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Owl Post 8-11-15

Owl Post: 2-3-2012

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The Coddling of the American Mind:

image6087947xSomething strange is happening at America’s colleges and universities. A movement is arising, undirected and driven largely by students, to scrub campuses clean of words, ideas, and subjects that might cause discomfort or give offense. Last December, Jeannie Suk wrote in an online article for The New Yorker about law students asking her fellow professors at Harvard not to teach rape law—or, in one case, even use the word violate (as in “that violates the law”) lest it cause students distress. In February, Laura Kipnis, a professor at Northwestern University, wrote an essay in The Chronicle of Higher Educationdescribing a new campus politics of sexual paranoia—and was then subjected to a long investigation after students who were offended by the article and by a tweet she’d sent filed Title IX complaints against her. In June, a professor protecting himself with a pseudonym wrote an essay for Vox describing how gingerly he now has to teach. “I’m a Liberal Professor, and My Liberal Students Terrify Me,” the headline said. A number of popular comedians, including Chris Rock, have stopped performing on college campuses (see Caitlin Flanagan’s article in this month’s issue). Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Maher have publicly condemned the oversensitivity of college students, saying too many of them can’t take a joke.

From Gamergate to Cecil the lion: internet mob justice is out of control:

In this animated image created by Matt Groening and released by Twentieth Century Fox, the entire town of Springfield is transformed into an angry mob, in a scene from When an American dentist named Walter Palmer killed a beloved lion named Cecil, the social media platforms that allowed outraged web users to spread the story also enabled them to do more than just fume. It gave them the power to act on their anger, to reach into Palmer’s life and punish him for what he’d done, without having to wait for the wheels of more formal justice to turn. Web users uncovered Palmer’s personal information, including about his family, and published it online. They went after his business, a private dental practice, posting thousands of negative reviews on Yelp and other sites. The practice has since shut down. Users also went after professional websites that host his profile, leading the sites to remove his information. On Twitter and on his practice’s public Facebook page, people made threats of physical violence.

Go Set a Watchman: Why Harper Lee’s new book is so controversial:

20150326140533US_cover_of_Go_Set_a_WatchmanTo Kill a Mockingbird is one of the best-known books in America. It’s an inspiring story about standing up to injustice even if doing so is difficult and unpopular; an accessible coming-of-age tale; and a convenient way to teach high school English students about the Jim Crow South. It’s also the only novel that its author, Harper Lee, had ever published — until a sudden announcement in February 2015 heralded the publication of Go Set a Watchman, a new Lee work featuring the same characters as To Kill a Mockingbird.

A lot of people are suspicious about the discovery of the new manuscript. There are questions about whether Lee actually wanted it to be published, or whether she even wrote it at all — and if so, when. These questions have only become more urgent since the book’s release on July 14, due to its “reveal” that Atticus Finch, the anti-racist hero of To Kill a Mockingbird, is a virulent racist in Watchman.

How Kerry Conran saw Hollywood’s future – then got left behind:

skyangelina-xlargeShortly after completing their first movie, in 2004, Kerry and Kevin Conran received an invitation from George Lucas. The Star Wars mastermind would be hosting a summit at Skywalker Ranch, his production facility-cum-small town in San Francisco, gathering some of the most forward-thinking people in the movie business to discuss the future of film.

James Cameron was there, as were Robert Zemeckis and Brad Bird. The brothers were newcomers, but that day they were treated as peers; each of their fellow directors told the Conrans how impressed they were with what they’d accomplished. Their work, they were told, was way ahead of its time.

Planned Parenthood: 4 Ways to Respond:

PlannedParenthoodsignWe have come to a singularly important moment in the battle against abortion (which is to say, the battle for life). The stunning undercover videos by the Center for Medical Progress have taken us right to the heart of the abortion industry. They have shown that Planned Parenthood is enriching themselves with the bodies of murdered babies. Not only that, but Planned Parenthood is willingly increasing the risk to the women they serve in order to enrich themselves—altering the abortion procedures to deliver intact bodies. Planned Parenthood is a business, a government-supported business, that buys and sells death.

Carly Fiorina at the Reagan Library:

How Culture Disciples Us:

i-mass-media-inducono-alla-violenza-L-kysDzCWe hold a misconception about discipleship: that it’s a merely Christian idea, only taking place at weekend worship services, on weeknights in groups and in the mornings or evenings when we “spend time with the Lord.” On the contrary, discipleship is taking place all around us and in us every day. Whether we realize it or not, we are being shaped and formed by the movies and TV shows we watch, the music, podcasts and radio stations we listen to, the books and magazines that we read, the social media feeds that we skim, and the trips we take to the mall. Our cultural practices and habits are discipling us either for good or for ill.

8 thoughts on “Owl Post 8-11-15

  1. If Atticus Finch was a “virulent racist” he would have worn a white robe and burned a cross. I guess you have to see that crowd to understand. Atticus attempted to maintain justice during a time of HUGE cultural change. Cultural change is never immediate. It’s the biggest roadblock to any project. I believe, had Atticus lived, he would have “progressed,” since he was a smart man who forever respected justice.

  2. I see no evidence for VIRULENT racist. VIRULENT: poisonous, toxic, venomous, noxious, deadly, lethal, fatal, dangerous, harmful, injurious, pernicious, damaging, destructive; vitriolic, malicious, malevolent, hostile, spiteful, venomous, vicious, vindictive, bitter, sharp, rancorous, acrimonious, scathing, caustic, withering, nasty, savage.

    1. You should read the rest of the article. Also I remind you of Edmund Burke’s famous quote, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

  3. Well, you can feel better now. They took down the Confederate Flag. For you, it’s a novel with commercial intrigue. For me, it was a slice of daily life. And, if you think my family did NOTHING, you are incorrect. But, in revisionist history, problems are ever so easy to solve.

    1. Neither is deigning the wrong-doing of someone like Atticus. He was on the wrong side, he might have been kinder about it, but he was wrong and that is ok. Yes this is a slice of life, but that does not mean it’s wrong to call his views what they are and that is racist. My point was not impugning anyone’s family, my point was that Atticus was not doing anything to stem the racism, Jean Louise is the real hero of the book. This has nothing to do with revisionist history because Lee shows the many sides of racism and it’s insidious nature. Is Atticus a Klan member, no, his he a racist, yes. Lee paints a good picture for us at just how difficult change is and it’s her slice of life that is needed to confront the issues that still plague society.

  4. Really not sure how it can be argued that Atticus is not a racist in the book, but in the end that is one of the best lessons. Lee uses the “slice of life” to not revising history, but showing us what it was, nasty warts and all. Atticus was still in the wrong, even Jean Louise realizes that. Lee is the perfect person to tell this story, as it was because she lived it. I love the reminder this book leaves with us to check ourselves and makes sure we are not entrenched in views that should change. Racism is such a terrible sin because it can be hard to see sometimes but it must be called out when it is present because God calls us to love everyone and treat everyone with the same respect that the Image of God demands of us.

    I wrote in my review “There is little that is as painful in this world as having a hero in your life suddenly become nothing more than human. Yet it is one of life’s most important lessons, finding that the thing you’ve placed on a pedestal is not worthy of such admiration. What we put our faith and hope in must be able to sustain the weight of such things,and the weight of such glory is heavy indeed. False idols must be brought down if true clarity is ever to be found.”

    Atticus is a flawed hero, he does the right things sometimes but for the wrong reasons and he is definitely not treating all people with the respect that they deserve as image bearers of God. The past, the present and the future (till Jesus comes back and makes all things new) will be fully of ugly things we wish were not there. We cannot forget the past, as it was and Lee helps remind us of the struggle and to recognize the struggle still alive today. We do not want to be doomed to repeating the past because we forgot to learn the lessons it has taught us. We can never be afraid to call sin, sin.

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