‘Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels came to the checkout at the 7/11…

AngloNoelNatter

…Marx was skint- but he had sense/Engels lent him the necessary pence’ (The Clash ‘The Magnificent Seven’)

Two pieces I’ve seen in recent days have just increased by admiration for Karl Marx. As the man himself said ‘I am not a Marxist’, in quite possibly the same way c.30AD Jesus said ‘I am not a Christian’ (for all the subsequent good it did on both occasions!). You don’t have to be a ‘Marxist’, let alone a dogmatic one, to see that Charlie Heindrich was a class act. The fact that he had some  numbskull self-declared followers, who carried through innumerable crimes during the last century or so (often against fellow ‘Marxists’)  doesn’t invalidate his way of looking at the world, any more than the actions of millions of self-proclaimed ‘Christians’ in the last two thousand years invalidates everything Jesus is supposed to have said and stood for.

Exhibit One:…

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The Importance Of Representation: Voice, Visibility, And Validation In America

Eric Anthony Grollman, Ph.D.

For one obvious reason, disadvantaged groups are often called “minorities” — the groups are smaller in size than another group.  In this sense, people of color (or racial and ethnic minorities) and lesbian, gay, and bisexual people (or sexual minorities) are numerical minorities.  However, these groups, as well as women, are also minorities by virtue of having less power in society than their majority counterparts: whites, heterosexuals, and men.  Unfortunately, this latter point is often forgotten; look, for example, at the hope that racial equality will be realized once people of color outnumber whites in the US.  Indeed, the history of Apartheid in South Africa serves as evidence that a group’s minority status in terms of power is not the mere product of being a numerical minority.

Minority Status: The Roles Of Size And Power

The size of a minority group is an important component that plays a role…

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The Invisible Backpack of Able-Bodied Privilege Checklist

Sit Down, Fight Back

There are a couple of these already online, but they are written by able-bodied people, and seem to miss some major points of privilege.  I decided to write my own.

1. I can, if I wish, arrange to attend social events without worrying if they are accessible to me.

2. If I am in the company of people that make me uncomfortable, I can easily choose to move elsewhere.

3. I can easily find housing that is accessible to me, with no barriers to my mobility.

4. I can go shopping alone most of the time and be able to reach and obtain all of the items without assistance, know that cashiers will notice I am there, and can easily see and use the credit card machines.  I also don’t have to worry about finding a dressing room I can use, or that it’s being used as a storage room.

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Muji, William Gibson and the Future of No Brand Retailing (Part 1)…

Michael Hu

pattern-recognitionbrand_muji_51

In 2003,  William Gibson wrote a prescient novel – Pattern Recognition –  that explored  the tension between art and mass commercialization in retailing, among other interestingly speculative themes. One area of GIbson’s focus was consumer  fatigue against ubiquitous brands in an increasingly global and  digital market through his metaphoric protagonist Cayce Pollard – a coolhunter who experiences and uses as a consulting tool her varying degrees of allergic reactions against mass customized and inauthentic brands.  Cayce is reduced to wearing completely unbranded shirts and having to file the logo off of her jean buttons. Gibson’s metaphoric theme read more like fiction in 2003, in a world where the “World is Flat” was in full bloom, ubiquitous branding through social media was in its infancy and BRIC consumers were gobbling up global brands of Coach, Gucci, McDonald’s and Starbucks at double digit CAGR.

Fast forward to today and Gibson’s themes read more like inevitability than fiction. Local Sourcing  and Curated and…

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Social Justice 101: Racism

We Got So Far To Go

So one of the reasons I decided to start writing up this social justice 101 series is because of the word racism. In the dictionary, racism is defined as “Prejudice or discrimination directed against someone of a different race based on such a belief.” However within social justice and sociological circles it is understood that that is not really how racism works, and that racism is a much more insidious and deep-rooted thing than that. What many people term “racism” (or reverse-racism) is extremely different from the sociological concept of racism, or what minorities experience as racism. Calling them by the same name is demeaning to the experience that minorities have of real racism.

What most people term racism, and what the definition above provides could better be called prejudice or discrimination. Racism as minorities experience it and as it is understood in most social justice circles is a systematic…

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Punching Up

Reasonable Conversation

“But why aren’t rape jokes funny?” you ask.

They are…kinda.

….

Ok, I’ve now learned I can’t start blog posts in media res. Let me back up a bit.

Last night I was listening to Culture Wars Radio, Ed Brayton’s radio show that broadcasts out of Grand Rapids, MI. He had Jamie Kilstein on the show which, if you haven’t heard his stuff, you should immediately listen to his stuff. Seriously, there’s videos on his website, go watch a few.

I should mention now that I love to know how things work. Something becomes infinitely more amazing and wondrous to me when I grab its mechanism, when I can figure out how it does the thing it does. That’s why I adore listening to magicians and comedians talk craft with one another, since the way in which these two professions can, in front of people, manipulate an audience into delight baffles…

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‘Cards Against Humanity’ Co-Creator: Sorry for Transphobic Card

Fusion

For Tumblr user horriblewarning, a party game turned into a viral Tumblr post about transphobic jokes–and prompted one of the game’s creators to publicly apologize for it.

A brief overview for the uninitiated: Cards Against Humanity is a game similar to Apples to Apples, but with purposefully lewd and funny pop culture references. The game play, per the company’s website, goes as such: “Each round, one player asks a question from a black card, and everyone else answers with their funniest white card.” Black cards contain fill-in-the-blank sentences, such as, “What the gift that keeps on giving?” or, “What is Batman’s guilty pleasure?” White cards have possible answers, such as, “Glenn Beck getting harried by a swarm of buzzards,” “a homoerotic volleyball montage,” and “Miley Cyrus at 55.”

Tumblr user horriblewarning was playing Cards Against Humanity with his friends. A white card with “passable transvestites” on it came up.

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