The Elephant Man as Reality T.V.

A review of  The Blind Men and the Elephant   by Russell M. Griffin You would think that a novel investigating the inner life of a freak — indeed, the freak of freaks: Elephant Man — would be grim, depressing, and bleak.  You would think that the transformation of one’s body into something hideous and grotesque […]

Read More

Down and Out in Paris and London, Ch. 22

Most of George Orwell’s classic, Down and Out in Paris and London, is a first person account of near-starvation and slaving away as a dishwasher in the bowels of a French hotel.   But there is one section, Chapter 22, which raises the issue of poverty and useless toil to a philosophical level. Judging from […]

Read More

The warm stream conquers the cold

Reading “The Second Marxian Invasion” about the Strugatski Brothers by Stephen W. Potts. Apparently this was Potts’ thesis at UC Berkeley and it is fascinating reading indeed. Tracing the utopian, socialist, and totalitarian themes in Russian fantastika literature from it’s earliest origins in the late 18th Century, the author describes how various Russian writers reacted […]

Read More

In defense of Privacy

Recently I heard a pernicious argument, namely that privacy does not exist and the notion of it should be abolished. The person who said this argued that hundreds of thousands of people are dying every year because of a false notion of privacy. To him, this conclusion is based on privacy concerns related to medical […]

Read More

TO THE POLICE OF AMERICA

Do not be like this.  Spraying chemical agents into the faces of harmless people is the act of a sociopath.  That way lies madness! Police Officers:  all of you walking the beat in American cities from Galveston to Toledo, from Miami to Portland, I believe that the vast majority of you are working to protect […]

Read More

OccupyMeme

As Occupy Wall Street has grown from a demonstration to a social movement, it is inspiring to see many good things emerging.  Perhaps the most basic triumph of the Occupy movement has been to wrench the agenda away from the preposterous “all terror all the time” and “infinite war” protocols that have infested the public […]

Read More

I’m Gandalf and Magneto, Get Over It

Although it is apparently a spoof made with Photoshop, I enjoyed this image of Sir Ian McKellan, who marched in London to protest the Pope.  Joining a crowd of thousands, the caption on the actor’s shirt actually read:  “Some people are gay, get over it.”   Of course, the really amazing spectacle has got to be […]

Read More