On First Principles


“I was trying to get a program going about fundamentalist Islam, or not even fundamentalist actually beyond… where it’s extreme radical Islam, so-called you know, basically people who support ISIS, of which there are some in the UK. Although, they’re hard to interview because it’s actually a crime to Glorify Terrorism is what it’s called. And so they have to talk very gingerly around the subject.

But if you get into a debate with someone who is sincerely committed to ISIS’ brand of Sunni Islam, where they’re saying “Actually, yes, sex slaves are okay,” they’ll say “Slaves isn’t quite the right term but we approve of that.” And then they say, “By what authority do you challenge what we believe?” Continue reading

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On Hopelessness


“There are no hopeless situations there are only people who have grown hopeless about them.”

– Clare Boothe Luce

On Seizing the Moment


“Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart.”

– Erma Bombeck

On Questions and Answers


‘Questions are a burden to others; answers a prison for oneself.’

– sign in The Prisoner (1967)

Repression From Desire


Nothing optional—from homosexuality to adultery—is ever made punishable unless those who do the prohibiting (and exact the fierce punishments) have a repressed desire to participate.[1]

Shakespeare touched upon this phenomenon in King Lear, when Lear reproaches the policeman who is whipping a prostitute because of his lust for her company:

Thou rascal beadle, hold thy bloody hand!
Why dost thou lash that whore?
Strip thine own back;
Thou hotly lust’st to use her in that kind
For which thou whipp’st her.
King Lear (Act 4, Scene 6) Continue reading

Phrygian Cap


The Phrygian cap is a soft felt or wool headdress fitting closely around the head and characterized by a pointed crown that curls forward. It originated in the ancient country of Phrygia in Asia Minor and is represented in ancient Greek art as the type of headdress worn by Orientals. In Rome the Phrygian cap was worn by emancipated slaves as a symbol of their freedom. During the 11th and 12th centuries, it was again extensively used.

The Phrygian cap once more became the emblem of liberty in the 18th century during the French Revolution, when it was adopted by the Revolutionaries as “the red cap of liberty.” Until this day it is closely associated with the French Republic, as it is the headdress worn by Marianne, the allegorical personification of France.