Thursday, January 2, 2014

Reflecting on the last days of 2013

The New Year named 2014 is underway and I am looking forward to it on this the second day of 2014. I have been engaging in serious reflection on one of the activities to which I devoted much time and thought in 2013, the reading of New York Times Editorials and OpEds followed by writing comments and replies to other commenters.

Those that engaged my attention most deeply were what I call the USA-Iran-Israel triangle, all articles that touch on American thought and practice as concerns racism and American concepts of "race", and renewable energy as seen in the USA in contrast with the Nordic countries.

My experience and reflecting on that experience led me to make two successive decisions. The first was to stop writing comments - completely. During the ensuing period, I studied comments in all the fields of major interest to me, reflected on what I had read, and made the second decision.

The second decision was to largely restrict myself to writing comments and replies concerning every article touching on racism and American concepts of "race". There are two basic reasons for doing that. The first is that my Verified friends and a few others cover areas such as the USA-Iran-Israel triangle so well that I can leave that exercise to them. The second is that the New York Times treatment of racism and the American concept of "race" - including use of "race" in American medical research - that someone has to take a critical view of that treatment.

I am only a lay person but as an American living in Sweden I have had unique opportunities to study the dramatically exceptional approach of America and Americans and to compare that with a very different approach in Sweden.

My friends among the Verifieds warn me that entering this area as a critic is to enter a minefield. I have known that for a very long time and recent experience in the New York Times most obscure blog shows that they - Verifieds - are right. All the more reason then to try to improve the comments I will make in that territory.

If you are curious about this recent experience, take the time to visit this blog and make sure first to study the text and the fine series of photographs. Then and only then, if you still have time, do a sample reading of the comments. URL to the blog in the fine print at the bottom.

I can only hope that somebody reads this and sends comments directly to my Gmail (appears at the left).

2014 awaits you, make the most of it. Larry

I have just discovered that I should explain what the following is: At the New York Times Lens Blog you can see a very interesting portrayal of the variety of human beings that in America are simply put in one box "black". If you look at the 18 images you will see, oddly enough, that not a single one is what my Somali friends call truly "black", for example an African from the Congo.

BY MAURICE BERGER
A series of portraits and an accompanying book argue that racial identity is not merely biological or genetic, but also a matter of context and even personal choice.
Or, copy and paste this URL into your browser: http://nyti.ms/1dhcc4d

2 comments:

  1. I haven't read all the comments you exchanged with all of the people who were involved but I think I've read enough comments to guess that misunderstanding played a central role in the question and answer comments you exchanged with all the follows. Dear friend I hope you will not be hindered by some naive jerks' comments. It seems that they (some commentators) are not even aware the seriousness of the accusations they make and to whom they aim that to. I think you need to reconsider your decision about commenting on NYT articles.

    Let's start 2014 with even more commenting on NYT. I think it won't be that bad idea to try to comment about articles on papers based here in Sweden. Or you perhaps do it as well! :)

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  2. Concerned Citizen, AnywheresvilleMarch 19, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    If you've stopped commenting, I sure have not seen it. You rarely waste an opportunity on the NYT to fail to tell us A. how much better Sweden is than the US, B. how stupid Americans all are and C. express your anti-semitic views (as you apparently only meet Muslims in Sweden, and almost no Jews).

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