Tag: plato

It's Just Like the Hunger Games: An Academic Conference

by on Feb.06, 2013

Some rogue academics are planning an academic conference surrounding The Hunger Games trilogy. Here is the program:

The Hunger Games as a Micro/Macro-Cosm of the Hungarian Doctor in Celine’s Oeuvre as Interpreted by Kristeva; or, Stephanie Drops Her Port

Poetness is to Humanness as Katniss is to Huntress: The Melting Pot of the Artist-Subject Identity through the Lens of 21st Century Hyper-Sci-Fi Psychoanalytic Theory-Objects(–?)

Dispatching Letters Via Corporeal Hand: Aggressive Articulation in Major Modern Metropolises and the Arena

Mountain Lion Bull-Dyke Dogs: Certain Confluences between Lesbians and Mac Hardware (Also, Is Apple in the Hunger Games? And, if so, are Apple products heroes or maidens in Walt Disney/Pixar’s Wall-E? — Does Judith Butler have an apple in her mouth?)

St. Rue: Certain Meeting Points between Ethnic Death, Racial Polarity, and Songs–The Subjective Spiderweb of Homi Baba and Jean Genet

Brattiness, Braids, and Barthes: The Fashion System as a Hegemonic Suppressor (Liberator?) in the Arena and In the Districts (1-12)

Who’s Afraid to Apply the Death Drive to the Hunger Games?: George, Martha, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Lindsey Lohan, Kate Durbin, and Tracey Letts

Berries, Snow, Roses, and Flowers in General as Symbols of Women and Older Men: Abject Masculinity as it Corresponds to the Correlation between Multiple Suicides in Pairs of Genius Husbands

External Symptoms of Male Feminism in Peeta and Gale: the Disavowal of Women’s Liberation in Paradigmatic Economic Matrices/Theses/Suppositions as Embodied by Katniss Everdeen and Sylvia Plath’s “The Colossus”– Daddy Issues; Patriarchal Projections Emitting from Robert Lowell and Ted Hughes

Soullessness: The Absence of Classical Greek Thought in Jennifer Lawrence’s Rendition of Heteronormative Heroines in Archetypal Contemporary Post-Experimental Apocalyptic Fiction Brushing Up Against the Avant-Garde

Katniss in Heat: Hysterical Pregnancies and Judeo-Christian Moral Illuminations as they Relate to Biological Phenomenology; also, the Urgency of Jimmy Fallon

The Possibilities/Limitations of Art-Medium Mutations: Can A Film Shape-Shift into the Page Space of Keatsian Enjambment?; Or, Ode on a Grecian Urn

The Espousal or Theoretical Elimination of Resortwear as a Practical Application of Lacan’s Concept of the Lamella as the Tributes Pass Through the Mirror Phase: What Would Lee Edelman Say?

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Bieber, the Stains and the triumph of the false pretender

by on Mar.01, 2011

Over at Big Other, the marvelous Tim Jones-Yelvington wrote first a response to the Bieber movie, Never Say Never, that wonderfully captures the uneasy desire the film and its subject invoke; and second, a review of sorts. He pretty much articulates my own responses to the film: euphoria, confetti!, realization.

I don’t think the Biebs’ performance of nonsexuality is as much the same-old as Tim and other critics have said — in general I think any kneejerk dismissal of repetition and difference in celebrity cycles is unfortunate — Gaga’s “just copying” Madonna, Bieber is this moment’s Backstreet Boys — it’s all the same, no it isn’t. Cintra Wilson in her essay collection A Massive Swelling: Celebrity Re-Examined as a Grotesque Crippling Disease discusses boy bands and “the unhealthy love of rock stars by little girls,” pointing to the “amorphous nonsexuality” of the Monkees as the crucial difference between then and now, where teen stars are “possessed of a mature, diabolically supercharged megasexuality.” “Now” for Wilson’s book is 2001; now, ten years later, post-Britney/Backstreet/nSync, teen pop megasexuality is pretty much boring, and Bieber’s nonerotic loving fits in well with our cultural moment of Twilight abstinence porn. In his first piece, Tim writes, “And the climax of this infomercial will be when I remember I have no sexual interest in Justin Bieber whatsoever” — and then imagines fucking Justin’s biological dad, rewriting the asexual narrative. Likewise, plenty of Bieber fans rewrite the asexual narrative in their own ways, just as Twilight fans have done.

Others are content to express romantic nonsexual desire, which tends to involve marriage — which for these girls generally means ownership. At one point in the film the camera locks in on a particular group of fangirls arguing over who’s going to marry Justin first. When one of them, obviously the most powerful in the group at least in this territory, claims it — “No, you’re not, I’m going to be Justin’s first wife” — the others shut up and sort of smile in uneasy support/defeat. If the film shows quite clearly that Justin’s priorities are, unsurprisingly, hardly romantic, it also highlights the ways in which his Beliebers are pretending. The screaming, the crying, the unhealthy love and simulation of desire: all obligatory aspects of the role of the committed and competitive megafan.

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