Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Too Early For Thinking

From the desk of: Joel

Maybe Greg Oden keeps getting hurt because the Norse god Odin is angry that they share the same last name. Maybe Greg Oden should change his name to Greg Smith. Or Greg Poseidon.

Robyn took me to see the Nutcracker at the Krannert Center on Sunday. It was lots of fun - I had never seen the entire ballet before - but I think that my entire experience was tainted by being raised on Fantasia. During the Chinese dance, all I could see were those cute little mushrooms running around in circles. It was hilarious.

If I were Boise St. and TCU, I would take three knees and then punt on each of my first possessions as a form of protest against the BCS for being stuck in the Fiesta Bowl playing against each other.

Robyn found this interview of Bard professor Roger Berkowitz in Harper's Magazine. Berkowitz is discussing the writings and philosophy Hannah Arendt, who is buried at Bard and is pretty much our alma mater's philosophy bff. (With the possible exception of maybe Kant.) You should read it if you have time. Some highlights:

The political lies Arendt worries about are not mere falsehoods. They are political acts in which facts are denied and alternative realities are created. In denying facts, the political liar acts to change the world, to make reality anew so that it conforms to our needs and desires. In this way, lying is at the essence of political action....

Arendt’s letter to Ellison has been seized upon as evidence that she recanted her opposition to forced integration. This overstates the case. Ellison rejects Arendt’s claim that black parents exploited their children by sending them into such an explosive situation. Arendt’s admission that she did not understand the black experience of sacrifice does not suggest that she altered her view that forced desegregation was a fundamental violation of the rights of all parents to educate their children as they wished....

After the war, she stood with Judah Magnes as a critic of the establishment of Israel as a Jewish state. Instead, she advocated for a binational state that encompassed Jews and Arabs as equal citizens. Whether such a state was ever possible, many have credited Arendt with prescience in her prediction that a Jewish state would necessarily be chauvinist, that Palestinians—as second class citizens—would emerge as refugees presenting an insolvable problem, and that Israel would become a militarized state....

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