Friday, June 10, 2016

More politics, religion, and (by analogy) sex

From recent correspondence

Edited by Morris Dean

This would be good.“The media have reached a turning point in covering Donald Trump. He may not survive it” [Paul Waldman, Washington Post, June 3]. Excerpt:
...[I]t’s possible that when we look back over the sweep of this most unusual campaign, we’ll mark this week as a significant turning point: the time when journalists finally figured out how to cover Donald Trump.
    They didn’t do it by coming up with some new model of coverage, or putting aside what they were taught in journalism school. They’re doing it by rediscovering the fundamental values and norms that are supposed to guide their profession....
    If this evolution in coverage takes hold, we can trace it to the combined effect of a few events and developments happening in a short amount of time. The first was Trump’s press conference on Tuesday, the ostensible purpose of which was to answer questions about a fundraiser he held in January to raise money for veterans’ groups. In the course of the press conference, Trump was at his petulant, abusive worst, attacking reporters in general and those in the room. “The political press is among the most dishonest people that I’ve ever met,” he said, saying to one journalist who had asked a perfectly reasonable question, “You’re a sleaze.” These kinds of criticisms are not new — anyone who has reported a Trump rally can tell you how Trump always tosses some insults at the press, at which point his supporters turn around and hurl their own abuse at those covering the event — but Trump seemed particularly angry and unsettled.
    To see how the press looked at that revealing event, it’s critical to understand what led to it. It happened because the Post’s David Fahrenthold and some other reporters did what journalists are supposed to do. They raised questions about Trump’s fundraiser, and when they didn’t get adequate answers, they investigated, gathered facts, and asked more questions.
    It was excellent work — time-consuming, difficult, and ultimately paying dividends in public understanding. And Trump’s attack on them for doing their jobs the way those jobs are supposed to be done couldn’t have been better designed to get every other journalist to want to do the same. They’re no different than anyone else: When you make a direct attack on their professionalism, they’re likely to react by reaching back to their profession’s core values to demonstrate that they can live up to them. Trump may have wanted to intimidate them, but it’s likely to have the opposite effect. [read more]
Hilariously funny and the most intelligent discussion of Brexit I’ve read: “How Will ‘Brexit’ Vote Go? Monty Python May Offer Clue” [Sarah Lyall, NY Times, June 2] Excerpt:
LIVERPOOL, England — Jackie O’Neill, a 54-year-old administrative assistant, was explaining the other day why Britain should vote to divorce itself from the European Union in this month’s referendum. As she enumerated her many grievances, I couldn’t help thinking of the scene inMonty Python’s “Life of Brian” in which a bunch of disaffected Judeans sit around, complaining about the Romans.
    “They’ve bled us white, the bastards,” says their leader, Reg, played by John Cleese. “And what have they ever given us in return?” His colleagues mention a few things, by way of example.
    O.K., Reg says. “But apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the freshwater system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?” [read more]
Francesco Taskayali Супер!

"Christo"? You’ve got to be kidding me. “Walk on water: Christo floats 3km path across Italy's Lake Iseo” [Guardian, June 7] Excerpt:
Half a million people will get the chance to walk on water when a new installation by the artist Christo opens on an Italian lake in late June.
    Since November, the 80 year-old Bulgarian-born artist and his team have been overseeing the assembly and anchoring of 220,000 floating poly-ethylene cubes to create a three kilometre walkway connecting the mainland with two islands in Lake Iseo, Lombardy. [read more]
A problem for doubting dyslexic insomniac atheists is that they sometimes stay awake all night wondering whether there really is a dog.

I miss Kyle Garza. Why doesn’t he post more often? I miss columns like his “Autonomy and altruism,” for example [April 16, 2015]. That was a “Thor’s Day” column, actually. Could he maybe do a regular religion column?

Unconditional love is accepting someone in the same way that an insurance policy covers the person with all of his or her pre-existing conditions.

I’ve been following with interest the commentary on your “Dreamsourcing” post, “Sleeping and waking.” The “ask and receive” comment near the end suggests that dreams deliver essential insight, like the sperm deliver life in Sarah Silverman’s riff that, if they are wasted through masturbation, are an affront to life. Doesn’t this imply that it is somehow sinful to not make an effort to remember your dreams and consider what they might be trying to tell you.

Grateful for correspondence, Morris Dean

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I DO appreciate the correspondence, and I too would like to see and read more of Kyle Garza. We have a spot for him.