Monday, July 21, 2014

The One Minute Raccoon

No, one cannot become a Raccoon in one minute. Rather, less than a minute, since Raccoons are born, not made.

What I mean is that I have only a minute this morning. Time enough to announce the dawn of a new thread, now open for isness.


Blogger julie said...

Speaking of all things Raccoon, I like the new reading list. Finally, a selection of books for even the shortest raccoon's attention span!

7/21/2014 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

This is hysterical, and saves us a lot of reading time.

7/21/2014 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

I was worried I may have a couple of these books, but thankfully I don't.

7/21/2014 09:42:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

Even my old lefty self didn't waste much time with these distorted tomes.

7/21/2014 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Too bad many of those books were so popular. Just think how many lives have been damaged by Kinsey alone; makes Dante's ordering of the rings of Hell seem perfectly reasonable...

7/21/2014 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger John Lien said...

I've read a couple of them and, in retrospect, they were damaging.

Ah yes, Expository Writing class at State U. Bs and Cs on my essays. Then I review and agree with Bertrand Russell's "Why I Am Not a Christian" and, and, it's an A!

Had to reward that correct thinking, you know.

7/21/2014 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

The Population Bomb and Doors of Perception. I flipped through part of The Pentagon Papers in some discount store. I read some Tillich but I don't remember which one. Carl Rogers, I agree, was more annoying than Skinner.

I didn't read Reed's book but I saw Reds and if I ever meet Warren Beatty, I'm demanding three hundred bucks to pay for the three hours I can never get back.

I'm a little surprised they didn't include Rachel Carson and Silent Spring, the mosquito Mein Kampf.

7/21/2014 12:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, taking Sontag as an advocate of "not thinking" really takes genius.

Also noticed that the Autobiography of Malcolm X appears on both the best and worst list...that might be the most interesting thing about this lamebrained effort at Zhdanovism.

7/21/2014 01:00:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Ah, I see Carson got a shout-out in the Keynes entry. Am I just missing her?

7/21/2014 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Zhdanovism -- because mocking somebody is the same as censorship. Right.

7/21/2014 01:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zhdanovism is reducing aesthetic and intellectual judgements to political ideological correctness (and obviously, no one side has a monopoly on it).

Take their listing of The Doors of Perception, by Aldous Huxley. Is this a good, terrible, or mediocre book? Well, you'd have to read it to find out, and maybe know something about the subject. But if you are an ideologue, you can just suppose that because some of your cultural enemies liked it, it must be one "the worst books of the 20th century". As someone here said, it saves you a lot of reading time, which is great if you don't actually like reading.

7/21/2014 01:59:00 PM  
Blogger ted said...

As someone here said, it saves you a lot of reading time, which is great if you don't actually like reading.

Huh. Well, since I read about a book a week, I don't believe that fits my profile. Nevertheless, you can read plenty, and have no coherent logical worldview or common sense. Since I can't read everything in one lifetime (nor would I care to), would it make sense to read books that cohere around some fundamental principles that are more logically consistent than others? I bet those 50 books would add little to my understanding of a life once lived. In other words: been there done that.

7/21/2014 02:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Susan Sontag said...

Israel's response to the Palestinians is disproportionate.

7/21/2014 02:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Agreed. Israel should do just like the Palestinians: refuse to recognize their right to exist, and rain down bombs 24/7.

7/21/2014 02:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uh, "Sontag" and "Dupree", you are aware you are making my point for me, aren't you?

7/21/2014 02:51:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Susan Sontag: "The truth is that Mozart, Pascal, Boolean algebra, Shakespeare, parliamentary government, baroque churches, Newton, the emancipation of women, Kant, Marx, Balanchine ballets, et al., don't redeem what this particular civilization has wrought upon the world. The white race is the cancer of human history; it is the white race and it alone—its ideologies and inventions—which eradicates autonomous civilizations wherever it spreads, which has upset the ecological balance of the planet, which now threatens the very existence of life itself."

I must admit to no particular familiarity with her writings, never having cared much for that sort of thing when I was young and impressionable enough to have potentially been taken in by someone like her. But this, all by itself, is enough for me to know that she has a poisoned mind. Unless at some point she had an awakening, I need read no further.

There was a good essay I came across last week, I forget where or by whom, wherein the author used the metaphor of sewage and drinking water. Essentially, a drop of sewage in a gallon of pure water renders it purely sewage. That hint of taint is enough to spoil the whole, whereas putting a drop of clean water in with the sewage changes the sewage not at all. Just so, knowing that, say, a particular author is so filled with such a hatred of a particular race is enough for me to know that the ideas that led her to it are sewage, and I'd be better off not to imbibe.

7/21/2014 02:56:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Now, if you're really interested in something to read, I strongly recommend a little text entitled Meditations on the Tarot. Now available in Kindle format!

7/21/2014 03:02:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

She was a nasty piece of work. Like Edward Said in drag.

7/21/2014 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

I think one of my roommates in college was a big fan. The roommate also had a gigantic NOW poster hanging on the wall, engaged in some seriously disturbing practices with her boyfriend, and eventually ended up marrying one the girls from our dorm. She was an okay friend at the time, but great googlymoogly, that girl was a mess.

7/21/2014 03:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must admit to no particular familiarity with her writings

Color me shocked.

7/21/2014 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

You say that like it's a bad thing.

7/21/2014 03:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Seriously, a thoughtful person being unfamiliar with Sontag is like a comedian being unfamiliar with Carrot Top.

7/21/2014 03:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Pauline Kael said...

Everyone I know voted for her.

7/21/2014 03:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Susan Sontag in a rare moment of insight said...

Communism is Fascism -- successful Fascism, if you will. I repeat: not only is Fascism the probable destiny of all Communist societies, but Communism is in itself a variant, the most successful variant, of Fascism. Imagine, if you will, someone who read only the Reader's Digest between 1950 and 1970, and someone in the same period who read only The Nation. Which reader would have been better informed about the realities of Communism? The answer, I think, should give us pause. Can it be that our enemies were right?

7/21/2014 04:09:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

I believe I read that she stated that in front of an audience, to a chorus of boos. Her leftist fans certainly weren't interested in having the red wool pulled away from their eyes...

7/21/2014 04:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since nobody here seems capable of getting the point, let me try again: i's not whether or not you are familiar with Sontag. Nobody can read everything, after all. But if you make intellectual pronouncements on something you haven't read because of some political angle or scary quote pulled from somewhere, you are a Zhdanovite rather than a serious thinker.

As for Sontag, she wrote and said a lot, not all of it consistent. In fact she wrote a whole book backpeddling from that line you quoted (/Illness as Metaphor/).

And she wrote this, that sounds like it could come from one of you lot:

At a New York pro-Solidarity rally in 1982, Sontag stated that "people on the left", like herself, "have willingly or unwillingly told a lot of lies".[34] She added that they: "believed in, or at least applied, a double standard to the angelic language of Communism.. Communism is Fascism—successful Fascism, if you will. What we have called Fascism is, rather, the form of tyranny that can be overthrown—that has, largely, failed. I repeat: not only is Fascism (and overt military rule) the probable destiny of all Communist societies—especially when their populations are moved to revolt—but Communism is in itself a variant, the most successful variant, of Fascism. Fascism with a human face... Imagine, if you will, someone who read only the Reader's Digest between 1950 and 1970, and someone in the same period who read only The Nation or [t]he New Statesman. Which reader would have been better informed about the realities of Communism? The answer, I think, should give us pause. Can it be that our enemies were right?["

And again, my point isn't about Sontag, but about anti-intellectualism.

7/21/2014 04:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Hitler said...

What, now I'm supposed to be some second-rate Stalin? This Sontag woman is impossible to please.

7/21/2014 04:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

If Sontag is an intellectual, then we are most certainly anti-. But she is nothing of the sort. Which is why you cannot name a single profound idea for which she will be remembered.

7/21/2014 04:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

This is not the first troll to confuse intellectual with intellectualism, nor will he be the last. It is what leftists do -- and they do it because intellect without truth is just self-aggrandizing stupidity.

7/21/2014 04:35:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Anonydude, you need to work faster than that. Read faster, too.

Anyway, what's your point? That one may not form an opinion on something or someone without having read their entire body of work? As you said, nobody can read everything; as such, one has to discriminate. And frankly, if an author has spent most of her life hating Western Civilization and going on about the greatness of Marx and Communism, I know enough about those ideologies and their proponents to know that I'd much rather read something else, and will likely be the happier for it.

If it is "anti-intellectual" to prefer to read about Love, Truth and Beauty over Hate, Envy, and Ugliness, then I am happily, delightedly anti-intellectual.

Oh, and do check out Meditations on the Tarot. You might need to know a little Latin and Greek, and I can only imagine how many pounds the hard-backed copy weighs, but it is a good read.

7/21/2014 04:38:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

aninnymouse said "But if you make intellectual pronouncements on something you haven't read because of some political angle or scary quote pulled from somewhere, you are a Zhdanovite rather than a serious thinker."

It's nice that you've become a bit more aware of your shortcomings, but you needn't be quite so harsh upon yoursoph.

7/21/2014 04:59:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I reckon anon is now feverishly looking for one profound thing Sontag said.

7/21/2014 05:55:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

He's not alone. Sontag died waiting.

7/21/2014 05:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

I question Sontag's taste in *women*.

7/21/2014 06:01:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Julie said:
"If it is "anti-intellectual" to prefer to read about Love, Truth and Beauty over Hate, Envy, and Ugliness, then I am happily, delightedly anti-intellectual."

Precisely! Hell, even leftists get sick of the hate, envy and ugliness which is why Air America couldn't make a profit.
Same with MSNBS.
If most leftists watched they would at least be profitable rather than being a money pit.

Hmm, seems all that bitterness just doesn't sell.

7/21/2014 06:02:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Oh, that is not nice.

I'm not into girls, but if I were, I'd have standards. What's the point of being in love with the feminine if they then strive to do away with all the most feminine parts of themselves?

7/21/2014 06:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

Egads! That photo will require many grogs to recover from.

7/21/2014 06:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever the merits of Meditations on the Tarot, you folks are really, really poor advertisements for any spiritual qualities it might have. Why would I want to read anything that might make me more like you -- full of hate and rage? No thanks.

However, I won't dismiss the book just because you like it, given that I haven't read it. Maybe it's great. See the difference there?

7/21/2014 06:14:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Just like clockwork, here comes the projection and cognitive dissonance.

7/21/2014 06:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Anon is a REALLY, REALLY GREAT advertisement for the spiritual qualities of Susan Sontag.

7/21/2014 06:27:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Yes - his courageous advocacy of Sontag has made me want to set aside my current read. I had finally gotten around to reading Moby Dick (and regretting that I so casually blew it off when I was young and knew everything), but clearly, my life is Not Complete if I don't read her work, and presumably also sing her praises.

7/21/2014 06:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Bob. Quick question for you:

In the past week, my 14-month-old daughter has started banging her head on the ground when she's frustrated, or sometimes for no apparent reason at all. Other than this behavior, her developmental progression is normal, or perhaps even a bit advanced. She doesn't exhibit any other indicators of autism.

Do you have any thoughts about how to respond to, and ultimately curb, this unpleasant behavioral development?



7/21/2014 09:17:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

"Whatever the merits of Meditations on the Tarot, you folks are really, really poor advertisements for any spiritual qualities it might have."

Anonymous, where are you?

7/22/2014 06:12:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

"you folks are really, really poor advertisements for any spiritual qualities it might have."


You know, you remind me of those who complain about the evils of capitalism or big business or Christianity or just "the man", your boss, whatever.

Feel free to show us how it's done.
There is nothing stopping you from being a good boss or good business owner, and so forth.

7/22/2014 06:24:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Hi Stu,

while I don't have any suggestions for redirecting the behavior, if you're really concerned, you might try taking some video when she's doing it, and bring it in at her next doctor's appointment. Don't feel embarrassed about asking - much better to mention it and find out it's nothing than to keep quiet if there's a real problem.

I can't see what your daughter is doing, but I do know head banging is not uncommon - there's some good info here, and the next page offers some advice on some things that might help.

Kids do scary things, but most of the time they really are okay. And often, even if they need extra help, there are so many resources available that they will still be okay.

If it helps, you'll be in my prayers.

7/22/2014 06:52:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

And Rick, yes, lol - that's an excellent point; mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa, ever and always. I am no saint, just another assoul on the internet.

I will note that my antipathy to Sontag has nothing to do with whether Anony is a good example of what her readers are like, and everything to do with the information I have found about her. She just doesn't appeal to me, on any level. Apparently, in Anony's world, that's some kind of thought crime. Oh, well.

7/22/2014 07:13:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...


I agree with Julie. Speak to your pediatrician about it. Such a recent and isolated symptom seem innocuous, but my wife's the expert on that subject, so I'll run it by her when she's up.

I remember a few times looking at my son and thinking to myself, "uh oh, this one might be nuts." Turned out fine, though.

7/22/2014 07:27:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

"uh oh, this one might be nuts."

Reminds me of that dreadful moment when I dated someone, and something came out of their mouths that was inconsistent with my initial projections. They didn't turn out fine.

7/22/2014 07:59:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

You know, I can't make up my mind about Nazism. I haven't read and truly absorbed the lessons of Mein Kampf.

/rolls eyes

Life is short. At some point, anon, you have to decide who you are, how to hold yourself together, and where you want to go. Otherwise, you're a drifter. A drifter can fancy himself an "intellectual," but in reality, he's more like a consumer, a tourist.

I know a lot of people like this. They end up justifying their lack of integrity by implicitly shaming other people if they don't applaud "open mindedness" and "diversity" as first principles. Again, nothing wrong with those things per se. The problem is in how they're used to forestall any sort of conclusion or conviction.

It seems those who are committed to relativism as a first principle want only the process, not the result, of human reason. And they don't want past reasons to be binding, either, wanting as they do a "perpetual revolution." You know, the whole Frankfurt drill.

This attitude leads to vapid, hollow men -- ankle biters, betas, men who not only don't lead, but don't want to lead. Even men like this sorry ass:

I think you dip in here because, somewhere in that "anonymous" fog, you sense something isn't right. If I were you, I'd give that sense a little more room to grow. But then, we're all just haters here.

7/22/2014 08:07:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Julie, I hope you know I was admitting my own guilt.

The boss thing, what I always liked about A Christmas Carol -- even Scrooge loved Fezziwig.

7/22/2014 09:03:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Rick, I do know. We each of us speak for ourselves :) and that's a great point about Fezziwig - some people just radiate goodness.

7/22/2014 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Oh good.

Not so OT:
I enjoyed watching this last night. I like Hugh's optimism -- he makes some good points for it.
Hugh Hewitt interview: The Happiest Life

7/22/2014 09:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Mein Kapital or Das Kampf? Who can choose?

7/22/2014 09:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the advice, Julie and Bob. My wife is speaking with our pediatrician today. Seems like it's probably not a big deal, but it's just so disturbing to watch...

Even though I don't comment much any more, I really love the community here, and stop by regularly. It's hard to believe that you, Gerard, and Am Thinker have been a regular part of my mornings for over 8 years! And it's great to see that so many old faces (names?) are still commenting here.

If you have any more advice for this first-time dad, feel free to share. Infants were easy compared to toddlers...

Back to lurk mode. Be well, everyone, and thanks again.


7/22/2014 09:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Sontag is equivalent to Hitler? And keep in mind that you know a lot about HItler's thought without reading Mein Kampf, while it's obvious you and the authors of that list know nothing about Sontag's thought.

"Life is short", no time to read Sontag, but there is plenty of time to read ignorant dismissals of her. OK. And the same applies, I guess, to Dewey, Marcuse, Huxley, even Karl Popper? As someone said, you have certainly saved yourself a lot of time.

7/22/2014 09:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Hey, she said it -- that communism is fascism. Take it up with her ghost.

7/22/2014 10:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

And we're still waiting for you to reveal those profound Sontagian truths you've assimilated. Why curse our darkness when you can share such Light?

7/22/2014 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...


The wife has issued a statement:

I would be glad to have you email me with any follow up questions or clarifications: lesliegodwin at

Re. the little headbanger: You mentioned that she has no other signs of autism, so I assume you mean that she makes eye contact and at least occasionally responds to social cues (smiles back at you, imitates you and your wife if you stick out your tongue, etc.) So the issue is to simply prevent her from hurting herself.

If you have any concern about whether she interacts with you, it would be very helpful to follow up on that. But headbanging is not unusual for normally-developing children.

What I would suggest to decrease the headbanging is to have her replace it with other behavior. So you could try these ideas, or anything you think would accomplish her substituting a different behavior that accomplishes the same thing from her perspective.

For example, if she is doing this when she is frustrated, put words and emotion in your voice to her actions and narrate, “You are really mad! You wanted [ ] and I said “no” and you are so mad!” (Read, “Happiest Toddler on the Block.” It describes this technique in detail and it is life-changing for parents and young children.)

The other thing I would do along the way is to suggest another physical way for her to express her frustration just to keep her from banging her head, especially if it looks like she might hurt herself. So you could suggest she pound on a pillow, hit a mattress with a stick, stamp her feet, yell, etc. Help her transfer the behavior to something that gives her some relief, but doesn’t actually do damage. (This is similar to the advice I would have given a parent with a child who bites others. You get them to hit and yell instead of biting, while helping them ultimately use words and express their emotions that way.)

You have to get into her mindset and use empathy to do this most effectively.
Let me know if this helps, and if not, how she is responding to your intervention.

Good luck, Leslie

7/22/2014 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I have a question.

Does the Happiest Toddler work with destructive liberal behaviors? Like: you're really envious! You've run out of other people's money, and you want more government revenue, now!

7/22/2014 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Or maybe, You're really angry! You need other people to validate your reading preferences! You want the wingnuts to acknowledge your intellectual superiority right now!

7/22/2014 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

And Stu - I do hope you message Mrs. G. She is usually the first person I ask when my kids are giving me fits :)

It's good to hear from you, and I hope all is well.

7/22/2014 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

aninnymouse said "So Sontag is equivalent to Hitler?"

Laughter is sooo good for the soul, and your attempts at thought are so productive, thanks aninny!

"there is plenty of time to read ignorant dismissals of her. OK."

I think you've gotten that inside out. It takes almost no time to dismiss her as ignorant, as it only takes a moment for her worthlessness to make itself apparent. Spit spot, done.

"And the same applies, I guess, to Dewey, Marcuse, Huxley, even Karl Popper?"

Not quite. Although Dewey, Huxley & Popper are false, and yes I have read much of what they wrote, their errors are more along the lines of 'division by zero', or 'forgot to carry the ten', or 'adding a null' types of errors. They're still wrong, but they've had a real impact within the structure of the culture, and for those who just skimmed their work and accepted their conclusions, you need to be able to show where those errors are, and to do that, you've got to read them first.

Sontag, on the other hand, is 'Discovered! Secrets of perpetual motion! Yours free with you paid lifetime membership plan!' level of wrong, and can be safely brushed aside as the soon to be forgotten sopha-pop silliness she is.

Marcuse is somewhere between the two groups. I've read very little of his, and wish I'd read less.

7/22/2014 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Hey Stu!

7/22/2014 11:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

With the correct cosmic principles -- even if implicitly held or mythically expressed -- one can dismiss so much a priori nonsense!

Likewise, with the wrong principles, one accepts so much error and craziness.

7/22/2014 11:42:00 AM  

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