Category: Morality

The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology

Slovene philosopher Slavoj Zizek is a charming public intellectual whose accented-English, absentminded nose-wiping, and obvious enthusiasm for Ideas make him a kind of ambassador of deep thinking. In the 2012 documentary “The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology,” directed by Sophie Fiennes, Zizek delivers dazzling deconstructions of many popular films, showing how they function as instruments of...

We Don’t Negotiate With Terrorists

The Enemy Who Hates Our Freedoms has gotten unruly, crossing borders dreamed up by imperial empires. Impudent weeds with AK-47s and machetes impertinently raise their masked heads, taunting, braying, slashing American throats and luring the big bad bully into yet another unwinnable war. It’s time to mow the grass. Here we go. Again. It’s been...

Is the Tall Man Happy?

Driector Michel Gondry (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”) is currently flummoxing viewers with his persistently inventive “Mood Indigo.” But of all his blazingly original creations, the 2013 documentary “Is the Tall Man Happy: An Animated Conversation with Noam Chomsky” might be his most densely wonderful work. Gondry and the indispensable linguist and social critic...

News Quiz

Who said what? “This act of violence shocks the conscience of the world.” A) Eric Holder, on the Boston Marathon bombing. B) Reverend Al Sharpton, on the slaying of another unarmed black man by American police. C) Prime Minister David Cameron, on the downing of Malaysian Air #17. D) None of the above.   “They...

Israel’s Final Solution

Enough already. We’re sick and tired of hearing about the conflict in Gaza, especially when there’s a new turtle movie coming out. Sure, our tax dollars pay for Israeli and Egyptian weaponry, and, yeah, OK, that sort of makes us involved. But, really, what does this decades-old grudge match have to do with us here...

Religious Champions of Discrimination

America’s religious leaders, some of the most esteemed and respectable citizens in our republic, are helping us understand that our precious freedoms — the ones our brave soldiers fight and die for in faraway dust bowls most of us can’t find on a map — are once again under attack. This time the perpetrator isn’t...

When Credibility Is More Important Than Justice

In a story headlined “Pot’s popularity, state law create trying times for U.S. prosecutor,” a Los Angeles Times reporter named Joe Mozingo attempted a sympathetic profile of a United States attorney who works closely with DEA agents to imprison Americans for possessing or selling cannabis, even when those Americans are obeying state law. How tricky,...

Poem: The Silliest Most Comforting Thought

How terribly awfully blatantly and, one might emphasize, preposterously naïve to envision even for a frivolous moment a world, or a set of circumstances, alternating laws and chances, in which wherein and also everything else you can dream, human beings, people decide to make love the reason for living.   Slilly thought yes. Even sillier,...

Poem: The Abiding Benefit of Employing Servants

Employing a staff, you see, Betters all mankind, not just me. Look, the man who drives my car Was born unlucky, not a star Like me and Angie, Anne and Mike, All us worthy of your thumbs-up “like.”   Meet the girl who cleans my home: Born unlovely, brownish gnome With moles unsightly, hair unkempt, She’s never...

Poem: Absolution

Forgive me Wash it all away The sins and unpleasantries that have soiled my otherwise pristine existence. Rid them. Scour and scald if you must. Scrub. Make magnificently clean the miasma of my missteps. Heal. Mend. But mostly clean. Absolve. Purify – and not in the mendacious greed-modeled sense of “purified,” as in Water from...