On Ambiguity

Preface: This has taken me nearly two semesters to write. I had the idea to write about my ambiguity after the Trump protest in November. There was a moment where someone said “Use your white privilege and sit down with us,” when several students began blocking the intersection between Church and Broad St. That moment really defined my constant conflict with my ambiguity. So there’s that.

Feta cheese.

This is the nickname my family gave me, and as one of the three pale women on my mother’s side, whenever I go back home, I am constantly reminded of my pale-ness. Weirdly enough, I was always told that I was, technically, more beautiful for looking white, for looking more European, and more so, American. After hacking off my eyebrows at the ripe old age of twelve, I virtually erased all signs of my “Turkish-ness”. If anything, people will hit me with the Are you Italian? Well, what about Greek? And when I finally cut off the string of European (never Middle Eastern) guesses, I always get: Are you sure you’re Turkish? And to be completely honest, I get it. Unless you’ve had your fair share of Turkish genetics, I could pass as European. I have a sort of racial ambiguity.

Let’s be honest here, I would never be targeted in the street or at the airport for “looking Muslim.” No one would try to tell me I am “oppressed” for my religion because I am not a hijabi. Chances are, the average Joe on the street would never guess I’m Muslim. My ambiguity has given me a certain amount of privilege out in the world, but it’s never something I really considered until I came to Wesleyan. And the simple reason for that was because I never had to think of my ambiguity and how that plays a role both in my identity and my activism from this point on.

So, let’s break this up.

Procrastination Destination: Nardwuar The Human Serviette

Nardwuar The Human Serviette is probably not the first person you’d think of when you imagine a celebrated music journalist. However he has made a name for himself through his interviews with famous rappers and musicians that he uploads on his You Tube channel. In addition to his style and distinctive hat/glasses combo, Nardwuar is known for doing scarily in depth research on his interview subjects and offering them gifts from their past inspired by his discoveries. While it’s hilarious to see your favorite artists trying to decipher who the fuck this Nardwuar dude is, Nardwuar almost always manages to get an inside look at an artist’s influence that most journalists don’t. Please enjoy this small compilation of Nardwuar’s videos. Keep rocking in the free world and doo doodoo doo doo ____________ ________________.

Procrastination Destination: ASMR Unboxing Videos

asmr

Autonomous sensory meridian response, or ASMR, is a thing you’ve probably heard of. There have been internet communities devoted to the phenomenon for some time now. It all supposedly started with an internet forum founded in 2007 called “Weird sensation feels good.” Searching ‘ASMR’ on YouTube now produces more than 7 million results, and the term is now widespread in the meme vernacular. These videos typically consist of an ‘ASMRtist’ speaking softly into an ultra-sensitive microphone and generating other sounds from crinkling paper, tapping their nails, painting, you name it. And this is supposed to give you the tinglies.

Now, I didn’t want to do a Procrastination Destination post on ASMR writ large. That would be much too stale. Instead, I have decided to focus on a subgenre of ASMR videos that was founded at the intersection of another popular and inexplicable YouTube genre: Unboxing videos.

The genre has been around just a tad longer than ASMR videos. According to the Unboxing wiki, the first incarnation of the modern unboxing video was this one of a guy unboxing a Nokia E61, uploaded to YouTube in 2006. The gist of the genre: people open up shit that they buy and record their reactions.

Now, as with many intersections, the genesis of the ASMR unboxing subgenre is unclear. But, as you will see, it is heavily populated. Here are some vids, for your procrastination:

President Roth Calls for Affirmative Action for Conservative Ideas, Announces New Classes That Fit the Bill

“As someone who identifies with the political left, I welcome this intellectual diversity–and as a teacher, I know that education requires it. If you are on the right, you might call this a remedy for political correctness; if you are on the left, you might prefer to call it the ‘new intersectionality.'”

c/o the Wall Street Journal op-ed

In the haste of reading period and yesterday’s news, we missed big news from President Roth’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal calling for affirmative action for “conservative, libertarian and religious modes of thinking” on college campuses. The op-ed generated quite the buzz on Twitter, and even received mild praise from notable conservative magazine the National ReviewRoth’s op-ed, entitled “The Opening of the Liberal Mind” was published in the Wall Street Journal behind a paywall last Thursday, May 11. Luckily, thanks to the Wesleyan Library’s databases, Wesleyan students have access to the op-ed.

Procrastination Destination: Questionably Useful Cooking Tutorials

What better time than the end of the year to finally learn how to cook? Now is the time to try some fun new recipes as you clean out your kitchen, and the internet has lots of excellent tutorials that can help you sharpen your skills… or not. If you are looking for useful advice, today’s procrastination destination probably will not help you. But perhaps this collection of intentionally bad internet cooking tutorials will serve as good examples of what not to do. Read after the jump for more:

[CONTENT WARNING] Scott Backer Arrested in West Hartford for Soliciting Minor on Yik Yak

Content warning: This posts discusses sexual assault/predatory behavior towards minors and contains images/video of Scott Backer

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Former Associate Dean of Students Scott Backer was arrested today in West Hartford for soliciting sexual conduct with a minor over Yik Yak. The Hartford Courant reported the arrest and Fox61 confirmed that the Scott Backer arrested was indeed the same Scott Backer that was fired from Wesleyan after the university learned from the Boston Globe that he had previously been fired from Vermont Academy for sexual misconduct.

Procrastination Destination: Hot Knives Melting Things and Collaborative Internet Humor

This is it, folks, the last procrastination destination I will write for Wesleying. (Assuming, that is, that I keep my own procrastination in check enough to graduate…) Today’s procrastination destination is exemplary: completely useless, shockingly time-consuming, destructive, self-deprecating, and at times, oddly sweet. It’s also a truly collaborative effort: someone made a half hour compilation video of themself cutting various objects with a very hot knife, someone else captioned said video, someone else watched and then sent it to me, I watched the entire thing during finals last December, took screen shots of much of it and wrote this ridiculous post, and you, dear reader, are wasting time on the fruits of all of our labor. Read after the jump for many screenshots and a link to the original video.

PRIMAL SCREAM

from arron’s fb event: “cover photo brought to you by googling “diverse screaming,” because just “screaming” is ~colorblind~”

WOW it’s already happening. Tonight at midnight, when reading period turns to exam period, is the PRIMAL SCREAM on the steps of Olin. Here’s the Facebook event if you’d like that. Shoutout to Arron Luo ’18 for making sure this gets coordinated for the past couple semesters and for keeping this Wes tradition alive.

Date: TONIGHT
Time: MIDNIGHT
Place: Olin steps

Procrastination Destination: Cute Animals in a Livestream. What more could you ever want?

(kitab posted this pic bc it’s too cute not to share)

Today I learned that there is a website dedicated to streaming animal cuteness, and proceeded to lose 2 hours that should have been spent writing a paper.

You can choose to watch sloths, kittens, penguins and even cockroaches.

Proceed with caution, and only if you do not value your time.

My only qualm is that they have yet to dedicate one to squirrels. Although, attaching a GoPro to my head and following squirrels on campus might become a reality in my near future.

http://www.apl.tv/

Share your teaching evaluation on Cardinal Course

Course evaluations are due at 5pm tomorrow. If you haven’t done them yet, maybe follow this short tip we got from a student a few days ago:

Save what you write for teaching evaluation and share it here on Cardinal Course so that we all make better decisions on course selection!

Do your teacher evals though! They’re important for a lot of professors’ tenure decisions, and if you like any of your professors, do them a favor and get those evals in.