No Last Philosophy: Rorty and Social Hope

No Last Philosophy:  Rorty and Social Hope

23

Jun

2016

When I finally got around to reading Richard Rorty’s Contingency, Irony and Solidarity, I experienced the kind of revolutionary bolt from the blue that changes minds and changes worlds.  I’d read Rorty before (a few short essays here and there, and his Objectivity, Truth and Relativism), and liked what I’d seen, but ...
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Really Real

Really Real

22

Jun

2016

A TAXONOMY OF REALITY PROGRAMMINGCOMPETITIVE SHOWS:* People compete to win money> People compete to win the right to continue being on television* People compete in a performing talent show> People compete in a performing talent show with or against celebrities* People compete in a race, sport, or oth ...
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Unaccustomed

Unaccustomed

15

Jun

2016

I don't usually like going to public appearances by artists.  I don't normally like readings; I don't normally like director screenings; and I don't normally like writer Q&As.  You'd think that I would; I used to be in the celebrity interview game, after all, and there's nothing like talking directly to a creator to g ...
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To See How Many There Are

To See How Many There Are

14

Jun

2016

Peter Greenaway has had such a willy-nilly career over the last few decades that it's easy to forget how amazingly potent and productive he was at the height of his powers.  After years of making hypnotic short films throughout the '70s, he began with The Falls in 1980 and, until he went into a tailspin with 8 1/2 Minute ...
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Third Booth on the Left

Third Booth on the Left

13

Jun

2016

"So, what do you guys sell?""Traditional science fiction and high fantasy.""Your average author isn't 83 years old and nearly dead, then?""Traditional science fiction and high fantasy.""Oh.  Okay.  But, I mean, you don't just do space operas based on the technical education of someone who was an undergraduate when Eisenow ...
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The Worst Until Next Time

The Worst Until Next Time

12

Jun

2016

Paul Krugman, who is wrong about things slightly less often than he is right about things, was very wrong about something today.  "Unless you were a victim or were close to a victim," he tweeted, "IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU."  With all due respect to the victims of the horrendous mass killing in Orlando, and to the family members ...
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Cabinet of Curiosities

Cabinet of Curiosities

10

Jun

2016

As I have discussed elsewhere on this site, I do not actually believe that Donald Trump, the scrapings from the bottom of a dumpster behind an overpriced steakhouse, actually represents some dire worst-case scenario for America.  I don't even think he varies much from the average Republican, and the party's mortal terror o ...
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Hell to the Chief

Hell to the Chief

9

Jun

2016

With Hillary Clinton's victory in California, and her definitive if a tad presumptive anointment by the press as the Official Democratic Candidate for the 2016 elections, we can move from Stupid Season into Silly Season, and from there to Oh God Why Can't This Just Be Over season.  Few people -- even among his supporters - ...
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Impossible is Nothing

Impossible is Nothing

6

Jun

2016

Imagine the boy.He is twelve years old.  Like many victims of poverty and racism, he has learned early on that there is very little space for him in the great white world.  He knows that those who get out are able to get out because they can either make the white man laugh or beat him in a game.  He is already a charisma ...
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Vive le Différence

Vive le Différence

4

May

2016

Barring some unforeseen development -- a deeply justifiable act of propaganda by the deed, for example, or the revelation that he thinks Marine Todd is a big sissy Mary -- Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee.  Less than a week after dragging Carly Fiorina back out for another round of public humiliation, anti-human ...
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The Most Beautiful Fraud: Mystery Team

The Most Beautiful Fraud:  <i>Mystery Team</i>

3

May

2016

The mid- and late 2000s were an especially rich time for the comedy of failure.  Perhaps it was the fact that we'd suffered a blow to our sense of national invulnerability that led us to elect a shit-talking faux-cowboy millionaire who reintroduced us to the concept of a pointless war we couldn't get out of; perhaps it was ...
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Put Me In, Coach Hooterlips

Put Me In, Coach Hooterlips

2

May

2016

The Funny Names Foundation has often faced accusations of excessive focus on each year's new crop of professional athletes, while ignoring the rich historical vein of people in sports-related support positions who, while not necessarily athletes themselves, still have names that sound like they should instead have been a po ...
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Reloosing the Juice

Reloosing the Juice

29

Apr

2016

The arrest and trial of O.J. Simpson for the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown, and her friend Ron Goldman, didn't just fit the bill of 'Trial of the Century' as well as anything that's ever happened.  It was an event of seismic cultural significance, a slow-moving disaster that was repulsive and wrong on almost every co ...
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Until There Were Lists

Until There Were Lists

28

Apr

2016

SERGEANT’S DUTY LOGWeek ending 04/29/201631 incidents of jawin’ with intent to slanderfy26 incidents of reported sinful doin’s involving minors, blood kin, livestock and tree hollers16 incidents of a-whoopin’ and a-hollerin’9 lynchings without a permit8 incidents of Katie-bar-the-door Saturday nig ...
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The Way and the Light

The Way and the Light

27

Apr

2016

I have been fascinated with religious cults since before I even knew what they were.  I was barely old enough to understand what was happening at Jonestown, Guyana, when the greatest mass slaughter of American citizens to date took place under the auspices of a lunatic named Jim Jones, but I knew how much people talked abo ...
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