Monthly Archives: April 2010
The small woman
Builds cages for everyone
While the sage,
Who has to duck her head
When the moon is low,
Keeps dropping keys all night long
John Paul Lederach, founding director of my masters program at EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding spoke at EMU campus a few weeks ago and as usual treated us to the elegant insurgency of being profoundly liberated and creative.
Have a listen to his talk – the Poetics of Peacebuilding posted here.
Photo pashasha. cc: attribute/share/remix/share alike.
A collection of wise quotes from one long-lost friend to another.
“For every complex question there is a simple answer, and it is wrong.” H.L. Mencken.
“The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them. Albert Einstein
“True genius lies in the capacity for evaluation of uncertain, hazardous and conflicting information.” Winston Churchill
“Some things are not problems to be solved, but facts to be endured” Ariel Sharon
The “Secret Sauce”: Herodotus tells us that the ancient Persians would make all major decisions while drunk, and then reconsider the decisions the next day while sober. If the sober decision agreed with the inebriated decision, they would go forward; if not, the process would be repeated.
AN UNSPEAKABLE horror gripped me. There was darkness; then a dizzy, sickening sensation of sight that was not like seeing; I saw a Line that was no Line; Space that was not Space: I was myself, and not myself. When I could find voice, I shrieked aloud in agony, “Either this is madness or it is Hell.” “It is neither,” calmly replied the voice of the Sphere, “it is knowledge; it is Three Dimensions: open your eye once again and try to look steadily.” I looked, and behold, a new world. Edwin A. Abbott, Flatland, 1884.
In his Moral Imagination class, uber peacebuilder John Paul Lederach taught us the usefulness of what he calls a Wittgensteinian Essay for pulling together random ideas that clunk around in your brain before they are fully formed as theory. This is my favorite state of play and these are some of the pathways I use to begin to explore gender and media culture in a way that can be funny, thoughtful, expository and about how defying gender roles makes simply for better storytelling. What are your thoughts as you explore this collection?
1) Watch this ad. Laugh out loud.
2) In this October 2009 article from The New Yorker, director James Cameron talks about how interesting it is to have a woman play a part written for a man – as he did in Alien/Aliens with Sigourney Weaver. The article also mentions that the role of the incidental girlfriend is so pervasive in Hollywood – those parts are referred to as “handbags”.
3) Watch the sublime Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth the Golden Age trailer and then talk to me about what defines a hero:
4) Compare the sexuality of Beyonce and Feist in these two music videos which are both around 3 minutes and 20 seconds long. Watch them side by side. How are these artists different? What are they saying??
4) And why, oh why, oh why does Ok Go’s pink clothing, white shoes, pot bellies and fey dancing not threaten male sexuality in the least? I am thrilled about it – but I think if we figure that out – it might help us sort through other elusive gender puzzles.
It is in these moments that we are pulled away from our mold that we feel alive. The joy doesn’t come from the experience but being unleashed. Wake up, eat, study, sports, play, sleep. This yearly pattern corrodes your human nature. Live and take a leap from your stable column.
Frankie’s words of wisdom about our role in relationship to the power of the Internet:
We are the brains and we control the machine.
Here’s the movie Frankie left us with at the end of class – a great note on which to leave the semester.
Thanks to all who attended last Saturday’s EMU Digital Media premiere of Documentary and Animation student projects – Pathways to Whole and Pieces of the Whole. A responsive crowd and students nailed it. Wow. What a powerful semester! Co-instructor Steve Johnson provided the great pics.
EMU Digital Media student Lance Miller is a powerful storyteller and courageous advocate for dyslexia, the disability that defines much, but by no means all, of his existence. Lance teaches me a lot about being authentic, honest and how to deal with my own disabilities. This movie was Lance’s senior project.
In this movie, Lance and I reenact a learning moment between us.