“That message, however, does not reflect the current, grim reality in much of Christian America. The majority of America’s most-obese metropolitan areas are located in the Bible belt. At least one study has shown that young adults who frequently attend religious services are 50 percent more likely than their non-religious peers to become obese by middle age. Women who are Baptist and regularly read religious materials are also more likely to have unhealthy BMIs, another study found.”—
“What came to bother me about semiotic and linguistic idealism, about social constructivism, had to do with the observer that sees the world in terms of semiotic (in the Peircian sense) and linguistic constructions. Who sees the world in this way? It was hard for me to avoid the conclusion that it is the middle class, economically stable, academic that sees the world in these terms. This, for two reasons: First, as the old expression goes, for the cobbler, everything is a shoe. Naturally the humanities academic sees everything as a text because a) when you deal with texts day in and day out you tend to see texts (signs/signifiers) everywhere (in Uexkull’s terms we could call text the umwelt of the academic), and b) because it’s narcissistically gratifying for the humanities academic to think that the entire world is composed of texts. If that’s true, if the world is composed of texts, signs, signifiers, beliefs, concepts, and norms, then we are the most important people in the world because we’re the ones that hold the skeleton key to the truth about “reality” (which, in this context, signifies the human umwelt.”—
“Congressman Grayson, as a teacher, my job is to educate. But how do I teach something like this? How do I explain what I myself do not understand? How can I in good faith reassure the children that the drone will not come back and kill them, too, if I do not understand why it killed my mother and injured my children?”—Rafiq ur Rehman, a Pakistani schoolteacher whose mother was killed in a drone strike. He testified along with his young son and daughter before Congress today about the civilian death toll from US drone strikes and targeted killing, speaking through a translator. At this point in the testimony, the translator had to break to cry. (via thepoliticalnotebook)
I watched that movie probably five or six times this summer. It has its flaws, but it’s a damn fine film about the power and confusion of friendship. And it has Chris Messina. And Rashida Jones rocks those sweaty bangs. And the camera just zooms in and holds its subjects like a conversation. And the wonderful blue hue of the shots. And Chris Messina.
I watched the movie DEVIL today and I feel terrible but I liked it. It was goofy as shit, and most of the movie is a fruitless investigation because from minute one you know THE DEVIL DID IT anyway, and also the scene after the end of the movie should probably be Officer Chris Messina going…
“I will be talking about the Holocaust and Israel for the next week. I am really digging Segev’s book. I hope that we can do something more than keep score on who got history “right” and who got it “wrong.” I hope that we can see some of ourselves in the people we discuss, because we are human, because we know how easy it is to overestimate our own ostensibly infallible morality. We can approach history denouncing the craziness of others, or we can approach it trying to understand how we might possibly have done the same thing.”—Ta-Nehisi Coates, on history’s great monsters and his upcoming writing. (via theatlantic)
“As a kid, when I began using the Internet, I was probably most interested in the prospects of solitary exploration. But I’d like to think that I was also compelled by forces outside myself — that, on some level, I might have been dimly aware of the Internet’s role in the fulfillment of some ancient, human yearning to externalize our private imaginations into a shared space. Maybe I intuited that the faster the world was relocated into the Internet, the likelier humankind would be returned to an original and undifferentiated oneness, completing what it began around 13,000 years ago with agriculture, which resulted in villages, then cities, finally the Internet.”—When I Moved Online… - Tao Lin
“Listen, I’m trying to save Goethe, Rilke, and Kafka. And I’m also trying to save people you might never have heard of: Robert Walser, Uwe Johnson, Elfriede Jelinek—whose The Piano Teacher is worth 10,000 Atlas Shruggeds. I hope you will join my mission to keep those treasures alive in the academy.”—