Sounding on “The Social Disciplines”

Yeah, so….everyone has a ‘junk drawer,’ right? That place where you stick all those things you are, inexplicably, interested and fascinated by, but unable to describe succinctly?  The ‘social disciplines’ is my attempt to name that junk drawer for the purposes of this blog: stuff I’m interested in that is otherwise nebulously categorical.

  • 18 levels of Chinese Hell
  • Fire to the Commons! An essay you should read – ‘further theory’
  • Why bureaucracy matters when you are trying to “DIY” your own funeral
  • Downsizing Chinese Graves
  • Racialization or Denominalization of Worship Styles
  • Understanding Society – a Blog You Should Be Reading. Continue reading

SOUNDING on Death, August 31, 2010

Some death-related links I’ve noticed in the past few weeks.

The Death Reference Desk continues to cover the controversy over the monks at St. Joseph’s Abbey in Louisana’s coffins.  Yes, their coffins.  Turns out that like most traditional monasteries, these monks have a trade, and that’s building traditional Benedictine caskets.  But the locals object.

One of the lesser-known classic blunders is trying to prevent jovial Benedictine monks, living peacefully in their Louisiana monastery, from selling hand made wooden caskets to the general public. Not unlike starting a land war in Asia or a battle of wits with a Sicilian. Stated simply, the odds aren’t that good.

Joviality aside, the objections are commercial – the monastery is not a “Funeral Establishment” which are the only establishments permitted to sell “Funeral Merchandise.”

Roadside crosses planted in memory of deceased Utah State Troopers by the state have been ruled a violation of the Establishment Cause.  This is an important ruling that, in the wake of the Mojave Cross Supreme Court Decision last year, seems destined to be overturned.

Finally, if you’re an old-school music lover, go ahead and have your cremated remains pressed into a record of your choosing. via BoingBoing


International Day of Peasants' Struggle

I really respect via campesina and the Brazillian MST – they are amazing groups doing important, vital work. They are examples of bottom-up democracy and politics, and embody a mature radicalism.

I love the idea of an International Day of Peasants’ Struggle (IDPS), and am in complete solidarity with the idea of international, coordinated actions taken by peasants.

And I understand that they chose April 17 as the day for the IDPS to commemorate the 1996 murder by the military police of Brazil on peaceful landless peasant protesters – murdering 19. A few years back, all the police charged with the murder were acquitted.

But didn’t somebody remember that it was on April 17, 1975, that one of the Twentieth Century’s most peasant-identified revolutionary movements came to power in Cambodia, and made a bloody, bloody, bloody mess? Seems like an oversight