Archive for November, 2010


Unwarranted Althusser ?’s


The more I read the Althusser reading assignment the more that I saw as an ideology. Then I read that science and other subjects could be described as subject-less. How is this possible? There is only a subject of science in an ideology of science according to the reading. So to be a subject does something have to be an ideology? If so then to be a subject something must also have its believers which is interesting because although it seems obvious it is good to know that any subject being dealt with will have it’s followers, except some historical subjects whose followers may have existed in the past. In this case if the subject is still studied yet not practiced, say in the case of a dead religion, is it still a subject? A subject of study, practiced or not, is till a subject in my opinion.

 

(This comic shows how ideologies allude to a reality but also branch out into different interpretations and perspectives of it.)

The idea that to be subjects people freely subject themselves to an ideology brings up another question over the definition of the word subject. If people are brainwashed into believe something are they the subjects of an ideology? In a way the answer could be no because by being brainwashed the person is not really “themselves” anymore therefore they cannot be subjects of an ideology.

In the beginning of the text Althusser  describes “world outlooks” as largely imaginary leaving the unanswered question of what world outlook is not imaginary if ideology truly equals illusion.

Another interesting interpretation of ideology that is given is that ideology is an imaginary relation to real relations. The fact that ideology can be an escape from real relations is one of its appeals and purposes. Reality can be either too hard or too painful to understand sometimes and if having a certain belief or faith helps keep hope and a positive spirit alive then that is a good thing. The problem with some beliefs is that some deviances of reality that can be harmful to others such as religious texts calling for the death penalty for homosexuality or even thievery. It is our moral obligation as human beings to do whats positive for ourselves and each other as a whole to advance forward.

With religion it is common to find people who bend the rules of their ideology which religions usually describe as a sinful act. However, following a religion word for word can be hard because many of the old practices are … well old. Outdated beliefs are symbolic but can sometimes seem ridiculous. Someone who says they follow in the bible word for word for example may be stumped when pressed on whether they eat shellfish or believe in the keeping of slaves as long as they’re from neighboring nations. Try it when the chance arises.

Just as a belief can be good or bad the state apparatus pushing the belief can have good or bad intentions. One of the negatives about ideologies and their subjects is when the outdated or harmful beliefs are forced upon others by organized groups. The practices of subjects should allow for freedom of positive improvement.

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Blue politics

 

(REDSTATE red white and blue logo appeals to the conservative right wing patriot fanbase not only because of its use of flag colors but the because of the symbolic red color used for rebublicans.)

For the assignment of writing about two similar websites that express different opinions I picked Dailykos.com and Redstate.com, both biased news and political blog sites, Dailykos.com is left leaning and Redstate.com is right leaning. The first image you see on Dailykos.com is their logo, an artistic background with stencil lettering, the Redstate.com logo is of the U.S. flag, a map of our country all red implying republican strength and bold red and white lettering standing out against the blue and white stars of the flag. Blog titles in the Dailykos.com are a soft yellow/orange against a white background, Redstate.com blogs have black headlines but everything else is red, white or blue. Both however are soft and inviting to the viewer although the blogs themselves aren’t so soft. As far as content goes both blogs attack the opposition side ferociously, one blog about Rush Limbaugh on the left leaning Dailykos.com attacks his personal problem with drugs and ties it to his attacks on health care, “I wonder if Limbaugh has considered that his prescription-drug addiction would qualify as a pre-existing condition in many insurance plans.” Redstate.com refers to Obama’s followers as Obamazoids for some reason. The only difference other than their positions on the political spectrum is the number of comments on Dailykos.com blogs almost always overpowers Redstate.com blogs by over one-hundred percent.

Another interesting couple of websites that also differ politically as far as their bloggers go is Huffingtonpost.com(left leaning) and Politico.com(right leaning). Huffintonpost.com offers many different tabs for different topics, whereas Politico.com is solely a political news site. The politics section at Huffingtonpost.com however very closely resembles that of Politico’s in formatting and most of the content. Both are mostly blue and white with some red now and then which seems to give a feeling of neutrality and patriot pride. The same can be said for the msnbc.msn.com and the foxnews.com sites which are also far apart on the political spectrum.  Both want to seem neutral for credibility reasons but bloggers prove that they go to the news sites because of the way they present the news, which on the website seem neutral but on their anchor’s TV shows are obviously tinged with opinions and lean left or right. The links to their anchors pages on the site show their anchors being less masking of their opinions being literally black and white. Countdown with Keith Olbermann of MSNBC and The O’Reilly Factor With Bill O’Reilly of Fox News both have the blue theme going on but there articles are less dressed up more to the point with black text, white backgrounds and their video of their related news cast. What I found to be true in almost all of the websites was that even if they are pushing different agendas, all want to seem neutral, fair and balanced with the exception of the blog sites which proudly express their ideological affiliations.

The use of the color blue in politics is interesting because research shows that the color blue brings feeling of calmness and serenity. Blue is also preferred by men and is considered to cause productivity.(About Psychology) Perhaps the purpose of blue in politics which can evoke strong emotional burts in some people is to calm them down so that a productive and reasonable discussion or thought can be achieved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(The Daily Kos Logo is not as political as it is aesthetically soft and pleasing as art which may be part of its appeal.)

(Most websites political websites wear the calm and productive blue as their main eye catching color.)

http://psychology.about.com/od/sensationandperception/a/color_blue.htm