What I read this week (I)

To those of you who would just love some documentation of the thousands (?!) of articles I sandblast you with, my archiving starts today. Hey readers, I know you have opinions. Can you post them below? Thxxxxx guyz. 

Head’s up Dove: “My primary problem with this Dove ad is that…it doesn’t really tell us that the definition of beauty is broader than we have been trained to think it is, and it doesn’t really tell us that fitting inside that definition isn’t the most important thing. It doesn’t really push back against the constant objectification of women. All it’s really saying is that you’re actually not quite as far off from the narrow definition as you might think that you are “

Seriously. That’ll be the day though when all I hear on Top 40 station is some guy crooning about his lover’s ambition, insight, brilliance, compassion, maturity, self-sacrificial love towards the world (not just to me) and so forth. 

According to the Atlantic, The Boston Bombers were Muslim and it shouldn’t matter: “The Tsarnaev brothers may have been Muslim, and that circumstance may have, in part, motivated them in their actions on Monday. They may have been Chechen. They may have been male. But that was not all they were. Their lives were like all of ours: full of small incongruities that build and blend to drive us in different directions.” 

I’m all with author Megan Garber’s thesis: unthinkable, horrific, terrible, unfathomable situations mess with our brains–they make it REALLY difficult for us to make sense of reality. The result? We use labels to rationalize, justify, make sense of a new reality that has never made sense before. The result? Acting on incomplete information, potentially ruining other people’s reputation, generalizations, generalizations, generalizations, and lazy, weak reactionary policy. Can we stop that now? 

H + M made a Coachella video. Yup, still want to go. I think I just want to people to see that California girl when they see me. (This may or may not contradict some of the sentiments that were expressed above with the Dove video. My bad) But seriously, who doesn’t want to be a sun-kissed, floral patterned, and crop-topped withering hipster? Mallory, you hear me? (Another side effect: Yes, you can count me in the group of people who know what’s up with music.)

Social Media whizard Brian Solis says that SF mayor Ed Lee is bringing start-up culture to city government. Is innovative government an oxymoron? Seriously, it’s not like this is a bad idea, it’s just that the government is late to the party. (More things change…the more they stay the same.)

Speaking of things that don’t change, try religions. Except, in this case, they do. Evangelicals are now supporting immigration reform. Marco Rubio, looks like you push this all you want and they won’t be fleeing your side come 2016. Snark aside, I’m glad to see the Christian (Evangelical) consensus move on this issue; immigration reform (or lack thereof) affects REAL people…people that I want to bring into the fold that I call America. Yes, all of us that had the blessing to be born here in the great US of A, can comfortably push for policies that keeps people here in the American wasteland for years. #LetsNotBeThosePeople

Dear Margaret Thatcher,  Here, your life is analyzed from a leadership angle: “What if Prime Minister Thatcher had learned to be more open to influence and selective in choosing her battles — could she still have had the tremendous impact that she undeniably had, but with a perhaps more graceful exit from office? Would her legacy have been remembered differently — more firm than rigid, more strong than stubborn, less polarizing and divisive?” 

The authors claim in this article that Thatcher’s greatest strengths and weaknesses were the same: Indeed, her resolution and conviction often looked less like character and more like polarizing rhetoric and policy. Or perhaps the other way around. That tight rope of resolve and amenability never looked fun, anyway. 

Betcha didn’t know you could connect White Privilege AND terrorism? Me neither. But. Now. I. Totally. Do. 

“As we now move into the official Political Aftermath period of the Boston bombing — the period that will determine the long-term legislative fallout of the atrocity — the dynamics of privilege will undoubtedly influence the nation’s collective reaction to the attacks. That’s because privilege tends to determine: 1) which groups are — and are not — collectively denigrated or targeted for the unlawful actions of individuals; and 2) how big and politically game-changing the overall reaction ends up being.”

(Oh, AND then this article came out the day before gun control failed and I was like DAAYUM. 61% of gun owners are WHITE MEN . Hard to pass anything that might cramp their style? Yeah, that ain’t happening.) 

But this article reminded me of the fact that Gitmo seriously is killing people. People that didn’t sign up for the death penalty when American authorities dragged them to Cuba. Seriously, Gitmo is killing him. Where is our compassion fellow Americans? Our dignity? Our pride? We. Are. Better. Than. This. 

Relationships are more important than ambition And hey Morgan, if you believe it, actions speak louder than words. 

 

2 thoughts on “What I read this week (I)

  1. A) I liked the Dove ad. I understand the critiques on “true beauty” and the like, but I think it definitely went deeper than what you give it credit for. For what it was worth, it showed that many people get caught up in the very shallow conception of beauty that you mention! Those women over-critiqued themselves to the point where they brought themselves down and felt they fell short of an artificial societal standard of beauty. Yet, others described them in a more objective, unbiased sense, overlooking the supposed imperfections and undeserved criticisms they put on themselves. SO, in the end, I think it showed that we should look at ourselves through the eyes of others, not focusing on physical imperfections, rather, re-orienting our focus to letting our personalities shine through.

    B) I think the Muslim characterization of the bombers is in fact relevant because the first thing the media did was try and depict them as right-wing, Tea Party-esque, anti-establishment radicals. Then, to everyone’s “surprise,” it turned out to be home-grown radical Muslims.

    C) Immigration reform is necessary, yet reform is not equal to amnesty.

    D) The majority of gun owners are white…come on, Morgan! Sigh. Gun violence is a problem, but wouldn’t it be nice if the government used the same strength and determined resolve to enforce existing laws on the books and rout gangs and drug pushers out of the worst sections of cities and suburban America? It is true that the vast majority of gun owners are law-abiding citizens (like, over 99%), but we need to acknowledge where the real problems lie. We have a culture of violence in the U.S. that doesn’t help (i.e. — Sylvester Stallone is one of the biggest gun control advocates, yet the very next movie he starred in following the Connecticut shootings was “Bullet to the Head”…but Hollywood and violent media couldn’t possibly be part of the problem…).

    • Hunger Striking at Guatanamo:

      Wow. Scary, eye opening stuff. I wish there was some sort of a “practical ways you can bring about change to this situation” list at the end of the article. Or at least a link to a petition…though perhaps that’s a bit too easy of a way out…”I did my part in signing the petition, now I can continue going about my life…” But then again, it’s better than nothing. Maybe they should post links with addresses and phone numbers of politicians based on location. Seriously messed up stuff.

      Relationships Are More Important Than Ambition

      Also super interesting. Our ambition really permeates our culture and I never stopped to think about whether that is necessarily a positive thing. When you consider, “what is the opposite of ambition?” and get contentment and “gratitude for what you have” (like Timothy Judge stated), maybe ambition should not hold so high a value in our hierarchy of attributes to ascribe for. That said, I still do enjoy being ambitious.

      “The counterbalance to ambition was gratitude for what you have — a quality which often seemed forgotten by society, said Judge.” (Professor who headed the study which was the basis of your article) -http://edition.cnn.com/2012/03/09/business/ambition-route-to-the-top

      -Kevin

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