Timeless

I’m Not Religious, I Just Love Meditation

Amy Levin:  While the image of Oprah endorsing transcendental meditation is about as banal as a priest offering the sacrament, the Queen of the New-Age spiritual marketplace has sold spirituality to those in her pews again. Oprah’s bricolage-like church offered this week’s sermon via her show Next Chapter on the OWN network: transcendental meditation...

The Makings of Viral

James Curcio at Modern Mythology on Kony2012 and "virality":
You see, for something to become "viral" it has to be entirely ubiquitous, which essentially means that it must be stripped of all nuance and worthwhile content. This is an issue facing all propogandists who have any ethics at all. It must act on a common...

Catholic Church Abuses Sex Abuse Victims

It's been more than a decade since the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal rocked Boston.  In that time, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) has provided national support to victims of abuse.  But recently SNAP is finding that the Church's new approach to managing national lawsuits is not apology and reparation but counter-attack....

“Could People Be Good Without Foundations?”

From Andrew Hartman's recent post at U.S. Intellectual History, "The Politics of Epistemology," in which he excerpts the following (and more) from his book Education and the Cold War:
By the beginning of the Cold War, this crisis was seemingly resolved in what Purcell terms the “relativist theory of democracy,” a stripped-down version of Dewey’s...

Moral Ambivalence in Modern China

From The Lancet, an article by Charles Stafford on Deep China: the Moral Life of the Person, a new book by Arthur Kleinman, Yunxiang Yan, Jing Jun, Sing Lee, Everett Zhang, Pan tianshu, Wu Fei, and Guo Jinhau (University of California Press, 2012): Of course, mixed feelings are at the heart of ethical discourse and...

Muslim Attitudes

Comment by NYU assistant professor/faculty fellow Jeremy Walton on yesterday's New York Times article, "Koran burning in NATO Error Incites Afghans,"  (February 21, 1:39 pm):
These comments are, on the whole, atrocious and disturbing, for two reasons. First, there seems to be absolutely no interest or concern on the part of most NYTimes readers to comprehend...

A Red Bagel

By Adam H. Becker   When I was little my mother would get me a red bagel on Valentine's Day and a green one on St. Patrick's Day. Although Jewish, on Christmas Eve we would go to my grandmother’s house. She was Catholic and had a Rembrandt-esque picture of Jesus on the wall. I always thought it...

Heart in the Snow

By Mary Valle My last semester in college, I spent a lot of time taking phone calls from my brother Michael.  He was nearing the end of his working life and about to go on disability due to HIV. He'd call me, in Massachusetts,  from his office in Beverly Hills and I'd hog a communal phone...

St. Valentine’s Fallen Face

By David Metcalfe   An urban youth lends no pastoral allure to chalky candy charms and flimsy cardboard tokens. Until, within a sepulchral view of a rose adorned skull, faint echoes of divinatory lots and sympathetic magic are discerned beyond St. Valentine’s fallen face. Wandering beyond mercantile districts, into a dispersed and disputed hagiography, we find him moving...

A Simple Dinner

By Anthea Butler   I used to hate Valentines day, until a dinner changed my mind. After a particularly ugly split from another fool right before Valentines Day, a friend in grad school saw my distress, and invited me over for dinner. Our friendship was complicated. He made us a spectacularly simple dinner. I can still remember the tastes on...

My Wish This Valentine’s Day

By George González   No doubt, much of our contemporary consumer society is magical and ecstatic. This extends to our niche and lucrative markets in love and romance. Hallmark and Hollywood movies send the message that the truest expressions of romantic love are ones that sweep up two individuals---preferably heterosexual, white, English speaking, lovely and bourgeois---into a world...

A Valentine Offering

By Genevieve Yue   A Valentine offering, lifted from the words of the late Edward Rondthaler, pioneer of the Rutherford photo-lettering machine and champion of phonetic spelling: "The bluebirds are flying from my heart to you."