God bless you all on this Feast of the Nativity. Some links I've been collecting for a post:
* Corey Robin discusses Arendt at LRB; worth reading. (ht: Cliopatria)
* Timothy Garton Ash on respecting believers when you don't respect their beliefs.
* Cobb delivers some well-deserved criticism of Kwanzaa-haters in Twas the Night Before Kwanzaa
* The video is somewhat hokey, but the song is powerful: Johnny Cash's God's Gonna Cut You Down at YouTube. Even more powerful is Cash's cover of the Ninch Inch Nails song, Hurt. Both are powerful instances of something Cash does exceptionally well: the memento mori.
* Speaking of music, December 22 was the fourth anniversary of Joe Strummer's death. All the work of the Conscience of Punk is good (Know Your Rights with The Clash is noteworthy), but I've always been especially bowled over by his cover of Bob Marley's Redemption Song.
* I only just got around to watching Kenneth Miller's January interview on The Colbert Report; but it's quite good.
* I've been listening to ABC Radio National's The Philosopher's Zone, hosted by Alan Saunders. It's quite interesting. For a taste, try John Bigelow's talk about Australia and metaphysics or the interview with Martin Bridgstock on his course devoted to skepticism and the paranormal. The December 30th program will be on what philosophers do and why.
* Via PZ Myers, I came across PandaSmash's transposition of Christmas carols into minor key -- basically, what they would sound like if they were scored the way horror movie music is. Quite cool.
* Speaking of which, the Little Professor has links for Victorian Christmas books and tales. Why 'speaking of which'? For the Victorians, Christmas was the season for ghost stories. Hence the most famous Christmas ghost story of all -- Dickens's A Christmas Carol.