Posts tagged "Surviving November"
Five Golden…Themes! What We Just Couldn’t Get Enough of in 2012

Five Golden…Themes! What We Just Couldn’t Get Enough of in 2012

One of Mockingbird’s most distinctive features is the repetition. Like Christmas itself, we’re trying to point that one “old, old story,” that ancient theme, as we see it dug up time and again. It’s dug up in all sorts of places, of course, from 18th century poetry archives to slasher films, from church basements to top-tier corporate office towers. But it’s still resonating a singular focus–the Gospel–from these unforeseen, albeit obscure, sources.

Despite the wide-spanning scopes and intentions of some of our favorite “news” sources, the same thing unwittingly tends to happen. After all, reporting the news means telling and retelling…

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Surviving November Pt 4: Partisan Narratives, Universal Sympathies and Keith Richards’ Choirmaster

Surviving November Pt 4: Partisan Narratives, Universal Sympathies and Keith Richards’ Choirmaster

Just in the nick of time, the final installment of our series on Jonathan Haidt’s wonderful The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion. To read part one, go here. 

Living in a “swing battleground state” (VA), I’ve had the distinct privilege of witnessing the escalation of hostilities this fall. And escalated they have! From the ads on TV to the volunteers at the door, the signs on the street to the telemarketers on the phone, it’s been tough to find a hiding place. Apparently even Walking Dead viewers are on the fence this November (Arrow viewers,…

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Surviving November, Pt 3: Fact Checkers, Missing Ethics Books, and the Must/Can Distinction

Surviving November, Pt 3: Fact Checkers, Missing Ethics Books, and the Must/Can Distinction

Have you noticed the increase, this election, in talk about “fact-checkers”? I can’t seem to escape articles and tweets about post-debate/-speech tallies of “checked facts.” While no doubt we could use a little help wading through all campaign hyperbole and Wiki-what-have-you, it sometimes seems that we’ve forgotten the time-tested cliche that one man’s fact is another man’s fiction (and always has been). It may be a cynical sentiment but it is also one that strikes me as far less cynical than the apparently widely held conviction that one or both candidates is an unremorseful liar, foisting their contempt for raw…

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Surviving November, Pt 2: (Inner) Lawyers, (Inner) Press Secretaries and Presidential Debates

Surviving November, Pt 2: (Inner) Lawyers, (Inner) Press Secretaries and Presidential Debates

To read part one, go here.

I’m sure I wasn’t the only one thinking about Jonathan Haidt during this week’s presidential debate. When it comes to The Righteous Mind, it was pretty much an Exhibit A situation. That is, for all the learning and sophistication and charisma up on that stage, when two ‘righteous minds’ are locked in what Haidt calls “combat mode,” autopilot takes over and you can almost write the script. Yet we all pretty much know that the script itself is not the point of these things–people respond much more to how things are said than what is…

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Surviving November, Pt 1: Political Divides, Intuitive Dogs, and Rational Tails

Surviving November, Pt 1: Political Divides, Intuitive Dogs, and Rational Tails

Maybe the non-stop and increasingly ludicrous “opposition ads” have started to make you dread turning on the TV. Maybe you can’t read your (predominantly pop culture-focused!) Twitterfeed without getting depressed about the dehumanizing level of partisanship being so casually embraced by otherwise thoughtful people. Maybe you find blind loyalty to (or hatred of) a particular institution fundamentally alienating. Maybe you’ve “hidden” that portion of your friends on Facebook whose political inclinations diverge from your own. Or maybe you’ve lost the ability to sympathize even a little bit with those on “the other side” and have caught yourself characterizing a school…

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