mediaconsumption | Author Index | About Us | Book Reviews | Music Reviews | Email | Punk Encyclopedia | Punk Links | Writers

Sobriquet

mediaconsumption Home
Sobriquet Home
About the Main Blog
About the Zine
Record Reviews
Ed Kemp
D.O.T.S.T.
Sobriquet on Facebook
Sobriquet on MySpace
Sobriquet on Twitter

News

Reuters
New York Times
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Newark Star-Ledger
Chicago Tribune
Minneapolis Star-Tribune
St. Paul Pioneer Press
Washington Post
Los Angeles Times
San Francisco Chronicle
Christian Science Monitor
San Jose Mercury News
Boston Globe
Dallas Morning News
Miami Herald
Houston Chronicle
Chicago Sun-Times
Denver Post
Detroit Free Press
San Diego Union-Tribune
Detroit News
Baltimore Sun
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Sacramento Bee
Kansas City Star
Orlando Sentinel
Seattle Times
St. Petersburg Times
Indianapolis Star
Boston Herald
Tampa Tribune
Orange County Register
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Hartford Courant
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Columbus Dispatch
Louisville Courier-Dispatch
The Oklahoman
Norfolk Virginian-Pilot
Los Angeles Daily News
Philipine Star
Omaha World-Herald
Richmond Times-Dispatch
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Philadelphia Inquirer
Arizona Republic
San Antonio Express-News
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
American Reporter
Portland Oregonian
Charlotte Observer
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Terre Haute Tribune-Star
Sacramento Union
Washington Times
The National Ledger
Anchorage Daily News
Charleston Gazette
Ashland Daily Tidings
The Daily Star

Powered by Blogger

eXTReMe Tracker
Never Bring a Snowball to a Gunfight

Sunday, December 20, 2009
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- According to CNN, an off-duty police officer has been accused of drawing his gun in the midst of a neighborhood snowball fight. Roughly two hundred people had gathered together on Saturday for what the cable news company describes as "a massive snowball fight." When a few stray snowballs hit the off-duty officer's vehicle as he drove through the area, he allegedly "exited the vehicle and yelled out the crowd" before "drawing his gun."

"It was pretty fun," according to one participant. "And then, you know, when the gun came out, uh, it just changed the tone of the thing a little bit."

Based on "video from a local media outlet at the scene," he Metropolitan Police Department initially denied the allegations, but "additional images and statements" have surfaced to support the disturbing claims.

Labels: ,

Permanent Link
Copyright Sobriquet Magazine

Share: StumbleUpon Toolbar del.icio.us Add to Mixx! Digg!

____________________________________________
The Mole People of Las Vegas

Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Although much of the more sensational claims Jennifer Toth makes in The Mole People: Life in the Tunnels Beneath New York City have been challenged by the likes of Joseph Brennan, her book nevertheless brought subterranean dwelling to the surface and initiated mainstream and academic interest in a phenomenon previously dismissed as urban legend. In a recent article published in The Sun, Pete Samson ventures away from the New York City subway tunnels at the heart of Toth's book and provides the tabloid's readers with a glimpse into the lives of several Las Vegas mole people.

Save for a few peculiarities that suggest a degree of editorial tampering (the Americans quoted in the article rather dubiously use the British word "skip" in lieu of the American "dumpster," for instance), Samson's piece seems to be a fairly reliable, if relatively unoriginal, addition to the discussion of underground dwellers. It's an interesting read.

Labels: , , ,

Permanent Link
Copyright Sobriquet Magazine

Share: StumbleUpon Toolbar del.icio.us Add to Mixx! Digg!

____________________________________________
Tony Blair's Crusade Against Atheism

Sunday, October 18, 2009
Last week, several bloggers expressed their chagrin at Tony Blair for having allegedly made some rather unfortunate remarks about non-theists in a speech the former British Prime Minister delivered to a crowd of religious scholars at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Jonathan Hurley, for instance, likens Blair to the puritanical elders of old Salem, claiming that "[n]ot since leaders tackled the dangers of witches in our midst has a politician sounded such an alarm." Elsewhere, Austin Cline calls Blair "a political menace and an intellectual vacuum." Clearly, Mr. Blair has touched a nerve.

In his speech, ostensibly a gesture of interfaith solidarity aimed at strengthening bonds between Christians and Muslims, Blair claims that "people of faith . . . face an aggressive secular attack from without" as well as "the threat of extremism from within." Blair continues, arguing that "[t]hose who scorn God and those who do violence in God's name . . . offer no hope for faith in the twenty first century."

Even if one gives Blair the benefit of the doubt and presumes that the "aggressive secular attack" to which he refers amounts to the efforts of a small minority of atheists, his wording is uncomfortably imprecise. Although there are, of course, other ways to read his comments, many commentators agree with Blag Hag's Jen, who, in asking "[w]hen's the last time an atheist has flown a plane into a building, or performed a suicide bombing?" interprets Blair's statement as a declaration that non-theists are as potent a threat to "people of faith" as violent religiously-motivated terrorists. Indeed, as Dave Keating puts it, "[a]pparently to Blair, Atheists and terrorists are two sides to the same coin."

Furthermore, semantically-speaking, atheists do not -- indeed cannot -- "scorn God" for the simple reason that one cannot be contemptuous towards that which one does not believe exists. Indeed, even in his most vitriolic of moments, Richard Dawkins does not scorn God; he hates the irrationality with which many "people of faith" approach the world, the same sort of irrationality Blair would likely attribute to the elements of "extremism" he denounces in the same breath as atheists. Thus, at the very least, Blair's comments suggest a particularly retrograde brand of essentialism lies beneath his understanding of non-theists. Likewise, he rather offensively reserves the concept of "faith" for adherents of recognized major world religions while neglecting to acknowledge that quite a few atheists are self-identified Humanists with a very real brand of faith as a central component of their moral philosophy.

Ultimately, though, Blair probably does not deserve the degree of condemnation directed at him. In all likelihood, his attempt to preach a rather pedestrian idea to his own choir (a largely academic crowd of Christians and Muslims hoping to overcome interfaith conflicts) drifted out of the nave and into the street, into the ears of a population to whom the same message would have been phrased more precisely had he intended to address them (i.e., "some of the people Paul Kurtz calls 'atheist fundamentalists,' like the more violent among religious extremists, may say or do things that will cause some 'people of faith' [those whose convictions are susceptible to doubt] to question the veracity of their beliefs" and, consequently, increase the likelihood of intrafaith squabbling). Such a view seems consistent with that of "Brad," who posts the following to the comment section below Keating's essay:
This is plain slander, and poorly-executed slander at that. I attended the Common Word Conference in Georgetown. Blair did not urge all faiths to "unite against a secular agenda," and most certainly did not equate atheism with terrorism. He simply meant that peace between the Muslim and Christian worlds is hindered from within by extremism, which promotes conflict between the religions, and from the outside by atheism, which undermines the need for considering religion in politics whatsoever.
To be sure, Blair's inability to anticipate the impact of his words on non-sympathetic ears may well be the big problem here. Whether it be "fair" or not, speaking in a public forum (even a "closed" forum) places the orator in the difficult position of having to consider the effect his or her words may have on a dauntingly broad range of auditors, including those not in attendance (recall Barack Obama's use of the word "bitter" last year). Thus, while Blair's defenders may see the response of a few secularists as the deliberate decontextualizing and twisting of the speaker's words, they remain his words and, thanks to the Internet, those words (as well as their intended and unintended meanings) have spread far beyond the intended audience. And this possibility, of course, is something Blair could have -- and, some would argue, should have -- anticipated.

Still, even in the most generous of interpretations, in which Blair simply means to imply that some secularists, through verbal argumentation and rhetorical persuasion, threaten to shake the convictions of the faithful, the former Prime Minister does a profound disservice to the "people of faith" he champions so mightily. After all, faith is only faith when its bearer considers the possibility of its fallibility and, after reflection, maintains and reaffirms his or her belief. Theoretically, he should welcome the challenges posed by those people he demonizes because, without them, people of faith such as himself would have nothing against which to test their convictions.

In the end, Blair's broad-sweeping comments on "secularists" do imply an overly simplistic understanding of atheism (there are different kinds of atheists, of course) which will, until clarified, understandably continue to rankle many non-theists, quite a few of whom supported Blair in his political sallies throughout the years.

Labels: , , , ,

Permanent Link
Copyright Sobriquet Magazine

Share: StumbleUpon Toolbar del.icio.us Add to Mixx! Digg!

____________________________________________
"Duopoly Is Not Democracy" Stickers

Wednesday, October 7, 2009
While supplies last, Sobriquet Magazine is proud to offer "Duopoly Is Not Democracy" stickers to our readers. They're free, so drop us a line, give us an address, and we'll send one of them your way. If you happen to stick one in a good spot, send us a snapshot and we'll share your picture.
Permanent Link
Copyright Sobriquet Magazine

Share: StumbleUpon Toolbar del.icio.us Add to Mixx! Digg!

____________________________________________
To Be or Not to Be?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009
"[I]t is obvious there is nothing in the world a man has more incontestable right to than his own life and person."
--Arthur Shopenhauer on suicide.
As sad and disturbing as the thoughts it may inspire, the legality of suicide is undoubtedly one of the most important moral and civil rights issues of our time and, as we move deeper into this new century, it is only going to become more important. Farah Master's article, while subtly critical of Britain's retrograde laws regarding suicide, is hardly a polemic and treats what is a difficult topic with appropriate tenderness.

Labels: , ,

Permanent Link
Copyright Sobriquet Magazine

Share: StumbleUpon Toolbar del.icio.us Add to Mixx! Digg!

____________________________________________
Make Darwin Go Away

Wednesday, September 16, 2009
From the Telegraph:

Creation, starring Paul Bettany, details Darwin's "struggle between faith and reason" as he wrote On The Origin of Species. It depicts him as a man who loses faith in God following the death of his beloved 10-year-old daughter, Annie.

The film was chosen to open the Toronto Film Festival and has its British premiere on Sunday. It has been sold in almost every territory around the world, from Australia to Scandinavia.

However, US distributors have resolutely passed on a film which will prove hugely divisive in a country where, according to a Gallup poll conducted in February, only 39 per cent of Americans believe in the theory of evolution.

What a shame.

Labels: ,

Permanent Link
Copyright Sobriquet Magazine

Share: StumbleUpon Toolbar del.icio.us Add to Mixx! Digg!

____________________________________________
Tedisco Wants Wealthy Inmates to Pay Their Own Way

Monday, July 20, 2009
Jim Tedisco, the New York State assembleyman whose premature decision to bolt Albany for a Congressional position he would never win drew the ire of left-leaning commentators, has recently introduced a bill designed to charge wealthy criminals for their state-provided room and board. The so-called "Madoff Bill" proposes a "sliding scale [to] determine how much convicts would have to pay, based on their assets," with those on the lower end of the spectrum (those folks with net worths below forty grand) paying nothing while the Martha Stewarts and Michael Vicks of the world would be responsible for their respective tabs in their entirety.

I wonder how penologists will take the suggestion.

Labels: , , ,

Permanent Link
Copyright Sobriquet Magazine

Share: StumbleUpon Toolbar del.icio.us Add to Mixx! Digg!

____________________________________________

Ideas

Arts & Letters Daily
Stirrings Still
With A Book In Hand
Logos

Magazines

The Atlantic
Harper's
National Geographic
Reason
Skeptic

Add to Technorati Favorites

Add to Google

Site Visits:
This site was built by modifying a template designed by Maystar Designs. All text, unless otherwise noted, is copyright 2001-2009 by Sobriquet Magazine (ISSN 1930-1820). Sobriquet Magazine and the Sobriquet Magazine logo are registered trademarks of Sobriquet Magazine.