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 Yellow Vests are many things, but they are not anti-tax. They’re certainly not for the kind of smaller government championed by Macron’s government."
"The Democrats eloquently speak the language of compassion, but they refrain from the patois of national interests and honor."
"The link between Zionism, anti-Semitism didn’t begin with Netanyahu; it also grew out of Zionism’s old need to seek allies anywhere they could be found."
"While it’s easy to see Hart’s predicament as a result of internet mob justice, that’s a drastic oversimplification... How each of 2018’s “shamed” figures reacted to their shaming also had a lot to do with the outcome of their situation."
"We in the media have a problem. Actually, it's a big problem for all of us. We have become addicted to the notion that, except for the top 1% or the top 10%, the incomes of most Americans have stagnated for decades."
"Explorest is just an app-shaped version of something tourists already do: flit from attraction to attraction to take the same photos they've already seen of Buckingham Palace, the Golden Gate Bridge or even Brussels' Peeing Boy."
"They always have rebuttals. They're not playing the same game. You're trying to win at chess but they're masters at Go."
"Everyone has a religion. It is, in fact, impossible not to have a religion if you are a human being. It’s in our genes and has expressed itself in every culture, in every age, including our own secularized husk of a society."
"That night, I got up the nerve to ask Paulina if I could follow her on Instagram. Miraculously, she said yes, shrugging as she walked up the stairs to her room. I grabbed my phone, and suddenly, there it was: Paulina’s life. "
"If they can dream it, you can eat it." Check out photos of 2018's most over-the-top, bizarre, fast-food culinary creations.
"One hundred years after the demise of the passenger pigeon, California-based non-profit Revive & Restore is attempting to bring the species back to life."
"If they embrace their Jewish roots, they can be accused of philo-Semitism... If they ignore it, they risk losing the understanding of the intricate and yes, intersectional, nature of the experience of their Latinx heritage in the Americas."