Saturday, March 3, 2007

Demosthenes Through Older Eyes

When I was invited to join this blog, a memory from my childhood began to nag at me. Didn’t Enders Game, my favorite childhood book from the late 1970s, the one that made me feel less alone after skipping a grade, have people blogging with pseudonyms? Before I managed to re-read the book, however, I had the privilege of hearing my colleague Ibrahim Gassama discourse on his experience of re-encountering Kwame Nkrumah's 1965 work, Neo-Colonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism, at U.C. Davis’s very interesting international law symposium on colonialism.
At last, I sat down with Ender’s Game on the plane last night. It did indeed have a grrl and her older brother transforming the political landscape through what would now be called blogging. It was a nice reminder of the potential power of our words. However, it had other details that I had forgotten through the haze of years. As a law professor and budding geographer situated in the middle of our current crises, I was struck by the geopolitics of conflict and the initiation of colonial activities after genocide.
Neither read is less true, of course, but the difference between them serves as a reminder of the importance of situating our perspective in time and space before assuming the mantle of "objectivity."

2 comments:

tekel said...

right, but in Ender's Game the point of the pseudonymity was that adults wouldn't trust the writers behind the names, because they were a couple of little kids. Genius kids, but children just the same.

I've been wondering about this: why bother picking out pseudonyms if the first thing you do with them is tie them to your real identities?

Xanthippas said...

I thought of exactly the same thing awhile back!

Alas, I lacked the courage to admit that characters from a Sci-Fi book were doing something awfully similar to modern blogging. I was afraid that would be something of a double whammy.