Monday, May 14, 2007

A myriad of articles...

Did any of you guys see that story about the Hunger Strike at Harvard on I found that story really interesting for one because I don’t often think of Harvard students as being particularly politically active…it seemed to me that it would be something that would occur Berkeley. There were 11 people striking for the cause of the wages of security guards, and during the strike one of the students was even hospitalized because of hunger related health concerns. However, their strike was successful and ended 2 days ago. This mode of passive resistance reminded me of my Modern India class because this week we were focusing on the boycott and passive resistance movements of Gandhi. It’s really impressive that these modes of protest are able to evoke change.

On the Zapatistas website I read a story about police brutality in Mexico from May 6, 2006. The article chronicled different episodes of extreme police brutality, but I was confused throughout the whole article as to what had prompted the police and citizens to come into conflict. It seemed like the focus of the article was more on shocking the reader and talking about the use of photography to capture these events instead of giving insight into the reasons for these conflicts.

The Shack Dwellers page had a lot to it. I thought that it was good that they integrated a number of pictures to accompany the text. The problem with this site is that I really felt like I was being thrown into a situation I knew nothing about, so it was hard for me to draw a lot of conclusions from the site. I felt somewhat like this about the Zapatistas site too. However, although I feel like the information on these pages is sometimes a little complex for someone outside of the situation, I was glad to read it because it made me more aware of what people around the world stand for and are fighting for. That is to say, that using another medium, I would like to learn more about these issues.

Was RTmark for real? I spent a good amount of time trying to figure out what exactly it was that RTmark does, and my answers were only clouded by the advanced vocabulary of the information their site provided. The graphics that were used on the page made me think that the site wasn’t in fact serious, and that it was a farce. Additionally, the site had several broken links which I believe a more serious organization would have had a better handle on. Whereas I believe that the site was trying to say that they were a kind of testing ground for activist activities, this really didn’t make sense to me in that real world conditions are the only thing that really warrants a location for such activities to play out.

The Yes Men site was rather amusing. I thought that their FAQ page was particularly amusing in that while most websites have extremely dry FAQ pages, this one was meant to be comical. For instance, this page says that Yes Men do their best to expose “evildoers.” This word is a link to the website While this is not the actual website for those political figures, it spells out the political agenda of the Yes Men in a comical way.

The “Christmas in China” article on Adbusters was hilarious! It exposed the cultural generalizations about both America and China. The article’s section on Walmart in China trying to capitalize on Christmas and “local dog-eating festivals” being in the same week was both horrible, and telling. It showed the ignorant representations of Asians by some, and the portrayal of Americans as being only interested in commercialism in addition to this. This article was both unexpected and amusing.

The opening layout of smartmeme was really user-friendly. Did anyone see the ad on the menu of services page for the Farmer Protection Act? The byline is “Keep Corporate Lawyers from Having a Field Day” and the image that accompanies it is 3 lawyers running through a field in a comical way with a scarecrow following them. How random!

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