Bedeutung Blog

Category Archives: comment/analysis

‘First they called me a joker, now I am a dangerous thinker’ // Slavoj Zizek talks to The Times of India

Slavoj Zizek is an unusual philosopher with unfashionably inflexible left-wing views. He also loves Hollywood classics. The 59-year-old academic has written more than 30 books on subjects as diverse as Alfred Hitchcock, Lenin and 9/11. A self-proclaimed Leninist, the Slovenian thinker believes that “communism will triumph finally”. On his first visit to India this week, [...]
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In the next decade, I hope to become more radical

by Costas Douzinas from The Guardian How different things looked in 1900 and 2000. The end of the 19th century was drowned in fin de siècle gloom. The end of the 20th century was, on the contrary, exuberant. President Bush Sr triumphantly announced in 1991 that a “new world order” was coming into view in which “the [...]
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Evangelicalism and the Contemporary Intellectual

A panel discussion with Malcolm Gladwell, Christine Smallwood, and James Wood, moderated by Caleb Crain. Watch here.
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Yes, It Was Torture, and Illegal

Editorial from The New York Times Bush administration officials came up with all kinds of ridiculously offensive rationalizations for torturing prisoners. It’s not torture if you don’t mean it to be. It’s not torture if you don’t nearly kill the victim. It’s not torture if the president says it’s not torture. It was deeply distressing to watch the [...]
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Skepticism via YouTube

by Tim Farley from CSI In the summer of 2008, Georgians Matthew Whitton and Rick Dyer claimed to have found a Bigfoot carcass. These claims were initially made via a number of YouTube videos that garnered significant attention in the cryptid community. In August 2008, they partnered with well-known cryptozoology personality Tom Biscardi for a national press [...]
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Night

by Tony Judt from The New York Review of Books I suffer from a motor neuron disorder, in my case a variant of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS): Lou Gehrig’s disease. Motor neuron disorders are far from rare: Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and a variety of lesser diseases all come under that heading. What is distinctive about ALS—the [...]
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The Soviet Victory That Never Was

by Nikolas K. Gvosdev from Foreign Affairs Could the Soviet Union have won its war in Afghanistan? Today, the victory of the anti-Soviet mujahideen seems preordained as part of the West’s ultimate triumph in the Cold War. To suggest that an alternative outcome was possible — and that the United States has something to learn from the [...]
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Missing the Point

by Colm Tóibín from The London Review of Books From an early age, I have missed the point of things. I noticed this first when the entire class at school seemed to understand that Animal Farm was about something other than animals. I alone sat there believing otherwise. I simply couldn’t see who or what the book [...]
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Even Bigger Than Too Big to Fail

Editorial from The New York Times Asserting that it “is among the strongest banks in the industry,” Citigroup announced on Monday that it would soon repay $20 billion of federal bailout money. This from a bank that has been in the red for most of the past two years, that is expected to limp through 2010 [...]
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The Noughties: a fond(ish) farewell

by Toby Young from the Telegraph I was in a French ski resort on January 1 2000 and the first thing I thought about, when the fog of the previous night began to clear, was the Millennium Bug. Deputy US Defence Secretary John Hamre had predicted it would be ‘the electronic equivalent of the El Niño’. Just how [...]
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Memo to Danes: Even You Cannot Control This Summit

by Naomi Klein from The Nation On Saturday night, after a week of living off of conference center snack bars, a group of us were invited to a delicious home-cooked meal with a real live Danish family. After spending the evening gawking at their stylish furnishings, a few of us had a question: Why are Danes so [...]
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Buy Local, Act Evil

By Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow from Slate As the owner of several energy-efficient light bulbs and a recycled umbrella, I’m familiar with the critiques of “ethical consumption.” In some cases, it’s not clear that ostensibly green products are better for the environment. There’s also the risk that these lifestyle choices will make us complacent, sapping the drive to call [...]
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Too big to burn: AIG plays God in a man-made firestorm

By McKenzie Funk from Harper’s The first light we ran was at Main Street and Jamboree Road, near the Hyatt, and we ran it mostly because we could. Chief Sam flicked on his siren, and eighteen lanes of traffic froze in place. We nudged into the intersection. We accelerated. We swerved. We accelerated again. Our red Ford [...]
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Turner Prize: Art is beautiful again

by Alastair Sooke from Telegraph Do you remember the days when the Turner Prize ignited a firestorm of controversy? When the fag butts, empty vodka bottles and used condoms that surrounded Tracey Emin’s notoriously unmade bed had the nation up in arms – even though it didn’t win? Well, not any more. This week, the artist Richard Wright [...]
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A Cartoon

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Reckoning with Torture: Memos and Testimonies from the "War on Terror"

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More Evidence of an Emerging Military Dictatorship in Iran

by Scott Horton from Harper’s New York Times editor Bill Keller speculated that the Green Revolution in Iran would cement the position of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Others saw another confrontation in which the clerical party had triumphed over reformers. Both of these analyses now seem wide of the mark. The latest developments in Iran provide more evidence [...]
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Bedeutung interviews Noam Chomsky

by Alexandros Stavrakas from Bedeutung Magazine In the context of Bedeutung’s fourth and forthcoming issue, titled Intellectuals & Masses, editor Alex Stavrakas interviewed Noam Chomsky. The well-known linguist and vocal critic of capitalism speaks about American politics and Obama, the financial crisis, religious faith, the US’s role as a hegemonic power and, even, the move from [...]
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How to Save Journalism

by John Nichols & Robert W. McChesney from The Nation We will give you the good news first: the politicians and regulators who have it in their power to do something about the decline of American journalism are finally paying attention. Already this year, House and Senate hearings have investigated the crisis. And even as Congress focuses this [...]
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Google and the new digital future

by Robert Darnton from The New York Review of Books November 9 is one of those strange dates haunted by history. On November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall fell, signaling the collapse of the Soviet empire. The Nazis organized Kristallnacht on November 9, 1938, beginning their all-out campaign against Jews. On November 9, 1923, Hitler’s Beer Hall [...]
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