Before reading the book something popped out at me, does the front cover look strangely familiar to anyone else? Yeah so now when I pick up the book all I see is Sherman holding up a prothestic breast. But, really, I started reading the story and at first I thought I was doing pretty well at following where Powers was going with his life, but then I don’t know if I was tired, but I just felt like there was so much superflous things being included in that first 48 pages. I did get kind of lost near page 20 but I regained focus around 25 and by the end of the 48 pages I was really interested in this magical mystery machine that is going to be produced. And, I know we have seen it before but why can’t powers just say the names of these places and people, or give them a fake one so I dont have to keep thinking back to what U. stood for theoretically, or C. I don’t know about anyone else but I felt this was more frustrating then when reading Funhouse. I do see that this is a post-modern trend with it trying to leave things out so it seems like this story isn’t fictional, but really I rather just have a fake name then. Also, why is it that Powers comes home and decides to work in a science center. I know that the two do have similarities but why would the science center be his first choice of work, while finishing up writing his books to spend his time in?
If I were to try and think of one thing that I could say about Lee and her projects is that she is a cameleon of many colors, especially for her being Asian which I feel is one of the more distinct ethnic characteristics. She blends in so well with being hispanic and being a lesbian, that at first I did not realize that it was her, I did notice and asian was in every photo but I did not realize it was her and that it was the same asian in those photos. That alone impresses me, but I really did like the projects, I like how all the photos seem ordinary, but they have extraordinary meanings hidden in them. Hannah did mention in class today how maybe Lee is a sociopath because she can just create different lives in all of these photos. Which to me really could be true, because how does a person, just walk into someone’s home and pose “kinda” and then call it the Ohio Project, it is weird.
When comparing Lee to Sherman there are more differences then similarities. I feel like Sherman’s photos did feel more structured, and while also having hidden meanings, I feel as if Sherman herself was not as chameleon like, she had to use posthesis to create a different image of herself. Also I don’t know if this is a common thought, but I think Sherman’s work is more gender based then what Lee is trying to show with her photos, I feel Lee is more into showing different ethnicities and sexual preferences, and Sherman is trying to show more with using gender, feminity and masculinty.
One thing I still do not get though is that in Lee’s pictures, is she the object or the subject. I mean we as the gazers are usually looking at her, but for example when she is the tourist she is the one looking at different famous statues or landmarks. So is this another exaomple of how the subject and object can change unnoticed and it is so versatile or is this a general explaination of what is what and who is who?
Mid-term Blogerroni October 15, 2007
I read all of my blog posts, and after fiddling around for an hour on this trying to figure out if there is an easier way to see all of my comments ,than going to every-ones page and searching, which there is, so if anyone wants to know, i have the key. But my comments, I felt do not really ascend in showing my understanding of postmodernism. I know my blogs have greatly increased in decent material but I feel as if my comments are so insignificant. For the next half of the semester I’m going to change that. But for now the two comments I took to quote are the only ones with any real density to them.
“If your father is a model for God, then what is really meant by this. Does it necessarily mean your father, or is it a confusing play on words because like God, father can be used in its place. Is this book trying to portray using the word father instead of God just so the thought of God does not make you feel as meek or empty? But, your father as a role model for God, is not usually the case anyway, in typical families I feel the mother is supposed to be the role model more-so. But this book does not favor the females of course.” This is my comment that is taken from Hannah’s Weblog, and it was written on October second, in regards to Hannah’s blog, “Fight Club: the book.”
In analyzing this comment I feel as if it is one my better ones with the best questions and most density to the ideas and thoughts I gathered from the book. This comment implies this constant questioning I have of gender and its roles, what it is supposed to be representing, and how the author or photography wants this to be taken by the observer or reader. This can all link back into Fight Club, which can lead to Written on the Body, and Life in a Fun-house. All of these have the unpin-point-able area of gender and its purpose in the piece. This comment is great because it asks unanswerable questions and leads to other ideas and questions that can branch off other originals. When talking about the father and God, it can be a ply on words, but is this passage supposed to taken as when speaking of father it is your paternal figure or is father, just another word for God, who in a religious family is supposed to be your role model? Like mentioned in the comment it naturally seems to me that the mother would be your role model since traditionally in most families she is the one staying home and raising the kids while the father is out making money to support his wife and kids. But, if father is supposed to be your role model is this a play on gender? Fight Club really emphasizes masculinity and how the characters in the book have feminine or masculine characteristics that are opposite their true gender and basically they are just trying to prove to them and everyone else their real gender. So is this another swap of genders and the father is the role model now, or does it really just mean that everyone wants to be more masculine so you idolize the father figure in your like, like god, or your dad? These are all lingering questions still rattling around, but I feel as if gender is an interesting topic to me because of the sublime feeling I get from trying to figure out every author’s purpose with it.
“I agree with you and the way you say that the face is most logically becoming from a catcall on the street which brings femininity back into being an object, but is there ever a way to keep one general thing as males or females as a commonly known object or subject? no of course not which is where I get lost when they are in transition between being an object and subject. But I do agree with you on the pictures and the male gaze thingy.” This was the comment I took from Little Bit of my World’s Blog called: Sherman: Film Stills, and I commented on this blog on October 12th as well.
I do not feel as if this comment is a strong a comment as the first but I still like how I was able to relate to the discussion in class and bring into the comment some terms we have been leaning on through out the year so far. This comment is intriguing because it brings up the males gaze. Once again gender being the peak of my interest, I feel as if Sherman’s stills are perfect for the topic because one person sees one thing of the picture and someone else can see almost the complete opposite. Whether they are cliches or not it can never universally be agreed upon but they do show that everyone sees maybe not what they want to see, but maybe what they do not want to see. Also another gender related topic I brought up in the comment is about objectivity and subjectivity. When you take the root of the words you can simply understand the difference between them, but, when taken to stills, or characters in a book, it is puzzling to decide what is what and which is which. A lingering question left that is branched off this comment is just how can these two terms transcend to one another, or actually not be transcending to one another and the observer thinks it is, and the transfer be so unnoticeable and flexible?
I feel the two comments I put up before are my best comments to date. They ask good questions, provide branching off onto new ideas and different perspectives, they are relate-able to class discussion, mention terms we’ve been associating with, and it relates well with the other texts we have read. Because the comments have already been discussed the two best blog posts I feel I published include, my blog post number 9 called: Masculinity, which was posted October second, and my eleventh blog post called Untitled…How Ironic?, which was posted October 9th. Another curiously developing theme between my train of thought and my blogs posts are the questions about gender, subjectivity, and objectivity. They related well to our discussions in class, for example Masculinity was written after we were split into groups in class to discuss one topic of the book Fight Club, which also relates it to the texts and others we have looked at. Also, my eleventh blog which is about the Sherman stills, shows the same thing, which can relate to class and the tests and others we have seen. Both of these blogs go in depth into certain areas of what I felt was important to write and discuss about. These have helped me ascend in my understanding of postmodernism; and I feel it is obvious how much better my ideas and thoughts about the texts have gotten if you compare my earlier blogs. So these I felt were some of my better blogs and comments for those reasons.
A classmate’s blog that I really enjoyed was Michael’s blog called Settling a Fight, which was posted on October 8th. It to me was exceptional because I really learned and got a grasp on some terms that I was to sure of, because of the questions, or maybe jokes, he was putting into the blog. Also, I enjoyed the blog I did not feel as if it was just reiterating everything we said in class, or that everyone else had the same information in their blogs, it was actually pleasant to read. Also, I learn better through comedy then serious lectures and felt his blog really did get me interested and help my attention because of the questions and the jokes. But, really the blog was exceptional because it has such great terms in it that are related to other readings, like ideology, and capitalism, and of course the big one post-modern, which really you don’t see anyone specifically writing about too much in their blogs. He mentioned things that intrigued him and frustrated him, and he just makes connections with concepts and definitions, that I especially was having a hard time grasping, and made them more clear to me.
For the three goals I want in my writing for the last half of the semester my number one goal would definitely have to be, to have more substantial and qualified comments. My second goal would definitely be trying to work from such small specific little parts of post-modernity and try to get a clearer larger picture of what that word means. My last goal would be to go even more in-depth in my blogs, I feel as if I skim a lot of good subjects, topics, and questions, but I do not dive far enough into them during the blog, I just think about it after I have already posted. To achieve these goals, I think the main thing would be that I need to find and spend more time blogging and writing which would really help with my number 1 and 3 goals. It is difficult though to spend a lot of needed time on these things since we do need to blog twice a week and comment twice a week, that is supposed to be 4 quality passages, which really at this point I don’t feel I have enough time to do. But, since I really do want to achieve these goals I think it would be best if I found a way to get in as much time as possible. My second goal I feel could be achieved if I look more closely at what my classmates are blogging about and then compare it to my blogs and then try and get a general feeling about what is post-modern what is modern and what is neither or both. So basically, I need to take my time while reading and writing, and find more time to do these things, and I feel I could easily accomplish all three of my goals.
Untitled…how ironic… October 9, 2007
I feel that Untitled 255 and 257 were the most disturbing stills out of all of them. Sherman has this way of seeming like she only wants to portray cliches which of course some criticize as her not being an original which I understand, but I do not feel like these two stills are more or less cliches but statements. The both of them have an effect of uneasiness on the looker and like Hannah mentioned in class it is all about the women being looked or gazed at in a certain way. I feel like almost every shot of Sherman’s makes me feel uneasy for ways I can not pinpoint, hello Lyotard. But, besides that these 2 stills are beyond an uneasiness and more or less horrific because they are showing a realistic way of seeing women, that people view them as today.
255 is a mannequin, which alone scares the be-jesus out of me, but she is in a sexual position and is disturbingly naked. I feel this shows that point of view where a woman is an object, nothing more, nothing intimidating at all. These sort of angers me a bit because I know people out there really do continue to view women as objects instead of equal human beings which may even be the stronger sex that I know some argue. Which brings me to Untitled 257. It seems there are mannequin parts in this still as well because if you look at the man’s shoulder blades you see joints that are not connected, but the women is on top with a more dominant perspective then 255. I feel Sherman did a good job of trying to transition and show the way women have grown in society. Also, the man’s face being a true showing of horror suggests that he is greatly intimidated by this women dripping on him and I also know as well that there are many men out there afraid of the feminine gender which also kind of angers me because both of these stills are showing the extremes on the opposite sides of the spectrum where one the women is an object with no say and the other showing the women as the gender that is so dominant that they are overly intimidating. I at first was turned off of Sherman’s photos merely because they made me feel to uneasy about myself but what she is trying to demonstrate really caught me and might possibly be included in my research paper 🙂
butt-wipe October 4, 2007
I thought maybe I would try to unlayer a small theme that seemed present in the novel that we really didn’t talk about to much. The maturity of the novel and everything about it. Overall the gender role switching is a main part of the novel, where males have these unseemingly feminine characteristics and Marla is rather masculine while herself is a female. The males are trying to be seen as masculine so they go to a fight club and beat each other up and blow up buildings and make soap. How mature is this? When you are little your mother always says fighting never solved anything so why is that the backbone of this story is so elementary.
The point I feel of the novel is to bring down capitalism to detroy things that have us set in history. While these are not topics 8 year olds talk about but if you generalize it and ask say an 8 year old how would they get back at someone/thing that has angered them I’m sure a response would be beat them up, or throw something at them, this always seems to be the case. So how mature are these men where they make explosives in a house and run around destroying things. Is there no better way?
Also the more humorous side of this maturity level found in the relationship between the narrator and Marla was actually touched upon in class. Butt-wipe being the main nickname for the two does not show that these characters are more than 10 years old. I actually quite enjoyed the suck ass use in the end of the book when Marla is mad at the narrator for hitting her. Which still I don’t get the gap of what happened there but along the same lines, when you are being raised males in general are taught never to hit a girl and what happens in the novel, Marla is hit, even though she is one of the more masculine characters. But all in all why is this book so full of impact, yet it is based on such childish and immature ways of going about things. Beating each other up for fun, blowing up apartments and making soap, does not scream maturity to me at all.
Masculinity October 2, 2007
I was in the masculine group and despite how obvious this theme is in the book it is really hard to pin point and define it. We came up with many different points that we could actually reference to in the book that shows the way masculinity is shown but the hard part was picking just two and narrowing it down. The definition came to be something of many different points. That masculinity in this book is not a state a male more or less is but something that they are trying to show and prove throughout. Like Bob and his bitch tits for example. Despite that he is a male he still has that feminine characteristic about himself, his boobs and he has no testicles. So, he joins a fight club and burns down buildings and fights other males, even though he wears a shirt and no one else does. Its like masculinity is something that males need to show because they are the gender that needs to keep their emotions in unless they are in their secret underground group or in a support with other males that are dealing with the same thing.
One link we made was to Winterson’s Written on a Body. That book was all about keeping the narrator ambiguous so as to show that both genders can do certain things. Fight club is like the opposite in where it makes the male gender more want-able, they are macho, they do the dirty jobs lower class men do. The only real women character in the book is Marla, and she is disgusting and outspoken and no women in their right mind would want to be that. It makes being a female something no one wants to be with the use of Marla. Which in this case can link outside to Lost in the Fun-house because Marla is the opposite of Magda, but still not a character any woman would want to be. Magda barely talks, and is idolized in Ambrose’s eyes, but who wants to just be a wall flower and have no say what-so ever. It’s as if these two females are on opposite ends of the spectrum and both play up wanting to rather be a male character. Weird.
Clubbing up to 6 September 27, 2007
I thought maybe I could lighten up a bit and provide some my humorouse way of linking Lyotard to all of this since I am an expert on him even though I still don’t understand him and this is kind of a reach but here it goes anyway. Trying to understand every layer of this story is kinda of making my brain leak out of my ear which surprisingly is a sublime kind of feeling which really makes me feel nostalgia to the good old days where we could read DR. Suess and know what the good doctor was saying simply and there were no mysterious allusions to figure out. 😀 well I thought it was funny. well anyway…
I feel everything in this book can link to what we were discussing early in the class with the idea of getting rid of the old to have new. Also I feel like this has a link to Tyler’s odd-ball jobs and project mayhem. It’s like yeah the project is taking down a museum or a credit card company building, but in a way even though it is a reckless thing to do, how much damage is it really doing. It is taking out something old to make room for something new even though if you think about it, it is contradictory to call it new. Like history, taking out the museum so you can make NEW history, that really doesn’t exist. So I guess I still don’t fully understand the intentions of the project. But so far so good, I’m liking it.