Saturday, April 18, 2009

Around the League

At the League we have been accused from time to time of having far too many posts many of which are far too long - and conversely, others have accused us of having far too few posts, though few have complained that they were much too short. In any case, here’s a little round-up of what you may have missed….

Chris discussed pentecostalization and secularization in light of (post)modernity and globalization; and on Good Friday meditated on the meaning of the cross and freedom:

If the Cross, the most cruel of all the disgusting barbarities humans enact upon beings of light, bodies of dignity, children of the Blessed One, if that utter horror can not finally destroy life, destroy spirit, destroy the human enclosed in the divine, then nothing can and we not need fear any longer. We are free. That teaching is the best of all news.

Will took a few shots at the follies of bipartisanship:

In fact, recent history suggests that our biggest blunders have been thoroughly bipartisan - witness the Iraq War’s near-universal support circa 2003 or the ongoing, argument-proof consensus in favor of the drug war. So is widespread political agreement really that desirable? I won’t complain if consensus is reached through considered deliberation, but that doesn’t seem to happen in the political sphere, where agreement is emotive rather than policy-driven.

…and a couple more at Newt Gingrich.

Freddie tackled capitalist dogma…

To me, the most sensible and pragmatic capitalist is a skeptical capitalist, one who recognizes the enormous power for good in the system but also recognizes that it is ultimately just a patchwork of conventions, laws and mores, cobbled together by disparate people with vastly different aims, and existing always in an uneasy tension.

…and got high with a little help from his friends - or, no, wait - disagreed loudly with one of his friends….

I declared myself a culture war pacifist and also asked if there wasn’t possibly some way to have a “progressive traditionalism” since I’m not particularly satisfied with either one on their own…to which a commenter replied:

Come back in a year or two when you’re ready to expound on important matters that you clearly haven’t begun to understand.

Men of greater faith and intellect than anyone here have been grappling with this “theology stuff” for thousands of years. Is it really wise for us to be dismissing this inheritance with an arrogant wave of the hand, and ignarantly build from scratch.


Scott asked “are we better than this?” and subsequently whipped out the word “whateverism” proving that no, we couldn’t go more than three months even without using it in a sentence:

Far from a condemnation of the political class alone, such underwhelming fortitude has in many ways become the very essence of the American dream. Contemporary culture finds itself largely bereft of the wherewithal to shake off the malaise of modernity, addicted as it is to the primacy of instant gratification and chronic whateverism. In many ways, we’ve become the victims of our own success, the shining examples of a fitter, happier future.

Scott also revealed a secret truth about the League’s membership with his post “We’re All Mad Here” … They say insanity is a sign of genius, though…

Mark stormed the world with a thoughtful expose on the Tea Parties:

[I]f the Tea Parties had remained the sole province of a handful of libertarian activists, they never would have received the national attention they’re now able to receive, and thus would have had even less impact. By accepting the involvement of the movement conservative multitudes, the originators have lost control of their message even as the message has access to an ever-larger platform. The result? An incoherent jumble of protests that is going to wind up resembling the same sort of incoherence that has characterized large-scale protests and demonstrations for decades.

And if you missed the back and forth between Mark and Will over the merits of judicial activism etc. etc. etc. go check it out.

Dave, between some much needed League humor, also wrote a bit about judicial activism:

The meaning of the text did not change. An existing legal principle (Footnote Four) that can be easily reconciled to the meaning of the text was applied to a new case and controversy and found that the government had overstepped its bounds. Libertarians should be pleased by this. Not only was justice served, but it was done in a way that kept the meaning of the Iowa State Constitution intact.

Sound pretty nihilistic to me!

William treated us to some thoughts on the upcoming Observe and Report (it’s out now, I think, so maybe we’re due for a review William….):

From the TV spots for Seth Rogen’s new movie, you might think he’s revisiting the irresponsible-yet-good-hearted cop character he played in Superbad (i.e. the irresponsible-yet-good-hearted character he’s played in all his movies so far). Probably not the case. The trailer suggests that Rogen is playing a delusional semi-racist petty authoritarian with a gun fixation, a fragile ego, and no hope outside his demented fantasies. Those viewers who want Paul Blart crossed with Knocked Up might not expect this.

My only thoughts here is - how the hell did we just happen to have two movies about mall cops get released within a couple months of each other? This is like when Ants and A Bugs Life were released back to back. This happens more often than it should….

And lastly, friend of the League Jack Gillis contributed a guest post (something all commenters and bloggers are urged to submit!) and gave us his own analysis of the Tea Party Phenomenon:

Silent Minorities don’t influence society if they remain silent. A Silent Majority can operate simply by living their lives and then consistently winning elections. That is, they can engage themselves only once every two or four years but nevertheless feel as if they control their own destinies. But a minority has to be noisy to have any hope at all of influencing the course of social development. So to claim, as some have and will, that the Tea Parties are “just noise” is to gloss over one of the most significant aspects of the movement. The fact that it’s “just noise” is the strongest indication yet that they now know that they have to make noise.

I’ll likely do more round-ups like this in the future to catch people up, but I’m not sure they’ll always be quite so in-depth. Let me know if this was helpful….


Janus said...

So THAT's where you've been hiding..

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