Archive for January, 2007

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MIT’s new OpenCourseWare

January 4, 2007

Today’s Christian Science Monitor reports that MIT is offering a variety of courses for free, including syllabi, lectures, audio podcasts, and in some cases, lectures. Other universities are likewise offering their content to those who can’t afford astronomically high tuition costs. Bravo MIT and others! Not only are these universities doing something to attract more applicants, and thus gain more revenue, but open access to world-class university material… makes more world-class university material! The move fosters a delightful new ethic of permanent education, and may lead to the creation new social education networks. Will it rival the university? Who knows? In the meantime, it’s great for the future of the human pursuit of knowledge. (I hope to post more about this in future weeks.)

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The reappropriation of oppressive language

January 2, 2007

bitchmag.jpg

Bitch magazine is undoubtedly a wonderful thing for women, a feminist magazine responding to unfavorable media images of women in pop culture. However, I really don’t understand how using the word “bitch” can be anything but negative when the power structure that perpetuates the word as popular invective persists. Have the editors of Bitch ever tried to read their magazine on the New York City subways, when there’s about five hip hoppers in your train car, who just quite possibly, don’t get the whole “reappropriation” thing? Maybe because reappropriation does not work. Just like corporate entities carefully craft their brand images, why aren’t traditionally oppressed groups getting more creative in reforming traditionally oppressive language? Why not take a cue from gays?

The same thing goes for the N word. I’m glad comedian Paul Mooney renounced his use of it after the Michael Richards incident. (I’ll add more on this later).

Even if the use of “Bitch” is ironic, it fails to be as progressive as its content. The title appears to be rather aesthetic, wouldn’t you say? Not like women haven’t had enough of being reduced to issues of athetics and beauty.

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culturfuge: an invitation to think aloud

January 2, 2007

This blog aims to provide a reasoned analysis of media and its cultural impacts in America, particularly on women. I also hope to feature video of discussions taking place on issues of public interest around my hometown of New York City.

Other topics that interest me and I hope to discuss with others are: Third Culture; atheism, religion and the scientific worldview; the future of media and technology; and of course, politics. I want to think aloud on this blog, with the utmost rigor and freedom, and hope others will join me in a collaborative learning process. Hopefully, some sort of collborative project can come out of this blog.

About me: I am a recent graduate of Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism, and currently trying to break into media as a TV producer.

Current media favorites: Robot Chicken, Stephen Colbert, Richard Dawkins, edge.org