1. R. Kelly – Love Letter 2. Kanye West – MBDTF 3. Lil B – Cooking With Basedgod (unofficial) 4. Waka Flocka Flame - Flockaveli 5. Odd Future – RADICAL 6. The Tallest Man on Earth – The Wild Hunt 7. Rick Ross – Teflon Don 8. Lil B & Soulja Boy – Pretty Boy Millionaires 9. Drake – Thank Me Later 10. Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles
I know I’m like three days late posting this thing — which is, like, 10 years and some change in Internet time — but I think FADER put it best when they said (and I’m paraphrasing here), “That Wayne’s doing that thing where he sounds like he’s gonna keep rapping FOR-EV-ER.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates on Suburbia, Slavery and Perspective
On some level, when trying to hold on to your humanity amid the degradation of slavery, logic has to fail. I think that must, at least partially, explain why slaves took so readily to religion. The known world said they’d been slaves for a quarter millenia, and would always be so. Any hope of freedom rest on the unknown world, rests on faith.
In that narrative, Abraham Lincoln was the deliver. Here was the man who made liberation a part of the policy of the Union Army, who armed black men in that war—an unthinkable prospect in the years before. I don’t know what there is to be gained from turning up one’s nose at that narrative, or pitying people for their unrealized dreams. I’m not sure we have any right to pity.
When a human being becomes a set of data on a website like Facebook, he or she is reduced. Everything shrinks. Individual character. Friendships. Language. Sensibility. In a way it’s a transcendent experience: we lose our bodies, our messy feelings, our desires, our fears. It reminds me that those of us who turn in disgust from what we consider an overinflated liberal-bourgeois sense of self should be careful what we wish for: our denuded networked selves don’t look more free, they just look more owned.
With Facebook, Zuckerberg seems to be trying to create something like a Noosphere, an Internet with one mind, a uniform environment in which it genuinely doesn’t matter who you are, as long as you make “choices” (which means, finally, purchases). If the aim is to be liked by more and more people, whatever is unusual about a person gets flattened out. One nation under a format. To ourselves, we are special people, documented in wonderful photos, and it also happens that we sometimes buy things. This latter fact is an incidental matter, to us. However, the advertising money that will rain down on Facebook—if and when Zuckerberg succeeds in encouraging 500 million people to take their Facebook identities onto the Internet at large—this money thinks of us the other way around. To the advertisers, we are our capacity to buy, attached to a few personal, irrelevant photos.
Is it possible that we have begun to think of ourselves that way? It seemed significant to me that on the way to the movie theater, while doing a small mental calculation (how old I was when at Harvard; how old I am now), I had a Person 1.0 panic attack. Soon I will be forty, then fifty, then soon after dead; I broke out in a Zuckerberg sweat, my heart went crazy, I had to stop and lean against a trashcan. Can you have that feeling, on Facebook? I’ve noticed—and been ashamed of noticing—that when a teenager is murdered, at least in Britain, her Facebook wall will often fill with messages that seem to not quite comprehend the gravity of what has occurred. You know the type of thing: Sorry babes! Missin’ you!!! Hopin’ u iz with the Angles. I remember the jokes we used to have LOL! PEACE XXXXX
When I read something like that, I have a little argument with myself: “It’s only poor education. They feel the same way as anyone would, they just don’t have the language to express it.” But another part of me has a darker, more frightening thought. Do they genuinely believe, because the girl’s wall is still up, that she is still, in some sense, alive? What’s the difference, after all, if all your contact was virtual?