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Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

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Loser philosophy

“The attraction of [Friedrich] Nietzsche to socially maladjusted young men is obvious, but it isn’t exactly simple. It is built from several interlocking pieces. Nietzsche mocks convention and propriety (and mocks difficult writers you’d prefer not to bother with anyway). He’s funny and (deceptively) easy to read, especially compared to his antecedents in German philosophy, who are also his flabby and lumbering targets: Schopenhauer, Hegel, and, especially, Kant.

“If your social world fails to appreciate your singularity and tells you that you’re a loser, reading Nietzsche can steel you in your secret conviction that, no, I’m a genius, or at least very special, and everyone else is the loser. Like you, Nietzsche was misunderstood in his day, ignored or derided by other scholars. Like you, Nietzsche seems to find everything around him lame, either stodgy and moralistic or sick with democratic vulgarity. …

“And crucially, if you’re a horny and poetic young man whose dream girl is ever present before your eyes but just out of reach, Nietzsche frames his project of resistance and overcoming as not just romantic but erotic.”

Matt Feeney, writing on “Angry Nerds” on Jan. 14 at Slate

Where does it end?

“Now that I can actually write again, imagine my great relief in knowing that the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council has absolutely no control over what I’m allowed to write. The CBSC — which really ought to stand for the Completely Bumbling Song Censors — is the self-regulatory body of the Canadian broadcasting industry behind the asinine decision to ban the Dire Straits’ song ‘Money for Nothing’ from the airwaves because its lyrics contain the word ‘faggot.’

“The group’s decision stems from a complaint by a single, anonymous woman in Newfoundland. … This one individual, having heard the 26-year-old, award-winning song on OZ FM, was able to stop every radio station in Canada from playing the tune thanks to the CBSC’s frighteningly inadequate review of complaints. …

“Where does all this banning end? Maybe I, as a heavy-set redhead with a Scottish cultural heritage, should call on the CBSC to ban the Austin Powers movies because of Fat Bastard, Dr. Evil’s morbidly obese henchman. I just may, if I can ever stop laughing long enough thinking about him in his little sumo outfit.”

— Gordon Clark, writing on “If we can’t hear the word ‘faggot,’ then they’d better ban Fat Bastard,” on Jan. 16 at the Province blog Gordzilla in the City

‘A-Z in the House’

“Anyone remember solemnity anymore? I’m not sure we do.

“Watching last night’s memorial for those gunned down in Arizona I couldn’t help but feel that the nationally televised ‘memorial’ had little to do with the victims of last week’s tragic shooting. All the news leading up to the event was about whether President Barack Obama could deliver a stirring speech (which he did.) The news itself made the event about Obama, politicizing it before it even began.

“And then the actual memorial started with a politically correct blessing from Native American Carlos Gonzalez who received a loud cheer for saying he was Mexican on his mother’s side. Yay Mexico? What’s that about? But I think it was his big shout out to the University of Arizona that nearly brought the house down that made me roll my eyes for the first time. Shout outs? Really? And that was only the beginning.

“Fellow blogger Weasel Zippers asked, ‘Is This a Memorial Service for Six People Senselessly Gunned Down or a Rock Concert? I don’t get it, why are people hooting and hollering at a memorial service?’ … Maybe it was ridiculous to believe that a nationally televised event could be something other than a nationally televised event.”

Matthew Archbold, writing on “Ick Factor at Memorial Rally?” on Jan. 13 at his National Catholic Register blog

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