Tag: Religion

1981, 2001, Books, Non-Fiction

When Bad Things Happen to Good People (1981, 2001) by Harold S. Kushner

I have been incredibly lucky in my life. I was born into privilege (middle class/upper middle class in one of the safest large cities in the world) and I have been very lucky in terms of personal tragedy: I have suffered few major injuries/illnesses, and my family has been pretty much free of them as …

1968, Books, Non-Fiction

The Revolution of the Saints (19968) by Michael Walzer

Many years ago, I read a history of ideas about radical/left-wing politics, Main Currents of Marxism by Leszek Kolakowski, which felt to me like the definitive statement on the religious origins and nature of ideologies. The only thing lacking with that book, to my mind, was its scope was limited to the left; whereas liberalism …

2017, Movies

TIFF 2017: One of Us (2017, Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady)

I have seen a few Ewing-Grady documentaries so far and I have always found they tackle fascinating subjects but I have never loved the way in which they tackle them. Though I appreciate their attempts at breaking outside of documentary norms and customs (to a degree) I also sometimes find their attempts to do so …

2016, Music, Religion, Society

The Tragically Hip Live at the K-Rock Centre, August 20, 2016

I wasn’t going to watch this show. The cynic in me found the sudden outpouring of interest in The Hip weird. I felt like people I’d never heard mention this band previously were now obsessed with getting tickets to shows, all because someone (Canadian) famous is dying of cancer. Instead, I was going to watch …

2014, Books, Non-Fiction

The Quest for a Moral Compass (2014) by Kenan Malik

I have been reading Malik’s blog for more than a few years at this point (I think), in part because I feel like he has much greater insight into the issues around jihadism than most of the people writing in North America (who I’ve had a chance to read). I find his approach not only …

1996, Movies

Andrei Rublev (1966, Andrei Tarkovsky)

Writing a brief review of Tarkovsky’s immense, uncompromising, willfully difficult Andrei Rublev seems inherently unfair. This is one of the most ambitious and difficult films I have ever seen, also among the longest. When I say it’s immense, I mean it: 9 chapters over nearly 3 ½ hours, ostensibly about the Russian medieval iconographic painter …

Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Society

The belief in Justice is probably the breeding ground for injustice

I have long identified myself as an atheist – even though I’m an agnostic – in religion, an existentialist in philosophy and “anti-apocalyptic” or “anti-ideological” person in politics (i.e. a pragmatist). I have long struggled with this last definition, not because I don’t know what I am – I know exactly what I am, politically …

2011, Books, Non-Fiction

The Divinity of Doubt (2011) by Vincent Bugliosi

It’s hard to know what to say about this book: I agree – most of the time – with Bugliosi’s position on this subject. But, as with his Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, this comes off as an unorganized rant that is made all the worse because he constantly claims other people – …

2012, Movies, Politics, Psychology, Religion, Society

You pissed me off, it’s your fault!

Human beings are sensitive creatures. It’s interesting that this is so because, as a species, we have survived for an unimaginable length of time and more threats to our existence than we could count (none worse than ourselves). So it is always somewhat entertaining (or sad, depending on your point of view) to see how …

Psychology, Religion, Society

3* Reasonable Objections to All Conspiracy Theories

When I was in my late teens and early 20s, I was a big believer in conspiracy, particularly the “plot to kill Kennedy.” I ridiculed those around me who doubted a conspiracy in Kennedy’s death and regularly told them that they just didn’t know all the facts. Anyone who knew all the facts would clearly …

2008, Books, Non-Fiction

American Fascists by Chris Hedges (Free Press 2008)

I agree with Hedges just about 100% in regard to the similarities between the Christian Right in the United States and Nazis, Fascists and the like. So he was preaching to the converted with me. I think his relatively cogent assessment of fascism is definitely helped by the investigative journalist parts which add a human …

Philosophy, Religion, Society

Polytheism is the better fiction

The more I think about it, the more I find polytheism more compelling. I used to think: monotheism is simpler therefore more believable. But on the level of fiction, which it is, polytheism is more believable. Which is more believable: one being with special powers or many? I say many. If it was a film, …

Philosophy

Reflections on the god thing

I’ve been trying to read up on chaos theory today, as I think there may be some sociopolitical implications that haven’t been addressed by most of what I’ve read for the book. The description of chaos I’m familiar with sounds an awful lot like life: minuscule changes in initial circumstances have a big effect on …

2007, Movies

The Pagan Christ (2007, directed by Cynthia Banks)

I just watched a brief news-magazine / “documentary” program about a book called The Pagan Christ by Tom Harpur. This book seems to put forward a new version of a fairly well-known (if not well-accepted) claim, that Christian beliefs have their antecedents in various pagan cults and religions. He also suggests that Jesus didn’t exist …

2007, Politics, Religion, Society

Student throws korans into toilets

Okay, so a student at Pace University has been arrested because he apparently threw some books in toilets back in the fall. As far as I know, he was not charged with stealing the books, and he has not been punished by the university for obstructing the septic system. (I don’t know if there is …