“Today is World Philosophy Day, people. This is the day when we come together all over the globe (possibly) to honour our august and noble discipline, and are encouraged to entertain new and unfamiliar ideas.” [Hurray!]
“To celebrate, the Philosopher’s Eye is pleased to announce that we will be bringing you five cutting-edge opinion pieces written by highly distinguished philosophers.”
All these “highly distinguished philosophers” turn out to be male. Ugh, somehow that does not sound like a ‘new’ and ‘unfamiliar’ idea to me…..
Britain’s jobless young people are being sent to work for supermarkets and budget stores for up to two months for no pay and no guarantee of a job, the Guardian can reveal.
These people are doing 30 hrs/week for their £53/week benefit.
For full details, go here.
Seriously, would any other world leader have to endure this? I know this coverage of President Barack Obama’s visit to Australia and time with Prime Minister Julia Gillard is supposed to be funny, to be tongue in cheek, but it’s just not. It’s an insult to women in politics.
“THE AUDACITY OF GROPE: Julia and Barack’s special relationship, Touchy-feely PM and President met with a kiss “It’s like she’s won a date with George Clooney”
Read more: http://www.news.com.au/national/touching-times-for-prime-minister-julia-gillard-and-us-president-barack-obama/story-e6frfkvr-1226197371568#ixzz1dvtlWNRN
A bit of a side interest in the wide variety of rituals surrounding death led me to a documentary I think I have to watch. In “Dancing for the Dead: Funeral strippers in Taiwan” Marc L. Moskowitz, an anthropology professor at the University of South Carolina, documents the phenomena known as “funeral stripping.” The idea of hiring strippers to help send off the dead was new to me. I can’t quite imagine it except at something like a wake on the TV show The Sopranos. Funeral stripping is pretty much what it sounds like. Scantily clad dancers gyrate around poles, flashing lights and blaring pop music — often on the back of what they call “electric flower cars,” which are part of the funeral procession.
From a description of the documentary: “Funeral strippers work on Electric Flower Cars (EFC) which are trucks that have been converted to moving stages so that women can perform as the vehicles follow along with funerals or religious processions. EFC came to Taiwan’s public attention in 1980 when newspapers began covering the phenomenon of stripping at funerals. There is a great deal of debate about whether this should be allowed to continue. In Taipei, Taiwan’s capital, one often hears middle and upper class men complain about the harmful effects of this rural practice on public morality. In contrast, people in the industry see themselves as talented performers and fans of the practice say that it makes events more exciting. Dancing for the Dead follows this story, interviewing Taiwan’s academics, government officials, and people working in the EFC industry to try to make sense of this phenomenon. The film includes footage from nine different cities across Taiwan, including EFC performances, a funeral, and several religious events.”
A trailer for the documentary follows this post. I guess I shouldn’t have to stay that a documentary about strippers may not be safe for workplace viewing but I will. NSFW, though of course that depends on your workplace. I always find that expression a bit odd. I mean strippers have jobs and this documentary trailer would be pretty tame by those workplace standards.
Other blog posts on funeral strippers:
The Closure Blog, http://www.nancyberns.com/funeral-strippers.html
Life Detox with a Pack of Cigarettes and Swear Words, “Funerals are Fun!!”
Funeral strippers in Taiwan: There is evidence that the practice dates back to the 1800s, so why do people suddenly have a problem with it? Emily Lodish
“Two new studies led by University of California, Berkeley, researchers spotlight the human health effects of exposure to smoke from open fires and dirty cookstoves, the primary source of cooking and heating for 43 percent, or some 3 billion members, of the world’s population. Women and young children in poverty are particularly vulnerable.“
The researchers go to say that the studies provide compelling evidence that reducing household woodsmoke exposure is a public health intervention that is likely on a par with vaccinations and nutrition supplements for reducing severe pneumonia, and is worth investing in.
Read more here.