I thought about titling this “Glenn Beck and Michael Moore are Mass Murderers” which would have been both inflammatory and potentially truthful, at least if Randolph Roth’s theory is correct. Granted things are not like in Rwanda openly advocating violence, but they (and many others) foster misunderstanding and hatred. Personally I find the theory plausible and extremely scary. Scary because I see no end in sight to the hatred, but also because I find myself hating these hate mongers. By saying things like “Glenn Beck and Michael Moore are Mass Murderers” I am contributing to the impotent rage felt by many. How ironic.
Continuing in the political vein (though moving into the religious) I recently read Julie M. Smith’s thoughts about Mormons’ take on presidential inspiration. Good stuff in a humorous shell. Of course I’m only posting this because I agree with her on many points, and so I assume she must be inspired :-)
And just to challenge one more deeply held American belief, read about the problems with a meritocracy. Jeremy Beer has some interesting points, but I like our meritocracy (quite irrespective of the fact that am on the upper half I assure you :-) and have benefitted greatly from the “strip-mining” of America. I would love to see a response from someone like Paul Graham who understands the importance of mobility in a meritocracy.
I’ve actually been thinking lately that perhaps I would rather teach in a community college in a small town, than in a large research university. I think I might be happier even though I might not “contribute as much to society.” Such a thought would have been heretical to me even a few years ago, and I’m still not quite ready to accept it fully. I look forward to people’s thoughts.
Finally–on a personal note–it turns out that I am allergic to celery rather than peanut butter. Last night I ate a stalk and reacted. This makes more sense in many ways since I used to eat peanuts quite often (I haven’t had Thai food here yet). I had never heard of anyone being allergic to celery, but apparently it’s fairly common in Central Europe, and foods have to be labeled if they contain it, much like peanuts in the states. Rachel joked that I must have caught the allergy when I was in Prague in 2004. It’s associated with allergies to birch and mugwort pollens in case any of you are allergic to either of those. I find it interesting that celery was associated with death by the ancient Greeks. It might also be a contributing factor to my eosinophilic esophagitis.
I had actually meant for this post to simply be a few links, but apparently I can’t help writing mini-essays. “I’m Sorry”, or “You’re welcome” depending on how you feel about that.