Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Culture, Counter Culture, Pop Culture

We start off tonight with the sad news of another amazing part of the World War II story passing completely into history. Chester Nez, the last of the Navajo Code Talkers has died. The tale of the "unbreakable" code and the people who enabled it remains a fascinating one. Given the climate of jingoism and racism that dominated at the time, it highlights just how important other cultures can be, and that speaking another language does not mean one isn't a patriot.

Meanwhile, some in Thailand are raising the ire of the military rulers by quietly raising the sign used in the Hunger Games movies. In addition to this, some are protesting by reading 1984 in public places. Naturally there has been criticism in the media over it, one story in particular which I will not grace with a link belittles the use of a symbol from a movie and book marketed to teenagers. As for me, I think one finds symbology where one needs to. And if The Hunger Games's fictional rallying cry for freedom has enough visibility to be used in the real world for the same message, I don't see a problem with that.

And finally more sad news, as two girls use the internet horror creation Slenderman as justification for a murder attempt. There may be nothing more here than a lesson in the need to supervise and teach children. Then again Slendy may become the next poster-thing in the perpetual comics/television/video games/internet scapegoating crusade to oversimplify the real issues of violence in the US. In either case, it is an illustration of just how very public the public consciousness has become in the networked age.

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