Saturday, March 8, 2014

Vulture of Critique on a Number of Things

I was immediately delighted when I first encountered the blog Vulture of Critique, but I realize the it might be an acquired taste for some, given that it's a very nonstandard blog. Everybody's different, but I remember acquiring taste for some things that I have since become devoted to. The Simpsons was like that for me. It's hard to remember now, but the grotesque drawing style kind of put me off at the beginning, until my brain shifted paradigms, and I decided that the style was just right. Jack Vance was like that for a friend of mine. He was initially befuddled by Vance's ornate writing style, and Vance is so subtle about some things that you might think there's nothing there there to begin with. But he plowed into Ariminta Station and soon became a complete Vancian. Actually, I just realized, Jack Vance came to mind because Vulture reminds me of Vance. He's also ornate and subtle, enjoyable to read just for his prose style, and having copious meaning below that rococo surface. Just thinking about the two of them leads me to use words like "copious" and "rococo."

It's a little difficult to segue into Vulture's latest post, because he begins it with copious (that word again) links to me, which I certainly appreciate, but I don't want to cause an infinite loop, or cybernetic fugue (these guys are really enhancing my vocabulary).  Or maybe I do.

At any rate, I hereby send you to THIS POST, which, as I say, has several links to me, but scroll on down and you'll get to lots of red meat concering dispensationalism, Abu Ghraib, libido, and a Latvian woman getting things thrown at her.  But the most important links, to me, are about IDF (Israeli Defense Force) troops that seem to be all over the Ukraine, but oddly under the radar of the mass media, who are blathering about democracy, self-determination, and what a meanie Putin is. We've heard a lot about demonstrators, snipers, and neo-Nazis carrying on there, but this is the first concrete information I've encountered about the Israeli connection.  Go to Vulture and become enlightened in a most pleasant way.
Quibcag: It is of course a Vulture of Critique quibcag, in his honor, with a sentiment that urges us to a libertarian, rather than liberal, interpretation of the Golden Rule.  The illustration is Shampoo  (シャンプ) (珊璞) unexpectedly hugging Ranma, filling him with mixed feelings for reasons you will understand if you follow their adventures in Ranma ½ (らんま½), also maybe an acquired taste. Here's a series of clips, with more punching than hugging, that might give you a feeling for the je ne sais quoi of the thing. How's that for a segue?


  1. It goes without saying that the Golden Rule presumes respect and moral behaviour in every way. "Do unto others" does not mean "pester people with things you would like," but, "be solicitous for the other man's good as if you were him." In other words, understanding that respecting people's space and not presuming upon them is an important part of treating them with the same concern you have for yourself, you will understand that pestering people with things you would like done to you, is actually the inverse of the Golden Rule. That would be treating others as if they were you, rather than treating others as if you were them.

    Besides, the positive/negative thing is easily flipped in either direction. You could just as easily say that "being left alone in the world without hugs and musical medleys" is not a way I would want to be treated. So I won't do that the others. "Don't treat others a way you wouldn't want to be treated" is just as easily interpreted as 'don't leave people without hugs and kisses," as "do unto others" could be interpreted as "do give people hugs and kisses.

    The whole thing is a red herring. The positive form of the Golden Rule indicates that sometimes perfect goodness to our fellow man goes beyond leaving him alone, and extends to offering an helping hand. The negative form of the rule neglects this. But in either the positive or negative form, the Rule could be misused in the same ways, and so each form of the rule should be moderated by common sense.

  2. Your constant quibcags have finally convinced me to start watching Ranma 1/2. Thanks so much, I love it so far!

    1. Certainly one of my favorites, right up there with Detective Conan.