Stop thinking about art works as objects, and start thinking about them as triggers for experiences. (Roy Ascott’s phrase.) That solves a lot of problems: we don’t have to argue whether photographs are art, or whether performances are art, or whether Carl Andre’s bricks or Andrew Serranos’s piss or Little Richard’s ‘Long Tall Sally’ are art, because we say, ‘Art is something that happens, a process, not a quality, and all sorts of things can make it happen.’ … [W]hat makes a work of art ‘good’ for you is not something that is already ‘inside’ it, but something that happens inside you — so the value of the work lies in the degree to which it can help you have the kind of experience that you call art.
Upon counting the electoral votes for President and Vice President of the United States on April 6, 1789, the Senate appointed Charles Thomson to notify George Washington of his election as President and Sylvanus Bourn to notify John Adams of his election as Vice President. The Senate sent Thomson and Bourn these letter notifying them of their appointments.
Copies of Letters to Charles Thomson and Sylvanus Bourn Appointing Them to Inform the President and Vice President of their Election, 4/6/1789, Records of the U.S. Senate (NAID 7788934)
I wish I had crazy 18th century hand-writing.
#CancelColbert, the Political Power of Twitter, and the Implosion of Privilege
I’m not sure if I have the “right” to be commenting on this controversy, considering I’m not the type of Asian-American Ms. Suey Park is, but I am not a “white liberal”, so I’m in some vague middle-ground of comment-worthyness. Second of all, I do belong in this civilization and it is a discontent; I have a stake in this conversation as any other - including white liberals.
For those who don’t know, Stephen Colbert’s twitter account tweeted, out of context, a joke about the “ ”Ching Chong Ding Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever.” Suey park then tweeted back “I used to respect and enjoy your work, @ColbertReport. Fuck you.” and proselytized a massive and impressive (not atypical of her otherwise great work) twitter campaign that trended for 36+ hours, #CancelColbert
(More information in this nuanced explanation of the whole ordeal by Slate Magazine’s David Weigel: http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2014/03/28/stephen_colbert_versus_the_hashtag_activists.html)
Personally, I think Ms. Suey Park is great. Using Twitter and weaponizing the hashtag as a medium to highlight voices that don’t necessarily have the opportunity to be visible in the mainstream media is a fantastic way to highlight important issues like race and privilege.Those who support the hashtag increases their visibility, and those who don’t also work to increase the visibility of the campaign by using the same hashtag. It’s a win win situation that allows advocates of a certain issue to frame the discussion on their own terms.
However, this whole dialectic about #CancelColbert and “whitesplaining” satire leads me to think about a very frustrating conundrum in the journey to break down the walls of privilege. Privilege is important; it’s important to realize that white people will never fully understand what minorities had to go through because of the inherent institutional options automatically open to them because of them being white.
At it’s core though, she has a point. Saying “Ching Chong Ding Dong” is as bad as the racial epithet, “nigger”, and it’s great that these issues are being brought out! I do take some issue though with her presentation. Sure, the single tweet, without context, is incredibly offensive in the way I just described. However, Colbert was using it in context of satirizing the Washington Redskins owner, Dan Snyder. The way I see it, the fictional set up of the institution of the “Ching Chong Ding Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever”, taken to it’s logical end, is a way to point out that we can’t just fix racial issues by dismissively setting up a foundation to “benefit” minorities and letting bygones be bygones. It takes more than that. If everyone is okay with Dan Snyder using the epithet, “Redskins” then we’re perpetuating a culture that is okay with using “Ching Chong Ding Dong” or even “nigger.”
However, being white, or whatever race, doesn’t govern sympathy or empathy. Overall, the campaign I think shows the potential for social media as a medium for protest but the #CancelColbert shows the medium at its most frivolous and shrill. Taking something that was meant to be actually serious commentary, even if it was from a white man, and completely dismantling its original meaning does more to damage the pursuit of equality than to benefit it. In the end, it put Ms. Park on the edge of an undeserved mental breakdown.
There is an inherent danger in disallowing the voices of “whitey” to speak up on issues of race and it’s something that channels racism itself. Call me an “Uncle Tom” or whatever, but issues of racial and gender equality is a problem that the entire human race needs to take seriously and should voice their opinions on. Pointing out, “you can’t speak up about this because you’re white and a man” works only to divide us further and it’s a rather recursive argument at best. The hashtag essentially circled back in on itself and became its own parody.
The Black Civil Rights Movement and the LGBTQ Movement was made possible by a combination of many races and genders. Black and white, gay and straight, cis and trans - each movement had “allies” who, although not directly affected by the movement, helped to carry the banner of equality.
If social justice warriors keep alienating potential “allies” then these potential allies will have a difficult time asking questions that will help them understand and become better allies in the end, lest they fear an immense Twitter backlash for accidentally using the wrong gendered pronoun with good intentions. Calls for “checking one’s privilege” would implode in on itself, leaving people questioning whether or not they have a right to speak up and engendering a generation of cautious silence.
Also, why is it that whenever a woman speaks up about these issues she’s instantly assaulted with death and rape threats? Internet, stop it. Grow up.
Thomas Jefferson argues with himself over whether or not he should listen to his head or his heart. Not generally a fan of of Thomas Jefferson, but this is one of his only missives that has survived which highlights the creativity and playfulness he brought into his personal life, outside the stoic life of politics.
Context via PBS, “In the spring of 1786, while serving as the US minister to France, Jefferson met—and probably fell in love with—“a young, married Englishwoman named Maria Cosway. Just after Cosway left Paris in October, Jefferson composed this remarkable letter to her in which his head argued with his heart.”
New York Times: Climate change is already having sweeping effects on every continent and throughout the world’s oceans, scientists reported Monday, and they warned that the problem is likely to grow substantially worse unless greenhouse emissions are brought under control.
The report by the…
Leave it to the IPCC to give us MORE bad news… It’s IMPORTANT to note that climate change is not an issue about politics. Environmental catastrophes that affect the pockets of global oil conglomerates are easy to keep under the rug once it’s been politicized. The slow death of what makes this planet wonderful is a cause that transcends politics and is supported by hard science. We’re currently experience a CRISIS!
Weenie Roasts were easily the most romantic thing in the 50s, I guess.
"How to Date" - 50s Instructional Video.
By Trish Fontanilla, VP of Community & Customer Experience at Vsnap
(Pictured, CEO Dave McLaughlin in our first cube at MassChallenge. Back when we were working with Grails and wore sandwich signs with job postings instead of writing a blog post like this)
This year’s …
Love this startup!
Oh goddd it’s finally on Spotify.