Good for him. All one can do in response to the absurd notion of gay ‘pride’ is to quote George MacDonald: “what will not a man pride himself upon, when he cannot get rid of it?”
They say God works in mysterious ways. Not being religious I wouldn’t know, but maybe he does. His “choice” may be to combine modern technology with a preference for male babies in some ancient cultures to demonstrate that the whimsical elimination of life inside the womb isn’t a private matter, or even a mere social concern, but just as it would be outside the womb, it’s profoundly spiritual. It’s all grist to God’s mills, which, according to the poet Longfellow, grind slow but grind exceedingly small.
I’d add that almost nothing is just personal. We just like to say that because we’re selfish and don’t care what happens to society at large.
Ferdinand reviews a Jamaican man’s book on Japan, and I’m reminded of Tete-Michel Kpomassie’s An African in Greenland. As a teenager, Kpomassie ran away ran away from his home in Togo with the unusual aim of going to Greenland, and indeed he eventually gets there and has various fish-out-of-water experiences among the Intuit. It’s a great book because you’re simultaneously being exposed to two very foreign cultures at once, and because Kpomassie is an insightful and sympathetic observer. And unlike Ferdinand’s author, Kpomassie is also an excellent writer. Altogether one of my all-time favourite books.
Also: a bunch of prison-related articles in the Globe today, including: high concentration of Hell’s Angels credited for orderliness of Quebec prison (lesson: homogeneity is good for order); Canada’s new tough on crime laws apparently haven’t yet led to a big upswing in incarceration (encouraging news); life in Kingston Penitentiary.
The Thinking Housewife talks about married couples who choose not to have children.
There’s a personal aspect to this. Lots of women say (and no doubt believe) that they aren’t interested in having children, until they find a guy they’re enthusiastic about. The pretence (and even the self-deceptive acceptance of your own pretence) is a normal part of relationship negotiation—in particular, a woman doesn’t want to seem too eager. But if you’re married and your wife still doesn’t want to have your children, then she just doesn’t love you.
I used to think that it was funny how bugs will try to mate with colourful bottles or turkey will try mate with crude turkey-shaped dolls. But if you think about porn, you realize that humans are exactly the same. (Note also: porn will destroy your sexual functioning.)
About time. The categorical (American) evangelical support of Israel has been a disgrace for some time. I no longer have even the slightest sympathy for Israel’s ‘security concerns,’ which at this point are just a cynical excuse to steal land.
Since Nov. 10, 1999, Lackson Sikayenera has been incarcerated in Maula Prison, a dozen iron-roofed barracks set on yellow dirt and hemmed by barbed wire just outside Malawi’s capital city.
He eats one meal of porridge daily. He spends 14 hours each day in a cell with 160 other men, packed on the concrete floor, unable even to move. The water is dirty; the toilets foul. Disease is rife.
But the worst part may be that in the case of Mr. Sikayenera, who is accused of killing his brother, the charges against him have not yet even reached a court. Almost certainly, they never will. For sometime after November 1999, justice officials lost his case file. His guards know where he is. But for all Malawi’s courts know, he does not exist.
“Why is it that my file is missing?” he asked, his voice a mix of rage and desperation. “Who took my file? Why do I suffer like this? Should I keep on staying in prison just because my file is not found? For how long should I stay in prison? For how long?”
“Of 100 new federally appointed judges 98 are white, Globe finds.” The first thing the reasonable reader thinks is, of course, “I wonder what the composition of the candidate pool is like.” The Globe does address this, at the very end of the article.
In some locations, the pool of minority lawyers is modest. For example, just five per cent of Nova Scotia’s 2,000 lawyers belong to a visible minority; while a 2006 B.C. survey found that just 18 per cent of Vancouver’s lawyers were from a visible minority, compared to 42 per cent of the city’s population.In Ontario, a similar survey conducted by the Law Society of Upper Canada in 2009 found that 693 of the province’s 20,000 lawyers were black. It found that 979 were Chinese, Japanese or Korean; 101 were Hispanic; 1,312 were South Asian; and 290 were of Arab or West Asian descent. The province had 281 aboriginal and 96 Métis lawyers.
It’s surprising to me how few Asian lawyers there are, but anyway that pretty much explains the situation. And yet the Globe thinks this needs to be fixed for some reason. Why? Obviously Asians especially are over-represented in other areas, so try to get proportional representation in the places where they aren’t just amounts to an effort to prevent whites from getting jobs.
This article about a beer-swilling rugby player turned hairdresser is a nice illustration of the fact that people don’t just ‘happen to be’ much of anything. Gender, race, and sexual orientation are non-accidentally associated with whole suites of character traits.
Update: there’s an interesting documentary about him on YouTube.
I suppose Lawrence Auster might argue that ‘civilization’ concerns the more technical aspects of culture. In that case, the thing I care about is whatever it is that reggae music contributes to.
(Here’s the studio version.)
The story goes that Thamus said many things to Theuth in praise or blame of the various arts, which it would take too long to repeat; but when they came to the letters, “This invention, O king,” said Theuth, “will make the Egyptians wiser and will improve their memories; for it is an elixir of memory and wisdom that I have discovered.” But Thamus replied, “Most ingenious Theuth, one man has the ability to beget arts, but the ability to judge of their usefulness or harmfulness to their users belongs to another; and now you, who are the father of letters, have been led by your affection to ascribe to them a power the opposite of that which they really possess. For this invention will produce forgetfulness in the minds of those who learn to use it, because they will not practice their memory. Their trust in writing, produced by external characters which are no part of themselves, will discourage the use of their own memory within them. You have invented an elixir not of memory, but of reminding; and you offer your pupils the appearance of wisdom, not true wisdom, for they will read many things without instruction and will therefore seem to know many things, when they are for the most part ignorant and hard to get along with, since they are not wise, but only appear wise.
I’ve never believed that incarceration is more humane that corporal (or even capital) punishment. The only reason anyone does believe it is that locking someone away is less personal. We feel like our hands are cleaner, even if prisoners go mad or are turned into sex slaves once we’ve shut them away.
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Here’s The Neville Brothers’ “Sons and Daughters,” which features Angola prison.