What I’m Reading Wednesday

Stephen Colbert and I probably don’t agree on much politically, but his work in highlighting the absurdity and danger of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision has served the American people well. Even if you agree with Citizens United (wait, is Donald Trump reading this?), it’s hard to deny the contributions of a guy who, in this day of sound-bytes and talking points and slogans and sales pitches, takes time on a comedy show to dissect and explain (and dismantle) a Supreme Court majority opinion! He had a former Chief Justice on his show! Again — comedy show. Jeez. As someone who is sickened by the corrupting influence of money in American politics, I have SUCH affection and appreciation for Colbert here. That’s the long way around the barn to say, you should read this Slate Jurisprudence article on Colbert’s tireless (and hilarious) battle against government-approved, systematized baksheesh and palm greasing.

OK, y’all need to add this blog to your reader. It’s the online home of my friends Lachlan and Terri whose life has just gotten super craze-balls (and not necessarily in a bad way!) in the last few months. Read, and pray for them as they re-start their adoption process, would you?

My ol’ pal Bobby and his wife Kristen are songwriters. Their blog is fantastic. Read it.

A couple of fun Super-Bowl-Related links: America’s best tailgates (some of these are EPIC) and an assessment of this year’s ads.

This post (again by Douglas Wilson; I am such a lame fangirl, linking to him every week) about made me sob. So good. Such a fantastic corrective to the “women are ornaments of good society”/traditionalist perspective AND the “anything you can do, I can do better (and backwards! And in high heels!)” perspective. And if you don’t know what a caryatid is, and I know I sure didn’t, here you go.

And, of course, what WIRW would be complete without a link to the Downton TV Club chat (warning: much saltier language this week than in previous weeks)?

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8 thoughts on “What I’m Reading Wednesday

    • On second thoughts, D.W. may (in agreement with the classic commentary by Delitzsch) think that the “caryatid” metaphor comes from Ps 144:12 itself. However, that seems to me an anachronistic reading, and not supported by the LXX. Whether the Hebrew supports it seems to me debatable, with e.g. some rather pointed editorial comments in the 1846 edition of Gesenius.

  1. The article on Colbert was great. Of course, Citizen’s United is more complex than Colbert’s comedy allows. I’ve seen a skit or two of his on the whole super pac thing, and he is downright hilarious with it. But here’s the thing. Political speech is ugly. So’s pornography. And they’re both protected by the First Amendment. We could change the First Amendment, but until we do people are allowed to join together and spend their money; that’s the essence of a corporation, the joining of people and their money for a purpose. It’s the people in the corporation who are persons expressing themselves collectively. In fact, the same thing happens in churches when members of a congregation give money and set a budget for spending it; the church as an individual entity is not really deciding how to spend the money, but rather the people collectively decide how to do so.

    Re Wilson: “It is woman who hold the whole thing together, at which task men are helpless and hopeless.” Really? Helpless and hopeless? Oh, us poor poor men. I wouldn’t be pleased if he said women were incapable of conquering the world, either. Oh wait. He did say that. The problem is that he takes biblical metaphors and tries to fit them into worldly roles. That’s a suit of clothes that rarely fits well, since every metaphor is apt to tear at the seams if stretched too far. (Ha! Just used a metaphor to attack reckless use of metaphors!)

    Cheers,
    Tim

    • Political speech is protected; pornography is not — it’s restricted and age-limited — and I don’t think the founders had the dissemination of recorded sexual acts in mind when they were drafting the Bill of Rights, nor should we simply shrug our shoulders and say, “Ah well, it’s protected speech, no use fighting against it.” And I question whether this even falls into that category! I would argue that money and power, and particularly the money of power, irretrievably corrupt democratic processes. Corporations are not the same as people, and if you think that the individual members of the corporations are the ones deciding where the company’s millions are going, or that super-PACs are nothing more than like-minded citizens pooling their resources… well, I don’t know what to tell you. Agree to disagree with you here.

      Eh, I don’t have the slightest bit of problem with difference in gender roles, nor with the idea that men are meant to be primarily oriented toward pioneering tasks while women are meant to be primarily oriented toward maintaining and supporting. Besides, no metaphor is perfect.

      • “I would argue that money and power, and particularly the money of power, irretrievably corrupt democratic processes.” I agree completely. What do we do about it under the First Amendment, though? Barring a change to that amendment, I’m stumped.

        And good catch on the pornography comparison, Laura; I failed to consider that there are some restrictions on sex speech that do not apply to political speech. Then again, political speech is one of the most protected types of speech we have in America according to Supreme Court opinions over the last two centuries.

        Cheers,
        Tim

  2. Other people are commenting on the more serious links…however, I like that Ole Miss made the list of best tailgates. It really is something fun to experience. My dad went to Ole Miss so we went to a few games growing up and it was quite fun.

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