Sunday, August 19, 2012

Some posts from my (now defunct) tumblr blog

I've decided to use my tumblr as something else, so I thought I would move some of the posts from there, to here, so as to not lose the gems of wonderfulness that are those posts. So, here they are, from earlier this year:

My first post on tumblr.

A University board member asked me whether I was “in media.” I mentioned that I was the professor of Communications & Media, so I suppose I was “in media” (of course, I think that’s all she meant). In any case, we had a great conversation about what we do in my University courses and what might be done in a community college. She appreciated the “analysis” portion of my courses, that one needs to understand what the “texts” of film mean. She didn’t use those exact words, but this is what she meant.

It made me think about discussions I have had regarding Zack Snyder’s film, Sucker Punch. I liked the movie; I thought it looked really good (there is a lot to be unpacked in that last statement of 6 words). Many would think that the film is a wonderful example of third-wave feminism, the notion that female erotic power can be used in favour of the female using it (awkward sentence, I know). But there is something wrong with Snyder’s film; I felt uneasy watching it, not only because I thought it looked good.

It might be an example of “third-wave feminism,” but it really does depend on the male gaze. It’s third-wave feminism with a whole bunch of voyeurism; now, maybe that’s an intrinsic part of third-wave, but I’m not so sure that the film is right.

These are the sorts of discussions I like to have with my students because, ultimately, this is more important and effective than saying, “Don’t watch it.”

Let these be initial thoughts. I may post more, or not. I’m just trying out tumblr, really.

I’m having trouble falling asleep, so I’ll write about an ill-defined “Theology of Desire.”

It is interesting how there are some atheists that I really admire; I don’t agree with them, but I really think they’re great. Consider the following: Salman Rushdie, Stephen Fry, Umberto Eco, Joss Whedon. And why is it that some of these atheists seem to know more about Christianity than I do, and seem to be able to explore such ideas with much more tact and intelligence than I can? Again, consider Whedon or Eco.

I’m currently (-ish) writing a paper on Whedon, suggesting that, in his work, one might find a kind of theology of desire (or, at least, his work can be considered a sort of lens through which a Christian theology of desire might be revealed). What do I mean by a “Christian theology of desire,” you ask?

That’s a good question, and I don’t really have an answer. But I can explore a bit of what I’m trying to get at (that is, my problem). I suppose that part of the allure that I feel when I watch some of Whedon’s televisual output (and I’m not really referring to Buffy here) seems to come from a place of desiring: I enjoy the company, if you will, that I see on the screen. I become part of a sort of community (albeit a fictional one that exists on a television screen). Without being overly dramatic, I desire those people (characters) on the show.

As the now legendary question went, “Are you speaking of a Nietzchean desire, or a Lacanian desire?” My answer remains, a Lacanian one. That is, perhaps it is that dastardly notion of wanting the one I can’t have (and the fact that it’s driving me mad) that so tugs at me.

And I think part of the allure has to do with aesthetics.

What a great cliff-hanger. Don’t you want to read more?