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By TheophileEscargot (Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 01:19:15 PM EST) Reading, Theatre, MLP (all tags)
Theatre: "Like a Fishbone". Reading: "The Wandering Jews". MLP.


Theatre
Saw Like a Fishbone at the Bush Theatre. Flawed but interesting play. An architect has designed a memorial commemorating a tragedy at a school, when the mother of one of the victims turns up at her practice with questions.

Starts off very well, with an astonishingly intense performance from Sarah Smart as the mother. About two-thirds through there's an extraordinarily powerful speech from her as she finally describes the tragedy as it happened from her perspective. Deborah Findley also puts in a good job as the deftly patronizing architect.

After that tense high point though, the script unwinds. When the characters' secrets are revealed, they start turning into stereotypes, and their speeches stop being believable. There's a brave attempt at a clash between religion and atheism, but neither point of view seems really convincing.

Overall, glad I went for the performances and the atmosphere, but the whole play doesn't quite hang together. Review, review, review, review, review.

What I'm Reading
Read another slim collection of Joseph Roth's articles. The Wandering Jews describes Jewish life in different places in the mid Thirties: Berlin, Vienna, Paris, an unnamed majority-Jewish in Eastern Europe. There are also somewhat vague descriptions of Jewish life in New York and the Soviet Union.

Fairly interesting, but falls in a bit of odd ground between journalism and literature: not enough detail to be really informative. The life of the Jewish refugees seems depressingly similar to that of asylum-seekers today: grim poverty and endless bureaucratic battles.

The book seems to have been written as an exposé but with the second edition published in 1938, the moderate horrors here are inevitably overshadowed.

Web
Video. AT-AT Day Afternoon. Kitten rides tortoise. Dad Life. Gandalf goes to the World Cup. London time lapse. Steam shovel. Crab sloughs skin.

Politics. Interesting developments about the far right. EDL leader revealed as BNP member after factional rift. Nick Griffin grooms daughter as replacement. Charlie Brooker on Aryan Brotherhood.

Sci/Tech. Lifeguard robot. Women bail out of IT.

Economics. Hugo Chávez declares 'economic war'. "Soft" industrial policy may help developing world. Analysis of the Flash Crash recommends 50 millisecond limit to let signals cross North America. UK never had a savings culture.

News. Guinea stages first free poll. Haiti tents fall apart. Romans killed babies at Buckinghamshire brothel.

Random. Air travel.

< A modern major-general. | Kids, mourning and atheism >
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Infanticide by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #1 Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 03:54:29 PM EST
They act as if Roman infanticide was surprise, rather than then a practice that we've always known about.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
I was going to make a comment along those lines by lm (2.00 / 0) #2 Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 06:15:41 PM EST
You beat me to it.

But, to be fair, the article does mention that most Romans didn't think infants were fully human and, consequently, infanticide was far less shocking than it would be today.  any more so than we moderns tend to think fetuses are fully human. It's really a shame that politicization of the issue of abortion has made that comparison out of bounds for such articles. It seems to me that it's just drawing the line at a slightly different place in development.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Fetuses are fully human? by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #3 Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 07:22:04 PM EST
That's news to me and several million other folks.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Some people think they are by lm (4.00 / 3) #4 Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 07:32:32 PM EST
... other think they aren't.

My point is that it's really the same question as to whether newborns are fully human or not. The difference would seem to be one of extent of development rather than one of kind. But rational discussion about that is rather difficult at best because of the way that various players in the debate have made their positions dogmatic and insist that everyone arguing to the contrary is fundamentally irrational.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Yeah by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #6 Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 11:06:00 PM EST
Like the way an act changes from statutory rape to normal sexual behavior the instant the clock strikes twelve, six years after the bat mitzvah.
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[ Parent ]
Lines by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #5 Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 11:01:19 PM EST
To pretend the line is not gray is an intellectual dishonesty shared by most political activists on both "sides" of the issue.

"Conception" and "birth" are equally nonsensical places to draw a thin black line.
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[ Parent ]
Birth seems as good a place as any. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #7 Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 11:56:39 PM EST
Good enough!

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Is it? by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #8 Tue Jun 29, 2010 at 12:38:24 AM EST
Is it much different from 8 months after conception or 1 month after birth?
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[ Parent ]
It's a state-recognized milestone. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #9 Tue Jun 29, 2010 at 01:28:04 AM EST
recognized along with attaining the age of majority, marriage, dissolution of marriage and death. Good enough for me.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Well, yes by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #10 Tue Jun 29, 2010 at 07:58:27 AM EST
The legal system needs thin black lines to make sure that judgment is as unprejudiced as possible.  That doesn't mean there's any actual truth behind it.
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[ Parent ]
Yes, the legal system. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #11 Tue Jun 29, 2010 at 08:39:56 AM EST
A major player in how Society® resolves conflict.

Again, good enough for me!

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
conflict resolution by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #12 Tue Jun 29, 2010 at 08:55:13 AM EST
Don't confuse arbitrary rules to simplify conflict resolution with truth.
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[ Parent ]
When it comes to getting along in Society® by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #13 Tue Jun 29, 2010 at 09:25:59 AM EST
rules are better than Truth.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
That's beside the point (nt) by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #14 Tue Jun 29, 2010 at 10:23:18 AM EST

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[ Parent ]
It's beside *your* point, maybe by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #15 Tue Jun 29, 2010 at 03:04:48 PM EST
but it's good enough reason for me!

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
good enough for what? by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #16 Tue Jun 29, 2010 at 10:38:09 PM EST
I believe we are discussing what is true, not arbitrary rules.  Or, at least, that's what the discussion started as.
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[ Parent ]
It began with you by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #17 Wed Jun 30, 2010 at 03:29:15 AM EST
propounding what you believe to be ridiculous and advocating some position concerning gray lines, then I responded in a manner which appears to be not worded strongly enough for you to understand that my position won't be swayed by your position.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
So by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #18 Wed Jun 30, 2010 at 10:06:04 AM EST
You believe that a fetus has nothing in common with a baby ten minutes before birth?
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
Nothing in common? by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #19 Wed Jun 30, 2010 at 02:28:07 PM EST
That would be an absurd position, but it's irrelevant to my stance.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
What is your stance? by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #20 Wed Jun 30, 2010 at 03:23:00 PM EST
That there is no truth other than what is written in law?
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[ Parent ]
I already told you my stance upthread. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #21 Wed Jun 30, 2010 at 03:26:28 PM EST
You didn't seem to like it, but that's your issue.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Stances by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #22 Wed Jun 30, 2010 at 04:45:25 PM EST
You told me that drawing a sharp line at birth is good for society.

I have no clue what you believe as to when a fetus actually becomes a baby from a non-legal standpoint.
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[ Parent ]
I said it was "good for society"? by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #23 Wed Jun 30, 2010 at 09:07:35 PM EST
I never made that assertion. I (1.) told lm that I and millions of others (2.) don't believe that fetuses are people. Further down the thread, I noted to you that I define personhood as beginning at birth. You're adding imaginary markup here.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
So... by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #24 Wed Jun 30, 2010 at 09:23:40 PM EST
You are saying that a fetus ten minutes before birth isn't a "person" but ten minutes after it is born it is a "person"?
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
If it's really that important by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #25 Wed Jun 30, 2010 at 09:41:41 PM EST
for you to memorialize my opinion, then yes it is.

In fact, just to cement it in your mind and to head off the hobgoblins, I don't support legislation which criminalizes causing foetal death. Kill a teen pragnant babbymaker? That's one count of murder not two.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Again with the law by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #26 Wed Jun 30, 2010 at 09:50:11 PM EST
I'm not talking law.  I am talking about actual truth, not the arbitrary rules we use to make the legal system possible.

I am talking in reality.  Do you believe that a fetus ten minutes prior to birth is not a "person" in any sense and that a baby ten minutes after birth is a "peson" in all senses?
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[ Parent ]
You believe the rule of law is arbitrary? by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #27 Wed Jun 30, 2010 at 10:16:30 PM EST
While I believe it sometimes is, I believe it should not be so.

While I am largely disinterested in your take on foetal reality, I will re-iterate that I said "not fully" regarding foetal personhood. I think you missed that part, or it doesn't jibe with your motif here.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Law by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #28 Wed Jun 30, 2010 at 10:39:19 PM EST
Of course it is arbitrary.  Surely you do not think there is a qualitative moral difference between sleeping with an 18 year old and sleeping with a seventeen year old girl at 11:30 pm the day before her birthday, yet the law calls one a crime and the other not.

How do you define "personhood" and what does "fully" mean in relation to it?
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[ Parent ]
Mine? by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #29 Wed Jun 30, 2010 at 10:55:49 PM EST
As I wrote far upthread, you're a person as of the time and date specified for the record of your birth. Prior to that, you're a fetus and should not be granted rights due to natural persons.

If you die five minutes later, then you were the person John or Jane Doe for five minutes. No more, no less.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
"should be granted rights" by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #30 Wed Jun 30, 2010 at 11:02:39 PM EST
Again, you are confusing laws with truth.

Typical black and white thinking, and one of the reasons why society can become so fucked up.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
Oh, I know the difference. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #31 Wed Jun 30, 2010 at 11:21:14 PM EST
I just don't subscribe to your subjective "truth."

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Which truth? by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #34 Thu Jul 01, 2010 at 02:09:05 AM EST
I've not actually expressed an opinion of my own...I've merely pointed out that your opinion is silly and arbitrary.
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[ Parent ]
And another way society is hurt: by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #32 Wed Jun 30, 2010 at 11:25:48 PM EST
One group (you, in this case) believing it has a monopoly on the "truth."
See: Any ideologically-driven genocide of the modern era.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
What? by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #33 Thu Jul 01, 2010 at 02:08:14 AM EST
Did I say I knew the "truth"?

Hardly.

What I am saying that you are drawing an arbitrary line and pretending it is truth.  There is a massive difference.  I have expressed absolutely no opinion on where the line should be drawn in this thread.

See the thing is...if you were to take every post you wrote and changed the word "birth" to "conception" you would have an equally valid argument for the other political "side".  That should tell you how absolutely vapid your arguments are.  The world doesn't have thin black lines, it has thick grey ones.

"Genocide" comes when one believes that one can draw a thin black line and pretend it is truth.  That's where extremism comes from.  The sad thing is that those on one side on the thick black lines are so confused that they can't see any contrary opinion as anything also than as the other group.  I have no "group".  I am merely saying that your insistence on a thin black line at birth is silly in any context except the legal one. 
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[ Parent ]
Pretending? by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #35 Thu Jul 01, 2010 at 04:50:50 AM EST
I've drawn a line based upon evidence I find true. You are under no obligation to accept my reasoning, and I have no sense of desire to explain my position to you.

I don't tilt at windmills, I just support those who agree with my beliefs.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
What evidence? by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #36 Thu Jul 01, 2010 at 09:37:14 AM EST
You've presented three sorts of evidence here:
  1. "I say so"
  2. "A lot of people say so"
  3. "The law says so"
You've given not one iota of evidence that a fetus ten minutes from birth differs qualitatively from a baby ten minutes after birth.

(And yeah, I know I don't have to accept your reasoning here...you haven't yet shown any.  You've just made assertions.)
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
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