape, or prostitution, or incest, or bigamy, or A.I.D., or fructification by Zeus in the form of a swan, objecting to (as a general practice) rape, or prostitution, or incest, or bigamy, or A.I.D., or extra-Olympian dalliances by randy deities sub specie cygni.
Trigger warning: This philological note may contain some very, very bad words. You must be over 21 to read this. No, make that 31. 91. In fact -- Don’t read it at all.
As a native who returned, Thomas Frank combines, to advantage, the insights of the Visiting Martian (Toqueville, Dickens, Chesterton …) with those of the indigene. And in richness of description, his book recalls that never-equaled masterpiece, John Gunther’s Inside USA.
Incredible though it may appear, the students at UC Santa Barbara face more deadly perils than the lapses from correctitude in The Great Gatsby:
A word on that fixed phrase, “rape or incest”, inscribed in stone like “peanut-butter and jelly” or “Laurel and Hardy”. Sociologically, morally, the collocation makes perfect sense. But practically, there is a certain redundancy …
The 1996 book It Takes a Village, by Barbara Feinman (writing as “Hillary Clinton”), was meant -- commendably -- to point to the need (which in practice, in America, had never been denied, until recently) for community involvement in child-rearing, beyond the autarky of the nuclear family. Such was the unquestioned state of affairs during my own childhood…
A mittel-europäischer rationalist recalls “those golden, and, all in all very peaceful final decades of the colonial system”, and adverts ad the hermeneuts …
An Irishman, a person of unrecorded nationality, and an individual from a nation we dare not name, walk into a bar …
Striking a blow for freedom of adultery,
and the muzzling of the press.
If the geopolitical playing-field were momentarily tilted slightly differently, you’d have Congressmen standing on their chairs shouting for the inalienable rights of the freedom-loving Crimean People to determine their self-determination themselves.
But now a wildcard pops up out of the deck. The current Justice Department, the one in office at this particular instant (and again, possibly after a wild night of ibogaine abuse, that part is unclear), lets it be known that it would prefer to stay in bed rather than defend the government’s side of the case, on this issue. At which point a voice (of uncertain origin) bellows from the wings, that in that case, the Supreme Court lacks jurisdiction! Which means, the original litigant wins by default, just as though it were a Little League game where the Wellfleet Woodchucks failed to appear.
There is another, subtler layer to the story, namely that the ever-oily, ever-ingratiating Hollande -- who is by no means accustomed to laying bald facts out plain -- was, in this case, actually attempting, in his ham-handed way, to be politically-correct : only, within a certain sociopolitical microclimate …
While France is absorbed in such insipid distractions as the latest entry in the palmarès of “The Wit and Wisdom of François Hollande”, some genuine events are unfolding in Françafrique, following in the wake of much bloodshed, and heralding more bloodshed to come
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It is depressing even to have to think about North Korea, the geopolitical equivalent of anal warts.
France’s practice of repeatedly doling out ransoms, while denying that it does so, has planted a tree with poison roots. Here, perhaps, are some of its fruits.
Glurge alert! The French President goes groveling before the fratricidal chaos of Africa. If he needs a good whipping, why can't he go get it at Madame Sévère’s Bondage Basement, instead of dragging all France into his fantasies?
Mister Pecksniff and Ted Cruz -- separated at birth?
Outsource the police state to charity: The Swiss NGO Terre des Hommes lays a honey-trap…
“I don’t know which Mafia I dislike the most. I’m leaning toward liking the Italian Mafia because they are just immoral and still believe in mother and child. But the Art Mafia is immoral and, from what I can tell, they’ve stopped procreating.”
Tom announces on national television that he intends to kill John. Then Tom is charged with murder, because, though his intended victim is still among the living, what Tom did was “just as bad”. And if you imply otherwise, you are insulting the murder-victims community.
Wie eine Kultur sich selbst auffrißt