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by on Oct.04, 2010

Princess Burqa

PRINCESS HIJAB

Princess Hijab draws Hijabs onto advertisements in Paris–interesting in light of the French Parliament law prohibiting the burqa. Curiously, Zizek writes about it in the first chapter of his new book–arguing that, in spite of the law’s alleged anti-feminism, the law’s intent and effect lies really in banishing the other. (If I have time, I’ll go back and edit this post to quote him.) Five minute documentary of her running around like a character from Grant Morrison’s Invisibles here.

Unrelated: Huffpo has a piece profiling several super-smart Arab American writers, though I dislike the essentializing question.


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WHITE AMERICA

A friend sent me this article titled WHITE AMERICA IS LOSING ITS MIND–basically a lefty rundown of the tea party anger at the community center in the financial district, Obama, etc. I basically wrote back that while I generally agreed that the tea party sucks (duh!), I thought the article missed out on the way in which the Tea Parties constituted part of the ways in which our current racial categories cause problems for whites as well as for people of color (just as traditional gender roles are bad for men too in some ways)–that is, our current racial logic basically removes a vocabulary for to properly express white ethnic marginalization. We’re entering a weird, post-multicultural age where articles like this one will start to seem like they were written in another age, and, while it will obviously take a lot longer for power to become more equitably distributed, the tea parties will be seen as a weird splashy irruption of white identity that doesn’t have a very articulated non-nativist vocabulary to talk about marginalization or ways to feel like they’re apart of an authentic community. In this respect, the required reading is Hua Hsu’s cover story for the Atlantic a few months back: The End of White America.

I wrote something loosely related to this in response to the Poetry Society of America’s prompt. Here is the first paragraph.

FRIENDS OF WALT

Walt Whitman and I were hanging out the other day. He had thick and dirty hands and a regal look in his eyes and was so friendly I would not have trusted him if he had not been so shy. But he seemed moved by something strange and deep. He wanted to tell me about all his friends, the whole gang of them. He told me about his secretary, the poet Sadakichi Hartmann, who wrote avant-garde cosmological rhapsodies. “I like them,” I said. “It’s like László Moholy-Nagy directs the Big Bang.”

We walked to Angel Island, where so many lonely men carved their souls into the gray, unlit walls. One of the men was still there, all skeleton and tea-stained smiles. He said, “Did you know the Filipinos came here before the Mayflower? Barbers for the Spanish Armada. Did you know Idaho was once one-third Asian American?” He handed us a Styrofoam cup, the white surface of which appeared crenellated with small grooves and indentations. Walt Whitman saw me looking at the indentations. “I think it’s Arabic,” he said.

“I found the cup on the floor when I was walking through Gitmo,” our host noted. “Those flecks are poems that the prisoners wrote with their fingernails.”

Walt and I look at each other, not sure what to say. We offer to buy the man a drink, but he only smiles. “It’s okay,” he says. He lies down and waits for us to leave.

More here: What’s American About American Poetry?. It’s also at ESQUE by Ana and Amy.

Unrelated: Marginal income tax was 77% under Nixon.

Unrelated: The new HOWL movie redacts from history Shig Murao, the co-publisher of Howl.

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PROFESSOR SLAVE

Professor Yang Zhizhu from China Youth University for Political Sciences is holding a placard to sell himself as a slave in order to pay the penalty for violating the one child policy
Professor Yang Zhizhu from China Youth University for Political Sciences is holding a placard to sell himself as a slave in order to pay the penalty for violating the one child policy.

Unrelated: A film short by Wong Kar-Wai and Wiliam Chang Suk Ping, cobbled together from recently discovered film nitrates. It’s probably more WCSP than WKW, given the jitterbug editing. Someone on Metafilter said that the editing was to hide the original films’ lack of mise en scene, but I think it seems more likely that editing in such a way to display rather than hide the join, editing smaller than the unit of the visual sentence, has the effect of making each clip porous. It’s like a tour of being, or something, rather than a clips show.

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Unrelated: Eugene Kim’s G-Rated Jokes Twitter feed.

If wishes were horses, whatever you do, don’t bother wishing that wishes weren’t horses, because man, that would just make another horse.

Why did Immanuel Kant pull the Candy Lever? Answer: He thought it was a KANTilever! Also he wanted candy.

A man is wheeled into an ER and the surgeon who is not his father says, “I can’t operate on him. He’s my son.” “Why not?” “I hate him.”

At the wedding, the groom shouted “Hey this cake isn’t going to eat itself!” but he was wrong because the cake was made of carnivorous ants.

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