Skip to main content

The Cost of Relativism - NYTimes.com

But it’s increasingly clear that sympathy is not enough. It’s not only money and better policy that are missing in these circles; it’s norms. The health of society is primarily determined by the habits and virtues of its citizens. In many parts of America there are no minimally agreed upon standards for what it means to be a father. There are no basic codes and rules woven into daily life, which people can absorb unconsciously and follow automatically.

Reintroducing norms will require, first, a moral vocabulary. These norms weren’t destroyed because of people with bad values. They were destroyed by a plague of nonjudgmentalism, which refused to assert that one way of behaving was better than another. People got out of the habit of setting standards or understanding how they were set.

Who Spewed That Abuse? Anonymous Yik Yak App Isn’t Telling - NYTimes.com

Matt Ivester, who founded JuicyCampus in 2007 and shut it in 2009 after it became a hotbed of gossip and cruelty, is skeptical of the claim that Yik Yak does much more than allow college students to say whatever they want, publicly and with impunity. “You can pretend that it is serving an important role on college campuses, but you can’t pretend that it’s not upsetting a lot of people and doing a lot of damage,” he said. “When I started JuicyCampus, cyberbullying wasn’t even a word in our vernacular. But these guys should know better.”

Young Composer's Work Dropped For Nazi Melody : Deceptive Cadence : NPR

"This was his obligation to our orchestra as a commissioned artist and particularly important given the fact he was working with students, ages 12-22. Had the composer revealed the sources of his piece and the context under which they were used upon submission of the final commission in September 2014, the piece and the notes could have served as an important teaching moment for our students. However, without this information, and given the lack of transparency and lack of parental consent to engage with this music, we could not continue to feature his work on the program. Again, if the composer had been forthright with us from the start, this situation would not have transpired."

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jan/13/oxford-junior-dictionary-replacement-natural-words

The 28 authors, including Atwood, Motion, Michael Morpurgo and Robert Macfarlane, warn that the decision to cut around 50 words connected with nature and the countryside from the 10,000-entry children’s dictionary, is “shocking and poorly considered” in the light of the decline in outdoor play for today’s children. They are calling on publisher Oxford University Press to reverse its decision and, if necessary, to bring forward publication of a new edition of the dictionary to do so.

Awakening to Cultural Studies

There are many intellectual awakenings that mark the transition from high school to college. Critical thinking, historical consciousness, political and ideological critique: all of these I brought with me to college, none was new. But one of the ideas I did not bring with me, one of the moves I really did learn in college, was to look at popular culture, this thing I had grown up with, this thing that was as familiar to me as my own family, as something strange, something to be studied and attended to, with the same rigor and intensity that one would devote to philosophy or history or literature.

Primitive Heterosexuality: From Steubenville to the Marriage Altar | The Nation

It is a common fallacy for any majority group to believe that a minority's struggle for equality signals a wish to be just like the majority; hence, so much rhetoric in the marriage debate that makes it seem as if marriage were a gift heterosexuals might bestow, a magic bag of lessons on how to be proper adult lovers--licensed at last, and vindicating what the circuit court called "the principal manner in which the State attaches respect and dignity to the highest form of a committed relationship."

Brutally Honest Oscar Ballot 2015 - The Hollywood Reporter

When a movie about black people is good, members vote for it. But if the movie isn't that good, am I supposed to vote for it just because it has black people in it? I've got to tell you, having the cast show up in T-shirts saying "I can't breathe" [at their New York premiere] — I thought that stuff was offensive. Did they want to be known for making the best movie of the year or for stirring up shit?