Buzzword Bingo

by Tom on March 12, 2004

Yeah, the guys over here probably think they’re pretty hot stuff, right?

After all, it’s definitely a very cool thing to be able to print off your own specially configurable buzzword card from the web, take it to the next buttock-shrivelling meeting you have to attend, patiently tick off the matches against your boss’s (or boss’s boss’s boss’s) tedious meanderings, and finally get yourself fired by standing up during his/her peroration and shouting ‘Bingo!’

I can’t be the only one, can I?

[click to continue…]

Brown in Hollywood

by Brian on March 12, 2004

The NY Times reports that my department just acquired a new fictional graduate.

bq. “Orders Come From a Talking Lion (Made of Wax)”:http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/12/arts/television/X12HEFF.html?ex=1394514000&en=0d7f1ed9316e4d01&ei=5007&partner=USERLAND

bq. Jaye [the main character in __Wonderfalls__] lives in a tricked-out trailer, which makes her seem resourceful; she also has a degree in philosophy from Brown. And in the second episode we learn that she can write.

I would like to think that when we learn she has a degree in philosophy from Brown, we thereby learn she can write, but I’m not sufficiently down with the requisite fictional conventions to tell for sure. I do think it’s cute that saying a character is a Brown grad is a way of placing them in American fiction. I don’t know how exactly many other schools have fictional stereotypes associated with them, though obviously there are a few.

A Natural Progression

by Kieran Healy on March 12, 2004

Brayden King is in Depression, Stage 4 of the Five Stages of Blogging. Characterized by morbid feelings that your blog may somehow get you into trouble, this stage follows Denial (“I don’t really have a blog, it’s just a webpage I update sometimes”), Anger (“Why the hell isn’t anyone reading my blog?”), and Bargaining (“I’ll only post once a day, I promise”). Fortunately it is usually followed in short order by Acceptance.

Terrorism and guilt

by John Quiggin on March 12, 2004

There’s a lot of confusion about the perpetrators of the Madrid terrorist bombings, with a letter, purportedly from Al-Qaeda, claiming responsibility, and leaders associated with ETA disclaiming it. There’s evidence pointing both ways and, of course, it’s possible that more than one group was involved. Meanwhile, another letter, also purportedly from Al Qaeda, disclaimed responsibility for the even bloodier atrocity in Karbala last week.

I don’t think it’s necessary to come to a conclusive finding as to who set up which bombs. All groups and individuals that embrace terrorism as a method share the guilt of, and responsibility for, these crimes. Both in practical and symbolic terms, terrorist acts by one group provide assistance and support to all those who follow in their footsteps. The observation of apparent links between groups that seemingly have nothing in common in political terms (the IRA and FARC, for example[1]) illustrates the point.

This point isn’t only applicable to terrorists. For example, governments that engage in, or endorse, torture in any context share in the guilt of criminals like Saddam, whether or not they were directly complicit in particular crimes.

Whether or not the official leaders of ETA and its political counterpart were directly involved in this attack, they deserve condemnation for it unless they are willing to repudiate terrorism and abandon those who would continue it.

fn1. Both the IRA and FARC have issued partial and mutually contradictory denials of the accusation that IRA members provided explosives training to FARC. But denials of particular accusations are beside the point unless they are accompanied by a renunciation of terrorism.