Brilliant essay by Bret Stephens in Time on our willingness to discard objectivity and principles once considered sacred (and how we can overcome that tendency), from the full text of his remarks for the Daniel Pearl memorial lecture, UCLA. And after you finish reading this, take a look at Local Nomad’s latest call for submissions.
We are not a nation of logicians.
I think it’s important not to dismiss the president’s reply [to a question from Bill O’Reilly about the validity of a claim by Trump] simply as dumb. We ought to assume that it’s darkly brilliant — if not in intention than certainly in effect. The president is responding to a claim of fact not by denying the fact, but by denying the claim that facts are supposed to have on an argument.
He isn’t telling O’Reilly that he’s got his facts wrong. He’s saying that, as far as he is concerned, facts, as most people understand the term, don’t matter: That they are indistinguishable from, and interchangeable with, opinion; and that statements of fact needn’t have any purchase against a man who is either sufficiently powerful to ignore them or sufficiently shameless to deny them — or, in his case, both.
If some of you in this room are students of political philosophy, you know where this argument originates. This is a version of Thrasymachus’s argument in Plato’s Republic that justice is the advantage of the stronger and that injustice “if it is on a large enough scale, is stronger, freer, and more masterly than justice.” Read more HERE.
Local Nomad is now calling for submissions to our Summer 2017 issue. The theme for that issue will be “Truth or Consequences.” Deadline is May 1st, 2017. See our Info & Submissions Page for the details.
I’m honored to have been included in -ah: anthology of American Haiku. The editors were Jonathan Hayes and Richard Lopez, published by Richard Hansen, of Poems-For-All This little beauty anthologizes demotic haiku, poems using everyday language, in three lines. I opened the book, and butterflies drifted out… followed by a haiku by Bashō.
The butterflies and poems exemplify the idea behind the anthology: these are “poems for all…scattered like seeds, by those who want to see poetry grow in a barren cultural landscape.” (From www.poems-for-all.com)
Awash in a sea of fakery and truth — that’s how Local Nomad sees itself in 2017. Thus, the next issue’s theme will be “Truth or Consequences.” What is truth and what is fake? And what are the consequences of each? The theme is inspired by the old game show of the 1950s, in which contestants suffered jokey consequences if they could not discern the “truth.” These days, the concepts of truth and fakery seem to weigh more heavily on us, and we think a lot about–and are surrounded by–our consequences. The formal Call for Submissions will be posted next week. We look forward to receiving your submissions.
Jenny Ortuoste writes about Puñeta: Political Pilipinx Poetry:
Why “Pilipinx”? This is a spin-off from the term “Latinx” (pronounced “la-teen-ex”), which refers to people from countries colonized by Romance-language speaking countries Spain and Portugal. Pilipinx/Filipinx (they are interchangeable) is a gender-neutral (and all-gender-encompassing) alternative to F/Pilipino/a.
However, usage of the term here in the US, as I’ve noticed, sticks with ‘P’ to decolonize the term, because, the reasoning goes, ‘F’ was not, as far as it is known, a phonic (letter sound) in the pre-colonial language.