Archive for the ‘Conflict’ category

Black box

Kony 2012 – the musical

I trust you’ve all been following the strange story of Kony 2012, the half-hour video that went viral last week? The 83 million views, the criticism of its makers for overstating the strength of Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army  in Uganda, the subsequent very public meltdown of the lead filmmaker Jason Russell? I […]

Stop him! He’s getting away!

I searched and searched because I was sure I must have written something about this before here, but I can’t find it. Oh, who am I kidding? All my posts are basically meditations on the same five or six things. I’m OK with that! Whenever I hear someone say, often in a voice that betrays […]

An uncomfortably sincere confession, but what the hell.

Years ago, one of my students took me completely aback when she claimed, “People don’t change until it’s too painful not to.” I thought about that for a long time. Is it true? Are we really so reluctant to disturb the status quo, even if it’s unhappy? Are we ever capable of something more? Without […]

Notes from Downtown

Not too long after those marches we went to in DC that so effectively stopped the war in Iraq, a friend of mine said one of those sentences that got pasted on my brain like a bumper sticker*. “Chanting in unison,” he said, “makes me ambivalent about, oh, just about everything.” I had felt this […]

Thursday playlist: Loose associations

Last time grandpa fawcett posted here, it was a bunch of gripes. This time it's a jumble of thoughts and enthusiasms, the ramblings of early dementia: 1.) This song “A Real Hero” by College (feat. Electric Youth) is from the movie Drive. I could not stop playing this song every day, ten times a day, […]

Comparative Freedom

I have often wondered where I got my inability to understand the unspoken expectations of authority. For a while I figured there was some kind of cognitive gap right in the part of the brain that might do that; it feels almost like a mechanical failure. Of course it’s almost certainly the fault of radical […]

Having a baby changes everything

“Not having kids is making aging confusing.” This was a friend’s status update. It jolted me to read it. In fact, I’m not sure how he intended it, but it took me back immediately to this documentary I watched in grad school, Daddy & Papa, about gay couples adopting kids. Now, I’ve never wanted kids. […]

I’ve always had good taste

When my brother and I were crappy adolescents, we had very similar tastes in everything, mostly because I idolized him at the time. He loved Jimi Hendrix and German techno, so those were things that I liked. Our favorite movie was Koyaanisqatsi. We were into South American languages and medieval icons, and we both loved […]

Happy interdependence day!

Here’s to the founders of the United States (before it was called such), those revolutionary people who had the courage to move forward in breaking away from Great Britain, knowing that if they failed, death by hanging awaited. As someone who teaches one of the more important revolutionary documents, “Common Sense,” I’d like to point […]