There’s an old movie of the “so bad it’s good” variety called The Thing With Two Heads (1972) that could be interpreted as a bizarro world allegory about American race relations. In this film, a rich, racist white man is dying of cancer and demands to have his head transplanted onto a healthy body. The doctors oblige, but the only body available is that of a wrongfully accused black death row convict. Hilarity ensues, and we have the perfect analogy of race in America: a two heads on a single body, constantly beating itself up:
Of course, race in America is more than black and white, so maybe a better analogy might be a hydra with self-destructive tendencies. Nonetheless, the thing with two heads is a good way of thinking of race in the South, which is still largely a black and white affair.
This upcoming March will be my fourteenth anniversary for being a vegetarian (I’m now vegan, in case anyone in interested in such things). I made the decision when I was a senior in high school after learning about factory farming from the PETA website, a decision that was later solidified after reading Peter Singer’s Animal Liberation. It was a major step for me, because up to that point I was a dedicated meat eater who loved barbequed ribs, fried chicken, and all the other staples of Southern cuisine. But once I learned the truth about where meat actually comes from and made the connection between living, breathing animals and the stuff on my plate, I decided that I could do without my former favorites. Research indicates that many people who become vegetarian or vegan later decide to go back to eating meat. Interestingly, the statistics for ex-Catholics are somewhat comparable, with the Pew Research Center stating that 10 percent of all Americans are ex-Catholics and that 1/3 of “cradle Catholics” leave the church (http://www.pewresearch.org/daily-number/americas-former-catholics/). So why did I stick with vegetarianism but not Catholicism?
Note: contains spoilers for the”Revolutionary Girl Utena.” For more information see:
The ending to the anime series “Revolutionary Girl Utena” usually leaves viewers confused and somewhat frustrated, because it’s unclear what happened to the titular character and, on the surface, it appears like nothing has changed for the supporting characters. This was the impression I got when I first saw Utena back in 2004 when I was a junior in college, but after my religious misadventures and some repeated viewings of the series, I now view the ending in a very different way.
Like many people, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking in the wake of the terrorist attacks at Charlie Hebdo. One thing that I’ve noticed is that self-identified progressives seem to be at a loss about how the West should address radical Islam.
Re-posted and edited together from this thread (http://bilgrimage.blogspot.com/2015/01/quote-for-day-political-cartoons-are.html):
The two brothers who killed the staff at Charlie Hebdo and the other guy who killed the people at the kosher market explicitly said that they were doing so to avenge the damage done to Muhammad’s “honor.” Plus, when someone shouts, “Allahu Akbar” while brandishing an assault rifle, is there any real doubt that religion is motivating that person? I do not think that Islam as a whole is responsible for this tragedy, but a particular strain that arose in the mid-twentieth century from the works of one Sayyid Qutb, whose writings inspired Al-Qaeda, Islamic Jihad, and probably other groups as well: