Dear Academia: Opposing Views Are Not “Discursive Violence.”

liberal left behind

One of modern liberalism’s biggest problems is that we have taken after the Bush Administration in allowing euphemisms to redefine concepts that are already well-defined.  Why, the U.S. doesn’t torture because we don’t “torture.”  We engage in “enhanced interrogation.”  Unfortunately, the left-wing engages in this bastardization of Webster’s in a distinctly Orwellian way.  Once we co-opt a word or concept, we can use it as a weapon.  You see this in online communities.  Tweeting someone without asking for permission is “harassment.” (Not to mention a Catch-22.)  A doctor engaging in lifesaving measures during childbirth is “birth rape.”  You oppose harassment and rape, right?  So you better agree with us or you are a harasser or rape apologist.

Noted “equity feminist” Christina Hoff Sommers spoke at Oberlin College.  Ah, college.  The marketplace of ideas, where young people go to try out new thoughts and to figure out what they really…

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60 years ago today the Third Avenue El closed in Manhattan

Fans in a Flashbulb

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Arnold Eagle (1909-1992), Third Avenue El; Chatham Square Station, New York, ca. 1940, (461.1987)

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Arnold Eagle, Third Avenue El; 34th Street Station, New York, 1943, (479.1987)

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Arnold Eagle, Third Avenue El; Looking Up from 27th Street, New York, ca. 1938, (470.1987)

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Lee Sievan (1907-1990), Chatham Square, Where Third and Second Avenues Meet, New York, 1946, (1.1990)

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Berenice Abbott (1898-1991), “El,” Second and Third Avenue Lines, New York, April 24, 1936, (251.1985)

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Arnold Eagle (1909-1992), Under the Third Avenue El, North of 27th St., New York, 1939, (480.1987)

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Weegee (1899-1968), Under the Third Avenue El; But there is beauty along the street of forgotten men… it lies in the patterned black and white gold along the trolley tracks where the morning sun breaks through, Bowery, New York, ca. 1945, (

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All Go Anywhere

Peter Shelton

In December 1973, at the beginning of my second winter teaching skiing, my father gave me a slim picture book from 1936 that he’d rediscovered in his parents’ garage. SKI FEVER by Norman Vaughan. Fifty Cents. Fifty pages. Nipples on wooden ski tips. Pole baskets like personal-size pizzas. An unabashed paean to what was then the new sport of downhill skiing. My dad’s note read, in part, “I remember that my buddy Eugene and I devoured the contents before our first big ski weekend at Big Bear, where reality submerged fantasy.” He would have been 13.

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The Marriage Equality referendum is about real people and real lives. A Yes is a vote for love. #MarRef

140 characters is usually enough

This Friday you have the opportunity to extend to LGBT couples the constitutional rights and guarantees enjoyed by civilly-married heterosexual couples. That’s all. Despite all the scaremongering, this referendum isn’t about fear. It’s about love.

This referendum is about real people, real lives. Look at the powerful testimonies of people like Pat Carey and Ursula Halligan and Justin McAleese. Think about all those lives ruined, all that love denied. You mightn’t know it, but this referendum may well be about your brother or sister, your son or daughter, your neighbour or friend.

This is a head-to-head debate. Alongside this is a piece advocating a No vote. It probably contains the usual red herrings about adoption and/or surrogacy, redefining marriage and/or family. It may say civil partnership – despite having no constitutional protection – is as good as marriage.

Rather than waste your time telling you this is not about…

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Between Generals: A Newly Translated Short Story by Antonio Tabucchi

Longreads

Antonio Tabucchi | from the collection Time Ages in a Hurry | Archipelago Books | May 2015 | 13 minutes (3,194 words)

Our latest Longreads Exclusive is a newly translated short story from Time Ages in a Hurry, a collection by Antonio Tabucchi, as recommended by Longreads contributor A. N. Devers

“A result of living in a place as inescapably public as New York City is that its people are deeply private in public spaces — eye contact on the street and subways is actively discouraged and conversation between strangers is kept to a minimum — making it easy to forget that its greatest asset is the stories of its people. We’re reminded of this in “Between Generals” a quiet and nuanced portrait of a man by the late Italian writer Antonio Tabucchi, in which we learn about the complicated history of one of New York City’s immigrants, a former Hungarian General who realizes he spent…

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