“Doesn’t the integrity of the critic become compromised when their writings are consistently plagued with negativity? When the public is no longer surprised or excited by the unpredictability of the writer, but rather has grown to expect the same cynicism from the same cynic? When we can predict the same predictable review from the same predictable reviewer? Accomplished creators of fashion and music have a visceral effect on the world, which is consequently why they are publicly distinguished. So why do so many notable critics seem so impervious to the emotion of the work? Why such indifference? Does intellectualism replace feeling? It’s so easy to say something is bad. It’s so easy to write, “One star, hated it, worst show of the season.” It’s much more challenging to reckon with and analyze a work. It requires research, but maybe no one does their research anymore. So my question, V readers, is this: when does the critique or review become insult and not insight? Injury and not intellect?”—V MAGAZINE / GAGA MEMORANDUM NO. 3
Silence: the never spoken, the yet to set itself into language, the unique, the individual, madness, the unrepresentable, the space of that which is not to be represented, the closet.
Silence: the unspeakable, the perceived but best not said, the ignored, the space occupied by that which is ignored, the hidden, the safely tucked away, the camouflaged, the safety of camouflage. (Patton 34)
”—Patton, Cindy. “Power and the Conditions of Silence.” Critical Quarterly 31.3 (1989): 26-39.
We always feel eyes on us when walking down the street together, and un-suspecting crowds tend to look at us like a freakshow as we’re walking out on stage, other events, etc. The name Elephant really did come from the proverbial one on the room, saying things people are too afraid to, being impossible to ignore. It seems natural to us.
“Facebook’s version of autobiography is very specific. It is data-driven. It is simple: Alexis likes the iPad. Alexis eats a hamburger. Alexis reads The Innovator’s Cookbook. It is a ranked, chronological database of a life. It is technically complex but grammatically simple. It is multimedia, but not rich. It is autobiography without aesthetic effort. It is a story without words.”
“Has anybody been watching the debates lately? You’ve got a governor whose state is on fire denying climate change. It’s true. You’ve got audiences cheering at the prospect of somebody dying because they don’t have healthcare and booing a service member in Iraq because they’re gay. That’s not reflective of who we are.”—
I had to check the news to make sure this quote was authentic (and it is)
“I am sitting on the edge of the booth trying to interview Rebecca Black, but Rebecca Black is not looking at me. We’re in a trendy West Hollywood café, and she is sitting with her forehead pressed to the table, her long charcoal hair obscuring her face. She lets out a sigh and, without lifting her head, turns her face toward the cell phone clutched in her hand and begins to scroll through text messages.”
I ask Black what she has done to invest in herself as an artist, now that the world is watching. More singing lessons? Dance training? She tells me that she’s been watching a lot of celebrity interviews. “I grew up being the girl who would always tune in to watch famous people talk about their careers, how they handled scandals and megafame. I’m trying to pick up tips,” she says without a trace of irony.
“Respectable gays like to think that they owe nothing to the sexual subculture they think of as sleazy. But their success, their way of living, their political rights, and their very identities would never have been possible but for the existence of the public sexual culture they now despise" (Berlant and Warner 563).”—Laruen Berlant and Michael Warner, “Sex in Public,” via Pennies in a Jar: from Lauren Berlant and Michael Warner’s “Sex in Public”
Students moving into a newly renovated dormitory at the University of Kentucky signed up for a hyperwired college experience: Each one was given an iPad and required to take a series of tech-themed courses.
Among the $1-million in renovations are 20 wireless access points in the basement and first floor—enough to serve 75 high-bandwidth users at the same time—11 large-screen televisions, which can be connected with multiple iPads simultaneously; and two 82-inch “interactive whiteboards.” The whiteboards will be in the dorm’s two smart classrooms, which both also have 55-inch televisions. The classrooms can do international videoconferencing, too; one class in the spring will feature interaction with a class in South Africa, says Mark Kornbluh, dean of the University of Kentucky’s College of Arts and Sciences. (read more)
Su Meck writes, “I’m not your typical undergraduate. I am a 46-year-old wife and mother with three adult children. Depending on how you count, I may be twice as old as the traditional students or essentially the same age as they are. After all, my life as I know it began 23 years ago, when, in a freakish accident, I was hit in the head by a ceiling fan in our home in Fort Worth, Tex. At that moment, everything and everyone I ever knew, and all I had ever learned, was erased completely from my mind.”
My friend Dan wrote this book, which I’m excited to read (when I get time away from so much work):
Congratulations Mary, you’re gay! But now that the coming out process is ending, how will you conquer queer culture? Are you having trouble fitting in with the glamorous gays you see out and about? Do you need some skills to show the world how fierce you really are? Then you need Ruling with a Sequined Fist. This book will teach you the four critical gay social skills: glamour, filth, camp, and divinity. You will learn how these skills will get you a place on the gay social spectrum; a gay job; a gay place to live; the best gay friends, tricks, and lovers; and show you how to cover your life in glitter. Whether you’re femme, butch, or something in between, this book will help you put your fiercest face forward.
If you needed any more proof that the age of dead-tree books is over take a look at these alarming style changes at Ikea: the furniture manufacturer’s iconic BILLY bookcase – the bookcase that everyone put together when they got their first apartment and, inevitably, pounded the nails wrong into – is becoming deeper and more of a curio cabinet. Why? Because Ikea is noticing that customers no longer buy them for books.
I’m listening to Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s new CDHysterical on NPR (thanks to Frank for linking to it from Facebook) as I read through some journal articles about mobile devices and public spaces. I’m liking it so far. After a great first CD back in 2005, and a disappointing sophomore album, it’s good to listen to them again. NPR’s review puts it well:
Hysterical balances the exuberance of the band’s first album with beauty and reflection, most notably in “In a Motel” and “Adams Plane.” But it wouldn’t be a Clap Your Hands Say Yeah record without that bounce; that “grab your buddy and dance with unhinged joy” emotion that’s all overHysterical. It’s feeling I thought we’d lost, but that the band has once again found, just in time.
A good game—whether it’s a pro football playoff, or a family showdown on the kitchen table—can make you feel, at least for a little while, like your whole life hangs in the balance. This hour of Radiolab, Jad and Robert wonder why we get so invested in something so trivial. What is it about games that make them feel so pivotal?
We hear how a recurring dream about football turned into a real-life lesson for Stephen Dubner, we watch a chessboard turn into a playground where by-the-book moves give way to totally unpredictable possibilities, and we relive a moment where rooting for the underdog makes us rethink what a truly happy ending is.
The repeal of DADT doesn’t necessarily upset me, but the U.S. Military and U.S. foreign policy make me absolutely furious. What is upsetting about the DADT issue specifically is how it became the issue, along with gay marriage and hate crimes legislation, as the primary issues we should take up as LGBT people. Sadly, addressing issues like poverty, lack of health care, access to education, the chipping away of public social safety nets, just to name a few, would likely do more good for the millions of LGBT people in this country than giving us the option of joining the U.S. Military.