Very glad that there’s a public voicing of a concern that I feel deeply here. I wonder, though, if with the decline of print media, these kinds of viral videos/memes are serving the purpose that political cartoons used to. Cartoonists have always used their art to reduce people and events quite literally to a caricature, and it’s always been an accepted part of the medium. It’s not inherently a good or bad thing, but it’s an interesting parallel to me. Is there an argument to be made that the Gregory Brothers are the 21st century version of Thomas Nast?
My favorite esoteric made-up holiday in academia! Mae Ngai is one of my biggest intellectual inspirations (Impossible Subjects remains the most trenchant analysis I’ve ever read on U.S. immigration history and policy), and I’m so thankful for the classes I took with her. Not to mention she basically got me into grad school. So yeah, I’m especially grateful on the Ngai-nth of Mae.
n. the state or condition of unnoticed excellence—the hidden talents of friends and coworkers, the fleeting solos of subway buskers, the slapdash eloquence of anonymous users, the unseen portfolios of aspiring artists—which would be renowned as masterpieces if only they’d been appraised by the cartel of popular taste, who assume that brilliance is a rare and precious commodity, accidentally overlooking buried jewels that may not be flawless but are still somehow perfect.
Kareem gets so much of my love. #18 made me shout “YES!” at my computer, especially as a historian-in-training who cannot seem to convince her peers/colleagues of the ugliness in their disgust with the “lowbrow” elements of culture.
Had a great discussion with my students yesterday on bilingualism and while we talked a lot about language’s EFFECT on cognitive ability, seeing this (admittedly sentimental) piece about love words reminds me how language also shapes an individual’s (and a community/culture’s) emotional sense of self, and of others. Language is very, very cool stuff.