Happenings Elsewhere

I have some material coming down the pipe that I’ve been chewing on for a while — a little bit on philosophy, some stuff on copyrights and contracts, and some stuff on the nature of law. Plus some announcements about various things of varying interest. But my aching feet are going to keep me from getting to it today. So, in the meantime, here’s some things that I’ve had going on elsewhere:

Bloviating elsewhere

  • Tonight at No Treason, I dispute Stefan’s claim that tyrants and murderers often have satisfying lives (in any sense of the word satisfying that matters), and argue (with Plato) that being a tyrant is actually the most miserable kind of life. (The point is related, somewhat, to some similar remarks I made against some utilitarian arguments over at Philosophy, et cetera.)

  • Over at Kevin Carson’s Mutualist Blog, Kevin discusses land theft against farmers in modern history, and I follow up in comments by debating with P. M. Lawrence over land ownership, homesteading, and slavery. I defend the radical notion that the Southern plantations should have been expropriated from the slave-drivers’ illegitimate control, and distributed amongst the former slaves, after Emancipation. (It should have been distributed not as reparations for slavery — although the former slaves also deserved those — but rather because freed Blacks were the rightful owners of the land that they had lived and worked on all their lives.) Lawrence objects on several fronts; I defend.

  • At Project for the New Anarchist Century, I object to Jeremy Sapienza making shit up about the civil rights movement and Rosa Parks in particular. We go on to debate the historical significance of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

  • At Alas, A Blog, I object to several commentators saying, over and over again, that society causes any number of conditions that make rape and other forms of violence against women, as if society were some looming presence outside of us. In fact it just is us. And refusing to recognize this snuffs out any questions we might have about just who, among the men and women that make up society, does most of the things that constitute a rape culture. (Here’s a hint: it is not, for the most part, women.)

Howard Dully and My Lobotomy on NPR

Meanwhile, NPR recently broadcast a riveting and heartbreaking audio documentary, My Lobotomy by Howard Dully. At age 12, diagnosed with nothing worse than being a difficult child, Dully was one of the youngest victims of Walter Freeman’s ice-pick lobotomy. It turns out that the complaints were nothing but a pack of lies, but even if they weren’t, the senseless mutilation of his brain would have still have been an atrocity. In any case, Dully somehow survived with his faculties mostly intact, and is able — unlike so many of Freeman’s other victims — to search for answers about his suffering and to tell his own story. Dully also talked about his experiences some more on Thursday’s Talk of the Nation. It’s not stuff you can enjoy listening too, really, but it is stuff that you should listen to. And listening to it is not a burden; while not pleasant, the tale is compelling, chilling, and, sadly, real.

Further reading

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  1. Discussed at radgeek.com

    Rad Geek People’s Daily 2006-03-18 – Over My Shoulder #15: Robert Whitaker (2002), Mad in America:

    […] GT 2005-11-19: Happenings Elsewhere: Howard Dully and My Lobotomy on NPR […]

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