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Surprising Insights on Ukraine in the New York Times

The news coverage of international conflicts can be very disappointing from a mimetic perspective. When conflicts escalate into violence as in Syria or the Ukraine, news outlets rush to cover the hostilities. They give us the facts on the ground, or rumors thereof, accompanied by an almost mindless report of what each side is saying by way of self-justification. However, if you listen to their rhetoric with ...

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NBC’s Parenthood: When the Winning Strategy is Losing

The writers of Parenthood, the popular NBC family drama, use an interesting device to dramatize conflict. When two characters have a difference of opinion their exchange begins in measured, even tones. One person talks, while the other listens. Then the second person talks, while the first one listens. But as their disagreement heats up, the exchange gets faster and faster until no one is listening and both ...

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Good War, Bad War: One Tiger’s Opinion

Three days after the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the United  States Congress passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force giving the president the authority to “to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations ...

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Guns: Cause or Cure?

Adam and I did a series of four articles following the Newtown massacre in December. Our focus was on the culture of violence in which we live, breathe and have our being. We wrote that the logic of violence is woven through the fabric of our culture. ...

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God of Carnage: From the Schoolyard to the Killing Fields

What’s the connection between a suburban schoolyard brawl in which an eleven year old boy gets two teeth knocked out and the Darfur genocide? That’s the question raised by the play, God of Carnage, by Yasmina Reza. In its current excellent staging at AstonRep in Chicago, the intimate theater with a thirty seat capacity brings the audience right into the living room of the play where two polite, middle-class ...

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The Girl with the Dove Tattoo by Brian McLaren: A Review

Our project must be nothing less than to expose the monster that lurks within all our religions, ideologies, parties, and philosophies, and to drive the monster out of hiding and into light. -Sid (aka Siddhartha Guatama … aka the Buddha) in The Girl with the Dove Tattoo Brian McLaren's latest fictional ebook, The Girl with the Dove Tattoo, is a powerful account of human nature and the nature of God. This sh ...

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The Hunger Games: Part 2: The Desire for a Better World

He made you look desirable!  - Haymitch, The Hunger Games, 135   We must understand that desire itself is … directed toward an object desired by the model.   - René Girard, Violence and the Sacred, 146. The Hunger Games presents us with a post-apocalyptic world living with a fragile peace.  (For a summary of The Hunger Games, click here.) Violence is front and center with the annual ritual called The H ...

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Parenting Matters – No! I Want That Batman!!!

“Why are you fighting?” I asked as I ran into their room. The Youngest replied, “He's not sharing!” The Oldest exclaimed, “I had it first!” “Why do you want it?” I asked the Youngest. “Because he has it!” Silly, isn’t it?  They just woke up and already were in a fight.  This time it was over the tiny Batman toy shown above.  I’ll be honest with you – I’ve seen a lot of toys in my 32 years, and this is one o ...

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