For my photography class I did series of self-portraits in which I attempted to portray culture and counterculture for the past 10 decades. This is the product of that idea…
— Christine Hayes, Professor of Religious Studies at Yale
if I ever sound like this, I swear, light not only the cigarette but also my face
(the romanticization of Augustus Waters pains my soul but in a way that I know is the point)
My employers come late May, my friends. Really thrilled to be joining TAC as an editorial assistant this summer, and so grateful to them and to the National Journalism Center for the opportunity.
Human reason is beautiful and invincible.No bars, no barbed wire, no pulping of books,No sentence of banishment can prevail against it.It establishes the universal ideas in language,And guides our hand so we write Truth and JusticeWith capital letters, lie and oppression with small.It puts what should be above things as they are,Is an enemy of despair and a friend of hope.It does not know Jew from Greek or slave from master,Giving us the estate of the world to manage.It saves austere and transparent phrasesFrom the filthy discord of tortured words.It says that everything is new under the sun,Opens the congealed fist of the past.Beautiful and very young are Philo-SophiaAnd poetry, her ally in the service of the good.As late as yesterday Nature celebrated their birth,The news was brought to the mountains by a unicorn and an echo.Their friendship will be glorious, their time has no limit.Their enemies have delivered themselves to destruction.—Czesław Miłosz, “Incantation”
Take the man Spinoza, that Portuguese Jew exiled in Holland; read his Ethic as a despairing elegiac poem, which in fact it is, and tell me if you do not hear, beneath the disemburdened and seemingly serene propositions more geometrico, the lugubrious echo of the prophetic psalms. It is not the philosophy of resignation but of despair. And when he wrote that the free man thinks of nothing less than of death, and that his wisdom consists in meditating not on death but on life—when he wrote that, he felt, as we all feel, that we are slaves, and he did in fact think about death, and he wrote it in a vain endeavour to free himself from this thought.
—Miguel de Unamuno, The Tragic Sense of Life
Couldn’t decide which one to reblog, they’re all amazing. Go check out I, Too, Am NYU.
I took a long walk from Morningside Heights southeast to the Brooklyn Bridge on Friday. All told, with detours and wanderings, it was ten miles, and the predicted rain never came. These are a few of the things I saw. I thought of writing something about it for real, but you know, sometimes you just need an adventure to yourself.
In any case, if you need silence and recuperation and air, go take a walk, anywhere.
— “Love and Fire" by Monica Hesse for The Washington Post, on the eighty arsons in Accomack County, Virginia last year and the love story behind them.
I am (or try to be) a partisan of pluralism, which requires respecting Mozilla’s right to have a C.E.O. whose politics fit the climate of Silicon Valley, and Brandeis’s right to rescind degrees as it sees fit, and Harvard’s freedom to be essentially a two-worldview community, with a campus shared uneasily by progressives and corporate neoliberals, and a small corner reserved for token reactionary cranks.
But this respect is difficult to maintain when these institutions will not admit that this is what is going on. Instead, we have the pretense of universality — the insistence that the post-Eich Mozilla is open to all ideas, the invocations of the “spirit of free expression” from a school that’s kicking a controversial speaker off the stage.
And with the pretense, increasingly, comes a dismissive attitude toward those institutions — mostly religious — that do acknowledge their own dogmas and commitments, and ask for the freedom to embody them and live them out.
It would be a far, far better thing if Harvard and Brandeis and Mozilla would simply say, explicitly, that they are as ideologically progressive as Notre Dame is Catholic or B.Y.U. is Mormon or Chick-fil-A is evangelical, and that they intend to run their institution according to those lights.
I can live with the progressivism. It’s the lying that gets toxic."
A fun thing to do when people accuse you of “thinking people should just have stuff HANDED TO THEM! ! !” Is to just cold be like yes. I absolutely do believe that. I think every single person should have their needs met unconditionally without ever having to prove that they “deserve” it based on arbitrary criteria of usefulness. You got me. Busted.