I have a large number of interesting articles that I’ve run across over the last few weeks, so I’m trying to clear the backlog at the same time as I attempt to present them in a less-than-random order. Since it’s current news, here’s a selection of “Bruce Jenner” commentary. I wrote about this subject on Monday, but here’s everyone else’s thoughts. Matt Walsh (first link below) has a particularly good piece. Have a read and let me know what you think.
This is an original post from a guest author. I haven’t done this before, but there’s a first time for everything, right? To be clear, I am not the author of this post, but I fully endorse her message. After reading it, I’ve gotta say that I was floored. The issue of domestic abuse still doesn’t get enough exposure, so it’s really nice to hear a genuinely original thought on this topic. Read on:
Women and Abuse
Lucy V. Churchill
Almost six years ago, a good friend of mine left an abusive marriage that was full to the brim with one-sided emotional, sexual and financial abuse, as well as (also one-sided) manipulation, coercion, and adultery. My friend’s two sons from that marriage are also emotionally abusive to her, mirroring the patterns of their father. One of the children (her step-son, in fact, but who called her “Mom” for a decade) hasn’t talked to my friend in almost 3 years, which, admittedly, has brought some peace (or at least relief from continued manipulation and abuse), although said peace is painfully mixed with unwarranted doubts and guilt on my friend’s part.
If it isn’t obvious by now, I have a bit of a bee in my bonnet over the way that universities operate. Shockingly, this article appeared in the Globe and Mail (not exactly a bastion of rational argument). But Wente nails this one. What she describes is NOT out of the ordinary, nor will her comments be surprising to any open-minded individual who sets foot on campus. As a side note, I ran across this article on social media accompanied by the ravings of a number of ‘liberal arts’ students. What I found there was indistinguishable from self-parody as comment after comment reinforced the main tenets of Wente’s argument.
Do you remember Obi-Wan Kenobi in that first Star Wars flick where he’s trying to smuggle Luke Skywalker and his two robotic pals off of their home planet? The whole crew of them end up at a check-stop where Obi-Wan waves his magic hands and tells the Stormtrooper that “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for”. The shtick works and the poor guy mechanically repeats back: “These aren’t the droids we’re looking for”. In the film, it’s all very cool and the good guys get away. Big win all-round, right?
Well, that was a much longer hiatus than what I had initially planned. I’ve been immersed in research, exams, and romantic languages for several weeks. That said, I’ve got a ton of material to share, and plenty of thoughts to get out. Expect a fair bit of material over the next while.
Just to play a bit of catch-up, here’s a short commentary that I put together back in May (or thereabouts) when this was whole issue was a little fresher. While the controversy has died down a bit, the underlying issues haven’t, so here’s my take on it.
The Kipnis Controversy
Laura Kipnis is right, and her critics prove it.
Kipnis talks about sex between students and professors, which seems to set many people on edge. But she’s an academic critiquing academia, so naturally this is the example she uses. She could just as easily have talked about the kindergarten teacher marrying the principal, the hygienist dating the dentist, Dr. Smith sneaking a quick kiss with Nurse Brown, or the CEO having a romantic weekend getaway with his secretary.
Scruton details the evolution of the modern university, and the de-volution of the university’s contemporary form. His description of the underground universities of Soviet-occupied Europe is fascinating.
This is an interview piece that was written a few months ago. It took me well outside of my writing comfort zone, but also opened my eyes to a whole new perspective on life, art, and community. If you’re in Edmonton, check out The Bleeding Heart Art Space.
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Located in the heart of Edmonton’s Alberta Avenue, the Bleeding Heart Art Space is surrounded by change in one of the city’s most diverse and dynamic neighbourhoods. It isn’t mere happenstance that brings BHAS to this area: Alberta Avenue has become an incubator for Edmonton’s art and culture scene. But ‘The Ave’, as it is colloquially known, is in the early stages of gentrification. Once a thriving and prosperous middle class residential neighbourhood, it is just emerging from a period of decay, rising crime, and plunging property values. The most immediate and tangible result of this is a neighbourhood with startling contrasts: a trendy ‘not-for-profit’ coffee shop, which features live local musicians to serenade patrons over their unpronounceable beverages, sits nestled between excellent restaurants offering everything from barbecue to Ethiopian cuisine. Small grocers offer hard-to-find items to the many immigrant families in the area, and interested shoppers can probably find a bakery from their continent of choice. Meanwhile on the same street, seedy bars and a pornographic video store compete with a community center and a playground.