Friday, December 25, 2009

The Dubliner Dialogue: A List of Issues and Ideas

On Friday December 4, 2009 a few of my friends and I gathered at the Dubliner(Seattle) to celebrate my birthday and talk politics, culture and art. Below is a condensed remainder of the questions we opened up in our meandering conversation. Note the topic headings for giving a hint of the section topic.

Radical New Individual Types

Choices humans make in who they mate is one of the great shapers of society and the bounds of what human is. Certain behaviors result in a person not being chosen for producing offspring. I know we could site an over-conservatism America was prone to in the 1950's -such as taboos in inter-racial marriage, or a "good" girls who don't date geeks or guys who smoke weed. I certainly believe we've had a cultural renaissance and technological explosion, beginning in the 1960's, due in part to society's boundaries as to what is acceptable.

I contend that the unbounding of boundaries has gotten so mature that we are no longer loosening the strictures so as to have more/better art and technology, we have entered into a phase of unboundedness that is producing, ehem...reproducing, pathologically insane scumbags, often of the needless murdering persuasion. Exhibit A (almost harmless non-murdering type):

This thread of thought might provide ammo for Right Wing Christian Culture Warriors, I'm not endorsing that. I'm just saying at this point we need to prepare for more crazies in the world -the sick needless murdering kind, mainly because they are finding mates and producing offspring. Previous political/religious agendas for healing and emancipation have sited our economic excesses as points of change (e.g. Marxism, Catholicism). The addition of a needless-murdering class of humans should make for some new ideologies offering solutions. Or maybe this is a post-ideology domain of inquiry, one in which personal choice has more power than great social movements.

Islam. My honest question: Is there a good and bad kind?

First I want to promote how I think of religions. Specifically, the names and boundaries of religions. To me, if a people claim they are of a religion, they are. If a socialist agenda Catholic org says that are Christian, they are. If a group believes donating to Isreal's military and killing Catholics will be the first thing Jesus does if he returns to Earth, then they to are Christians. Same wide girth of inclusion goes for Islam, Buddhists, and Communists.

So, yeah, I assume their are cosmopolitan and tolerant Moslems. I also assume their are racist, intolerant, and country hick Moslems also. The historical record is full of examples of cosmopolitan Moslem nations -in the Kiev, in Irag, in lots of places.

I've said all the above to set-up for a specific question to my friend Brian [] , who just taught a college course on Islam and is writing a book on it. I've just heard of a division in Islam: Inclusion versus Exclusion. I need to know more about this.

My own personal stance is a support for the tolerant and cosmopolitan versions of every political/religious construct. For a globally interconnected world, exclusion seems like a poorly equipped construct.


I've pursued a narrative that has focused on black on white crime. (See this detailed entry, with personal accounts.). I want to reiterate something I said at the bar, what I see as the positive and negative directions we can go. Positive: mixed income and race neighborhoods, interracial marriage, and education/employment scenarios in which merit performance is the holy grail for respect and rewards; these are sure routes away from racism. Negative: oppressed classes sticking together and viewing all others as contemptible and worthy targets of violence, wealthy classes moving to remote or gated communities, whites fleeing to sidewalk-less suburbs -these are progenitors of misery and re-enactment of the worst scripts humans read from.

1 comment:

Brian Martin said...

Yes, it was pretty popular among Muslims in my class to assert that the extremist and violent Muslims in the world are not really Muslims. So this attitude is exclusionary. There is the same desire in most religions: to preserve one's own view and practice as the right one, and that others are ruining the religion, and giving it a bad name.

I find this both understandable, yet problematic. If the 2 billion Christians are practicing the wrong kind of Christianity (according to the small group of Christians I was raised among), then what are they?

This is one of the main problems with religion in general; it degenerates into finger-pointing and self-affirming arrogance.

True, there are some leaders and groups who cast a wide net and are inclusive. But, as you can imagine, they are in constant debate with those who want to preserve their form of the faith.