By now you’ve likely seen the new IKEA commercial for their annual catalog — the one that is a bit of a parody of those smooth Apple product launches to which we’ve all grown so accustomed. Continue reading “We Already Arrived Yesterday”
Your Turn: Delicious Ideologies
I like their chicken salad. A lot. But every time I go into either of the two local stores it not only seems like I’m the only guy in there but, also, that everyone else seated eating or in line ordering is either a member of a sorority or wishes they were — it’s like there’s a code and I didn’t get the memo about the breezy little sundress. Continue reading “Your Turn: Delicious Ideologies”
Since the holiday weekend is coming up, I thought I’d offer a film recommendation. Have you seen A Pervert’s Guide to Ideology, featuring Slavoj Žižek? Take a look at this clip, in which he discusses the 1988 movie They Live (okay, so I guess I’ve got two recommendations): Continue reading “Independence Day”
Walmart Asks: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”
I had to look twice when I was driving in Birmingham yesterday and drove past the local “Walmart Neighborhood Market.” Neighborhood market? Yes, it seems that the corporate giant is expanding yet again…this time with smaller stores. Now Walmart can compete with grocers in more crowded city centers that may not be amenable to its otherwise inexhaustible sprawl. The famous chain is known not only for its low prices but also for widespread criticism of its business practices — complaints that have made so much news as to warrant their own lengthy wikipedia page. Continue reading “Walmart Asks: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?””
Weapons in Ideological Battles
Recently, news sites and social media frequently discussed a February 2014 Public Religion Research Institute survey on LGBT issues (see Huffington Post, CNN). Some commentators have highlighted the assertion that some Millennials who identified as unaffiliated with a religion (sometimes described as Nones) reported that they left religious institutions, at least in part, because of the institutional opposition to LGBT equality. In essence, these commentators constructed these respondents as unified groups (according to arbitrary generations like Millennials and their response to one question as unaffiliated) in order to wield them as a weapon in an ideological battle. What particularly intrigued me, though, was how these constructed groups were objects peripheral, in a sense, to the ideological disputes in which they were being wielded as weapons. The central disputes were among people affiliating with religious institutions; those who identified as unaffiliated were, by being unaffiliated, marginal to the arguments. This example, then, becomes another case where constructed groups reflect the interests of those constructing the group identification rather than something inherent in the constructed group. Continue reading “Weapons in Ideological Battles”
Gotta Sell Somebody
Russell McCutcheon was nice enough to pass along this commercial to me, knowing I’d be interested because of my recent post about the ad on which it is based. It offers a response to Cadillac’s unapologetic praise of American consumerism…and it’s brought to you by Ford Motor Co. Yep, Ford! The same company who’s “Built Ford Tough” campaigns are hardly trying to get customers to imagine a more eco-friendly future, instead offering us the likes of Toby Keith (the very same “Angry American” who found a crass way of suggesting the “American way” is pummeling the country’s enemies) out-muscling two other trucks: Continue reading “Gotta Sell Somebody”
It’s Not Fair!
A brief news story on Alabama Public Radio recently discussed the delay of an Alabama State School Board vote on social studies textbook adoption because of some complaints that several of the texts demonstrated bias. The groups petitioning for the exclusions, including the Eagle Forum of Alabama and Act for America asserted that several texts contained anti-Christian and pro-Muslim statements. Continue reading “It’s Not Fair!”
You Are What You Do
Have you heard the latest in the “is yoga really religious?” debates?
One answer to the question of whether yoga really is a religious activity will soon be given by the Supreme Court in the country of its birth, India.
Last month, a pro-yoga group petitioned the court to make it a compulsory part of the school syllabus on health grounds — but state schools in India are avowedly secular. The court said it was uncomfortable with the idea, and will gather the views of minority groups in the coming weeks.
On “Got’cha!” Questions
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Resistance is Futile
Our Department is located in a late 19th century building that was originally a residence, built in New Orleans style, with balconies, wrought iron railings, and staircases on the exterior of the building. The stairs seem a little steep, so you get a work out going up.
One thing I’ve noticed here, over the past decade or so, is how this particular architecture makes certain gender ideologies evident. Continue reading “Resistance is Futile”