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Sir Krinkly

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Jerusalem: A Radical Proposal (Posted to WeirdJews) [Oct. 29th, 2009|07:22 pm]
Sir Krinkly
Most liberal/moderate Americans as well as Jews, I think, seem more or less in favor of a two-state solution. I think I am, too. However, for some time now, I've had an idea about Jerusalem:

So long as it is the capital of Israel, the Palestinians will never be happy. If any amount of it gets taken away for a Palestinian capital, many Israelis would be unhappy, and if they lost it in its entirety - well, I can't see them doing that willingly.

So here's a stupid idea - stupid mostly because no one with power would let it happen.

Make Jerusalem an international city. Capital to neither side, and strictly secular in its government - and making absolutely sure that all faiths have access to their holy sites. Better to piss everyone off than to piss one side off.

Other than the obvious (it will piss people off really badly), can people tell me how many ways this idea is bad? I'm curious to air this in a Jewish forum, something I've never done before.
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Twitter for freedom [Jun. 22nd, 2009|01:10 am]
Sir Krinkly
I never thought I'd get a Twitter account. But I've made a brief exception. Here's why, and also why I urge everyone reading this to follow suit:

Twitter is being used by Iranian protesters to organize their rallies. Naturally, the security forces are searching Twitter to find their quarry so they can do all manner of nasty things to them. One small way that those of us who are removed from the situation can help these protesters is to intentionally spam the Twitter search engine by having your account show up as Tehran-based, thus diluting the search results to make them less usable to authorities.

1. Open a Twitter account if you haven't already.
2. In your settings, change your location and timezone to Tehran. The timezone menu specifically denotes Tehran time, so this is easy.
3. Don't keep yourself private and thus unavailable to the search engine.

That's all you have to do, I think. Probably don't even have to tweet, although one tweet might help, just to get the search engine's attention. I am not going to make real use of my account, so no, I have no followers and never intend on having any. But I've felt pretty impotent over this amazing series of events in Iran, and this is something I, and all of you, can do to make a difference. It takes 5 minutes and might just literally save lives. So go for it.
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Grumble grumble [Jan. 8th, 2009|02:43 pm]
Sir Krinkly
I'm getting annoyed at the automated Facebook statuses that chronicle Hamas rocket launches or Gaza deaths. They are far too one-sided and they strip the deaths and events of context.

I've been spending the last few days listening to NPR and the BBC's "Have Your Say" while driving, and two things above all have angered me:

1. Talking about the right of Palestinians to defend themselves in response to the blockade. Yes, of course, everyone has the right to defend themselves. Trouble is, the blockade was imposed BECAUSE Hamas started firing rockets at Israel immediately after the withdrawal.

2. The one caller on the radio - and there are others out there - who blame Israel and others for not engaging Hamas when it was elected into power, for not, in the caller's words, giving Hamas "the benefit of the doubt." Right. The benefit of the doubt. The entire organization is built around the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state! They carried out suicide bombings and other attacks! Why should Israel try to negotiate with that agenda?

Now, to make it clear, I feel horrible for ordinary Gazans. They're caught in between a fundamentalist regime that provokes Israel to make itself look like a victim for PR benefit on the one hand and one of the world's most powerful militaries on the other. I also want to make clear that I understand that just as Israel withdrew from Gaza, they also set about expanding illegal settlements in the West Bank. I just really wish people would take time to understand the history and see that Israel has really been forced into doing what it is now doing, and that it is also unlikely any good will come of it, either.
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Why does this not raise ethical concerns? [Dec. 5th, 2008|11:16 am]
Sir Krinkly

In short, this man, who I had not previously heard of, had absolutely no long term memory beyond, they say, 20 seconds - except for vague outlines of his life and certain motor skills. They did lots of studies and experiments on him.

Was his informed consent really a possible thing? Did they even ask for it? I am disturbed by the fact that this obituary doesn't really mention that. There is only the one mention of him being upset at a researcher treating him as though he weren't a person.
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Grumble grumble [Dec. 2nd, 2008|02:39 pm]
Sir Krinkly
From a column in the Chicago Sun-Times:

"The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, now 73, is believed to be the reincarnation of the Buddha. But he is not a god."

Probably because I'm dating a Tibetan Buddhist, it really bugs me when the media messes this up. He is not considered a reincarnation of the Buddha! He's considered a reincarnation of a Bodhisatva! The difference? A Buddha is enlightened, and a Bodhisatva is attempting to become enlightened... which is something that we can all say for ourselves, in one way or another, no?
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So it turns out... [Oct. 7th, 2008|12:03 pm]
Sir Krinkly

Apparently, old people resent condescension! Who'd have thought?!
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Music request [Aug. 13th, 2008|09:16 pm]
Sir Krinkly
Anybody have "I Fought the Law?" I'd prefer The Clash, but I'll settle for Green Day.

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Sweden is silly [Jun. 29th, 2008|08:43 am]
Sir Krinkly

Really, it is.
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Opinion request [Jun. 25th, 2008|10:26 am]
Sir Krinkly
The Supreme Court just rejected the death penalty for child rape; Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, said that the punishment was disproportionate. Do you agree or disagree? Why?
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I am certainly pro-choice... but I don't like this. [Apr. 17th, 2008|03:59 pm]
Sir Krinkly
The following is pasted from the Yale University student newspaper. I will provide a link, but please read the plain text in this entry instead if possible; their site is complaining about bandwidth issues and I'd like to be a small part of the solution.

For senior, abortion a medium for art, political discourse
Martine Powers
Staff Reporter
Published Thursday, April 17, 2008

Art major Aliza Shvarts '08 wants to make a statement.

Beginning next Tuesday, Shvarts will be displaying her senior art project, a documentation of a nine-month process during which she artificially inseminated herself "as often as possible" while periodically taking abortifacient drugs to induce miscarriages. Her exhibition will feature video recordings of these forced miscarriages as well as preserved collections of the blood from the process.

The goal in creating the art exhibition, Shvarts said, was to spark conversation and debate on the relationship between art and the human body. But her project has already provoked more than just debate, inciting, for instance, outcry at a forum for fellow senior art majors held last week. And when told about Shvarts' project, students on both ends of the abortion debate have expressed shock . saying the project does everything from violate moral code to trivialize abortion.

But Shvarts insists her concept was not designed for "shock value."

"I hope it inspires some sort of discourse," Shvarts said. "Sure, some people will be upset with the message and will not agree with it, but it's not the intention of the piece to scandalize anyone."

The "fabricators," or donors, of the sperm were not paid for their services, but Shvarts required them to periodically take tests for sexually transmitted diseases. She said she was not concerned about any medical effects the forced miscarriages may have had on her body. The abortifacient drugs she took were legal and herbal, she said, and she did not feel the need to consult a doctor about her repeated miscarriages.

Shvarts declined to specify the number of sperm donors she used, as well as the number of times she inseminated herself.

Art major Juan Castillo '08 said that although he was intrigued by the creativity and beauty of her senior project, not everyone was as thrilled as he was by the concept and the means by which she attained the result.

"I really loved the idea of this project, but a lot other people didn't," Castillo said. "I think that most people were very resistant to thinking about what the project was really about. [The senior-art-project forum] stopped being a conversation on the work itself."

Although Shvarts said she does not remember the class being quite as hostile as Castillo described, she said she believes it is the nature of her piece to "provoke inquiry."

"I believe strongly that art should be a medium for politics and ideologies, not just a commodity," Shvarts said. "I think that I'm creating a project that lives up to the standard of what art is supposed to be."

The display of Schvarts' project will feature a large cube suspended from the ceiling of a room in the gallery of Green Hall. Schvarts will wrap hundreds of feet of plastic sheeting around this cube; lined between layers of the sheeting will be the blood from Schvarts' self-induced miscarriages mixed with Vaseline in order to prevent the blood from drying and to extend the blood throughout the plastic sheeting.

Schvarts will then project recorded videos onto the four sides of the cube. These videos, captured on a VHS camcorder, will show her experiencing miscarriages in her bathrooom tub, she said. Similar videos will be projected onto the walls of the room.

School of Art lecturer Pia Lindman, Schvarts' senior-project advisor, could not be reached for comment Wednesday night.

Few people outside of Yale's undergraduate art department have heard about Shvarts' exhibition. Members of two campus abortion-activist groups . Choose Life at Yale, a pro-life group, and the Reproductive Rights Action League of Yale, a pro-choice group . said they were not previously aware of Schvarts' project.

Alice Buttrick '10, an officer of RALY, said the group was in no way involved with the art exhibition and had no official opinion on the matter.

Sara Rahman '09 said, in her opinion, Shvarts is abusing her constitutional right to do what she chooses with her body.

"[Shvarts' exhibit] turns what is a serious decision for women into an absurdism," Rahman said. "It discounts the gravity of the situation that is abortion."

CLAY member Jonathan Serrato '09 said he does not think CLAY has an official response to Schvarts' exhibition. But personally, Serrato said he found the concept of the senior art project "surprising" and unethical.

"I feel that she's manipulating life for the benefit of her art, and I definitely don't support it," Serrato said. "I think it's morally wrong."

Shvarts emphasized that she is not ashamed of her exhibition, and she has become increasingly comfortable discussing her miscarriage experiences with her peers.

"It was a private and personal endeavor, but also a transparent one for the most part," Shvarts said. "This isn't something I've been hiding."

The official reception for the Undergraduate Senior Art Show will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on April 25. The exhibition will be on public display from April 22 to May 1. The art exhibition is set to premiere alongside the projects of other art seniors this Tuesday, April 22 at the gallery of Holcombe T. Green Jr. Hall on Chapel Street.
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