Tag Archives: Memoir

Foucault and Social Media

Rob Horning of The New Inquiry discusses Foucault and the way we speak, confess and perform on social media.

Sharing can be simply volunteering the self for ridicule, purging, nullification, ritual flaying — self-branding of a different kind. It’s why people sign up for demeaning reality TV shows, as Wayne Koestenbaum suggests in Humiliation. It’s part of why we sign up for Facebook. Moments of humiliation, Koestenbaum notes, “may be execrable and unendurable” but are also “genuine” in a “world that seems increasingly filled with fakeness.” Social media neatly increase that feeling of the world’s phoniness while providing a means for the sort of self-exposure that combats it. As more behavior seems inauthentic and “performative,” we have greater need to expose ourselves and have our own authenticity vindicated through the embarrassment this causes us.

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Generation Drake

As you may remember from history class, one way to know a culture–to hold its thought in time– is to look at its art, its literature and its music. In his review of Drake’s new album, Nothing Was the Same, Steven Hyden of Grantland makes just this kinds of observation. “Again, his knowledge of pop celebrity mechanics in the social-media age is instinctive,” Hyden writes. “He gets that the public ultimately prefers the fantasy of accessibility to the fantasy of sequestered opulence.” The confessional style, the identity construction on social media, the “meta self-doubt” is all there.

All of the Drake-iest qualities are represented on “Too Much”: the oversharing of familial dirty laundry, the preoccupation with parsing his own (not too distant) past, the self-confidence disguised as self-doubt and self-doubt disguised as self-confidence, and the strident Y-ish striving. The influence of social media is palpable: In “Too Much,” Drake simultaneously presents a façade that he knows is not entirely accurate while also acknowledging that this façade is not entirely accurate. (I’m referring to the meta reference to Drake’s best-related stress, which, along with phenomena like “yacht envy” and “16-bedroom château guilt,” is experienced by only the truly megalomaniacal.) He undercuts this bravado by talking openly about his problems, but he’s not fully attached to this identity, either. The “real” Drake is situated somewhere between a self-consciously constructed and self-aware avatar and the handpicked highlights of interpersonal drama he has chosen to share with strangers.

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Navigating Homosex

“Even if the internet helps men find sex with men outside the gay identity, they’re still not safe from the heterosexual regime,” writes Huw Lemmey in The New Inquiry.

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Paul Miller Is Back

After one year without using internet technologies, Paul Miller, writer for The Verge, has returned.

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Paul Miller Returns To The Internet After 1 Year of Solitude

Evan Rodgers writes at The Verge:

Paul Miller left the internet for a year, and he’s finally coming back. At midnight tomorrow, he’ll plug back in after 365 days away, capping his experiment by returning to the connected world. Is he a new man? Ready to return or dreading the web? We’re having a special late-night Vergecast that kicks off at 11PM ET on April 30th to celebrate the occasion, followed by the debut of Paul’s personal story of disconnecting and a livestream discussion of his return.

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Jon Stewart Taking Hiatus From The Daily Show To Direct Film, “Rosewater,” This Summer

 Ross Luippold of the Huffington Post reports.

Stewart’s directorial debut will be an adaptation of the memoir Then They Came For Me: A Family’s Story Of Love, Captivity And Survival. The Comedy Central host has written the screenplay, now entitled “Rosewater,” which tells the true story of Maziar Bahari, a journalist who spent 118 days in an Iranian prison in 2009.

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