The new website feature is lovely, and highly searchable on a number of parameters.
Matthew Yglesias has a series of interesting posts (the main ones are here and here) on the dialogue of race and racism in contemporary American politics, starting with the observation that Rick Perry sometimes entertains friends at a private West Texas ranch named “Niggerhead”. Now, you might ordinarily think that having a ranch called “Niggerhead” is, well, kind of racist. But as Yglesias wryly observes:
I’ve learned in long years of experience blogging about American politics that there are no racists in the United States. Certainly if there are any, they’re not white people. And certainly if there are any racist white people, they’re not conservatives.
So, unsurprisingly, when black politicians began to speak out on the matter, they were accused by Republican pundits of being “just another black politician playing the race card”. It’s truly amazing that we’ve reached a level of spin doctoring such that a white politician can own a ranch called “Niggerhead” and when black politicians say that this is perhaps offensive, they’re the one’s who are being racist.
White people in America would never be racist! We’re a post-racial society! So if you bring up the issues of race and racism, you’re at best overly sensitive and at worst racist yourself (for always playing the race card, you see, and always thinking people of other races are prejudiced against you).
Photographer Rion Sabean has been doing a series of portraits he calls “Men-Ups“. The idea is to do a gendered-expectation bending by photographing men we would traditionally stereotype as very ‘masculine’ (beards, messy hair, dressed as workmen, lumbjerjacks, soldiers, etc) in highly-stylized poses that we associate with delicate, objectified femininity. That is, take pictures of men as though you’re taking pin-ups.
The results, as you can imagine, are hilarious as well as interesting.
You can read read more about Sabean’s work in an interview here.
Decades ago there was a series of discussions among the feminist philosophers about the transfer of information. Centers of excellence would end up with copies of ‘the latest work’, which were nearly inaccessible to those who got jobs in more marginal places. As so many women did.
Lots of people’s efforts went into ameliorating such situations, but your inventions made so many aspects the solution possible.
And they’ve brought such fun! Ipods, Iphones and Ipads have transformed connections among so many parts of our cultures. Mind you, they’ve also raised all sorts of questions, from ones about petty plagarism to ones about genuine creativity. I’m sorry you’ve had to leave this conversation.
And it would have been great to see your next big idea.