Monday, July 11, 2005

At long last: a new maglog entry:

This maglog entry is going to be short because my lament on Wired's recent issue (July 2005) is short because every article that I wanted to read in said issue was too damn short. This issue's theme is "Remix Now! The rise of cut and paste culture" but the magazine itself feels like it was itself made of cobbled bits and it forces the the reader conclude that the whole doesn't even equal the sum of its parts. You can pass this issue on the newsstand - I'll give you my copy.

It's difficult to distill big ideas into small articles but Harper's Magazine consistently demonstrates that it can be done as they do it every month with their telling Harper's Index and their beautiful and absurd Readings section. And even the cover story of Harper's July 2005 issue is short (pp. 31-38) and absolutely devestating. "The Great American Pork Barrel: Washington streamlines the means of corruption" shouldn't be shocking (Abuse of power comes as no surprise) but it is because of the very magnitude of what is described ("How the $16 billion was absconded with we will never entirely know") and because it simply lays out how entirely complicit the entire system is to the undertaking.

And while it doesn't fit my "short and sweet" theme of today's post, the issue's lengthly Folio piece ("Mighty White of You: Racial preferences color America's oldest skulls and bones") is a great bit of bittersweet writing. The author introduces the reader to those researchers and anthropological enthusiasts who believe that North American's first inhabitants were "white" while gently puting their crackpot notions in their proper place with humour and reason. It would be full-on funny if wasn't for the actual matter of what is really at stake: the denial of our native people to their own history, identity, and legacy in this place. Not everything in this world should be subject to remixing to our own tastes.

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