19 September 2006

responses to responses

(1) "the whole enchilada: debates in world history." in a totally unsurprising move, the weekly standard has written a fluff piece listing college course titles that might scare conservatives. one of those is -- shocker! -- swatprof timothy burke's survey of historical writings. read -- if it's ok to laugh out loud at work -- this crooked timber review of the fiasco, especially including the comment thread's suggestions for even more highly suspect course titles.

(2) also from tim burke: a smart and heartfelt piece about problems with the pro-war "left." who are these people? where do they come from? and what in God's name is their empirical blindspot/personal insecurity that they cannot admit that things that sound nice may nevertheless go astoundingly wrong?

(3) on sunday's darfur rally: all i really have to say is uuurrrrrrgggghhhhhh. the friend with whom i attended pointed out that a far more effective thing to do would have been to sit there silently for three hours...but of course there seemed to be a fairly large contingent of people who were there for an O.A.R. show. in any case, i was able to construct only one interesting thought about the entire day, as follows: sometimes there are events in the world that are so bad that they demand some sort of response. sometimes there are events in the world that are so serious that most responses are inappropriate. in times like this, well-meaning people end up in central park, listening to platitudinous pop proclaiming that "we are all connected" and helpfully reminding the propertyless, landless victims of mass killing, rape and ethnic cleansing, "don't give up."

interesting to think that the situation is bad enough that i am still convinced that it was right, possibly even necessary, to go and do the wrong thing.