The whole idea of celebrating people’s birthdays is a weird one. It seems like it’s making them a symbol of the larger movement they represent, and of course glorifying anyone is problematic. Commemorating events i get (though of course those are often also emblematic of a movement and are problematic) but people....
Heather mentioned the African-American civil rights movement gets so much play, but what about all the other minorities who have been and continue to be oppressed. Part of me wants to say that this whole “[insert X here] Day/Week/Month” is foolish and we should get rid of it all, along with all holidays (sidenote: see Eugene Volokh on days off for the religious; not an issue i’m getting into here, but definitely an interesting issue and likely one i’ll wrestle with down the road) though of course i understand the value things like Black History Month can have since we are so far from that utopia in which all the appropriate people are credited for both the good and the bad and issues/events are discussed from a variety of perspectives (including the different perspectives people had at the time and the different perspectives people have come to with hindsight) and so on and so forth.
Heather also noted: MLK has been used by the Right as evidence ("Content of character not color of skin" being used to argue that MLK would have opposed affirmative action.)
Laying aside the fact that the opinions of one figurehead should not be used to judge the merit or lack thereof of something, this is something of a funny criticism for me because i oppose affirmative action. I meant to reread Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? over break, because there was one chapter in that that made me think i could support affirmative action. I fully admit to not having done thorough research on this. I decided against writing a thesis, but one day i want to write a book on affirmative action and same-sex education and Title IX and transgender issues, and probably other stuff will crop up, too, because it’s this magnum opus of interrelated issues.
It’s funny, i half-expected people to defriend me when i was being all boring-like, and now that i’m talking issues i’m back to half-expecting people to defriend me over my opinions. Hell, it’s that time of year after all: the State of the Union Address is tomorrow night. *sings As Cool As I Am* (Clearly i have difficulty letting go.)
Last year i think classes had already started when the SotUA aired, but so many people are back that likely people’ll be watching in the living room. And it’s not like any of the networks not airing the State of the Union will be airing anything else worth watching. Worst case scenario i’ll track down a transcript and comment on that. Yup, i’m clearly ending my hiatus from entries empty of substance. "The bitch is back."
Oh and before you mention it, yes, i heard about the Iowa results (Kerry: 38% | Edwards: 32% | Dean: 18% | Gephardt: 11%. Clark had skipped Iowa.). Honestly, i don’t get the big deal about these state primaries and don’t have enough interest to find out what the history and current importance is and all that.
If you want commentary on Iowa, i can point you to a score of blog posts. Already i have begun forgetting that Kerry won Iowa. I think this is because i don’t like him. Disclaimer: I haven’t had time to do real research on any of the candidates. A large part of me is putting off said research until the Dems to pick a single candidate, because that makes my research so much easier. (Okay, then i can’t take part in the “So-and-so should have won the nomination” arguments, but so it goes.) Really really really must do crash course in Dean as i have class with Thurston next semester.
Interesting thought from Mickey Kaus, by the way. He writes:
I'm a character voter, not an "issues" voter. Candidates will change their current "issues" positions after the election. New issues will crop up. The best handle we have to predict how a candidate will actually perform in office is character. ...I really don’t think i can ever fully agree with that, but it’s an interesting perspective, and he raises a lot of good points.
Out of curiosity, why are you here?
Why do you read my LiveJournal? [the prime reason if you have more than one]