Blog to Self

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Feminism, Culture Wars -- and Civil Comments on Constructive Critical Commentary

Amanda Marcotte of Pandagon had a great post recently which caught my attention in part because she quotes an article which refers to Thomas Frank's Whats the Matter with Kansas? (which I never read. I own One Market Under God but haven't read it either -apparently he has a new one too). Anyway, she discusses an article on that references Franks' argument about the republican strategy of using the three Gs (God, Guns, and Gays) to lure "Joe sixpack" to vote republican. (Basically the Salon article, by Gary Kamiya, is "about how McCain is reviving the culture war with Sarah Palin," by tapping into resentment of social change blamed on those elite, uppity liberals.)

Marcotte doesn't disagree with either Kamiya or Frank, except iona fine point -- namely, she wants to take a closer look at the three G's and "the tensions...underlying them":
“Guns” is a code word that has both aspects of anxious masculinity and racism in it---gun fetishists imagine themselves holed up protecting their female property from hoardes of grabby non-white men.
It gets better from there, as she explains the sexism at the root of homophobia, and how both can be seen as economic issues:
So much of the nostalgia for the mythical 50s is a belief that things were just better when women provided a disempowered, unpaid labor force.
When conservatives say that gay marriage is a threat to traditional marriage, I suspect what they mean is that de-gendered marriage will start giving women more ideas about what marriage could look like between equals.
Get ‘em married early by making childbirth mandatory, putting women in a position where they have to marry. And make sure those marriages stay unequal by barring people from it who have a different model of marriage entirely.
...And this agenda is being underscored by Palin -- maddeningly. Worth reading the whole thing.

PS - A friend says I did good with picture blogging before (not a comment on what I'm doing recently, but I heard it that way). So here's the Arkansas River today, from my phone:

Sunday, September 14, 2008

potitics shmolotics

I have been looking again at some of the political blogs I had subscribed to via RSS (on Google Reader) for a while now, but stopped following due to information overload and the job search. One of them is a liberal feminist sort of thing called Pandagon -- an odd name that doesn't quite trip off the tongue, but memorable in its way. It's a professional blog, so the writers/owners make money from the ads on it. I really don't like the "secondary sidebar" full of ads to the left of the main content on the page. It's extremely obtrusive. Fortunately, I can 'filter' the ads by reading it on my aggregator/reader.

Anyway, a recent post called The beginning of the decline of McCain is interesting (in part, to me) because it manages to pay tribute to David Foster Wallace while linking to a This American Life broadcast (on the 2000 presidential primaries in South Carolina, featuring Wallace) as well as making me feel better about how the presidential campaign has been going lately (even more than the image/idea of Hillary as the Palinator courtesy of Ann Atlhouse). I'm a big fan of This American Life, and of the little I've read of David Foster Wallace, in re: there was an impressive "book review" of the new edition of the American Heritage Dictionary in Harper's awhile back that was rather mesmerizing.

While I'm getting into political blog territory (I wrote "bog" instead of blog, which is apt), here is another I'm really liking these days, currently with comforting graphic on the relative effects of McCain's and Obama's tax plans: A Tale of Two Graphics. This is Obsidian Wings, mostly by someone under the pseudonym 'hilzoy' who I gather is a female philosophy professor. Curious about her real identity, I tried to find it on Google just now, but couldn't. Apparently it is findable, but she prefers to remain anonymous in part because she teaches and would rather her political writing online not well, get in the way of her teaching. An admirable wish. So I leave it at that, though I discovered she guest blogs/commentates on "real" news sites like CBS News.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Important stuff probably

thinky paper about facebook and privacy and the law

This will end this brief flurry of posts pointing to other people's blogs I have yet to read, and insist that others do so first. Let me know what you think. (or don't, but please respond if anyone is reading this!........ ;-P )

better* article on info overload

Here is another article on information overload from Sarah Houghton-Jan, author of the fine library blog LibrarianInBlack:

"Being Wired or Being Tired: 10 Ways to Cope with Information Overload."

from the online journal Ariadne.

*"better" for me because I am a librarian and so is the author

An extended excerpt from "4. Interruptive Technology Overload Techniques":

Use Interruptive Technology When Appropriate
IM, pages, and text messages are useful for short and immediate-need conversations, not for lengthy interactions or those with key emotional content. Moreover, do not use interruptive technology when you do not want a potential permanent record of your conversation.

Check When You Want to
Do not feel pressured to check your messages constantly. Set aside certain times of the day when you will check your messages. Post these times as events on your calendar, with a reminder, if that will help you stick to the schedule.

Do Not Interrupt Yourself
Do not interrupt one type of information inwards (like a meeting, conference call, or phone call) with one of these interruptive technologies. Give your attention to the task at hand and deal with other interactions later.

Yeehaw! She makes too much sense, no?

Hello again -- [links] on rednecks and information overload

Ok well it's been almost 2 months so I guess I should proclaim my existence in cyberspace, and say something already. Doing this makes me frustrated. I don't knwo who my audience is. Sure I know some of the people who are aware aof and interested in what i write here (all 2-3 of you), but that's not enough for me to want to write here. I

On my Sitemeter statistics I still get hits for my discussion of Auden which started here.

Here is an interesting post I read on a political blog yesterday

Rednecks and offense

about the change in the connotations of the word "redneck" in re: "an onslaught of redefinition from the Republican noise machine (plus the redneck comedy stuff)":

Should liberals appreciate “redneck pride” as a reclamation in the same way that feminists reclaimed the word “bitch” or gay people reclaimed the word “queer”?

The author proceeds to offer herself as a fascinating case in point. Sher grew up as a "redneck" but is now a "latte liberal":
I’ve let dogs sleep in bed with me and I prefer the old-fashioned match to air freshener in the bathroom.
I confess I didn't read the whole post. These redneck liberals are so long-winded...

Ok that was an unforgivable bit of gratuitous sarcasm. Pardon my mood. And shame on me for not reading the whole thing. Sorry but I'm suffering from information overload (I bookmarked this post but have yet to read it). Us information professionals have it ruff. As you see I'm reduced to barking.