To have great pain is to have certainty; to hear that another person has pain is to have doubt. (The doubt of other persons, here as elsewhere, amplifies the suffering of those already in pain.) … The rarity with which physical pain is represented in literature is most striking when seen within the framing fact of how consistently art confers visibility on other forms of distress (the thoughts of Hamlet, the tragedy of Lear, the heartache of Woolf’s “merest schoolgirl”). Psychological suffering, though often difficult for any one person to express DOES have referential content, IS susceptible to verbal objectification, and is so habitually depicted in art that, as Thomas Mann’s Settembrini reminds us, there is virtually no piece of literature that is NOT about suffering.
—  The Body in Pain by Elaine Scarry. (Been thinking a lot lately about the experiences—physical pain being one, but I think there are others—that are rendered invisible by the inability of language to describe them referentially, or else the dominant culture’s inability to hear the voices that are describing them.)
10

fed up with the tumblr status quo, i have made a series of cliche tumblr pictures into a literal nonform.

all of these things are reblogged so often and with such flippancy, that they might as well be just representative words in place of the actual forms themselves. 

i’m ryduhh.

Re: Marginalized people are not revolution objects

realsocialskills:

So, here’s a thing I’ve seen happen:

  • People get really into social justice theory
  • and then they read a lot from people who all agree with each other
  • and then they assume that everyone in that group agrees
  • and then, when they encounter someone in that group who doesn’t think that thing, they don’t know how to deal with them
  • or they’re rude and condescending

For instance:

  • Someone who reads a lot of disability theory is excited about the idea of acceptance
  • And, in particular, the reasons that mobility equipment is liberating and wonderful
  • And they encounter someone who is enduring considerable pain rather than use a wheelchair
  • And then they talk at them about how they just need to accept themself already, without listening to where they’re actually coming from
  • That is not respectful. It can sometimes be ok to express an opinion or offer advice (emphasis on offer; people can say no to hearing your advice), but it’s not ok to try and run someone else’s life, or to take control of their self image, or related stuff
  • Respecting someone has to start with respecting them as people who think for themselves, not trying to make them do what you think self-respecting people do

keep in mind that:

  • No matter how much you’ve read, you’ve never been the person you’re talking to
  • That goes double if you’re not a member of their group, but it applies even if you are
  • Having read a lot of social justice theory, or even being part of that group and having found that it described your experience, does *not* mean that you know better than someone else how they should be living their life
  • Don’t try to take people over, and don’t talk down to them
  • The last thing marginalized people need is yet another person trying to run over them for their own good. They get that enough already

People are complicated, and you are never the expert on someone else’s life. Reading social justice theory, and even being really insightful about what’s wrong with our culture, does not make you an expert on someone else’s life. Their life is for them to live and make decisions about. Marginalized people are not revolution objects.

This is a lovely post.

Honestly, the only thing I’d do if I were to improve it would be to post it on a blog that doesn’t habitually block responses from people who disagree, leaving notes that, if you click through them, show only people who all agree with each other.

So I’m doing that. :)

Determine which of the following statements is true:

  • Exactly one of these statements is false.
  • Exactly two of these statements is false.
  • Exactly three of these statements is false.
  • Exactly four of these statements is false.
  • Exactly five of these statements is false.
  • Exactly six of these statements is false.
  • Exactly seven of these statements is false.
  • Exactly eight of these statements is false.
  • Exactly nine of these statements is false.
  • Exactly ten of these statements is false.

Made me stop and squint for a second. Thought you guys might enjoy it.

3

Detention (Joseph Kahn, 2011)

Let’s talk about culture for a moment. While I could’ve figured this one out by myself, someone once told me that film doesn’t exist in a vacuum. True: like any art, film is an amalgamation of cultural and personal influences, social conventions and the personal talent of any given craftsman or filmmaker able to turn that into his own piece of work. Every film is a cultural construct that speaks volumes about the society it hails from—which is exactly why film is worth looking at in the first place! But what happens when the culture at hand is so inward-looking and void that it cannibalizes itself into oblivion? Well…you get something like Joseph Kahn’s DETENTION.

Employing a somewhat interesting and twisty storyline mixing teen-slasher tropes and time travel, DETENTION references Kahn’s previous film TORQUE in its first five minutes, which pretty much sets the tone for the whole operation of hyper-referentiality that will drive the plot and cardboard-cutout characters (one of whom is portrayed by a admittedly endearing Dane Cook) forward into nothingness. A weak attempt at subverting genre tropes in ways the SCREAM series already tackled, the film finds itself perpetuating them, but mostly exposing something terrifying about the current state of the art’s postmodern condition.

Accumulating references at a neck-breaking pace—read: uninterruptedly—DETENTION is a hyper-produced and mind-numbingly overwritten exercise in reflexivity, which manages to recklessly drive itself into a wall surprisingly quickly. Alienating in nature—and mind you, I’m 18 years old, was raised in the late ’90s, am very pop-minded and enjoy postmodern cinema like nobody’s business—DETENTION is the painful product of a particular time in entertainment culture as understood, exaggerated, masticated and regurgitated by hip adults whose major and deepest connection to life is called the Internet.

If you thought Diablo Cody’s hyperactive banter was annoying or hated the pop-consumerist hipster youth of SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD, stay as far away from DETENTION as possible. It will break your brain and then some. Perhaps one of the first films to be crippled entirely by a painfully forced ironic nostalgia for the 1990s (1992, to be exact), DETENTION’s fundamental flaw resides in its utter and complete lack of meaning past its succession of archetypes, stereotypes and references that constitute all of the film’s humor and substance.

DETENTION sadly evidences that current culture, in its worst, most bastardized and amalgamated form (which screenwriter Mark Palermo mind-bogglingly, almost mathematically, turned into its screenplay) has nothing new to contribute to art and would rather fixate on a “post-ironic” time and place rather try its hand at fresh ideas and concepts. Unlike Brian Lee O’Malley’s SCOTT PILGRIM comics and the subsequent film adaptation—which I know a lot of people hated for similar reasons, as well as for its celebration of consumerist youth culture—DETENTION isn’t inspired by certain visual and textual elements proper to video games, comic books, literature, film and music. It is piece-by-piece, from its foundation to its dysfunctional lightning rod, built with other, and most importantly currently popular, elements of media. In and of itself, DETENTION has no characters, no plot and no meaning, other than offering the wildest, most ridiculously overstimulating cocktail of pop-culture paraphernalia possible, devoid of all personality and resonance. Even the plot is riddled with currently hot and “geeky” elements such as time travel and alternate realities—only adding to the pervasive feeling that DETENTION is a manufactured “hit” and not a genuine celebration of the culture it manages to caricature.

If SCOTT PILGRIM evidenced youth’s all-encompassing capitalist slacker culture, DETENTION, in its circularity and seemingly wild success with the audience, showcases its inevitable demise. Luckily, there are still artists out there producing valid work and using their influences intelligently—but for how long? DETENTION is truly disquieting it that it poses the question: How long until originality vanishes entirely and entertainment becomes a rapid-fire succession of established songs, books and film franchises?

Kahn—coming from an impressive music-video background—gets credit for his inventive direction, which, while showing no mercy and being extremely exhausting, certainly has its moments. Although he manages to do incredible things with very little means, the praise for his direction can only be taken on its own. I’m of the somewhat disputable but strong belief that the inventiveness and rapidity inherent to the craft of mainstream music video and TV commercials needs to be recontextualized when transposed to the big screen, and that unlike countless contemporaries with similar backgrounds like ADAPTATION’S Spike Jonze, ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND’s Michel Gondry and NEVER LET ME GO’s Mark Romanek, Kahn doesn’t know any better, and instead ramps up the style to 11, accumulates skits straight out of MTV and, in his own way, manages to mirror perfectly the vapid nature of the script itself.

The cultural equivalent of George Orwell’s proverbial boot stomping on a human face—forever—DETENTION exhibits the kind of dishonest meta-referentiality that hurts culture more than it celebrates it, turning the medium into a textual and visual Ouroboros that doesn’t seem to understand that references, irony and formula (which, don’t get me wrong, all work as devices in crafting fiction) need to build upon and toward something in order to work. To say the least, DETENTION is a painful and confrontational experience that will have you re-evaluating the current state of entertainment, and is perhaps the most “current” film ever made—which, as a result, expectedly collapses in less time than it takes to say the word “hipster.” - via Fangoria: “Fantasia Day 9, Part Two”

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