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Nelson Mandela & Hannah Arendt on Violence

“Having said this, I must deal immediately and at some length with the question of violence.” —Nelson Mandela  “Sometimes ‘violence is the only way of ensuring a hearing for moderation.’”             —Hannah Arendt citing Conor Cruise O’Brien, On Violence Nelson Mandela gave one of the great speeches of 20th century at his trial before the…Read more Nelson Mandela & Hannah Arendt on Violence Posted on 6 December 2013 | 12:12 pm

Reflections on an Inaugural Address

I watched President Obama’s second Inaugural Address with my seven-year-old daughter. She had just completed a letter to the President—something she had been composing all week. She was glued to the TV. I found myself tearing up at times, as I do and should do at all such events. “The Star Spangled Banner” by Beyonce…Read more Reflections on an Inaugural Address Posted on 22 January 2013 | 11:31 am

Mo Yan Wins the Prize

I haven’t read Mo Yan’s books, but congratulations to him for the Nobel Prize. That said, his supporters have a funny way of explaining why he won. In the WSJ, I read this: Chad Post, director of University of Rochester’s Open Letter Books, a press that specializes in literature in translation, said he saw Mo…Read more Mo Yan Wins the Prize Posted on 11 October 2012 | 12:48 pm

Playafied: From Ritual to Ceremony

Nikita Nelin concludes his report of the Burning Man Festival in Nevada, 8/15/12-9/5/12. You can read his first post here, and his second post here. Decompression: Before my hands heal I should sit down and find a way to wrap this up. I have been out of the desert (Black Rock City) for over a week…Read more Playafied: From Ritual to Ceremony Posted on 25 September 2012 | 4:10 pm