Culture Warriors category archive
The Des Moines Register’s Rekha Basu comments on Iowa legistors’ attempts to keep information from the New York Times’ 1619 Project out of public schools. She finds that effort particularly disheartening because the project was led by a black woman from Iowa.
The bill amounts to government censorship of the sort you’d expect from a totalitarian state. Its sponsors would do well to back away from it now, or expect to be mocked and dogged by what they did the rest of their political careers.
One more time, heaven forbid that American students learn what life was really like in ye olde South.
One man saw it coming.
He even foresaw “influencers.”
An excerpt from Charlie Warzel’s article about him in last Sunday’s New York Times (emphasis added):
In subsequent obscure journal articles, Mr. Goldhaber warned of the attention economy’s destabilizing effects, including how it has disproportionate benefits for the most shameless among us. “Our abilities to pay attention are limited. Not so our abilities to receive it,” he wrote in the journal First Monday. “The value of true modesty or humility is hard to sustain in an attention economy.”
In June 2006, when Facebook was still months from launching its News Feed, Mr. Goldhaber predicted the grueling personal effects of a life mediated by technologies that feed on our attention and reward those best able to command it. “In an attention economy, one is never not on, at least when one is awake, since one is nearly always paying, getting or seeking attention.”
David looks at Republicans’ responses to criticisms of Marjorie Taylor Greene and suggests that “cancel culture” is the new “war on Christmas.” (Warning: Short commercial at the six minute mark.)
At the Des Moines Register, Walter Suza explains that the Old West was nothing like what we were taught from movies and television shows and Zane Grey novels. Here’s a bit:
The conflict between white and Native Americans was about land. Native Americans’ land.
White settlers wanted the land and would kill to obtain it, and the Native Americans were willing to die to protect their land.
Nassir Ghaemi, writing at Psychology Today Blogs, explores the psychology of the current federal administrator and of his dupes, symps, and fellow travelers, and the interaction between them led to riot and destruction.
I’ll not paraphrase or excerpt it. I just commend it to your attention.
At Psychology Today Blogs, Audrey Nelson, Ph. D., remembers a moment:
I can remember it so clearly. I had just earned my Ph.D. and was attending an academic conference. I was in a small group of three men each with a Ph.D. Someone approached our group, and the introduction: “This is Dr. Jones, Dr. Frentz, Dr. Stevens, and Audrey.”
Follow the link to see how she relates this to the recent devaluation of Dr. Jill Biden’s doctorate.
David digs into the brou-ha-ha about the absolute gall and effrontery of Jill Biden’s having earned a doctoral degree.
In a fascinating read full of history that may surprise you (some of it certainly did surprise me), Charles Ludington reviews the history of Christmas as a celebration, as well as explores its use as a political weapon by the right-wing. A nugget:
. . . the fake “War on Christmas” has been around for a long time, and it serves a particular white Christian nationalist purpose. The “war” was begun in the 1920s by notorious anti-Semite Henry Ford, who reacted angrily when Jewish organizations had the temerity to ask that the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution be enforced, thereby disallowing Bible readings and Christmas pageants in public schools, a common practice at the time. The centripetal forces of the Depression and World War II silenced the conflict for a generation, but the war recommenced in the 1950s when the John Birch Society accused communists (and the United Nations) of conspiring to secularize Christmas for the purpose of socializing America. More recently, in 2004, Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly declared that Christmas was under threat and rallied his troops every Yuletide, right up through President Trump’s December 2016 declaration of victory.