Thursday, November 5, 2009

"Bulletproof" by La Roux

I don't know why--there is no real reason to explain it--but this video sort of got me through working out this morning. I discovered La Roux as a Discovery Download one day on iTunes. I was so impressed with this single, "Bulletproof," that I ended up buying her album. [If you're worried that I relapsed LT, don't be. I bought this about two or three months ago.]

I really like her play with cubism and geometric shapes in the video. Also the color! Well, this video came on VH1, and after watching the video, I switched from my regular work out mix to her album. I had done a couple miles at the track listening to it. This morning it just sort of motivated me. I only wanted to do 30 minutes on the elliptical because that is the length that you can stay on the machines. Well, the CD kept me pumping, and I stayed on longer--against the rules of the UREC.

Here are the lyrics to the video above:

Been there, done that, messed around
I’m having fun don’t put me down,
I’ll never let you sweep me off my feet,
I won’t let you in again, the messages I’ve tried to send,
my informations’ just not going in,
burnin’ bridges shore to shore, I’ll break away from something more,
I’m not to not to love until it’s cheap,
been there, done that, messed around,
I’m having fun don’t put me down,
I’ll never let you sweep me off my feet,

This time maybe,
I’ll be,
Bulletproof x2

I won’t let you turn around,
and tell me now I’m much too proud,
to walk away from something when it’s dead,
do do do your dirty WORST come out to play when you are HURT,
there’s certain things that should be left unsaid,
tick tick tick tick on the watch and life’s too short for me to stop,
Oh baby, your time is running out,
I won’t let you turn around,
and tell me now I’m much too proud,
All you do is fill me up with doubt,

This time maybe I’ll be bulletproof x10

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Artist of the Day: Willem De Kooning

We've just been reading Susan Bordo's Unbearable Weight in my WGS course. That, coupled with my research on Grey Gardens, helped me to discover a new artists--Willem de Kooning. I had heard the name and seen a couple of his paintings. I was really interested in how his paintings really went along with our topical discussion of body images. I wish I had found him just a week or two earlier. This image to the left is Woman III.

I don't know why he started painting women. I couldn't find a detailed enough of an answer in the amount of time I devoted to researching this blog. The little bit wiki had to say was the following: "De Kooning had painted women regularly in the early 1940s and again from 1947 to 1949. The biomorphic shapes of his early abstractions were derived from objects found in the studio. But it was not until 1950 that he began to explore the subject of women exclusively. In the summer of that year he began Woman I (located at the Museum of Modern Art, New York City) [and to the right], which went through innumerable metamorphoses before it was finished in 1952."

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Random Genius

My friend over at To Someone Likeminded posted this link on her blog the other day to Random Sentences from the Virtual Academic Lab.

Well, here was my FB responses:

Post #1: This is amazing. I can't stop creating sentences. I see a blog post coming soon.

Post #2 (seconds later): This kind of saddens me after being amazed briefly. Is this saying that all we really do is Mad Libs when we create new thoughts. That our work is nothing more than jest or game. ???

Well, I am still mulling over this idea. I do think that it is a neat site and generator of thoughtful discussion. But is it? I am still questioning all of this.

Can productive thought be produced by the random generator / mad-lib-esque-ness of the virtual world?

The epistemology of praxis invests itself in the systemization of the public sphere.
The emergence of normative value(s) may be parsed as the authentication of print culture.
The culture of consumption functions as the conceptual frame for the historicization of pedagogical institutions.
The fiction of the natural invests itself in the fantasy of agency.
The poetics of post-capitalist hegemony may be parsed as the systemization of power/knowledge.

You get the point.

I am trying to think about this more and more through the lens of Elizabeth Grosz's work, Architecture from the Outside: Essays on Virtual and Real Space, which I am reviewing for class. I wonder if there is this sense that the virtual allows us understand things more clearly, or blatantly. But one thing she returns to again and again is that we somehow tie the virtual with the technological, and we need to reconsider and (re-)understand how the virtual is part of the everyday. We occupy a virtual space in real space. It is not just something that is created in the world of the Internet.

I send you out into the ether.

Friday, October 30, 2009


I was just on Twitter, and I was kind shocked to see that "HIV" was a trending topic. So, curious me checked it out. It looks like Obama is lifting a ban that prevented people with HIV/AIDS from coming into America. I didn't even know such a ban existed. And I feel kinda retarded for it. Such blatant discrimination going on in America. Anyways, that's neither here not there. The reason I wanted to quickly blog about this was because of the outrage coming out of the twitter community. So many people seemed pissed and one even said Obama was stupid. Well, I applaud Obama for taking this step. Here's a snippet from an article at Huff Post:

In 1987, at a time of widespread fear and ignorance about HIV, the Department of Health and Human Services added the disease to the list of communicable diseases that disqualified a person from entering the U.S.

The department tried in 1991 to reverse its decision but was opposed by Congress, which in 1993 went the other way and made HIV infection the only medical condition explicitly listed under immigration law as grounds for inadmissibility to the U.S.

The law effectively has kept out thousands of students, tourists and refugees and has complicated the adoption of children with HIV. No major international AIDS conference has been held in the U.S. since 1993, because HIV-positive activists and researchers cannot enter the country.

Obama said lifting the ban "is a step that will save lives" by encouraging people to get tested and to get treatment.

I think this is a step in the right direction. In class yesterday we actually talked about the term "equality," and what it meant to my students. I didn't realize that the very next day we would see an act of equality working in action. I think we need to realize that people that are affected with this disease are not horrible people. (One twitter comment said people should stop sharing needles, but this directly overlooks that HIV is something that people develop for a number of reasons besides needle sharing or high-risk sexual behavior.)

I think this is a step in the right direction because it is acknowledging that people with AIDS and HIV are citizens of a global community. This is a disease that needs to end!


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Lee Krasner

I have been reading a lot of the Hamptons while conducting research on the Beales. They always refer to themselves as artists (Little Edie is the dancer, Big Edie is the singer). Well, I picked up a book called Hampton Bohemia to see about some of the artwork coming out of the time period and what not. I've always been a really big fan of Pollock, but for some reason, it had escaped my mind that his wife was also a painter. Lee Krasner's work is amazing! I have started finding some pictures of her. I wonder if there has been an academic study of the hidden women painters behind the famous men who have found their ways into museums and homes around the world.

White Squares
I was particularly fond of this image below, Noon. I think the color is so vibrant, which is so interesting to me when juxtaposed against many of Pollock's paintings that use a lot of black, dark colors. I think she really captured something in this painting. It's named after a time, but for me it really captured this emotion of squishy-ness that I feel after I eat a big meal. It makes me feel very satiated. Not sure where that just came from, but the truth will out, right?


I don't know how but my class devolved today into me showing "The Count Censored." It was like the only thing I could do to grab their attention.

Really, is 9 am that early? I mean, I know it is a struggle, and I don't really like it all that much either. But give me a freaking break.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


The need for selection means that every story contains, and is surrounded by, blank spaces, some more significant than others. When we create a fictional world, our decisions include geography, or setting, but also where and when a narrative begins and ends, who it involves and who it doesn’t, which actions and conversations are deemed worthy of inclusion and which aren’t. In a surprising number of novels, the characters are effectively jobless; they have been granted psychic vacations from work by the author. Their occupations might be named, but they have no employers, no colleagues, no pressing work-related obligations; which is to say, they live in a world very different from that of most readers.

Turchi, Peter. Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer. San Antonio, Texas: Trinity University Press, 2004. 42-43.

Friday, October 23, 2009

New Gender Possibilities?

This is a similar fantasy to the idea of the mall as a space in which you can shop around for another identity.

But you can't. At the mall, all you can do is use its social spaces, including cyberspace, as supplementary augmentations of aspects of your identity. This is perhaps a minor augmentation, not really as radical as some proponents of virtual identity might claim. You don't become a woman by adopting a female identity in cyberspace if you are a man in real space. Cyberspace has been seen as the site of a certain cross-dressing, or swapping of identities, that can only be phantasmatic and supplementary. But while entering cyberspace does not make the man a woman, it may make him see other possibilities for being a man.

--from "Embodying Space: An Interview with Elizabeth Grosz." by Kim Armitage and Paul Dash. Architecture from the Outside: Essays on Virtual and Real Space. 22.