What does the image convey about “toxic subjects” (their character, dynamics, etc.)? (How) Does this image open up the concept of “toxicity”?

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Mike Fortun's picture
December 4, 2018

as i started to say in another response tot his artifact, for me this image conveys something about "text as toxic" since the framing really  doesn't connect it to other forms or action of toxicity, although I think it was meant to say something about toxic racism.  If you simply read a transcript of the words you wouldn't get the same feeling (at least not so immediately) you (I) do reading it this way: ill at ease, queasy, unsettled and uncertain.  So: "citizens" here transmits a kind of toxic effect, a poisoning of discourse through cleaning up this reference to people in a lynch mob!  Is the nameless author serious?  Following a convention?  I can read also read it as if Mark Twain wrote it: "citizens" with a satiric edge from "a pen warmed up in hell," as he once described his own writing.  But I think a more reportorial, straight reading was the one intended - but still, you canlt help gertting a sense that these terms and the system of law and justice they supposedly reference have in fact been terribly poisoned by a racism they can't name...

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