Saturday, December 30, 2017

Vacation Reading

While on vacation in Mexico, FLG read the 2015 revision of Roger Scruton's Fools, Frauds, and Firebrands: Thinkers of the New Left, which was originally released in 1985.  FLG really enjoyed it, largely for two reasons.  First, the amount of horrible prose Scruton had to endure to write the book is impressive.   FLG wouldn't have the stomach for it.  Second, judging from the small selection of works discussed that FLG has actually read, Scruton is incredibly fair and even-handed.    Scruton's primary objection isn't the conclusions per se.   It's the "ludicrous Marxist gobbledegook" that lacks any scholarly rigor and hides in verbose, convoluted, and ultimately meaningless prose that was and is now deemed sufficiently scholarly as long as the author is appropriately politically aligned.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

FLG Is Scratching His Head

FLG was reading this article at The Root, which to be honest had a lots of passages that had FLG scratching his head, but this quotation of Cornell West was downright confusing:
I just don’t like talking about white supremacy independent of the empire and patriarchy, especially of class. I think that we can’t be pre-Du Bois. Du Bois taught us white supremacy is always to be viewed in relation to class patriarchy and empire and homophobia and transphobia.

FLG is no expert in Du Bois, but he finds it unlikely that he had much to say about homophobia, and would be downright shocked if he'd had the foresight enough to even identify transphobia as existing, let alone integrate it into holistic system of white supremacy.  Now, the lens through which Du Bois viewed oppression, double consciousness, and some of his socialist political thought can undoubtedly be applied in a way that incorporates these issues, in the same way they can be applied to almost any minority within a community, but FLG thinks it's a stretch to say Du Bois taught people about homophobia and transphobia.  But again, FLG is no expert in Du Bois.   He'll have to do some research.

Friday, December 15, 2017

The Last Jedi

Saw it today.   Checked Rotten Tomatoes, and the score there makes perfect sense.  Critics give it 93%.   And FLG agrees.  As a bit of filmmaking, it's solid.  Better quality filmmaking than can be expected from many blockbusters.   Audiences, however, only give it 53%.   And FLG agrees.  As a Star Wars fan since childhood, which FLG is, it's very disappointing.

FLG is curious to see what Kevin Smith has to say about it.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Fake News

[O]ne should expect with journalistic “mistakes” is that they sometimes go in one direction, and other times go in the other direction. That’s exactly what has not happened here. Virtually every false story published goes only in one direction: to be as inflammatory and damaging as possible on the Trump/Russia story and about Russia particularly. At some point, once “mistakes” all start going in the same direction, toward advancing the same agenda, they cease looking like mistakes.
No matter your views on those political controversies, no matter how much you hate Trump or regard Russia as a grave villain and threat to our cherished democracy and freedoms, it has to be acknowledged that when the U.S. media is spewing constant false news about all of this, that, too, is a grave threat to our democracy and cherished freedom.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Deneen At His Best

Patrick Deneen's analysis of the removal of societal expectations of courting behavior and in loco parentis, the subsequent emergence of the hook-up culture, and finally the use of Title IX to assert federal authority in the sphere of collegiate sexual relations:

In effect, this immorality tale is the Hobbesian vision in microcosm: First, tradition and culture must be eliminated as arbitrary and unjust (“natural man”). Then, we see that absent such norms, anarchy is the result (“the state of nature”). Finding such anarchy unbearable, we turn to a central sovereign as our sole protector, that “Mortall God” who will protect us from ourselves (“the social contract”). We have been liberated from all custom and tradition, all authority that sought to educate by habit and within the context of ongoing communities, and have replaced it with a central authority that punishes wrongdoers who abuse their freedoms. And, now lacking any informal and local forms of authority, we are virtually assured that those abuses will regularly occur, and that the role of the state in ever more intimate personal affairs will increase (“prerogative”).

It's worth reading the whole thing. 
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