Monday, September 15, 2008

Monday Stuff

Greider the Great. Veteran journalist Bill Greider may have discontinued his blog since I last enthused about him five years ago, but he's still telling it like it is. Are you listening, America?

Wickedly Funny & Wickedly True. Check out these brilliant animated editorial cartoons from Ann Telnaes. Despite having earned a Pulitzer some years ago, she's not terribly well-known. But judging by this brilliant stuff (I especially loved the Sarah Palin wind-up doll and the Dick Cheney cartoons) she should be.

Science Fans, Take Note: Wired Magazine announces its top ten amazing physics videos. Pay attention, you arts & sciences and humanities majors. Though you apparently sometimes seem to think it's fashionable to look down your noses at science and technology "nerds," a truly enlightened and educated person should be able to appreciate great science like they appreciate great art, since achieving greatness in either realm requires roughly equal amounts of genius, insight, perspiration and inspiration. We may not think we know (or can ever know) much about physics, but let's at least try, shall we?

A Culture of Life, With a Few Qualifications. We loved the Sarah Palin interview the other night with Charlie Gibson. But there was one moment that was particularly revealing, and too little commented upon, we thought. Seconds after she answered a question about abortion, and responded by saying she's just flatly and across the board in favor of "a culture of life," Gibson asked about guns. A nice juxtaposition, we thought. Was she against a ban on assault rifles? he asked. The answer of course was no. Now, I ask you: how can you be for a culture of life when it comes to abortion but not when it comes to heinous street crimes? Do these people ever experience even a little cognitive dissonance in pushing such absurdly self-defeating, inconsistent arguments? Apparently not.

Oh, Great. Cheer up, short folks. While your lack of stature may make it all but impossible for you to become, say, the president of the United States, it also makes you a less likely candidate for prostrate cancer, according to new research. Here's hoping my 6'-2" frame will shrink some in coming years.

Finally, to the Baltimore Sun TV columnist who recently denounced the sainted Bill Moyers as "a political ideologue and a propagandist" rather than a journalist, even likening him to Fox's resident demagogue Bill O'Reilly, I suggest the poor fellow either get a clue or expand his understanding of what constitutes journalism. It means gathering facts and trying to understand the world, and then sharing it with an audience--that's all. Which Moyers does better than all but a handful of people now working in the field. If you don't like his conclusions, tough. But he's 100 times the journalist you'll ever be, Mr. Zurawik. By all means, you continue to take dictation and serve as a careful, politically middle-of-the-road stenographer, if you like. The Moyers of the world will keep probing much deeper and more fearlessly present what they find to be true, no matter whom it might piss off. Hats off to PBS for sticking to its guns on this issue and riding through the tremendous roar of outrage from the right. Nothing less than the soul of American public broadcasting is at stake here.


At 11:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One-stop shopping today for all manner of things to investigate, discover, and ponder. Delightful.

Before you stoop to shrinking, you might want to peruse this one-page starting point towards prostate health.

At 9:15 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...


At 12:52 AM, Blogger Art Durkee said...

As both fractal math and the great Eames film "Powers of Ten" have amply proven, great science often IS great art, elegant, overlapping, and beautiful.

Thanks for passing the Wired links on.

At 5:10 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

You've said it eloquently, Art. Einstein & Picasso painted with different kinds of brushes, but they had more similarities than differences. Thanks for amplifying my point so ably.


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