Jewish existentialism – Will To Exist http://willtoexist.com/ Thu, 06 Jan 2022 01:47:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://willtoexist.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-6-120x120.png Jewish existentialism – Will To Exist http://willtoexist.com/ 32 32 Norman Mailer cannot be canceled https://willtoexist.com/norman-mailer-cannot-be-canceled/ Thu, 06 Jan 2022 00:59:57 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/norman-mailer-cannot-be-canceled/ The satyr is a mythological figure known for his permanent erection and his unabashed pursuit of pleasure. In 1993, American illustrator Edward Sorel drew three heavyweights of literature in satyrs, to accompany an essay by James Atlas titled “Obscenity Laureates”: John Updike, Philip Roth and Gore Vidal. Icons of obscenity, they wrote novels in the […]]]>

The satyr is a mythological figure known for his permanent erection and his unabashed pursuit of pleasure. In 1993, American illustrator Edward Sorel drew three heavyweights of literature in satyrs, to accompany an essay by James Atlas titled “Obscenity Laureates”: John Updike, Philip Roth and Gore Vidal. Icons of obscenity, they wrote novels in the late ’60s that questioned propriety around sex, and are all highly voidable, by today’s standards.

But someone who more clearly embodied the figure of the satyr, and is in the process of being canceled, was Norman Mailer. According to an article by Michael Wolff in the Peg, plans to publish a collection of Mailer essays for the centenary of his birth next year have been scrapped by his publisher Random House. Wolff writes that a junior staff member was offended by an essay written by Mailer in the 1957 titled “The White Negro,” in which Mailer described the revolutionary potential of blacks in a slightly frightening way. But it’s unclear exactly why the Mailer book was canceled. In any case, you can always read the “The White Negro” on Contestation magazine.

The essay values ​​rebellion. It is about wanting “to separate from society, to exist without roots, to undertake this unexplored journey in the rebellious imperatives of oneself”. Mailer was repelled by anything bourgeois or conformist; he loved jazz, which, he writes, made “a knife-edge in culture.” The main character of “The White Negro” is the “hipster”, whose Mecca was Greenwich Village in New York, and who tended towards existentialism. Mailer was a hip philosopher, which constituted a “threesome»Composed of the bohemian, the young delinquent and the negro. The Hip was the marriage of black and white, but it was “the negro who brought the cultural dowry”.

James Baldwin called the essay “slumming,” but he also admitted that Mailer took Hip more seriously than Jack Kerouac’s cocky and condescending ensemble. Indeed, Mailer wrote that “the too civilized man can be existentialist only if he is chic, and quickly deserts him for the next chic”. But “to be a true existentialist… you have to be religious, you have to have a sense of ‘purpose’”. Black Americans had this goal because they were so marginalized in society; they lived fully because life was on the limit for them.

The essay is not particularly offensive. He relies on crude stereotypes about blacks to advance his arguments, but this is not Turner’s Diaries. If anything goes really cancel Mailer is not outrage but indifference. How many people under 40 still read his work today?

In his day, the satyr was never marginalized by the American cultural establishment. In fact, her career was made possible by the fact that postwar America opened the door to things she previously considered threatening. Mailer was a straight white male, and so the cancellation of his essay collection could be seen as another strike against an enduring hierarchy. But he was also Jewish, and when he was growing up, many of America’s top universities, like Harvard and Yale, had quotas that limited the number of Jews they accepted.

This is how Mailer became the Don Juan of the literary world: Alfred Kazin once described him as the “Rabbi of the fuck”. Norman Podhoretz said he was “extremely concerned about the issue of manly courage”. Mailer liked to fight with strangers and fight with fists. This fueled his fame. By 1960 he was firmly established as a public intellectual, but he wanted more drama, more violence. That year, he decided to run for mayor of New York. In November, at a party to celebrate his candidacy, he stabbed his wife Adele Morales and nearly killed her. Morales refused to press charges and Mailer was ultimately granted probation and a suspended sentence.

He is getting away with it not only legally but socially. Rather than canceling it, many of his contemporaries supported it. James Baldwin sees Mailer’s violence as a form of emancipation: “It’s like burning down the house to finally free yourself from it”. Lionel Trilling, one of America’s most eminent critics, saw it as a “Dostoevkian ploy”, a way for Mailer to “test the limits of evil in itself”. In 1969, Mailer decided to run for mayor of New York. He was encouraged to do so by his friend, feminist icon Gloria Steinem.

Mailer’s relationship with women is therefore not straightforward. Kate Millett tried to make it believe, in her book Sexual politics: she condemned him for misogyny. In response, Mailer wrote “The Prisoner of Sex” for Harper’s magazine, in March 1971. Her dispute with the burgeoning women’s liberation movement, he wrote, was her evasive attitude towards biology. Women, because of their reproductive capacities, were the “only link to the future” of men. But feminists have sought to extricate themselves from this reality. Women, he writes, “were a step, or a step, or a movement or a leap closer to the creation of existence.” Without women, men would be uprooted: what’s the point of living if you can’t pass on your genes?

Although Mailer slept with many women, he spoke out against contraception. Every kiss had meaning for him. Sex was an existential force rather than a recreational activity. And that partly explains his attraction: he scrutinized life with passionate intensity. It is insane, you think, reading some of his work. But you can’t stop reading. His seriousness can be invigorating.

This explains, I think, why Joan Didion – who was canonized as a feminist saint after her recent death – endorsed Mailer’s “The Prisoner of Sex”, writing that her point “seems quite right to me.” Didion herself wrote a critical essay in 1972 on feminism, arguing that the movement was becoming trivial and infantilizing: Novelist Joyce Carol Oates, who tweeted his irritation at the cancellation of Mailer’s new collection of essays, was also sympathetic to “The Prisoner of Sex,” writing that Mailer “is unabashedly in his passion for women, and one is led to believe all that ‘he says because he says it so well ”.

Shameless is the perfect word for Mailer. He was invited to participate in the Town Hall debate in April 1971, sponsored by New York University and the Theater for Ideas, on the theme of women’s liberation. The panel included Germaine Greer. He was his usual abrasive self, threatening at one point, in response to public taunts, to expose himself:

“If you want me to clown, I pull out my modest little Jewish cock and put it on the table.” You can all spit on it and laugh at it, then I’ll walk away and you’ll find it was just a dildo that I left there. I didn’t show you the real one.

He has exposed himself in his writings as well, which can be convincing or embarrassing. The two are inextricable: he was constantly in danger of embarrassment because he was so naked in his passions, ambitions and insecurities. He traveled the twentieth century like a proud satyr: hideous, provocative, funny and insightful, and ever true to himself.

This might make him a good choice for our time, where the explicit is tolerated, even though the explicit we tolerate is often surrounded by paradoxes. We have the increasingly Byzantine etiquette of online dating, but we can also watch anal gangbangs with just a few clicks. Some contemporary figures are canceled because they openly believe in biological sex, while some historical figures who have promoted sex with children are celebrated.

Obscenity has been treated less hypocritically and more transparently in the past. We still have taboos; but what they are now is less and less clear. It seems Mailer isn’t blamed for almost killing his wife, but for writing an essay on black people in an overly enthusiastic manner.

He would probably be delighted. The hubbub with Random House is likely to get more people to read and read Mailer’s work; and he would rather be sharply castigated than relegated to obscurity. This attempt to bury him may undermine a more effective form of cancellation: cultural amnesia.



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Elegant nostalgia does some tricks with Ennui https://willtoexist.com/elegant-nostalgia-does-some-tricks-with-ennui/ Fri, 03 Dec 2021 04:00:00 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/elegant-nostalgia-does-some-tricks-with-ennui/ After 25 years and nine films, we know what to expect from a Wes Anderson movie. It’s the cinematic equivalent of that county fair stall selling handcrafted elf figurines. It won’t blow you away with the tech or the special effects or even the dramatic gestures, but you can’t help but marvel at the finesse […]]]>

After 25 years and nine films, we know what to expect from a Wes Anderson movie. It’s the cinematic equivalent of that county fair stall selling handcrafted elf figurines. It won’t blow you away with the tech or the special effects or even the dramatic gestures, but you can’t help but marvel at the finesse of the craftsmanship and the obvious care that has gone into every element of the production. , all the time feeling a strange mixture of awe, melancholy and fantasy at the fact that so much love has been devoted to something so seemingly meaningless and ultimately unimportant.

And yet, this meticulous attention to creating a small work of beauty is perhaps precisely what is needed to endow it with the ineffable but indispensable quality that we call ‘meaning’.

Frank existentialism which has been at the heart of Wes Anderson’s film project since The Royal Tenenbaums has never been more obvious than in Anderson’s last feature film, The French Dispatch. Rightly set in France, the country that most contributed to the birth of existentialism not only as a philosophical movement but as a true way of being, the film includes a series of vignettes linked to a fictitious publication. of the twentieth century known as The French dispatch, a New Yorker-type of magazine published as a Sunday supplement to a fictional Kansas newspaper called the Evening sun in Kansas. This eclectic supplement, which covers art, politics, and food, among other topics, was brought to France from Liberty, Kansas, by Arthur Howitzer Jr. (Bill Murray), where it is headquartered in the fictional French town fortunately named d’Ennui-sur-Blasé, which roughly translates to “World-Wearness on the So What? Howitzer assembled a team of Marvel superhero-level journalists and persuaded them all to take “the long journey from Liberty to Boredom” and come with him to France to work on his prestige pet project.

The film shows us what life was like to work for the Mail to Ennui through a series of episodes, starting with cycling journalist Herbsaint Sazerac (Owen Wilson), strangely happy to live in a town called Ennui, taking us on a tour of the stereotypically quaint and picturesque French town located on the banks of the river Jaded . “Like any living city,” Sazerac tells us in his humorous and puzzled manner, “Boredom sustains a menagerie of vermin and scavengers.” He deposits his copy with the Mild-mannered Howitzer, who would rather Sazerac add more flowers and fewer prostitutes to his story, but whatever – the stories have to be printed. The Shipping Show must go on.

All episodes of The French dispatch attract attention. A few, like the vignette on a 1968 style student rebellion featuring Timothée Chalamet as a student trying to write a manifesto and Frances McDormand as a reporter offering to help him while trying to maintain “neutrality”. journalistic ”, are also tired and impartial. like the name of the city itself. Likewise, the final segment of the film is boring, a caper of cooks and cops, which is momentarily brought to life only by the sound of Jeffrey Wright’s magnificent voice and one of the best character lines I can think of. recollection in a movie, uttered by another Willem Dafoe, a regular at the Anderson ensemble: “How are you going to kill me?”

Sometimes the movie feels like it should be called Scènes de France: exercises in style, less a single film with a unified plot and more a series of disconnected stories designed as opportunities for Anderson to experiment with different visual aesthetics – animation, split screens, stop-motion, black and white. It is also an opportunity for Anderson to parody France and French culture (a morgue strike? Only in France) as well as to pay tribute to a time when intrepid journalists often had to risk their lives for their profession. The impressive roster of writers and editors to whom the film is dedicated – Wallace Shawn, James Baldwin, James Thurber and EB White, among others – allows Anderson and the other writers of the film (Roman Coppola, Hugo Guinness and Jason Schwartzman) to express their nostalgia for a period of time before likes and retweets are the measure of a story’s impact.

Yet an exercise in nostalgia, however stylish, does not make a good film. The French dispatch contains several ideas for several films, but not quite a good film. What redeems it, however, and what would have made a whole good movie if the chapter had been developed into an entire movie, is the in-between episode about imprisoned painter Moses Rosenthaler. Told us a lecturer at the Kansas Art Museum named JKL Berensen (Tilda Swinton, disguised by her American accent as well as what appears to be a set of false teeth), Rosenthaler (Benicio Del Toro) was “certainly the voice of strongest artist of his rowdy generation. The son of an affluent Mexican Jewish horse breeder, he traded a prosperous education for misery, misery, crime, and art. He is a brilliant painter and he is also serving a 50-year sentence in a French prison for double homicide. (Compare Caravaggio’s comparisons.) Art dealer Julian Cadazio (Adrien Brody) has discovered this and wants to buy one of his works. Rosenthaler says he would sell it for 50-75 cigarettes; Cadazio said he would buy it for 250,000 francs.

As Cadazio falls in love with the art of Rosenthaler, Rosenthaler’s prison guard, Simone (Lea Seydoux) falls in love with him, becoming his model, his muse and his supplier of paints, brushes and canvases (probably smuggled). Their business is as French as it gets. “I don’t love you,” Simone declares to her after a love session, to which Rosenthaler retorts: “Already? Simone, however, loves Rosenthaler’s art, and when Rosenthaler becomes suicidal because he has no more ideas on what to paint, Simone saves it from himself and simultaneously saves his art for posterity. (fictitious). Rosenthaler never emerges decisively from his discomfort, but with a new goal – an ambitious series of paintings that he agreed to deliver to Cadazio – he found his salvation through his art, and with it a meaning for what had been to him an otherwise dull, meaningless existence. Rosenthaler may never be allowed to leave prison – Cadazio comically (and unwittingly) assures him – but in the end we have to imagine Moses Rosenthaler happy.

Daniel Ross Goodman is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Salzburg and author of Somewhere above the rainbow: wonder and religion in American cinema and the novel A single life.


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The 10 greatest movie monologues of all time https://willtoexist.com/the-10-greatest-movie-monologues-of-all-time/ Wed, 24 Nov 2021 17:30:00 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/the-10-greatest-movie-monologues-of-all-time/ “That’s one of the nice things about writing, or any other art; if the thing is real, it lives. – Woody Allen Cinema comes to life thanks to the collaboration of a great screenplay and a quality actor, if these two aspects are well captured, everything else should follow. Sure, it’s much simpler in theory, […]]]>

“That’s one of the nice things about writing, or any other art; if the thing is real, it lives. – Woody Allen

Cinema comes to life thanks to the collaboration of a great screenplay and a quality actor, if these two aspects are well captured, everything else should follow. Sure, it’s much simpler in theory, with many movies falling apart due to shady editing or a persistent shaking camera, but just look over to Mike Leigh, Ken Loach, and Noah Baumbach for observe how simplicity of character and dialogue can be used well under confinement.

This has led to some of the greatest monologues in movie history where the character and the dialogue line up perfectly. The likes of Jack Nicholson, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Robin Williams were well known for their frequent speeches across film, their philosophical reflections becoming iconic quotes to forever inspire the minds of an eternally ambitious youth.

The finest examples of cinematic monologues can be found throughout the medium’s history, challenging genre, sentiment, and reason as the actors reveal the raw power of human emotion. A look back at the tastes of Francis Ford Coppola Apocalypse now, At Quentin Tarantino’s pulp Fiction and Ridley Scott Blade runner, Let’s take a look at ten of the best movie monologues of all time.

The 10 Greatest Movie Monologues of All Time:

10. Viola Davis – Fences (Denzel Washington, 2016)

In Fences, Denzil Washington’s moving historical drama, we follow a working-class African American trying to raise a family in the 1950s while reflecting on the misdeeds and successes of his life.

Starring Washington in the lead role, the monologue in question comes from Viola Davis, who won an Oscar for her incredible performance in the film. Visibly leaving all of her emotions on screen, Davis’ monologue is simply heartbreaking as she reacts to the news that her husband is having an affair.

“I took all of my feelings, my wants and needs, my dreams… and I buried them in you. I planted a seed, watched, and prayed for it. I planted myself in you and I waited to bloom ”.

9. Samuel L. Jackson – pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994)

In one of the most iconic scenes from Quentin Tarantino’s most iconic film, Pulp Fiction, Jules and Vincent, played by Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta, murder a man tied to a chair after a long speech.

Delivered by Samuel L. Jackson, the speech is the epitome of Tarantino, bursting with style and class as Jules announces the death of the man before him with the help of a Bible verse. It’s a spooky and intimidating watch, one that you can’t take your eyes off of.

“Those who try to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know that my name is the Lord. When I impose my vengeance on you “.

8. Grégory Peck – Kill a mockingbird (Robert Mulligan, 1962)

The long speeches of a courtroom drama make this the perfect place to invite a classic monologue, with people like A few good men and 12 angry men also featuring iconic acting exploits. It is however the flowing lyrics of Gregory Peck’s Atticus Finch that trump the rest.

Adapted from the iconic novel Kill a mockingbird by Harper Lee, the film of the same name revolves around a lawyer who sets out to defend a black man accused of raping a white woman. Winning an Oscar for his role, Gregory Peck’s speech is truly inspiring, drawing inspiration from American freedom religion and justice in his classic monologue.

“In the name of God, do your duty. In the name of God, believe Tom Robinson “.

7. Lars Rodolphe – Werckmeister Harmonies (Béla Tarr, Ágnes Hranitzky, 2000)

Arousing ethereal magical beauty through its captivating soundtrack and fluid cinematography, Bela Tarr’s film follows a young man who witnesses escalating violence in his hometown following the arrival of a bizarre attraction from circus.

The young man in question is János Valuska, played by Lars Rudolph, a brave, curious and vulnerable young man who sees his city crumbling into chaos. At the start of the film, while entertaining a lively pub, Rudolph unfolds a monologue that deals with the wonders of the solar system. Strange and inextricably moving, it’s a truly inspiring scene that in itself is a magical ten minutes of cinema.

“Everything that lives is still. Will the hills recede? Will the sky fall on us? Will the Earth open up beneath us? We do not know. We do not know “.

6. Rutger Hauer – Blade runner (Ridley Scott, 1982)

A mind-boggling sci-fi classic that’s both spectacular and philosophically dense, Ridley Scott’s Blade runner stars Harrison Ford as ex-cop Rick Deckard on a mission to take down rogue androids.

One of those rogue androids is Roy Batty, played by Rutger Hauer, a sinister android with a punk aesthetic who dies after a fascinating monologue with Rick Deckard at the end of the Ridley Scott classic. Strange, existential and moving, Roy Batty’s speech is one of the most iconic in all of cinema, making you question the morals and feelings of a simple robotic creature.

“All those moments will be lost in time, like… tears in the rain. Time to die “.

5. Peter Finch – Network (Sidney Lumet, 1976)

One of the most beautiful monologues and diatribes in the history of cinema, the fury on the air of Peter Finch in Sidney Lumet Network is so iconic that it has permeated popular culture, with “I’m crazy as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore” becoming synonymous with public outrage.

Furious news anchor Peter Finch’s Howard Beale is a deranged “prophet” who a cynical TV station takes advantage of before discovering his popularity has gone too far. Winning Best Actor at the Academy Awards for his influential speech, Finch’s monologue became a revealing indication of the turbulent 1970s era marked by frustration, protests and war.

“I want you to get up right now and go to the window, open it, pop your head out and scream, I’m crazy as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!” .

4. David Thewlis – Naked (Mike Leigh, 1993)

Trample the streets of London in Mike Leigh’s 1993 pessimistic classic, Naked, David Thewlis’ Johnny unveils his observation philosophy to almost anyone willing to listen, his anger peaking when he meets a lone security guard.

Charged with tending to an empty office building, Johnny just can’t look past the futility of such work and begins to bark his feelings at the caretaker, Brian (Peter Wight). In a feat of extraordinary performance, David Thewlis fumes with terrifying conviction in a lengthy monologue that explores everything from existentialism to the impending demise of the human race. It is simply breathtaking.

“You don’t even have a fucking future, I don’t have a future. Nobody has a future. The party is over. Look around you man, everything is falling apart.”

3. Harry Dean Stanton and Nastassja Kinski – Paris, Texas (Wim Wenders, 1984)

Discussing the greatest movie monologues, Wim Wender’s final act Paris, Texas just can’t be ignored, even though it’s actually a conversation between two characters separated by long individual speeches.

So close to each other, but forever separated by an irreconcilable past, Harry Dean Stanton’s Travis and Nastassja Kinski’s Jane engage in heartfelt speeches on either side of a mirror, the two never fully recording. the existence of each other. Transcending reality and operating on an illusory plane, the conversation is haunting, nostalgic and emotionally forged. It truly is one of the greatest scenes in cinema.

“I used to give you long speeches after you left.” I talked to you all the time, even though I was alone. I walked for months talking to you. Now I don’t know what to say.

2. Charlie Chaplin – The great dictator (Charlie Chaplin, 1940)

Released amid the terrors of WWII, the quick wit of Charlie Chaplin The great dictator sees the influential comedian portray a Jewish double of the tyrannical German leader, delivering an inspiring speech at the end of the film.

Long dissected and explored in Youtube breakdowns and academic articles, the speech itself is long and broad, talking about the great successes of the human race in light of the looming horrors of WWII. For an actor who had made a name for himself in the silent era, this was the very first time Charlie Chaplin was heard on screen, as well as one of the last as his notoriety declined rapidly after the 1940s. This only makes his mind-boggling speech all the more prophetic.

“Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to the happiness of all men. Soldiers! in the name of democracy, let us all unite! “.

1. Marlon Brando – Apocalypse now (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979)

When you merge a breathtaking storyline with an extraordinary acting performance, Marlon Brando in Francis Ford Coppola Apocalypse now That’s what you get, delivering perhaps the best monologue ever as a lost and tormented Army Colonel.

Known as one of the most chaotic productions of all time, Francis Ford Coppola’s film follows a soldier sent on a dangerous mission to assassinate a rogue colonel who has won the trust of a local tribe. That colonel is Walter E. Kurtz of Marlon Brando, a possessed individual who has gone mad with existential pain and the horrors of war. Getting lost in the character’s mind, Brando’s performance is truly terrifying, as is Vittorio Storaro’s cinematography as the actor delivers one of the most profound speeches in all of cinema. Breathtaking, spellbinding, inspiring, call it what you want, it’s a classic.

Horror. Horror has a face… and you must make a friend of horror. Horror and moral terror are your friends. If they are not, they are enemies to be feared. really enemies ”.


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Dive Into Conflict – The Australian Jewish News https://willtoexist.com/dive-into-conflict-the-australian-jewish-news/ https://willtoexist.com/dive-into-conflict-the-australian-jewish-news/#respond Fri, 12 Nov 2021 00:17:05 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/dive-into-conflict-the-australian-jewish-news/ ZIONIST Federation of Australia (ZFA) director of public affairs Bren Carlill has been keenly interested in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since his first trip to Israel as a teenager. In the late 1990s, his curiosity prompted him to fly to the Jewish state where he volunteered in a kibbutz for two years, before returning in 2002 […]]]>

ZIONIST Federation of Australia (ZFA) director of public affairs Bren Carlill has been keenly interested in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since his first trip to Israel as a teenager.

In the late 1990s, his curiosity prompted him to fly to the Jewish state where he volunteered in a kibbutz for two years, before returning in 2002 to study at the Rothberg International School of L ‘Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Back home at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, he led the European Security Architecture dossier, leading relations with Russia and NATO, before writing reports on human rights conditions and civilians in the Middle East. He then became a senior research officer for the Home Office, again focusing on the Middle East.

After spending nearly two decades professionally and academically in the region’s never-ending conflict, Carlill took to the quill to write The challenges of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian dispute: an impossible peace, which launches online this Sunday.

The roots of the book lie in a conversation he had with a journalist in Jerusalem in 2005, when he used the word “existentialist” to describe those on either side of the conflict whose purpose is to wipe out existence. political or physical on the other.

Over the next few years the word fermented and it traced the two ways Israelis and Palestinians view the end of the conflict; either by existentialism or by territorialism, which would see other land negotiations.

Carlill said AJN he hopes his ideas will persuade those who are “sympathetic to one side or the other, that the territorial-existential dichotomy exists, and that for peace to occur, territorialists on both sides must be strengthened and existentialists must be strengthened. mined ”.

The book launch attracted phantom attorney general Mark Dreyfus as a guest speaker.

Dreyfus, who worked with Carlill as part of his role on the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security, praised the author for providing a “new way to understand the conflict”.

The Zoom session will also feature a conversation between Carlill and former Israeli deputy national security adviser Eran Lerman.

To register for the launch, visit zfa.com.au/Conversations.

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WestConn holds vigil for lacrosse players killed in crashes https://willtoexist.com/westconn-holds-vigil-for-lacrosse-players-killed-in-crashes/ https://willtoexist.com/westconn-holds-vigil-for-lacrosse-players-killed-in-crashes/#respond Mon, 01 Nov 2021 18:06:10 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/westconn-holds-vigil-for-lacrosse-players-killed-in-crashes/ This is news that rocked the Western Connecticut State University community. Two of the school’s lacrosse players were tragically killed on Friday October 22 in a car crash which also left another passenger seriously injured. Now, according to school officials, the University has scheduled a candlelight vigil to remember the two Western Lacrosse players who […]]]>

This is news that rocked the Western Connecticut State University community. Two of the school’s lacrosse players were tragically killed on Friday October 22 in a car crash which also left another passenger seriously injured.

Now, according to school officials, the University has scheduled a candlelight vigil to remember the two Western Lacrosse players who lost their lives in a tragic accident at Colchester.

According to newstimes.com, the vigil is set for this Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. at the sports complex of Western Connecticut State University. After the vigil, the lacrosse team will play a celebratory scrum match to remember the lives of the two former players.

The accident claimed the lives of Tyler Graham and Jacob Chapman, both 18, occurred shortly before 1 p.m. Friday, October 22 on Lake Hayward Road near the intersection of Route 354, an intersection on which the police and the Ministry of Public Works were already working on. plans to improve the safety of.

In an incident report released by Troop K, state police said Chapman was driving a red 2010 Nissan Altima westbound on Route 354 when he attempted to overtake another car at high speed. For some reason, the car pulled off the road and collided with a metal railing and several trees before coming to a stop on an embankment, according to the incident summary. A third student, 19-year-old Trey Massaro, was seriously injured but is believed to be recovering at his Massachusetts home.

Hundreds of people gathered last Sunday (October 24) in the players’ hometown of Colchester for a memorial vigil on the town green.

Western Connecticut State University’s athletics department has put together a moving tribute video for the two players on YouTube.

The two players were not only friends of Colchester, but were known as the dynamic duo of their lacrosse teammates at WestConn, and once they met Trey Massaro in school they bonded and became the dynamic trio.

Thanks to the Western Connecticut State University community and local friends in Colchester, the family raised nearly $ 78,000 through two separate GoFundMe campaigns.

For more information about the vigil, you can contact the Dean of Students at the University by calling (203) 837-9700.

KEEP READING: Scroll Down to See What Headlines The Year You Was Born

KEEP READING: Find Out About The Notable New Words That Were Coated In The Year You Were Born


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Hundreds of people rally to mourn two WCSU students killed in Colchester https://willtoexist.com/hundreds-of-people-rally-to-mourn-two-wcsu-students-killed-in-colchester/ https://willtoexist.com/hundreds-of-people-rally-to-mourn-two-wcsu-students-killed-in-colchester/#respond Mon, 25 Oct 2021 17:16:57 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/hundreds-of-people-rally-to-mourn-two-wcsu-students-killed-in-colchester/ A vigil that drew hundreds of people took place in Colchester on Sunday for two of the WestConn Lacrosse players who were tragically killed on Friday afternoon. This is news that rocked the Western Connecticut State University community. Two of the school’s lacrosse players were tragically killed on Friday afternoon in a car crash that […]]]>

A vigil that drew hundreds of people took place in Colchester on Sunday for two of the WestConn Lacrosse players who were tragically killed on Friday afternoon.

This is news that rocked the Western Connecticut State University community. Two of the school’s lacrosse players were tragically killed on Friday afternoon in a car crash that also left another passenger seriously injured.

Hundreds of people gathered to mourn the two Colchester residents, Jacob Chapman, 18, and Tyler Graham, 18, and were asked to wear red, the two boys’ favorite color. The vigil took place on the green in the town of Colchester.

According to nbcconnecticut.com, the crash that claimed the lives of the students occurred shortly before 1 p.m. Friday on Lake Hayward Road near the intersection of Highway 354, an intersection where police and the Department of Public Works were already working on plans to improve safety.

In an incident report released by Troop K, state police said Chapman was driving a red 2010 Nissan Altima westbound on Route 354 when he attempted to overtake another car at high speed. For some reason, the car pulled off the road and collided with a metal railing and several trees before coming to a stop on an embankment, according to the incident summary.

Two of the front seat passengers, Chapman and Graham, died at or shortly after the crash site, and according to state police, the third passenger, Trey Massaro, 19, of Dalton, Mass., was airlifted to Hartford Hospital with serious injuries. . The police report also said the car the students were driving was traveling at high speed when the accident occurred.

In addition to the vigil on Sunday, Western Connecticut State University is also planning a vigil for students, and the university’s advisory center has already met with players and coaches from the lacrosse team. The school will also provide advice to students and faculty and all students of Litchfield Hall, where Chapman and Graham lived.

All of us here at Townsquare Media Danbury extend our deepest condolences to all affected by this terrible tragedy.

KEEP READING: Discover Remarkable New Words That Were Coated the Year You Were Born

KEEP READING: Scroll Down to See What Headlines The Year You Was Born


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Podcast Reviews: Three Philosophical Discussions to Listen to to Make Sense of Big Opaque Things https://willtoexist.com/podcast-reviews-three-philosophical-discussions-to-listen-to-to-make-sense-of-big-opaque-things/ https://willtoexist.com/podcast-reviews-three-philosophical-discussions-to-listen-to-to-make-sense-of-big-opaque-things/#respond Sun, 24 Oct 2021 01:30:00 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/podcast-reviews-three-philosophical-discussions-to-listen-to-to-make-sense-of-big-opaque-things/ In our time, the BBC Sounds philosophy Advanced concepts / Second SelfPatreon / Spotify Two philosophers drink beer and discuss moviesApple, Spotify, SoundCloud If there has ever been a time for navel-gazing, it is that of a global pandemic. For much of it, we were on autopilot, putting one foot in front of the other […]]]>

In our time, the BBC Sounds philosophy

Advanced concepts / Second Self
Patreon / Spotify

Two philosophers drink beer and discuss movies
Apple, Spotify, SoundCloud

If there has ever been a time for navel-gazing, it is that of a global pandemic. For much of it, we were on autopilot, putting one foot in front of the other without tipping under the weight of the world. And so it continues. Here are some philosophical podcasts to help make sense of the big, opaque things.

British broadcaster Melvin Bragg has probed the minds of many avant-garde The spectacle of the south shore from Francis Bacon, Gore Vidal, Liza Minnelli and Zaha Hadid to Björk, Alan Bennett, Ravi Shankar and Craig David. No wonder he was chosen to face In our time, philosophy, a BBC Radio 4 series in which he debunks, for example, altruism, phenomenology, Zen Buddhism and utilitarianism while portraying Austrian rationalist Karl Popper, medieval Islamic thinker Al-Ghazali and Polish astronomer Copernicus (pronounced “Copper Knickers” by this writer’s history teacher, in an attempt to pierce his name into us. It worked). It’s mostly white men’s business, of course, as he dwells on historic boffins, though he empowers Simone de Beauvoir, the suffragists, and Virginia Woolf.

If a podcast is “a digital audio file made available over the Internet for download to a computer or mobile device,” Laura Kennedy’s Advanced concepts does the trick. It’s a weekly column delivered to email inboxes, but Kennedy has cleverly added an audio version for those who prefer to listen. She embraces high / low culture, interweaving existentialism, Socrates, Seamus Heaney, mourning, custards and why we got it wrong in the debate on cultural appropriation. If you like the cut of his smart whip jib check out his current podcast Other self, which launched just a few weeks ago with Irish special guests Blindboy Boatclub and Emma Dabiri.

And now a gear change: Two philosophers drink beer and discuss movies. Yes, as the name suggests, these are two (Irish) brains, Dr Daniel Murphy and Dr Gregory David Jackson, offering philosophical readings in films while soaking up hop products. . Who knew, watching Trainspotting, we could recall the first writings of the Lithuanian-French-Jewish religious thinker Emmanuel Levinas or Fountain the objectivist writer and creator Ayn Rand? John Michael McDonagh Calvary also take a look at (nihilism and Christianity) and Lenny Abrahamson’s book Room (Allegory of Plato’s cave, what is reality). It’s both deep and delicious.


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Houston’s Jewish Existentialism Astro Alex Bregman – The Forward https://willtoexist.com/houstons-jewish-existentialism-astro-alex-bregman-the-forward/ https://willtoexist.com/houstons-jewish-existentialism-astro-alex-bregman-the-forward/#respond Fri, 22 Oct 2021 15:45:18 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/houstons-jewish-existentialism-astro-alex-bregman-the-forward/ If you’re not from Beantown or Bayou City, you might not be aware of a remarkable drama that’s going on right now. The Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros are engaged in a marathon fight to win the American League Championship Series. After a first win in Houston, Boston erupted with two wins that included […]]]>

If you’re not from Beantown or Bayou City, you might not be aware of a remarkable drama that’s going on right now. The Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros are engaged in a marathon fight to win the American League Championship Series. After a first win in Houston, Boston erupted with two wins that included not one, but two Grand Slam tournaments in a single round. Like a cue, another grand slam was belched out by the Sox in Game 3.

But the earthquake plates had not finished moving. In the hostile confines of Fenway Park, the Astros went orbital in games four and five. Not only did they beat the Sox pitchers for 18 points in both games, but they also put down the Boston killer row, allowing just three unnecessary runs. Not only did the momentum seem to shift to the Astros, so did the home court advantage. Houston will be home for the last, maybe two games.

But is it possible that in the end all the races are, well, useless? That the noise and fury rising from the stadiums, roaring in taverns and coolers, and rumbling in the media mean nothing? In short, that this series is less an epic than an existential event?

No player is better positioned to offer an answer than Alex Bregman, the All-Star third baseman who, before joining the Astros, was a member of the Albert Congregation in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Although Bregman majored in sports administration at LSU, he often appears to have majored in philosophy. With an emphasis, it seems, in existentialism.

It’s crazy, but people dressed in Astro swimsuits and conjuring up barbecue smoke share a number of ideas with philosophers once wrapped in trench coats and shrouded in Gaulish smoke.

“Playing meaningful games,” Bregman remarked, “that’s what it is about”.

It sounds pretty straightforward. Until you realize like Nietzsche – the grandfather of existentialism – that the Grand Arbiter is dead. We killed the Ump, says Nietzsche, replacing it with reason and science. (MLB risks killing umps by replacing them with the science of automated ball hitting technology. Who needs the Big Man when you have Trackman?)

How Houston Astro star Alex Bregman became the most eloquent existential philosopher since Albert Camus

How can life be meaningful in such an absurd world? What to do when, overnight, the traditions and truths that we have lived our lives by evaporate? When does everything we thought was solid melt in the air? Just as the existentialist thinker Albert Camus turned to football – aka, football – for an answer we could turn to baseball. Former goalkeeper for his university team, Camus remarked “the little I know about morality, I learned on the soccer field”.

So, too, for Bregman. The 2017-18 cheating scandal, when the Astros stole signs from opposing teams, taught him a harsh existential truth: not only are we doomed to be free, but we are also responsible for the choices we make freely. It is only by exercising this freedom that we can live meaningful lives, but also live a life inevitably marked by mistakes.

It took a while for Bregman to choose to admit he made the wrong choice. This is not surprising: after all, freedom is also an inexhaustible source of existential angst. But as existentialists have insisted, the burden of freedom is liberating. This is what Jean-Paul Sartre meant by his paradoxical assertion that the French have never been so free as under the German Occupation. Or, as our Gold Glove finalist puts it, “having pressure is a privilege”.

The existential lessons Bregman learned from baseball don’t end there, however. For one thing, life is littered with times when you realize you’re as lonely as Bregman standing in the batter’s box watching a ball blaze towards him at 100 mph. It is, most of the time metaphorically, a moment of life and death. For Dr Rieux, the narrator of Camus’ novel “La Peste”, such loneliness is, literally, also a moment of life and death.

Although unable to cure his dying patients, Rieux nevertheless persisted. As he said to his friend Tarrou: “I defend them as best I can, that’s all. The right thing to do, Rieux understands, “was to do your job as it should. “For Bregman, it’s no different:” The only thing I have control over is working hard and running my business the right way. “

How Houston Astro star Alex Bregman became the most eloquent existential philosopher since Albert Camus

On the flip side, the doctor and batter eventually discover that, whether faced with the plague bacillus or the puckered ball, their efforts only make sense when done with other men. To a priest who joined him to fight the plague, the atheist Rieux declares that only one thing matters: “We are working side by side for something good that unites us. Learning Spanish to get closer to the many Hispanic players on the team, Bregman echoes Rieux when he explains that “being a good teammate is part of life”.

But you also have to be a good person. At his bar mitzvah, 13-year-old Bregman announced that we “must all realize that there are people who can suffer and we must all try to do our part to alleviate that suffering when we can.” Even a baseball player can do something about it. Several years later, upon learning that a fan was dying of stage 4 cancer, Bregman visited his home and spent an hour at his bedside. Perhaps Rieux, who spends his life alongside the dying – a spectacle, he admits, to which he has “never been able to get used” – would approve.

Finally, the two men share the same existential and skeptical vision of victory. When Tarrou tells Rieux that his dedication to healing the dying means a life of endless defeat, he can only nod. There is no reason to hope, Camus insisted, but it was no reason to despair. Astro fans might want to remember what Bregman never forgets. “This game is so great,” he observed, “because it’s a game of chess.”

Rieux could not have said better.

How Houston Astro star Alex Bregman became the most eloquent existential philosopher since Albert Camus

Robert Zaretsky teaches at the University of Houston and is a columnist for the Forward. His new book, “Victory Never Last: Reading and Caregiving in Time of Plague” will be published next March.


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Journeys towards humanism: the family that reads together https://willtoexist.com/journeys-towards-humanism-the-family-that-reads-together/ https://willtoexist.com/journeys-towards-humanism-the-family-that-reads-together/#respond Wed, 13 Oct 2021 16:27:14 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/journeys-towards-humanism-the-family-that-reads-together/ Journeys to Humanism, theHumanist.com’s regular series, features real stories of humanists from our community. From heartwarming stories of growing up to more difficult journeys, our readers open up about their experiences of humanism. Julia davisSaint-Louis Park, Minnesota My parents were raised as a Christian Scientist (Dad) and Methodist (Mom), but they raised my Unitarian siblings […]]]>

Journeys to Humanism, theHumanist.com’s regular series, features real stories of humanists from our community. From heartwarming stories of growing up to more difficult journeys, our readers open up about their experiences of humanism.


Julia davis
Saint-Louis Park, Minnesota

My parents were raised as a Christian Scientist (Dad) and Methodist (Mom), but they raised my Unitarian siblings and I at the First Unitarian Society (FUS) in Minneapolis, MN, a particularly humanistic congregation. We lived in a conservative community of Catholics, Baptists, and Lutherans and walked forty-five minutes (before the freeways) to FUS every Sunday, so we knew, at the cellular level, how important it was.

My parents were key role models for the values ​​they believed in and introduced us to international, interracial and interfaith friends and activists through many different organizations and clubs. At that time, our church participated in the Church Across the Street program, in which we studied and visited the religious communities in which we lived. To me, each religion seemed to be pushing the same ideas (hope, community, etc.) in different packaging, like brands of soap.

My siblings and I were encouraged to build our own belief systems. I spent a lot of time trying to find out if there was a god. disorder inherent in life ― and, at fifteen, I finally allowed myself not to know the “Answers” ​​(s). I decided that doubt and uncertainty were better than dogma. The books that influenced me were those by Maugham human bondage, Lee Kill a mockingbird, and Forbes’ Johnny tremain. In high school I read existentialism (Frankl, Camus and Sartre) and while I liked the emphasis on choice, I also noted that it was a philosophy of white men, those who had the more choice.

Religion separated us from our loved ones. My cousins ​​were like my classmates, telling me I would go to hell (at worst) and need Jesus (at best). None of this made their religions attractive to me. My parents were better Christians in practice than their detractors (our parents). I think my parents and I read articles on religions defensively, as well as out of curiosity, and the more I considered the subject, the less impressed I was.

My family and I delved into the works of prominent atheist authors of the 1990s. My mother said that if she had read Kenneth C. Davis’ book on the Bible earlier, it would have saved her a lot of heartache. My dad read Will and Ariel Durant History of civilization At bedtime. Durant’s quote at the end of the chapter on the Inquisition was fundamental: “Intolerance is the natural corollary of strong faith; tolerance only grows when faith loses its certainty; certainty is murderous. Another vote to live in doubt, even humility.

Finally, I was and I am deeply feminist. This also oriented me towards humanism. My young adult years (1970-1990) were devoted to reading the works of women, after an education mainly dominated by men. I’ve read feminist theory, history, analyzes… everything from Ursula K. Le Guin to Shulamith Firestone and Merlin Stone. Nothing convinced me that I was missing something by not worshiping a male deity or living in a male dominated organization. I looked at the Ten Commandments and, in my forties, saw the absolute absence of a Commandment against rape. I was (and still am) disturbed by the anti-intellectualism of the Adam and Eve story, as if knowledge was bad. Anyone who reads the story, as we have done and as we do in my family, must be struck by how unhealthy organized religions are for anyone who is not a man.

I can respect the historical context, the beauty of the language (the Song of Songs, the Beatitudes, for example) without needing to believe. And I still believe that prayer, like meditation or self-hypnosis, is good for the person praying.

Believers like to say that there are no atheists in the burrows, as if we all yearn for the sheepfold at last, but this is not true of all of us. Both of my parents died peacefully as atheists, “lying down to have pleasant dreams.” I have had near-death experiences, trauma, serious illness and tragedy without the urge to turn to a god. Yes, I think it would be heartwarming to believe in “something good”, but I cannot, nor can I believe in the Tooth Fairy. And as a good Unitarian Universalist, I have friends who are Catholics, Amish, Baptists, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Atheists, Agnostics… and I am a humanist.


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Why God Matters: What Gives Life Meaning? https://willtoexist.com/why-god-matters-what-gives-life-meaning/ https://willtoexist.com/why-god-matters-what-gives-life-meaning/#respond Wed, 13 Oct 2021 09:14:22 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/why-god-matters-what-gives-life-meaning/ Whether you believe in God or not, we all have to grapple with the question: is there meaning in life? Why is it so difficult to write about God? You would think that with monotheism being the mainstay of Judaism, this topic would be a shoo-in, but it’s a real challenge to talk about an […]]]>

Whether you believe in God or not, we all have to grapple with the question: is there meaning in life?

Why is it so difficult to write about God? You would think that with monotheism being the mainstay of Judaism, this topic would be a shoo-in, but it’s a real challenge to talk about an abstract infinite being in a way that resonates with Jews from all walks of life. God is not a trending topic. The fact that we are stuck in a finite world means that we cannot really understand the nature of Infinity, so the conversation can get frustrating.

Nevertheless, I will try. After all, monotheism was the revolutionary discovery Abraham brought to the world that paved the way for the covenant relationship between God and his offspring.

Knowing that God exists is the first of the Ten Commandments. As Maimonides writes in the opening chapter of Mishneh Torah, his codification of Jewish law, “The foundation of all foundations and the pillar of all wisdom is knowing that there is a Primary Being who gave birth to all existence. All beings of heaven, earth, and what is between them is born only from the truth of his being … Knowing this concept is a positive commandment, such as (implied by Exodus 20: 2): “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, the house of slavery. . “

What real difference does God make in my life?

What is the significance of the existence of God? What difference does it make in my life?

A complete answer to this question would require a book. This article will present a consequence, and it is the one that forced me to leave my non-religious education in Toronto and go to Israel to explore the question of the existence of God.

Everyone needs meaning in life. Sense is what allows us to get out of bed and take on the challenges of the day. As Nietzsche put it succinctly, “He who has a why to live can endure almost any how.”

This was one of the major conclusions of Viktor Frankl, the author of The search for meaning of man and founder of logotherapy. As an inmate in a Nazi concentration camp, he witnessed those who survived clung to some type of purpose in order to continue living. Whether it is to testify, publish a manuscript, find their family, their search for meaning has enabled them to survive. Those who lost all hope and meaning were more likely to perish.

If life is meaningless, there are only a limited number of parties, distractions, and escapes that a person can use to numb existential pain and suffering before deciding it is not worth it. just not worth it and chooses to opt out completely. After all, if life does indeed make absolutely no sense, what difference does it ultimately make to be dead or alive?

But is there a meaning in life? How to satisfy this primary need?

This is a question that all human beings, whether you believe in God or not, must grapple with. The need for a goal is so great that it demands to be appeased, either by genuine satiety or by evasion and amazement.

If there is no God, what creates meaning?

According to this worldview, life is a random accident. There is no goal in existence. The formation of life from atoms and electrons rushing through space for millennia was without design or intention.

So, what is it that curbs the thirst for meaning in humans? In a nutshell, existential thought says that we create our meaning. As Jean Paul Sartre said: “Thus, there is no human nature, because there is no God to have a conception of it. Man is simply … Man is nothing other than what he makes of himself. This is the first principle of existentialism. . “

We create our meaning.

Finding meaning in something that doesn’t exist objectively doesn’t make it meaningful. This is called the illusion.

But there is a fundamental problem with this solution. Finding meaning in something that doesn’t exist objectively doesn’t make it meaningful. This is called the illusion.

For example, someone calls their mother and she sounds different, more passionate and lively. “Mom, you look different today.”

“Oh I am, honey! I woke up today and I’m Angelina Jolie! I’m rich, famous and beautiful! Life has never been better!”

If this happened to you, how would you react? Would you be happy for your mother who never looked so happy, or would her delusions and hallucinations be a devastating blow?

The illusion, the belief in a meaning that does not exist, functions as a loophole, bypassing the enigma of the existentialist’s suicide, but do not confuse it for real sense. The harsh reality in a world where there is no God is that all of life is a meaningless accident.

The existence of God resolves the question of meaning. Life was created, by design, with purpose and intention. The meaning is not imaginary; it is true.

A profound consequence of the existence of God is that the meaning and purpose we seek in life are very real.

The only thing I knew as a young man searching for meaning before I became a practicing Jew was that the moments of meaning I had experienced and longed for with my whole being were not there. no illusions. Quite the contrary: those were the times when I felt most connected to what is really real.

I believe most people have a hunch about this. Do you think the meaning you get from your marriage, parenting, work, and acts of kindness are mere illusions that we use to deceive ourselves, or something deep and real?

A profound consequence of the existence of God is that the meaning and purpose we seek in life are very real. We don’t need to resort to bogus surrogates to bide our time before falling into oblivion. The meaning is real, and we have a limited time in this world to reach it.

Explore more of these questions in Rabbi Coopersmith’s Who Is God and Why Should I Care? Click here for more information.

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