Life is just a game/art at Vermont farm

Tuesday, April 19, 2011



I agree strongly with Dediedre's comments on the unhelathy relationship between Bella and Edward. The film does start out hopefullly with Bella portrayed by a somewhat strong, independent "doesn't care if she fits in" kind of teenage girl. The movie makers have chosen intersting symbols: the pick up truck, her casual dress, her disinterested attitude in the social scenes around her. Her relationship with her parents displays her as a nontypical teen in her devotion to them without shame. Bella comes off as strong, kind, confident and comfortable in her own skin.
Then enters Edward, the antichrist of the strong independent woman. Edward looms about, allowing himself to see his sister's future happenings then reacting to them to save Bella from herself and her own decisions. Through his protection he engulfs Bella in complete control that is experienced by Bella as love.
What happened to all her strenghth and character. Did it mean mothing? Was it a facade of "getting along" until she was "saved"?. I think this comes eriely close to abusive/controlling relationships today and it worries me that this is what the media is offering to tweens and teens and adults as a love story.A girl is usually "groomed" for abuse in her upbringing, this is a confusing playout and I think it sends a message that : Yes, you ,too, strong young woman. You too can be loved (controlled) by a sexy pwerful (and dangerous) man. Then you will be complete." I still am shocked and disappointed that this is what Hollywood offers young girls, but, hey, the media is still a man's world until strong female writers, producers and directors are running the show.   

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Talking Point #9: "Good Girls/Bad Girls" by Tolman and Higgins

In Tolman and Higgisn article, "How Being a Good Girl Can Be Bad for You", the authors discuss how the male position of power, over recorded history, have left the female, especially the young adolescent female with the schizophrenic persona holding a natural sexual desire as part of her humaness and the cultural lesson that teach desire, lust and sexual pleasure, including the inital lstages of courting found in all species, threatening to human society, even  today, with our sophisticated mature mores.
The authors are saying that it breaks down to male aggression and female responsibility. The males in our society have "natural" rights to sexual acts and it is the females who must regulate the activity. Girls who express their own sexuality are protrayed as threatening, deviant and bad. This produces cultural anxiety.
The story "Atalanta" is based an a mythological story of a king attempting to marry off his daughter, as was the custom. The new Feminism of the '70s took this old story and put a spin on it that ALLOWED and even EXPECTED resistance to this action. The resonsibility was to her own happiness, and she took action to ensure she got what she wanted. This story reflected the power shift that was felt very strongly by society (some for, some against) during the '70s, and nothing was ever the same.
In "Alice in Wonderland", Alice challenges her society's expectations of being a "good girls' when she rejects the idea of marrying someone she doesn't like and who doesn't like her. It does not matter what each of them felt for each other, it is her family duty to follow through. She rejects this norm and has an adventure that gives her a chance to be the heroine in her own life.
"Bad Girls Good Girls" points out  that sociey operates to discourage women's sexual urges and men's sexual responsibility, and this creates less communication and more violence.
Atalanta from the 70's and Alice In Wonderland from 2010 showed responsibility to one's self is necessary "to live happily ever after".

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Final Presentation points: Teens and the Tatoo

I really like the idea of exploring Teens and Tatoos. I have gone from thinking they are such a bad idea that the kids will "SO" regret, to veiwing them as a cultural phenomeon. One interesting article:
which presents the ideas of  a teen's choice to get a tatoo as both struggling for identityand gaining a sense of control.  Safety issues, which reflect "risky behavior" is always an associated topic when talking about teens, and the article: covered ideas from health problems associated with teen tatooing to legislation introduced by Professional Peircers Organizations to control this aspect of the practice.
Parents outlook that beyond infections and regret,  tatooing may affect ways in which thier child may be viewed in their future by people who may have a very strong influence on their lives, potentail employers.
Do you refuse or allow permission?  I think teen tatooing is a very predominant choice in our culture and would be an interesting topic to present.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Hip-Hop and Colonialism: Recognition and Response  Talking point #7

Dr. Ball's four piece series on Hip-Hop focused on colonialsim in its relation economically to the repression of the Hip-Hop genre and its dominance by the strongly dominant music industry.  Dr Ball states that his point is that we must be not be "as concerned with the prevailing wisdoms contained in popular Hip-Hop journalism or the media reform that often describes  a struggle for power withinn a colony", so much as recognizing the colinization of the industry by the economic powers of the world, sepecially the media giants of the USA.
Hip-Hop's origin in the 1970s was based on expressing post civil rights era social issues and where disenfranchized young Black men found themselves. Hip-Hop offered a way with dealing with the this part of societies hardships through this music art form and subdued the violence that was strongly brewing while giving  a voice to the voiceless.  Organizers from around the world used Hip-Hop in their communities to address environmental justice, police and prisons, media justice and education. Global communities used this media for local activism.  This progressive agenda challenged the status quo. Then entered consumersim. Dr. Ball is exposing the economic powers that control or colonize these artists and their message.

I would like to hear what he has to say about the negative side of Rap/Hip-Hops rich little sister, Gangsta Rap. How does Hip-Hop identify with this violent, mysogynous and commercial sellout? I also would like him to address Hip-Hops role in pan-Africanism as he sees it and how this music form could have/did (?) make this movenent more powerful.  

Monday, March 21, 2011

Talking point #6 Glee Yesterday, today, whatever...

We all know that GLEE is more than a story about stereotypical teens with a fabulous musical thrown in to keep thinks cooking. The point I want to make standing at this end of the tunnel is that teens today are no different than teens at any time.  Teens are by nature scared and searching, some with more foundation than others, but even with a strong supports system, will still be victimized by the most insecure.

Never Been Kissed exposes the bullying that is universal, be it an adult who does not fit the media's description of pretty/sexy/desirable (Beist, the coach) and reflects on media Dominant Ideaology that Christensen discussed or Raby's The Storm discourse of youth played out by the sexual Santana or the bully K.
Will makes a good teaching point that the kids had treated her, Beist, as they had not wished to be treated, but then totally ruined any solid point that could be made by riding in on his white stallion and kissing away her difference. I loved seeing her soft side. Yeah, we all have them, but she confused her role as a adult mentor and took the kids immature behavior personnaly and qiut. Wanting to be liked and acepted wins out over self confidence and liking who you are, being old or young. A potentially very strong figure brought down by bullying and insecurity.
Kurt's circumstance with being victimized was raw and real and exposed the weakness of the school systems to protect their kids. It is so real and so sad. I thought the private school as a "safe place" was a perfect comparison and made a very strong point. None of this is realistic, not meant to be. Exagerated, in your face, stereotypical characters and curcumstanances that happen everyday all the time. But, hey, they only got 30 minutes.e
The kids are the same now as they were in the past. Nothing changes.  Being different is ridiculed by bottom feeders.  It takes maturity to respect differences as a good and admirable trait. It comes with time and saftey and endurance. I am glad this is being played out on such a popular media format for all to see, discuss and think about. But it sadly looks, oh, so familiar.