Thus revealed, the creature buried its nose in the tire-tilled soil...
November 19, 2018
James Loewen… huh.
Category: Linkage … Serious

Random "...huh" moment: this Vox article showed up on my FB feed, so I decided to click through and give it a look since it contains an interview with James Loewen. I'd never heard of Loewen before a few years ago, when an Italian friend (in the midst of an argument about Columbus Day) excoriated him for his authorship of Lies My Teacher Told Me and his revisionist approach to the study and teaching of history. In the midst of our exchange, she wrote, "Loewen, a black historian, clearly had his own agenda in both his writing and teachings."

And I just sort of assumed she knew what she was talking about, at least with respect to Loewen -- the sentiment was hella racist (rather than seeking to remove bias from and approximate truth in our understanding of history, a black man "clearly" must be writing to serve an anti-white and anti-Italian agenda), and it was preceded by other comments I found equally offensive (I discontinued the exchange once she got around to projecting that agenda onto me). But the awful nature of her views on the subject seemed most apparent in her emphasis on the fact that Loewen is black.

Except I'm reading this article, and at one point Loewen responds: "If you looked around the world at that time, white people dominated most of it. ... We simply assumed that we dominated because we were better, or smarter, or worked harder." And it strikes me as odd that Loewen would use "we" there given that Loewen is presumably a black man.

So I hit the Google Image search and do a little more digging (photos aren't exactly conclusive here), and I ultimately land on Loewen's bio on the Tougaloo College website. And here I read: "In 2012 the American Sociological Association gave Loewen its Cox-Johnson-Frazier Award, for 'scholarship in service to social justice.' He is the first white person ever to win this award."

...Huh.

-posted by Wes | 3:27 pm | Comments (0)
November 7, 2018
A thing I learned today.
Category: Miscellany … Serious

So I learned a thing about myself today.

Folks who've known me for a while (or perhaps not as long, depending upon what you've read and/or what I've said in particular conversations) know that a question that has long plagued me is whether or not I am or indeed can ever be *good*. There's a lot involved in that line of questioning, but part of it has stemmed from my general lack of feelings, or at least their irrelevance to much of my programming: I tend to not *feel* particularly strongly, but I have principles how I should treat others given the nature of our relationships, and I stive to hold to those. One of the reasons I enjoyed Dexter (the show) was that I identified closely with the titular character's approach to the world -- he was governed not by emotions but by a set of rules: a code. In Doctor Who, I very much liked the Doctor's declaration at the end of Capaldi's first season: "Love is a promise," such that a Cyberman, purged of all emotion, is still capable of adhering to and acting on its dictates. I don't know that I'm capable of the love people generally describe when they talk about that phenomenon -- and I particularly question my ability to experience the intensity of feeling, the physical desire, the emotional connection and empathy, and so on that people describe as components of romantic love -- but I endeavor to be good to the people about whom I claim to care. (more...)

-posted by Wes | 10:27 pm | Comments (0)
November 6, 2018
Election Day Dreaming
Category: Dreams

So I took a nap and had a dream. A woman was going door-to-door in the neighborhood to urge people to vote her way on a particular ballot initiative, and she wanted to come inside to tell me more about it.

So she's inside, and we're sitting down, and she's telling me about the issue, but as her pitch gets more and more intense and she starts inching closer and closer to me it occurs to me that she's either really passionate about this issue or she's actively hitting on me. And what the heck is up with this initiative? I've never heard of it, and it's designed to protect members of the population with an above average number of limbs, and even as I listen I'm not entirely sure what that means and who that affects and seriously is this really a thing or a belated Halloween prank? (more...)

-posted by Wes | 5:05 pm | Comments (0)
November 2, 2018
Chlöe Howl: Magnetic
Category: Audio … Linkage

So I'd completely forgotten that I had one of those $1 Amazon media credits for forgoing the Prime shipping, and apparently that was expiring today! Ended up spending it on the acoustic version of Chlöe Howl's "Magnetic." I find the video of the original song delightfully old school, but I've rewatched that and therefore heard that song many, many times -- and the acoustic version (which I don't think I'd heard before today) has a sweeter vibe that gels quite well with the lyrics. In any case, I really enjoy the song in either incarnation. <3

-posted by Wes | 7:52 pm | Comments (0)
Another theater-y observation
Category: Miscellany

Another observation from this week's theater viewing:

Makeup effects. So one play had a villain with a scarred face, and ultimately the actor gestured to it and the dialogue explicitly noted the character's "bad face" such that it became clear that the character's deformity was, in fact, manufactured as part of the production. But initially no mention was made of it, and with the dim theater lights and my distance from the stage (and perhaps whatever visual impairment I retain from my retinal detachment issues) the makeup seemed convincing enough that I thought the actor might actually have been injured in a fire.

So until the artificial nature of the scarring became apparent, I was decidedly uncomfortable -- because I wanted to watch the play, but I also didn't want to rudely stare at this actor's deformity (even though an actor with an actual deformity would have to have made peace with that scenario). So I think if I felt a need to have a character present as such in a production I were directing, I'd probably want the effect sufficiently unrealistic in order to immediately key the audience in on the deliberate nature of the character's appearance and thereby relieve the audience of any undue discomfort.

(Now I'm wondering how the makeup sitch will play out with Waffles in Uncle Vanya.)

-posted by Wes | 5:40 pm | Comments (0)
Pages (210): « 1 2 [3] 4 5 6 7 » ... Last »