Shameless Self-promotion Sunday #40
Here's a pretty old post from the blog archives of Geekery Today; it was written about 14 years ago, in 2009, on the World Wide Web.
It’s Sunday. Feeling shameless?
What have you been up to this week? Write anything? Leave a link and a short description for your post in the comments. Or fire away about anything else you might want to talk about.
Nick Manley /#
I left a long comment about the glories of The L Word and other cultural tidbits pertaining to Lesbianism. Unfortunately, it appears to have disappeared into cyberspace. I can’t rewrite it all from memory, so I am just going to post a few cool L Word videos.
Carmen’s striptease in garters is to DIE for ( :
Her and Shane happen to be one of my favorite couples on the show.
More videos related to them: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3v64-pXWHk&feature=related
In case anyone is wondering, I also consider the show’s character development and heartfelt romances to be part of its glory ( : ( :
This may be a difficult question to answer, but here goes: If you look around the world today and also consider the past, the prospects for freedom seem pretty bad. I mean, as soon as humans developed writing and language they also developed the state and despotism. How do you reconcile your passion for human liberty with the fact that you may not see much change for the better in your own lifetime? I’m not an activist like you are, but I often ask myself that question, so I’m curious what your thoughts are.
your name /#
I’m in the process of formatting some historical pieces of libertaria/anarchia into pamphlets for upload at Invisible Molotov. I finished “An American Experiment in Anarcho-Capitalism: the not so wild, Wild West” about a month ago, and “The Origins of Individualist Anarchism in America” and “The Role of State Monopoly Capitalism in the American Empire” went up this weekend.
I had a couple more things already in my production queue, but given the general dearth of material on cultural matters I’m thinking of combining de Cleyre’s “Sex Slavery” and Goldman’s “Marriage and Love” into a double piece anthology. Does anyone have any opinions or recommendations on that?
Soviet Onion /#
err, that was me above . . .
I discovered two wonderful films this week- both among the top 12 I’ve seen in my lifetime.
Incidentally, both claim to portray true stories, deriving their material largely from an immediately participating source.
1) Heavenly Creatures, a dark lesbian romance set in conservative 1950s Christchurch.
2) Not Without My Daughter, about an American woman whose Iranian husband attempted to trap her and her daughter in Khomeini’s Tehran.
I very highly recommend. Both show in a very emotionally vidid way what a closed society does to someone trying to people trying to protect their individual spirit. Both show how such a society breaks most people in body and soul and makes them into victims who area also accomplices, so that those who demand their liberty and dignity end up facing a solid wall of ‘horizontal’ oppression ony tenuously realted to the top-down authority involved in its maintenance. The first crosses a couple of bloody ethical lines to make its point, for the same reasons as Hedda Gabler or Thelmaa and Louise. The second one annoyingly and to some extent uncritically confusions of the free society with fairly authoritarian American instiutions and traditions. But I think the all-too-realistic portrayal of what a closed and reressive society truly is makes up for it.
I also ran across this Iranian state propaganda video. The real thing- down to glorifying the snitch calling the police to turn in ‘conspirators’. It’s a shock. The Islamic dictatorship’s deliberate lies- lies designed to appeal to an audience deprived the opportunity to think freedom and in constant physical fear uses themes and principles which could have just as easily come from an antiwar conservative or multiculturalist leftist. These bastards know what real freedom and in slandering it identify it much better than most of the notion’s supposed defenders.
Conservatives typically make excuses for the closed elements of their own societies. Contemporary progressives all to often make excuse for other closed soceites. Both think that we should be nice and respect the ways that groups do things no matter how much these ways destroy the mind and happiness of people trapped in totalitarian situations. A society of taboos and frozen demands is ‘our way’ or ‘their way’. Both sweep under the rug the experience of people who don’t take silence and obedience as good enough. Both try to shift the blame onto those who break social ranks. Women’s rights, gay rights, prosperity, religious liberty, whatever- they’re the selfish demands of alienated minorities or foreign influences who destroy the sacred community and its holy misery- the house elves like it that way, never mind the fact that we got that social consensus by setting the rules so that you get hurt if you say otherwise- and brute force or exile for those who still won’t shut up.
If anyone takes a look at these (very enjoyable) films, I’d be curious to hear their reactions. Does this ‘get you’ as the spiritual horror which conditions of dictatorship mean for people who want to enjoy and run their own lives? Or are these social conditions no better or worse than any others- maybe these particular people needed different authorities and different rules? Stripping aside the governmental elements in both cases- even tho’ in both cases these tools are part of the way the given social order sustains itself- and is there anything wrong with this Christchurch or Iran?
I say yes– I think there are societies that because they don’t allow freedom are bad for people, and that the meaning of freedom is not exhausted by the allowance of alternatives but rather primarily demands a specific way of setting the spaces and permissions for individual actions which is very different from that of nearly all historical human cultures. Freedom isn’t about nonjudgmentalism between societies but the firm advocacy of specific types of societies. And I think if you do believe this, then the basic concepts most people use to try to understand these issues will show themselves to be inadequately pliable. Freedom is something– it’s a definable state, a bold and controversial judgement call rather than a distrust of judgement. To me- this kind of guiltless assertion of one’s own soul, this demand to control one’s own life- that’s the heart of it, that’s what turns my head to know that someone really means ‘liberty’. But it occurs to me that the people I respond to as heroes look a great deal like the monsters and troublemakers condemned by traditional morality. I suspect that if you see differently, then we are (and we have to be) using two very different ideas which both go under the name ‘freedom’.
I wrote a post relevant to the discussion in the comments to your previous Self-promotion Sunday, but declined to join in so late.
My post on the Iranian propaganda video is here.
Nick Manley /#
“Yes,” said Nassrin, “parts of it have been translated, but after it became the butt of party jokes, ever since the embassies abroad found out that people were reading the book not for their edification but for fun, the translations have been very hard to find. And anyway, my translation is thorough — it has references and cross-references to works by other worthies. Did you know that one way to a cure a man’s sexual appetites is by having sex with animals? And then there’s the problem of sex with chickens. You have to ask yourself if a man who has had sex with a chicken can then eat the chicken afterwards. Our leader has provided us with an answer: No, neither he nor his immediate family or next-door neighbors can eat of that chicken’s meat, but it’s okay for a neighbor who lives two doors away. My father would rather I spent time on such texts than on Jane Austen or Nabokov?” she added, rather mischievously.
~ Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi
Hey, I haven’t been very busy posting to my blog recently (as I’ve been busy doing school work, work work, and applying to graduate schools). However, I would like to throw in a couple of posts that I threw on a few months back, but never got to shamelessly promote. The first is part of an essay that I wrote for an anthropology class in which I look at the 2008 election as a ritual. Ritual and Power in U.S. Elections. The second is a bit of rambling on what I’ve (shamelessly) called Jeremy Trombley’s Economic Principle #1 Hope you enjoy them! Jeremy
Nick Manley /#
“Just three companies control approximately 80 percent of the beer industry in the US. Brewing beer at home is one way to counter this corporate monopoly. However, Mississippi, Kentucky, Alabama and Oklahoma still outlaw the craft. Recently, a victory for homebrewers was scored in Utah, when on February 19th the State Senate legalized homebrewing, bringing the state out of the shadows of prohibition.
Three Republican Senators voted against the bill, including Senate Majority Assistant Whip Gregory Bell. “I’m not comfortable with home brewing,” Bell said to the Deseret News. “It seems fraught with mischief to me. Maybe I don’t understand it.””
You got to hand it to those free market Republicans…