September 22, 2009

For some odd reason I've joined a curling team. Our first practice is tonight. Only one of my teammates has curled before. But I do have a pretty wicked collection of sweaters that I'll be showing off every game. I've never really understood why some people have such a deep love for curling, but I've been told that our rink has a very affordable bar. You can drink beer while you huck rocks down the ice at other rocks. I also recently discovered that you can drink beer while you play golf. It was a revelation. What most of us consider boring, lazy sports (usually involving middle-aged white men) often involve alcohol consumption (not simply after the game, but during!). This is slowly starting to make sense.

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Lately, I've started reading the theologian Paul J. Griffiths' blog, which is updated with suprising regularity. His reflections may be brief but they're never short on insight. Griffiths is the Warren Chair of Catholic Theology at Duke. I became aware of him when he gave the 2005 J.J. Theissen lectures at CMU. Later published by CMU Press, The Vice of Curiosity: An Essay on Intellectual Appetite remains the best lecture series I've attended, not to mention the strongest book of theology CMU Press has published. A staunch Augustinian, Griffiths, in a recent post, approaches the current debate in American politics over universal access to healthcare in this way:
Faced, then, with a proposal to reform healthcare in the USA, you will advocate what you advocate and oppose what you oppose not because of calculations about outcome, but because of beauty. On this ground, everything is clear: access to healthcare is a right, a condition for human flourishing; a system that makes access contingent upon features extraneous to being human — such as having paid work — is ugly. Attempts to redress the ugliness by insurance compound it: insurance is part of the ugliness, not part of the beauty. The proper solution, the one to advocate with passion, is universal free access. That is the starting point.
Well put. I'd like to see Obama try using this argument.

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So Chad VanGaalen didn't win the Polaris Prize. Well, it's likely he'll be nominated again for his next album so I'm not too torn up about it. Instead Fucked Up, a harcore-punk band from Toronto walked away with $20000. They've said they'll be donating the money to a charity that spreads awareness about missing aboriginal women. Read more.

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