We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Sunday, August 29. 2010
Hooters and fat waitresses. But lots of guys like Rubenesque figures, don't they? (Venus at a Mirror, c. 1614)
Did anybody see this movie? Enemy at the Gates.
AVI ponders confessing the sins of others
Surber on Beck's rally.
Chris Matthews: Who Stole America? What???
Was Benjamin Whorf partly right? Does Your Language Shape How You Think?
Has Gov Schwartzenegger found his inner Christie? Too late. The guy was all hat, no cattle and no cojones.
Blair home number nine. What's that all about? Ans: Lefties love money.
USA Today trying to figure out how to survive
Rick Moran: The O is American enough
Shut down the federal Dept of Education. It's not a federal responsibility, duty, or power - whatever the Bushes thought.
American Muslim leaders are not instilling confidence
Has the MSM lost confrol of the Leftist narrative?
Tax fuel to be green. Then raise taxes to help the fuel-poor so they can use more fuel. It all makes perfect sense.
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Enemy at the Gates: Yes - not bad - not great. It has its moments.
On language shaping thinking: One of my hobbies is solving navigation problems using only tools at hand if you will. During one of my investigations, I became quite interested in early migratory Polynesian methods of navigation. It turns out that several Polynesian languages, including those tribes or groups that migrated to the various islands are geocentric in terms of direction.
They use this geocentric language model to their advantage by combining it with knowledge of their environment - things like wave states (inshore/offshore), observations of wind and weather, time of year - it is absoutely fascinating how they do it.
For instance, the use their hands to measure heights from the horizon at the cardinal points to determine relative positions. They "touch" certain stars with fingers on a spread hand to see what has changed in the voyage comparing that with the wind/wave state for direction.
All this is learned in an apprentice system and it takes many years before one could become a navigator and be trusted to take villagers offshore for fishing or travel.
Er...sorry - got carried away - I think its more of a vocation than a hobby. :>)
Completely random stray thought: Have you ever called a woman Rubenesque and what happened when you did?
Yes Enemy at the Gates is an excellant film good story, great actors and made in France, Yes FRANCE.
When I was a little kid visisting my Grandparents and bored to tears I read the readers digest condensed version that my grandma subscribed to
Enemy at the Gates was very good.
The beginning is almost Full Metal Jacket intense. You see Russian conscripts released from box car captivity into a war scene where almost all die immediately, either from German fire ahead or their own officer fire behind.
The Jude Law - Rachel Weisz sex scene in "Enemy at the Gates" very nearly put me off sex. But I got over it.
And it lacked historical accuracy.
Whoa, that Ruben's amazing. Now where did I leave my time machine...
Enemy at the Gates;
Hoskins was a good Khrushchev, and I always like Rachel Weisz. The story may be semi-mythological (the exploits of many may have been personified in Zeitsev for propaganda purposes), but it's interesting anyway.
Blogdog, What's wrong? Not into filthy people in Red Army uniform rolling around in the burnt out building?
Enemy at the Gates - very good movie. I agree the sex scene was, um....not engaging. BUT it's interesting to see because it's mildly realistic, since many of the Soviet military officers allowed this behavior given the dangers the soldiers faced.
It is very mythological, however. While the character(s) existed, the story has never been proven to have occurred. In fact, while the sniper in question was an excellent one, he wasn't even the best one in the Soviet Army, let alone Stalingrad. He WAS, however, held up as a hero in order to promote the cult of "Sniperism"
Good book worth reading for both the historical context and overall impact of Stalingrad (on both Russia AND Germany in WWII) is Antony Beevor's "Stalingrad". Very enjoyable, very readable, and full of amazing stories.
It was a brutal battle and most Americans know little of the Soviet role in WWII, which may well have been more important than our own. It certainly was alot larger in terms of human loss, with Russia losing close to 20mm people.
I own several Mosin Nagent rifles, "Enemy at the Gates" shows what those old warhorses can do.
Enemy is a decent movie. I was a bit confused by the question at first, since there is/was a BBC series of the same name about the German occupation of the Channel Islands. And no, I do not mean Foyle's War - another series [mostly] about police work during that occupation.
Vicki Hearne speculated that comprehension tests were biased against people who could not believe things quickly.
Tom Francis ... I agree with you, that language inevitably shapes thought, and I'm fascinated at the example you chose. With the National Education Association's long standing neglect of emphasis on teaching grammar, sentence structure and general vocabulary, we have successfully dumbed down, in only a few generations, many of our citizens' ability to think logically and in an organized manner. This is of course a generalization, but, as with all generalizations, there is more than a grain of truth in it. I suspect that this is partially responsible for the fact that many of our citizens are not able to conduct a reasoned debate on differences of opinion, whether the differences are political, philosophical or social. So they resort to name-calling and baseless charges.
I've just been scanning the comments on the Restoring Honor Rally in Washington, and the hastily organized counter-rally by Sharpton and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus, who had evidently planned to overlook and not memorialize the date of MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech. Sharpton accused the Restoring Honor folks of "trying to hijack Martin Luther King" for their own purposes.
Once again, 'People accuse you of what they would do themselves' as the old saying goes.
P.S. Somewhere, either yesterday or today on the Internet is an interesting comment on the fact that young folks and their dedication to Twittering has reduced still further their ability to communicate clearly. In ten years or so, you'll be able to see the results of that. I may not be around to do so, but send me a message to Somewhere.
I was assigned Whorf's Language,Thought, and Reality in Anthropology 202 in 1972. It was considered not merely an hypothesis, but true, part of the foundational knowledge budding anthropologists needed. And it was such a cool idea. No - Faaaar Ouuuut. It took a lot of time, and reading a lot of linguistics, for me to give up the idea.
So the NYT article was intriguing. One question, though: Are children raised in languages that have gender taught the concept these are feminine and this, masculine all that young? Isn't it learned as an intuitive association without a name for the earliest, important years, with the explanation coming later? Certainly, the cumulative associations of this collection of objects including all the girl-stuff, and this collection of objects including all the boy-stuff, could eventually shape one's impressions. But gender in language is often unrelated to sex. It is not so completely unrelated that one could quite call them red, blue, and yellow genders instead of masculine, feminine, and neuter, but it tends that way.
AVI ... In my generation, we deferred to S. I. Hayakawa, a professor who wrote Language in Action, which dovetailed nicely with my college studies of Anthropology. Hayakawa expressed the idea that language influences action, as well as action influencing language. He didn't cite this point, but I will. In the Scandinavian countries, the Norwegians, Swedes, Icelanders, etc. are said to have hundreds of words for 'snow', describing it in the minutest detail, which strikes me as logical, since they see it all the time. Down here on the Gulf Coast, we call it snow, and that's pretty much it. It snows, briefly, probably once a year, and it melts off quickly. And then it's back to hot-hot-hot.
I wanted to like "Enemy in the Gates", but I didn't. I have some adult Russian students, and I though it would help me understand more of their history. I don't think it did. It was more of a story of a fictional love triangle with this quasi-historical story as a backdrop. Any historical war story would have sufficed, but this one was chosen. That is the way it seemed to me. It would have been better if they had dropped the love story and concentrated on the historical part. The best part of the movie was the part that shows how the sniper became a propaganda tool.
I saw the movie even though I normally avoid war movies. I enjoyed it, but the love story was a distraction. I've just discovered that it was based on real characters and events, but is historically inaccurate.
"Was Benjamin Whorf partly right? Does Your Language Shape How You Think?"
Your language shapes how you can express yourself, what you can express even.
So yes, it will shape your thinking.
If your language has no word for peace, the very concept may well be alien to you.
Of course this is only in part a direct process. More important will be the fact that the language is defined by the culture that spawns you and shapes you.
Enemy At The Gates was decent enough though not especially accurate other than Stalingrad was hellhole, but most telling as always the way the left-mind works. One rifle between two soldiers and the one behind picks up the rifle when the first one is shot. That and the fact the political officers would shoot you in the back if you stopped charging.
And to think the left thinks it has some sort of moral superiority.