Sunday, July 31, 2016

Whitewashing the Whitewashing ... and Matt Damon

A series of anti-Matt Damon articles featuring Constance Wu have hit the press, such as this one from the Daily Mail.  So basically Matt Damon having escaped from Mars with the help of the Chinese National Space Agency returns the favor by helping to save China from monsters as an archer on the Great Wall a few centuries back.  What did they expect would happen?

But Constance Wu is is offended with this white guy.  I was sympathetic for a nano-second, but then I read her rant:  "Out heroes don't look like Matt Damon.  They look like Malala.  Ghandi.  Mandela.  Your big sister when she stood up for you to those bullies that one time."

Is she really not familiar with China's one child policy?  Malala is too busy doing her studies to save China, but let's consider what this movie would look like with a Ghandi look alike having a sit down on the Great Wall and confronting the demons with non-violence.  Maybe that is the right thing to do, but it wouldn't be quite the action packed thriller.

But my real objection here is that Malala, Ghandi and Mandela, although being people of colour, are not the heroes of the people of colour.  They are the heroes of White Leftwing Intellectualoid Professors who are the tenured faculty at major universities which were established by white dudes and represent The Establishment and The Hegemony.  They are the heroes of white Hollywood.  They are the heroes of Matt Damon.  Does Constance even know any Chinese?  Why not at least suggest Sun Wu Kong?  Constance, do you know anything about China?

Saturday, July 30, 2016

A tunnel at the end of the light

The final Greek class is now about 90% done.  Just trying to finish the last assignments.  Oh, how good it will be to be free to go exercise again!  Oh to be free from purgatory!

Friday, July 29, 2016

France: Foreign Funding of Mosques

This post is some random pondering related to France's effort to ban foreign funding of Mosques.  What I am wondering about is the precedent that will be set in this.  When I was working in France, I attended a little Southern Baptist church that was almost certainly receiving foreign subsidies.  Theologically the Southern Baptists aren't that much different from the earlier French Huguenots who were brutally exterminated by the Papists.  But enough of history.

It seems that the French government's idea was to put a government institution in between the foreign donors and the Mohammedan institutions that receive the funds.  Would they do that to Buddhists?  It does seem a little like what mainland China does.  One quote I like from the article is attributed to a Senate committee:

"On the one hand there is the intent to organise Islam in France in order to have greater control; on the other hand it [Islam] cannot be touched because of the 1905 law.  The equation is unsolvable."

Thus, the challenge of how the government is to engineer a Peaceful Islam (note: Islam derives from the word for peace), while simultaneously staying out of religion.  The religiously tolerant Romans had a similar issue with the Druids and their human sacrifices, but since the Romans had no concept of the separation of religion and state, their solution did not involve much hand wringing.

I expect things to get much more messy, since political correctness precludes any sensible policies, and then the world will come to an end.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Driving Under the Influence. Of Pokemon Go

I just heard about this a few days ago, and it didn't register to me what it was about until talking with my son a little later.  Today I was walking at the park with my dear wife in an area with a very wide walkway.   A young girl ahead of us was wandering here and there looking at her iPhone.  Or whatever it was.  But then she stopped in the middle of the walkway.  Two high school boys were riding up behind me looking at their iPhones, and one of them was so totally absorbed that he ran into the young girl without reacting at all until after the impact.  Both the young man and the young girl ended up on the ground.  The girl got up and insisted she was OK, while an irate mother scolded the young man.  Thankfully this wasn't like other parts of the Bay Area where only a foolish mother would behave this way.  The young man was raised well enough to immediately issue his mea culpa, while the young girl tried pointlessly to take the fault onto herself for stopping in the middle of the walking area with her phone.  This all leaves me wondering what the future holds as this will undoubtedly not be the last fad of this sort.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Naughtyhamshire demands women be treated nicer

Misogyny has been elevated to a hate crime.  I am wondering if forgetting my wife's birthday qualifies as misogyny.  Hopefully there are some clear definitions written up somewhere.  I am also wondering about ideologies that treat women as chattel and only recognize two categories: chattel and those that are to be treated worse than chattel.  Nah, that can't be misogyny.  The other things which would seem necessary to deal with are reverse misogyny, meaning the hatred of males, which is rampant in some species of feminism.  OK, my apologies for changing the subject.  No doubt pimps trafficking in sex-slaves and pornographers and pedophiles will not fall under any suspicion of misogynist tendencies.

A working link is hopefully here:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/nottinghamshire-police-to-record-misogyny-and-harassment-against-women-as-hate-crimes-a7134306.html

I will wish them good luck in this endeavor.  They will need it.  Lots of it.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Half Way Point

One is always at half way.  It is just a matter of arranging the start and finish so that they are equidistant from where you are, with you in the middle somewhere.

In this case the half way point is third semester Greek Exegesis class.  This is for those who enjoy inflicting pain on themselves.  Greek sentences can consist of about as many clauses as there are letters in an English sentence.  One of our tasks is to diagram the sentence structure, putting notes on every word as to its semantic category and function.  Is the participle adverbial, adjectival or substantival?  If adverbial, then what kind of adverbial?  You can get an idea of what this looks like by clicking here, although this leaves out half of the information.

Insha'Allah, I will be able to complete this class, although I am told that my Christian usage of Insha'Allah (if God will's it) is nearly the exact opposite of the usage by Muslims, a fact which likely deserves a thousand pages of linguistic technical commentary.  The Christian usage implies that we are working towards a goal that we hope to achieve, but recognize that it is through God's strength and permission that we might obtain that goal.  The Muslim usage is that we have no intention of doing something, but God might step in and compel us towards our undesired outcome anyway.  Insha'Allah.  Both interpretations are true theologically, but not the same linguistically.  The original reference to this comes from the Bible, James 4:13-15 - "Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil."  But now we sadly have to argue over whether James copied from Mohammed or vice versa.