Best Of The Web
“Twitter’s teapot held a new tempest Sunday, this one brewing over astronaut Scott Kelly’s approving quote of Winston Churchill. Within half a day, buffeted by digital waves of outrage, Kelly retracted his words, tweeting that he did “not mean to offend by quoting Churchill” and pledging to educate himself “further on his atrocities.”
Was Churchill a “grotesque racist and a stubborn imperialist, forever on the wrong side of history” — or a stalwart defender of freedom against the evil of Nazism, a man prone to the errors of his age but admirable nevertheless? The same historical record undergirds both assessments, and their divergence raises questions larger than Churchill’s legacy alone: Should history’s greats be held to today’s standards of offense? Is the past to be interpreted via the present’s ethical lens? If we know something to be wrong now, can we blame our ancestors for failing to know it then?
Christopher Columbus, whose federal holiday fell on Monday, was weighed and found very much wanting (eyewitness accounts and the man’s own journals detail unspeakable cruelty). But what about the more complicated cases?
Should we honor someone like Thomas Jefferson, the slave-owning advocate of universal human rights? What do we make of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s alleged infidelity and plagiarism? Or Martin Luther’s gross antisemitism, or the rank sexism rampant among classic philosophers and theologians? Or — well, you can find any number of lists of other important historical figures who don’t conform to the present-day ethical consensus.”
JJ Best Of The Web
“The great sticking point—around the Irish border—has always been there.”
“Congress and the president have historically reined in the justices when they’ve gone against public opinion.”
Great schools, low prices, less partying, less anti-Zionism. Why not send your kid to school in Israel?
“Writers from the sitcom’s original run weigh in: ‘You’re not telling a story about a strong matriarch anymore. It’s something else.’”
Sears was Amazon in a time before Amazon. Now they’ve declared bankruptcy.
“When we die now, we leave a multitude of digital relics behind. Can we grieve properly for those we love when the dead remain with us?”
On sensitive issues, most Americans are censoring themselves.
“Bookish, which sounds a bit like Jewish, is the word I use to describe lives that are dominated by books.”
Personality development might be more influenced by siblings than it is by parents.
Are avocados, almonds, melon, kiwi or butternut squash suitable for vegans? Nope!
“Scientists bred healthy baby mice from same-sex parents for the first time.”
“Perhaps there was something too primal about it, the associations with blood and the female body and sexuality, the act of immersing naked in rainwater.”