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.

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.

Saturday
Apr222006

Paralysis

This summary of the European situation is unfortunately accurate.

Monday
Apr172006

Ideological folly

According to these analyses in the Daily Telegraph and the New Republic, the odds of Iran starting a world war are extremely serious.

Saturday
Apr152006

Losers

This article on the contemporary dance scene in New York is somewhat interesting because it points to a simple fact: contrary to all romantic notions, art is not a spontaneous, self-supporting enterprise that springs eternal from the genius of the artist. Instead, art reflects the depth of a civilization and the education of a people. If people are not educated, art will wither away, regardless of all the hype in the New York Times.

Saturday
Apr152006

Getting worse

More attacks on Christians in Egypt.

Wednesday
Apr122006

Grace

If this ends up in the New Republic it may be a sign of something.

Wednesday
Apr122006

Elections in Italy

The Times gives a fairly correct assessment of the Italian political situation.

Monday
Apr102006

Promising young man

Ross Douthat is one of the more intelligent young observers of the US political scene.