Current Times 9

Past Current Times can be found here.

1. Laurie Penny’s new book Meat Market: Female Flesh Under Capitalism is out now. It’s on my big list of things to buy and read when I can afford them. You know that goes. In any case, check out her blog here.

2.Feministing has an interesting post up about the Slutwalks and what they really mean. It’s really the same old story; feminism is internally conflicted and the assumptions of the many fail to meet the expectations of the few, in this case the Seattle protestors. I don’t feel positively about the whole Slutwalk thing, and I probably find myself closer to Chloe Angyal’s answer to the question. I’m incredibly suspicious of “taking back language” that has been wholly taken over by a powerful force. It’s like when Oprah took Jay Z to task about “nigger.” There is still an overriding meaning to “slut” that will never be taken back from those who use it as a pejorative, and using it in the face of those people is effectively ignoring the system that perpetuates that language use. We need to look to root causes.

3. Human beings have created a new geological age: the Anthropocene.

4. Savage Minds has an awesome post up about Bin Ladin and the language game of the operation; the mission designation was, as you should know, “Geronimo.”

5. This Foreign Policy photo essay about war dogs needs to be seen by everyone. Check it out.

6. If you read my post several days ago, you will know that there’s some weird connections between video games and how we construct narratives about war and violence and hyperreal events. How about this: people who were local when Bin Laden was killed thought about the attack in terms of Call of Duty. To quote:

Self-described gamers and geeks are everywhere, in America, in Japan, in Europe and even a few kilometers from the former hideout of Al Qaeda. In the aftermath of the American mission against Bin Laden, it was Durrani who told a Time magazine reporter that the raid “reminds me of the game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare that I play on my Xbox.” He sees some of his world in video game terms and thoughts of Call of Duty raced through his mind the night American helicopters zoomed into his city. Other thoughts ran through his mind as well, because at 1 a.m., when explosions rock your city, it’s pretty hard to tell what in the world is going on.

7. Partial Objects has a post up about the political possibility of Mike Rowe. The author sees Rowe as a kind of new labor organizer, a person who can become a political locus for all of this information. I’m wary. Mike Rowe has heavy Tea Party leanings, repeatedly saying on his show that things like OSHA standards should be gotten rid of because “these people know how to do these jobs.” I’m not so sure.

8. This interview with the creators of Super Meat Boy really seems to reveal a lot of things. These people are the young creators of a very, very popular game, so they have a kind of finger to the pulse of the zeitgeist. I mean, these are the real children of the dirty 80s and 90s of comic books. They emulated the post-Watchmen characters that really misinterpreted the whole deconstruction of superheroism: The Punisher and Wolverine. They didn’t really read when they grew up. They don’t capitalize worth a shit in an interview with the most important video game magazine. I just think it says a lot about my generation.

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