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10/18/08 12:13 - 49ºF - ID#46176

OMG

I am currently reading an article called "'How Do I Rent a Negro?': Racialized Subjectivity and Digital Performance Art" by Brandi Wilkins Catanese (Theatre Journal)

and she talks about this website:
Rent-A-Negro.Com

I think it is a really fascinating look at race relations today...I should be reading instead of posting, but I thought I would share. Take a look around at all the different tabs, it's worth it!

This is one of their products from the store
image

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Permalink: OMG.html
Words: 88
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: school

10/15/08 01:04 - 60ºF - ID#46126

Experiment

Ok, I'm going to try something out here. This is a response paper (two pages, double spaced) for my class, Afrotopias. It is in response to the book
Punctuation: Art, Politics, and Play by Jennifer DeVere Brody

This is a pretty good example of how I write "academically". I think that this might work because its not really based solely on the book and I think can be understood without having read the book. Let's see if I'm right :)

Oh, a quick note: When I say "queer quotation marks" I am talking about the function of quotation marks to question a straight forward meaning or objectivity of a word and find alternative or multiple meanings within that word/idea.


The connections between Jennifer DeVere Brody's book and other texts and articles we have discussed this semester are many. Brody speaks of the performance of punctuation, of memories that have appeared to have disappeared, of community and art, and of repetitions, silences and improvisation. However, something that we have not (explicitly) covered this semester are notions of citizenship and nation, which Brody addresses via the hyphen.
    
Last semester I wrote a paper arguing that George W. Bush used the rhetoric of "patriotism" to fabricate a nationalist "American" identity after 9/11 (note queer quotations). Similarly, Brody shows the ways in which post-9/11 America was constructed as a unified, non-hyphenated body of citizens who stripped themselves (and each other) of their allegiances to other nations. But what is perhaps more interesting and important is Brody's use of "The Race for One" and/as "The Race for None" and how this logic was/is located in a linear, seemingly progressive line of temporal evolution. To consider the implications that (most) white Americans have already forgotten(?) their hyphenated European identities while (some/many?) people of color have not, serves to reinforce the notion that white people and whiteness is more "evolved" than black people and blackness. Furthermore, this "lag" in the linear progression of time serves to separate and therefore hinder the ideal (white) America that means to create a "race of one" that ultimately is a "race of none" (read: white).
    
Brody also argues that the hyphen serves as a "space of friction," (87) a moving performance that "always act(s)" (85). I would like to consider the implications of this notion through Theodore Roosevelt's argument that, "Americanism is a matter of the spirit and of the soul. Our allegiance must be purely to the United States. We must unsparingly condemn any man who holds any other allegiance" (Brody, 88). What interests me in Roosevelt's statement is the naturalized/naturalizing connection that Roosevelt makes between one's spirit and soul and one's physical/geographic location. To be sure, Roosevelt not only assumes that love for one land necessarily requires the "forgetting" of another, but also that America/ns have always already insisted/required/forced "outsiders" to remain just that. I am reminded here of the article last class that pointed out that enslaved black women's bodies were used as experiments for "science" because they were simultaneously viewed as different yet similar to white women's bodies. Although America has continuously insisted on the "differences" of people of color, the moment their sameness is viewed as useful, they are condemned for claiming such differences. Also, to argue that Roosevelt, like George W. Bush, cannot conceive of a diasporic identity that reaches across time and space, history and borders of all kinds, is only the tip of the iceberg. This kind of "friction" is, as Brody argues, "impossible,"(85) yet powerful.
    
To conclude, as Brody argues, it is not enough to argue that the American ideal of unity, or "the race of one," is void of racial distinction in favor of an "American" identity, but rather that this ideal is based on, grounded in, and perpetuated through a notion that whiteness and white America is a "race of none". Far too often, as could/can clearly be seen when speaking of "race" in the upcoming presidential election, as well as the primary, it was clear that speakers meant black. Whiteness continues to be cast as neutral, normal, and even natural and hence, lacking racial classification. Therefore, the American vision of a non-hyphenated, unified "one" is always already the "race of none": whiteness. Interestingly enough, the performance of whiteness might actually show its face here, as those who assimilate to white norms, standards and values are closer (is it ever fully achieved?) to the American ideal than those who maintain (openly) their hyphens, their (physical/spiritual) moving between (artificial/fabricated) borders. Finally, Brody posits the question, "Is this shifting space actually liberatory?" (107). Is the use of the hyphen serving only to reinforce these artificial boundaries and borders that have been erected for the sole purpose of segregation, or should we be moving toward a "unity"(queer) that dissolves these borders and seeks to un-cover/dis-cover the "me" in "you" and vice versa? Are we at a space that allows for this type of radical thinking/acting and what implications would it have on the politics of community and solidarity?


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Permalink: Experiment.html
Words: 853
Location: Buffalo, NY


10/15/08 09:49 - 45ºF - ID#46122

On writing and audience

(e:paul) made a point in his comment that the more you write the better you know how you sound or come off. and i think this is very true...except that i write ALOT but for a very (not so very?) different audience than those of you on here. Academia is a strange place where people both are and are not "real". I wish sometimes that non- academics could be flies on the wall in some of my classrooms. Sometimes I am overly disgusted with how distanced people are from reality... but at the same time I think that academia is real in its own right. however, I am also very conscious of the fact that the academy is a site of deeply embedded inequalities that still continue to fuck with someone like me, who wants to study something that doesn't quite fit into the norms of science, math, or canonical literature. If I wanted to I could have majored in English...but along with my love of Women's Studies, I think that being a WS or Global Gender Studies student is an act of resistance against the academy. I am a firm believer that knowledge production and legitimation should not and does not come solely out of those looming brick buildings and that having fancy titles after someone's name doesn't automatically mean they are smarter then someone without.

But back to the point.
Writing. Right. I have written since I can remember...always had a journal or a diary (which got me in trouble a few times as a naive teen) and then began writing academically around my senior year of high school and found that I was good at it. But I think that although I am clearly the "same" person writing, the differences between how I write to/for a professor or a class and for myself or for (e:strip) or livejournal or whatever, is not the same. For the most part, academia is rigid. Proper punctuation and citation. Arguments and thesis and closing remarks. It's almost stifling at times. And here...I can use my ellipses like its my job, not capitalize my "I"s and write how it comes out of me.

But I guess the question I am working with here is how much "freedom" there really is here...not in terms of criticism or responses, because those always help, no matter in what form they come, but rather, how much freedom is there in a lack of some form of guidance? The result is me spouting my face off without self-editing, without really thinking about what I'm saying and not really having a goal in mind. So maybe that's it. What's the point? Who I am trying to talk to, to convince or sway or inform? The strange thing is, you all are individuals, many of whom I have met and know and like, but when I'm writing on here you are a clump of abstraction "out there" somewhere. I am used to writing for usually one person, namely a professor who I study extensively to figure out what THEY want out of a research paper and give it to them. I am really good at giving people what they want. So what happens when I have an audience of more than one...especially an audience so diverse (are we?) as this one?

This is where I am lacking in experience. I have yet to write for the "masses" or for a group of people who I don't know or don't know the way they think. The safety of academia has kept me close to my own comfort zone...and I think this is exactly academia's problem. How much can ever really be accomplished when you talk and share and socialize among people who are just like you?

So to end, I will say that I was certainly "fired up" as (e:fellyconnelly) said, when I read some of the comments on my first post and was really hurt by some of the other ones. But it is really a mission of mine to take it all in and to digest it and learn from it and hopefully spit out something better next time.
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Permalink: On_writing_and_audience.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY


10/14/08 10:25 - 68ºF - ID#46105

Meh

Last night after reading my post and responses (e:felly) told me that i came off sounding condescending and...bitchy. really, that is the farthest from my intent..and i had it all up in my head that i wasn't "that" way, but apparently that's not the case.

i do however think that some of my points are being misread. Like I said...I was not talking about individuals and was certainly not attacking anyone, or rather, that was not my intention...Remember, I go to school all day and hear all kinds of shit. So when I write something it is the culmination of a day or a week or a book or whatever. I do however get that I used examples from people's journals on here... but that was for effect rather than being the point of the argument. I apologize for singling people out.
I am not saying that I am the almighty or that I have all the answers either. If I could I would take all the periods out to assure you that my words are not end points, or "final answers" but ideas in progress... And for the record, I don't consider myself a liberal. I think liberalism is a bunch of bs just as much as "democracy" is in this country. but i will be out there voting just like i hope the rest of you will.

and (e:paul), I think that if you read my post you would see that we were on the same page. I said, "Perhaps what they should say is that they are surprised that someone said it IN PUBLIC." Again, just because I used you as an example does not mean that I was attacking you or talking to or about you. Note, I said "who the hell do WE think we are". Not you, them, they... we.




Maybe I need to step back a minute because I really need to make clear that this is not about one on one nonsense. The entire point of my post was to say that our SOCIETY/culture/system allows for and perpetuates this type of thing, not that individual human beings are at fault for the sake of pointing fingers. I don't think that bickering or in fighting gets anyone anywhere.

Honestly, I hate the internet...hate it because I can't' ever properly express emotion via emoticons and bold letters. The sound of my "voice" is read however the reader wants to "hear" it so you can't see that I'm not standing up on a soapbox with a megaphone screaming in your face, but rather, I am dealing with my own shit, working through things and trying to understand and maybe trying to share my ideas with other people. Share, not shove down your throat.


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Permalink: Meh.html
Words: 467
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: rant

10/13/08 06:12 - 72ºF - ID#46098

Nothing's Shocking

I am really not trying to be
scratch that. I apologize too much. Whatevs.

I am NOT surprised that there are racist gay men out there. Or racist white lesbians for that matter. I am NOT surprised that the white power movement is alive in well all over this country. I am not surprised that there are murders every day of queer and trans people in this country and across the globe. I am not surprised that Obama's name was "mis"spelled as Osama. Is it possible to vote for Obama and still be racist? Hell yes. Is it possible to "love" Ellen and still be homophobic? Hell yes. Give me a break.

Who the hell do we think we are?? The 60's was not that long ago my friends. The truth is, people ASSUME that racism and sexism don't exist anymore because PCism has pushed people underground, which is perhaps even more debilitating toward whatever it is that we think we've achieved. I am so sick of good intending white people talking about how "surprised" they were when they overheard this or that explicitly racist or sexist or homophobic remark. Perhaps what they should say is that they are surprised that someone said it IN PUBLIC. I think that we have some skewed and warped perception of ourselves as a progressive, politically correct, modern "civilized" society that has somehow magically overcome this bullshit that has been entrenched for thousands and thousands of years. What we really need to grasp is that racism and sexism and homophobia and ethnocentrism make up the VERY CORE of this society and this globalized world. Until there is a fucking revolution, this things will continue to live and breath and grow and consume. Maybe, just maybe if people would stop being so godam surprised all the time, we could get somewhere.
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Permalink: Nothing_s_Shocking.html
Words: 307
Location: Buffalo, NY


10/10/08 10:45 - 56ºF - ID#46039

Haunted Houses?

OK...Felly and I want to go to a haunted house on Saturday and I was wondering if any of you had been to either:

The House of Horrors

or

Fright World


I'm just looking to see which is cooler, scarier, etc etc.

We used to go every year to the Headless Horseman Hay Rides just outside of New Paltz and it was great, partially cause it was outside and usually freezing and you literally were on the a piece of wood being pulled by a tractor through this giant park. And, when you would actually get to the "house" part of the haunt it was effin hot cause you were wearing your winter coat. Good times. I just want to see something scary, something cheesy, a little fake gore and maybe drink some cider. So...suggestions?
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Permalink: Haunted_Houses_.html
Words: 151
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: randomo

10/06/08 11:46 - 52ºF - ID#45959

Last Wedding

I attended this weekend what I hope to be my last wedding of the year. Not that I'm not all for people gettin hitched and all, but man that shit makes me tired. I drove 4+ hours to some place in Ohio on Saturday, sat through a wedding and many hours at a reception with a bad DJ and then went to a hotel and then got up in the morning to drive back home. Weeeeeee!

In other news.... (e:felly) got me sick so on top of drinking too much which for me always means smoking too much, I was sick and making myself sicker. But I feel better now.

Today I have to read the last 250 pages of Uncle Tom's Cabin. Wo! Man, what a book. It's terribly fascinating and curious to me how books become canonized...what a racist piece of garbage. But at the time it was crazy talk that these "simple, childlike critturs" maybe had feelings too. Good grief.

I guess I will go on a minor rant right now for lack of something better to talk about it. 4 hours in the car with my high school best friend led to us talking about racism...and she was like this: well when I sometimes try to show black people that I am not racist, like holding open the door for a black woman and her three kids, sometimes they aren't even grateful, like they don't smile or thank you or anything.

So first of all, I was like...why a black woman and her three kids? Where does this image come from?? Second of all...I think a lot of white people have this notion that because they do something they deem to be "nice" or anti racist or however they frame it for a black person, they deserve special treatment. Like black people should get down on their knees and thank the white person for being a human being. If you were to hold the door open for a white person (sorry, her example) you wouldn't think about what a wonderful white person you were being and if the person didn't thank you for your kindness, you would call them an asshole, not deem them ungrateful for your attempt at being a good whitey. Ug. Ya know? Am I crazy?? I would love feedback on this. And jeez, if the best example you can think of on how to be anti-racist is to hold open a door for a black person then you got a long ways to go. Meh.

Oh yeah and one last thing. I always hear this bs about how "surprised" people are when they overhear overtly racist arguments, as if racism has magically vanished into fairy land and only the grossest humans who think they are safe among friends would dare to speak that way. But seriously, overt racism obviously still exists but in my opinion, that is the least of our worries. The same can go for sexism. Not that I don't think this kind of thing is terribly, I do, but I think that it is that shit that we can't even see in ourselves as being racist or sexist or whateverist that is the scariest thing. The ideologies that make up the fabric of this country and this "global" world that are so entrenched that they are invisible are what scares me. Because how can you fight something that you can't see???
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Permalink: Last_Wedding.html
Words: 574
Location: Buffalo, NY


09/28/08 01:14 - 63ºF - ID#45817

Wooohooo

So we went out. (e:heidi), (e:drew), (e:fellyconnelly) and myself had a nice gathering of food and beer at Gabriel's Gate and then went to Battle @ Buffalo (minus (e:drew) unfortunately :( I am probably too intoxicated to be posting, but I will say that it was fun and you all should have been there.
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Permalink: Wooohooo.html
Words: 56
Location: Buffalo, NY


09/27/08 11:49 - 68ºF - ID#45804

Bad Kitty

So last night after watching the debates, Felly and I were having a fascinating conversation about identity and negation when suddenly a large unidentified flying object flew into our apartment. holy hell what a ruckus. The bird, which I thought was a giant month and felly thought was a bat, was flying around, flying into things and going crazy. Needless to say that cats went instantly into attack mode. Maxx, our hunter, caught the damn thing in his mouth and tried to take it under the bed. Meanwhile, I grabbed the other cat and threw him in the bathroom and closed the door behind me. Felly got ahold of Maxx and somehow the bird got away, but it lost all of its tail feathers in the process. It landed on our fridge and just sat there, scared shitless I'm assuming. I picked it up in a towel and brought it outside and it sat there long enough for us to take pictures:


image
image
image

Eventually it flew away. We are not sure if it will be ok cause it lost so many feathers, but we got a good look at it and it seemed like the legs and wings were in ok shape. Poor little birdy. Bad Bad kitty.
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Words: 213
Location: Buffalo, NY


09/25/08 08:51 - 68ºF - ID#45795

BATTLE @ BUFFALO

Ok ok I am never on here. forgive me. but, I want to remind everyone that its that time again!!

WHO: YOU, ME, THEM, US
WHAT:Breakdancing/funkstyles Battle
WHERE: 910 Main St. (just south of Allen...door is located between Hyatt's art store)
WHEN: SAT Sept 26, 7-11pm
WHY: CAuse its fun, different, and super awesome.

I also might be interested in getting a drink before/after whatevs.

Also, a shout out to (e:heidi) i hope you can come!!!
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Permalink: BATTLE_BUFFALO.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY


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mike said to grandma
I'm so glad you made it safely!...

mike said to grandma
I'm so glad you made it safely!...

joe said to grandma
OMG welcome!...

joe said to mike
New years resolution to top (e:strip)?...