Update on Ferguson

A police officer was wounded in the arm in Ferguson tonight. The wound seems to be light and there isn’t any threat to the police’s life.

There has been some pretty serious protesting in Ferguson in the past two days. It was provoked by the video of an apology by the chief of police in Ferguson. I’ve been sick, so not on top of the developments as much as usual but I listened to part of the apology, felt frustrated by the mood of “yes, but” that dominated that video, and turned it off.

For now, nobody knows who wounded the Ferguson police or why.

Product Placement

The reason I bought Harper’s magazine today was that its cover promised an article on the silencing of women.

The article, however, disappointed even more than I expected. After I tore my way through the thicket of endless passive voice phrases, I discovered the real culprit of the silencing of women: Freud.

I understand that print journalists are struggling but, somehow, I’m still bemused when I see such naked product placement. You have to agree, though, that it’s well-done. Women leave the article with the warm, comforting feeling that they have been delivered from sexist servitude by pharmaceutical companies and that pill-guzzling is their great feminist contribution.

Responsibility to Help

An article in Harper’s says that “Westerners bear a moral responsibility to help less well-off people living in other countries.” This sounds very nice but some crucial questions arise immediately. Help them to do what? What are the acceptable formats of the help and who should determine them? Should any strings to be attached? And, not the least important, once we have chosen to make morality part of the equation, whose morality are we relying on.

The point of the article is to show that the attempts to promote respect for human rights internationally have failed. That is not surprising given the vagueness of the language used to discuss the issue.