Jeneral finds of the week: 2015-06-29

Obama and Amazing Grace, what’s keeping America (and in a growing way Canada) so bitterly divided on so many fronts, the US Supreme Court ruling that love is love, and figure skating as an X Game event? These are my Jeneral Finds of the week (or rather, month): 2015-06-29

  • Please, make the time and effort to watch the entirety of President Obama’s eulogy of Rev. Clementa Pinckney, one of the 9 fatal victims of the massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina 8 days earlier on June 17, 2015. It is tempting to skip straight to the end when Obama sings a portion of “Amazing Grace”. But have patience, it is even more moving and significant when you have the full weight of Obama’s speech leading up to it. He not only celebrates and honours the lives lost, he urges a rallying cry to continue the work to fight against the prejudices and racism both overt and subtle. There’s a brilliant cadence in his delivery, and marks him as one of this generation’s noted orators.  
    (here’s a great discussion on why Obama’s use of grace as a central theme is so powerful)
  • Two opinion pieces that emerged after this tragedy serves up thought-provoking ideas on the root causes for such continued and visceral divisions in contemporary American society. Anti-intellectualism is Killing America from David Niose argues that “[s]ocial dysfunction can be traced to the abandonment of reason”. A direct response from Ravi Chandra posits that No, Self-Centeredness is Killing America: A lack of empathy is at the root of our ills. I think the truth lies in the combination of the two.
  • Congratulations USA on your Supreme Court ruling that the US Constitution to guarantee same-sex marriages as a right! The timing could not have been any more perfect, to coincide with Gay Pride celebrations all over, including here in Toronto. We’re glad you’ve seen the light!
  • On a lighter note, I just heard today about a new figure skating competition form that is exclusively based on the jumps, and will take on more of an X-Games vibe. Meet “Freezer Aerials“! (that’s a terrible name though, it should find a new moniker). The purist in me scoffs at the idea, but I realize skating needs to evolve for the sport to survive and attract an audience outside of the ardent fan. I just hope they don’t get to the point where skaters have their own theme songs they enter the arena in.

~Jen

<–previous find of the week