Sometimes I find more info about a story I posted on this blog. When that happens I usually go back to the original post and add an update. I’ve done this a few times recently- for the Chatroulette piano guy, the lost Olympic camera, and the story about race in online dating. All these conclusions are worth reading, I think- and if you’re interested, they’re all here.
If you’re one of those people who says things like “I don’t care about skin colour! I don’t care if you’re black, yellow, green, blue, or purple!” …then you are an idiot and you should stop saying that, since I doubt you actually intend to sound condescending and dismissive, or to compare people’s real experiences of racism to the imaginary experiences of imaginary people in weird imaginary skin colours. As of tomorrow you have to stop saying it. But for the rest of today you can still say it, I guess, because today many people in India and the diaspora actually are green, blue, or purple.
It’s Holi, the Hindu festival of colour, and man is it ever beautiful.
On how critical thinking about art and pop culture is often stifled by idiots hollering “Caintchoo jus’ stop all this thinkin’ and jus’ ENJOY it??!!” (OMG U GUYZ REMEMBR WHEN DAT HAPPIND ON MAH BLOOG HEER? DAT SUKED SO HARD!!1!!!)
Well, here comes an excellent rant by an io9 contributor named Mott, responding to some turd who tried to shut down a pretty interesting critical conversation about Avatar. The rant is reproduced under the jump here. It’s the best. I’m excited that this has been written.
One of Toronto’s summer fun guides did an almost-imperceptible Photoshop job: can you spot it above? It’s pretty nuanced, so look closely. Ok, ok, take it easy, I’ll tell you. They pasted a black man’s face over a stock photo depicting an olive-skinned man. Why? Because Toronto is a multicultural mosaic and they wanted to make their cover family more diverse. Now the image represents both interracial marriage and microcephaly. I quite like this, actually. I wonder who BlackDad really is, and if he made royalty fees? A head tax, maybe?
If anyone sees this magazine around town, can you grab me a copy?
A Class Divided is a documentary about an exercise invented in 1968 by Jane Elliott, a third-grade teacher in Riceville, Iowa. The night Martin Luther King was assassinated, Elliott decided to teach her eight-year-old students a more concrete lesson about discrimination; so she divided the class by eye colour and began to treat the blues differently from the browns. This video documents the whole thing- from the exercise itself to the children’s reactions the next day and a decade later- and even follows Elliott into a prison to perform the same exercise on adult prison guards.
The exercise is harsh and at times heartbreaking. Mrs. Elliott teaches and enforces the discrimination with a rapid-fire sharpness that reminds me of Stephen Colbert, and the camera catches moments of cruelty and vulnerability from the subjects. Being a member of the “bad” group has a profound effect on the confidence of children and adults alike, and it even has a negative impact on the participants’ scores in academic tests.
It’s also worth considering how ethical it is to treat children like this- and if the fact that society already does treat some children like this makes it acceptable to do the exercise with other kids.
This is a fantastic and thought-provoking documentary. Five-part link will play continuously, for a total running time of about an hour, at this link.