September, 2016

Black Damnation Cont.

SO, yesterday I left the class pretty pissed off, but rightfully so. I couldn’t clearly articulate what I wanted to say without having everyone interrupt so I just thought I would do it here. Enjoy.

 

Trueblood:

A man that obviously committed a crime. Incest. BUT like I was TRYING to say. Let’s look deeper into his character. Obviously he’s uneducated because of the way he speaks: ” She’s droolin’ green stuff and gits to pukin agin, and when I goes to touch her it gets worse” (Ellison 65). Clearly Ellison made the deliberate decision to make him speak this way. Ok. Now that we’ve established he’s uneducated, let’s now look at the circumstances in which he lives. True blood says, “You see suh it was cold and us didn’t have much fire. Nothin’ but wood, no coal: I tried to git help but wouldn’t nobody help us and I couldn’t find no work or nothin’. It was so cold al of us had to sleep together; ” (Ellison 53). Cool, now we see the extent of his poverty. NOW THIS IS THE PART WHERE I LOST EVERYONE… YES! He did screw his daughter and knocked her up committing the horrible act of incest. BUT let’s remove Trueblood from the equation shall we? What if we were to Substitute Trueblood with a middle class white citizen? Where he had heat and separate rooms and a job…Would our feelings about the incest be different if the white man then deliberately went into his daughters room and raped her? Maybe, Maybe not. I think the social factors around Trueblood influence our perception of him and his actions, A LOT. Poverty effects people in ways that privileged people like us aren’t aware of. A lack of education? Well, obviously having no education is something foreign to all of us but those things, I would imagine take a really big toll on a person and their thought process. Ok, I have more to say, but that will cover my bases for now.

 

Take Care

 

 

White Domination? No. Black Damnation.

So I’m going to bring up a totally different point, but its really important to me so I rather post about this instead…

The first instance that we get where a character isn’t really conscious of his actions is when Mr. Trueblood impregnates his own daughter. He basically goes on a whole ten page rant explaining that he really didn’t mean to, but what’s done was done. Trueblood reiterates the point that the black people in the community look down upon him, but the white people don’t. On the contrary actually, they reward him. Trueblood lives on the outskirts of the college campus and is basically shunned by his community for committing the crime of incest.

Now,

(Just give me a second here so you can follow my thought process)…

this book starts off with a young black boy about to give a speech, but first has to enter this ring of fighting other black for the entertainment of whites…cool, I mean not cool, but nothing new there. Then after he’s been punched until he literally can’t see he has the chance to give his speech and ends up getting admitted to this college. Now we see him driving around this extremely wealthy white guy who contributes a crap ton of money to the university. Then they go visit this guy named “Trueblood.” We clearly know that he’s uneducated by the way the speech changes when his character speaks. From his explanation of the incident in which he got his daughter pregnant we clearly see that the incest wasn’t intentionally done. The part that bothers me is why the white community rewards him for his discrepancies meanwhile the black community completely ostracizes him. This just feeds into white domination. It’s literally so disgusting to me to think that the reason they give this man money and tobacco to keep him in the same never ending cycle. Furthermore, the fact that he was looked down by his fellow black counterparts says a lot about the black community. They were not willing to accept that type of behavior because they wanted to remove themselves from stereotypical black behavior….

Guilty or Not Guilty

Dehaene sees consciousness as a process in the brain. Each part of the brain process different things such as emotions and language. Between these two sections of the brain is a link which allows everything to work together as one unit. He also believes that consciousness is seeing something and knowing you saw something.

This is the part of the theory that perplexes me. Dehaene’s argument kind of doesn’t make sense to me because it doesn’t really explain why people at the same crime scene remember things differently. Like the color of a persons shirt may be different based from person to person. Or even something more pertinent like the race of an individual. I mean it is evident that each individual saw something because they’re recalling specific things, but it doesn’t really make sense in that respect.

Damasio had three stages to the self: the protoself; the core self; and the autobiographical self. I’m more inclined to buy what Damasio is selling because he takes into account factors that can change the image of ones self.

Let’s take the same example… If the crime being committed was a white woman being raped and the witnesses were another white woman and a black woman, the race factor of the perpetrator could be misconstrued because of societal values placed upon race. Even though Damasio and Dehaene’s claims are on a “minuscule” or “microlevel” scale…those little details are what makes or breaks a case and in many cases have imprisoned or incriminated the wrong man. I’m not sure whether or not I fully believe all of what Damasio is preaching, but it definitely makes more sense than Dehaene in my opinion.

Hysteria or Sanity

Siri Hustvedt explains Jean-Martins Charcot’s idea of hysteria as a “dramatic emotional display” (Hustvedt 71). This theory would fit well in trying to understand what is really going on the “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. In the story we see the narrator go insane by what she perceives to be a woman caged in behind this yellow wallpaper. Did she really go insane? That question doesn’t seem relevant, what is relevant is that she believed that there was a woman caged in. Whether or not it is true has no bearing on the argument. Her display of emotions can be characterized as dramatic because she goes to extreme lengths to see and look at this wallpaper. It seems to mirror how she is feeling. In the day the caged woman isn’t present, but only in the moonlight is it visible. This seems to be the way she is treated too. When her husband is awake (in the day) she really has no voice, no emotion, no nothing. She’s kind of just there. In the night, however, she is not under the eye of her husband and thats when this wallpaper seems to bug her. It’s interesting because before I read Hustvedt I would have never thought of “The Yellow Wallpaper” as being dramatic, I think it’s because “dramatic” has a negative connotation. I would rather, if I was a therapist, look at the reasons that make the narrator feel like she is having these “dramatic” emotional breaks. It seems to me that her husband puts her on a pedestal…and not in a good way. He completely infantilizes her calling her a silly goose. He doesn’t allow her to write or have any form of creative expression whatsoever so the only thing she has to rely on is her thoughts. I would say she’s border line schizophrenic. The only reason I don’t believe she is completely schizophrenic is because if she had an outlet of expression I believe she would be fine. I’m also curious at looking at the infantilization of her character and the idea of an “imaginary person.” I mean, it’s totally okay for children to have an “imaginary” friend but at what age do we start to diagnose people with schizophrenia? The poem is obviously a product of the time it was written in, but I think it’s important to look at the human psyche as well. Why is it that women were infantilized, but were also supposed to reproduce? Isn’t that an adult amenity? What does that say about men? Were they attracted to childlike attitudes but women that looked like women? To just claim that this was a “dramatic emotional display” takes away 99% of the reason the emotions are there in the first place furthermore calling it “dramatic” given the circumstances is completely absurd. To think being lock in a house, away from society, with nothing to do except sit there and look pretty…I’m pretty sure the only sane thing to do would be to go insane.

Pissing the Passion to Poetry

One of the most lyrical moments of Sense8 was when Wolfgang is at the funeral procession and carries the casket of an unknown person. The reason why this scene is particularly lyrical is because of the intense emotion we see Wolfgang portrays after everyone has left the funeral ground. He actually proceeds to piss on the casket once it is in the hole. This scene reminds me of a poem by Sherman Alexie, “Postcards to Columbus.” Alexie writes, “Our flag with be a white sheet stained with blood and piss.” The two connect because a flag isn’t something to be desecrated and neither is a casket (actually both are crimes). It shows such anger and resentment that it is poetic. It seems to me that even the most horrible of things can be seen as lyrical. The opening scene of Angelica killing herself is also very lyrical. The intense emotion that she shares with Jonas right before she commits suicide is so magical. She begs him to leave before she can pull the trigger. From that instance we know her love for Jonas goes far beyond just a crush. We also get the sense that Angelica was compelled to do this because Jonas allows her to kill herself. The final part of this episode that was the most passionate and lyrical is when we see Riley succumb to drugs. This scene is the most lyrical of all because she is reluctant at first to take a hit from the pipe, but then overcome with sadness she does it. She finds no other means of escaping her inner demons then to dope up….Now that’s what I call passion and lyricism.

Thinking about bats thinking

It’s interesting to think that this is what a bat really thinks. It’s interesting because…I don’t think this is what a bat really thinks. I think this is what we think a bat thinks, but in the end is still what we think about bats. Make sense? I know, confusing right? Well…I think thats the point. We as humans can’t know what it feels like to be animals. I mean sure we have primitive instincts that still come into play at times, but we are evolved creatures. Our brains can’t process information like animals. I highly doubt a bat thinks, “When it gets dark we go out to eat, insects mostly” (Lodge 90). That’s just a survival skill a bat has. Like, “hey I need to eat! let me go find some food.” I think the type of food also has to do with digestion…bats can’t really digest anything else besides insects and small critters. Furthermore, the “thought experiment” of this particular students seems to be a projection of what and how that student feels. Meaning that the student is thinking about sex in their own life and that becomes projected onto the assignment at hand “What it’s like to be a Freetail Bat.” Sex has only become sexualized because of humans. All other animals do it for survival and to procreate…It has nothing to do with pleasure so I don’t see how and why bats would mind only “fucking for six weeks out of the whole year.” It seems to me that this experiment worked so far as to show how the thought process of humans really works, not how the thought process of bats work. There’s no doubt in my mind that bats have a thought process, but I also think that it’s quite impossible to think like a bat…but then again, this could be my projection of this assignment.

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