Posts Tagged ‘academics’

Fight Club Friday: the Calvin and Hobbes connection

December 10, 2010


via.

Picture this: a hyper, self-absorbed child initially concocts an imaginary friend as the ideal playmate, to whom more realistic qualities soon become attributed. This phantasm becomes a completely separate personality, with his own likes, dislikes, temperament — and the imaginer and the imagined clash and argue constantly, though remaining fast friends.

(Chow, Galvin P. “Fight Club: the Return of Hobbes.” March 11, 2001.)

Marla Singer = Susie Derkins, who Calvin hates and Hobbes sends valentines.

Daaannnnng.

Spread the word.

Burroughs Month: Hieroglyphs, ROSE, and thought control

November 26, 2010


Les Liens Invisibles via defacedbook on the tumblr.

The study of hieroglyphic languages shows us that a word is an image … the written word is an image. However, there is an important difference between a hieroglyphic and a syllabic language. If I hold up a sign with the word “ROSE” written on it, and you read that sign, you will be forced to repeat the word “ROSE” to yourself.


via lemonlove on the tumblr.

If I show you a picture of a rose you do not have to repeat the word. You can register the image in silence. A syllabic language forces you to verbalize in auditory patterns. A hieroglyphic language does not. I think that anyone who is interested to find out the precise relationship between word and image should study a simplified hieroglyphic script. Such a study would tend to breakdown the automatic verbal reaction to a word. It is precisely these automatic reactions to words themselves that enable those who manipulate words to control thought on a mass scale.

(Burroughs, William S. Interivew: “Prisoners of the Earth Come Out.”)


Burroughs photographed by Allen Ginsberg, 1953. Coilck to enlarge.

I’m not certain about this. A lot of the time I think in words. At least, I think I do. I read such a great deal and speak to my family and friends and students so much, that I know I find myself wandering the house thinking in full sentences. I’m almost positive of this. I do not consider this style of thought, nor words being the necessary articulators and wives to my thoughts, as inferior to a purer thought absent of words. I understand the function of language and the theories of Mssrs. Lacan and Derrida, with which Mr. Burroughs’ theory would seem to agree and from which it sort of shoots off, but the thought control parts and the ability to divorce one’s own thoughts from words in to a language of pure image is shakier ground for me. I get it, I think. I’m just not sure I agree. Whether I disagree that it is possible, or disagree that it is important, I’m not sure.

69 Days of Wonder Woman, Day 6: Insight from beautiful and brilliant Australian performance artist Evelyn Hartogh

November 9, 2010


Brisbane-based performance artist Evelyn Hartogh photographed by misteriddles on the da.

‘Even Superheroes get the blues,’ Evelyn Hartogh, aka Wonder Woman, tells Graham Redfern.

For about 15 years, Evelyn Hartogh has been pulling on the iconic bulletproof bracelets … of her alter ego, the feminist superhero Wonder Woman.

… the Amazonian princess was the perfect fit for the performance artist’s humanist ideals.


Photographed by Alicia Lane, 2006.

But behind the comedic performances and the bright red boots, Hartogh’s affinity with Wonder Woman has taken an ironic twist.

“Everyone has to put on a strong face to the world and everyone has their own problems,” she says. “That’s maybe why Wonder Woman is so appealing, because we all feel the pressure to be more than we really are.”

(Redfern, Graham. “Fighting Personal Demons: Interview.” 5 Dec 2007. The Courier Mail. via Evelyn Hartogh‘s official website.)


“Mopping Bartleme Galleries” by Ian Wadley, 1993.

Extremely positive thing that I can admit I dig about Wonder Woman: her iconism — ladies like her and want to be her. I can appreciate that because I support anything that makes women want to stand up for themselves and acknowledge their potential might instead of being self-critical and predictably needy.

Added insight from Ms. Hartogh: ladies understand the tremendous pressure Wonder Woman is under to achieve and to be the topmost and the Bestest in the Westest because they themselves are trying constantly to score Outstanding in every category while juggling all their responsibilities; they recognize that she, like them, is a champion with a plight.


Photographed by Alicia Lane, 2005.

Taking it one step further: when we read Wonder Woman and all the odds are against her but she pulls it out of the bag at the end because, hello, she is Wonder Woman — we can reassure ourselves that we, too, will pull it out of the bag at the end, because, hello, we are wonderful.

I can totally hang with that.

Please do check out Ms. Hartogh’s official website, hit her up on the myspace (from whence most of these pictures hail), and take her live performance videos on the youtube for a spin. She is thought-provoking, playful, deep and awesome!

69 Days of Wonder Woman, Day 4: Tools of the trade

October 28, 2010


“Wonder Woman is actually a dramatized symbol of her sex. She’s true to life — true to the universal characteristics of women everywhere. Her magic lasso is merely a symbol of feminine charm, allure, ‘oomph,’ attraction. Every woman uses that power on people of both sexes whom she wants to influence or control in any way. Instead of tossing a rope, the average woman tosses words, glances, gestures, laughter, and vivacious behavior. If her aim is accurate, she snares the attention of her would-be victim, man or woman, and proceeds to bind him or her with her charm.”


“Lasso of Truth” by Samurai Pet.

“Woman’s charm is the one bond that can be made strong enough to hold a man against all logic, common sense, or counterattack. The fact that many women fail to make strong enough lassos for themselves doesn’t deprive the lasso material of its native magic. The only thing is, you have to use enough charm to overcome your captive’s resistance.”

(William Moulton Marston, creator, qtd. in girlfriend Olive Richard’s Family Circle article “Our Women Are Our Future,” August 14, 1942.)


Michael Turner.

Disagree. Dislike. First of all, if I think someone is not as in to me as I am to them, I soundly give up: I really never expected them to be reciprocally interested in me to begin with and I hate admitting to having feelings, let alone letting those feelings make a fool of me. Nothing I hate more. I am supposed to be impervious and deflect all attention. Upping my game and maybe getting shot down again is the absolute last thing I would ever do. So the idea that I need to re-aim and throw my lasso again is round bullshit to me. No way am I going to tip my hand like that and risk that people know I Feel Ways About Things.

But, my sad and complicated shit aside, secondly and more widely applied, I also dislike the idea of telling chicks that you have all the charm you need, you just need to work harder because it sets up false expectations in women, who probably have enough going already without further blaming themselves for what they perceive to be failures in romance, and redoubling an effort that may be toward a pointless cause to boot. I believe the expression is “He’s just not that in to you,” yes? So what? Glance down the bar and see if someone is looking at you and quickly looks away. Oh, no, his collar isn’t popped and he does not know the cool jam on the jukebox? Talk to him anyway. You will be surprised.


“Old School Wonder Woman” by Lauren Montgomery.

I also don’t like the idea that I got to use some elusive yam-fried set of feminine tricks to get my way. What’s wrong with walking up and honestly asking for what I want from a man or woman? Why does it have to be couched in some charmy little game where I snare someone with an invisible rope? Why can’t I be like a man and straightforwardly address my needs in business and in social settings?


By quasilucid, via fyeahww.

Now how about this: “Woman’s charm is the one bond that can be made strong enough to hold a man against all logic.” Whoa, so even if my idea, the thing for which I’m campaigning and slinging my golden wily lasso, is crazy and illogical and against “common sense,” as long as I’m feminine enough, it’ll still work because by god and the grace of my “charm” I’ve roped that guy? Hell, no. No. Why would I a) want to do something illogical; b) decide to dishonestly employ a feminine wile instead of forthrightly putting a plan in motion; and b) use this imaginary “power” for evil, in a dishonest way that does wrong by some poor dude and the laws of logic? I don’t like any of that. I highly resist and even resent that.

The weird thing is, I don’t think, from the comics I’ve read, that Wonder Woman is like that at all. Marston says she’s the dramatized symbol of this binding feminine charm that he perceives, but I think he’s wrong. She’s straight-up, in the main, and an almost always equal player on a male-dominated planet. Wonder Woman is not walking around this world with a water bra and a bunch of batty-lashy tricks up her sleeve. And if by some shady necessity she is going about her business sidewise or in disguise, she is a bit by the seat of her pants and obviously unaccustomed to artifice. And the Lasso of Truth seems to run counter to the tricky charm lasso to which Marston analogizes non-wonder-women’s apparent powers. Truth, not some murky invisible binding charm that stickily works despite logic and sense. So, no. I realize that Marston was Wonder Woman’s creator, but it doesn’t make him right in my eyes. He said a lot of bullshit: why should I accept his interpretation of anything?

Seems I’m in the surprising position of defending Wonder Woman, from her own father.

Done for today.

69 Days of Wonder Woman: Day 2

October 15, 2010


via fyeahww on the tumblr

“Wonder Woman — and the trend toward male acceptance of female love power which she represents — indicates that the first psychological step has actually been taken. Boys, young and old, satisfy their wish thoughts by reading comics. If they go crazy over Wonder Woman, it means they’re longing for a beautiful, exciting girl who’s stronger than they are. By their comics tastes ye shall know them! … Wonder Woman satisfies the subconscious, elaborately disguised desire of males to be mastered by a woman who loves them.

… Normal men retain their childish longing for a woman to mother them. At adolescence a new desire is added. They want a girl to allure them. When you put these two together, you have the typical male yearning that Wonder Woman satisfies.”

(Marston, William Moulton qtd. in “Our Women Are Our Future.” Richard, Olive.* The Family Circle. August 14, 1942.


Art by Phil Noto.

Marston was Wonder Woman’s creator, but that’s a story for another day. Also he lived in a polyamorous relationship with his wife and the author of this article, Ms. Richard, but that is also a story for another day. I’m pleased that this brief dive into psychology has already uncovered an aspect of Wonder Woman that leaves me cold, or that I feel I do not share. I don’t mind taking initiative (especially in certain aspects of the relationship), but I hate being the stronger one.


Denise Milani.

I dislike getting pushed in to the corner and forced to make decisions and ask repeatedly for a thing to be done that has to be done and can only be done by my partner. It makes me feel like a nagging bitch, which I fear and hate, and it’s not fair. I want to be equals, I want to feel like we can rely on one another. I don’t even necessarily want to be total equals; I don’t know that I’d want to completely submit to a partner, but it would be nice to relax and feel taken care of. Not to always worry, not to be the only one tuned in to the big picture — not to feel alone.


Art by quasilucid via fyeahww on the tumblr

And it starts out all nice-guy like, “No, you pick a restaurant. I don’t care where we go,” or, “Let’s get something you want to see,” but it builds in to this passive-aggressive thing where it turns to this slow-simmering resentment on both sides. Mine because I don’t want to be in charge, at all, ever, I hate feeling that way and I hate being forced to lose respect for someone I love; the other person’s because even though they have put me in this position of power it was really to avoid responsibility and now they’re feeling mutinous, the immaturity of which makes me see that they really are, in fact, weaker than me and makes me lose even more respect. When I can’t respect someone, then I don’t feel like I have a partner, and when I don’t feel like I have a partner, I don’t feel safe, and when I don’t feel safe, I am out of love.

I hate, hate, hate that aspect of a relationship. I hate being more powerful. There might actually be literally nothing that I hate more than that when it comes to love.

Cheese blintzes, looks like Day 2 was pretty damned educational for me. I’m going let that make up for the week and some odd days in between Days 1 and 2.