We are red state, blue state, we are elites, average joes, we are adventurous or skittish. We define binarily, we do it all the time.
Mostly we define us, them. We’ve always done this, in fact those in the know claim they know of no society or people who doesn’t have some concept of themselves versus others.
So, are we to throw up our hands and just give up and in? Are we doomed to any real concept of unity? Are we perpetually at some level of war with anyone not like us?
No. At least so says Erich S. Gruen, in a new book called, Rethinking the Other in Antiquity. Gruen posits that we make that a choice, it’s not an imperative. Basically, he looks at ancient groups and teases out the nuances of their relationships with others. While superficially, they may appear us-them, in practicality such was not really the case.
While perhaps not totally convincing, Gruen at least points to the fact that we are not in a hopeless adversarial situation, never to be solved. In a world increasingly divided, this is good news.
If you are just dying to engage in some deep philosophical thought, (and who isn’t), then pop on over to read about morality and the good life. Can you achieve happiness without living morally? Is morality a virtue for its own sake? Should it be? Now that you are thoroughly all jiggly with desire to know more, go on, get over to read more! (Whew, now I feel like I’ve done my moral duty in presenting you some uplifting material.)
Good grief, the most funny stuff seems to be coming from Iowa these days. You better sit down for this one. It seems Sharron Angle, (remember her?) was in Des Moines, IA, no doubt for some teabaggery thing. She admits she’s thinking of running for President! Hip, hip, Hurray! Now just think. The handlers/caretakers of Bachmann, Palin and Angle gather the ladies together for a good old DEBATE. Can you just imagine the fun? Oh Please God, Oh Please!
Foxy Noise should leave well enough alone. Some days ago, that idiot Megan Kelly chastised a guest for claiming that Fox regularly used Nazi references to people they don’t like. Kelly said this was untrue, she watches all the shows and Fox NEVER does such a thing.
Of course this was too much for Jon Stewart, who a couple of days ago ran a montage of Fox “Nazi references, including Beck of course, but also O’Reilly. Well Billo couldn’t resist defending himself. You can read it at Crooks and Liars. Somehow, his calling Huff Po Nazis is not the same as some congressman calling the GOP Nazis. Billo—you are an idiot.
It wasn’t that long ago. Just a couple of years. Remember? Our foreign policy was in shambles. Bush’s cowboy diplomacy had angered most of the world. He epitomized the idea of “ugly American” and strutted around like we had no need of allies. Nobody could touch our stuff.
Yes, well it seems that most of the GOP potential presidential candidates continue in the same vein. American Exceptionalism continues to rear its ugly head.
This idea that we are the greatest, the best, the God-ordained perfection in the world is troubling. As we become more and more a global economy, and our political and security needs are necessarily entwined, boasting about our superiority is decidedly a stupid thing to do.
But morons like Palin, DeMint and others seem determined to alienate everyone. What’s worse, it’s being tied to a religious element that is even more unsavory. A blatantly revisionist history, a call for a spiritual renew all seem aimed at reclaiming our rightful place as God’s favored.
To be so blind and obtuse as to not see how ugly this appears to the rest of the world is tragic. To not realize that every country’s people like to think well of their own homeland is short-sighted in the extreme.
Worse yet, these folks are starting to have a negative and embarrassing influence within other countries as they support groups and leaders who are properly Christian, as they see it, although they may be acting in decidedly unChristian ways.
It’s a long article at AlterNet, but well worth your read. (The Family raises its ugly head again.)
I admit to a good deal of ignorance. I’m totally ignorant why Tunisia is up in arms. Ditto for Egypt. I think I’m supposed to be for the Tunisian uprising, but not so about the Egyptian. Anybody want to explain it in a nutshell? I’m not so much a follower of international news. My bad.
No one mentioned it. But I saw it. I figured John (Eye’s the SPEAKER!) Boehner was most aware that he was on camera during the SOTU. And it put him in a conundrum of sorts. I mean President Obama kept saying things that were universally good, and it would not look good to not applaud.
So John seemed, a good deal of the time, trapped into half-hearted clapping that he really didn’t want to do, but thought would look bad if he didn’t. Then there were other times that his face looked for all the world like he’d been chewing a lemon. How to keep a calm face when he desperately wanted to yell in the best GOP wacko form: “YOU LIE.”
I thought it was funny at least.