July 23, 2009

News Roundup

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:44 pm by Iain

I’ve been thinking about writing a few more news oriented entries lately, to maybe go for that professional blogger touch, give myself some of that authentic journalistic street-cred. Unfortunately though, every time I expand from the article’s contents to the big picture, my earth-shattering, paradigm shifting climax that I have so carefully been preparing for throughout my post ends up seeming far less of a paradigm shift than it seems…well, paradigmatic.

My “journalism” ends up falling one of two ways. In the first, rather than displaying my expert use of logic and critical thinking, my inveterate elitism seems to always steal the show (with rationality playing only a supporting role). For through my current event looking glass, one can easily see my prostrate id groveling shamelessly in the hope that its ivory pretensions will soon deliver it and its master from the gibbering masses below.

As for the second, it ends up sounding like some sort of badly written empowerment guide: frenzied, pathetically optimistic, and completely devoid of any intellectual merit. Written in a cadence reminiscent of the Greeks, each sentence is rhythmically birthed into the dreariest and most self-conscious of worlds, only to find a dramatic and singular redemption in the paragraph’s resounding crescendo!

(E.G.) What’s this, young fragment, you say your crippling predilection for Hawaiian shirts has thrust you into an unrelenting depressive state with no foreseeable end? Well what would you say if I told you of your incredible and ineluctable fame as an unparalleled cultural historian founded upon an in-depth cultural and racial analysis of the annexation of Hawaii and the reception of its customs in the contiguous states that subsequently allows you to laugh in the face of your stupid, know-nothing historian friends!! How convenient that your original problem was the very thing that led to your ascendancy, ha-ha!!!

Etc, etc.

However, I am now left with the decision of how exactly to acquire any of the previously mentioned, highly coveted journalistic street-cred. Luckily, as in most things, Twitter contains the answer. Thus, be amazed, as I present to you my incredible interpretative wit…in two sentences or less! (Okay, maybe three on one or two, but those don’t count.)

Do we need a new internet?

The internet is fascinating! It’s literally modern pop culture unfolding around us, and this here, this is the prototypical historical primary source: deeply unsettling insecurities? Check. Vain attempts to understand post-modernity through pithy philosophical sayings (lolz state of nature internet) and superbly unfitting war analogies? Check. Implicit racial ambiguity presented in the analogy of a “gated community?” Check.  Potentially world-ending, cataclysmic computer virus? Check.  I LOVE THIS ARTICLE.

The destruction of the academia, as seen by Apple

Still on the internet tangent, this is interesting more in the sheer revolutionizing potential that the internet represents, i.e. unlimited,  free knowledge. The fact that the entire trial had to be redone simply because the jurors were able to educate themselves only further highlights the flimsy structural foundation that gives universities, in particular, an unlimited monopoly on what does and does not constitute as “truth.”

Blatant racism…still?!

My friend Greg sent me this randomly in a fit of white-hot anti-racist rancor. Honestly, the audacity of the swimming club almost made me laugh a little bit. What worries me most, though, is how stories like this serve to other racism into such a transparent idea that people begin to completely disassociate themselves from the entire idea of racism being anything more than something anachronistically perpetuated by the South. Racism is more than that!

Racism is subtly emphasizing authenticity, sexuality, and “lower-class” emotionality to African Americans, or mathematics, overweening attention to traditions and a lack of emotion to Asian Americans. Or what my culture professor is writing his book about, assuming that all minorities are like their stereotypes and fondly regarding them when they’re in those positions, but once they attempt to move beyond the stereotypes, beyond the racism, they are confronted with an immediate negative and potentially dangerous reaction. Racism is subversive, but it’s impossible to get that across through traditional media.

This is oddly exciting to read, but only to me!

Being a historian, any time the past literally comes back to confront us is incredibly exciting. Add in our obsession with the materiality of trash in what we construe (and I kinda emphasized through my attachment to the internet (which is a further topic to write about!)) to be an immaterial and abstract world and yeah, there we go…my thesis topic.


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