Feb 10, 2011

James Hillman Still Provoking Leftist Fashionistas

Throughout the early 90's I attended a number of seminars with James Hillman. Watching him work with symbols and dreams was a transcendent experience -- he was acutely sensitive to the needs of the dreamer, brilliant in his ability to parse obscure images and amazing in his talent for forming links between inner experiences and the culture that enveloped one. When he talked about the psychic underpinnings of popular culture, he was superlative in his ability to articulately parse subtleties. He pops into my head every time someone asks me who might be the wisest man I ever met. Got some recent email with an article about Hillman's critique of the left (to which he actually belongs).
It's clear everyday that the left and the right are in a marriage. Fox News' Bill O'Reilly talked obsessively about MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, and Olbermann talked obsessively about O'Reilly; they were locked in a marriage. And for all that the liberals want to mock Glenn Beck, he is talking about American history and political theory that the left neglects...Even MSNBC is "leaning forward." But I'd like to see it lean backward, which is what the word reflection means. What, for instance, is in the shadow of these fixed ideals? One thing that's being ignored is history. In a certain way, the liberal world has been lax about standing for true American history.
Sadly, I am reaching an age at which one is just delighted to learn that a man you admire is still kicking it, but he is the same provocative guy now that he was in his late 60's when I first met him. The link came shortly after I scanned a controversial book about the growing number of rich progressives who intend to channel their fortunes into the betterment of society. The book touches upon some of the same themes that Hillman raises. Prominent in these themes an implicit comparison made between a social reformer and a soldier: The progressive reformer who disrespects money is like a Marine who disrespects the rifle. Both of these warriors are condemned to failing to achieve their missions. The lesson here seems to be pretty straightforward: Forget the academic fashionistas who educate our kids to despise their middle-class roots. Unless our most altruistic young people learn how to arm themselves with the financial means to affect the balance of power, we're not going to get a better world.

Feb 7, 2011

Do Football Fans Support Attacks on Press Freedom?

Superbowl is over and disgruntled fans who were denied their seats are mostly back home, still grousing. What did these fans expect from the business owners? Fairness and consideration? David Carr reports on a threat to a Washington newspaper:

Back in November, when Daniel M. Snyder, the owner of the Washington Redskins, was pilloried at length in a piece in the Washington City Paper, a local weekly, he had a number of options: He could have ignored the article, contacted the newspaper and asked for equal time or corrections, or he could have used his bully pulpit as the owner of both a pro sports team and a number of local radio stations to respond.

Mr. Snyder chose none of the above, instead commissioning David P. Donovan, the general counsel of the Redskins, to write a letter to the owners of the newspaper that included the following paragraph:

“Mr. Snyder has more than sufficient means to protect his reputation and defend himself and his wife against your paper’s concerted attempt at character assassination. We presume that defending such litigation would not be a rational strategy for an investment fund such as yours. Indeed, the cost of the litigation would presumably quickly outstrip the asset value of the Washington City Paper.”...

The article was an instant cult classic among long-suffering Redskins fans...

Neither Mr. Snyder nor his executives ever got in touch with the newspaper or its editors, preferring to try to exercise leverage on the hedge fund that owned it...

Something to think about as you stake out a position for the upcoming strike/lockout? Frugal Ben Says: As long as it's free, enjoy your football on your big-screen TV. Forget about the "Who's supposed to pay for producing all this content?" argument. Let 'em suffer like the newspapers! Eventually the owners, like the publishers, might get it right. Donating your dollars to these guys by going to the stadium makes you a sap. More from football blog