Today is a national student

Today is a national student walk-out day. There were a number of people in the UMass campus center, but I opted to attend Lauren’s presentation on “Williams people” instead (as did a dozen other intrepid comm majors). Intriguing.

Meanwhile, Monday night I had dinner with Laurene, and she told me about life in DC since 9-11. She was at work at Gallaudet when the plane hit the Pentagon and watched the smoke spiral up from her office window. Since then, the city’s been like it’s under siege – constant military presence on the streets and in the skies, helicopters overhead with searchlights, all hours of the night and day. She was commenting on the general naivete of Americans, but particulalry of those of us away from the most obvious targets of terrorism, and how easy it is for us to talk peace, while fear stalks the residents of our nation’s capital. The smoke from that attack is emblazoned in her memory, as is the scene of everyone streaming out of the Capital as threat of another plane-turned-missile arose. The sniper attacks didn’t help. The day the police arrested the two snipers she said people POURED out of their homes – a night/day difference – reveling in the relative release from the grip of fear.

Yao Mean looks like someone

Yao Mean looks like someone to watch…
I haven’t said anything about the philosophy class I’m taking because the language is so arcane…but Monday night Briankle lived up to rumor, producing one of his infamous chalkboards AND using one of the tabletops as an extension for more scribbles. While you’re checking it out, you might explore the rest of the weblog where it’s posted; looks interesting.

Just found this link attached

Just found this link attached to a story about the Gay and Lesbian Anti-Defamation League’s (GLAAD) campaign with the National Organization of Women (NOW) to protest Michael Savage moving from radio to television. (His website features stories to arrest anti-war leaders and save the pledge of allegiance…) Civil liberties, anyone?

My buddy Raz, intending to

My buddy Raz, intending to keep debate lively, sends me this link to remind us the U.S. isn’t the only country with economic links to Iraq.

Meanwhile, on another conflict with world-wide implications, I just watched a short (35 min) video, On Orientalism, which is an interview with Edward Said. He descirbes (my paraphrase) settling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a litmus test for the future of humanity: we will either build walls, creating an increasingly segregated world, or discover ways to live together with differences. His insight into the centuries-long demonization of Muslims is a clear explanation of how “reality” is “socially constructed.” Despite his incisive criticism of the western depiction of Muslims and Arabs, Said throws his lot in with other Arab intellectuals who believe a peaceful coexistence is possible. A couple of resources are the Israeli-Palestinian Bereaved Families for Peace and the MidEastWeb Gateway.

My own learning curve here is that the term orientalism does not refer only to the Far East (such as China).

While I promote these peace sites, I am constantly reminded that pacifism is an ism just like any other ideology.
One organization is trying to run local newspaper ads explaining to the American public that there is no proven link between Saddam Hussein and the 9-11 attacks. They cite “A recent New York Times
poll revealed that 42% of Americans believe that Saddam Hussein was behind what happened September 11th.”
You can peek at the ad without contributing – just scroll down to the bottom, or you can donate to the cause.

Some reports on the Virtual Protest on February 26 from The Washington Post – “ANTIWAR PROTESTERS FLOOD SENATE PHONE LINES;” The BBC – “US ‘VIRTUAL MARCH’ OVER IRAQ,” and The New York Times (requires free “registration”) – “AN ANTIWAR DEMONSTRATION THAT DOES NOT TAKE TO THE STREETS.”

Some more general blogging references:

Some more general blogging references:
A terrific article by Jo Ann Oravec that gives an overview of weblogs as an internet phenomenon, Bookmarking the World, also includes many links to interesting blogs. The journal it’s in may be of interest to teachers: Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy.
Aldon Hynes posted this comment and query to an academic listserv on Internet technology and communication: “I would like to return to (hopefully) the more germain topic of studying the role of the internet in the current issues surrounding proposed U.S. attack against Iraq. I remember from my days as a demonstrator, that an important aspect of the demonstrations was always gathering afterwards for a beer to talk about what had happened which helped galvanize the sense of commitment to the cause, sense of community etc. I’ve noticed what seems to be a similar occurance in blogs, especially after last weekend. I know that there are people here interested in the role of blogs. Is anyone looking at blogs as an emerging political tool?”
Finally, if anyone is interested in helping out with research on computer-mediated communication please complete this survey. It should take about ten minutes.