Further proof that eating puddin' is a gateway to eating brains.
I was rushing to get ready this morning because I'd slept an hour later than I meant to when I got an e-mail saying class was cancelled to-day. I had a whole schedule laid out for to-day based around being in the part of town where my school is, now I'm reworking everything in my head, feeling rather disappointed I don't have an excuse to go to El Cajon. Maybe I'll go anyway, though I probably ought to save the gasoline, especially after reading "The Way to Wealth" by Benjamin Franklin last night for school to-day.
I also read "Resistance to Civil Government" by Henry David Thoreau and "A Model of Christian Charity" by John Winthrop, a Puritan on his way over from England in 1630 when he delivered this sermon which had a focus on a dichotomy between grace and nature in human beings that reminded me of Tree of Life. Which confirms to me there is something Puritanical about that movie, but of course Winthrop's work is better reasoned and more cohesive. I generally like to think that, had I been alive at the time, I would've sided in England against the Puritans, but as stiff necked as they were, there is something vaguely punk about them. The hard-line reverence for mutual respect and love for all men and women in Winthrop's work is something I find deeply admirable, though likely fundamentally present in the writings of the religious bureaucracy Winthrop and his comrades were protesting. It's a shame the way the story of the Puritans played out in America bore so little resemblance to the ideals expressed by Winthrop.
In Neil Gaiman's blog to-day he talks about, and posts a statement from, an actress friend of his, Anna Gurji, who appeared in the now infamous Innocence of Muslims film that terrorists used as an excuse to assault the U.S. embassy in Libya and murder the ambassador along with three other Americans. I read Gaiman's blog entry with particular interest because it reminded me strongly of a conversation I'd had with my family a few days earlier about how much responsibility the filmmakers should feel for the violence that occurred. My sister said she wouldn't feel responsible for the violence, nor would she blame her agent or anyone else who was deceived by the producer, who re-edited the film from a low budget, sci-fi adventure film into anti-Islamic propaganda without the knowledge or consent of those, like Anna Gurji, who participated in the making of the film. I would carry it further and say that although I think "Sam Bacile" is an "Im Bacile" as Judith Flanders said on Twitter, I don't draw cause and effect connexions between words in the media, public statements, and so forth to acts of violence. To me, all the responsibility of violence belongs to the perpetrators themselves. Nor do I think media ought to modify content in a vain effort to prevent violent backlash. In reality, there are a million items that have been produced in the media that mad men could use as an excuse for violence.
Rather than taking actions based on the equation between publication and violence the terrorists would have us take as valid, I would disregard the logic entirely. I still believe that the solution is a focus that assumes a basic value in all human life. I think the number of people willing to take a YouTube video as a valid excuse for violence would be very small if ignorance and poverty didn't exert such influence. But I guess I feel like I said all this already back during the whole Danish cartoon controversy.