Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Avoiding blog bankruptcy with blackface

Around the time I decided to go for a broader presence online-- i.e., do more than just comment on other folks' posts, or e-mail with the more "mature" friends/family who don't thumb-type the living daylights out of each other-- I just knew there would only be the occasional day or week in which PL (physical life) would interfere. I knew wrong.

"Ha ha," the fates scoffed, as they recited the oft-misattributed maxim "Coincidence means you weren't paying attention to the other half of what was going on."

And when I'm not paying attention, I'm an easy mark. Ask and it may not be given, but it will definitely be added to my to-do list. This peaked about a week ago with a request for cross-pollination of class projects, wherein I would collaborate with two other faculty members who teach the same cohort of students. Yes, I do know that co-teaching doesn't reduce teaching time as it takes more time to plan than teaching alone. But I fell for it. So much for leisurely blogging time.

You should know that when chores, duties, commitments and over-commitments pile up on me, I gradually get curmudgeonly and start to kvetch and lose sleep until even I can say NO to new requests. I'm there. Now I'm shoveling projects back off my plate. Rather than pull the plug here at TOTF or over at The Joshua Fit while I regain my professional bearings, or maintain that nothing of import happened in the whole dad-blamed universe in the past week and nothing is happening now:

We look through the lens but not at the lens itself:
'America's Next Top Model' Creates Stir After Bi-Racial Photo Shoot
Thu Oct 29, 12:28 PM PDT

Weeks after an Australian variety show made headlines around the world after a group of white performers donned blackface to perform as the Jackson brothers, Tyra Banks is making headlines herself for turning her latest "America's Next Top Model" candidates bi-racial for a photo shoot.

I am not really outraged. Disappointed, perhaps. Tired, definitely. At the other end of the awareness spectrum, Bob Herbert chastises me for my enervation:

From Herbert's October 27 column:

Americans have tended to watch with a remarkable (I think frightening) degree of passivity as crises of all sorts have gripped the country and sent millions of lives into tailspins. Where people once might have deluged their elected representatives with complaints, joined unions, resisted mass firings, confronted their employers with serious demands, marched for social justice and created brand new civic organizations to fight for the things they believed in, the tendency now is to assume that there is little or nothing ordinary individuals can do about the conditions that plague them.

This is so wrong. It is the kind of thinking that would have stopped the civil rights movement in its tracks, that would have kept women in the kitchen or the steno pool, that would have prevented labor unions from forcing open the doors that led to the creation of a vast middle class.

All right, fair enough. A good night's sleep, then, and then get back to shoveling nice-guy ProfGeo projects off my plate.

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