This article is not from the issue we are focusing on, but I though it deserved merit anyways. It focuses on a resurgence of racism in American politics brought about by conservative groups such as the Tea Party, Glenn Beck, etc. This new racism, while still holding whites in the highest regard, attempts to show whites as “victimized” or “oppressed,” thereby making minorities into the bad guy. Now, we hear statements such as “Obama is a racist” or “Obama focuses too much on black families and not white families,” which is systematically putting the onus of racism unto nonwhites.
This article also looks at the roots of political racism in general, starting near the civil war and working towards the civil rights movement. In general, the article focuses on how whites have used racism for personal profit. As a personal note, I picked this article because this kind of stuff (abusing race for political gain) infuriates me.
This piece is a deeply personal essay about a man who is mourning a slain friend while tracing his childhood and upbringing in urban Baltimore. In a true n+1 fashion, this the article employs one person’s experience to extract a larger picture of inequality in American society. This branching out into a broader theme explains why this piece was placed under “Politics” section. The author’s ominous tone seems to say “there is something deeply wrong with our world, and I don’t really know how to fix it” which at times, makes it frustrating and depressing. It also reminded me a bit of the Star Wars/ 911 article in its calling upon children as a sort of foil for this world gone awry; the author’s guilt over his newly procured social status is only second to his fear that his children will grow up in a highly sheltered, and deeply biased world. Can we trace some common themes between this article, the Star Wars article from McSweeney’s and the Mirror, mirror article from Tin House? If so, I would like to think about these reveal to us about each of these journals and the way they deal with these re- occurring themes?
This work of fiction follows the experiences of Kemal, a fellow partaking in a yearlong residency at Harvard. His daily wanderings through Harvard Square and the Sunken Garden are outlined, as well as the components of his office and the eccentric people who make up his residency group. Perhaps this piece offers a contrasting depiction of an individual in his late 20s or early 30s (the target audience of n+1, as decided in class) in that an office space is described, but communication between co-workers is limited and occurs mostly at a lab-themed party. The overarching theme of loss of control and privacy surfaces in Kemal’s interactions with the IT staff woman, and the ultimate realization that he is in fact “the mouse” in this experiment.
This article immediately caught my attention because just in class yesterday we concluded that n+1 never includes poems in its volumes. For the most part, this holds true. However, in this case n+1 made an exception to its ordinary behavior. This is the first time I’ve seen poems in the magazine, so we really need to think critically about what purpose they serve and how they add to the magazine’s focus on “Conversion Experience.”
The really controversial part of these poems is that the poet, Yitzhak Laor, addresses the notion of Jews as Conquerors, which has just recently crept back into mainstream thought but until recently was regarded as the opposite of what was happening. This is all the more fascinating because Laor was born in Israel himself and served in the IDF and continues to live in Israel. These poems are completely sarcastic and routinely mock Israel’s justifications for their occupation of Palestinian territories (specifically those gained after the 6-day war). They are very dark and vivid, and I can imagine they would be taken as offensive by many Israelis.
What is n+1 trying to do here? I think that the “conversion experience” is a mission to upturn out previously accepted notions about regular occurrences, or at least be conscious and deliberate of what we accept to be normal. They include an article titled “A Solution from Hell” which labels the term ‘humanitarian warfare’ and speaks about how although war is an absurd concept, at its inception it still seems appealing. Another article titled “Chathexis” centers around the social phenomenon of online chatting and illuminates that we accept this unnatural form of communication to be perfectly normal whereas we should be critical of its purpose in our lives. N+1 does not come out and say that online chatting is bad or evil or anything of the sort, but rather hints at the fact that it would like us to be more critical and analytical of the practices we do engage in before accepting them as natural or normal.
This n+1 article highlights the growth of the practice of online music reviewing, spearheaded by Pitchfork. This piece also delves into the large spectrum the influence of Pitchfork’s reviews. Interestingly enough, the piece claims that, “whatever attracts people to Pitchfork, it isn’t the writing.” “So what is it? How has Pitchfork succeeded where so many other websites and magazines have not?”
This piece also focuses on the history of CD sales and digital music files and what that has meant for the music industry and for Pitchfork.
This really interesting article provides a paradigmatic view of the dating scene in America. It argues and convinces that dating is a problem today because dating itself is supposed to lead us to the perfect partner, but each date reveals the imperfections of those that we go on dates with. So dating confuses the daters and causes them to go on more dates. This article jumped out because it comments on a social phenomenon that we see all around us but all (or most) automatically participate in with few questions asked. It hints that the magazine is out to critically analyze things that we take for granted as “normal” and describe them as ridiculous and constructed.
This article addresses the relationship between the intern and the company. It looks at how an internship is supposed to be viewed as a gift: interns are supposed to appreciate the opportunity to do menial labor, often with no compensation, for companies. It also notes that this warped relationship established by the company is one that completely ignores the needs of low-to-middle class families. This slave labor (for unpaid internships should be, according to the Fair Labor Standards Act, illegal) also denies interns the ability to enjoy benefits and protections due to other employees, for they are not technically employees. This should resonate with anybody who’s taken an unpaid internship.
This article by Katherine Sharpe explores the cultural phenomenon of online dating through Sharpe’s personal experience with it at the age of 14 and then 25. Her romantic escapade, which was made possible by craigslist: one of the more notorious websites, is reckless but makes for an entertaining read. Sharpe is very forgiving of craigslist and points out a certain beauty and freedom in website’s anonymity which allows for both perversion and romance.
The writer is insulted by the aforementioned article, and lists off all of the worthy causes she takes part in as if to justify her status as a billionaire. She is also offended by her description as “Wildean” and emphasizes her skills as a seductress. Mention of class war, economic justice, and the one-percent brings her argument into the political arena.The use of the “royal we” and altogether diminutive language comes across as quite disrespectful towards n+1. Is this a true “angry letter” or an ironic fake written by the editors of n+1 themselves?
This piece is a discussion of Eminem’s place in the hip hop world. The author lingers the most over the question of Eminem’s relevancy claiming that he may be less relevant now that the “shock factor” of the rapper’s lyrics has worn off. The piece also highlights the relationship between hip hop and social consciousness and how Eminem’s most recent hiatus had stripped him of some of his relevancy and social consciousness.Even though this piece is couple of years old, I picked this piece because it highlights the use of art forms as social commentary.