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mrenhensi 
Member since Feb 24, 2007


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Re: “Gone missing: The country's conscience, brain and heart

The last paragraphs of Harold Pinter's 2005 Nobel lecture:

When we look into a mirror we think the image that confronts us is accurate. But move a millimetre and the image changes. We are actually looking at a never-ending range of reflections. But sometimes a writer has to smash the mirror - for it is on the other side of that mirror that the truth stares at us.

I believe that despite the enormous odds which exist, unflinching, unswerving, fierce intellectual determination, as citizens, to define the real truth of our lives and our societies is a crucial obligation which devolves upon us all. It is in fact mandatory.

If such a determination is not embodied in our political vision we have no hope of restoring what is so nearly lost to us - the dignity of man.


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Posted by mrenhensi on 11/20/2010 at 12:42 AM

Re: “Harold Pinter: No belief in happy endings

The last paragraphs of his Nobel lecture, an amazing read in total:

When we look into a mirror we think the image that confronts us is accurate. But move a millimetre and the image changes. We are actually looking at a never-ending range of reflections. But sometimes a writer has to smash the mirror - for it is on the other side of that mirror that the truth stares at us.

I believe that despite the enormous odds which exist, unflinching, unswerving, fierce intellectual determination, as citizens, to define the real truth of our lives and our societies is a crucial obligation which devolves upon us all. It is in fact mandatory.

If such a determination is not embodied in our political vision we have no hope of restoring what is so nearly lost to us - the dignity of man.


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Posted by mrenhensi on 11/20/2010 at 12:39 AM

Re: “Gone missing: The country's conscience, brain and heart

Reading Saul Alinsky: (Are we too late?)

In the first chapter's opening paragraph, Alinsky writes, "What follows is for those who want to change the world from what it is to what they believe it should be. The Prince was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power. Rules for Radicals is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away."

Outlining his strategy in organizing, Alinsky writes:

There's another reason for working inside the system. Dostoevski said that taking a new step is what people fear most. Any revolutionary change must be preceded by a passive, affirmative, non-challenging attitude toward change among the mass of our people. They must feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless in the prevailing system that they are willing to let go of the past and change the future. This acceptance is the reformation essential to any revolution. To bring on this reformation requires that the organizer work inside the system, among not only the middle class but the 40 per cent of American families – more than seventy million people – whose income range from $5,000 to $10,000 a year [in 1971]. They cannot be dismissed by labeling them blue collar or hard hat. They will not continue to be relatively passive and slightly challenging. If we fail to communicate with them, if we don't encourage them to form alliances with us, they will move to the right. Maybe they will anyway, but let's not let it happen by default.

For Alinsky, organizing is the process of highlighting whatever he believed to be wrong and convincing people they can actually do something about it. The two are linked. If people feel they don’t have the power to change a situation, they stop thinking about it.

Posted by mrenhensi on 11/20/2010 at 12:15 AM

Re: “Davis Guggenheim's tendentious education film, Waiting for "Superman"

In retirement and reading a lot trying to understand how my mother was influenced by those educators who were prominent then, I have gotten into the works of Maria Montessori. Her Absorbent Mind is light years ahead of what is being used today to foundation our approach to education. I didn't attend her schools; got onto her circuitously, but the data we need to do the job right already exists. Unfortunately, we've gone so far down the road from her/that (if it was ever really adopted by anyone other than her own schools), that it would require a devolution to begin to get any of it in now. We're totally disconnected from the essence of what it means to educate.

Posted by mrenhensi on 10/24/2010 at 10:38 PM

Was at Lumnina to see film; thought a cafe named Dream Catcher would probably be better than the Subway-my two immediate choices. I elected to give it a go. First, it's style immediately told me that this was a nice find. Second, I wondered if I'd be able to get in without reservation. It was a typical Friday dinner hour, near full. Alone, I asked to sit at the bar, where I could check it out from my last-barstool perch angled as it was to provide a full restaurant view in front of me. The tend was most hospitable, offering wine (simple/well chosen) menu and explaining it and the dinner menu where I needed in a quick, but 'I'm here only for you right now' kind of attention. I chose a root-based soup and argula salad, both done as I'd not had them (exactly) before(not blah atall/quite nourishing); sparking water only for me (on a med that night). Prior to the meal, I was served a complementary palate prep cracker w/umphh! condiments. Intended to go back after film for dessert, but decided to save that for next visit. The dessert menu's promise is worth the trip from Cary! We have had too many wonderful, unique-to-this-area restaurants close since I returned here in 1997. (I'd lived here in the 80's, and had discovered its uniqueness at that time, especially one-of-a-kind, non-chain restaurants, which was one reason I was so eager to return.) It is with pleasure that I recommend Dream Catcher; here's hoping we'll enjoy it for a long time to come.

Posted by mrenhensi on 02/24/2007 at 8:48 AM

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