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.

Sunday
May142006

World change

The real globalization is moving on: widespread economic growth driven by trade. How long will it last?

Sunday
May142006

Reactionary

The world seen from Teheran. Western culture is declining, but everybody still seems busy reacting against it (unless you regard waiting for the Mahdi as a constructive way forward).

Tuesday
May092006

Affective nihilist


An excellent Spengler column on Freud and the "sexual revolution."


The therapeutic community has perfectly valid explanations for anorexia and self-harm at the individual level. But it reminds me of a doctor who explains with great precision how a metal object has passed through your body wreaking damage on various organs without also mentioning that the city in which you live is subject to aerial bombardment. Without addressing the cultural catastrophe, the therapeutic profession will be hard put to save many of the individuals.
Human beings are not beasts content with daily fodder and rutting in season. To be sentient is to be sentient of one's mortality. The status of wife and mother in a family within a community offers women an honored position and a link to the eternal. Sexual objectification leaves women with a foretaste of death, and it should be no surprise that Freud's program drives women into deadly behavior.

Saturday
May062006

Desperate

This report from the Sinai gives a good idea of the factors at play in the Middle East.

Saturday
May062006

Making lemonade

As the Da Vinci Code movie is about to be released Opus Dei is having a field day.

Saturday
May062006

Doves and Hawks

George Weigel and Marcello Pera were the keynote speakers in a gathering of American and European intellectuals hosted in Vienna, Austria, by Cardinal Christoph Schonborn. They were invited to discuss the Christian identity and roots of Europe and the challenge of Islam. John Allen is reporting on the event and on "the differences between the doves and the hawks" in the Catholic approach to Islam. It seems that the debate proposed in February by Crossroads in New York is alive and kicking...

Saturday
May062006

Bad situation

Here you can see the potential for the some kind of civil war coming to the US.

Thursday
May042006

Culture, not religion

A very nice essay by Fr. Khalil Samir on how the Pope is dealing with Islam (very intelligently).

Wednesday
May032006

Where are you Reinhold?

Peter Beinart has written a book comparing how American liberal faced the cold war to how they (and their opponents) are facing the war on terror. His historical analysis is very interesting, but his hope to provide a model for the present sounds like wishful thinking. The sixties happened. What does today's "liberal" culture have in common with the likes of Reinhold Niebuhr?

Wednesday
May032006

Clash of civilizations, clash of ideas

Liberal democracy is a great answer to the present global situation. The problem is there are not enough people, in the Muslim countries, willing to press for liberalism and democracy. An interesting letter from Robert Kagan to Amartya Sen, about Sen's last book.

Saturday
Apr292006

Desert

This report on the grotesque economic boom in Dubai shows that the globalizing, capitalistic answer to the problem of modernization in the Arab world is more or less as inhuman as the fundamentalist solution. In a way, the two are complementary and represent two sides of the same cultural breakdown.

Thursday
Apr272006

Filling a vacuum

This article on Sen. John Allen of Virginia is more interesting from an anthropological than from a political point of view. Many of us have met that unique American phenomenon: the fake hillbilly. That means someone who grew up in the suburbs around Los Angeles and, in order to find some kind of meaningful identity, in his teenage years embraced the romantic mith of rural America, and especially of the Old South, to the point of sincerely thinking of himself as a Good Old Boy from Virginia. That includes dreaming about the glories of the Confederacy, chewing tobacco, wearing cowboy boots, developing a Southern drawl, embracing a certain brand of red-state republicanism etc. It is obviously a genuine expression of the Religious Sense.

Wednesday
Apr262006

Redesigning the Intelligent Design

What's going on with the Intelligent Design movement? After a federal judge in December stopped Intelligent Design from being taught in a Pennsylvania school district, the Seattle think tank that promotes the challenge to Darwinism is struggling.

Wednesday
Apr262006

The Judas Code?

A lot of people out there have a dream: To become the next Dan Brown. Maybe all the buzz around the Gospel of Judas can help them...

Saturday
Apr222006

Tap-tappity-tap

An obituary for Muriel Sparks.