Author: Whitney Mower

What white kids disrespect for bell hooks revealed

When I saw bell hooks a few weeks ago, I was disappointed in a few of my peers who, for some reason, couldn’t keep quiet during her lecture. A few young men in the audience — not to mention white young men — spoke loudly to one another right over the top of her words for almost the entirety of the event. You know who you are. You think you have stuff to say that is worth more than the words of bell hooks? Was that act not the most blatant illustration of white male power over black femininity? While I’m not advocating a Puritanistic reverence be enforced at meetings like these — hooks openly welcomed the audience to participate verbally — I am advocating respect. Respect for a woman who has accomplished a lot against the American grain (probably more than any of us ever will), made extremely important contributions to academic conversation, helped people extract and work through their prejudices and dispelled loneliness in those who suffer under dominant ideologies. What books have you written, dudes? How have you contributed to society besides getting your political tattoos and making yourselves appear radical? One of the questions hooks said she has grappled with over the course of her career is, “How do people change?” I think the most elementary answer, for idiots like us, is being able to shut up when someone...

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Lifestyles of the Kitsch and Brainless

So I’m in Salt Lake at a coffee shop last week. Big mistake, of course. Coffee shops are the worst. If you don’t think so, you’re still just as pretentious as any of us.  And I’m not saying I’m not pretentious because look, like I said, I was just in a coffee shop myself, walking right down Pretension Avenue with all the other yuppie-Chai-with-soy-ists. Not to mention I was in Salt Lake, the town that defines itself in opposition to all things Mormon. Is anyone else as annoyed at the in-your-face-pre-pubescent-liberalist-we’re-all-exes attitude of some folks up there? I have yet NOT to gag when someone says, cigarette in hand, vintage clad, “Yeah. I live in the avenues,” and then looks over expecting me to be uber-impressed. Just shoot me right there. But wait, before I die, first let me get a cup of coffee with all Deseret’s Rebels! Hmm. Cool band name. Or maybe my next “alternative” blog! Anyway, so there I am in Beans & Shiz or whatever the place is called, and everyone’s, well, trying to out-liberalize everyone else. I hear a girl talking to some friends about all the liberal activities her and her boyfriend do together: “Oh, we love NPR,” she says, “we, like, fall asleep to it every night together. Yesterday I made vegan cupcakes and we listened to some old episodes of ‘This...

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“Yeah. LoL!!! Reading is like, pretty boring. Wanna go to Nordstrom?”

Today I stood in line at One-Stop and heard someone actually say, acronym pronounced, “OMG, school is like, so lame. My Ethics and Values class is going to be so much busywork.” O audacious, self-entitled American youth. Youth of Tastes, youth of Tech, youth of Ebay, Mac, Vanity, Obesity. It’s 2010, and let’s face it, Generation Y (or generation Y-O-U to be more accurate), we’re probably better shoppers at this point than we are seekers of knowledge. It is sad that education is now subject to that disgusting, all-American concept of “getting the best bang for your buck.” How riddled with violence and selfishness that phrase is. Socrates said: “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” Unfortunately, at UVU and other universities around the country, students today often treat the process of learning as they would a transaction – as consumers instilled with the idea that all things ought to be custom-fit to their every wish. Every day I see students stare skeptically and with condemnation at professors as they would car salesmen or restaurant servers who deliver meals too cold. Sure, we can blame the state of education on capitalism. But I say that we, Generation Y, are culpable for our own idiotic behavior. Passive, drooping postures in class seem to say to teachers: “My dissatisfaction level could skyrocket at any second...

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