I thought of that when I came across this book last weekend, which of course I had to buy.
|How to Be Pope, by Piers Marchant|
So did anyone actually think to buy a copy and send it to him? Might have prevented a lot of grief later on, no?
|How to Be Pope, by Piers Marchant|
On Feb. 15, at the Revel Casino in Atlantic City, Rice and the woman who was then his girlfriend, Janay Palmer, apparently became involved in an altercation that resulted in Palmer getting knocked unconscious. TMZ later acquired a tape of Rice dragging her out of an elevator. It was then alleged that Rice hit Palmer, and the initial charge against Rice of simple assault was upped to aggravated assault.While you could make a pretty good case that Sterling had done some pretty bad things in the past, things that did indeed break the law, the specific things he's been pillared for are thoughts, not actions. Rice, on the other hand, undeniably broke the law, and could easily have broken his now-wife's face.
The day after Rice was charged with aggravated assault, he and Janay got married. Love conquers all. Wouldn't Freud love this?
Sterling committed no crime and has the right of free speech in a country that takes great pride in that. Some observers wondered whether mental illness is involved after seeing him on CNN — it somehow managed to cut away for a few minutes from its Malaysian Airlines coverage — and stepped on his racially misguided tongue even worse. Yet he is an American pariah and a huge daily headline that may never stop.He's right.* And what does it say about this country? What about our priorities, our ways of thinking, our methods of assessing right and wrong? It's no secret that in today's America, words speak louder than actions, thoughts speak louder than words. What a person actually does is almost an afterthought. As Rod Dreher notes, you can get in trouble even if you're part of "the right way of thinking," if by chance you've written one or two words that could be used in defense of the "wrong way of thinking."
Rice is accused of a serious crime, punishable by the laws of our land. He allegedly assaulted a woman, and the charge he faces was changed to third-degree aggravated assault because, according prosecutors, it involved "significant bodily injury." Yet his biggest fear may be whether he misses one game or two.
By November, Sterling will be no less despised. By November, with a couple of long touchdown runs and an improved yards-per-carry rating, Rice will be coveted on fantasy football teams.
Is this a great country or what?
I oppose the export of feminist or any other ideology into pre-modern works. But it's epidemic. It's the heritage of identity politics, which began in acedeme in the 1970s. It skews interpretation of all kinds of historical works. When you focus on the woman's angle or the black angle or the gay angle, you're distorting the text. It's an extrapolation of contemporary assumptions backward so that one never escapes the present. Do you realize that the word "Renaissance" is slowly being dropped in English departments? There's been a steady process in high-level British and American adademe to substitute "Early Modern" instead. But when the glorious Renaissance is seen as only the beginning of us, it's a dead end of solipsism.And with that, Paglia has identified so much of what's wrong not only with opera, but with academe, with politics, with the passing down of culture and the evolution (or devolution) of Western civilization. It's this kind of provocative discussion that we need now, more than ever - and with the thought police on one hand and political correctness on the other, we're even less likely to get it.
To put it bluntly (as is my wont) what I have read about him leads me to see him as a mean-spirited narcissist who translated a certain aesthetic sensitivity and capacity for bullying and hucksterism into a colossal waste of money and collective time, further separating Americans from one another in pursuit of a false control over their environment. As bad, his personality and corporate ethos furthered highly damaging political and economic structures of a kind best described as libertarian socialism, in which corporations and rich individuals behave without conscience, expecting the social programs they vote for but seek to escape funding to pick up the pieces from their own “creative” destruction. I also see him as in many ways a sad character, emotionally and spiritually stunted in part because of the failings of the infantilizing environment in which he grew up.*(H/T - I wish I could remember. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.)
Eventually, Jobs moved out of his hovel with the drug den in the attic, travelling to the commune (probably still there—did I mention Reed is in Portland?), to his parents’ house, and to India. He got a girl pregnant along the way, denied paternity, encouraged her to get an abortion (she didn’t), then walked away, still denying paternity for some years after. In other words, he engaged in all the usual “hi-jinks” and “mind expanding experiences” one associates with the adolescent mindset of the counterculture.I've never been a Steve Jobs fan; visionary though he may have been in certain areas, I always thought it came at too high a price, and was of dubious merit. I admit, I've got an iPhone and an iPod, and my next laptop is probably a Mac. Nevertheless, as I've said before, the ends seldom ever justify the means. So it's no surprise that I'd read Frohnen's words with relish. But to simply revel in insulting Jobs because I didn't like him is pretty hollow unless it can be put in context - I prefer, whenever possible, to have a good reason for not liking someone - and this Frohnen does.
A man in a cornfield hears a voice. The voice tells him to build a baseball diamond so that the ghost of Shoeless Joe Jackson can come back and play baseball again. The voice tells him to go find a famous and reclusive writer (in the book, it is J.D. Salinger; in the movie it is someone named Terence Mann) and take him to a baseball game. The voice tells him to go find a dead ballplayer who only got to play one inning of one game.There’s more, but I think that gives you the flavor. All of this sounds like something I’d have been inclined to like, or at least be intrigued by. The thing about it, he says, you have to open yourself up to a movie like this, to run the risk of being burned or confused by a movie that’s “so unapologetically hopeful. It is so unapologetically optimistic.”
|Becket (Ruggero Raimondi) faces the four Tempters|
|The Martyrdom of St. Thomas Becket, |
by Michael D. O’Brien