In Defense of the Humanities Again and Again and Again

And Yet Again


Over at Crooked Timber they’ve been hassling yet another Martha Nussbaum defense of the humanities. Though I know of her defense work, I’ve not read any of it, so I don’t really know whether the hassling is just.

But I’m going to believe it is. ‘Cause I’m tired of these defenses of the humanities. They’re so lame and predictable. In fact, I’m wondering whether or not it’s the humanities that’re IN FACT being defended.

Maybe the defense of the humanities has been USURPED INTO defending olden times. So, the defender doesn’t really like any of this new-fangled stuff, including the internet and all, but they don’t want to go after that directly. Instead, they defend the humanities.

And then . . .

One notion you find in defenses of the humanities is that we need to see the world whole. I agree. We need DO to see the world whole. Now more than ever. The arts do this in a way. So can the discursive humanities.

But we don’t need the old discourses. We need new discourses. 21st century discourses. Beyond postmodern discourse, etc. And it seems to me that the defense of the humanities genre is pretty much owned by people who want to stave off the creation of new whole-cosmos discourses.

That ain’t right.


You’ve seen the Youtube mashups — now see the movie!

In which I review a much better movie about Hitler getting his comeuppance.


And speaking of Canadian religiots….

…the province of Prince Edward Island1 decided this week to join the 21st century by allowing Sunday shopping. After the bill’s sponsor suffered a minor accident, Transport Minister Ron MacKinley, suggested — apparently in all seriousness — that God is pissed at her.

Point and laugh, people; point and laugh.

1. For those who don’t know, it’s an overgrown sandbar in the Gulf of St. Lawrence known mostly for having given the world Anne of Green Gables. For some unknown reason, the world has not yet nuked the place to the waterline in retaliation. Oh yeah, there was also some big political shindig there a while back.

It’s infectious

Nina Paley is the creator of Mimi & Eunice and is unleashing them on the world under a copyleft license.

Do not pity progressives

I have for a long time held that we live in a society largely run by special interest groups, a form of governance I call “lobbocracy”. It is the perversion and substitution of liberal democracy by those who hated it. That includes organised labour, commercial interests, the media, the military and especially the political machinery. At some point, we are going to have to take back our respective countries, and hung parliaments and third party options are a good start.

[Read the rest at Evolving Thoughts]


They hated our freedoms, so we instituted warrantless wiretapping, electronic surveillance and denied habeus corpus.

They hated our lack of religious control, so we redoubled our efforts to make discussing religion a crime, and to impose particular religious values on all, irrespective of their beliefs or commitments.

They hated our wealth, so we bankrupted ourselves trying to invade and control parts of the world that defeated all others. To pay for this we taxed the poor.

They hated our education, so we stopped teaching science and history that offended some religious people.

They hated our quality of life, so we took the dangers posed by a few, who harmed a few, and made life less for all.

They won.

Representative gov’t as well

Nina Paley is the creator of Mimi & Eunice and is unleashing them on the world under a copyleft license.

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