Monday, February 27, 2012

The Last Nabokov

"Existence is a series of footnotes to a vast, obscure, unfinished masterpiece"
--Vladimir Nabokov
Dmitri Nabokov, the only son of Vladimir Nabokov and Vera Slonim, died in Switzerland aged 77 on February 22.  

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Dionysus Unleashed (again)

Following last year's mob rape in Tahrir Square of "60 Minutes" reporter Lara Logan, comes another, far more deadly, Egyptian Night of the Furies:
(Sky News) At least 74 people have been killed and 1,000 injured after a football pitch invasion in Egypt, according to reports.Clashes are said to have broken out as fans flooded the field seconds after the game in the northern coastal city of Port Said finished.There were reports of rocks, bottles, flares and fireworks being thrown as politicians in the country criticised a lack of security at the match.Doctors treating the victims said some had been stabbed to death. One player caught up in the rioting described it as "a war".
I would describe it as another horrific example of the Primal Sin.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Mitt and the Mad Myth of the Mormons

Say what you will about Mitt Romney, the guy is an Eveready energizer bunny, always upbeat and undaunted, effective and accomplished in business and politics, and obviously totally committed to his family. It also happens that Romney is a Mormon.

In this regard he seems to me a perfect example of a basic idea behind this blog: that what is most important about a myth is not its credibility, but its effectiveness in sustaining and guiding positive human behavior.  As the Mormon character says at the end of the (in)famous South Park “All About Mormons” episode:
Look, maybe us Mormons do believe in crazy stories that make absolutely no sense, and maybe Joseph Smith did make it all up, but I have a great life. and a great family, and I have the Book of Mormon to thank for that. The truth is, I don’t care if Joseph Smith made it all up, because what the church teaches now is loving your family, being nice and helping people. And even though people in this town might think that’s stupid, I still choose to believe in it.