The First Lie: Language’s Big Bang

“Once a person begins to desire what the model desires, he learns very quickly that disclosing the desire – naming it, speaking it – is the shortest route to making certain that he will never obtain the object. In this situation only dissimulation will succeed, and the best way to dissimulate is to say the [Read More…]

Scandalized by Gangs: A Live Chat with Rev. Romal Tune

Before we chat with Rev. Romal Tune at Teaching Nonviolent Atonement this Wednesday, February 26, I need to make a confession: I wish that the young people who join gangs would go to church instead; if there’s a God in heaven, then gangs should wither and die and church youth programs take their place. It [Read More…]

Mimetic Theory Goes to Prison

I recently had the pleasure of discussing mimetic theory and scapegoating with our friends at the Metta Center in Berkeley. Michael Nagler suggested that our prison system in which African-Americans are incarcerated at six times the rates of whites is a good example of scapegoating. I agree. Michael understands something paradoxically true about scapegoating: that [Read More…]