SUSAN SONTAG IMAGINED
Hypothetical (and presumptuous) essays I imagine she'd write today. Apologies to dedicated scholars for any Sontag sacrilege I'm about to commit:
- •Against Political CorrectnessI'd like to think she'd call out political correctness as counterproductive, a form of self-assurance, a result of living in a time where we will ourselves into a certain kind of naïveté - a progressive ignorance defined by the false notion that racism, sexism, homophobia are behind us, if not nearly done away with.
- •On Photography (Revisited)Instagram, the "shot on iphone 6" campaign, selfies, filters, polaroid & film nostalgia, etc. We are all voyeurs now more than ever. Has the meaning of everything happening cheapened with the prevalence of images? How is art defined within the margins of your newsfeed? How has our collective critical eye for photography transformed in the past 10 years?
- •On Kim KardashianAfter an honest assessment of Kim and her family's growing cultural impact, I think Sontag would ultimately be #TeamKardashian. Annie Leibovitz did shoot that Kimye Vogue cover afterall.
- •On ScientologyA thoughtful piece that would still expose Scientology for the crazy cult that it is, but respectfully consider why one would follow it. She might expand on exactly what defines one's beliefs as respected religion or cult and reflect on the state of religion and jingoism happening elsewhere in the world.
- •Notes on "Melodrama"A kind of sequel/continuation of her essay on camp. Empire, Jane the Virgin, Scandal, Downton Abbey, The Colbert Report, the Koons retrospective, everyone's circle jerking of the Koons retrospective, any overblown celeb witchhunt or twitter takedown, Kim & Kanye's wedding week, etc.
- •On Nostalgia, or Against HistoryWhy are we so obsessed with the 90s? What's with the uptick of period shows and films? What's with Southern nostalgia and the Confederate flag? When conservatives refer to "traditional family values" are they referring to nuclear families of the 50s? Why do we hold onto certain things of a past that wasn't even ours and is it keeping our culture at a tired stasis? Are these all rooted in a deeper fear of the future?
- •On RhetoricTracing the journey of words like bae, sext and photobomb from instagram captions to the OED. Musings on the hashtag and 140 characters. Observations on usage of words like relatable, literally, and awesome and the subsequent depletion of their rhetorical value. What are the new ways in which we are shaping language?