Paper Clippings The Blog of The Crossroads Cultural Center

Paper Clippings, more than a classical blog, is a service providing valuable reading material in order to help readers reach a judgment about current affairs. Comments and discussion are more than welcome.

Monday
Jun112007

Fron non-I to I

Last week's essay by Paul Berman in the New Republic is worth reading. Spengler makes an interesting comment on the relationship between modern totalitarianism and paganism, understood as a creed in which the individual only exists for the sake of the state (or the tribe or the race):


Rosenzweig...described Islam as pagan, and Allah as an apotheosized despot. He began, that is, with a general characterization of pagan society, that is, society in the absence of God's self-revelation through love, and then considered Islam as a specific case of a paganism that parodies the outward form of revealed religion. God's self-revelation as an act of love first makes possible human individuality: the individual human is an individual precisely because he is loved.

Sunday
Jun102007

Prescient

Philip K. Dick sensed that the question of the age is what it means to be human.

Wednesday
Jun062007

Breakthrough

An important stem cell development may weaken the push to use human-embryos.

Wednesday
Jun062007

No atheists in the delivery room

This essay by Mary Eberstadt contains a valid intuition: that engagement with life (in this case, having children) leads to religiosity, whereas a bourgeois lifestyle of leisure atrophizes it.

Wednesday
Jun062007

“An Unforgivable Offense to Progress”

Panned initially for being too pessimistic about the future, Aldous Huxley's Brave New World now appears remarkably prescient in its portrayal of a world of universal promiscuity, mass consumerism, and birth separated from procreation. Though the work celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, it seems few critics have succeeded in discerning Huxley's real message: an attack on “the new spirit which tries to induce man… to abandon the practice of speculating about his existence and his destiny.”

Tuesday
Jun052007

Revolutionary suicide

The New Republic has been publishing some excerpts from Paul Berman's new book on the generation of 1968. The most striking fact is how ideology led this people to a complete neglect of their humanity. The logical outcome was nihilism, either serious (suicide) or unserious (Cohn-Bendit).

Monday
Jun042007

Himself

If you have been reading the Pope's book, you have learnt about Jacob Neusner.

Sunday
Jun032007

L oss of faith

Daniel Callahan is an interesting figure. You may not know that this prominent agnostic bioethicist used to be the editor of Commonweal.

Sunday
Jun032007

Sahel

Occasionally one is reminded of the naivete of the liberal post-enlightment delusion that certain values are universal across cultures just because WE have been taught to recognize them as universal in principle.

Sunday
Jun032007

Ray Bradbury, the Monsters and the Critics

His classic Fahrenheit 451 tells of a dystopian future of mass book burnings and groups of people who retreat from the cities to memorize whole texts so as to carry human culture through a new dark age. For over 40 years critics have called it a novel about government censorship. Now the author wants us to know that the intellectuals were wrong. The problem was never censorship-- it was television.

Saturday
Jun022007

No consensus

A provocative essay on public schools.

Saturday
Jun022007

Insatiable

A major story of the last few years: China's economic conquest of Africa.

Monday
May282007

Tom Cruise Wants Your Child to Find his Inner Thetan

This rather chilling article from the St. Petersburg Times gives an idea of the dangerous state of flux that characterizes public education. In devastated areas of Louisiana Scientology advocates like Tom Cruise and John Travolta have introduced their methods into public schools. The moral of the story: when education is divorced from tradition and simply becomes a matter of "skills" and "techniques" students are vulnerable to manipulation by the rich and powerful.
In case you were wondering, Scientology's "study technology" program is headquartered in the former retirement home of a Catholic religious order near St. Luis. Read more...

Monday
May282007

Funny guy

If you can wade through all the weirdness, you have to recognize this fellow has a more realistic outlook on life than most of his peers.


So many good things have happened to me because of how unhealthy I’ve been mentally

Monday
May282007

Familar thinking

Just as yet another example of a familiar phenomenon, a story from the Maldives.