The Conversation

Culture: Cultural happenings and discussions.

Only the Jung can say

Feb 4, 2013 9:03 PM PT

In response to The Jung and Restless:

Another thing I find interesting about the credential fetish is that it elevates potential over actual achievement; we are supposed to get excited about the marvelous educational and political backgrounds of the elite, rather than take a cold hard look at what they actually did, or failed to do.  This mirrors the way socialism, the ultimate triumph of intellectual hype over experience, is always judged according to its promises, never its results.

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The Jung and Restless

Feb 4, 2013 5:16 PM PT

In response to Psychoanalyzing the Left:

Ace - like a lot of cherished lefty ideas,  meritocracy (with wise elders bestowing credentials on the deserving) began with good intentions. Ancient China had civil service service exams as far back as the Han Dynasty (200 BC), as a bulwark against nepotism and favoritism. And, lest we forget, Plato was pretty cool with the whole idea of philosopher kings.

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Twitter Unmuzzles Terror Group

Feb 4, 2013 1:44 PM PT

In its ongoing effort (not) to keep its platform a safe and respectable forum, free from threats of violence, Twitter today allowed back Al Qaeda terror group al Shabaab.  The previous HSM Press account was suspended last week after posting tweets threatening to kill a French hostage, then later tweeting about having carried out that threat.

ABC News pointed out that the account's previous tweets clearly violated Twitter's published rules.

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New America vs. Old America at the Super Bowl

Feb 4, 2013 1:43 PM PT

Leave aside the theatrics of gyrating prostitute-lookalikes during halftime. The real contrast in American culture was in the commercials. It pitted an ad featuring Paul Harvey talking about American farmers against a Coke ad featuring glorification of leftists tagging private property.

The contrast is stunning. In one, we hear about the greatness of Americans -- the value of hard work and compassion, the value of commerce, of providing goods Americans need. In the other, we see the most superficial depiction of peaceful values -- graffiti on presumably privately-owned property. The old school commercial demonstrates why America was great; the new school demonstrates why America may not be great for long.

Super Bowl halftime and the culture of self-regard

Feb 4, 2013 11:13 AM PT

Thankfully, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has informed an anxious nation there is "no indication at all" that Beyonce's halftime show caused the Super Bowl blackout.  It used enough energy to electrocute a Japanese movie monster, but the show apparently had its own generator.

There has been some grumbling about whether the sexy stage review was inappropriate for the Super Bowl.  A review of the heavy advertising peppered through the Super Bowl leads me to believe that the people voicing this complaint don't watch many football games, and are not entirely clear on who does.  

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Super Bowl Crushes Oscars: 115 Million to 39 Million

Feb 4, 2013 9:37 AM PT

Last night an estimated 114.7 million people watched the championship game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens. Football's biggest night, which is filled with patriotism, masculinity, and greatness unencumbered by a trophy-for-everyone mentality -- the most conservative cultural moment of the year -- set a new record for the most-watched event in U.S. history.

By comparison, the most recent Academy Awards' ceremony -- Hollywood's biggest night -- only managed to grab 39.3 million viewers.

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Feb 4, 2013 6:17 AM PT

A lot of people have a Super Bowl Sunday ritual. Mine is to bundle up, fill the Thermos, and meet up with Chicagoland's coldest hot rod show: the annual Bare Bones C.C. Polar Bear Cruise. This year's edition wended its way through the western 'burbs, with stops at TL Customs in East Dundee and Burkhardt Custom Cycles in Addison. One hardy chap braved the 18 degree temps in a hot rod roadster fire truck, earning the coveted Brass Monkey award. In between gulps of coffee and donuts, I captured a few shots of the machinery. Enjoy!


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