Happy Sunday Night!

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Sorry I’ve been so late to blog, I was out recreateing (as I assume most of you were this weekend) and was out of cell phone reception. I wanted to write to further the conversation and get a pulse on people’s opinions on what we talked about in class on thursday.

Just to refresh:

I started a conversation by expressing my frustration with Fort Lewis’ focus on critical thinking in the general curriculum (especially in lower classmen courses). I reflect back on it now and think that there is a lot of great thinking that is going on in majors, but I believe that a certain basis of critical thought, inquiry etc is lacking. Fort Lewis’ student body (generally) seems to be tapped out of a larger intellectual consciousness in favor of ahem, recreateing. I brought up that I believed that if there was more of a stimulating draw to attend classes that students could get even more  out of their college experience.

I noticed a lot of reflection of my opinion on this issue with you guys and I was wondering if there is something to be done. Now I know that we only have a week left, but I think it’s a rare opportunity that we are a small group that meets 5 days a week and are generally a diverse group when it comes to our majors. I think we could spend our remaining time together to create something, ie a proposal that would be passed along to higher ups. I know a lot of you have started your research projects, but I believe that we could spend our time together in class and less time out of class creating a compelling and well thought through argument on why and how things need to change. With the diversity in our majors we could each attack (sorry for the fighting word) it from our own angle, talking about why critical thinking is important and why it’s lacking to a degree in the preparation for our major.  I don’t want to go too in depth of my ideas of what it all could look like over blog, I think if people are interested we could talk about it in class, but I wanted to put it out there for a project idea that could fufill the requirements for class and possibly have an impact outside of our 5 weeks together.

Now my keyboard has decided to stop working so I’m going to have to end this post. Let’s talk tomorrow

 

BlogginBlitz 1

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There is a difference between “disagreeing and being disagreeable” but unfortunatley women are the only ones who have to abide by this standard in the world. Language asks a good question at the end  of Reiter’s article, “Is the word “jerk” a gender specfic one?” It absolutley is. Jerk has a certain phonetic power to it. Describing someone as a “jerk” usually holds a certain amount of surrender to it. “He’s a jerk, but…” Jerk implies someone with more of a defining power then their jerkdom. “Bitch” on the other hand holds so much power, that it overshadows its owners. There is a certain dismission with the word bitch, not because it’s specific to females, but that it signifies a finiality to an opinon. “She’s  a total bitch, however…” doesn’t reallly sound as correct as “She’s a total bitch.”

We can’t really be bitches at work, but there isn’t much room for us to be jerks either.

a multi-modal approach to understanding beyonce, or “how I summarized, paraphrased, and quoted to realize pop music divinity”

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Earlier in the week I came to a standstill in my blog writing. I struggled with finding motivation to continue writing clear and concise pieces that would analyze materials that were relevant to class but doing it in a way that didn’t make me want to shove a pencil through my eye. There are only so many funny analogies and quips I can make in a day and I was starting to fill my quota. There aren’t many things that truly give me inspiration and the things that do aren’t usually found while sitting down in front of a computer. However there is one exception and that’s Beyonce. I love Beyonce. Not in a “I’m going to throw myself off the cliffs into the crashing waves” kind of way but in a way where I recognize her successful attempt at making good sounding, fun, and insightful music that stands alone as unique for her genre.

And what is even more exceptional about Ms. Knowles is that she not only employs the normal forms of multi-modal artistry to the structure and propagation of her work, but uses her own liberties in how and where she uses different forms of argumentation. Artist make music videos all the time, but who makes a whole music album and then doesn’t tell anyone about it? Who literally chops a song into two parts and then sticks a spoken word section in the middle and still expects to get radio play? No one but Bey.

***flawless

Let’s talk about ***Flawless . Two audio bites, one taken from a video sample from an episode of “StarSearch” from Beyonce’s childhood and author Chimanda Ngozi Adichie speaking help push Bey’s opinion on the inequality between men and women. Beyonce and Kelly Rowland later became Destiny’s Child, but who ever heard of the guys from “Skeleton Crew”? Adichie laments on the disjointed and uneven treatment of rearing children “But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage, but we don’t teach boys the same?” Good point, Chimanda but I believe most of the adolescent male population today have been groomed to aspire to marry Beyonce. None the less Bey uses her own experience (video) and Adichie’s to make her point. She even gets Adichie to recite her own words, what diva can share a stage for a greater purpose?

a screen shot from ***flawless displaying Yonce's dental superiority

a screen shot from ***flawless displaying Yonce’s dental superiority

In (1:32) of the video, Queen Bey is moshing in a pile of bald, plaided and mostly white men while Adichie recites “We teach girls to have ambition, but not too much.” If shoving and pushing through a hoard of sweaty Edward Norton knockoffs while wearing fishnet booty shorts isn’t ambitious, then I don’t know what is. She’s making her point by curb stomping it to the ground. “I can be, do, and want whatever, and nothing is going to stop me.”

Now for some paraphrasing; Beyonce paraphrases Adichie’s words to fit song structure and rhythm however there might be some doubt in what she’s really trying to say because of limitations of grammar (i.e nouns being used as adjectives) and historical context.

Quote: “I took some time to live my life, but don’t think I’m just his little wife.”

Paraphrase: Despite taking a recess from my career to focus on my personal life (ie marrying Jay Z and giving birth to my child, Blue Ivy) I continue to be a fundamental figure for female empowerment and autonomy and not a women of domesticity.

Quote: “I’m crown , bow down bitches”

Paraphrase: I am modern royalty, respect and worship accordingly.

Beyonce is in no way the mother of language, but she sure knows how to make her point by using different forms of media. I commend her for her ability to use varied aspects of language, sound, and visual to create an entertaining and impactful body of work. We all seem to struggle to find purpose and form in our writing. Thankfully when I’m in doubt I have a couple of clutch motivators to help me along my way. I don’t want to spend my life in front of a screen, but if I have Bey for a couple of hours then life doesn’t seem to be too bad.

#flawless
#hotwheels

In response to “My Mom”

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I’ve received some interesting response to my last post about the bridge analogy. I’m glad that there seems to be a cross class understanding of the finality of a mother’s arguments. A couple of folks commented on how much they liked my descriptive language and analogies. I hope to reach out and explain why I like to write with real life details and funny allegory.

School is hard enough. In what world does it make any sense to sit on our butts for 8 hours a day and passively listen in hope to find inspiration and meaning? I can barely handle hearing myself talk let alone someone else. If I get an opportunity to not bore myself to death while working I’ll gladly take it. There is a contextual significance to how I write. I understand that writing a blog post is far different then writing an academic paper. However that doesn’t mean the fun or intrigue has to be zapped out of it. Quite the contrary. This class is not meant to be about what you write or even how you write, but how you think. If you think passively then you’re going to write passively. No one wants to hang out with a zombie, let alone be the victim of the their projectile regurgitation.  Thinking is something that comes so easily to us, yet to relay what we think and therefore believe is harder than anything. Why is that? Because we’ve been taught not to.

We all have opinions, so why not express them? Why are we so afraid to argue? Because we’ve been taught not to rustle the leaves, not to be the James Dean of our own experience. We all want to be the masters of our own destiny, but honestly…it’s too damn hard. So we write the five paragraphs, sit back, turn on the Netflix, and disengage. But what we’re not realizing is that there is things to be questioned about EVERYTHING. Who’s making money of those college basketball jerseys with player’s names on it? Why do I have to have a meal plan? Why is Mccongaghey talking so damn much on this episode of True Detective? These are questions that might seem obscure but hold much more significance if  we delve deeper. But we have to want it.

It’s not about asking me how to write a more descriptive sentence, it’s looking into the connections and context of what you’re thinking about. Nothing was born into a vacuum. The world is full of patterns, similarities and links that are waiting for you to make. It’s just about finding a reason to make them.

 

Be this

Be this

Not This

Not This

 

 

 

 

 

#hotwheels

An argument might be a bridge, but my mom is a brick wall

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I’m reading “So What” and see a picture of an argument as a bridge. The analogy is good. Our argument rides across the broad roadway of a thesis while the supports of evidence, verification etc stand tall as archways and linkages are the steel cables that hold things together. This seems to be a good analogy. I like it. I’m a visual person. Without the Golden Arches of support your thesis goes into the Hudson River. To argue the validity of South Park’s representation of Michael Jackson with a menu from a Chinese restaraunt does not hold the strong bonds of a good linkage. I get it. I understand.  But I do have one exception to this framework. My mother. Never once has her claim ever been backed by the steely ramparts of a well supported piece of  evidence or verification. There is never “You can’t go to the party because I’ve read alot about teen drunk driving” or “I can’t let you eat that 6th piece of pie because I’ve seen this all before…and it’s not pretty”. She never even uses the hypothetical “If Nicky jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you?” to illustrate her claim. She has just one decisive, absolute framework for her argument, and that is a  brick wall of “Because I said so”.  Don’t get me wrong, my mother is a very smart women. She can ride across that bridge of a good argument when it comes to insurance claims or convincing my Dad not to undercook the meat, but when it comes to me, her bridge is nothing but a ten foot high piece of mortar and clay.  There is no path for her to have to explain anything.

“Can I hang out with those kids from underneath the overpass, Mom?”

“No”

“Why Not?”

“Because I said so.”

And with that she has once again  concluded her argument with the subtly and nuance of a lead pipe.

 

#hotwheels

#language

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I sure do love a good hash tag. There’s nothing like hitting the nail on the head by just getting the most appropriately zingy, full on “BAM!” description of something to really make my day. I’m a person of efficiency. To have a piece of language that I can use to express anything in a shortened amount of time makes me a happy camper. I don’t really want to write an exhaustive comment on your French Bulldogs Sunday afternoon play date, all I really want to say is #toocute and be done with it. I love how hash tags really bring us together as humans. My gazpacho I posted last night to Instagram wouldn’t be nearly as far reaching to my fellow epicureans without  #domestic goddess. How would I have given that gift to the world? And hash tags aren’t just meant for the digital world. Two bunny ears quickly clapped together makes a fast and subtle point in conversation;

“Man that guy is a creep.”

{Insert hand gesture} “buffalobillstatus”.

Opponents of the hashtag say it’s limits our ability to fully articulate, but as far as I can tell people seem to be making plenty of short but sweet multimedia articulations.  Nothing really says “I really need to find a career that’s more upwardly mobile while also engaging” by posting a picture of  a women at Starbucks with no pants on and then to  write  #thisismyreality or #bestjobever below it.

I know that it has it’s limitations, but since I’ve never been known for my subtly but always for my pithiness and wit, I can never get enough. Why would I every want to go back to a world where I can not only use my words, but my photos and body to communicate to a wide audience? I mean we as humans aren’t mean to just write, Look at the pictographs! Do you think Beyoncé would be half the force she is without her dance moves? I think not! So as long as I have my phone and my fingers, I’ll be hashtaging.  #forever.

 

Rosa

#hotwheels