The Week’s Most Interesting Reads
1 hour ago
This is what I've learned: leaders of countries and noble houses don't worry about having too few people, they worry about equitable rule; and they don't worry about the living in poverty, they worry about the people living in peace. If rule is equitable, there's no poverty. If there's harmony, there's no lack of people. And if there's peace, there's no rebellion. If a ruler's like this, and people in far-off lands still don't turn to him, he cultivates his Integrity to attract them. And after they're attracted, he brings them peace.(I'm not going to look for a better translation or the Chinese original at this time. This translation does not offer the traditional? numbering of passages.)
I’ve always thought that feminists trying to make a moral issue out of the basic nature of males’ sexual attraction to females particularly on first impression by calling it “objectification” was utter nonsense. Yeah we’re attracted by the visual, in particular young, 0.7 or lower waist to hips ratio, symmetrical and healthy looking beauty. We have individual preferences particularly at the higher levels of beauty but also a whole lot of commonality in what men find most attractive. Trying to shame that by calling it “objectifying” women is just absurd. Men are different from women, and no that’s not mostly a social construct.
Yep. It’s not really “patriarchy” that feminists hate, it’s maleness itself.
Regardless, last week when Gosling bravely stepped in and prevented a woman from being hit by a car, he moved up a notch or two in my estimation. Not enough that I want his memes appearing on my Facebook wall, but enough to make me realize he’s more of a manly man than I thought. This particular act of heroism was actually rather endearing to me since I have an unfortunate habit of wandering into oncoming traffic and have been saved more than once by similarly solicitous men. I guess you could say I felt gratitude towards Gosling by proxy.Chivalry? Or just "plain" benevolence or humaneness? Shouldn't a woman have done the same? So was Ryan Gosling obligated to save her because she is a woman? (Would he not have done so for another man?) Medieval chivalry existed within a specific social and cultural context; is it really the same as the code of the 19th century gentleman or Victorian chivalry? It cannot exist without reciprocal duties and obligations on the part of women.
And that’s why men open car doors for women— as a reminder, among other things, of their call to love, honor, and protect women.
As women, we’re called to nourish and nurture life. Our ability to answer that call, however, depends on us being receptive. Thanks to nature, our bodies already have that down pat. It’s how we’re built. But thanks to the effects of the Fall, it usually takes a bit more nurture to bring our souls up to speed. Most of us need help letting go of our own fallen need to dominate, manipulate, and control so we can become vulnerable enough to welcome people into our lives and love them for the gifts that they are. Learning to receive a man’s arm helps us do that. At least a little.What of respect and submission to the husband's authority (or the authority of men in civil society)? In a community where there are consequence for failing to live up to the moral idea, this or any other kind of chivalry might make sense. But in an Uhmerican megapolis? More and more men are seeing that such gestures are not acknowledged, much less appreciated. Women are not the only special class who can "claim" the help of a man's physical strength -- there are also children and the elderly, for exmaple. This is a duty of distributive justice, something owed for the good of the community as a whole, not something owed to women as individuals or as a specific group. Chivalry may have been understood by some as a vehicle for inculcating attitudes of honoring/respecting women, but it may be better understood as reinforcing social separation and protecting against over-familiarity with members of the opposite sex. Gestures of honor and respect may be laudable when displayed to one's wife, but they can also faciliate or strengthen an erroneous understanding of women (and ignorance of their weaknesses). It might be better to understand them as another mode of communication, one that signals respect and affection and so on, rather than as an act that is due to a woman because she is a woman.
This historical novella charts the events as they unfold within Beowulf through the eyes of the minor character Wealhtheow, Hrothgar’s Helming Queen. The novella tries to remain as historically accurate to the culture of fifth and sixth century Scandinavia, for this is when most scholars agree the historical events of Beowulf unfolded. This fictional account of the Beowulf-poem presents the story within a different genre in hopes of creating an environment that is vivid and more easily accessible to modern readers, especially young adult readers, not only referencing Scandinavian culture but also the role of Anglo-Saxon women.
Introduction: My goal in writing this fictional novella is twofold: to make Beowulf more accessible to modern readers and to expound upon the less articulated female point of view in the poem.
But the memory of that lost place—the pain of watching that which one loves disappear—informs his best movies: “The Wild Bunch,” “Ride the High Country,” “Junior Bonner,” “Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid.”
This last, with its elegiac score by Bob Dylan, is at once listless and haunting, as it treats Peckinpah’s two favorite themes: men out of time and the imperative of loyalty. Its tersely poetical script is by the underrated novelist Rudolph Wurlitzer (check out his brutal and ethereal The Drop Edge of Yonder) of the jukebox family.
Queried why he doesn’t kill his pursuer Pat Garrett, Billy the Kid (played by Kris Kristofferson) says simply, “He’s my friend.” No other explanation is necessary, or even possible. It’s the same reason Peckinpah’s Wild Bunch go on a mission perdu to rescue their compadre Angel from the sleazy federale Mapache.
“Aren’t your losers and misfits conformists to outdated codes?” asked a Playboy interviewer in 1972. Peckinpah replied, “outdated codes like courage, loyalty, friendship, grace under pressure, all the simple virtues that have become clichés, sure. They’re cats who ran out of territory and they know it, but they’re not going to bend, either: they refuse to be diminished by it. They play their string out to the end.”
The first pillar of conservatism is liberty, or freedom. Conservatives believe that individuals possess the right to life, liberty, and property, and freedom from the restrictions of arbitrary force. They exercise these rights through the use of their natural free will. That means the ability to follow your own dreams, to do what you want to (so long as you don’t harm others) and reap the rewards (or face the penalties). Above all, it means freedom from oppression by government—and the protection of government against oppression. It means political liberty, the freedom to speak your mind on matters of public policy. It means religious liberty—to worship as you please, or not to worship at all. It also means economic liberty, the freedom to own property and to allocate your own resources in a free market.
Conservatism is based on the idea that the pursuit of virtue is the purpose of our existence and that liberty is an essential component of the pursuit of virtue. Adherence to virtue is also a necessary condition of the pursuit of freedom. In other words, freedom must be pursued for the common good, and when it is abused for the benefit of one group at the expense of others, such abuse must be checked. Still, confronted with a choice of more security or more liberty, conservatives will usually opt for more liberty.