political criticism

the very idea that an identity will crumble to dust if it is ‘invalidated’ i think reveals the constructed nature of that particular identity. for instance, i don’t need anybody to validate my identity as a gay man because i AM a gay man. by my very nature i’m sexually inclined toward men and if tomorrow i were to forget everything i know i would still be sexually attracted to the male sex and my brain and body would respond in that way. it is the simple, brute reality of my existence and whether or not that is confirmed by those around me does not negate the inescapable reality of it all. i don’t have to worry about my 'identity’ being valid because its reality is not contingent on how/what i or others feel/believe about it.

2

Hillary Clinton’s final campaign for office ended in a shocking defeat. But she isn’t going quietly into the night.

“I think the country’s at risk, and I’m trying to sound the alarm so more people will at least pay attention,” Clinton told NPR.

That said, her career as a candidate is over.

“I’m done. I’m not running for office,” Clinton said. But for those, including Democrats, who would like her to just go away? “Well, they’re going to be disappointed,” she said.

“I’m not going anywhere. I have the experience, I have the insight, I have the scars that I think give me not only the right, but the responsibility to speak out,” Clinton said.

In her new campaign memoir, What Happened, and in interviews with Morning Edition’s Rachel Martin and NPR’s Tamara Keith, Clinton talks about her own failings, but she doesn’t hold back on calling out sexism in American politics and heaping criticism on President Trump.

Hillary Clinton Is ‘Done,’ But Not Going Away

Photos: Adrienne Grunwald for NPR

…what really struck me about the panel, and this generalizing impulse, wasn’t necessarily the fact that Moss and her peers were loath to identify their work as feminist. (I empathize with them, in hindsight; being stuffed together on a brightly lit stage and asked complex questions in front of hundreds isn’t necessarily the most fertile ground for thoughtful political conversation.) What struck me instead was the haunting notion that we’ve reached a point in history where an explicitly political, feminist work of art must be depoliticized and downplayed for fear of alienating the men who might feel excluded by it.
Our elders have been warning us about this for generations now—they saw the unsustainability of settler society immediately. Societies based on conquest cannot be sustained, so yes, I do think we’re getting closer to that breaking point for sure. We’re running out of time. We’re losing the opportunity to turn this thing around. We don’t have time for this massive slow transformation into something that’s sustainable and alternative. I do feel like I’m getting pushed up against the wall. Maybe my ancestors felt that 200 years ago or 400 years ago. But I don’t think it matters. I think that the impetus to act and to change and to transform, for me, exists whether or not this is the end of the world. If a river is threatened, it’s the end of the world for those fish. It’s been the end of the world for somebody all along. And I think the sadness and the trauma of that is reason enough for me to act.
—  Leanne Simpson, Nishnaabeg writer and theorist

People who equate Wakanda not allowing its country to be ravaged by Imperialism like the rest of Africa to capitalists “hoarding resources” are being racist and also sound ignorant. First, capitalists exploit resources for profit, they don’t share them equitably so that the whole society can succeed.  They don’t protect land and resources, they exploit them for the benefit of a small group of people. Second, Wakanda participates in world politics and had sent aid workers to Lagos. T’Chaka was assassinated while he was participating in such a process. Third, none of your white favs or their countries of origin represent any of these values you are talking about, so why are you so upset when Wakanda comes on the scene?

Guerrilla Girls, [no title], from Guerrilla Girls Talk Back, 1985–’90

All too often the slogan “the personal is political” (which was first used to stress that woman’s everyday reality is informed and shaped by politics and is necessarily political) became a means of encouraging women to think that the experience of discrimination, exploitation, or oppression automatically corresponded with an understanding of the ideological and institutional apparatus shaping one’s social status. 

…They were encouraged to focus on giving voice to personal experience. Like revolutionaries working to change the lot of colonized people globally, it is necessary for feminist activists to stress that the ability to see and describe one’s own reality is a significant step in the long process of self-recovery; but it is only a beginning. When women internalized the idea that describing their own woe was synonymous with developing a critical political consciousness, the progress of feminist movement was stalled.

—bell hooks, Feminist Theory: from margin to center

Meanwhile, in a Basement in Emon

(ALL OF THE SPOILERS FOR EPISODE 113!)


“Alright, Princess, you really gotta stop fidgetin’ or I’ll just end up making it worse!” The tiny woman she vaguely remembered lectured her while slowly trying to pull the arrows out of Cassandra’s body, hands glowing softly with healing magic.

Fidgeting, in this case, meant rocking back and forth while breathing heavily and desperately fighting down the urge to vomit.

“I know,” Cass managed to gasp, desperately trying to shake off the memory of the last time she had been struck down by arrows, the warmth of the healing spell not enough chase away the creeping cold and the sensation of snowflakes falling down on her while she watched her brother get away. No, no, no snowflakes this time. She wasn’t even outside. She was in some sort of basement, there were only two arrows stuck in her, no one had left her behind… The cold still wouldn’t go away, though.

“What, you get into fights often?” The gnomish woman snorted. Cassandra vaguely recalled her being the missing gnome’s daughter… Hailey? Miley? Something like that. “Didn’t think you were the type.”

“I’m going to get us whatever healing items I have left in stock,” Shaun announced.

“I wouldn’t recommend doin’ that before someone takes care of that giant-ass cut across your chest!” The gnome reprimanded him, accidentally yelling right into Cassandra’s ear. The ringing was a good distraction, though.

“My dear, I’ve gone toe-to-toe with an ancient dragon before. Twice,” Shaun informed her, his usual bravado slowly returning to him. “This is nothing I can’t handle.”

“So have I,” Cass said quietly. With one arrow removed and the wound it left behind closed up, she could now feel the blood rushing through her veins again, trying to fight off the cold for her. “Not in a fight, though, I just played hostess to one. Which Mother used to say was a battle in its own right. All the hospitality in the world didn’t keep her from killing my brother, though, and while he sort of had that coming, I supposes that’s just what guests do to our family…”

“Screw the healing stuff, this one needs booze!” The gnome now more considerably didn’t really yell into Cassandra’s ear. This one felt different, too, magical somehow, and despite the volume and candor was almost pleasant.

“I’d still categorize that as healing items,” Shaun declared, then Cass heard a door close.

“A man after my own heart!” The gnome declared. “And I don’t say that lightly.” She then turned around to Cassandra once more. “Okay then, Princess, one more arrow and we’re done here!” She announced while eagerly rubbing her hands together as they started to glow again.

“My name is Cassandra,” Cass somehow found it in herself to remind her healer. “Cassandra Johanna von Musel Klossowski de Rolo of Whitestone, Guardian of the Woven Stone.”

“…Yeah, I think Princess is pretty apt.” The other woman said after a short pause. “I’m Kaylie. Shorthalt, I guess, but don’t tell anyone I said that.” She winced. “You’re the, what, sister of the white-haired asshole then?”

That made Cassandra laugh a little despite herself.

“I suppose so,” she confirmed.

“I won’t be holdin’ that against you, don’t worry,” Kaylie assured her for some reason. “So, uh… You come here often?”

“Moving Too Fast” - Peter Parker x Reader

Word Count: 744

Warnings: so much fluff you’ll cringe (its bad you guys)

Author’s Note: this is [cringe i apologize] for the song challenge for February! It’s based off of Moving Too Fast from The Last Five Years. The theme for this month was love/fluff, so here it is. I hope you enjoy it ;)

Lilly’s imagine

________________________________________________________

“And then, Mr. Stark said he would upgrade my suit and basically be my mentor! Isn’t that awesome!”

Peter heard you giggle on the other end of the phone. “That is awesome, Pete! I am really, really happy for you.”

His lips curled as he glanced down at the pink and white daisies in his hands, bouncing on his toes as he exhaled in content.

“Hey, you should go check your front door,” Peter smirked while he took a few steps back from your doormat.

“Whyyy…?” you intoned, the sound of you opening your door appearing through the phone. “What are you up to?”

Peter gasped, “W-what? Me? Up to something? Never!”

You shook your head with a grin before you opened your door, revealing a well dressed smiling dork in a suit holding a bouquet of flowers.

“Hey, Pete, I gotta go,” you whispered into the phone, “There’s some weird guy at my front door with flowers. I think he might be Spider-Man.”

He snorted before replying, “I wonder why he’s there. Maybe it’s because he wants to know if you would escort the lucky nerd to a party?”

You bit your lip and brought your hand to your chin, acting like you were thinking hard about it. “I don’t know, Pete. Do you think he wants it to be like a date?”

“If that’s what you want,” he said with hopeful eyes.

“Okay, I’ll let you know what happens,” you said before hanging up on the phone. Crossing your arms, you sighed and tilted your head to the side as Peter placed his phone in his pocket and straightened his shoulders. “Hi.”

“Hi,” Peter chuckled, handing you the daisies.

“Thank you for the flowers, they are beautiful. But considering I have been seeing someone for the past few weeks, I don’t know if I can accept.”

Peter shrugged and nodded his head, “As long as he treats you right.”

“He does,” you confirmed and leaned close to Peter, “He’s kind of a superhero.”

“Well,” he licked his lips and leaned closer to you so that your faces were inches apart. “Maybe I can change your mind.”

“I don’t know,” you teased, nudging his forehead with yours, “Maybe if you asked me to be your girlfriend?”

Peter laughed and closed the distance between the two of you while you wrapped your hand around his neck to pull him closer. His arms rested in the small of your back and you lifted your leg up behind you, leaning backward as your lips continued to move in sync.

He pulled away with a dorky grin, “(Y/n) (L/n), will you be my girlfriend?”

You bit your lip and wiggled your eyebrows. “When did you become so smooth, Pete? I’ve known you for quite some time and you’ve never been able to compliment a girl without stuttering. I applaud you on that.”

He chuckled and shrugged, clasping his hands together that were still resting on your back. “Will you just answer the question? I really like you and I’ve been waiting all day-”

“Well, I’ve been waiting five years, but you don’t see me complaining!” You said with a smirk.

“(Y/n),” Peter intoned, giving you a small puppy dog pout.

“Fine! I guess I’ll be your girlfriend.”

The two of you laughed and he kissed you once more. “Did I just hear an alarm start ringin’?” He hummed as you continued to kiss him. You pulled away and raised your eyebrows in confusion. “Did I see sirens go flying past?”

“Okay,” you began while patting his shoulder, “You good? Cause I don’t see or hear anything.”

I’ve just got this singular impression things are moving too fast,” he replied with a smile.

You furrowed your brows, “Like a good fast or a bad fast?”

“A good fast! I just didn’t expect all these good things to happen so fast…”

“Well,” you straightened your shoulders and rested your arms on his, “good things happen to good people. Just keep being the amazing, awesome hero that you are and who knows what’ll happen?”

“Maybe you’ll marry me.”

You choked, “Look, I like you a lot, Pete. But you just asked me to be your girlfriend. So, good job at being ridiculously cheesy right there.”

“I’m kidding, I’m kidding!”

But he wasn’t. If only he knew that fifteen years later, he would be waiting in a tux down at the end of the aisle for you.

________________________________________________________

masterlist // song challenge masterlist

TAGS

@that-sokovian-bastard @winteriscomingidjits @love-allthingsmarvel @rejectedmarvel @theflameofdeath @aoceli-writes  @itsemmyb @tiaissoawkward @satanandblade @imaginesofevery-kind @queenmira29 @collect-happiness @satanandblade @tatortot2701 @kotoriotp @johnmurphys-sass @girl-next-door-writes  @zepppie @lovingmytelevision @harrysdoe @thespideyimagines @fangirlingisajob @this-is-menot-caring @fly-little-butterfly @valerieshubin @wolfshifter4life

some positive things in light of today’s attack:

  • Rep. Barton’s 10-year-old son was at the practice; when gunshots were heard the other congressmen instinctively pulled him into the dugout and hid him beneath a bench to keep the boy safe
  • three Capitol Police officers prevented even more casualties
  • Rep. Wenstrup, an Army Reserve combat surgeon, gave Rep. Scalise medical attention and stayed with him until medics arrived
  • Sen. Flake took Rep. Scalise’s phone and called his wife so that she wouldn’t hear about it from the media
  • Rep. Mo Brooks ran to the first base dugout and used his belt as a tourniquet on a congressional staffer who was shot in the leg
  • the Democratic baseball team is hosting the GOP team for dinner tonight
  • the 108-year-old traditional bipartisan charity game is going forward tomorrow as scheduled 
Types of Literary Criticism

NEW CRITICISM, or: “READ THE FUCKING TEXT”


  • Also known as ‘practical criticism’.
  • This theory was dominant in the US and UK between the 30s and 70s. 
  • A formalist, decontextualised approach to literature where the text is examined independently of other influences.
  • Explores the essential elements of language, imagery, symbolism, figures of speech, ambiguity, irony, paradox.
  • Pretty huge span of approaches - for example, within Shakespearean new criticism you had A.C. Bradley’s character-based critique, Harley Granville-Barker’s study of stagecraft, G. Wilson Knight’s exploration of image and theme, and L.C. Knights’ suggestion that Bradley is a douche and Shakespeare was a poet, not a dramatist. (Yeah, fuck you, Knights.)


HISTORICIST CRITICISM, or: “IT’S ALL ABOUT THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT, DUH”

  • Funnily enough, this approach believes that historical context influences interpretation.
  • Stuff like: religion, political idealism of the time, cultural shifts, social attitudes, war, colonialism (although that’s a whole other bag of cats, see below), pop culture references and in-jokes, and anything that might have influenced the text during the era in which it was written.
  • Within historicist criticism there should be a distinction between text and context; history is the background that the text passively reflects.
  • Buuuut often this approach reveals more about the critic’s political/social/personal values than the period they are studying. Natch. 


LIBERAL HUMANISM, or: “STORIES ARE JUST A REFLECTION OF THE AUTHOR, DUDE”

  • Popular at the beginning of the 1900s - literature and art are timeless, revealing a universal truth about humanity.
  • Like, writers are totally free agents whose intentions shape the meaning of their writing, man. 
  • Like, human consciousness shapes language, culture and society, NOT the other way around.


MARXISM, or “WE’RE ALL SLAVES TO THE ECONOMY” 

  • A criticial theory systemised in the 20s, based on the materialist philosophy of Karl Marx (1818-83) and Friedrich Engels (1820-95) whereby the material circumstances of life are determining factors in the individual’s experience.
  • So, like, the economic organisation of society shapes culture, politics, philosophy, religion, education, law and art.
  • So, like, fuck liberal humanism; people are shaped by their environment, NOT the other way around. Authors and their works are basically products of society. 
  • These guys believe that art reflects changing economic conditions and class values. There’s a little cross-over with historicist criticism in the approach that literature should be interpreted within the context of the period and its political inflections - often with a focus on the lower classes.
  • Get yourself familiar with the Marxist concept of ‘ideology’ - a function which ‘naturalises’ the inequalities of power through a complex structure of social perceptions which renders class division invisible. 
  • Yeah. It’s heavy, dude.


STRUCTURALISM, or: “LANGUAGE IS EVERYTHIIIING!”

  • Based on the linguistic theory of Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913)
  • The belief that language shapes humanity, culture, communication, and the way we perceive the world. Yay, go language.
  • Structuralism was a radical theory during the second half of the 20th Century whose central argument opposed liberal humanist ideas (Recap: lib-humans reckoned that human consciousness creates language and culture - structuralists reckoned the complete opposite. At this point everyone is basically being completely contrary for the sake of it.)


POST STRUCTURALISM, or “WE’RE SORT OF ON THE FENCE ABOUT LANGUAGE SO JUST GO WITH IT”

  • A critical theory prominent in France in the 1960s, primarily associated with philosopher Jacques Derrida and critic Roland Barthes - a reaction against structuralism as well as a development of it. <sigh>
  • Ok, so this language thing? How about we agree that reality is constituted through language BUT language itself is unstable and beyond our control. Like, language is an unreliable narrator, yeah? Yeahhh.
  • Essentially, it’s language that speaks, not the author. So let’s call it THE DEATH OF THE AUTHOR because we are needlessly dramatic. 
  • So, like, literary texts don’t present a single or unified view and the author cannot claim authority on interpretation. (The curtains are blue…)
  • You can trace a whole thread of critical development here from formalist criticism to structuralism to post-structuralism and later to deconstruction - all of which are concerned with the ambiguity and contradictions within text and language. To make it even more confusing, new historicism (see below) can also be seen as post-structuralist since it places stress on a text’s connection to culture rather than relying on the autonomy of the text itself.
  • Time for a stiff drink.


NEW HISTORICISM, or “IT’S THE CIIIIRCLE OF LIIIIIIFE - ART AND HISTORY ARE STUCK IN AN INFINITY LOOP” 

  • A term coined by Stephen Greenblatt (Shakespeare-critic-extraordinaire) in the 80s - a reaction against old historicism (where text is a reflection of historical background) and a move away from Marxist and post-structural theories.
  • New historicism asserts that the text is an active participant in historical development.
  • So, like, art and literature help to create the cultural values of the period in which they are produced. BUT, we are also formed and tied to cultural ideologies, so it ain’t all about the text. 
  • Involves close reading of the text, taking into account political ideology, social practice, religion, class division and conflict within society.
  • A pessimistic take on Foucault: the belief that we are ‘remarkably unfree’ of the influence of society and socio-political power operates through the language of major institutions to determine what’s normal and demonise ‘otherness’.
  • Seriously. Fuck society. 


CULTURAL MATERIALISM, or “WE NEED A BRITISH VERSION OF NEW HISTORICISM”

  • We can’t let the Americans monopolise this kind of criticism.
  • Goddamn Greenblatt.
  • So consider this: how much freedom of thought do we actually have? Does culture shape our identities or can we think independently of dominant ideologies? Huh? Huh? Are we saying anything new yet? 
  • Basically, a historicist approach to political criticism with a revised conception of the connection between literature and culture. 
  • Culture is a complex, unstable and dynamic creature which offers an opportunity for the radical subversion of power and society.
  • Unlike historicism or Marxism, cultural materialists believe the author is able to achieve a degree of independence from prevailing structures of power and discourse. 
  • Often demonstrates optimism for political change - once again, critical theory reflects the critic’s personal opinions and hopes for change in present day society. Literary criticism can change the world, man.
  • Some crossover into feminist/queer/post-colonial theory, because FUCK ALL THOSE OLD WHITE GUYS.


FEMINIST THEORY, or: “LET’S RECONSIDER 100 YEARS OF CRITICISM FROM A PERSPECTIVE THAT ISN’T CIS/MALE”

  • Following the women’s movement of the 1960s, feminist theory was established in the 70s and 80s and founded on texts Le Deuxieme Sex by Simone de Beauvoir and Sexual Politics by Kate Millett.
  • Explicitly political – similarities to new historicism and cultural materialism - challenging the subordinate position of women in society and deconstructing/contesting the concept of essentialism, whereby men and women have intrinsically separate qualities and natures. 
  • Often seen as an attack on the Western literary canon and the exclusion of female writers throughout history. Focuses on female characters and authors, exploring the influence and restrictions of patriarchy, and constructions of gender, femininity and sexuality (both in text and culture).
  • Feminists influenced by post-structuralism tend to disregard the positive discrimination of women writers, claiming “it is language that speaks, not the author.”
  • Feminism and psychoanalytical theories (esp Freud and Lacan) contributed to the erosion of liberal humanist ideas, redefining human nature and the concept of child development, and exploring the psychology of patriarchy and male-dominated culture. 


GAY/LESBIAN CRITICISM AND QUEER THEORY, or: “LET’S RECONSIDER 100 YEARS OF CRITICISM FROM A PERSPECTIVE THAT ISN’T CIS/MALE/STRAIGHT”

  • During the 80s, queer theory was influenced by post-structuralist ideas of identity as being fluid and unstable, and investigates the role of sexual orientation within literary criticism from a social and political viewpoint.
  • An opposition to homophobia and the privilege of heterosexual culture and an exploration of themes that have been suppressed by conservative critical theory.
  • A look at LGBQTA, non-binary characters and authors and their influence within a historical, political, religious and social context.
  • The end of ‘gal-pals’ and ‘no-homo’, fuckboys.


POST COLONIAL THEORY, or: “LET’S RECONSIDER 100 YEARS OF CRITICAL THEORY FROM A PERSPECTIVE THAT ISN’T WHITE”

  • A critique on the English canon and colonial rule with a focus on canonical texts written during periods of colonisation.
  • An exploration of cultural displacement/appropriation and the language and cultural values thrust upon/developed by colonised people.
  • Post-colonial theory gives voices to colonial ‘subjects’ and looks at the impact on individual and collective identity, as well as the complexity of colonial relationships and interaction.
  • Gonna have a lot to do with politics, history, social ideology, religion and international/race relations, obvs. Stay woke.