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."


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.