Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A fruitful land into a salt waste - climate change and apocalypsis

He changes rivers into a wilderness
And springs of water into a thirsty ground;

A fruitful land into a salt waste,
Because of the wickedness of those who dwell in it.

-Psalm 107:33-34

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

MacIntyre and Pateman – a comparison on Rawls

Alasdair MacIntyre is an Aristotelian-Thomist philosopher.

Carole Pateman is a feminist theorist.

Both are critics of liberalism. Both have cited John Rawls as an emblematic liberal philosopher.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

marriage divorce adultery men women

Long long ago in Palestine, two schools of thought emerged between two Judean intellectuals named Hillel and Shammai. They debated more than 300 different issues, and their debates spilled into the streets of Palestine, where partisans went at each other like Bernie and Hillary. The intensification of brutality by an occupying Roman military only made matters worse, because when people are under pressure their differences become magnified.

Friday, November 18, 2016

The (very approximate) state of things

I really want to work on my novels, but I keep getting sucked into the vortex of political discussion. And yes, we have taken some first steps for practical political action here in our little farm county.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Comic books, war, race & masculinity

Excerpt from Borderline (pp. 344-47)

Germany was inundated with visual propaganda under Hitler—paintings, posters, and statues. Masculinity, as it had been since the eugenics movement began in the West, was closely associated with “physical culture”— bodybuilding. The male form was represented in Nazi art as lean and heavily muscled, modeling its bodily archetypes on Greek and Roman art, with facial features that emphasized “Aryan” beauty. Figures of men were often nude and hairless, emphasizing the idea of a clean, self-contained, impermeable boundary at the skin. The torsos of the Nazi male archetype were modeled on breastplate armor to reinforce the idea of impermeability and lack of vulnerability. Feet were planted firmly apart, hands often doubled into fists, and visages sternly aimed at the horizon.12

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Call-out culture and the new elect

It is surpassingly odd that so many of us will reprehend a man or woman who exhibits racial animus or a man who makes misogynistic, homophobic, or xenophobic remarks yet remain silent about soldiers who fly across oceans to invade the lands of other peoples to abuse and kill them. Even if we are willing to damn the invasions, the soldiers who do the wet work get a pass. I say this because I was one of those soldiers, and even if I explicitly tell people that I did this or that reprehensible thing, my contrition about it stands me up as some kind of especially virtuous person – part of a ‘progressive’ redemption narrative.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


Tragedy or farce. Elements of both I suspect. Human life, when looked at without comforting sentimentalizations, is tragi-comic. And it ends the same way for all of us.