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Wrapping Up: What a Brief Strange Trip

Posted on 16. Dec, 2009 by .

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The most interesting thing I learned about blogging this semester was its plasticity, the variety of forms it can take. Well I have followed my own time tested and sometimes monetarily rewarded approach of contriving controversy, over analyzing, rehashing, and condescending to parties unkknown, I was just as edified by the posts I did which […]

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The Cute Problem 3: Resistance is Cutile

Posted on 16. Dec, 2009 by .

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The world of cute is not one open to direct criticism. This is because taking on cute is like trying to arm wrestle an adorable toddler, which in itself, would probably be considered cute. But there are ways in which the culture of cute has, if not delivered itself from its own stifling infantilism, at […]

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Cute Problem 2: Vanity Fair's Trouble With Tribbles

Posted on 16. Dec, 2009 by .

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In the December issue of Vantiy Fair, Jim Windolf goes in depth on the rise of cuteness in society. He doesn’t like it. It makes him 🙁 … But in discussing cuteness as a problem, he can’t do much besides assert his dislike and complain cuteness makes people value appearances of vulnerability and dependence, which […]

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The Cute Problem 1: Adorable Origins

Posted on 16. Dec, 2009 by .

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One of the richer cultural veins to mine on the internet, and one whose development is concomitant with it, is the world of cute.  Part of the cute is evolutionary. Humans are hardwired to appreciate baby-like or paedomorphic forms; things like large eyes, symmetrical heads, small mouths and small noses. Such features are foundational to […]

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Richard Hofstadter Early to Tea Party

Posted on 09. Dec, 2009 by .

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In a recent post decrying the dangerously reactionary bluster of big-time Republican politicians, Talking Points Memo editor Josh Marshall mentions offhandedly “Hofstadter perhaps surprisingly ahead of his time.” This reference is to the late historian Richard Hofstadter, who warned of the jitters inherent to America’s body politic in the eponymous essay of his collection, The […]

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Audio Slideshow: E.S.L. Class at the Chinatown Manpower Project

Posted on 03. Dec, 2009 by .

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The Chinatown Manpower Project is a nonprofit community center based in Manhattan’s Chinatown. Since 1972 they have provided a range of employment services targeted towards New York’s Chinese immigrant communities. “1994 we received funds from the city to start running E.S.L. classes,” said Yvonne Yang, the head of Adult Literacy for C.M.P. They started with […]

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Meb, America, and Mile 24

Posted on 05. Nov, 2009 by .

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The road separating Cedar Hill and Belvedere Castle in Central Park this time of year is not one of its highlights. But situated about 24 miles along the route of the New York City Marathon, the stretch of road had a few seconds of fleeting glory Sunday, as it  felt the feet of Meb Keflezighi […]

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Kanye West Knows Kanye West is Annoying

Posted on 29. Oct, 2009 by .

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If you’re widely regarded as one of the biggest jerks in popular culture, if you’re prone to gaffes and hyperbolic overstatements indicative of serious self esteem problems; if you’re Kanye West say, than you have some serious reparations to make with your popular audience and your Obama. So how do you make amends? In this […]

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The fine art of fish selling in Chinatown

Posted on 07. Oct, 2009 by .

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Chinatown does not lack for fish markets. Walk down Canal Street or North to Grand, and it is difficult to miss the open storefronts with the buckets of live crabs, or the rows of iced fish: whole, and in chunks. It is also difficult to avoid the briny odor which presents itself some feet in […]

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Saving Face, Digging for Dignity in the Link Economy

Posted on 29. Sep, 2009 by .

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In less than six years Facebook has moved from an online networking and flirting platform for young college elites into the world’s largest social network with 250 million users, and 40 billion page views a month. While this accomplishment is impressive, there is a subset of users for whom the imposition of Facebook -some combination […]

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