Fake Names.

Joni Mitchell harshly criticized Bob Dylan in a recent interview with the L.A. Times: 

“Bob is not authentic at all. He’s a plagiarist, and his name and voice are fake. Everything about Bob is a deception. We are like night and day, he and I.” (via.)

Just a thought: Is an alias really fake? Really a deception? Or isn’t actually more authentic – after all it is the name you chose yourself to fit your identity, not the name your parents chose before your identity as it is right now even existed.

Because I Can, Not Because I Care.

Today is the first election in my adult life that I might not take part in. I might choose to opt-out, not to vote. Because of the lack of difference I see between the imcumbent and his contestants. They’re all green-liberal-left-ish. All middle-ages white males. All use the same common sense slogans in their campaign rhetoric. I prefer no one. No outcome would feel like a disaster, no outcome would make me happy. I feel indifferent. About politics. For the first time in my voting life. 

On the other hand, being able to vote, to make a contribution to the political landscape and future of “my” community, however small the impact might be. I think the main problem isn’t the lack of difference between the candidates, it’s my indifference toward my community. I do not feel like a part of the ‘imagined communtiy.’ I don’t even oppose it enough to actively vote against it. The community that sourrounds me, the people and things I care about are not dependent on this town. Because they don’t live here. Because things happen here not because they happen here, they just happen here. I feel deeply connected to people, concepts and things. But not to places. 

If I vote today, I will vote because I can. Not because I care.

Top Ten Colleges.

Maureen Henderson over at the Bitch Magazine blog published a hilarious “Top Ten Collegiate Top Ten Lists That Reflect Qualities More Interesting Than A School’s Propensity for Partying” list to rival Playboy’s Top Ten Party Colleges list:

10. Top ten sedate, herbal tea drinking and 17th century philosophy
9. Top ten Modern Whig Party schools
8. Top ten schools at which if you say “Playboy,” someone will respond with “Cad”
“Rake” or “Lothario”
7. Top ten schools having the greatest percentage of the student body who know all
the lyrics to Miley Cyrus’s Party in the USA
6. Top ten schools more concerned with Gini coefficient than Bikini Index
5. Top ten party until a reasonable hour, but still get a full night’s sleep and
wake up to eat a decent breakfast and make it to 8:30 AM Microeconomics

4. Top ten schools in which the members of the campus chapter of the Society for
Creative Anachronism get more action than the basketball and football teams
3. Top ten Party of Five rerun-watching schools
2. Top ten schools at which using the word “co-ed” as a noun would earn you a
withering look, if not an outright ass kicking
1. Top ten schools that define “party"as simply an incorrect conjugation of the French
verb partir

I would like to add "Top Ten schools that replace profanities with names of French philosophers.”

Foucault yeah, Beauvoir.

Male Bonding.

Male bonding can be a weird performance*.  It often includes ruff jokes, beer, back-slapping and bellowing laughter. Yet under that ruff exterior lies, in the ideal case, a kind core, a hidden melodious fragment of unifying emotion. 

And that’s what Male Bonding’s “Year’s Not Long” sounds like. Go get the song atPretty Much Amazing

*At least in case of the kind of masculinity I prefer to  perform. I’m currently working on a longer piece on this non-macho yet not entirely un-dudely kind of masculinity, for now German-speaking people interested can have a look at thismanifesto by the German Green Party, with which I mostly agree.

He that hath a beard…

Good news for bearded men: 

A recent study in the Journal of Marketing Communications found that men with beards were deemed more credible than those who were clean-shaven. The study showed participants pictures of men endorsing certain products. In some photos, the men were clean-shaven. In others, the same men had beards. Participants thought the men with beards had greater expertise and were significantly more trustworthy when they were endorsing products like cell phones and toothpaste.