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Showing posts from August, 2009

Learning to walk the thin line from "The Wire"- a tribute

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I am an unabashed fan of the series, “The Wire.” It is by far one of the finest “video-ethnographies” I’ve ever seen. It has the potential to offend at a glance…far from being politically correct, it does not seem afraid to break convention and start and continue with a multitude of stereotypes: of African-Americans in the drug trade, their lives wrapped with dysfunctional schools, corrupt politicians, apathy in family life, not so “maternal” mothers, violent teenagers, and deadbeat and racist cops. It’s almost entirely an African American show. Yet, scratch the surface and sit through this show and you will start to understand how this all comes together…it humanizes violence…shows how the violent are victims too; shows how ingenious these children are who in spite of their circumstances learn to survive…it makes you realize that if you were in their position, you would probably be compelled to take to the drug trade, violence, and more..it seems the smartest and sometimes only path …

Digital textbook euphoria...

Sure it’s more convenient…who wants to carry around heavy books when a kindle would do. Sure its more comprehensive…why go through text in a linear rote fashion when hypertexts allow you to journey through multiple websites, course materials, videos, visuals and more with a click of a mouse?Digitalizing textbooks make sense but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Curriculum is still the same, dictated by the politics of the system. Digital or not, if a book is not engaging on paper, the chances are that its appeal will barely enhance through its electronic counterpart. So let’s not confuse convenience for engagement. Digital euphoria can only go this far…

The future of the past: Digital evidence or new media fabrications?

If only the dead could talk, they would tell us what really happened… and sometimes they do. Rodrigo Rosenberg, a lawyer in Guatemala was murdered on May 10th 2009 by an unknown gunman. However, he continues to talk through YouTube, channeling his blame towards President Alvara Colom and others for his death. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxZptUp9a44&feature=fvst

This digital expose of claimed corruption and conspiracy is becoming a common phenomenon. In India, the Tehelka news magazine revealed tapes implicating Gujarat minister Narendra Modi and other politicians for the mass killings of Muslims in the infamous Gujarat riots in 2002 through their taped confessionals.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0z114wnwXtQ

On a less grisly note, who could forget the Mexican Zapatista movement, an armed revolutionary group in Chiapas, Mexico that brought their movement into the international limelight through the strategic use of the Internet. Their desire for indigenous control of their local r…