Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Armed Canaries

The setting: a graduate seminar on the politics of identity. Early evening in New York City in a windowless, linoleum-lined classroom.

The reading for the evening: The Miner's Canary, by Lani Guinier and Gerard Torres. As they explain on their project website, their argument is that problems experienced by racialized minorties are signals for broader problems in our social structure, and that political race can be a tool to change those broader problems (in addition to those original racial problems.)

The radically androgynous feminist grad student with thick rimmed glasses wearing a boy's oxford shirt and Converse sneakers (you know the type) says: "What if the racialized minorities don't all want to work together? Why can't the canaries arm themselves?"

And the food & politics blogger sitting next to her has a moment.

I give you: The Armed Canaries.

The Armed Canaries

Revolution. It's for the birds.

They each have individual secret identities, as well, used as code names to protect them from the feds.


Yuri Canari

Yuri Kanari. She takes her name from Yuri Kochiyama, the radical Japanese-American feminist and friend of Malcom X.

Angela Canari

Angela Canari. She took the name in honor of Angela Davis, the black revolutionary feminist academic.

Antonio Canari

And here is Antonio Canarsci. He renamed himself after Antonio Gramsci, imprisoned Communist and theorist of hegemony.

(No, I don't eat peeps, although I did make some merangue ones that were pretty lousy looking but yummy tasting. I'm trying to cut out gelatin, so no more marshmallows for me. But the Wife is a fan of the stale ones. Lucky for me she bought yellow.)

12 Comments:

Blogger Katie said...

The Wife would like to point to the time that this post was published. Yes, dear readers, Emily posted this while in Statistics class.

That having been said, the Armed Canaries caused a great deal of giggling in our house last night, so I won't give her too much grief about that.

7:59 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

well, that's what happens when boring and repetitive classes take place in classrooms with wireless.

12:13 PM  
Blogger Post-Modern Sex Geek said...

Truly, why can the canaries not arm themselves???? How did you manage not to dissolve into giggles in the classrooom? Oh wait. The scary student might have beaned you with her self righteousness.


*Still giggling*

2:11 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

luckily the grad student in question knew she was being funny. and in fact a group of us have been passing around armies of canaries jokes for the past few days. but it was a heavy moment of absurdity. :)

10:39 PM  
Blogger bazu said...

That'll show the grad. student of the oh-so-deep question! (there's one in every class, isn't there?)

Then again, I find myself strangely attracted to these armed canaries.

What a great burst of creativity!

1:01 PM  
Anonymous shabana said...

This is priceless!

-signed
The Missing Brown Postcolonial Canary

10:45 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

bazu--yeah, i passed the photos around my friends from class and everyone seemed amused. someone's boyfriend now knows that he's going to 'the canary lady's wedding.'

shabana--in deep shame, i admit i had to turn to google to come up with an east asian revolutionary to name the nunchucked canary after. antonio and angela came easy. anyway, they don't make brown peeps.

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