“Homeland: “American exceptionalism” at its worst

‘ …“Homeland” has long since abandoned the promise of its first exciting season, when The New Yorker’s Emily Nussbaum hailed it as “the antidote for ‘24.’” For those who may have repressed the memory, “24” was the Fox network’s action-packed, torture-rich, frankly Islamophobic series featuring the unstoppable Jack Bauer, who saved the world at least three times in any given 24-hour period.

“Homeland” was created by two men who were heavily involved with the earlier show, Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa. They seemed to have scaled down the testosterone quite a bit, going so far as to hint in the Showtime series that the US drone program was at least partly responsible for the further radicalization of the Muslim world (and for Brody’s desire to kill the VP).

But season three brings back “American exceptionalism” with a vengeance — a concept author Stephen Kinzer described as “the view that the United States is inherently more moral and farther-seeing than other countries and therefore may behave in ways that others should not.”

Others, of course, might disagree. By all accounts, despite government bans, millions of Iranians are actively using social media; the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei has his own Twitter account, and issues fatwas via Facebook. Let’s just hope they’re not all watching “Homeland.” ‘ (Salon)

How Jesus Had the Cheek to Support Neuroscience

A recent study showed that more than 90% of depositions of the crucifixion show Jesus with his head turned toward the right, showing the left side of his face. The investigators speculate that artists are betraying an implicit understanding of the neuroscience of emotion — it is generally acknowledged that the left side of the face is more expressive, controlled as it is by the right cerebral hemisphere. However, there are plenty of non-neurological explanations:

For one thing, Mary is usually located to Jesus’ right, so maybe he is looking toward her. Or if Jesus is feeling abandoned by God, perhaps he is looking to the right, away from God (Jesus is usually described as being on God’s right-hand side). The saved are also depicted by convention on the right, so Jesus could be looking toward salvation. The number of speculations are almost endless.’ (Wired Science).