One place where conservatives–and particularly libertarians–do pop culture well is in the science fiction field. Authors like Sarah Hoyt, John Ringo, David Drake, and even Harry Turtledove produce excellent writing in the Robert Heinlein vein, which leans libertarian-right. And John Barnes is very capably reprising the brilliant Heinlein juvenile novels of the 1950s in a twenty-first century style.
Of course, academic-writing-seminar types have been proliferating in the science fiction world (often creeping in via fantasy) and some worry that they’ll ruin the field. But I don’t think so. ...
To understand the distance Israel has traveled since [the 1990s], consider Tuesday night's Memorial Day ceremony at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv. None of the performers attacked their fellow Israelis. And the best-received artist and song was Mosh Ben-Ari and his rendition of Psalm 121 - A Song of Ascent.
The psalm, which praises God as the eternal guardian of Israel, became the unofficial anthem of Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in 2008-2009. And Ben-Ari's rendition of the song propelled the dreadlock bedecked, hoop earring wearing world music artist into super-stardom in Israel. ...
Go read it all. This contrast between the Israel of the 1990s and the world of today's Israel was also remarked on by Jonathan Spyer in The Transforming Fire, which I highly recommend.
Anger is mounting against singer Achinoam Nini – whose stage name abroad is Noa – for taking part in an "alternative" Remembrance Day ceremony that honored Arabs who were killed by Israelis, as well as Jews who were killed by Arabs. One of the Arabs honored in the ceremony was Ziad Jilani – an Arab who was shot dead after he rammed into a group of Border Policemen with his car, wounding several of them. His widow was one of the speakers. ...
Nobody is going to complain about Naziphobia.
- Barry Rubin
There's no downside to being against Nazis. Anyone can declare that the Holocaust was a great evil, anyone can say "never again". As I wrote in an earlier post,
That the Nazis did horrific things to humanity in general and the Jews in particular is well known; "Nazi = evil" is not a controversial statement.
But Nazis are a "safe target". They were white, nominally Christian Europeans acting on a professed ideology of white supremacism; so it's easy to conflate them with the likes of the KKK. Best of all, they lost the war!
But now Yale has sidestepped criticism about ending the program by changing its name slightly and choosing a new head who is an expert on Jews in France and especially the Holocaust and French literature there. No doubt we will be fed a steady diet of things like the Dreyfus affair, antisemitism in nineteenth-century French literature, and the situation in Europe during the 1930s and 1940s. As if masses of studies haven't been done on such things. But obviously nothing on antisemitism from certain groups, ideologies, and individuals in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
So you see academia really cares about antisemitism, as long as the Jews involved (and in most cases their persecutors) are already long dead. Nobody is going to complain about Naziphobia.
I hope he's wrong about the Yale program, and I'm willing to give the new department head a fair chance. But the main point is this: there's little value in studying the antisemitism of the past if we ignore its most dangerous present manifestations, and by this of course I mean the ideologies of radical Islam.
Helvetica is a feature-length independent film about typography, graphic design and global visual culture. It looks at the proliferation of one typeface (which is celebrating its 50th birthday this year) as part of a larger conversation about the way type affects our lives. Helvetica will begin screening at film festivals worldwide starting in March, followed by cinema screenings across the US and Europe, and the DVD release ...
Go to the link for more modernist, sans-serif goodness.
Judith (to whom the grateful hat tip) has a post on it here. Be sure to follow her link to the clips - you may have to turn up the sound, but it's worth it.
For me, "Helvetica" will be a nostalgic trip back to the halcyon days of New Order and Peter Saville. Ohhh, I can't wait.