Posts Tagged ‘Boston’

Monday Medley

What we read while not being Mirandized…

  • How a meeting between Dickens and Dostoevsky that never happened became a part of scholarship.
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A Response to Patton Oswalt

Patton OswaltOf the many heartfelt reactions to Monday’s tragedy in Boston, one written by comedian Patton Oswalt seemed to really resonate. You’ve probably already seen it: It was shared on Facebook over 200,000 times, “liked” over 300,000 times, and written about on websites from The Atlantic to US Weekly.

There’s a lot to like about Oswalt’s message, but there’s one aspect of it that really bothers me: When he refers to the unknown perpetrators of the crime, he refers to either “one human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths.” It’s just a throwaway line—it doesn’t really affect the substance of what Oswalt is saying. But it’s a telling line that reveals a problem with the way we conceive of tragedies like this attack.

It’s easy and very tempting to dehumanize the people who plant bombs and attack children—to call them “insects” and “sociopaths”* or whatever term that paints them as some mythical bad guy. After all, how could anyone do something this horrible unless he was subhuman in some way? But it’s a dangerous logical trap to assume that anyone who does an evil thing is an Evil Man. Continue reading

Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Battle of the Seasons, Week 5 Power Rankings

“There’s one thing I hate worse than everything else in the world, and that’s quitters.”—TJ Lavin

 

“You’re a disgrace to the humankind!” —Camila

 

 

You know, for someone who so vocally resents all the people who doubt and disrespect him, you’d think Eric wouldn’t want to give those people any more ammunition. And yet, he has repeatedly displayed a tendency towards failure and defeatism. The most obvious point against him in this regard is his collapse during the final challenge of The Gauntlet III—after which, he was allegedly back into to have a few drinks at the wrap party, according to the Reunion show—but at least that was a real medical issue. Twice this season, he has thrown in the towel for no real reason: In Week 1, when he DQed his team from the challenge, and last night, when he gave up in an elimination challenge because he didn’t like the way Camila was talking to him.

Of course, it’s possible that the fact that he was facing Devyn, who is apparently his soulmate, in the Arena, and thus one of them would have been eliminated no matter what, sapped his motivation. But it was still a pretty shitty thing for him to do to his teammate, who had no say in the matter. And though Camila was pretty nasty to Eric—showing shades of Laurel’s diatribe in Cutthroat—I can understand where she’s coming from. Like TJ, I have no patience for quitters, especially if there’s no strategic reason behind it. Continue reading