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Shlomo's blog

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I've been thinking, and talking, about our class discussion on Utopia.  My thoughts are scattered right now, and this may be a rather dull post, but I have a question I want to ask, dull or not.  Is imagining a utopia (and eventually realizing it is impossible) a useful exercise?  In one way, maybe.  It helps us understand our place in the world to some extent--we have to learn that nothing is perfect and nothing ever will be.  After all, what is perfection without imperfection?  In another way, the exercise seemed pointless and upsetting to me.  How will thinking about utopia--and ultimately giving up (which is how I felt after class)--lead to a better world, or a better understanding among peoples?  It seems futile.

I'm reminded of an essay I read in high school, by Tolstoy.  He basically says that every person who is well-off (financially) is directly responsible for one person living in poverty.  I don't know how this relates to utopia, or to building a utopia, but I keep thinking about it in relation to utopia, probably because of the title of the essay: What Then Must We Do?

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On Deafness and Being Heard

I've been thinking more about what rachelr said in her post and what we discussed in class about the repetitive nature of Eli Clare's book.  I remembered an experience I had that helped me better understand the Clare's repitition, so I will share it in the hope that whoever reads it might gain something from it.

Last summer, I interned with a judge who worked with both civil and criminal cases.  One of the cases I got to sit in on had been brought by a deaf woman.  In court, when a questioning attorney asks a question, the witness is supposed to just answer that question, not add anything else.  But whenever this woman was asked a question about what had happened, she not only answered the question; she went on at great length about other details until the judge inevitably cut her off.  It was strange and somewhat frustrating.  I had trouble understanding why she kept over-answering after both attorneys and the judge asked her to stop.

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Thoughts on Clare (and why I'm not a fan)

Like rachelr, I've been getting a little frustrated with Eli Clare.  I haven't read enough of his book to feel like he is being overly repetitive; rather, my frustrations lie with his attitude.  He consistently makes remarks where I just stop, put the book down, and think, "Really?"  I can't stop thinking about and really being bothered by the following passage:

"At an anti-war protest not long ago, I saw a placard announcing 'An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind.'  This slogan is one of many that turns disability into a metaphor, reinforces that disability means broken and is fundamentally undesirable, and ignores the multitude of actual lived disability experiences connected to war.  For folks who know blindness/disability as a consequence of crushing military force, the 'eye for an eye' slogan offers a superficial rationale for nonviolence but no lasting justice.  In response, I'd like to stand next to those anti-war activists and hold a placard that reads 'Another crip for peace,' or maybe, 'Blindness is sexy; military force is not'" (xii-xiii).

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Some Thoughts on Riki Wilchins

Hi.  My name is Ann, and I'm a junior at Haverford.  I'm a Biology major, but I'm minoring in Gen/Sex.  I wasn't really sure what to write about for this post until I delved back into Queer Theory, Gender Theory.  It's an interesting and readable text, but one thing that bothers me is the author's obvious, slanted perspective.  Riki Wilchins frequently makes cynical observations about feminism and the lack of care that the discipline has toward other advocate groups.  Her statements could be true (I suppose I don't know enough about the history of feminism to deny her claims), but her repeated hammering in of the fact that feminists aren't supportive enough of gender rights makes me feel like I'm not reading a very balanced account.

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