Wednesday, March 24, 2004

# Posted 3:13 AM by Patrick Belton  

THE DAY'S NEWS, OFF PAGE ONE: A City College professor is pushing a brand of "philosophical counseling", telling the NYT "you don't have to be clinically depressed or burdened by childhood guilt to want help with the timeless questions of the human condition -- the persistence of suffering and the inevitability of death, the need for a reliable ethics." (Other philosophical counselors, offering the Socratic examined life to their patients, say that Lou Marinoff is not the best trained or most representative member of their field; he is, though, author of ''Plato, Not Prozac! Applying Eternal Wisdom to Everyday Problems.")

In deshi news, India is rebuffing an American offer to extend Major Non-Nato Ally status to it as well as to Pakistan. Also, in the lead-up to Lok Sabha elections, BJP is running a series of adverts cataloguing the country's nationalist leaders, and then, cutting to a shot of Italian-born Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, warning ominously "and now there is a conspiracy to hand the country over to a foreigner." (BJP is also running on an India "feel-good" campaign of national pride.)

Next door, Uzbek militants, possibly from the IMU, have been found among Al Qa'ida fighters in their hive of villainy in tribal Wana; Uzbekistan's Karimov has requested their extradition to deal with them himself. (He has, after all, had lots of practice before now with his own people.) Also, MMA's general secretary is decrying the incursion of federal troops into tribal areas, as an act threatening to the country's territorial integrity and something which the Brits never even succeeded in doing.

The Boston Globe reports further on the Harvard med-trained star surgeon who left a patient on the table to cash his paycheck (and then the pederasty fell out of the closet). A Claremont McKenna professor vandalized her own car with racist and sexist slogans, organized protests against the perpetrator (erm, herself - but self-hatred has never been that unusual a thing in an academic...), then was caught in the deed. WaPo looks into the world of Olympic ping-pong ("A mild game for geeks? Rather, think big-time steroid scandals, Byzantine romances, groupies, and a lot of glue sniffing"). And The Nation (see, who complained we never linked to them?) details the Camus-Sartre break-up, portraying Camus as the more sympathetic and nuanced character, and Sartre as the more flawed, simplistic, and dogmatic. (Sartre was, however, capable of seeing before his generation the need for French withdrawal from Algeria, and coming up with put-downs such as, to Camus, "I have at least this in common with Hegel: you have not read either of us.")
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