Saturday, December 02, 2006

Why "Citizen of Somewhere Else"?

Just a few reasons, post KALS-talk and pre-getting home to put the girls to bed (you can bet onechan will stay up waiting for me, so this has to be fast):

5. It's both an allusion to a famous phrase of Hawthorne's and somewhat self-referential.

4. Has a nice ring to it, eh?

3. If I can ever find the exact source of the Hawthorne phrase, I'll have a long explanation of its context and the way I see it working in that context. But not having time now to look it up, this will have to be a foreshadowing of a reason rather than a real one.

2. The question of Hawthorne's relation to the American nationalism of his times will be the topic of many future and, one hopes, better posts. Given #5, I can't help but address my own relations with American nationalism today, as well.

1. So where is that "somewhere else" and how does one become a "citizen" of it? Is this utopianism ("no place"), endless deferral ("not this place, or that place, or the next one, or..."), or what? The possibilities multiply upon further reflection, especially when you take into account claims since the 1990s that the web is a transnationalist or postnationalist "space," not to mention the discourse of "netizen" that some have tried to popularize (I prefer "blogoramaville," myself, and find the whole "new frontier" stuff a fascinating mix of Frederick Jackson Turner and Star Trek, on which much more later. Yup, I'm talking to you, EFF.)

There, I've met my requirement of a post a day. We'll see how long I can keep up that pace and how low I'll sink to do so. More on the title, and the talk, at the same CitizenSE channel, time, etc.

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