Sunday, May 3, 2009

Pain in Poetry

Out of all the lectures of this semester, i must say this is the least interesting. For one, I am not a fan of poetry at all. Despite my lack of interest in poetry, there were parts of this lecture that caught my attention. It was quite appealing to hear Professor Espito Frank read these poems expressing pain in a different language out loud while trying to follow along in the english translation for these poems. I found that although she was reading the poem in a different language you could still hear the experience or feeling of pain in the words by how they were said. The experience of pain transcends language and culture, it is a universal concept.

What I also found interesting was La Capra poem and the three different english translations by three different translators. It was interesting to see how the difference in translations by the different translators for the lines of the poem. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to translate a poem from one language to another and get the exact meaning and intention of the orginial poet. This very fact is proven if you look at the different translations of the original poem. Finally, as I was typing this exact line, it came to me that poetry and poems are beautiful thing and they are a means to expressing things, such as pain, that are quite often unexpressible, in a abstract or literal way. With that being said, poems expressing pain, are a means to cope and describe a pain and can be for the benefit alone or for others.

Everyone one should know about Bill Baird

In a society where sex and sexuality is something that is no longer kept private but instead is publicly displayed and in most cases accepted, we (especially those individuals of my generation), need to know who Bill Baird is and how important his fight was and is in our life. After finding out what he has done for us and continues to do for us, I am amazed that very few people of our generation know of his name and accomplishments in adults being able to have the right to choose for him or herself. To even think that he was labeled as an "evil-doer" or " the devil himself", is ludicrous.
Sitting at his lecture, I thought to myself, " I am so happy that I came for this". Listening to him speak, I was caught up in what he was saying and there was never a dull moment. Bill Baird took a lot of torment and made a lot of sacrifices to fight for reproductive rights and autonomy and some of these things were utterly unbearable to even hear; threats on his life and children, arson, and jail. Baird really opened my eyes to what we as a society who believes in reproductive rights and having access to birth control need to do. He did it in a very visual and clear-cut way that could not be denied. Baird asked the audience to raise their hands if they believe in reproductive rights and most, if not all, of the audience raised their hands. He continued to ask how many people in the audience have actually done something like contacted legislature or participated in a demonstration and less than five people raised their hands. We owe to Baird and his family to continue this fight because it is never ending by taking action and being proactive not reactive.
Another part of his lecture that caught my attention is when he showed the shocking and grotesque way in which women would attempt to abort the fetus from there womb. As he explained these methods, I would literally cringe and silently make a sound of pain as if I could feel the pain. Probably the most shocking information out of all this was the fact that planned parenthood were opposed to giving birth control products to unmarried persons in the 60s and what is even more shocking is that to this day they do not give Bill Baird any credit or respect for what he has done. Certain laws that were in effect in the 1960s were outright outrageous. To print or publish any type of birth control products resulted in a 10-year prison sentence. It was illegal for unmarried people to get birth control and legal in some states to get an abortion if you were married.
I really enjoyed and appreciated being a part of the audience and I learned so much. Bill Baird is a wonderful , intelligent, brave, heroic, and caring man. It makes me feel good deep down inside to see a man fight for women and their reproductive rights. It makes me view this world in a more positive light and we need more people like him in this world.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Thank God for the United and not the Confederate, States of America!!!

To be quite honest I found this movie to be offensive in the way it was made to be comical but at the same time I guess it is presented in such a way to show the absurdity of the whole idea of what would happen if the confederate states won the Civil War. Although I found this movie to be very offensive, I must admit that it was interesting to see the dynamics of the slave and slave trade industry and how the southern states would go on to conquer other parts of the world and begin slavery there. The last part of the movie where the text read something about how one would be surprised to know that there are remnant slavery items in our society today like the toothpaste, the cigar case the Aunt Gemima pancake syrup and Uncle Ben's Rice really opened my eyes to things I never realized. Seeing this movie inspired me to do some research on items that are still in use today that were used in the those time to put down southern black folk. Watching this movie made me appreciate how far we have come as an Nation and how grateful I should be that I am a free black women who is capable of doing anything she puts her mind to. I could not imagine being a slave, being beaten, witnessing a lynching, and things of those sorts. I think that everyone in my generation should watch this move to get a better understanding of why we should be happy to be part of these United States. Finally, during our discussion of the movie, someone said that people are so quick to place the blame on the "white man" but it was the Africans who started the whole slave trade by selling indentured Africans to Europeans. That is very true but the simple fact that the Africans started this does not make slavery okay nor does it excuse the American and European slaveholders of their brutal actions against slaves. To wrongs don't make a right.

Monday, April 13, 2009


First of all, I just wanted to put it out there : To think that a marathon is a great feat!!!! I seriously take that one back. To top it all off, when Erin said she had completed nine of them and is preparing for two more, I was kinda off awestruck. Participationg in nine triatholons (even if placing last in each and every one of them) as a women, is still a great feat in my eyes. Wait, did i just say that? As a women? placing last? Well, that's sexist of me ( and to think that I am a female myself) but what can I say, it's true. I really like the perspective Erin took during her lecture; looking at women participating in trialthons and how they have been potrayed was very interesting. It seems as though its never a simple, black-or-white ordeal when it comes women. Erin stated that female althelism is a split between the athletic and sexual body. A woman althlete must be conscious of how she potrays herself as a woman and as an althlete, with no doubt that these two tasks clash often. The Iron Man, the most harsh of the trialthons, stuck with me. I thought it was hilarious how the female version of the Iron Man was adverstised. The female version, read Iron Girl not Iron Woman ( in pink, haha!!) and there were pretty, soft images of flowers and a duck. The Iron Man logo has no flowers, ducks and the letters are bold and big, conveying a message of strength and presevervance, how nice. Watching those clips and seeing how these participatants looked like they were natural disaster or war victims being carried away from the scene was terryfing for me. The pain that they have to go through is astronomical and I can't even bare the pain of a pinch.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Harold and Maude

This movie was very perculiar but ironically I loved it for this exact reason. This movie was ranked in the top 100 movies of comedy, romance, and inspiration. It found the movie to be extremely comic but not in the same way that I would usually consider a movie to be comic. Harold would consistently kill himself ( hanging, cutting his throat,setting himself on fire, shooting himself in the head, cutting his hand off, etc) to get the attention of his mother but I never quite worked. These acts of attempted suicide was hilarious in the light that his mother would always dismiss his suicide attempts but he still contiuned to do it even after he met Maude and fell in love with her. The one question I have about Herald's numerous suicide attempts was he literally killing himself or was it a figurative statement? At one point in the movie, it seemed as though he was going to kill his mother when he pointed the gun at her. That scene was not expected and ironically, hilarious. I am still trying to figure out why did Herald turn the gun on his mother. Maude was a magnificient character. She was an older lady who lived her life to the fullest, probably more than an average teenager (stealing cars, driving recklessly, exploring the outdoors). She was young at heart, free-spirited, and enjoyed nature. When Harold first met Maude at the funeral, you begin to see a change in him, he began to enjoy life's simplicity and joy and he literally, in my eyes came to life. The change in Herald is most apparent when he actually goes to his mother and tells her that he is going to marry Maude. This is very unexpected of him because prior to this he would let his mother control his life and decided everything for him.

Herald had no happy life of his own, it was his motherr who decided everything for Herald even if it was something that he absolutely did not want. Maude inspired Herald to live his life and be happy and this is probably why Herald fell in love with Maude, she made him realize and do things that he would have never had a chance to experience. In the end of the movie, Maude kiills herself and Herald was heartbroken. This was the only part of the movie that made me sad and I don't quite understand why Maude kills herself. A classmate of mine mentioned that she killed herself because he was young she was old and wanted him to live his life. I guess I can see her point. In the last scene, we see Herald speeding and turning his car in a winded path furhter up we see the end of the path lead to a cliff. In my mind, I was convinced that Herald would really committ suicide but he did not. He ran the car off the cliff and walked away from it. I believe that was the perfect ending to this movie. Although Herald was feeling extremely low due to the loss of his love Maude, he decided to continue to live is life the way that Maude would have wanted him to. She inspired him to live his life.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Love is Pleasure and Pain

I must say that I really like the idea of the lecture but the delivery of it was not as appealing as I would have liked or expected it to be. The discussion was excellent. What I really found interesting was the fact how its human nature to create an image of the perfect soulmate. Is there such a thing? And if so, how often does it happen? I would bet not often. Nonetheless we all have this idealized, romanticized image of our perfect soulmate and we compare this image to those we are in a relationship with, not realizing we are setting ourselves for failure and oh yeah, pain. I am guilty of this, big time. I have been with my boyfriend for quite a while (June will make it 5 years) and I have always tried , unsuccessfully to adjust who is to fit my perfect soulmate image. The pain of love is a very paradoxical statement but its very true. If we know creating the perfect image of a soulmate is setting up ourselves for failure, why is that we continue to do it? Is it perhaps the stories of Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, and Aladdin, that was engrained in us at a very young age and we get this idea that love is perfect and we can find a perfect soulmate. When we grow up, we see that these love stories hardly occur but the idea of being happy all the time, complenmenting each other, and feeling complete is associated with the perfect most-of-the-time non-exsistent soulmate so were steer towards this direction because it is better to have the hope of the perfect image than to be alone.

Rape is NEVER Funny, so should they be made into jokes?

Let me just take this moment to say ...Wow!!!!!!!

I thoroughly enjoyed the lecture/discussion about rape jokes. It was very interesting to see a different perspective because in our society we typically see and focus on women getting raped than men and I think this was a great way to shed some light on the fact that men get rapped too and it is just as traumatizing experience as it is for women.

I think is particularly psychologically tormenting for those men who were raped because not only do they live in a society that where it is believed it is only women who really get raped and men who do get raped rarely come out and admit to it because they fear they will be laughed at, viewed as weak or feminine, or not believed, but there are jokes out there about these rapes in all forms of media (television, radio, newspaper, Internet) that constantly remind them of that terrible event. As a society, we need to realize that although rape jokes can be funny and are not , for the most part, intended to hurt those who have been raped, they still do hurt the rape victim and bring back terrible flashbacks.

Two wrongs don't make a right is all I can think about when the movie who stars Rosario Dawson was mentioned in the lecture. In the movie, the main character, who is a female, was raped by a male and retaliates against the man who raped her by getting one of her male friends to rape him . The message may be that women who have been raped should do everything in their power to fight back but I feel as though the set up of the movie is basically saying its perfectly okay to rape someone to get back at them. Where do we draw the line? When is rape okay? Rape is never okay and I am not saying that if a victim is raped that the perpetrator should not be punished. What I am saying is that if the assailant was raped, then we are basically telling him or her that it is okay to go back and rape the victim again. The other French movie about rape (the name also escapes my mind) should be viewed by all those people who casually make rape jokes because they will get a vivid and graphic glimpse of what it really feels and looks like to be raped . When someone one is raped, those nightmarish memories are forever etched in their brain and any joke or movement can quickly trigger a panic attack. Finally, I really want to watch both of these movies to get a better sense of what went on in them.