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Why I like Salon.

December 6, 2006

There were two, on the surface, widely divergent articles in today’s issues of Salon. The first dealt with heady, intellectual issues of post-colonial literary criticism (taking down Edward Said’s “Orientalism”), the second with Carmen Electra’s “Stripper” work-out videos.

Two exerps:

At the end of “Dangerous Knowledge,” Irwin asks why “Orientalism” has been so successful. “It is a scandal and damning comment on the quality of intellectual life in Britain in recent decades that Said’s argument about Orientalism could ever have been taken seriously,” he writes. “If Said’s book is as bad as I think it is, why has it attracted so much attention and praise in certain quarters?” His answer: resentment of established Orientalists by partisans of new disciplines like cultural studies and sociology; anti-Americanism and anti-Zionism; the allure of trendy figures like Foucault and Gramsci; and general Western “hand-wringing and guilt about its imperialist past.”

Contrasted with:

I’m only slightly cranky that so much of our day-to-day life is eroticized. I’m more tired of it all being so commercialized. And worse, homogenized. As I gamely endeavor to unleash the goddess-via-Mötley Crüe video within, I can’t get the image of the multitude of women who’ve Amazoned or Netflixed themselves into the same spot, humping the dining room set to “Smack That” with the same choreography, out of my head. I can see them all over YouTube, proudly undulating in lockstep. As we’re all suggestively flipping our hair in sync, do we become not people but products — mass-produced treats that exist to be consumed, not necessarily tasted? There may be times I want to be a sex object. I’m just not ready to be a Happy Meal.

Great writing, engaging content that appeals to my whole self. All delivered to me first thing in the morning.

I love this country.

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