Tag Archives: Middle East

What’s the best place to hide?

Logic suggests that there are two possible answers to this question. The first is simple, the best place to hide is where you will not be found. 

While this is a simple answer its simplicity is betrayed by dissecting what makes something the ‘best place.’

The second answer is ‘in plain sight.’ I think this is a better answer of the two because it suggests that sight is not absolute. It is often more difficult to see that which is right in front of the nose on your face than it is to see anything else.

Today I’m teaching about ‘blindspots’ in my critical analysis of news class. Rather than suggesting, as is probably important to suggest, that the news misses things and people, I’m going to also suggest a degree of obfuscation wherein that which is presented ‘right before our eyes’ contains blindspots. These spots act as masks or blinkers to other possibilities and act as ‘enough’ when they are, instead, beginnings rather than punctuated ends.

In this way invisibility is not just seeing/not seeing, but is also a combination of power/voice/affect informed by seeing and that inform how we see. 

Take for instance the idea of ‘revolution’ in the Arab middle east that we see today. There are many more nuances to the various countries than can be accounted for in one general statement. Each country has its own historical reasons for upset and upheaval. Yet painting the whole region with one brush provides a series of enormous and profound blindspots that mush the whole thing into one. Seen but not heard, powerful but without agency, evocative without feeling.