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Monthly Archives: October 2010

While reading Omni & Winant’s piece discussing race, i was intrigued at the ideas that were incorporated into the piece. I think that it is true when we first see someone we can automatically tell thier race, however i dont think that everyone gets upset if you cannot fit them into a racial category right away. I do believe however that some individuals put other human beings into categories based on thier racial identity as well as they way they are supposed to act.

When beginning to read this article i automatically thought of interracial marriages. Even today in 2010 people still have problems with it. I believe that everyone has a right to make thier own choice, and they have to decide for themselves what they want. That is noone elses business. Its a personal choice. HOwever i think being rude or mean to someone because of their race is very wrong, and unacceptable. I think in reality when Omni & Winant bring up that the first thing you notice about someone is race they are trying to say that you are supposed to see whats inside no matter what race they are.


So when I was ready Laura Mulvey’s piece, I have to say i was a little confused. I felt like she was a little bit all over the place. However after Wednesdays class, I seemed to have a grasp on the points she was trying to convey. Mulvey discusses the certain “gender idealogy” we seem to have when we watch films. Usually we except to see a woman be swept off her feet, by a tall dark and handsome man. The man is in charge and the woman is just along for the ride.

In class we discussed how funny it was that older actors/ actresses were playing teenage roles in films. Such as Rachel McAdams in Mean Girls, and the Notebook. Or the actors/actresses in Harry Potter & Twilight. We also discussed that most of the movies we see are completely predictiable. But still even though we can guess what is going to happen, we buy a movie ticket and popcorn and sit through a two hour movie that is just like any other romance we have watched.


While reading the Althusser piece i couldn’t help but feel a little un easy when Richter points out that he was known as mentally unstable. That was not the part that actually frightened me. When i discovered he was manically depressed, and ended up strangling his wife to death i thought what kind of nut are we going to be reading next. Clearly Althusser is much more complex than Freud or the bearded Germans.

Althusser’s first theory is that Ideology represents the imaginary relationship of individuals to their real conditions of existence” . He belives that many ideologies are not reality, but they create an illusion of reality instead. There is an example of Religious idealogy. I think this was a good choice because it was tangiable to me and easy for me to realte to. The idealogy that is he talking about is ‘God’ himself. He is saying God is not real, what makes us believe that he is real? Althusser’s first point is that religion itself is an idealogy. It creates an illusion based on your beliefs to make it seem that at one time it was reality. However in was never a reality. I was raised Catholic, and went to Catholic middle, and highschool. We were taught that everything was a reality, and there were no if ands or buts about it. However Althusser bring up an opposing arguement, and makes his points successfully.


The one quote that I liked was “Individuals can only think the thoughts that are thinkable in their society”. This part of my blog was huge for me. It suggests to me that everyone wants to fit in with everyone in the category that appeals to them. They will do whatever it takes, and think the way those individuals do. There is no room for individual opinion, and when you express individual opinion that is different from what is “comfortable” you are shunned. When you have different view it is more of a threat than anything because it can be powerful, and change the way certain people think, or make people mad because you think that way. Catch 22 situations.
I thought I knew in regard to my post entitled Marx that everyone wants to fit in, plain and simple. Which means individuals will do and act how they need to so they can feel accepted. But now I know thanks to Adrianna’s comment that I should consider if something is not tangible to the individual they will realize this, and not even try to become part of the “group” or category they desire. This also shows that society has limitations, and if you as the individual want to have no limits then you have to make what you want tangible. This is not possible for everyone.

My idea was faulty because it did not include the idea that when something is not reachable for you, when you become aware you give up. The idea goes away and you try and set goals that are more tangible for you. Your desire to be a part of the group does not change and you would give up anything in an instant to join, but that opportunity does not come at all. Eventually you receive what is tangible in your situation.


“The one quote that I liked was “Individuals can only think the thoughts that are thinkable in their society”. This part of my blog was huge for me. It suggests to me that everyone wants to fit in with everyone in the category that appeals to them. They will do whatever it takes, and think the way those individuals do. There is no room for individual opinion, and when you express individual opinion that is different from what is “comfortable” you are shunned. When you have different view it is more of a threat than anything because it can be powerful, and change the way certain people think, or make people mad because you think that way. Catch 22 situations.
I thought I knew in regard to my post entitled Marx that everyone wants to fit in, plain and simple. Which means individuals will do and act how they need to so they can feel accepted. But now I know thanks to Adrianna’s comment that I should consider if something is not tangible to the individual they will realize this, and not even try to become part of the “group” or category they desire. This also shows that society has limitations, and if you as the individual want to have no limits then you have to make what you want tangible. This is not possible for everyone.

My idea was faulty because it did not include the idea that when something is not reachable for you, when you become aware you give up. The idea goes away and you try and set goals that are more tangible for you. Your desire to be a part of the group does not change and you would give up anything in an instant to join, but that opportunity does not come at all. Eventually you receive what is tangible in your situation.


In class on Wednesday we discussed all of the theorists we have read so far, and made connections with Avatar. I found that Derrida, and Levi-Strauss were prevalent throughout the movie. In the one article my group was responsible for in class we discussed nature vs. culture. In that Article Derrida referenced Levi-Strauss. Levi Strauss makes a point that in society there are two columns an “a” column and a “b” column. In society to be “normal” you have to fit into one of those categories. If you do not you are caught in the middle not fitting into anything. Levi-Strauss argues that it is the people who do not fit in that shape everything in society, and make the columns work. Derrida argues that it would never work, you either fit into one of the two categories, or you will disappear.

In regards to Avatar, Jake is trying to fit into two categories. One being Pandora, and the other being the human world. Jake fits into both categories because; he has an avatar of himself. However he cannot fit into both categories forever. He has to choose. Levi-Strauss would say that he can be in the middle, and it would totally work, society would grow off him being in the middle and not fitting in anywhere specific. Derrida would say absolutely not, Jake has to pick a practical category, and live with his decision.


 

So although this article was written in the English language that we use every day, the way the words were put into sentences was a bit confusing I think.  While reading through the one part I think I have a grasp on is, on page 1958. When Jameson is discussing the individual, and art in regards to it.  Under “The Death of a Subject”, Jameson is talking about the fact that if there was an individual in a past society it is gone presently in correlation to Art. No present day Artist is going to come out with some new kind of style, most artists just branch off previous famous pieces. They get inspired from Picasso, and T.S.Eliot. 

“This is yet another sense in which the writers and artists of the present day will no longer be able to invent new styles and worlds— they’ve already been invented; only a limited number of combinations are possible; the unique ones have been thought of already”. I chose to draw attention to this quote because it goes along with what Jameson was saying before. No new artist has the “unique” ability to create something that has not already been done. If anything they have to expand on a previous idea that did not belong to them.