l33tminion: (Ted)
In preparation for May 22:



From [livejournal.com profile] _53 on [livejournal.com profile] antitheism, here.
l33tminion: (Bookhead (Nagi))
A conversation I had with a friend on Twitter this morning:

@Sorcyress: I am kinda weirded out by the idea of "hug a jew day" (girls were discussing in high school class)...
@Sorcyress: ...but I don't really have the background to fight it. Maybe I'm just reacting to the phrasing "a jew", which is a slur? I don't know.
@Sorcyress: (Also problematic in that what if the Jewish people in question don't *want* hugs. Or don't want hugs for that reason.)
Me: @Sorcyress "A Jew" is not a slur any more than "a Christian" or "a Muslim" is a slur.
@Sorcyress: More on "Jew" versus "Jewish" http://bit.ly/b2Myxv --implication is that "Jew" isn't technically a slur, but has a dubious history
@Sorcyress: @L33tminion It seems that "Jew" may not be a slur, but is still tainted by a history of being used as one.
Me: @Sorcyress Are you seriously making anti-Semites your go-to source for the definition of the word "Jew"?
@Sorcyress: @L33tminion Based on my research (bit.ly/b2Myxv, bit.ly/JSch1) "Jew" is not a slur, however it is/was so commonly used as one that...
@Sorcyress: @L33tminion ...some people shy away from the word. My best guess is that it's to other reclaimed language, ie, there is not a problem...
@Sorcyress: @L33tminion ...if a Jewish person chooses to self identify as "a Jew" or call themself/another Jewish person "Jew" but because of the...
@Sorcyress: @L33tminion ...history, it can be a little dicey for non-Jewish-identified people to refer to Jewish people a "a jew" or "jews"
@Sorcyress: @L33tminion That being said, IANA Jewish studies major or Jewish. I initially was unsure of whether Jew was a slur. Still am.

At which point I decided a longer post was called for.

Full Disclosure: I was raised Jewish. Many of my family members are Jews. I don't identify myself as "Jewish" / "a Jew", primarily because that implies things about my religious belief and/or practice that are incorrect. (Secondarily, because I put more focus on the religious connotations of the term than ethnic/racial concepts of "the Jewish people".)

Jew as "Reclaimed Language": First off, I take issue with the characterization of the word "Jew" as "reclaimed". Jew is not a word originally applied to practitioners of Judaism by their detractors, but a word with straightforward historical origins that trace back to the biblical story of the origin of the Jews. Wikipedia has an article on the word itself, which contains an excellent summary:
The Jewish ethnonym in Hebrew is יהודים Yehudim (plural of יהודי Yehudi) which is the origin of the English word Jew. The Hebrew name is derived from the region name Judah (Yehudah יהודה). Originally the name referred to the territory allotted to the tribe descended from Judah the fourth son of the patriarch Jacob (Numbers). Judah was one of the twelve sons of Jacob and one of the Twelve tribes of Israel (Genesis). The Genesis 29:35 [1] relates that Judah's mother — the matriarch Leah — named him Yehudah (i.e. "Judah") because she wanted to "praise God" for giving birth to so many sons: "She said, 'This time let me praise (odeh אודה) God (יהוה),' and named the child Judah (Yehudah יהודה)", thus combining "praise" and "God" into one new name. Thereafter Judah vouchsafes the Jewish monarchy, and the Israelite kings David and Solomon derive their lineage from Judah. In Hebrew, the name "Judah" (י ה ו [ד] ה) contains the four letters of the Tetragrammaton — the special, holy, and ineffable name of the Jewish God. The very holiness of the name of Judah attests to its importance as an alternate name for "Israelites" that it ultimately replaces.

[...]

The Middle English word Jew is from the Old French giu, earlier juieu, from the Latin Iudaeus from the Greek Ἰουδαῖος. The Latin simply means Judaean, from the land of Judaea. In the Old English the word is attested as early as 1000 in various forms, such as Iudeas, Gyu, Giu, Iuu, Iuw, Iew. [links omitted]
The first article that @Sorcyress cites, Jonah Goldberg's Proud and True: He's A Jew, claims that "the word 'Jew' is being rehabilitated". The article correctly identifies some problematic uses of the word "Jew". "Jew" as a verb and as an adjective are problematic and that usage both originates from and ties back to an anti-Semetic context. However, the article makes some bizarre statements, for example:
Ironically, the Jew-Jewish distinction was brought to the fore recently by - or to be more fair - because of, another Democrat: Hillary Clinton. The allegation that she called an aide a "f***ing Jew bastard" 30 years ago, fairly or not, reminded some people that "Jew" can be a hurtful word. "F***ing Jewish bastard," oddly enough, would not have been as offensive. [emphasis mine]
Wait, what? I suppose that last statement is technically true. A reduction in the number of syllables conveys emotional intensity (think how many slurs and swears are one syllable), and also has the connotation of force of habit. One would not be unreasonable to conclude that the speaker of the first line is more vehement in their anti-Jewish sentiment and guessing that they more habitually rant about their dislike for "the Jews". But talk about missing the forest for the trees, if the reminder there has to do with the usage of "Jew" versus "Jewish" as opposed to the association of either with "F-ing bastard"!

Another paragraph of note from the same article:
[...] Hitler was largely successful in smearing the word "Jew." The word was so beaten up that after the Holocaust most American Jews took to saying, "I'm Jewish," rather than say, "I am a Jew."
Hitler speaking of "Jews" would have been rather uncharacteristically in English, so that leads to some fascinating sociolinguistic questions about the effects of a word with similar derivation in a different language being used as a slur. (I'm being a bit unfair here, I'd guess that the effects of English-speaking anti-Semites had a more significant direct effect on the perception of the word "Jew" in English. A rhetorical reference to Hitler in the context of the recent history of anti-Semitism can surely be forgiven.)

Identity and Labeling: Proponents of political correctness (and yes, I would count myself in that group) often focus on the use of labeling language. See, for example, the discussion of "person-first language". It's true that language can be hurtful because it implies that an attribute is more of a core part of someone's identity than it actually is. Unfortunately, that cuts both ways: Language can be hurtful because it implies that an attribute is less of a core part of someone's identity than it actually is. Especially if that connotes, "I don't want to treat this as a core part of your identity because it's bad." When someone uses "Jewish person" when "Jew" would flow better, I wonder if this is an expression of discomfort with their own negative attitude about Jews, or an excessive focus on speech norms as opposed to the actual effects of speech. To give an exaggerated example, think what it would imply if someone consistently referred to Jews as "people who are members of the Jewish religion" or "people who practice the Jewish faith", especially if they didn't refer to members of other religions in a similar manner. (I considered using "person with Judaism" as my example, but I'm pretty sure that crosses the line from rhetorical exaggeration into satire.)

On Consistency: Speaking of that last, the connotations of "Jewish person" versus "Jew" may also depend on how the speaker refers to (more specifically, how the listener expects the speaker to refer to) members of other religions. "Jew" is the ordinary noun for "a member of the Jewish religion". So if you refer to "Christians", "Muslims", "Buddhists", "Hindus", and "Jewish people", I don't think the connotation with regard to Jews/Judaism is positive. As the Wikipedia article concludes:
[...] when used as a noun, "Jew" is preferred, as other circumlocutions (e.g. "Jewish person") give the impression that the term "Jew" is offensive in all contexts.
Note that the last is not an argument from any authority, simply a long-standing consensus among the article's editors. I'm just quoting that to say "I agree".

"Hug a Jew Day": Of course, none of that addresses the original question of whether or not "Hug a Jew Day" is weird or offensive, except to object to the characterization of "Jew" as "a slur". I can see why "Hug a Jew Day" could be problematic.

However, a bit of searching revealed a more interesting historical context than I'd originally expected. It seems that "hug a Jew day" dates back to 2009. It originated as a Facebook group formed in opposition to Kick a Jew Day, which in turn was inspired by Kick a Ginger Day, which was inspired by an episode of South Park. Hard to say without further information how @Sorcyress's classmates' discussion fits into that context, but there's clearly some substantial stuff to dig into.
l33tminion: (Default)
l33tminion: (Mad Scientist)
Media: Seems there have been an awful lot of discussions on LJ lately that start with one author or another saying something mind-bogglingly dumb and/or offensive. The short context here: GLADD published a report on the presentation of homosexual characters on various TV channels, of those channels, only SyFy said, "Our bad, we'll try to do better in the future," [livejournal.com profile] johncwright flipped out, expressing rage the SyFy was cowardly submitting to pressure from a lobby that subscribes to the mantra "evil is our good" (he claimed sarcasm on that last characterization, but in a later post decried the "antinomian* agenda" of the Left). The rest was a pretty typical homophobic screed, but the responses it prompted were interesting: [livejournal.com profile] autopope provides a bit of context here, Hal Duncan has a dramatic and detailed response, Kip Manley has a more pointed response that hits the "antinomian" bit specifically and also has some more general commentary on the relationship between the author's views and their work, Ampersand answers a specific point of Wright's post ("What argument can be given to outlaw incest that cannot be given with even more logic to outlaw homosexuality?").

* Presumably, with "tolerance" or some-such substituted for Jesus. He was suggesting that liberals think that homosexuality is evil / perverted / wrong, but that wrong things are okay if you're a liberal. This is worth some attention, especially given that there are significant groups with an antinomian agenda in the US (the salvation by faith in salvation by faith alone types).

Politics and Economics: The White House blog has a post on how income disparity is way up (almost to its previous, just-before-the-Great-Depression high) and how "this trend must reverse". Kind of surprising to see the White House saying such things so directly. Meanwhile, the second commenter on an article saying much the same thing puts it more succinctly. There's also an interesting op-ed suggesting that a second Great Depression was averted through the power of Big Government. Kind of annoying that there will never, ever be an objective perspective on whether that's true or not, economics is way too political.

Healthcare: Nate Silver explains exactly why and how much the public option is in trouble. According to that, the key is Senate Finance committee members, because anti-public-option senators would be willing to filibuster a pro-public-option amendment, but not the whole bill. Also an interesting bit about how the GOP in 2003 supported adding the sort of care to Medicare that they're now characterizing as "death panels". Er...

Business, Airlines, Music: United has horrible customer service, which produces entertaining results.
l33tminion: (Caffeine)
Back from Cleveland and, since I was at work late and unable to resist the sweet allure of late-night iced coffee, up late. As usual, there are lots of things I want to blog about, but so little time, so mini-stories with links, GO!

Here's a video about expected value, why people are bad at estimating it and therefore bad at making rational economic decisions. But the guy misses something big when discussing the lottery, namely the Kelly Criterion, highlighted in the article Do Not Play the Lottery Unless You Are a Millionaire. Basically, if you're gambling with a good expected value (say a coin flip where you win twice your bet when you win and lose your bet when you lose), you shouldn't invest too much of your money. Obviously, if you bet 100% of your bankroll, you're flat out of luck the first time you lose. When applied to the lottery, it means that the answer to "when you should play the lottery" is not when prize times odds is more than the cost of a ticket, it really is never unless you're already exceptionally rich.

Two very different musical YouTube links: One on a young piano virtuoso (next Mozart is probably overblown, but it is awesome) and one... well, just watch it.

About GM, now a subsidiary of USCo, evidently (which is giving the Republicans a stroke): It seems that this crazy variant of Chapter 11 bankruptcy is going to be heinously expensive and probably just a stalling measure... but possibly a more effective stalling measure than Chapter 11, which could be good, a rapid collapse of GM would really ripple through the economy in a bad way. More interesting is the question of what the reorg means for (more) fuel-efficient cars (summary: it's decidedly mixed). But that may be missing the point a bit, are Americans going to be really gung-ho about buying new cars en masse anytime soon, Congress's proposal to throw more massive amounts of money at the problem aside? (I'm not sure whether to be horrified at that one or hopeful because at least some dramatic options are being considered, although there's no chance in hell the government will use it's influence to convert that spare industrial capacity to making windmills or trains or something crazy like that.)

Magic: The Gathering is doing a major rules rewrite for Magic 2010 (their major core set change, core sets now get new cards, are treated as full sets, and are numbered by year). It's actually a pretty great example of game design. Interesting Only If You're Familiar With the Game )

Slacktivist has a long-running series deconstructing the Left Behind books, and this post is particularly good, because it gets at the curious subtype of the belief in "salvation by faith alone" (a sort of "salvation by faith in salvation by faith alone") that some American evangelicals seem to hold. Be very suspicious of anyone who quotes Ephesians 2:8-9 but not 10.

If you have more time to burn after reading the above, I suggest this game, it's good.
l33tminion: (Default)
  • I've been reading a lot of essays by [livejournal.com profile] bradhicks lately. A while ago, I posted an essay of his about brining back the WPA, but since then I've been directed his-journal-wards several times and decided I should pay closer attention to what this brilliant essayist has to say:
    • Here's his classic Christains in the Hands of an Angry God which answers a very interesting question: Why are American fundamentalist Christians so in bed with the Republican party when the economic values of the Republican party are antithetical to those expressed by Jesus of Nazareth, and when the biblical justifications for Republican positions regarding homosexuality, abortion, etc. are so very based on cherry picking and outright mistranslation?
    • He also gives one of the most intelligent looks at the Israel / Hamas conflict in When Will There Be Peace in Gaza: As soon as Hamas makes one crucial realization that they very much don't want to make.
    • He also has an interesting and very pessimistic take on the current economic situation, a catastrophe that could perhaps be mitigated if the FDIC decided to actually do their job... but their decision to not enforce the law was years ago.
    • His take on the church shooting committed by David Atkisson late last year is very interesting (and disturbing) in the context of current right-wing talk-media rhetoric.
  • Matt Taibi talks about the contortions of current right-wing political protest, which must oppose Obama administration bailouts and progressive anti-bailout protesters.
  • Linux Journal has a post about a recent investigation in Boston over a completely trivial matter that has yet again put this city at the forefront of "The War on the Unexpected". Specifically, police are suggesting (in the justification for the search warrant in question) that using a command-line interface is suspicious behavior.
  • Here's an essay on how one of Disney's most famous movies ripped of an earlier Japanese work wholesale. Evidently was a "just claim we never heard of it" response to not being able to get the remake rights. Speaking of Disney, there's also an amusing take on Disney's favorite target for plagiarism, themselves.
  • There's been a lot of talk on the gaming internet about OnLive, a new service business that applies the cloud computing model to gaming. The idea is to put the controller on your end and the processing all on the server, with streaming video in between. The tech community reaction has been skeptical, even if you solve all the streaming video problems, it seems like there would be some issues with latency. But maybe that's not a problem.
  • A few videos:
l33tminion: (Default)
Why is there an orange on the Seder1 plate? This is one of my favorite new Passover traditions. The story goes that this is in response to some sexist rabbi's statement that "a woman belongs on the bimah2 like an orange belongs on the Seder plate". Placing an orange on the Seder plate is, thus, a massive Take That.

However, I did a bit of Googling on the story and found the apparent originator of the idea arguing that the story is not only inaccurate, it's a corruption that subverts the original intention of the idea (reproducing in full from here because I think it's important that it be read; second source here):

In the early 1980s, the Hillel Foundation invited me to speak on a panel at Oberlin College. While on campus, I came across a Haggada3 that had been written by some Oberlin students to express feminist concerns. One ritual they devised was placing a crust of bread on the Seder plate, as a sign of solidarity with Jewish lesbians ("there's as much room for a lesbian in Judaism as there is for a crust of bread on the Seder plate").

At the next Passover, I placed an orange on our family's Seder plate. During the first part of the Seder, I asked everyone to take a segment of the orange, make the blessing over fruit, and eat it as a gesture of solidarity with Jewish lesbians and gay men, and others who are marginalized within the Jewish community (I mentioned widows in particular).

Bread on the Seder plate brings an end to Pesach - it renders everything chometz4. And its symbolism suggests that being lesbian is being transgressive, violating Judaism. I felt that an orange was suggestive of something else: the fruitfulness for all Jews when lesbians and gay men are contributing and active members of Jewish life. In addition, each orange segment had a few seeds that had to be spit out - a gesture of spitting out, repudiating the homophobia that poisons too many Jews.

When lecturing, I often mentioned my custom as one of many new feminist rituals that had been developed in the last twenty years. Somehow, though, the typical patriarchal maneuver occurred: My idea of an orange and my intention of affirming lesbians and gay men were transformed. Now the story circulates that a MAN stood up after I lecture I delivered and said to me, in anger, that a woman belongs on the bimah as much as an orange on the Seder plate. My idea, a woman's words, are attributed to a man, and the affirmation of lesbians and gay men is simply erased. Isn't that precisely what's happened over the centuries to women's ideas?

Susannah Heschel, April, 2001
Eli Black Professor of Jewish Studies Dartmouth College

[emphasis mine]

1 Passover ritual (lit. "order")
2 Platform in front of the Aron Hakodesh (cabinet containing the Torah scrolls) from which services are led
3 Book containing the Passover ritual and story (lit. "telling")
4 Leavened bread and associated foods that are not kosher for Passover

Deja Vu?

Oct. 30th, 2008 06:32 pm
l33tminion: (QED)


700 Club Christians worship pray in front of the golden bronze bull statue on Wall Street in an attempt to stay God's economic wrath. No, I am not making this up.
l33tminion: (Default)
4 weeks remain. Brandeis is off next week for Passover, and Monday is off for Patriot's Day, so this week should be a bit easier.

The weather has been beautiful, and I spent quite a while today walking around Brookline with Sarah.

Today's seder was good, too. It was my second seder in a row that had an environmental theme. I thought this one was laying it on a little heavy, though. Passover is one of the few Jewish rituals I really enjoy, so I sort of wish my extended family favored a somewhat less liberal version.
l33tminion: (Bookhead (Nagi))
I'm home, of course. My trip went well. Got a lot of reading done, including two of the new books I bought, Sam Haris's Letter to a Christian Nation (kind of blah) and C. S. Lewis's Mere Christianity (not nearly as brilliant as The Problem of Pain although excellent in parts; Lewis doesn't seem to really understand physicalism when he argues against it and his anti-feminist apologetics (a mercifully brief portion of the book) are just face-palmingly bad).

It's been good seeing Cleveland friends again. Celebrating St. Patrick's day with Markos was fun, too.
l33tminion: (Default)
Job search continues. I have a follow-up phone interview with ITA tomorrow, and an interview at ScanScout on Friday.

Homework load is still high.

The good food around the suite makes me very happy: Tea aplenty, mate, lime seltzer, fresh lemonade, frozen grapes (Ginneh introduced me to this very good idea, the grapes stay fresh and taste like little popsicles).

Thursday evening I baked challah with JOO (Jewish Organization at Olin). The rabbi at the local Chabbad and his wife ran the workshop. I'm rather glad that Ryan took the time to found the club. (Relevant context: Ryan isn't Jewish, but she's rather more observant than I've been lately.)

I need to up my exercise schedule again. I also need to devote more time to studying Japanese. I paid for a subscription to JPOD (I wrote them a letter complaining about their high prices($60/year), and they responded by offering me a 50% discount), but I haven't had time to use that since then.
l33tminion: (Bookhead (Nagi))
Just saw Jesus Camp. Very solid documentary. While not totally unbiased, the lack of narration made for a more balanced perspective, and the completed documentary was apparently approved by the group filmed (or at least their leaders). (Ted Haggard has since disavowed it, but evidently no one else in the movie has objected to how they were portrayed.) On the one hand, the group of Pentecostals that were the subject of the movie really believe. It's emotionally powerful stuff. On the other hand, some of their beliefs don't make sense, even from a perspective of biblical literalism. Why should Christian fundamentalists be all about denying global warming, for example? It suggests other worrying beliefs beneath the surface (i.e. a sort of apocalyptic disregard for the environment, an impulsive (or even hateful) opposition to science).

Of course, it's unfair to say that the subjects of the movie represent all Evangelicals, but the movie didn't seem to suggest that. However, it did use the group as an apt example of the Evangelical Christian influence on right-wing politics (and vice versa).

Also, how the children are educated / indoctrinated is more than a little creepy. I'm a bit with Dawkins on that one. It's really easy to indoctrinate children, and cognitive dissonance is a powerful force. In some of the more emotional scenes, it's hard to tell if the children are having a positive spiritual experience or deeply suffering.

Dan, I suggest that you watch this movie. This time without jumping to hasty conclusions and cutting it off midway through.
l33tminion: (QED)
Middlesex - The autobiography / family history of a fictional hermaphrodite. I really can't explain it any better than that, except to say that this book received a lot of critical acclaim when it first came out, and rightly so.

Jewish with Feeling - This book was recommended to me by a stranger on a train in Boston. I bought it a while ago, but I just got around to reading it. The book presents a case for spirituality and an argument why Judaism makes an effective center for such a spiritual life, even accepting a "universalist" position. I recommend this book to anyone who's interested in Judaism, especially those interested in Jewish mysticism. (Dan: I'd like to recommend this to you personally. Just to be perfectly clear, I don't mean that as any sort of covert criticism; I just think you'd really enjoy it.)

The Problem of Pain - My next choice was C.S. Lewis's theodicy, borrowed from the library in the IES Center. Lewis plays this venerable game of theological chess with great skill and style. His opening is a variant of the popular free will theodicy (with some fine distinctions made between "omnibenevolent" and "all loving"), and he goes on to discuss human suffering, animal pain, and the concept of heaven and hell. I was a bit disappointed that Lewis doesn't pursue this argument to it's utmost level (while he convincingly argues that some suffering can't be avoided while allowing meaningful free will, he doesn't argue the case of whether all suffering in this world is necessary in that way). Also, I found it annoying that Lewis's belief in Christianity seems to be based on a false dichotomy. (The relevant quote: "Either he [Jesus] was a raving lunatic of an unusually abominable type, or else He was, and is, precisely what He said. There is no middle way.") On the other hand, I like that Lewis is not a creationist, he addresses atheism seriously and respectfully, and his writing is undoubtedly excellent. I was also struck by the extreme similarities between Lewis's exposition on the "fall of Man" and Quinn's (delivered by the title character in Ishmael). That was very surprising, considering the huge difference between their philosophical backgrounds.
l33tminion: (Default)
In case you haven't heard the news, Jerry Falwell is dead. Apparently, the Phelps clan is planning to picket his funeral (link not safe for sanity, though fortunately lacking the Phelpses' usual amateur pornography).
l33tminion: (Default)
On Friday, I went to anime club. They started a bunch of new series, including Kodocha (likely to cause cardiac arrest in large doses) and Hare+Guu (surprisingly awesome).

On Saturday, I played DDR at MIT. The arcade was crowded with ninjas and other assorted randoms. I can't seem to beat End of the Century (on Heavy) or Healing Vison: Angelic Mix anymore, so I'll have to get back into practice.

On the train home today, I ran into a girl who seemed really familiar for some reason. I introduced myself, trying to figure out where I knew her from. Apparently, I don't. However, she (her name is Shlomit (Shulamit?; sp?)) was in the movie Hineni: Coming Out in a Jewish High School. (I haven't seen that movie, but I'm certain someone mentioned it to me recently.) We had a brief convesation about Judaism and books; I reccomended Telushkin's Jewish Wisdom, and she reccomended Schachter-Shalomi's Jewish with Feeling.

Aside from that, my life has been fairly uneventful...
l33tminion: (Why Me?)
Ugh.

Passover seder last night: It was very nice seeing my Boston family, but the younger kids at the seder gave me a headache and I wasn't very hungry. Also, the English "equivalents" of Passover songs are quite awful (worse if you actually sing them). Passover is the only Jewish tradition I really like... I should try to find a more traditional seder, I guess. But I don't want to miss the chance to spend time with my family...

Marty's mom decided at the last minute that she did feel well enough to go to the seder, then something happened while she was at the seder (she had a stroke, possibly) and some people took her to the hospital. I really hope she's all right...
l33tminion: (L33t zombie)
A few things, in no particular order:
  • The show at anime club on Friday was Mahou Shoujo Tai Alice, and it was better than I expected. The world is pretty creative, and the animation is really well done. (As a side note, they actually pronounce the main character's name as "Alice" so as to really hit the viewers over the head with the literary reference, which, as the main character literally falls into a magic world, is quite apt.)
  • Barnes and Noble University is having a class on Dungeons and Dragons. Amusing.
  • The Red Cross is considering a new emblem.
  • Check out this site on the Stanford prison experiment. It's one of the more interesting studies that's been done in the field of social psychology.
  • "Back in my day, our quantum computers were measured in qubits. A qubyte was some kind of newfangled experiment."
  • Finally, this infuriating blog entry on homelessness. Actually, the entry isn't that bad (it discusses a news special where panhandlers seem reluctant to work for money), although its analysis of the situation is weak (it neglects that a lot of homeless people are mentally ill and it neglects the sketchiness of the whole situation (as one Anon puts it: "... imagine you have no social support, no one who'd notice if you're missing, and no cell phone. A stranger pulls up and asks you to get in his car for $20. Do you really think this is a wise decision?")). It's the comments that are infuriating. Apparently, quite a few people think the homeless should be enslaved or slaughtered, and many more seem to think that people have a right to never interact with those they find unpleasant.
  • Finally, check out this excellent parody piece on intelligent design and language. (Of course, as is often the case with good parody, reality beats it to the punch.)
l33tminion: (L33t zombie)
Two weeks remaining. Hosed. Still crazy. I've got a few things to note:

Movies:
  • I saw Blues Harp in FILM this week. Excellent, excellent movie. From the director of Audition, but much less creepy. Plus, it's a gangster movie about a guy who plays the harmonica.
  • In Indie Film CC we saw George Washington. Outstanding acting, very surreal.
  • I saw Slacker in Indie Film CC a while ago, but I think I forgot to mention that. It's sort of like a piece of beat poetry set to film. I also give that a thumbs up.
Random Stuff:
  • .kkreiger- An FPS with beautiful graphics in under 96 kB. Cool tech.
  • An article on a possible change in theology in the Catholic church.
Anime:
  • Naruto wins. Artistically it's nothing incredible, but it's a fun series.
  • Trigun is also good.

Can't Rant

Sep. 13th, 2005 12:56 am
l33tminion: (L33t zombie)
Tired. Busy weekend. Krazny Oktyobr was nuts; I couldn't play, but it was still fun to watch. I didn't get a whole lot of sleep last night.

A few things in the news deserve mention, but I'm too tired to comment on any of them. Rehnquist is not dead yet dead, which takes the pressure off Roberts, as he's now replacing the conservative Chief Justice instead of the less conservative O'Connor. "Horse Show" Brown was removed from the hurricane relief efforts, than he resigned. Halliburton has been given control of the recovery operation, so they now have (very profitable) control of a major port city. Following this to its logical conclusion just gives me a headache. But perhaps I'm being too paranoid.

One other thing going on: I got into a discussion of the problem of evil over at [livejournal.com profile] religion_etc, which turned into a prolonged discussion with [livejournal.com profile] fanha about theistic vs. secular humanist morality. [livejournal.com profile] fanha is quite an interesting and intelligent guy, although his beliefs and methods differ greatly from my own. (I find such arguments interesting, but understanding can be an odd sensation sometimes.)

In a Hurry

Jul. 14th, 2005 09:20 pm
l33tminion: (Default)
My flight for Confluence leaves at 7 AM tomorrow. The earliest I can get to the airport by train is 6:10 AM. Taxis are expensive. So...

A few things to share:

First of all, something random. I feel vindicated. :-P

Second, most of you have probably heard about Karl Rove's little bit of treason. But the Republicans seem to think it shows guts. I doubt anything will come of it, but I hope Rove gets fired (at least). (Apparently, Rove was fired by the senior Bush for doing just the same thing.)

Third, some atheist humor. Well, I think it's funny. (Long, though...)

More during Confluence. (Or when I get back, depending on if I can get internet access.)

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