Archive for the 'Tube Videos' Category

Stanford Prison Experiment (What do you add to the script?)

Everyone was acting out a part and playing a role: prisoners, guards, staff … everyone was acting out a part. It’s when you start contributing to the script. That’s you, and thus you should take responsibility …

Prisoner 416, of the Stanford Prison Experiment*

From wikipedia:

The Stanford prison experiment was a study of the psychological effects of becoming a prisoner or prison guard. The experiment was conducted in 1971 by a team of researchers led by Psychology Professor Philip Zimbardo at Stanford University. Twenty-four undergraduates were selected out of 70 to play the roles of both guards and prisoners and live in a mock prison in the basement of the Stanford psychology building.

From the Professor Zimbardo’s website about the experiment:

What happens when you put good people in an evil place? Does humanity win over evil, or does evil triumph? These are some of the questions we posed in this dramatic simulation of prison life conducted in the summer of 1971 at Stanford University.

* Debates on “free will” aside, I do believe in subjective free will, and always holding people accountable for their actions. Prisoner 416’s statement sums it up perfectly for me.

Ol’ George, still counting eggs

Three eggs.

Heavy rain in the night. Today cold & cloudy, with heavy showers & violent wind.

When George Orwell was writing his diaries 70 years ago, I bet he didn’t think his eggs would be so fascinating. He’s averaging about 2 a day so far. If he waits 3 days for 6 eggs he could make a decent Spanish tortilla for 2.

Is it just me …

… or does Barack Obama in this photo look an awful lot like Jimi Hendrix:

I have just the song for the 44th president’s inauguration.

(Young Obama photo from Time’s Person of the Year 2008 special)

Hero or Criminal?

Tom from thebadrash kind of gave me the idea to do a Hero or Criminal series, but I don’t know how long it will last. I couldn’t help doing this one, though. Muntazer al-Zaidi is the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at president Bush in a fit of enraged passion, shouting, “You dog .. you think you are superior to us. This is what we think!”

HERO. He couldn’t help what he was doing in his irrational state of Dionysian rage, and he was expressing his anger in an essentially harmless way. Had he written an op-ed column it would have been drowned in the sea of information.

Now the poor guy is probably being waterboarded or subjected to eardrum-splitting renditions of Barney’s I Love You. Oh, the legacy of our beloved neocons!

Slavoj Žižek – Maybe We Just Need a Different Chicken

Loosely paraphrasing Slavoj Žižek, the brilliant and compelling Slovenian philosopher: There’s the story of a madman who is convinced that there is a chicken after him who wants to eat him. A doctor asks him why he is worried, since he’s not a piece of grain, and the madman replies, “but does the chicken know that?”

Raising questions on ideology and its omnipresence in every day life – as he points out in his penetrating observations of quotidian pop culture, from the McCain campaign’s hijacking of the “change” banner, to the Dark Knight, to Kim Jong Il, to home intrusions by Israeli soldiers, to Kung Fu Panda – he makes it clear that we will always have a chicken, it is just a matter of being sincere about it. Cynicism is not a way out of the dilemma of the chicken, according to Žižek, and I can say I totally agree with him – though I couldn’t put it quite so eloquently (or hilariously).

This was shot last September in Oregon, during his tour to promote his book, Violence. I’m reading it right now, and, as usual, it’s amazingly engaging for cultural theory. Žižek doesn’t hide behind oracular mazes of words and endless jargon like so many contemporary academic theorists. And, besides the clarity of his writing, he’s also quite hilarious. His off-the-cuff remarks in the Q&A session had me cracking up. Nothing like a little counter-intuitive thinking to start your day!

Obama, the Dark Knight?

Cynical-C has unmasked the Dark Knight (at least it’s pretty obvious after this quick sum-up of last night’s debate):

David Lynch on Product Placement

I guess he forgot about Dennis Hopper’s passionate endorsement of Pabst Blue Ribbon in Blue Velvet:

“Heineken? Fuck that sheeeeit! Pabst Blue Ribbon!”