Friday links! Spectrum of despair edition

Frida Kahlo's "Without Hope"

Frida Kahlo’s “Without Hope”

In Spanish, the word for “desperate” is “desesperado”—literally de-hoped. It’s an interesting piece of etymology, since the English “desperate” often connotes frenzied activity: a desperate search, a desperate plea, the wandering trouble that is the desperado. Our actions—our desperate attempts, if you will—tend to reach their peak when hope is gone. That is the moment when action itself feels like it should be enough, when what we’re trying to accomplish fades into the experience of doing something. Today is Friday, and despair is a spectrum with pure action at one end and pure efficacy at the other. Won’t you slide along with me?

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Who is S.E. Cupp, exactly?

"Are you sure we should take the picture right now? It seems kind of windy."

In addition to being every woman I told myself I should just go over and talk to, SE Cupp is also a mystery. She’s a professed atheist who has written a book called Losing Our Religion: The Liberal Media’s Attack on Christianity. She’s just completed a master’s degree in religious studies at Columbia, and also just asserted her nonbelief on Bill Maher fifty times. [Warning: Maher at his most irritating.] She did the same thing with Sean Hannity, who insisted that she was actually an agnostic.* In an interview with the Daily Beast, she told Benyamin Cohen that ““I knew at a very young age that I didn’t really buy the whole God gamut.” She also told him that as a child she wanted to be a nun. Her columns for the NY Daily News—in which she argues that President Obama has not effectively wielded the power of fear and that we shouldn’t clean up the BP oil spill—suggest that she might simply be a contrarian. Yet she has built her career on aggressively upholding traditional beliefs. Let us not forget, when she argues that the news media naturally attack Christianity because “liberalism and secularism are the standards and anything that crops up against that are the exceptions,” that she is talking about a religion professed by nearly 80% of Americans.

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