living and learning

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Who are you anyway?

Social Identities and Difference.

The first thing that comes to mind: Facebook. Ah yes, the product of our times. Nearly everyone has one, and some even have two - I for one also use the nearly identical Chinese version called 'Xiaonei'. Now everyone knows that a while ago FB did away with the old privacy settings and introduced confusing new ones. I'm talking about that little lock icon which lets you limit readership to 'friends', 'networks', or, heaven forbid, 'everyone'. And then there's the ubiquitous 'friends lists' feature that lets you further control who sees what. 'What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas' they say. As a very consistent soul (I've gone by the same pet name for 14 years) this isn't terribly relevant to me, though I can see how it could be useful. Professional and personal contacts are best kept separate. Different levels of intimacy demand different treatment. In-jokes are best shared with insiders. (By the way this is probably the best place to mention: I'm not interested in ‘shitting, shaving and shampooing’ either. Eww.)

The whole idea of 'geographies of subject formation' is very confusing. I've yet to make my way through a tenth of that entry - something to work on in the next few weeks for certain. Aaand to finish off this lame post, here's something that the word 'identity' reminds me of...

The Negro Speaks of Rivers

I've known rivers:
I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the
        flow of human blood in human veins.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln
        went down to New Orleans, and I've seen its muddy
        bosom turn all golden in the sunset.

I've known rivers:
Ancient, dusky rivers.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

(Hughes, 1921)


Post a Comment

  ·  Back To Top  ·  Editor's Pick