Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Two Topics: Baltimore and Anti-Semitism

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all convictions, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

...And what rough beast,
its hour come round at last,
slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?

W. B. Yeats, "The Second Coming"

Yes, I've used this poem before, as a comment on the election of 2012.  I'm using it again because it fits the topics better than anything else I could find. That juxtaposition is not accidental.


I wrote an essay about Baltimore. There were 3 or 4 drafts that took me several hours and, as I was getting ready to transcribe it, I read two others. They were different from mine and each other, and both were better. I'd be a poor academic if I didn't recognize quality and recommend it to others. 


I've written about antisemitism before, most recently in "In Loco Parentis." I was going to again, but once more found an essay better than my own.* This is especially well researched and written:

Sadly enough, even the best-intentioned academics think that one can fight hatred with facts, logic, reasoned argument, all the tools of the ideal (and fictional) faculty meeting. Wrong. You fight those who wish you harm by FIGHTING.

* Thanks to the Jewish Faculty Roundtable and Professor Birnboim of the University of Ottowa for posting it.