Israel Is Nacho Cheese, Or Why You Should Study Religion

Many of you will have seen Steven Ramey’s recent post on how nacho cheese is a floating signifier: it lacks a legal definition and, as such, its use is recreated on an ongoing basis by different social actors, many of whom profit from peddling their wares as “nacho cheese.”

Steven’s post was picked up and commented on by Timothy Michael Law at Marginalia. While reading, I noticed a provocative juxtaposition between the nacho cheese comments and an advertisement for other Marginalia content:

Nacho Israel“Israel,” like “nacho cheese,” is a floating signifier subjected to ongoing recreation and contestation. In fact, the quotation from Steven’s post would be just as true if we swapped the terms: Continue reading “Israel Is Nacho Cheese, Or Why You Should Study Religion”

War of Words

Picture 6I assume you’ve heard plenty of news from the Hamas/Israel conflict that’s happening right now, particularly the back and forth over the innocent civilians who are either being terrorized by rocket attacks into Israel or the innocent civilians being killed daily in Gaza. Or, to rephrase, maybe you’ve heard the arguments for why it is or is not improper to consider certain people as civilians, i.e., arguments for why so-called non-military targets are as legitimate as any and not just the unfortunate (or perhaps inevitable) “collateral damage” that comes with war. Continue reading “War of Words”