All posts tagged: Culture and Memes

A heck of a word

It’s getting a bit cold in my tent, these September mornings. I wake up, I feel a blast of cold air hitting my face as my head pokes itself out from my cocoon of sleeping bag and blankets, and then I glance at the thermometer next to my bed. If it shows 40 degrees or higher, it’s a warm morning. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to warm Cali weather and Santa Cruz sun, coming in just a few short weeks. But I’m not the only one traveling to California. Our classy Ex-Prex is kicking off a tour around California, as regards that hoped-for “Blue Wave” victory in the November Midterms. However, this is not a political post. It’s about words, and on that count I have to question Obama’s choice of words.

Trademarking LOL? WTF?

Procter & Gamble, the household products company, has applied to trademark acronyms common in textspeak including “LOL” and “WTF”…. P&G board member Nelson Peltz told CNBC in March that younger consumers did not want “one size fits all” brands but products “they have an emotional attachment to”. According to the statistics portal Statista, millennials in the US are expected to increase their annual spending to $1.4tn (£1.09tn) by 2020. From The Guardian

Communion

This summer I’ve turned more attention to blogging, and I’ve started phazing out Facebook. In the process I’ve been pleasantly surprised to cross paths with several new blogger friends, bloggers who are Christians, and they are Christians with whom I share key commonalities, a form of fellowship, so-to-speak. It’s been interesting to flip my mind back into theological mode, here and there. One perspective that I still share, that I still have in common with Christians is the sense that in some way there was a communion that was broken, that in some sense our original state of being is communion and harmony. So given that we are living in the days of rage, in a period of increasing cultural coflict, this idea of communion has come to take on greater meaning for me.

E pluribus unum?

Part of our political perils has to do with the fact that Americans don’t really see themselves as part of a community. The United States of America really does not have much by way of a common identity or shared values, and it’s always been that way. We are a collection of very diverse states and cultures who have very different ways of seeing the world. I certainly don’t feel a part of one American community, and I never have. I’ve been on the right and on the left, politically, and I’ve kicked around in some pretty diverse circles, and it has never occurred to me to think of all of us as part of one happy family, because we aren’t. I’m guessing it’s probably that way with most of us.

Beloved by Toni Morrison

On the surface, the novel Beloved seems like literature that makes us more aware of the brutality of slavery — the physical and emotional abuses, the violence, and the dehumanization. It is, all of these, of course, but I think that what sets Toni Morrison’s novel apart, and what has earned her the well-deserved international acclaim she has achieved, is that she goes deeper, to really get under our skin, as it were. For me, reading Beloved made me acutely aware of the color of my skin. This is perhaps as good as it gets, when it comes to fiction writing, because Beloved forces the reader to confront themselves in relation to skin color and in relation to the brutality of racism, both past and present. Morrison does all this simpy by being a great writer, by putting the reader there, right there in the middle of it all.