My new Think Again column is called “The Hate We Tolerate," and it’s here.
And I did this short piece for the Beast called “Was the Arizona Shooter an Anti-Semite?” and that’s here.
I had to cancel the West Coast Kabuki Democracy book tour, owing to the snow, and most of the media appearances have been cancelled or rescheduled owing to the events in Arizona, and so well, I dunno. But you can buy the book here. And there’s an excerpt up from the media chapter on Dissent‘s website, here.
The Jewish film festival began at the Film Society at Lincoln Center yesterday. I went to the opening film, Mahler on the Couch, by Percy Adlon & Felix Adlon, about Gustav Mahler’s relationship with his tempestuous wife, Alma, and his consultations with Sigmund Freud on matters of creativity and passion. And this afternoon I’m seeing Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness by Joe Dorman who made the terrific Arguing the World.
The schedule is here.
Also, on February 10, 11, and 12, the Center for Public Scholarship at The New School presents the 23rd Social Research conference, on “The Body and the State: How the State Controls and Protects the Body.” It will bring together distinguished experts in many different fields to discuss the body as an international human rights arena in which many forces—religion, science, medicine, media, market—struggle for control over policies that regulate our bodies. Didier Fassin will deliver the keynote address on February 10. More information is available here.
Now here’s Reed:
Sticks and Glocks…
Politics and sports have long shared a linguistic connection in our nation’s discourse. That our Presidential campaign season is also referred to as “the horserace” is therefore no surprise and that the Super Bowl also begat “Super Tuesday” is decidedly no coincidence. But, boiled down to its essence, the underlying rhetorical thread tying these two arenas together is really a penchant for analogies of another, more battle-scarred and bloodthirsty type. The answer to “War (What Is It Good For?)” frequently turns out to be “Metaphor!”
But our fondness for employing violent imagery and war-like connotations in our language appeared particularly unseemly—at least temporarily—after the attempted assassination of Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and the tragic murders of six of her constituents this past week in Tucson. As is commonly the case these days after such a momentous political event, comity was invoked, civility was championed, compromise was promised and handgun sales went through the roof. (I mean, seriously?!) Of course, at least one of the members of Congress not busy strapping on a Glock decided that perhaps it was a good time to consider “Security for me, but not for thee” legislation. And even Fox News President Roger Ailes advocated for taking a subdued and refreshingly honest approach to covering the fallout from the shooting: “I told all of our guys, shut up, tone it down, make your argument intellectually. You don’t have to do it with bombast. I hope the other side does that.” [italics mine]