MLK Day

Martin Luther King Jr.. How do we begin to measure his impact?

Ever since the election of President Barack Obama, there has been a lot of loose talk about a "post-racial" world. Any African-American who hasn't been lured into the smarmy embrace of the Republican Party will tell you that's a lot of hooey. Only they probably wouldn't say hooey. Read more about MLK Day

Magical Thinking

Magical Thinking. The first time I heard that term used as a perjorative, I wondered why. What's so bad about Magical Thinking? This negative definition is, as I understand it, a denigration of religious thinking, of belief in God, belief in an afterlife, belief that an invisible being concerns her/him/itself with one's life, one's friends, one's career, health, and well-being.

And ok. I get that. But still ... Read more about Magical Thinking

Still the Same

"Still the same, baby things are still the same,
Some things never change..."

The old Bob Seger tune comes to mind this morning.

Yesterday afternoon, as the Christmas Day discussion drifted into ideas about religion and culture, someone made reference to cultural evolution, as in "we've evolved more than that." I can't remember the exact reference, but it implied that humans have "evolved" culturally. That is, our understanding of each other and the world around us has become broader, more tolerant, more accepting of others. Read more about Still the Same

'Tis Christmas

Christmas Week. Which every year brings a weeping and a wailing and a gnashing of teeth over how to greet people - not to mention the whole idea of giving gifts, receiving gifts, and shopping for gifts - and leaving aside the entire issue of home decor. And rumbling in the basement, at the foundations, you might say, of the entire enterprise and bringing the general confusion to a boil - religion. Read more about 'Tis Christmas

Free Stuff

I don't like free stuff. I don't trust it.

Buy one, get one free. Why? What's wrong with it? If I only want one, do I have to take two? What if I don't want two? Should I take two and give one to the homeless guy outside the door? What message do I send to the world when I say, no thank you? I don't need two. I can afford to spend money that would buy me two, but I only need to take one. So look, everybody, how rich I am. Look and be grateful. That because I threw away my money on one, you may now have two. Read more about Free Stuff

Exceptional

It's Thankful Week.

There's lots of talk going around these days about American Exceptionalism. I agree we are exceptional. So is everyone else. The tiny list below betrays my own limitations - I have no idea of what makes Azerbaijan exceptional - but I do know that American Exceptionalism is composed of bits and pieces of all of these and more:

Shakespeare=English exceptionalism
Brie=French exceptionalism
Curry=Indian exceptionalism
Bach=German exceptionalism
Tango=Argentinian exceptionalism
Vodka=Russian exceptionalism
Fireworks=Chinese exceptionalism Read more about Exceptional