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Like it’s Just You and Me: Hurricane Katrina and Kanye’s Broken Language

Ten years since Kanye West’s infamous condemnation of the Bush administration on NBC’s A Concert for Hurricane Relief, it’s alluring to remember the moment through the prism of contemporary, defiant Kanye. Viewed through that prism, we might be in danger of reimagining West’s damning utterance – “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” – as…


A Blankness Full of Meaning

During the boring, sleepless hours of a tenacious insomnia that miraculously disappeared upon my defending my dissertation, I used to entertain myself by wondering how much of Moby-Dick I could reconstruct from memory if I were ever stranded on a deserted island. Whenever I found myself growing wakeful in the night; whenever it was a…


Google and (the) Alphabet

Almost as soon as Google announced that it was becoming Alphabet, the internet exploded with thinkpieces about the entity’s new name. Lowen Liu on Slate titled his piece: “Alphabet Is the Worst Name the New Google Could Have Called Itself.” Why? Because, as Liu writes, the name Alphabet “is banal to a menacing degree, a…