James Leroy Wilson's blog

Sunday, October 02, 2016

October 2, 2016: Should Gandhi's birthday be a worldwide holiday?

(Might be updated throughout the day with new items at the top)

60 Minutes tonight had a profile of Nate Parker, who made the new movie Birth of a Nation about Nat Turner's slave revolt. Today also happens to be the anniversary of Turner's birth. The revolt not only failed, but backfired on slaves and free black in the South with devastating consequences. Turner was a terrorist - he said he wanted to spread "terror and alarm" and motivated by religious (Christian) zealotry. But we can also say that his cause, overthrowing slavery, was just. The lesson is that the violent system of slavery begot violence, but that turn made the slave system even more violent. A tragedy all around.

On the September 30 Bill Simmons Podcast, guest JackO, a conservative Republican who despises Mr. Trump, recalls that Mr. Trump insinuated that Ted Cruz's wife was ugly and that Mr. Cruz's father was involved in the JFK assassination. And... Mr. Cruz still endorsed Mr. Trump. JackO's point is how ridiculous politics is because in no other field would people behave that way. True. On the other hand, it's hard to tell Mr. Trump to restrain himself when he can apparently say whatever he wants about a rival and still get his support.

In the past 30 years, Daylight Savings Time has increased from 6 (end of April to end of October) months to 8 (early November to early March). So why not stick with it year-round and avoid the twice-yearly disruption?  

The question I have for self-styled progressives is, how can you possibly embrace that shameful word? Progressivism was explicitly racist.  Healing racial wounds means just not only recovering from the legacy of slavery, but also of the Progressive Era.

On the September 30 Tony Kornheiser Show, Tony and WaPo film critic Ann Hornaday compare Mark Wahlberg and Matt Damon. Tony is a Wahlberg fan because he's like Matt Damon in taking diverse roles; Hornaday replied that Wahlberg is every bit as good as Damon. Probably true. They're both like Henry Fonda. They can play the alpha male, the loser, and everyone in between. That said, it seems Wahlberg will more  often make formulaic commercial movies while Damon takes more "prestige" roles. That's probably explains the perception that Damon's better.

October 2 in history (from Wikipedia)

1950 – "Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz is first published.""

I read Peanuts book collections, and kind of blame it for my neuroses.

1959 – "The anthology series The Twilight Zone premieres on CBS television."

I don't think you can rank it on a "best tv shows of all time list. Not that it's not great. It is. But it should be set apart, just like I think Wizard of Oz should be set apart from "Best movies" and Pink Floyd from "best rock bands" lists. They're too different from the norm.

Birthday Quotes I: What libertarians say, Gandhi might have said it first

"In reality there are as many religions as there are individuals."

"Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat, for it is momentary."

"It is not possible to make a person or society non-violent by compulsion."

"No action which is not voluntary can be called moral."
"There is no such thing as slow freedom. Freedom is like a birth. Till we are fully free we are slaves."

"If one has no affection for a person or a system, one should feel free to give the fullest expression to his disaffection so long as he does not contemplate, promote, or incite violence."

"By its very nature, non-violence cannot ‘seize’ power, nor can that be its goal. But non-violence can do more; it can effectively control and guide power without capturing the machinery of government. That is its beauty."

"The Individual has a soul, but as the state is a soulless machine, it can never be weaned from violence to which it owes its very existence."

"I suggest that, if India is to evolve along nonviolent lines, it will have to decentralize many things. Centralization cannot be sustained and defended without adequate force . . .Centralization as a system is inconsistent with non-violent structure of society."

"Whatever Hitler may ultimately prove to be, we know what Hitlerism has come to mean, It means naked, ruthless force reduced to an exact science and worked with scientific precision. In its effect it becomes almost irresistible."
"What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?"

"An unjust law is itself a species of violence. Arrest for its breach is more so. Now the law of nonviolence says that violence should be resisted not by counter-violence but by nonviolence. This I do by breaking the law and by peacefully submitting to arrest and imprisonment."

- Mahatma Gandhi (2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948)

Birthday Quotes II: Misquotes predate the Web

"I got $25 from Reader's Digest last week for something I never said. I get credit all the time for things I never said. You know that line in You Bet Your Life? The guy says he has seventeen kids and I say: 'I smoke a cigar, but I take it out of my mouth occasionally'? I never said that."

- Groucho Marx  (October 2, 1890 – August 19, 1977)

Happy Birthday Sting! This is my favorite by him.

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