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Widely publicized in mass media worldwide, high-profile tragedies and celebrity scandals–the untimely deaths of Michael Jackson and Princess Diana, the embarrassing affairs of Tiger Woods and President Clinton, the 9/11 attacks or the Challenger space shuttle explosion–often provoke nervous laughter and black humor. If in the past this snarky folklore may have been shared among friends and uttered behind closed doors, today the Internet’s ubiquity and instant interactivity propels such humor across a much more extensive and digitally mediated discursive space. New media not only let more people “in on the joke,” but they have also become the “go-to” formats for engaging in symbolic interaction, especially in times of anxiety or emotional suppression, by providing users an expansive forum for humorous, combative, or intellectual communication, including jokes that cross the line of propriety and good taste.
The voices of conformity speak so loudly. Don’t listen to them’, cautioned acclaimed author and award-winning journalist Anna Quindlen, in a commencement speech for Grinnell College. With more than a dozen contemporary graduation speeches that dissect the world as it is and imagine what it could be, The World is Waiting for You brings forth the courageous people who’ve dared to transform the podium into a pulpit for championing peace, justice, protest and a better world.
Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller Octavia E. Butler’s bestselling literary science-fiction masterpiece, Kindred, now in graphic novel format. More than 35 years after its release, Kindred continues to draw in new readers with its deep exploration of the violence and loss of humanity caused by slavery in the United States, and its complex and lasting impact on the present day. Adapted by celebrated academics and comics artists Damian Duffy and John Jennings, this graphic novel powerfully renders Butler’s mysterious and moving story, which spans racial and gender divides in the antebellum South through the 20th century.
In recent years the stirring, unforgettable poetry of Jalālu’l-Dīn Rūmī (1207-1273), the great Sūfi teacher and the greatest mystical poet of Iran, has gained tremendous popularity in the western world. Although he died over 700 years ago, his poetry is timeless. In the best modern translations, the passion and playfulness of his words reach across the ages to communicate themselves to people today with an undiluted fervor and excitement.