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Sunday, August 09, 2009

Sunday links! May include Saturday links at no additional charge.

* Last night we saw the very nice Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul exhibit at the Met (on advice of AskMetaFilter) and then saw Apatow's Funny People. What I appreciated most about the Met exhibit is the "West of What?" attitude implicit in the presentation of the history of the Silk Road; what I appreciated least about Funny People were the thirty minutes of excess footage Apatow refused to cut. But I laughed

* How violence against women still doesn't register in our national consciousness —a must-read op-ed from Bob Herbert. I can't help thinking of "The Screwfly Solution" by James Tiptree, Jr. / Alice Sheldon, in which a (literal) plague of misogyny goes largely unchallenged because it is couched in the language of patriarchal religion.

* It's not a new story, but North Korea's abduction of Japanese citizens and their subsequent staggeringly dishonest handling of the situation is truly stunning.

* "Three Good Reasons To Liquidate Our Empire And Ten Steps to Take to Do So." By Chalmers Johnson, via MeFi. The first of the ten steps is a nice example of the securitization rhetoric surrounding climate change, in which climate change is reframed as a national security issue and in the process depoliticized; today's New York Times approaches the issue in this way as well. The problem is that the struggle to protect the environment can't be depoliticized; in a finite world of limited resources there is no political question more basic than how we should distribute ecological costs. Securitization/depoliticization obscures the reality of the decision being made, to the benefit of the already privileged and the detriment of everybody else.

* More Mad Men teases from Salon and the New York Times.

* This Is the Only Level: a game.