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20

Aug

If you want to acknowledge James Foley’s death…

thepoliticalnotebook:

in a way that could offer some help to journalists in danger around the world — you can make a donation in his memory to the Committee to Protect Journalists so the organization can continue to work on their behalf.

16

Aug

Our heads hang in shame when we hear about rapes. Why can’t we prevent this? When a daughter steps out, parents demand to know where she’s going. But when a son returns home, does anyone dare ask where he is coming from? He might have been with the wrong people, doing wrong things. After all, a person raping is someone’s son. Why don’t parents apply the same yardstick of good behaviour for their sons as for their daughters?
Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, used his first Independence Day speech to call on parents to take responsibility for the actions of their sons, saying the country is shamed by sexual violence.  (via guardian)

Ten Things White People Can Do About Ferguson Besides Tweet | Dame Magazine

15

Aug

What Happens to #Ferguson Affects Ferguson:

THIS.

12

Aug


Wow.

#TheFutureIsNow

22

Jul

But to enjoy our bodies and the sensations they give us when they are working. We need almost nothing at all to find our happiness: only a few hours, a stretch of road, perhaps a friend, or even better a competitor. We hide in our spindled chests an unusually large and heaving heart—and in our heads a warbled tune, a song, as we move on down the road. Do you know the feeling I know? When your legs have disappeared, and there is only your heart, your lungs, and your eyes skimming disembodied through the air? We are Aristotle’s featherless bipeds, we runners. Though we have no wings, we have taught ourselves to fly.

13

Jul

Advice from 30 year old me to 20 year old me

One of the best pieces of truly inspirational writing I’ve ever come across. I love this essay so very much. It’s a 5-minute read - take your time, do it twice. This is the real deal.

One of my favorite excerpts:

7) People

People are the best and worst thing that will happen to you. Some will help you go further, faster. Others will pull you down to their level and help you lose. Most are OK. Many are average. Some are excellent.

A few people will change your life forever. Find them.

You don’t need a lot of friends or people around you. You need amazing people who do for you as you do for them.

It’s simple really, a lot of average friends will leave you feeling alone when you need to feel surrounded by people who care.

Read the full thing here.

11

Jul

Thanks Michael Powell

One of the best, with a gem of a goodbye column: Blink and It’s Gone.

When I returned to New York in 2001 as a writer for The Washington Post, I was told of a miracle. Take a look at Williamsburg — gentrification saved that joint.

I shook my head.

That place was “saved” long before the tattooed many and their hedge fund successors washed ashore. Contentious, cacophonous, Italian, Puerto Rican, Polish and Jewish homeowners and tenants organized and stood their ground and saved Williamsburg.

#GoodWriting

04

Jul

Why Is Zambia So Poor?

One of my favorite pieces of op-ed journalism on the developing world.

25

Jun

The media’s moral center: How John Oliver became the sheriff of cable news’ wild west - Salon.com

John Oliver: America’s unlikely British hero.

20

Jun

humansofnewyork:

"They came to America shortly after I was born. At first, my dad worked construction and my mom did cleaning jobs. Now he owns a newsstand, and she owns a boutique. They are my idols."

#HONY is the best.

humansofnewyork:

"They came to America shortly after I was born. At first, my dad worked construction and my mom did cleaning jobs. Now he owns a newsstand, and she owns a boutique. They are my idols."

#HONY is the best.

Happy Friday

18

Jun

John Oliver slide tackles FIFA in this excellent segment from last week.

17

Jun

The DOs and DO NOTs of running your first marathon - The Oatmeal

Spot on.

15

Jun

One of my favorite blogs - The Logic of Long Distance - writes about running through the lens of philosophy. I’m surprised there aren’t more attempts at such an effort.

His, however, is rarely anything but spot on. And as my own running habits change, as my life bends and bubbles and warps, I find much of note in his latest entry. It’s below, in full. Enjoy.

On Un-Becoming a Runner

http://www.logicoflongdistance.com/2014/06/on-un-becoming-runner.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+logicoflongdistance+(The+Logic+of+Long+Distance+-+Connecting+Running+and+Philosophy+)&m=1

Posted: 14 Jun 2014 09:37 PM PDT

Over the last few months, I have become less and less a runner. None of this was an act of will or a decision. Things have conspired — family, body, job. I know this is true because when I go for a run now there is an absence of fluidity. The identity is not natural; it’s artificial.

The causes of this change are not so relevant, and understanding them would bring little understanding to the fact of change itself. This is the thing about change: in the raw core of its newness its origins can’t be traced. Things do come into this world out of nothing, putting the lie to the the logic of causality each blooming morning. The philosopher decrees: ex nihilo fit nihil. And yet — each morning novelty covers the grass of the world like fresh dew.

Some changes, of course, run deeper than others, and we use the language of identity to talk about those deep changes. We say: I am this, as if the words am, is are, be were incantations that take a moment in time and lock it up in a case. John Dewey, following folks like Nietzsche, Hume, and Heraclitus, took the metaphysical view that what is most fundamental about the world is in fact its precariousness and fragility. The Real falls apart. This is what is most natural and basic in the world. What takes effort and thought and coordinated intelligence is the holding of this precariousness together, through rhythm and harmony when it is working well, through strain and routine when we have to. Identity, being real, is no different.

A fully functioning identity in a precarious world is not an essence of the Aristotelian sort. It is not held together the way a mathematical equation or analytic proposition is constructed. What we talk about as identity is held together the way in which all things in a changing world hold together: through the rhythms and flows of life, the harmonies that are constructed through action, and the stresses and strains that are the mark of more difficult effort.

So, to say now that I am less and less a runner, is to say that the rhythms and harmonies and even stresses and strains that held this identity together are unraveling. It takes much searching and many false starts to find the beat. In part this is because every rhythm needs to be rewritten in order to remain vital. Identities can die through staleness — unlinked from vital forces, harmonies become mere repetitions.

Since this is a running blog, it’s sort of odd to blog about un-becoming a runner, but really I think this happens to all runners at various times in their lives. It already happened to me once in my mid-20s. When I was in the full blush of my running identity, I looked back on that time that was lost to running and couldn’t recognize that person. Who could get up every day, for days on end, and not go for a run? What did I do to keep myself sane? It was literally hard to imagine myself.

But now, just months into my un-becoming, I look back on the runner that I was and I cannot imagine the amount of energy that I poured into my training, how deeply I depended on the run or two a day, the races I anticipated, the feelings of strength and power, the honed and sharpened body. Who was that person? I see him now, in the bodies of others, in the lean streaks floating like animals around the track. He is not me.

Is it to the good? It’s hard to say. It’s good like the summer is good: the end of one season and the beginning of another. As I write I find myself trying to avoid a nostalgic tone and find a medium between two false extremes. The one extreme would say that identifying as a runner is a pretty trivial identification, and it’s better to find deeper identification in deeper streams: fatherhood, career, etc. The other extreme treats dis-identification as a runner as a betrayal. As if I were born to be a runner, and as if losing this identity is a failure to follow out a script that has already been written.

I’ve believed both of those extremes, sometimes simultaneously. To identify as a runner means to happen more often than not on the idea that you were truly born to run, to feel like it is your destiny. And it also means that you have doubted whether all that time spent headed in asphalt circles amounted to much more than selfishness.

Neither of these thoughts capture what has happened with me. This change came sideways, not through the extremes. It strikes me that this is what happens most often. We rarely win an argument with ourselves about what we should be. Instead, we just change the subject. What was important, shimmering, and vital now seems ordinary. What was unseen, gray, and banal is now full of color, wild, and beckoning.

To live is to change; the logic of life is not a logic of identity.

http://www.logicoflongdistance.com/2014/06/on-un-becoming-runner.html