Thursday, April 27, 2006

Portfolio Piece

This is my artwork. Pitcher: Ceramic with Acrylic 12"x7"X4" It was really a breakthrough piece for me in highschool - "My First Creative Piece"

Riding for Sexual Diversity

Indiana University
Bloomington IN
Little 500
Rainbow Cycling

Gender Studies: Sexual Representation in Film

Natural Explication vs. Synthetic Representation

42nd Street and Tim Burton’s release of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory (2005) exhibit similarities and differences in approaches to sexuality. Their main characters, Julian Marsh and Willy Wonka, respectively, best exemplify the sexual attitudes of each film. 42nd Street, on the cusp of 1934 Production Code, boldly confronts several sexual themes including voyeurism, the peeping-Tom aesthetic; female victimization; and lastly, the theatrically gay male, demonstrated by Marsh and "sissy" show dancers. Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, directed by Tim Burton who also directed The Nightmare Before Christmas, queers Willy Wonka, played by the eccentric Johnny Depp. The narrative, scenery and the characterization of Willy Wonka in Charlie and The Chocolate Factory operates on homosexual stereotypes with intention. Most importantly, Willy Wonka is "painted," suggesting an endogenous homosexual queerness. Julian Marsh of 42nd Street, operating on the cusp of 1934 Production Code is uncensored, un-"painted," unfashioned with queer stereotypes we use today. Willy Wonka typifies the modern-day "flaming" queer character. Julian Marsh’s sexuality, however, is natural, extending a casual but noticeably sensual, arm to his male stage assistant. Esteemed queer film canon author, Alexander Doty, would surely sexualize both story’s’ narrative and cinematographic choices. Doty’s sexualization is justifiable.
Willy Wonka exhibits several classic symptoms of the stereotypical "flaming" gay man. He is a bastardized child, a runaway son who was not accepted by his father until Charlie’s intervention. Richard Dyer, author of Now You See It: Studies in Lesbian and Gay Film would argue that Wonka is a classic example of a queer character with a visible, "curable," mental illness. Because of his traumatic experience with his father who forbade him to love candy, Wonka becomes the object of his father’s hatred – a classic modern day theme. Wonka is a colorful, unstable character – mentally queered. His makeup is sickly pale and theatrical, much like a mime, or maybe a concubine. He wears a luxurious red fur long coat and a black top hat, a costume unlike any other male extras in the movie. He wears a shoulder length, feminine hairstyle. Wonka’s costume is inarguably queered in a 20th Century rendition of the flaming homosexual.
Several other examples are even more indicative of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory’s flirtations with post ’34 formation of the queer character. Wonka, as a young boy, tortured by his terrible headgear dresses up as a ghost for Halloween. There are several interpretations that can be easily drawn from this picture. One, Wonka hides himself from view, suggestive of a closet homosexual. Wonka’s character struggles with issues of visibility. Notice also that Wonka and company travels in a glass elevator, perhaps another reference to transparency made by the filmmaker. Wonka is a mentally ill queer character isolated from society, struggling to be visibly accepted.
Still other examples are evident in the film that make Wonka even more firmly adhere to post ’34 queer character theatrics. Wonka is a mad scientist working in an outrageous colorful candy factory. The cinematography as well as the scenery is indicative of Wonka’s internal and external characters. The film’s color palette could easily be called skittles with a licorice twist. Wonka himself is a candy-coated comedian with a dark chocolate edge. He has a fruity quality conveyed not only by his character, but also by the botany in the scenery. The metaphors for the 20th Century flaming homosexual are plentiful and easily identified in Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.
42nd Street also prides itself on sexual theme. We are constantly peering through, around and under the dancers’ legs. The camera takes a peeping Tom angle under a stairwell and peers through the gap up under the dancers’ dresses. The movie also plays on issues of rape, the male chasing, trapping and holding the female against her will. Because these themes exist, it is easy to see that 42nd Street would play on the issue of male-male sexual relations.
Julian Marsh is noticibly attached to his male stage partner, asking for his comfort at home. Male characters post ’34 do not proposition each other with such intimacy. Usually, the relationship is strictly formal, a handshake, a pat on the back and a cigar to boot. However, in 42nd Street, Marsh switches gender paradigms, that is, he handles the women as men and caresses the men as women. The gestural makeup of the approach on the stage director is easy to interpret as a sexual advance. Moreover, 42nd Street on the cusp of the ’34 Production Code, and is still maintaining free reign on sexual themes. The horror genre has not vilified the queer character, and created the queer gay/lesbian identity yet. Therefore, Marsh is casual and naturally confident, not concerned with "sexual perversion." Julian Marsh is not "painted," as is Willy Wonka. Wonka’s great enterprise is the foundation of the queer villain. Marsh has no need to be closeted.
Marsh’s homosexuality is not "painted" on him, but can only be inferred from a comparison of his actions to other characters’ actions. Doty teaches us to read into his actions and how they compare to other male-female interaction. Marsh commands the lady dances with unfeeling thunder, crashing on them uproariously. He causes one woman to faint from exhaustion. No woman, to use the classic metaphor, falls in love with Marsh. On the contrary, Marsh causes the women to fall from exhaustion, clueing the viewer into an impossible heterosexual relationship. Using the same metaphor, March tends not to flirtatiously fall for any of these available women. Surely, there is ample opportunity for him to take advantage. Marsh does not follow the example set out by other male actors who pursue the female in an intoxicated stupor. Why does he not hang his arm around his leading lady, using the same suave he used with his stage director? Marsh treats women like pawns, but his stage director seems to be his queen.
Marsh’s leading ladies, Dorothy Brock and Peggy Sawyer have a heart-to-heart before the big show, as do Marsh and his stage director. However, we do not experience the same sexual tension in the shot of the two women as we do with the two men. The sexual tension between Marsh and stage director is contextually set up for us; the stage director was about to go on a date with a hot stage broad, but soon finds sympathy for the desperate Julian Marsh.
42nd Street and Charlie and The Chocolate Factory (2005) manifest the sexual conditions of their day in drastically different ways. The former, uninhibited by 1934 Production Code, casually explores a male-male sensitivity. The later, operating on the factory of the homosexual identity, exploits the "flaming" queer color. Both are theatrical, but one is natural explication while the other is synthetic representation. In the case of 42nd Street, Alexander Doty’s formula for sexualized interpretation is easily proven by contextual evidence set up in the film. Charlie and The Chocolate Factory uses the theatrically gay male stereotype with a dark tonality not present in 42nd Street.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Pontiac and Google

I don't know how high Google's stock is right now, but it must be over a million and 1/4. I was watching TV and passed through a Pontiac commercial. At the end of the bit, Pontiac flashes a picture of Googles web search page with "Pontiac" typed in the search entry. The narrator says, "Want to find out more about [this car], go to Google and type in 'Pontiac!'" Pontiac gave its final 3 seconds of commercial air time to Google knowing full well that Google would be a profitable engine for the car's proliferation. I am betting that Google considers this free advertising and is neither paying for the 3 seconds, nor charging Pontiac for the use of its good name. Google is such a super-power right now that major businesses like Pontiac are name dropping as an effective pathway to their product.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Your Butt Is Like a Lima Bean

Your Butt Is Like a Lima Bean
By H.C. and TengelTro

Your butt is like a Lima bean
Your eyes are like Chickpeas
Your eyes are like fucking massive Walnuts
Your arms are like Cashews
Your arms are also like trash bags
Your skin is the color of Styrofoam
Your hair is like linoleum
Your lips are like orange peels that have been in the compost for four days
I like the way your snaggletooth slits my lip
I like the way my mouth bleeds every time we kiss
Your tongue is as dry as a sock
Your knees are like grapefruits
Your elbows are like umbrellas
Your whole body is generally a sailboat
Sugar is like pure sweetness

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Protecting Our Right to Privacy is a Grave Affair

RFIDs pose a serious risk to our privacy, as afforded us under constitutional law. Currently and in the future, RFIDs will continue to erode our basic privacy rights; they will follow us, track us and catalog us. The information age is surrounding us, and with the advent of implanted RFIDs, invading the very nature of our sacred bodies. Why? Identity theft is a marketable concern for the producers of RFIDs. RFIDs will try to persuade us into believing that a life with a trackable implant is a more secure one. Our naïveté will be punished. If we learn from the past, we might spare ourselves the horror. We may be able to learn from a similar attempt to PROTECT THE PUBLIC when the MPAA/Motion Picture Association of America tried to censor “sexual perversion,” which ended up creating a monster, Orson Welles, the great propagator of 'queer cinema' and the horror genre. By trying to censor “sexual perversion,” the MPAA created an outlet to it, Welles. RFIDs implanted to protect privacy will create a bigger monster, viz., more threatening identity-theft technologies.

Every RFID produced for the sake of privacy will end up promoting piracy. What if an implanted chip is ever hacked or cloned, or the signal copied or distributed? Identity theft will become even more of a black-market a’la carte.

RFIDs raise other concerns too. Wikipedia describes the potential of the RFID to eliminate the cashier. What about the cashiers’ job? The blue-collar worker suffers another blow because of technology that crowds them out of subsistence.

Household pets are tracked down and returned to their rightful owners because of this ‘wonderful’ technology. Will humans be tracked down too? Imagine when the police can calculate the speed of your car by counting how long it takes you to trip two sensors along the highway or interstate. Traveling in excess of the posted speed limit, red-flags your vehicle. The vehicle, which is registered in your name, is cataloged in the police computer, and the following afternoon you get an eticket in your inbox. In the future, there will less of an opportunity to span the open road, let out a little steam after 5 o’clock. There will be no more 90mph rushes to and from work.

Any technology that is created also has the ability to destroy itself. That is inherent in any RFID chip. What is encoded can be decoded. Our basic constitutional right to privacy is at risk. Freedom will be further compromised if appropriate legislation is not taken to prevent the spread of the insidious RFIDs. When will it be possible to disappear from Big Brother, to retreat to an island resort, and to be unreachable? RFIDs will convert us into barcodes, risking our privacy and destroying our common freedoms.


Today I looked inside my shoe and found nike's soccer website address posted in the insole.

Sunday, January 15, 2006


I just discovered today that being social is GREAT! It doesn't have to be a burden, or feared or lamented in any way. I have been persuaded by Facebook, just as I was persuaded by my cellphone - and other things that I have have abhored in the past.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


Greetings from the b-town spot, Blooming-town Indiana

Have you ever wondered how mass media advertising takes a non-sensical word and creates a billion-dollar industry out of it. EX: "Google" is now in the dictionary. When did that happen? "Xerox" also made its way into the hall of fame. What about Zygwat? I like it.