The US Supreme Court has ruled that marriage is a right covered by equal protection laws, which means that states can no longer ban same-sex marriage.
Congratulations, America. We’re just barely behind Nintendo games.
This time of year has become the world’s biggest holiday by a large margin; considering the amount of shopping that’s done for it I suppose it’s obvious why retailers want to make the time it takes over start earlier and earlier.
But we can’t forget what it’s really about. The reason for the season. Axial tilt; that’s not really a joke, because the original reason for what has come to be known as “the holiday season” is the season itself; the winter solstice. The longest night of the year, and more thematically important, the moment when the days stop getting shorter and start getting longer. That’s why so many cultures and religions make it into a day about hope and new beginnings.
And I think this song (easily the most obscure one I’ve featured) expresses the true meaning of the solstice better than any traditional holiday song, and even better than any of the rather good pagan songs I’ve heard. Brighter Than Today, central anthem of A Secular Solstice, performed by the Bliss Jockeys and Lesley Shannon.
(Uploaded by Raymond Arnold)
A lot of people seem to think that because they see a substantial amount of bad news, the present is worse than the past. (Of course there have been people saying that in every generation.) And “I’m losing my faith in humanity” is a common sentiment. (Really common: “I don’t want to live on this planet anymore” and other such memes are basically variations.)
Hessianwithteeth has a good post arguing against that view.
And then there are people who just claim that people are basically bad and always have been. Some religions endorse this view.
These are two different ideas, but they’re not completely separate. If the world is in fact getting better rather than worse, that is also evidence that people have more goodness than the cynics give them credit for.
Continue reading Human nature