The McConnaisance
March 6, 2014
Facebook/True Detective

Perhaps the most divisive aspect of HBO's police procedural True Detective is the philosophical musings of detective Rust Cohle, a moody brooder of uncanny sleuthing ability played by Matthew McConaughey. "I think human consciousness is a tragic misstep in human evolution," Cohle says in an early episode, to give you an example of the nihilistic tinge of his outlook.

Critics, at best, have been ambivalent about True Detective's philosophical component, which has also received its fair share of mockery. A friend once succinctly parroted Cohle's views on religion as: "Religion is the opiate of the masses, bro."

But perhaps Cohle's philosophical worldview, as written by show creator Nic Pizzolatto, is more sophisticated than we think. That's the claim made by Jon Baskin at The Point, who describes the show's central premise as: "What if Nietzsche were a police officer in present-day New Orleans?"

Now, one might certainly disagree with [Cohle's] ideas — not only do they conflict with common sense, and with our common experience of the world, they are also subject to serious philosophical objections. However to dismiss them as shallow or nonsensical is not only irresponsible, it risks completely missing the challenge the show poses to us in the form of Rust's character. [The Point]

For fans of the show, it's an interesting and pretty convincing essay. I would just posit that perhaps people have trouble taking Cohle seriously because he's played by a guy whose most famous movie line is this: "That's what I like about these high school girls; I get older, they stay the same age." Ryu Spaeth

This just in
4:10 p.m. ET

Police have safely removed an unexploded WWII bomb from a construction site in north London, near Wembley Stadium.

The 110-pound bomb was apparently dropped in the 1940s during Nazi air raids, The Telegraph reports. And it was discovered by accident, too: Construction workers near the stadium discovered the bomb while at work on Wednesday afternoon. Police haven't released the exact location where the bomb was discovered.

An army spokesperson told The Telegraph that the bomb posed a "genuine risk to life," and local homes and businesses were evacuated until the bomb was defused. Teams from the Royal Logistic Corps excavated the bomb, and the Royal Engineers created a blast wall around the site in case it accidentally exploded.

Soccer fans excited for the weekend games at Wembley don't need to worry, though: The stadium tweeted that its weekend schedule is "unaffected" by the bomb. Meghan DeMaria

Only in America
4:00 p.m. ET
iStock

The Boy Scouts of America has banned water-gun fights, saying that it's not "kind" for scouts to shoot each other with "simulated firearms." The organization's new National Shooting Manual also forbids the use of potato guns and marshmallow shooters. The rules brought a wave of derision, with one critic saying the Scouts are turning "boys into a bunch of wusses." The Week Staff

This just in
3:00 p.m. ET
Facebook.com/19 Kids and Counting

Following the revelation that 27-year-old Josh Duggar, one of the stars of TLC's reality series 19 Kids and Counting, had admitted to sexually molesting multiple girls when he was a teenager, TLC has reportedly pulled reruns of the show — which aired its season 10 finale this week — from its schedule.

"Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret," Josh Duggar said in a statement. "I hurt others, including my family and close friends." Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, Josh's parents, issued a similar statement, saying their son's actions caused them "to seek God like never before."

The ultimate fate of 19 Kids and Counting is still up in the air, as the network has not yet stated whether it will continue with future seasons. Since the news broke, 2016 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee (R) has defended Duggar, who also resigned from his political post at the Family Research Council, an influential conservative group. Meghan DeMaria

the wonderful world of disney
2:21 p.m. ET

Disney's latest blockbuster, Tomorrowland, invites viewers to enter a futuristic world of robots, jetpacks, and flying trains.

It's a glimpse of a hyper-technological future many would love to visit — including none other than Walt Disney, who channeled his own vision of the future into theme parks like Tomorrowland (a section of The Magic Kingdom) and EPCOT (a theme park in its own right). In a featurette, the creative team behind Tomorrowland shows off original clips of Walt Disney, describing ideas that eventually inspired the new film:

"Many of the things that seem impossible now will become realities tomorrow," says Disney. "A beautiful tomorrow just a dream away. That says we're going places. There's progress ahead."

For Walt Disney's full vision of the future, click here. Scott Meslow

This just in
2:00 p.m. ET
Graham Chadwick/Allsport/Getty Images

The Eiffel Tower was closed to the public on Friday during a protest against petty crime at the landmark. Normally, the tower is open 365 days a year.

Workers from the company that manages the Eiffel Tower said the site has recently seen an increased number of pickpockets. The protest comes a day after Paris authorities said that Paris crimes against tourists are down because of increased surveillance, The Associated Press reports.

According to Paris authorities, pickpocketing was down 23 percent in January through April 2015 from the same period last year. But staff members who work at the Eiffel Tower believe too many tourists are being robbed at the site. BBC News reports that workers claim pickpocketing "gangs" have threatened to assault them, and the workers are asking for a permanent police presence at the site. Meghan DeMaria

survey says
1:44 p.m. ET

A new Gallup poll released today finds that for the first time, equal numbers of Americans self-identify as socially conservative and socially liberal, with 31 percent placing themselves in each category. On economics, however, conservatives still lead by a 20-point margin:

(Gallup)

This change is consistent with increasing support for gay marriage and the legalization of marijuana, while opinions on abortion show no such significant swing. Bonnie Kristian

keeping us unsafe
1:38 p.m. ET
Alex Wong/Getty Images

In a report released by the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Thursday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) admits that the mass surveillance capabilities authorized by Section 215 of the Patriot Act have not helped solve any big terrorism cases. "The agents we interviewed did not identify any major case developments that resulted from use of the records obtained in response to Section 215 orders," said DOJ Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz.

The report also reveals that the FBI expanded the scope of surveillance it deemed acceptable under Section 215, investigating "groups comprised of unknown members and [obtaining] information in bulk concerning persons who are not the subjects of or associated with any FBI investigation."

This news comes as the Senate considers whether to renew, modify, or nix Section 215, which along with a few other provisions of the Patriot Act is set to expire on June 1. Bonnie Kristian

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