Monday, September 15, 2014

Links of Note

* Don't forget that Sarah Emsley's An Invitation to Mansfield Park is still going on.

* The current Dalai Lama has on occasion indicated that he may be the last in the line, which in Tibetan Buddhism is understood to continue by reincarnation, if Tibet is not free. To which the Chinese government has responded, No, he will be reincarnated. That's China for you.

* It had long been known that Hampton Court Palace at one point had a chocolate kitchen, but nobody knew where it had been located. By luck and research (those two bosom companions) someone discovered that it was a room that had been used as a storage closet for ages. When they pulled everything out, they found that the chocolate kitchen was mostly intact.

* Congratulations to Rebecca Stark for seven years of Theological Terms.

* And at "Out of the Ordinary", Rebecca discusses the Session of Christ.

* The new Presidential tradition: You can watch each of the last four U.S. Presidents announcing that they are going to launch air strikes in Iraq. Perhaps at some point politicians will get it through their skulls that 'launch air strikes' is not a plan.

Bruce Ackerman's op-ed arguing that the President is currently in violation of the Constitution seems to be getting favorable mentions across the political spectrum -- I've seen it approvingly linked at conservative and liberal sites alike.

* Two straight men in New Zealand recently married in order to win a competition to get tickets to the Rugby World Cup. The reporter got some gay marriage groups to take the bait and criticize it (I'm sure that if there were any that didn't, they kept calling around until they found some to take the hook); but, of course, the seriousness of marriage has never been a matter of the reasons people jump into it. People have always married for frivolous reasons, and very, very certainly have not always married for sexual reasons, so if you're going to work for same-sex marriage, it's a bit silly to complain about getting exactly the package you signed on for.

But I think gimmicky marriages like this one do show clearly enough that there's just no shared idea of what marriage is, anymore.

* Mulligan, Douma, Lind, and Quinn, Founding-Era Translations of the Constitution (PDF).

* If you haven't read MrsD's draft of her novel, Stillwater, you should; it's both an excellent story and an interesting literary experiment. And if you like it, let her know.

* Carlin Romano has a review of Peter Park's Africa, Asia, and the History of Philosophy: Racism in the Formation of the Philosophical Canon, 1780-1830.

* Tim O'Neill reviews Nicola Griffith's Hild.

* An interesting post on why the Soviet Union issued a series of stamps celebrating James Fenimore Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales.

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