October 18, 2007


Caption: The consequences of our actions are sometimes distinctly uncool.

This week, in addition to links and comments about current events, Goat Rope is offering its readers a daily Nietzschean nugget from his book Beyond Good and Evil.

Admittedly, Nietzsche was kind of whacked at times, but when he was good, he was very, very good.

Today's selection highlights one of the irritating things about life:

The consequences of our actions take us by the scruff of the neck, altogether indifferent to the fact that we have 'improved' in the meantime.

I hate it when that happens. Don't you?

PEOPLE SUPPORT CHIP. A new survey shows overwhelming support for expanding the Children's Health Insurance Program (70 percent) and most (64 percent) support overriding the Bush veto.

HEALTH CARE and growing inequality is the subject of this column by WVU-Tech's John David.

YOU WOULDN'T KNOW IT given all the bashing of public education these days, but African-American students have made significant progress in closing the achievement gap according to this EPI snapshot.

OH GOOD. In yesterday's Gazette, no less than two leaders of the religious right have issued fatwas against the infidel.

One called for the banning of Pat Conroy's novels from AP English classes. Now I haven't read Conroy and no doubt would have picked something different since I'm an unapologetic member of the let-them-eat-classics school of literature. I've even tortured more than one GED class by making them read Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown" aloud.

But that's not the point. It does not appear to have occurred to the people in question that vastly more harm has been done by people not reading than by reading, not to mention the harm done by censorship itself. Congratulations to the students who attended a school board meeting last night to assert their opposition to censorship.

The other one was mostly about the the "radical homosexual agenda to force their decadent lifestyle upon the citizenry at large." It also castigated some members of Congress for "normalizing and recognizing sodomy as a civil rights entitlement..." (Note to self: look up some legal definitions).

Another target was the recent action of the Charleston City Council to pass a measure opposing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The piece also managed to come out in favor of the death penalty.

It occurs to me that there are certain regimes around the world which share the priorities of these groups and which they might perhaps find more congenial to their felicity.

ON A RELATED NOTE. There are groups in WV, such as Create West Virginia, which have argued that if WV is going to attract creative people and investments and build a high road economy, we need to be open to diversity.

Let's imagine how the actions of the domestic Taliban might look to someone from outside considering West Virginia. They might say "Hmmmm. They like to ban books there. Maybe they'll get around to burning them soon. And they seem to hate x group there, but tomorrow it might be y or z. Thanks but no thanks."

TO CLEAR THE PALATE, it looks like the humble sea cucumber could teach us a lot about tissue regeneration. And it looks like going to the beach and eating seafood is an older tradition than we thought.



Expressivecynic said...

Banning books is crazy. And besides, everyone should have to suffer through Nietzsche at least once.

Jeff Allen said...

Pat Conroy has a connection to West Virginia. In his book, My Losing Season, he writes that on the bus trip back from playing WVU, he decided to become a writer. West Virginia really does changes lives.

El Cabrero said...

Hi expressive cynic--do you think they'd trade Conroy for Nietzsche? That could be interesting.

Hey Jeff--I did not know about his connection to WV. Guess he's got two now...

Should I give his books a try?

Thanks to you both!

Jeff Allen said...

Hi Rick,

I really liked, "My Losing Season." I think it's definitely worth reading. I haven't read any of his other stuff, but, of course, it's now made all that more interesting since people want to censor it.