Monday, May 21, 2007

Various and Sundry

by shamanic

Mondays have a way of making every idea into a swirling microcosm of every other idea, so here's the wide ranging contents of my skull this morning (rapidly becoming afternoon):

In the great war of the punditocracy vs. DFH bloggers, I point to this Slate piece as an example of why the "MSM" will always be crucial to our democracy. This type of take down is beyond my ability as a writer, largely because the aforementioned Monday swirly idea thing happens most other days too. Thus I am a blogger--and poet, where the swirly idea thing can come in handy--and not a reporter.

Bill Moyer's Journal is probably the finest bit of television I've seen in some time. I caught my first episode yesterday, and it was riveting.

Moyer interviewed Bruce Bawer, who wrote (among other things) the essay "Tolerating Intolerance", which I first came across not too long after 9/11. This essay strongly influenced my thinking before I became involved in the blogosphere. Imagine my surprise as time has passed and I still have not located a mainstream consensus on a liberal critique of Islamic fundamentalism. This is a huge issue for me. I'm a lesbian and a political liberal, but I run up against this taboo against criticizing a culture that thinks women should be wrapped up, hidden from view, denied even the most rudimentary education, and dominated in every conceivable way by male relatives and husbands. Oh yeah, and when they disobey, it's perfectly reasonable to kill women.

Why do we need a liberal critique of Islamic fundamentalism? Because we can't let conservatives with their nativism and xenophobia control the discussion. Or any discussion. Duh.

Things that suggest it might be time: I saw a friend get a standing ovation at a hippy arts festival doing a Slam poem on this very topic. Gray-haired liberals rose to their feet for her liberal critique of brutality towards women. I think it's time.

I missed the opening episodes of NBC's Heroes, but I've seen a fair amount of mid-season stuff and had some cool conversations with Heroes fans. I watched a few episodes Saturday night as Sci-Fi ran its marathon. Mostly because I like the term, I want to ask: Is it an exploration of punctuated equilibrium?

Can't wait for season 1 to hit my Netflix queue.

I'm with Atrios on the immigration bill, based only on what I've heard in commentary. Wait. Pass a better bill in two years. There's no rush, since the situation isn't going to change while we wait for Dubya to leave and the congress to get bluer.

Poetry, man! If you don't know who Buddy Wakefield is or who Andrea Gibson is, you oughta drop a few dollars on CDs, and fast!

These ain't your poppa's poets, by the way. They are to poetry what blogging is to punditocracy. Harold Bloom once called their style of poetry "the death of art". You gotta support that.

There's really never an idea swirl of mine that doesn't include poetry somewhere in it.

Enjoy your Monday. I know I feel better.

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