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April 29, 2009

Mulvey?s Castration Anxiety


In "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema," Mulvey describes castration anxiety. A male child walks into his parent?s room and sees his mom and dad having sex. He notices that his dad has a penis, while his mom is missing one. The child assumes that his mother?s penis had been castrated; thus castration anxiety is metaphoric for a male?s fear of losing masculinity. The male phallus is associated with power and men strive to retain this gender superiority. In the patriarchal society in which we live, phallocentricism is used to impose male dominance over women. Men and women have fixed gender roles in society; men are expected to be dominant and aggressive, while women are expected to be passive and submissive. This submissive, passive role women are expected to play is a social construct that delegitimizes women. According to phallocentricism, men have power because they have a phallus, while women are hierarchically inferior because they lack male genitalia. Female objectification is another patriarchal ploy used to delegitimize female status and label her as a sexual being subservient to men. Murvey describes Scopophilia, in which women are objects created to look at, while men are ego ideals with attractiveness that give them power and control. James Bond is the perfect paradigm of the ego ideal- he is strong, attractive, and in control. Conversely, the Bond girl is the overtly sexualized woman that is subject to the male gaze. Patriarchy depicted in the media fosters gender roles that label men as genital superiors and women as inferior sexual objects. Castration anxiety influences men to play the dominant role in society in order to retain his masculinity.
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April 17, 2009

Jeep Advertisement


As I was browsing through the web, I came across an interesting ad that reflects the durability and utility of the Jeep.
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The husky symbolizes a snow type of atmosphere, where conditions are cold. Meanwhile, the camel represents the dessert terrain. As the two animals integrate, they create the Jeep which is strategically given the green color. The green color signifies the mountainous and jungle scenery, in which the Jeep is able to drive on versatile landscapes. The Jeep signifies power, overcoming and withstanding all obstacles, such as: the snow, the desert, and the jungle. Goewey explicates that the Jeep was one of ?the original SUV? which is apparent by the color?s the ad chooses: yellow and blue. The main sources of all colors are the primary colors: yellow, blue, and red. The yellow and blue is a reflection upon the fact that the Jeep is one of the original SUV?s and all subsequent SUV?s are just ?pigments? of the Jeep.
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April 6, 2009

Hip Hop Counterculture?


Here is a video that I would like you to think about:

Dead Prez "Hell Yeah": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVDEDvob2U4

Dead Prez are positioned within the hip hop community as a kind of radical/subversive force supporting criminal activity, hustling, and denouncing mainstream avenues of promotion and circulation (e.g. the radio and MTV) in favor of a neo-militant black politics similar to the Black Panthers.

In this video they are first shown car jacking a middle class white family that gets lost in the ghetto and then they present a series of instructional strategies for "pimping the system."

Is this what Abby Hoffman had in mind? Is this an effective way of disrupting the system? Or is this misguided or perhaps even antithetical to progressive politics?
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