This So-Called Post-Post-Racial Life

June 30, 2009

This New Racism Ain’t for Everybody

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — pprscribe @ 1:16 pm

As I alluded to here, I do not Twitter. But I am thinking of adopting this social networking technology after this ish a few nights ago:

As one would expect many people watched the tribute [to Michael Jackson, on the BET awards show] and were tweeting their experiences…. [W]ith the number of people watching and tweeting, it quickly became a trending topic.

Twitter became a bridge for people to come together to share their impressions on the ever controversial BET.  This interactive format gave many people of color an outlet for our frustrations, rather than the usual snarky commentary from a couch that goes nowhere.  Twitter provided a platform for the voices of people of color.

But not everyone was pleased with the prevalence of these topics of twittering. Some of the comments were along these lines, for instance:

Did anyone see the new trending topics? I dont think this is a very good neighborhood. Lock the car doors kids.

Well.

It has been said that on the Internet no one need know  you are a dog.

But apparently racism still comes through loudly and clearly.

May 25, 2009

Bittersweet

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — pprscribe @ 7:18 pm
"since it's memorial day." paul goyette, http://www.flickr.com/photos/pgoyette/155820893/

"since it's memorial day." paul goyette, http://www.flickr.com/photos/pgoyette/155820893/

At dawn a mother gazes not at the sun rising over the High Plains, nor the purplish snows of Pikes Peak. She sits in her study staring at a laptop, because the place on earth she feels closest to her fallen soldier is cyberspace.

Dane was her first-born, the boy who always wanted to follow his dad into the Army. Even after she tried to talk him out of it. Even after — especially after — his nation went to war. He left for Iraq in July 2007. Less than two months later, he was killed by a roadside bomb. He was 19.

This morning his mother, Carla Sizer, logs on to Legacy.com’s “In Remembrance” section. Spc. Dane Balcon, like thousands of other servicemembers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, has his own memorial page. There are several obituaries, a musical tribute, 176 photos and a “guest book” with almost 1,200 messages posted by relatives, friends, neighbors, schoolmates, comrades and total strangers.

Carla visits the site first thing every morning, coffee in hand, and last thing at night, in her pajamas. She visits during the day (the site is bookmarked on her iPhone). She leaves a message or reads those posted by others. She calls up a photo of Dane and touches it on the screen with her fingers. At times like these, she says, “I know he’s smiling down. It keeps me going in the right direction.”

The Internet is changing how Americans remember the war dead. This Memorial Day, Carla and tens of thousands of others will turn to such memorial websites to mourn, honor and recall departed members of the military services…. (Source)

May 6, 2009

Trailing Technology

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — pprscribe @ 3:43 pm

Ha ha! Some poor senator has a flip phone!

This is what one of the commenters on Flickr had to say about this image from the official White House photostream. This photo depicts a sea of Blackberrys (Blackberries?) and other high tech communications devices, tagged with Post-its and kept on a table for safekeeping, during a White House briefing.

Were I sitting in that cabinet room my own simple, scratched and scuffed up flip phone would have joined this Senator’s on the table. Together we’d be the two lonely inhabitants of the technological hall of shame. As the other high-powered folks talked about the googling and facebooking and twittering and g-networking capacities of their own devices, we could swap tips on how best to keep our batteries from popping out of their casing. (Currently I use two small tabs of clear tape, but hopefully the Senator would have a better idea.)

I still have text messages in my phone that I have not yet read. I had amassed quite a few before I realized that with my basic phone plan I could even receive them. I do not believe in text messaging. Not “not believe” as in, I think the practice is the stuff of legend. I mean: “texting” is against aspects of my core philosophy. If I am standing in front of you, and you wanted to let me know something, would you whip out a pen and pad and begin furiously writing me a note? If not, then I cannot see the point in you taking out your phone, pressing my number, then typing me a (largely incomprehensible) message that I must now read on my tiny, flip phone screen.

I used to be really high tech. I was an early adopter of the iPod, and jumped on the blogging bandwagon when many folks didn’t even know the meaning of the word. But I think I have reached a limit of some sort with regard to how tuned into the digital world I want to be at any given moment.

I recall the day I went to pick out my current phone, after my old one took a licking in the washing machine and stopped its ticking. The barely-past-teen salesclerk showed me a vast array of sparkling, colorful phones on the display wall and began telling me of all the wondrous things the phones could do. I stopped her mid sentence, explaining that I wanted the most basic phone she had. She showed me a few models. No, I said—more basic than that.

“Well, the only thing more basic is the model we recommend to people who are…elderly and stuff.”

(She said the word “elderly” as if she were speaking of people who barely qualified as human beings, or who willingly spread disgusting diseases. And stuff.)

That is the phone I ended up walking out with.

It has large keys with very visible numbers. The screen is very simple and the type is very large. It is not too bulky, but also not too small. Several times I have left it places, and no one has bothered to steal it.

I am very happy with my flip phone.

I have heard people say of their own smart communication device that they “couldn’t live without it.” I very well could live without my phone. That is kind of the point.

April 29, 2009

A Stake in Science

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — pprscribe @ 12:41 am

At such a difficult moment, there are those who say we cannot afford to invest in science, that support for research is somehow a luxury at moments defined by necessities.  I fundamentally disagree.  Science is more essential for our prosperity, our security, our health, our environment, and our quality of life than it has ever been before.

~President Barack Obama, National Academy of Sciences

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