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Showing posts from July, 2010

I will treat this entry as though it were in a journal.

It is easy for a TV series to lose me.  When House became more interested in poorly written interpersonal relationships than silly practical jokes and Holmesian medical mysteries, I stopped watching.  When Burn Notice focused several episodes on its incredibly talented spy lead (who had handled murderers, con men, gangs, the FBI, and a host of foreign operatives) having trouble because a cop was harassing him, it took me a year to decide to give it another chance.  When Dexter botched its second season, killed its best character, and then opened its third with Dex acting like an idiot for the convenience of the writers, I dropped it.  When Madmen slowed down in the middle of the third season, I simply lost interest.  These are shows I loved at one point.

A lot of people won't just let go of such things.  Even those sympathetic to my reactions will usually have just kept watching.  I've been trying to figure out why my reaction is different for a while now, without easy excuses…

A few political thoughts:

-Obama has recently made several appearances where he said, approximately, "Don't bet against the American worker." Yesterday, he began to turn the corner on this argument, and intimate that the Republicans (whom he termed 'the party of "no" crowd') had broken this maxim by opposing government aid to and intervention in the auto industry (and, now, for small businesses). I expect to see this line of thought to be extended, firmed up, and ramped up until our president feels comfortable saying the 'Republicans in Congress' are betting against America. Gonna have to move quick there, if they want to have time for the message to sink in nationally before the midterms.

-Chris Matthews, among others, has claimed to see big trouble for Democrats if the Justice Department is successful in either declawing or striking down Arizona's racist anti-apparent-immigrant laws. Right now, Hispanics account for roughly 15 percent of the US population. The …

Struggling with Sisyphian thought.

Does anyone else find 'Sisyphian struggle' not just hard to say, but also ironic?

Sisyphus's tale, as metaphor, isn't really a lesson in what will happen to you if you piss off the gods multiple times (say, by skipping out of Hell and chaining Death up), though there is that element.  It's more about how daily tasks and the cyclical, repetitious aspects of life can be crushing.  They may require something heroic in us, and yet remain mundane (because everyone faces them in some form, and no one can shirk them all).  Worse, if we accept the metaphor fully (or are taken with arguments for a universal viewpoint, where we are but specks in the big scheme of things), our labours are ultimately futile and fruitless.

Camus thought this especially pertinent to modern living--though I suspect the ancients faced challenges not too removed from our own.  His answer, that we must imagine Sisyphus happy at times, seems to require a leap.  After all, how can a man cursed to toil…

Carrying the pale forward, and going beyond it again.

Mark Williams, a radio personality, talking head, and tea-partyist, had made what may charitably be characterized as 'controversial' statements before stepping into the realm of satire on July 14.  After the NAACP passed a resolution condemning racist elements and acceptance of them within the Tea Party movement, Williams complained about the organization's supposed hypocrisy on NPR, CNN, and finally his own website, where he produced a gleefully racist letter purportedly written by NAACP President, Ben Jealous, to Abe Lincoln.  Among other things, it demanded the withdrawal of the 13th and 14th Amendments, and the return of slavery.  Within two days, it was taken down, and replaced by a non-apology denouncing racism, declaring the NAACP's title racist, saying his earlier satire was only condemned for its use of the term 'colored people', and, of course, calling for a healthy and open discourse on such matters.  Because Mark's such a good guy, he even offer…