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Apropos of nothing, or just because it is political in nature and you have brought it up before, on one of the weekend news shows I watch (probably CBS Sunday Morning) there was a story about current college students not wanting to hear anything that upsets them. The University of Chicago sent all of their students a letter stating that there were no "safe spaces", nor would they be concerning themselves with "trigger warnings". I laughed and thought, good for them.

And predictably there was much outrage against the U of Chicago.

I first encountered the term "safe space" in some pre-internet computer forum. There was a group for Catholics. A woman arrived and said she hoped that this would be a safe space for discussing the Catholic teaching on contraception. Then she talked about how much she disagreed with it. Thinking that "safe space" meant "place for peaceful discussion," and that here was an opportunity for understanding across ideological lines, I politely stated what I considered to be some reasonable arguments for it. She flipped out. "I THOUGHT THIS WAS A SAFE SPACE!!!"

So I've known for a long time what that was all about.

That definition of safe space is staying home and talking about the issue with your dog.

:-) That's brilliant.

I read the Deneen book back before Christmas and plan to read it again more slowly, pen in hand. It's very good.

There have been complaints that the book doesn't offer any specific alternatives as to what his vision of a post-liberal society might look like, but Deneen does point in the direction of a few things, and my guess is that such alternatives will be discussed in future writings of his. The current book is predominantly diagnostic.

RAIJ: I had a copy of 'Gift of Tears' back when it came out in the late 80's and found it a mixed bag. Some tracks I really liked and others were just a little too strange. Haven't heard any of the more recent stuff though, so will have to give it a listen, and revisit Gift... as well.

The new Hammock album is very good, btw. All quite ambient with keyboards, strings, and a choir, and the occasional electric guitar. They did it in memorium of one of the members' nephews, who died of cancer at age 20. It carries a note of sadness, obviously, but it's in no way morbid or depressing.

The complaint that he doesn't offer an alternative seems weird. I mean, asking for a solution is ok, but to complain about one not being on offer is odd. Among other things, what makes anyone think that this problem is fixable?

Fixable by deliberate act of socio-political engineering, I mean.

Exactly. But there is a certain type of person who thinks a critique is invalid if the critic doesn't also have what he deems a viable alternative. Which is like expecting a doctor to have a full treatment plan in place immediately upon diagnosing you.

"Hey, the foundation of your house is cracked in several places."

"Really? How should I fix it?"

"I don't know."

"Then shut up."

Love the movie Cluny Brown. It's based on the very first book I ever bought, in a used-bookstore when I was around 12 or 13; still have it sitting on my bookshelf.

Beautiful photo of that tree.

What a great story, Marianne.

I enjoyed this post, Maclin. I love the music and video and your picture.


Thanks. Glad y'all liked them (picture and post). I was out for a walk just now (at home) with this picture in mind and noticed just how rare it is in this immediate area to see a big full tree like that one with no leaves at all.

I didn't know Cluny Brown was a novel, Marianne. But it's well-known enough to have a Wikipedia entry.


Something I rather appreciated in New Zealand was a sign at a beauty spot saying something like "These rocks are dangerous. YOU are responsible for your safety and that of your family." I couldn't help thinking that in the UK they would have put up a big fence with bright yellow markings.

Here, too. In the UK, if someone did ignore the warnings and get injured or killed, would there be a lawsuit in the works the next day? There would be here.

I continue to be amazed by how casually New Zealander's treat the prospect of danger and have worried every time my grandchildren have gone on a school trip because of that. There are always reports of kids being seriously hurt or lost or left behind on such trips.

This article thinks "there must be something in the water":

Kiwis – when they don't have mouthguards in and numbers on their backs – are a largely placid, agreeable bunch. And yet, they seem strangely prone to throwing themselves off perfectly good bridges; to diving into frothing, boiling rapids in little rubber boats; to climbing things that clearly don't want to be climbed.

There are acres upon acres, miles upon miles of rugged natural beauty in New Zealand – something Kiwis seem to take as a challenge. They look around at the incredible scenery, the brooding, hobbit-strewn mountains, the rushing, icy rivers, the majestic glaciers, and think: What can I endanger myself with today, bro?

It's all a little strange, but, for the adrenalin-chasing traveller, very handy. If you want to endanger your life in any way, shape or form in the name of fun, you can pretty much guarantee you'll be able to do it in New Zealand.

Totally not my image of New Zealanders.

You can't sue anyone for injuries in New Zealand. Instead there's the ACC scheme:

Accident Compensation (ACC) – No Lawsuits Allowed. In New Zealand you cannot sue someone for causing you injury.

If you’re injured in New Zealand, regardless of cause or blame, the ACC scheme entitles you to:
--Free medical care.
--Payment of a proportion of your salary – up to 80 percent – while you recover.
--Payment of lump-sum compensation, if appropriate.

The ACC scheme replaces the right to sue for damages. The ACC scheme is funded by a small tax paid by employees, employers and self-employed people on earnings.

Can't help thinking that contributes something to what I see to be a casual attitude toward dangerous situations.

I posted a comment late last night and saw it wasn't here this morning. So posted it again a few minutes ago, still not showing. Spam filter?

Yep. I just un-spammed the most recent one of the two. They appear to be the same.

Interesting--I can see how that would provide the wrong sort of incentive. Maybe not so casual for the potentially injured, but for those who might be found at fault, very much.

I also see this fascinating comment from Smith611:

"1 Program you'r planting of crops to coincide whenever you can log onto your farm to reap them."

I have a CD from the Revolutionary Army in my car. You know how the CD player in a car will play over and over. I can forget about the Revolutionary Army one - because parts of it are quiet or just sounds. Then I suddenly hear it and I think, O gosh, is my CAR making that noise?

Its not a welcome thought

That's funny, because I was listening to Beauty Will Save the World a little earlier, and thinking "This is definitely not something to listen to in the car." After one casual and one semi-attentive hearing, I think it's great btw.

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