Just a couple WebCt Posts....
Class has proven very interesting so far. From the first question of "what is love" I have been intrigued to hear everyone's point of view. All of the scenes we have seen have shed light on the love topic in very different ways. "Anchorman" showed how love can be turned on simply by a guy working it in a specific way. Apparently, even the jazz flute can turn someone on. Then in "Fatal Attraction" we saw how love can prove deadly. Love can be possessive, obsessive, and ultimately destructive. Ann Archer showed how strong love for one's lifestyle and family can be by showing no remorse for killing the woman in the way of Ann's dreams. Glen Close showed how love can turn one into a monster by destroying a family to be with the one she loves. It's fascinating to see how many angles there are to love. Love can be the happiest yet most painful emotion one can have. Ultimately, love is intense. Intensity can drive people to do the unthinkable, whether it be kill or find a jazz flutist attractive!
I have learned this week that culture has no real origin because it is created by the people. For example, Harold Hill takes an idea of the pool table because it's foreign and runs with it. He creates a message that playing pool will corrupt River City's children. He then takes his message further by saying he can solve the problem. He then has credibility and before you know it he has followers and a common theme is agreed upon. Therefore, culture can be summed up, in my opinion, by leaders and followers. Harold Hill might be the leader, but his message would have no credibility and effect without the followers. The leaders create the culture and the followers give it validity.
While reading "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" the meaning behind names and different character choices struck me. For example, the idea behind Brick's name. We are all familiar with bricks as hard, dense, objects one cannot easily move through and I feel like it is not an accident Williams named the main character Brick. Brick is dense, hard to get through to, and stuck. He has resigned himself to life and therefore lets himself drown in alcohol. Also, the fact that Brick has a crutch. It seems that Brick has many crutches. The physical one, his drinking provides a crutch, and he is referred to as a "broken man." Williams tells a lot about his characters with just their name and appearance.
I have been reading what others have been saying, and I must have missed the boat. I did not like the movie "10" at all. I was not laughing when others were, and it just didn't strike a chord with me. I felt it was dated and well, not entertaining. I was talking about it with my parents and they remembered it but all they recalled was that it made Bo Derek famous. I guess it was not memorable to them either. The only strong element for me was Julie Andrews. I had never seen her do a role like this in a film that was far from family friendly. I would not say it was a stretch for her, she still played a singer, but to see Maria without young children or a catchy song and dance number surprised me. I think I prefer her with an umbrella, a habit, or "climbing every mountain." Blake Edwards, Julie Andrew's husband, directed the movie and apparently hoped to change Julie's image with this flick. My opinion: you can't win them all!
Anne Waldman's "Feminafesto" addresses sexuality as purely a representation. She believes that the terms man and woman are just symbols or words. Waldman sees gender as a cultural representation, not a truth. She calls for "a utopian creative field where we are defined by our energy, not by gender." On page 239 in the Barker text, Barker introduces Nicholsons' "coat rack" view of sexual identity. This states that the body is a rack which cultural meanings are thrown on. Waldman wants us to be expressed by our energy only, without the layers of coats in terms of sexual ideas and symbols. According to the article, Waldman sees our bodies only as a temple for our spirit, with no gender attachment. Butler shares Waldman's feelings. Butler believes (Pg. 239) that transexuals provide the perfect example of how to do away with social norms. Waldman proposes transsexual literature which would serve as the way to break down gender boundaries. Waldman sees gender as a socially constructed issue that needs to be thrown out and replaced with literature focused on spirit and energy not defined by sex.
The passage we looked at in "Taming of the Shrew" I found fascinating. It can go many different ways and I enjoyed the discussion and points brought up in class. The argument that stuck with me was about the word taming in terms of animals. When you tame an animal it is unnatural, as the animal should give in to its biological tendencies of wild behavior. It is wrong and unnatural to TRY and tame an animal. If applied to women as the shrew, than it is unnatural to tame a woman, especially one as opinionated and ahead of her time as Kate. Katie is a radical. She speaks very strategically to get her point across. She climbs in the mind of the man to critique was she sees. Kate knows the different societal expectations of men and women. Men are "they lord, they life, they keeper" and women offer "love, fair looks, and true obedience." She knows that in a patriarchal society, as Barker states (pg. 281), males head the family and serve as the superior to women. She knows that she cannot change the status quo overnight, she is simply pushing the envelope to show what can be possible for women. She is radical in views but must conform because her society is not ready for what she wants to bring. On page 24, Barker states that "male power and female subordination are structural" meaning that Kate's society is constructed to make her submissive. Although she states her case, she knows that she is ahead of her time, and must be the woman society
requests of her.
I really enjoyed "The Rules of Attraction." Ellis did a fantastic job taking the reader in the mind of each character. College is the age of discovery, the time to find who you truly are and what you want out of your life. In the book, Ellis examined a group of excess driven young adults. Drugs and alcohol ruled as the motivating force to numb their pain, but each had a hunger for a person as well. We have all done it, loved someone from a far and fantasized about them being the perfect match. The sad thing is, we never did know them. We built them up to be someone there not, simply because we never knew them in the first place. Paul did it with Sean. Sean did it with Lauren. Lauren did it with Victor. The trend of course is that no one did it with someone who also did it with them. Unrequited love is hard. I know I've been through it. The fact is, learning, growing and falling in love immaturely is all part of college. Each character fantasized about a lover to fill a void and hunger they needed. If you examine romance, it is clear that unrequited love is quite common and talked about. Many hit songs have been written about it. Why are they hits? Because MANY people can relate. I am a songwriter myself, and I have written quite a few songs about guys I liked from a far or guys who liked another girl. We have all read many books that deal with a character loving someone who does not love them back. Movies make millions about it, but usually in Hollywood, it results in an unrealistic happy ending. This gives people hope and unrealistic dreams about life, but we go to the movies to escape sometimes anyway. Ellis examines unrequited love in a very self serving way. Each character needs their fantasy, but the fantasy isn't real and does not need them back.
So I have to admit, my dad tried to show me "Annie Hall" a couple years back and I HATED it. My dad thought I had inherited the "I hate Woody Allen" gene from my mother and he was not excited. Now, watching it in class, I really liked it. Maybe I'm just older now and understand the references, but sorry to say mom, I think I got the "I love Woody Allen" gene from my Dad. I think the movie is a Radical Romance. Annie is portrayed as the man in the relationship. She is not overanalyzing everything and is rather calm about the relationship, which is a rarity in a female. I think Woody Allen is attempting to make a statement about romance in the character of Annie. She dresses different, mixing menswear with lady like pieces which at the time of the movie, was quite unique. Albi portrays the normal female characteristics: he is anxious, worries all the time, wants to talk about everything, worried about sex, etc. All in all, the characters are quite different and make a statement about Radical Romance.
I am so happy to read all the compliments about our presentation on here. We all strived to make it fun and thought out, so I am so glad that translated well. I enjoyed working on this presentation very much. I am a huge fan of the show and I love when I can analyze something I actually like.
The "slut" discussion was really great. I love hearing different points of view on the term, especially from guys. Girls always see the slutty girls getting the guys, so hearing from guys that they don't find that attractive is enlightening, and comforting actually. I think Samantha is right on the line of slut or just sexually charged female. She does not need a man and therefore the ball is always in her court, so to speak! She wants the pleasure more than the partner and it is liberating to see on television. It sparks conversations with women all across the country to embrace their desires and need for sexual satisfaction. I believe Samantha is a "new" or radical woman. She gets what she wants, not what she needs.