What's up, Europe? Gender, media and European integration. The story of a a young Dane exploring the continent.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Holiday brainfood

This will be my literature for the summer. I am sure I will feel really good after reading these books. Not knowing about these two topics is a source of conscience trouble for most Europeans.

Humorous Muslims

Farshad Kholghi, Danish actor and debater (born in Iran), had an interesting column in Berlingske Tidende this Monday. Funny, thought-provoking or just utterly offensive? I can't really decide.

Farshad Kholghi: Humorous Muslims

Do we need a new organization: "Humorous Muslims"?

There are countless Muslim organizations such as Critical Muslims, Less Critical Muslims, Absolutely Uncritical Muslims, European Muslims, Communist Muslims, the Danish Socioliberal Party, Vegetarian Muslims og now also Democratic Muslims.

Common for all of them is that they have an urgent need to underscore the name of their religion. For example: Democratic Muslims. Is it not possible to form an association simply called "the Democrats", where there is room for everyone who has a democratic mind?

There are no organizations called "Democratic citizens of Bornholm", or "Critical Homosexuals" or "Tantric Rockers".

Now the time has come to form a new Muslim organization. If God created everything on earth he must also have created humour, satire, self-irony, self-examination and the self-critical way of thinking. Therefore these ideas must be holy.

Since I am not Muslim myself I will simply pass on the idea so others can found the association:
objects clause:

1- to spread out self-irony and self-critique in the Muslim faith.
2- to go through the faith and clean it for quotes or passages that say "kill them whereever you find them" or similar urgings to killing and violence that can be abused by terrorists.
3- to learn to recognize own mistakes. Only by laughing at them you can win the hearts of others and reform old ideas.
4- to encourage all members to draw caricatures [...] or write self-critical or self-ironical stories that can challenge and move own borders. You cannot achieve the divine if you never transgress your own limits and renew your faith.
5- the new organization will be called "Humorous Muslims".

If you are not offended by the above-mentioned and do not feel urge to set buildings or flags on fire you are automatically a member of Humorous Muslims.


(Berlingske Tidende, 19-06-2006, my translation from Danish)

Read the full article here

Monday, June 19, 2006

The postmodernism generator

Ever wonder what that illusive postmodernism is about? Sorry, but this post will not be helpful in figuring that out.

I found this website that generates meaningless essays with a postmodernistic twist. I generated the following bollocks (please note references are for real and the grammar is flawless!):

The Meaninglessness of Reality: Modernism in the works of Rushdie

Jane A. Finnis Department of Gender Politics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Catherine la Tournier Department of English, Stanford University

1. Narratives of economy
In the works of Rushdie, a predominant concept is the distinction between masculine and feminine. Marx uses the term ‘modernism’ to denote not narrative, as Debordist situation suggests, but neonarrative. However, any number of materialisms concerning a mythopoetical whole exist. If subtextual nationalism holds, the works of Rushdie are modernistic. Therefore, Sontag’s critique of conceptual neocultural theory implies that art has significance. The main theme of Long’s[1] analysis of Debordist situation is the collapse, and some would say the paradigm, of modern society. However, the subject is interpolated into a modernism that includes truth as a reality. Many discourses concerning Debordist situation may be found.

2. Subtextual nationalism and predialectic theory
The characteristic theme of the works of Smith is not, in fact, construction, but neoconstruction. It could be said that the rubicon, and therefore the defining characteristic, of predialectic theory which is a central theme of Smith’s Clerks emerges again in Mallrats, although in a more capitalist sense. The subject is contextualised into a modernism that includes culture as a totality. However, Lacan uses the term ’subtextual nationalism’ to denote the collapse, and some would say the economy, of predeconstructive sexual identity. Derrida promotes the use of modernism to deconstruct and analyse society. In a sense, the subject is interpolated into a predialectic theory that includes sexuality as a reality. Dahmus
[2] holds that we have to choose between neomaterial dialectic theory and subcapitalist discourse.

3. Consensuses of dialectic
“Culture is meaningless,” says Sontag; however, according to Porter
[3] , it is not so much culture that is meaningless, but rather the economy, and eventually the futility, of culture. However, in Dogma, Smith affirms subtextual nationalism; in Mallrats, however, he denies modernism. The subject is contextualised into a deconstructivist theory that includes consciousness as a paradox. In a sense, Lyotard suggests the use of modernism to attack colonialist perceptions of class. If premodern textual theory holds, we have to choose between modernism and subcapitalist structuralism. But Bataille uses the term ‘predialectic theory’ to denote a self-sufficient whole. Pickett[4] states that we have to choose between modernism and the textual paradigm of discourse. Thus, the subject is interpolated into a subtextual nationalism that includes art as a totality. The primary theme of Pickett’s[5] essay on Sontagist camp is not theory, but posttheory.

1. Long, N. V. ed. (1991) Subtextual nationalism in the works of Smith. University of California Press
2. Dahmus, G. (1976) Expressions of Genre: Subtextual nationalism and modernism. University of Massachusetts Press
3. Porter, Y. Q. G. ed. (1993) Modernism in the works of Cage. Harvard University Press
4. Pickett, B. (1977) The Forgotten Sea: Subtextual nationalism in the works of Joyce. Oxford University Press
5. Pickett, V. P. C. ed. (1984) Capitalism, modernism and precapitalist Marxism. O’Reilly & Associates

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Meta meta meta

Coverage of Danish politics has never been as 'meta-' as it is today. 10 years ago spin doctors were never mentioned in the news. Last year .2.353 articles adressed spin doctors and their deeds.

Source: Kommunikationsforum

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Hvorfor er der så få kvindelige, politiske bloggere?

Input søges! Spørgsmålet er helt enkelt overskriften på dette post:

Hvorfor er der så få kvindelige, politiske bloggere i Danmark?

Mand eller kvinde, politisk blogger eller ej, rød, blå eller midtimellem - lad mig høre, hvad du synes og hjælp mig i jagten på det gyldne svar.

Spørgsmålet stilles i forbindelse med en universitetsopgave om politisk blogging i Danmark. Glæder mig til at høre jeres holdninger.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Feminists say 'goodbye neo-liberalism'

It seems to be a common perception that feminism is all about women liberating women. Sure, I understand why many would see things from this perspective - especially given the name of the 'ism' and the frequent talk about breaking down the patriarchal structures of society (which the author of this blog also contribute to).

But there is a more contemporary way of understanding feminism; feminism is about closing the gender gap and hereby liberating both men and women. Feminism is also about men's rights and giving men access to the domains that traditionally have belonged to women. In that sense fathers rights, securing men the same parental rights as women, is also an important aspect of feminism.

Personally, my preferred way of understanding feminism is even broader; feminism is about liberation and equality. Not only in terms of gender but also in relation to ethnicity, social class and age. I agree very much with Swedish feminist Tiina Rosenberg when she sees feminism as a part of a 'new left' movement in Europe:

"My vision of the Feminist Initiative was to put an end to neo-liberal politics. Here, I thought, is a need for left-wing feminists who say - no! We have insight in how gender works in society, but also in other structures such as class, ethnicity, race, homofobia, and we need to stop neo-liberalism. Just look at Paris - the suburbs are burning." (Weekendavisen, 20-1-2006, my translation from Danish)