Showing posts from January, 2013


My laptop used to freeze up when I played videos on it, and has overheated and shut down sporadically throughout its too-short two-year life. It doesn't do either of those things much anymore, and realizing this has from time to time elicited in me a pang of hope that perhaps it has resolved these difficulties on its own without needing me to spend money I don't have to fix it. Similarly, when my car leaks oil less rapidly, squeaks less obnoxiously one week than the week before I have to talk myself out of believing it has recovered from its injuries of its own accord. Machines simply don't heal, can't heal, in spite of how convenient it would be for us if they could. Healing requires life, organic cells, breath, a revelation which has got me thinking deeper thoughts than I'm used to. What is this peculiar business of healing?

If technology could heal, computer doctors would do a brisk business.
I am daily marveled by how much of the human experience we take for gra…

Letter from Birmingham Jail

Few names evoke the awe and reverence we associate with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s. His is a legacy of progress, justice and social change, rivaled in reputation perhaps only by Mahatma Gandhi. In fact, Dr. King’s name has become synonymous with seeking out and exterminating unjust action and policy in our nation. In reading “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” one encounters over and over again this notion of justice as it seems to be the crux of King’s appeal to his white pastoral brethren. He and his fellow black citizens can no longer tolerate the actions against them as these actions violate a deeply ingrained sense of justice which King presumes to be shared between the two parties. In invoking this idea of justice, King appeals to an external moral authority, a sense of right and wrong untethered to political policy and independent of social context. It is inherently wrong for black citizens to be denied the same freedoms and privileges offered their white counterparts and t…

2012 in Film (According to Jordan)

So in my last blog post I made a list of the best TV shows of the year, and it was pretty good if I do say so myself (check out this list here). I consider myself to be such a TV savant I could speak with some authority with regard to the year's "best" shows (though this will always be a bit of an arbitrary enterprise given the subjective nature of art, which TV, at its best, is). When it comes to movies, on the other hand, I am not so confident. Don't get me wrong, I love movies, I just don't think I'm a great critic, so this list is more of my favorites than the objective best, though I tried to incorporate both factors. All that said, I've seen a lot of movies in the last year, so as we approach the Oscars I have some insights to share about them.

For the purposes of this list, I've included two different factors in my "grading" criteria: (1) how much I enjoyed watching a particular film, and (2) how "objectively" good I figure…