Saturday, May 14, 2011

Analysis 7 (The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain: The Manifesto of the Harlem Renaissance)

The opening line of Langston Hughes’ short essay The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain, is by far the most the most painful line Hughes used. “One of the most promising of the young Negro poets said to me once, "I want to be a poet--not a Negro poet," meaning, I believe, "I want to write like a white poet"; meaning subconsciously, "I would like to be a white poet"; meaning behind that, "I would like to be white." (pg 1192) This line shows the reader how desperate Hughes was to have racism stop and to have African Americans appreciate their own color and race. In 1926 and till until President Obama was elected, I felt African Americans were almost always considered as the “other.”
            Hughes wants to show that African Americans always felt that being themselves was never good enough. They were told “don’t be like nigger” and always looked at “how well a white man does things” (1193) Hughes is crying for the help of his own people. He wants African Americans to know they “are beautiful.” (1196) He ultimately wants African Americans to gain enough respect for themselves that to be “free with in ourselves.” (1196)
            In Hughes’ introduction, he states “the best work will please neither the black not the white audience. He believes that such problems are best solved by indifference to all audience- by cultivation an art that is true to itself.” (1191) An artists work should be looked at not by what color the skin of the artist is, but by the meaning and the quality of the work. He goes on to state that “we younger Negro artists who create now intent to express our individual dark-skinned selves without the fear or shame.” (1191) Langston Hughes’ is “ashamed for the black poet who says “I want to be a poet, not a Negro poet” (1196)

Works Cited

"2Pac Changes" YouTube. 13 Apr 2009. Web. 11 May. 2011.

Hughes, Langston. "The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain". ed. Leitch, Vincent B.      The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. 2nd ed. New York: W. W. Norton &, 2010. Print.

"Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance" YouTube. 17 Jul. 2008. 11 May 2011.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Analysis # 6 Desirable Women (Gender Studies within Popular Culture)

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Susan Bordo focuses on the female “body – what they eat, how we dress, the daily rituals through which we attend to the body – is a medium of culture.” (Pg. 2240) She stated that “the body is not only a text if culture. It is also a practical, direct locus of social control.” (2240) In the video above, models have to fit this perfect image of the female body. There in the constant need for “improvement” (2241) As Bordo states, “a pursuit without a terminus, requiring that women constantly attend to minute and often whimsical changes in fashion – female bodies become docile bodies- bodies whose focuses and energies are habituated to external regulation, subjection, transformation.” Basically women from the early ages till this very day try to do everything to attain the body that others have, one that their husband or boyfriend might want. The constant need for improvement destroys the inner women.
            The women in the clip show the stereotypical women, i.e. beautiful, thin, tan, and those who dress nice. It is society that creates this high demand for women to have the stereotypical look. Women constantly feel the need to “diet, [wear] makeup, and dress” accordingly to fulfill the image men in particular have created.
            The clip views a few teenagers being asked if they like to be a model. Of course not one male was asked in this documentary. NOT ONE. This shows that Bordo was indeed correct in saying that “our contemporary aesthetic ideal of women, an ideal whose obsessive pursuit had become the central torment of many women’s lives. In such an era we desperately need an effective political discourse about the female body, a discourse adequate to an analysis of the insidious, and often paradoxical, pathways of modern social control.” The clip illustrates exactly that. Models constantly say they do not starve themselves and lose weigh by exercising. But when is it enough. When are women going to stand up and say, we have a right to look whatever what we are healthy, weather that be a little overweight or not.
            Another big problem we have with the perfect image of the desirable women is that women become anorexic, develop hysteria, and agoraphobia. For those women, that is there transformation and sometimes women can’t get out of the situation they placed themselves in. The female body as Bordo discusses throughout “Unbearable Weight” is a central idealized image. Men and women have created these perfect ideal women and only way out would be to recognize the problem.

Works Cited

Bordo, Susan. "Unbearable Weight". ed. Leitch, Vincent B. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. 2nd ed. New York: W. W. Norton &, 2010. Print.

"Covergirl Culture" YouTube.  27 Oct. 2009. Web. 10 May, 2011. <>.

Reflection of Group Presentation

Our group presentation took place on May 3, 2011. Our topic was Feminism and Popular Culture. Our group consisted of seven women.
            Our presentation was mostly PowerPoint and class discussion. The class discussion went very well. Most of our classmates participated and we also had a few good laughs. The PowerPoint consisted of informational slides as well as the three YouTube clips and one slide of ads. One of the clips was about the Dodge Charger. As I analyzed this commercial, I began to think it was sexist. The male figure was acting like a robot. Driving the car he wanted made him feel more masculine after all the supposed feminine tasks that needed to be done. The commercial implies that a small courtesy on behalf of a woman doesn’t mean you’re giving up your masculinity. Or does it? I
            I found a very interesting argument while browsing the web that debates our discussion. It’s from a male’s perspective as everything our group discussed was from a female perspective. “Women have it the best: men pretend women are equal if not better than us in all ways, women get to vote on whether or not we go to war, but they can’t be drafter, women complain that men make a little more hourly, but men can’t complain that when a ship sinks, women and children get to leave first.” After reading this argument online, I brought it in to class to discuss during the presentation, but I never got the chance too. So I present it now and am open to any comments.
            Now back to my reflection. I opened up the presentation with the very important question, “what is feminism”? Feminism is the belief that there should be an equality of power between men and women. Yet, the importance or inclusion of intersectional between gender and race, class or sexuality, are often times disagreed upon. Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.  
            Overall, I think our group presentation went very well. Class discussion was amazing and our group was also somewhat challenged with the class’s questions and responses.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Analysis 5 (Postmodernism & American Psycho)

Postmodernism is a term first explored during the late nineteenth century. A whole century later, roughly 1950-1960, the phenomenon was applied to everyday life.  In the above link from YouTube, the film “American Psycho” directed by Mary Harron is a perfect example of postmodernism. We see Patrick Bateman, the main character, describing himself to “have all the characteristics of a human being: blood, flesh, skin, hair; but not a single, clear, identifiable emotion, except for greed and disgust.” (Patrick Bateman) He says, “there is an idea of a Patrick Bateman; some kind of abstraction. But there is no real me: only an entity, something illusory. And though I can hide my cold gaze, and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable... I simply am not there.” (Patrick Bateman) This image of Bateman is developed to create an ideology of the current society Bateman is living in. Bateman and the phenomenon, postmodernism are the idea that nothing is real and or genuine and that everything is a copy of something that’s already been duplicated. The standpoint is frequently in the first person, thereby indicating his self-obsession and pursuant of his individuality, but also his desire to integrate Lyotard suggest that postmodernism is continually redefined and this goes for Patrick Bateman. He is always trying to redefine himself. It might be through is physical appearance and or that of his business card or where he dines.  He seems as though his personality, his image, and life is all made up, like he’s a empty soul living in a live flesh body. In the Postmodern Condition, Lyotard says “what at one moment challenges our ideas, our sense of how things are, becomes, at the next moment, that which we seek to challenge.” Lyotard also says that “today we can presume that this breaking is rather a manner of forgetting or repressing the past. That’s to say of repeating it. Not overcoming it.” For Patrick, the life he’s living may as well be a fantasy, and to the audience this is a possibility at certain points. American Psycho ends with, the bang “THIS IS NOT AN EXIT.” As Lyotard says, “from this point, it would be necessary to consider the division of mankind into two parts: one part confronted with the challenge of complexity; the other with the terrible ancient task of survival. This is a major aspect of the failure if the modern project (Which was, in principle, valid for mankind as a whole.”

Works Cited:

Lyotard. "Defining the Postmodern". ed. Leitch, Vincent B. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. 2nd ed. New York: W. W. Norton &, 2010. Print.

Foucalt. "Discipline and Punish". ed. Leitch, Vincent B. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. 2nd ed. New York: W. W. Norton &, 2010. Print.

"American Psycho “Morning Routine."YouTube.  9 May. 2009. Web. 23 Apr. 2011.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Analysis # 4 (Marxism)
I have to disagree with the theory of Marxism. We are not what we make. We as humans go beyond that idea. The human is capable of anything. And I mean anything. We have created the working class and the capitalist. We allow capitalist to treat working class with less respect and make more money then the working class. But have we ever stopped and wondered what the Capitalist would do without the working class? Struggle! Yes struggle, because we are and do what there money provides us to do. If we were treated equally and with equally I mean with respect and not looked down upon because of our hourly wage, then this world would be a better place. Capitalism wouldn’t be the way it is today, out of control and overwhelming. Marxist thinking claims that Capitalists and Workers are in a constant state of struggle, which is called Materialist Dialectic. But are they both in trouble. Doesn’t the capitalist pressure and lower the wages of the working class to make more profit? Marxism do says that in order for capitalists to make profit, and to double their profit, they have to lower the wages of workers as much as possible. And on the other hand working class has to struggle to keep their wages up if not try to make sure they don’t get a decrease in pay. This my friends is called class struggle. Sad but true and we still see this very notion continue till this very day.

Works Cited

Marx, Karl and Engels, Friedrich. "The German Ideology". ed. Leitch, Vincent B. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. 2nd ed. New York: W. W. Norton &, 2010. Print.

            "Marxist Philosophy" YouTube.  24 Aug. 2009. Web. 27 Mar, 2011. <>.

Analysis # 3- (Fetishism)

Fetishism, do all men have it? Do they hide it? After doing some research on fetishism, I came to understand how fetishes come about. According to Fraud, fetishes usually develop when we are young, and when we feel the need to substitute what we feel with a particular object or body part. Majority of the fetishes are sexual and I think this is very interesting. I have yet to meet someone that has a fetish with something other then sex and or a sexual desire or body part.
            For Fraud, the fetish is a penis substitute. Is it really? Well in order to have a fetish with something you have to have sexual obsession with an object where you can’t get off without thinking about, touching it, and or looking at it. So does it become a penis substitute? Well now it makes more sense. If one has a fetish then there are incapable of doing what others do without there preferred object and or preference around. Because it is the center of there sexual obsession, the fetish controls the person.
            Fetishes are usually found in males. I do not know a single woman with a fetish, though when I did research online, I was able to find a tone of sexual fetish websites when people virtually pay money to watch others do and play out what there sexual fetish is. Because “usually they are quite satisfied with it, or even praise the way in which it eases their erotic life, it is very difficult if not impossible to over come a fetish. “It reveals itself so naturally and seemed to me so compelling” that one does not even know they might even have a fetish and “we do not know those which are decisive for the rare pathological result.” Therefore be careful you never know who might be looking at your feet and/or other body parts. :)

Works Cited

"Crazy Fetishes" YouTube. 16. Oct 2010. Web. 17 Mar. 2011. <>

Freud, Sigmund. "Fetishism". ed. Leitch, Vincent B. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. 2nd ed. New York: W. W. Norton &, 2010. Print.

"Why Men Like Women's Feet Extreme Body Part Foot Fetish Documentary Discovery Health Channel" YouTube. 23 Mar. 2010. Web 17, Mar. 2011.<>

Monday, February 28, 2011

Analysis # 2 (Word Picture & Structuralism)

            Picasso has his own way of expressing Art. Art with so many vibrate colors and art that stand out to the human eye. The above painting captured my attention because of the vibrate colors and the weeping woman’s facial expression. She looks as though she be tortured and discriminated in a courtroom. Her face expresses pain and anguish as though she has no one in the world to talk too. She’s grinding her teeth while trying to close her mouth with her hand as though she has so much to hide. Her hair is let loose and straight as this is the only thing that may be free and not tided up. We see so much pain in her eyes as its like shattered glass and the way her eyebrows are structured. In my opinion her tears portray longing and the need for love. As the website I got this portrait from says “she is a victim of the rape of her sole.” It’s an amazing painting over all.
          What more is self conscious then “art”? Picassos painting reflects art and subconscious. It allows one to feel what it sees. One does not have to know that background of the painting nor information about the artist to feel the art work. “Art is a product of human activity” (pg. 547) Art expresses the artist but we do not appreciate the art unless who no who drew it. Picassos painting have got so many viewers because it is he who drew them. But regardless of the artist, I still think his paintings are awesome and fascinating

           Structuralism is the analysis of language, culture and society. Structuralism “is the social side of speech, outside the individual who can never create nor modify it by himself.” Pg 850. In order for one to understand what it means, you have to think of the simple concept of structure and how our words and languages form. According to Marxist, these structures and there structuralist models exist only in human mind, and not in nature. Structuralists claim that in order to understand the surface structure one has to understand the deep structure, and how it influences the surface structure. Saussure’s concept of the phoneme and his idea that phonemes exist in two kinds of relationships, the diachronic and synchronic was really helpful in understanding the concept of structuralism.  Linguistics is used in every word and every language. It’s important to understand the importance of linguistics. Linguistics is the study of language form, of language meaning, and of language in context. Once you grasp this concept, you’re able to structuralize culture and its language. Structuralism argues that a specific domain of culture may be understood by means of a structure. “In language there are only differences without positive terms.” Linguistics helps us understand those differences. However let’s not forget syntagmatic which means “in a language-state everything is based on relation.” Syntagmatic “relation is in the present” which means it helps us understand what’s going on in the linguistics.  

Work Cited

Saussure, Ferdinand De. "Course in General Linguistics". ed. Leitch, Vincent B. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. 2nd ed. New York: W. W. Norton &, 2010. Print.