I used to blog a lot, and back when I did, I had this unscheduled roundup of links, “Notes from the Interblags.” Inspired by podcasts I listened to while driving to Iowa this weekend, and by Collin Brooke’s Rhetsy, as well as by a desire to get back to blogging in some sort, I thought I’d start a weekly roundup. Hopefully I’ll update every weekend (this is a Tuesday since I was out of town this weekend), and hopefully this will also force me to read through the tabs I keep open, the links I save on Facebook and never get through, and just, well, having a bit of fun. (Red Rhetor, by the way, is a terrible play on Red Raider, TTU’s mascot; I’m sure this pun has been done before.)
1. Some Podcasts.
First, if you’re into podcasts, or even if you’re not, I have to give a shoutout to Reply All and to Rhetoricity. I listened to every episode of these on my drive to Iowa and back (for my Grandfather’s birthday party). And they are fantastic. I was introduced to Reply All through This American Life’s recent episode that featured RA’s episode #28: Shipped to Timbuktu, a fascinating episode about the Girl Guides (the British & Canadian version of the Girl Scouts) living in a concentration camp in China during World War II. Rhetoricity is a great podcast about rhetoric and writing studies by Eric Detweiler at Texas–Austin. Listen!
2. Dylann Roof, 4chan, and the New Online Racism
A reactionary, defiantly anti-social politics has been emerging for the last decade. It was well known under the auspices of “trolling” and well hidden by its pretense of trickstersism. It was actually juvenile fascism and vitriolic racism but, because it grinned and operated in cyberspace, it was a sensation when it first appeared less than a decade ago. Excitable theorists, bored journalists and naive political activists looked at its strange, adolescent face and pronounced on its revolutionary potential. (h/t Collin)
3. Why you should stop waving the rainbow flag on Facebook
After the recent Supreme Court ruling, millions of Facebook users changed their profile pictures so that they were overlaid with a rainbow flag. In this column, Peter Moskowitz argues that they’re co-opting pride, engaging in slacktivism instead of activism, and generally haven’t struggled through LGBT activism and identity politics to have earned the pride to wave the flag. I pretty much disagree, but I thought the post was worth bookmarking here.
4. Texas officials: Schools should teach that slavery was ‘side issue’ to Civil War
History can be a “weapon,” Loewen said, and it has been used “against all of us. It makes us all stupid about the past and thoughtless about the present.”
5. Why do people believe myths about the Confederacy? Because our textbooks and monuments are wrong.
The Confederates won with the pen (and the noose) what they could not win on the battlefield: the cause of white supremacy and the dominant understanding of what the war was all about. We are still digging ourselves out from under the misinformation they spread, which has manifested in our public monuments and our history books.
6. I made a linguistics professor listen to a Blink-182 song and analyze the accent
This is just fun and interesting!
7. 2,200 radical political posters digitized: A new archive
8. Why the Myers-Briggs test is totally meaningless
This is an argument that’s been made before, but thought I’d share it.
9. ‘What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?’ by Frederick Douglass
Pertinent given the holiday weekend.