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Enemies Of The State




A new Poll shows that some 43% of self-identified Republicans believe that “the president should have the authority to close news outlets engaged in bad behavior.” how you react to that poll says more about your political views than it does the actual poll. The reactions to the news are as predictable as a sunrise, but all of them miss the real point. Sure, the media conducted a poll to find out if people really do hate them as much as they report that the people do. But looked at in context, it provides us with an opportunity to test our values against our actions. Because the myth that we “love’ free speech is as pervasive as the idea that the media is the “enemy of the state.” Read the rest of this entry

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The Scarlet X




Montel William recently tweeted that people who do a certain thing on their profile would be unfollowed and blocked by him. The problem is, as it became clear in the following thread, he didn’t actually know what the thing he that was upset about and banning people for actually was. He still doesn’t. In point of fact, neither do I, although both he and I have a vaguely contextually idea.

That is a big part of the problem, when it comes to censorship and/or editorial controlling speech on non-governmental platforms. If we don’t know what we are looking at, how do we look when we start banning and/or editorially controlling the content of speech? Read the rest of this entry

Never More Divided



Almost daily we are told by some pundit somewhere, that we “have never been more divided.” I think that intellectually we know that isn’t true. But history is past, not always prologue. And without any experiential relationship to it, we find it easy to disconnect from it. We don’t know what happened, except in the broadest of sense, and so it is easy to both ignore its lessons and – like a teenager after a first breakup – believe that nobody could possibly understand what we are going through right now. 

When it comes to the American Civil War of 1861-1865, there are any number of passions, beliefs, arguments, nostalgic wanderings and even warmed over arguments that it’s hard sometimes to keep it all straight. If you want to really start an argument by dropping a grenade into a conversation, just bring up any of the controversial aspects of the Civil War (my personal favorite is, “Could the South have won?”). Then walk over and get your popcorn.

Here we are, one hundred and fifty-two years after the end of the War, and now we have decided that Confederate Monuments need to come down because, hurt feelings. I guess.

Look. I’ll be the second person to say it: Confederate Monuments are the ultimate Participation Trophy. Literally they say “2nd Place, American Civil War.” And while I will also argue that the Confederate States of America was an evil thing in its time, what exactly does tearing down monuments actually accomplish? Supporters of the monuments claim that we can “learn from them.” Fine. Conversely, What is the lesson a person takes away from a statue of Jefferson Davis? 

If education and enlightenment are to be our focus, instead of “feelings” and emotions, when we tear down all of these monuments because, hurt feelings, with what do we replace them? More importantly, when we erase this history, regardless of its stench, what gets reinforced in our corporate minds? That we have never “been more divided?”

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