Silence, Affect, and Kylie Jenner: A Journey Into the Year of Realizing Stuff


Kylie Jenner, the media and cosmetics mogul, pointed out at the beginning of this year in an interview that 2016 was “the year of realizing stuff.” I think like many others, I laughed her statement off, finding it vague and silly. But as this year has progressed, I really have begun to wonder if Ms. Jenner is a true clairvoyant and said something so profound, we never looked at it for what it was: the raw truth. 2016 has been a deep examination into the social and political fabric of America and how far we can pull the edges until it rips. By June, I had collapsed under the weight of 2016. I saw the faces of 50 people flash across CNN, shot in a place that looked similar to a place I was in, and I collapsed. While part of it was sadness and part of it was fear, I mostly collapsed because of hopelessness. Nothing would change, not even 50 innocent people dying in a club that nobody could name for what it was: a queer one.

Silence is the loudest thing sometimes. Did we all notice how quickly we stopped talking about Orlando? For myself, who spent the entire summer in the :):):):)Super Woke and Liberal Utopia of Silicon Valley:):):):), the conversation about Orlando in the snack room and on the news stopped about 3 days after. 3 whole days. Outside these spaces, in bars and online spaces populated with queer individuals, the conversation and pain lived on. Screaming and worrying and organizing, but the noise has died down even in these circles. The dust has settled but fear prevails.

While there have been no successful plans for defeating gun violence on a national level, Governor Cuomo, the Grand Duke of Empty Promises, quickly announced plans for a memorial for Orlando somewhere in New York City, citing perhaps the Christopher Street Pier as its location. Memorial. Memorialmemorialmemorial. There are thousands of memorials across New York City, official and unofficial. Memorials at their truest form are important plateaus, extensions of Deleuze’s rootless rhizomes (Deleuze 21.) They serve neither as a beginning or an end, but as a continuation of the original trauma, with the trauma being the rhizome. 



Me reading Deleuze and #realizingstuff


I got to thinking about memorials and, after a little searching, discovered that not only is 2016 the year about realizing stuff, but also the year of opening a new significant memorial: The New York City AIDS Memorial at St. Vincent’s Triangle in Greenwich Village. It will be the first official memorial in New York City dedicated to the estimated 100,000 men, women, and children who died from AIDS since 1980, and is located on top of the original St. Vincent’s Hospital, which housed the epidemic in its early years. It is set to open soon, composed of steel and granite and a central water feature.


While still only available through computer renderings and in-progress photos, the atmosphere will certainly create an affect, one that Jane Bennett notes will be felt “both physically and biologically,” upon entering the space that is the plateau of a disease rooted in social characteristics as much as it is biological (Bennett 1). It is an epidemic marked by shame and silence that received no attention until it was way too late. The price was thousands of lives lost, particularly devastating the LGBT community. The memorial may be made of steel and granite, which can be found in kitchens and hotel lobbies, yet will evoke something not warm or glamorous. It will take a different form in every visitor. The memorial, its surroundings, and ultimate interaction between will serve as the basis of my ecology.

I hope you all help me in continuing this journey of realizing stuff. The queer stuff. The silent stuff. The memorial stuff. The ecology stuff. Goodness, there really is more to Ms. Jenner than what meets the lip.



~ by nrf238 on September 18, 2016.

7 Responses to “Silence, Affect, and Kylie Jenner: A Journey Into the Year of Realizing Stuff”

  1. I think this post had the best style. First off, I loved that you used something so “basic” in terms of pop culture as well as in terms of such a general statement… that being Kylie Jenner “realizing stuff”, and make it so relatable, intellectual, and FUNNY! While you do a great job playing with the silliness of Kylie Jenner’s comment, you also transition well into the seriousness of the topic you are elevating in a way that it is not undermined by it (the silliness). At the end, when you say, “The memorial may be made of steel and granite, which can be found in kitchens and hotel lobbies, yet will evoke something not warm or glamorous. It will take a different form in every visitor. ” I got the chills all over, so you certainly created a sense of affect with your words. This is extremely well written, creative, and such an engaging post. Thank you for sharing!


  2. Nolan!

    There are so many things I love about this post (my choice for best overall!). From the way you seamlessly integrated your social issue (one that is obviously close to your heart), and the conceptual theories, to maintaining such and expressive voice! Your style was incredibly consistent through the post, and it had so. much. character.

    (“Goodness, there really is more to Ms. Jenner than what meets the lip”. Ugh. Genius.)

  3. I also think this post had the best style. It caught my eye with the title at first because I too was cracking up at Kylie Jenner’s “realizing stuff” shpeal. Underneath the witty style, I really liked how you reflected deeply on the aftermath of the Orlando incident because not only because it adds multiple layers of depth of your writing, but it also says a lot about society and our culture these days. I really enjoyed reading this!!


  4. This post definitely had the best style. I loved the way you hilariously tied such an obscure statement by Kylie Jenner into media affect. Your argument in realizing and speaking on “queer stuff” is strong and I can sense your passion for change and awareness. Your writing style is seasoned, thoughtful, and highly analytical. This made the article much more enjoyable overall.

  5. I thought this post excelled in the overall way that you engage a superficial topic but apply critical theory to analyze media spectacles that have been either traumatizing or depressing. It was a really smart and cohesive way to engage with the way that you think about things and even how you’ve been realizing stuff. — Seth Loftis

  6. Best style/engagement. While the title is very eye-catching, Kylie Jenner in your post is surprisingly not just an eye-catching tool but a smooth and smart introduction as well as a relevant part in your discourse of silence and memorials. I love how you connect these two seemingly totally different concepts and make them work together to create significance. Good job.
    – Abby

  7. As as someone who’s not afraid to admit she’s a Kylie Jenner fan, I want to applaud you for making her appear to be more of a thoughtful being than we’ve been led to believe. Obviously that’s not the point of your post, but it’s a standout hook nonetheless. The way you use that point to jump into the chaos that is 2016 and effortlessly tie in your ecology project, which I think is both poignant and important, makes this post, in my humblest of opinions, the most engaging. I look forward to reading more of your posts in the future!

    – Kristen

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