Monday, March 28, 2016

A Random Assortment

~ Excellent defense of religious liberty by one of the Little Sisters of the Poor, published in the NYT.

~ If you want to spend $20k on wedding china, may I recommend this?

~ Blue as a relatively modern phenomenon.

~ I like the idea of this store, although the term "precycle" is too much--it's called trying not to be wasteful!

~ This article is sympathetic to growth attentuation treatment (known as the Ashley Treatment) for persons with severe disabilities. The best, though undeveloped, critique mentioned is from Eva Kittay:

This is the sort of reasoning that frustrates Eva Kittay, a professor of philosophy at Stony Brook University who has written widely about the Ashley Treatment, disability ethics and her experience raising Sesha, a daughter now in her mid-40s, who has multiple physical and cognitive disabilities. Kittay remembers the anxiety she felt in Sesha’s infancy that life with her daughter would only get harder with the passing years. In fact, she says, they have achieved a rhythm in their lives, with Sesha dividing her time between the family home on the weekends and a residence and school for people with disabilities on weekdays. Kittay says that she hopes new parents considering growth-attenuation therapy will not rush into an intractable decision while still coming to terms with a child’s diagnosis of intellectual and developmental disability.
“You cannot halt things, keep them children,” Kittay told me. “You have to think about your family changing. You will have other needs. They will have other needs.”

~ Must read more Dillard:

In “An Expedition to the Pole,” she counterpoints the history of polar exploration with a visit to a New Age Catholic church where the Mass is performed to the accompaniment of a folksy singalong. “I would rather, I think, undergo the ­famous dark night of the soul,” she writes, “than encounter in church the dread hootenanny.” Who wouldn’t? And yet, as she braids these two threads, the hootenanny and the expedition to the pole, they begin to combine and mingle in astonishing ways — like firefly enzymes, perhaps. An extended metaphor emerges, a kinship between worship and polar exploration that grows increasingly hallucinatory, until by the essay’s end, literalizing her metaphor, Dillard delivers us into a comical fantasia: The congregants of the Catholic church are now sharing an ice floe with survivors of doomed expeditions, and Dillard’s pilgrim of a narrator is banging a tambourine, joining in on the jamboree as she goes drifting toward the Pole of Relative Inaccessibility for which she has been “searching in the mountains and along the seacoasts for years.” This is nonfiction? Yes. It’s also Dillard’s “Paradiso,” as close to heaven on earth as she ever gets.

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