Let ‘Em Eat Birdies (and Eagles Too)

My weekend posts should really have been titled: Being Some Notes on the State of the Union–Especially Its Urban Components and Their Budgetary Shenanigans–In the Twenty-First Century. Like my post on Camden yesterday, this post needs little commentary. So, here we go. Shelley said poets and philosophers were the unacknowledged legislators of his generation. InContinue reading “Let ‘Em Eat Birdies (and Eagles Too)”

Camden Can’t Afford Its Police and Its Union Any More

Today’s blog post has little ‘analysis’; all I need do is point. Perfect storms should be ‘admired’ from a distance. When I’m done, let the chants of ‘USA! USA! USA!’ ring out, loud and proud. So, let us get started. Here is a little piece of news: Camden, NJ has decided to disband its policeContinue reading “Camden Can’t Afford Its Police and Its Union Any More”

Movies on Philosophers: Rare, Hard to Make, Desirable

Having viewed the rather disappointing Chopin: Desire for Love over the weekend, I’m struck again by how difficult it seems to be to make movies about artists, writers, or perhaps creators of all kinds. My viewing also served to remind me that movies about philosophers’ lives are exceedingly rare, and the few that have been made–or rather, that I am awareContinue reading “Movies on Philosophers: Rare, Hard to Make, Desirable”

Responding to Caitlin Kelly on Journalistic Standards, Writerly Solidarity, and Bloggers’ Responsibilities

Caitlin Kelly from the New York Times writes in my comments space in response to my blog post from a few days ago and I respond. I want to expand on that response because I think her comment and mine bring to light some interesting issues. (The comments space also features some very good remarksContinue reading “Responding to Caitlin Kelly on Journalistic Standards, Writerly Solidarity, and Bloggers’ Responsibilities”

Marijuana Legalization: States Lead, the Center Follows, and Obama Stops Giggling?

Jacob Sullum at Reason.com looks at the marijuana legalization initiatives under way in Colorado, Washington and Oregon, and notes that there might be parallels with the repeal of alcohol prohibition, where the lead was taken by state initiatives: By the time the 21st Amendment ended national alcohol prohibition in December 1933, more than a dozenContinue reading “Marijuana Legalization: States Lead, the Center Follows, and Obama Stops Giggling?”

A Bloody Shin, Homeostasis and Automaticity

On Saturday morning, while working out in my gym and attempting to complete a series of twenty jumps on to a 24-inch box, I momentarily took my eyes off the target, stumbled, and hit my shin on the jagged edge of the box. I almost fell to the left, recovered, and completed my workout. AContinue reading “A Bloody Shin, Homeostasis and Automaticity”

Pankaj Mishra on the Supposedly ‘Inevitable’ American ‘Retreat’ from the Middle East

Pankaj Mishra suggests America’s ‘retreat’ from the Middle East is ‘inevitable’ as its ‘financial clout’ diminishes and with it, its ability to control the ‘bewilderingly diverse and ferocious energies unleashed by the Arab Spring.’  Now, the language of inevitability in a domain as complex as geopolitics generally signposts intellectual arrogance: Can the interactions of people,Continue reading “Pankaj Mishra on the Supposedly ‘Inevitable’ American ‘Retreat’ from the Middle East”

Men, Women, and Public and Private Intimacy

In response to my post on male intimacy (which followed my appearance on the ABC’s Life Matters), a female friend of mine–a Brooklyner who has traveled in India–wrote to me: What about intimacy with women? I don’t necessarily mean the romantic kind of intimacy. In India men share affection with each other openly but it’sContinue reading “Men, Women, and Public and Private Intimacy”

One Read, Another One Beckons. What Could Be Simpler? Or So You’d Think

It never gets old: I still get a thrill out of finishing one book, and then walking over to my book shelves to pick out the next one to be read.  There are many unread tomes in there; who knows what pleasures lurk in them, waiting to be delved into, savored, and hopefully, treasured forContinue reading “One Read, Another One Beckons. What Could Be Simpler? Or So You’d Think”

Talkin’ ‘Bout Men Getting Up Close and Personal

Last night, I participated in the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s daily show Life Matters, hosted by the ever-dynamic Natasha Mitchell on Radio National. The topic for the day was ‘Male Intimacy’. Being on live radio is a pretty strange experience; I’ve only done it once before, on John Sutton‘s excellent, but now defunct, Ghost in the Machine on EastsideContinue reading “Talkin’ ‘Bout Men Getting Up Close and Personal”