The Null Device
Psychological reprogramming techniques, reverse racism and such in the battle against racism in American academe: (via Arts&Letters)
In Blue Eyed, the facilitator, Jane Elliott, says of those under her authority for the day, "A new reality is going to be created for these people." She informs everyone of the rules of the event: "You have no power, absolutely no power." By the end, broken and in tears, they see their own racist evil, and they love Big Sister.
The handout also presents the "basic values" of each American ethnic group... Whites wish to "control" nature, for example; Hispanics, to live in "harmony" with it; blacks, to "overcome" it; and Asians, to "be adjusted to" and "accept" it. Whites are "rational, logical, analytical"; Hispanics, "rational, ethical"; blacks, "allegorical and synthetical"; and Asians, "intuitive, holistic, tolerate inconsistencies."
Interesting Salon article on the gap between men's and women's earnings and its causes:
You choose one of those fields that are respectable and interesting and offer an absurdly low ratio of income to effort, like public-school teaching or social work; or you have a series of dead-end and nonlucrative jobs rather than a career; or you do embark on a career, say in law or banking or advertising, but you take it less seriously, and ensure that you will never make partner or the equivalent. You make it clear that your career will not come first in your life. You can even make it clear that you are going to need to be taken care of. And surprisingly enough, men respond protectively.
Nietzsche called this process of scorning what you can't have ressentiment. It's a status order internalized in the form of rules, like "Don't do your homework -- that's not cool," or "Majoring in computer engineering will scare attractive men away," or the perennial "If you work out too much, you'll bulk up." Women's eroticization of traditional power relationships makes evaluating a boyfriend for his earning power seem acceptable, rather than mercenary, to most men and women. And it's one small step from assessing a man's spending power to assessing your own salability.
In Iran, pop culture is strictly controlled by a bureaucracy of Islamic clerics, and playing or distributing music involves jumping through many hoops: (Salon)
the council considers two main questions when trying to decide whether a song will undermine the Islamic Republic, says a council official, sitting in his office. "First, any music that's related to the style of the previous regime, when the Shah was in power -- the style before the revolution -- is forbidden," he says. That would rule out much of the music played by Iranians living in the United States. But the second factor is far more important, he says: "If the music makes you want to jump up and dance, it is not acceptable. Even if they are not singing words, if the meaning of the music itself is to make you jump and dance, it cannot be approved."
Mr. T vs. The Matrix (via rebeccablood.net)
Israeli singer Ofra Haza dead at 42. (Reuters)