Sad news

Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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21 Responses

  1. sidereal says:

    Learning of the death of children makes me sick to my stomach. There’s a child in our CHD support group that will be fortunate to survive the day due to a complication with a heart transplant. It is a tragedy from which you never fully recover. David Cameron has all my best.

    I humbly request a 24 hour moratorium, at least in this thread, on political arguments, including health policy.Report

  2. E.D. Kain says:

    sidereal, good thinking. I didn’t mean to politicize the thread by tossing in that health care reference. It just seemed important. Thanks.Report

  3. sidereal says:

    Oh, that was fine. I was referring to the probably inevitable eventual use of Ivan Cameron in the commentariat as a political football.Report

  4. Bob says:

    You could post here on the death of children every day, in the thousands. The difference is only you do not know most of their names. I regret the loss of each one.Report

  5. E.D. Kain says:

    Too true, Bob.Report

  6. Chris Dierkes says:

    This is a petition from the (Church of England) Book of Common Prayer for the Funeral of a Child.

    “O God, who makest nothing in vain and lovest all that thou hast made: comfort thou thy servants, whose hearts are sore smitten and oppressed; and grant that they may so love and serve thee in this life, that together with this thy child, they may in the world to come obtain the fullness of life.”

    I find very touching the notion that even though the young child had many disabilities, his life was not in vain. That the definition of a life’s worth is not defined by how successful in our human terms it was or wasn’t.Report

  7. Bob says:

    “I find very touching the notion that even though the young child had many disabilities, his life was not in vain.”

    “Disabilities” like being born to poor parents, single parent, Africa and other medically deprived countries, mothers/fathers with HIV, or leaders of political parties in Britain?

    Whence came these “disabilities”? Jesus Christ Our Lord?

    You people are truly insane.Report

  8. Chris Dierkes says:


    I’m going to try to be very careful here bc I want to follow sidereal’s wise admonition that this thread have a moratorium on argumentation, but just quickly to say (and not to argue)…

    I have a very different theological take than the one you are critiquing. I don’t believe in a God who controls events. Positive or negative ones. I think of God as persuading life through its being but of all of life as free. (This is technically called process theology). A God who walks in life with us and experiences all of the beauties and horrors we do (including the true horror of the death of a child) and tries to guide beings freely to walk in a different way. This God’s work is also to re-member all beings so they are not forgotten.

    This is not a God who is very powerful by our classic definitions of power as force. I believe there is a deeper kind of force (love) that is usually quite powerless by the criteria of our world but powerful in a more spiritual sense. It is from that place, I think life has intrinsic worth and that even lives by our human standards that are disabled can be very powerful and moving. Which is not to say I don’t think there is reason to be angered over injustice & cruelty (i.e. your AIDS, poverty examples), and to work against those forces. Nor to be confused or deeply sorrowful over such a tragedy. I do, to both. Just that the other side I feel needs recognition as well.

    iow, Your criticism I think is very valid if one holds a view of God as something like a puppeteer or designer or whatever. Such a g/God, were one to exist, should be called to task. But perhaps there is a different kind of divinity at work. Like I said before this is more to clarify than to debate.Report

  9. Bob says:

    Sorry Chris, Your “explanation” or whatever it is, not a debate, is junk. Your definition of god does not comport with traditional christian belief (or does it), and that is where my argument rests. But in either case both positions are Oogedy-Boogedy, irrational. “A God who walks in life with us and experiences all of the beauties and horrors we do (including the true horror of the death of a child) and tries to guide beings freely to walk in a different way.” Well, it doesn’t get much weirder than that. If you assert such nonsense I am surly free to call it bull shit. So, bull shit it is.Report

  10. E.D. Kain says:

    Poor taste, Bob.Report

  11. Bob says:

    E.D. I’ve waited patiently all day for you to take Freddie to task for his “poor taste” exemplified by the selections below. Alas just one bull shit comment from you, “can’t we all just get along.” Very droll Mr. Kain.

    Oh, I know, Freddie is different, Freddie is cool, without Freddie this blog would have no star. So Freddie is beyond reproach. Let’s here it for Freddie and double standards.

    The Best of Freddie:

    1.“… I really am just a whiny, angry bitch, who just delights in inflicting verbal cruelty, and I appreciate the fun in being feted by other whiny, bitchy nothings who are so filled with bitterness over their utter failure to accomplish anything of meaning and value that they sit around and laugh along. Haha!”

    2. “…whatever amount of humor and wit was once a part of Gawker was long ago bleached out by the white heat of the bloggers’ burning envy, resentment, sexual frustration and impotence.”

    3.“Guess what, guys? Just because you’re “knowing” about how shitty and empty your blog has been for ages doesn’t actually make it any cooler or more forgivable that your pathetic little theater of cruelty has lost anything resembling bite, honesty or intelligence.”

    4“It’s pretty simple, at the end of the day: you’ve elevated a kind of put-upon, entitled bitchiness to the status of fetish, but secretly, you’re smart enough to know that you’re just like every other asshole on the bus.”

    5.“Some of us tell dick jokes and pretend to be Oscar Wilde when we’re actually the Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons.”Report

  12. E.D. Kain says:

    Wrong thread, Bob. And I’ve disagreed with Freddie and “taken him to task” before. He’s not beyond reproach. But what on earth does this have to do with this thread for Goodness Sakes?Report

  13. Bob says:

    See your comment #10 above, on this thread. Hope that explains why I posted here.Report

  14. I thought I was the League’s star…Report

  15. Bob says:

    You’re my “star.”Report

  16. Heh, but am I your “gold star”, Bob?Report

  17. Bob says:

    I have a box of those sticky gold stars. Take all you want, you have earned ’em.Report

  18. You us like me ‘cus I’ve politely called bullshit on Freddie. I’m your anti-hero… which I’ll take. Fans are hard to come by in these trying economic times.Report

  19. Bob says:

    Heroes, even anti-heroes, are priceless.Report

  20. Bob says:

    Archbishop Cranmer on Parliament, death and young Mr. Cameron.

    The Politics of Feeling
    Archbishop Cranmer

    One cannot but be touched by the tributes in Parliament yesterday to the brief life of Ivan Cameron, and the condolences expressed to David and Samantha Cameron. Some say it was the House of Commons ‘at its best’; others that it was self-indulgent, ‘sentimental schlock’.

    And therein lies the apparently unbridgeable gulf between those who cling to the form, order and reason of modernity, and those who have adopted the postmodern narrative of sensing, feeling and intuiting. Parliament is no longer about hard facts, lawyerly legislation or taxation, for that is a man’s world of sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. It has been feminised for an age which yearns for spiritual aesthetics more than hollow politics. And to marry politics with sentiment one has to be both male and female at a glance. It is the political age of androgyny.

    It does seem absurd that the business of government and the functioning of Parliament should be suspended ‘as a mark of respect’ for a 6-year-old boy. After all, children die every day in tragic circumstances: the death of ‘Baby P’ might be considered a case far more worthy of parliamentary lamentation and the suspension of democracy.

    As Dr Helen Szamuely observes, ‘the death of six-year old Ivan is not a national tragedy’. She proceeds to list a number of personal tragedies in history which did not result in the suspension of proceedings ‘even for an hour’. Michael White in The Guardian also berates the Dianification of politics, noting that the death of as many as 146 children in the tragedy of Aberfan did not cause a suspension of parliamentary proceedings, and neither does the weekly list of fallen soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq. Like Dr Szamuely, he is of the opinion that ‘private and public life are separate and one does not and should not intrude on the other’.

    Cranmer is reminded of the defiant gesture of Margaret Thatcher the day after the Brighton Bomb, in which some of her friends and colleagues were killed, maimed and crippled. But normal politics continued, enduring like the Royal Standard of England. Perhaps this was the final manifestation of political modernity – the age in which duty, obedience, respect and reverence were deemed essential. They underpinned the foundation of the dominant political and intellectual ideas of the age, forged through criticism and reform. But now we move in a different direction. Politics has been replaced by romance, and the narrative embraces the inexplicable and the indefinable. It is concerned with the science and mechanism of charm – the art of pleasing and imperative of weeping. One is no longer so much concerned with reason and logical discourse, but with reading human hearts.

    And so the media places more emphasis upon clothing and jewellery than on policy or parliament. Politics is fused with feeling and experience, elation and depression. The antidote to the utilitarian creed of modernity is sensual emoting. What used to be masculine and muscular has been feminised with dreams of contemplation and moments of meditation.

    The suspension of Parliament as ‘a mark of respect’ may not have been appropriate, but it felt it.

    Politics, like theology, has to embrace the vernacular. And the narrative has become that of illogic and unreason. It may not be right or good, or even conducive to the rational and reasonable, but it is real and it is now. Politicians, like priests, either use it, or they cease to communicate and simply confirm their utter irrelevance.
    posted by Cranmer at 7:53 AMReport