Philipp Meyer’s The Son will be an interesting read for those interested in a guy’s novel. It’s a multigenerational novel about a young white boy who is kidnapped by Comanches and grows up to become a warrior and a cattleman in Texas during the 1880’s. It spans from the the boy’s young childhood to the childhoods of his great-great-grandchildren. This book was very ambitious, but Meyer succeeds.
Check it out.
Photo credit: Mark Neville for the NY Times
Lots of Korean adoptees are returning to live in Korea. The NY Times reports it here. Not only are they returning to their birth countries, but they’re actively campaigning against international adoption, arguing that many of the single mothers who give up their children don’t know what they’re doing and are victims to social stigma in Korea, AND that it doesn’t help kids who are forced to grow up with White parents who don’t understand what children of color go through in America.
Fascinating article here. To summarize, a writer learns of a psychologist named Arthur Aron who, 20 years ago, was able to make two complete strangers fall in love in a lab experiment. The experiment was simple–two heterosexual single people ask one another 36 questions, followed by four minutes of simply looking into one another’s eyes. You can see the list of questions here. The takeaway is that the questions foster trust, vulnerability, and action. The writer tries the experiment herself, and so far it looks like it’s working.
Photo credit: Brent Lewin for the New York Times
Interesting piece on Hong Kong’s pro-democracy tycoon Jimmy Lai. Most businesspeople are not activists, and vice-versa. Jimmy Lai started in poverty, co-founded Giordano (the clothing line which everyone who went to HK in the 80’s knows), and eventually became a media tycoon. As the article notes, it’s hard to be both a businessman and an activist. Lai actually stepped down as chairman of his media company in order to pursue his activism.
I’ve always wondered what Batman would look like without the mask. Maybe this is it.
It looks like it’s over. As predicted, the police caught up to the terrorists, and it looks like they’ve been killed.
This morning, David Brooks had an excellent Op-Ed on the teachable moment of Charlie Hebdo. Read it here: I am not Charlie Hebdo. In the Op-Ed, Brooks writes about how even though the world condemns the brutal murders of these cartoonists, America would not have opened its arms to welcome these cartoonists’ brand of humor. Instead, America would have castigated Charlie Hebdo as hate mongers, much the same way America castigates Bill Maher and Ann Coulter. On a college campus, Brooks writes, their publication would have been shut down.
cartoon credit: Magnus Shaw
As many of you know, at least two gunmen shot up the office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in France, shouting “Allahu Akbar,” which means “God is great” in Arabic. They shot and killed 12 people, including some of France’s most respected political cartoonists. The gunmen reportedly targeted the magazine and asked for the cartoonists by name. There’s an intense manhunt going on right now. Charlie Hebdo was known to have (rightly) criticized some craziness committed by some Muslims. This may have been revenge.
I first heard of William Deresiewicz after his excellent essay went viral (I blogged about it here), and then I heard about him again after Zim posted Steven Pinker’s also-excellent essay which attacked Deresiewicz’s ideas. I decided to give Excellent Sheep a read.
Last time the Northern Blvd McDonalds was in the news for kicking out old people who were loitering. This time, when an old Korean guy complained about slow service, an employee hit him with a broomstick. See the video above, or check the NY Times article here. He’s now suing for $10 million–which I think is ridiculous. Even if you’re 62, how can getting swat with a broomstick be worth $10 million in pain and suffering? Free Big Macs for life, maybe, but $10 million? I don’t think so.
Photo credit: Victor J. Blue for the NY Times
It’s hard to believe, but Officer Wenjian Liu
was the first Chinese American NYPD officer to die in the line of duty. There’s a great article about the cultural aspects of his funeral here: For Officer Liu’s Funeral, Blending Police Traditions With Chinese Customs
. I appreciated this:
Little in the rituals of a police funeral will be familiar to Officer Liu’s relatives. At a traditional Chinese funeral, mourners wail and sob throughout. Some fall prostrate on the ground. Many attendees pay their respects and leave, rather than staying for the full service. Eulogies are not usually given.