Esther’s Space- journey through my life

September 5, 2010

Sorry, come again? The metrosexual male is inherently un-Australian?

Filed under: Australia, Rant — estherspace @ 4:48 pm

Today’s news:  New VB commercial suggests Aussie blokes have become soft.

The very first sentence asserts that men have to make a choice between manhoodand metrosexuality, and it would seem that ‘too many’ Aussie blokes (though be careful about using that term to describe these non-men) have removed their natural masculine nature by beginning to care about things like social networking and status among friends.

Who writes this stuff?  Have men ever not been interested in comparing themselves and and besting their mates when it comes to physical or professional achievements?  Alas, says the marketing man for Vic Bit, this is an advertising campaign that is aimed at ‘normal guys who have strayed a little bit’ and need to go back to their non-caring, beer-drinking, football player-look alike lives.  That is, of course, ignoring the simple fact that such a past is (and has always been) fictional, fueled by nostalgia and false memories.

If you get a chance, give the comments a read-through as well.  The ex-pats (or those who ever tasted VB but now can’t get it) all want it, the haters continue to hate, people like kiwi steve agree that:

Aussie men have definitely become pussies! When’s the last time you rebuilt a waterpump, changed the oil or the sparkplugs on the car? Its not that they dont want to, they would rather have a facial…

And a few lonely voices point out the inherent flaw of the article/study/VB marketer’s assumption that facebook photos=non-manhood=un-Australian=need to drink more VB.

Ahh, Australia, the national disinclination to practice any form of introspection never fails to disappoint me.

November 22, 2008

Whoa, now

Filed under: Australia, Rant — estherspace @ 9:07 pm

I can’t believe this.  Recently I submitted an abstract for consideration to the Re-Orienting Whiteness Conference at Monash University.  The abstract was not accepted, but, judging by the continued stream of e-mails from them, anyone who submits an abstract is added to the conference mailing list.  That’s fine.

What is not fine is having my name and e-mail address posted on a white pride forum under the “Anti-White Conference!” thread.  Besides the fact that the conference is NOT an anti-white conference (which anyone who reads should be able to recognize), I’m not sure about the ethics surrounding publishing personal information in this manner. 

Thanks but no thanks, let’s not post my name, considering that I’ve sent nothing for your consideration.

October 25, 2008

I have nothing useful to add

Filed under: Rant — estherspace @ 6:59 pm

::sigh:: This week, while not unproductive, did not produce all that it should have.  And, can this lack of energy for academic thinking come at a worse time?  There are papers to start!  Proposals to write!  Books to read!  Discussions to engage in!

But all I want to do is socialize, consume various entertainments, and dream about a life that I don’t have.  Any tips on how to re-organize, re-focus, and do it all in record time would be appreciated!

October 8, 2008

Perfectly

Filed under: Australia, Rant — Tags: , — estherspace @ 4:48 am

So, I’ve reached that point in my writing where mini-meltdown usually occurs.  In trying to articulate the argument clearly, I’ve come to the realization that my original thesis is either perfectly correct or perfectly asinine, but I can’t tell which is the case.

I’m trying to argue that the characters in O&L are consistently trying to find the agency to break free from/rebel against the system as it stands (be it gender, class, race…), but also while this is taking place, the selection system of the Booker is simply co-opting the novel in order to use it in the propegation of the system (whatever system it may be).

The parts that are complicating my reading:

  1. Lucinda’s lack of passionate dedication to anything.
  2. Oscar’s completely non-masculine  character never proving to be anything but trouble for him.
  3. Lucinda at the end of the novel- pickle factory/factory reformer

To deal with #1, Lucinda is obviously different from everyone surrounding her.  But there is nothing (outside of her mother?) to help her make sense of how/why/to what purpose she is different.  This understanding of the aims of her uniqueness would be key in allowing her to become an opinionated participant in her own life.  (and I don’t have the book, so I can’t reference it, but she makes several comments about how she didn’t really care about glass, and had no interest in owning a factory for any social/political reasons, but instead that she wanted to have people that could pass as friends, and gambling and an interest in glass was one way to do it)  But, everything remains confused and Lucinda is repeatedly (and to her, unexplicably) penalized for not fitting into her proper role, and this penalization continues until she does become ‘who she is supposed to be.’

#2- I haven’t spent as much time dwelling on this, but Oscar really doesn’t seem to win in this novel. His life is all a series of misunderstandings that repeatedly lead to bad situations for him.  And, he never seems to be intent upon breaking free from society’s bonds, because he doesn’t really feel held by them.  So where does this put him?  Is he the image of the body that cannot be made docile?  If so, I wouldn’t want any part of it.

And #3, I have such a problem trying to place anything because of the narrator!  He shows up every once in a while, and when he’s not there, I spend a lot of time trying to figure out who is telling the story, because it’s stuff Mr. Narrator could not know.  But, to relate it  to Lucinda, at the end of the novel proper, Lucinda has been reduced to working in a pickle factory.  But, earlier in the book, the narrator tells the reader that Lucinda will someday be famous as a factory reformer, much more famous than her relationship with Oscar would ever make her.

So, does it succeed?  Is Carey’s O&L a novel where agency is achieved (or at least consistently sought)?

It could be argued that Lucinda, while listless and unable to communicate for much of the novel, makes a breakthrough when she realizes how she and Oscar somehow missed realizing how much they loved each other and took this information to turn her life around.  The problem with this statement is that it relies upon a vast amount of speculation regarding events that take place outside of the novel and one statement from this (not wholly reliable) narrator.  What does the novel give me that I can use?

And, in Carey’s defense, he never seems to celebrate the fact that the ISAs and RSAs are successfully beating the characters into their proper roles in society (or, in Oscar’s case, killing off the untrainable).

ACK!  I still don’t know what I have.  We’ll see again in the morning.

June 26, 2008

Back to Work (as if I haven’t been doing anything)

Filed under: Rant — Tags: , , , — estherspace @ 11:13 am

Wow, I can’t believe how long it has been since I’ve blogged. I’ve intended to, of course, but you know how these things go.

While I’ve been world-wide-web silent, I’ve been busy, I assure you. This summer I have a Fulbright application to work on (so far, nothing), a paper to polish up (a lot) for a conference in the fall (my first one, and it’s in London, so I’m more than a little apprehensive), and I’ve begun my advanced research project (this is the one I’ve made the most progress on, despite the fact that it has the latest due date).

On top of academia, I’m working, I’ve volunteered to be on a planning committee for a women’s conference, I’m spearheading a volunteer project with OCF, and working on coming up with some innovative ideas for the St. Herman’s Conference in December. But, I have found time to watch movies, which is wonderful.

So, I suppose I’m using this post as a sort of to-do list that will help me get focussed and figure out what to do first

For the Fulbright, I need to get some ideas together and get in contact with someone who is in the know on the sort of things I’m interested in pursuing.  I’m going to be honest, I have a fear of people gleaning my ideas for their own use, so nothing more until I have something concrete and very much my own.

Conference paper.  Topic:  linked short stories, Tim Winton, and white Australian search for identity. I’ve got the nugget, but I need some serious help focussing and narrowing.  I’m exploiting my student status as we speak.

Research.  Hmmm.  There’s so much I want to attack, that I don’t know where to begin.  I want to think about Peter Carey & the Booker, but I know that it will be a challenge to write that well.  But, anything else feels like a cop-out right now.  And, I cannot believe how expensive these books that I need are.  E-mail the ILL peeps.

Starting  next week, I only work (officially) 4 days/week, so it’s time to get serious about this stuff.  And help plan St. Seraphim’s.  Sounds like a vaca to me.

February 23, 2008

Guns & the Erotic

Filed under: Rant — estherspace @ 4:35 pm

So, true story. My partner in crime was playing a game that involved protecting your compound from invading zombies for 20 days and 20 night. This information alone should be enough to imply a terrible end to the story. While shooting zombies, a player of said game might often finds weapons that the deceased (?) zombies have left behind. The final weapon that one acquires (because he b-e-a-t the game, of course) is a .50 caliber Barrett sniper rifle. This gun is apparently capable of destroying two zombies with a single shot.

After beating the zombie invasion, G. wanted more.  So, he proceeded to take me on a tour of the Wikipedia entry on said gun, and then, over to youtube for videos of the gun being shot.  At this point, numerous comments ensued from me equating pornographic videos and videos of large guns being shot.  So, for the piece de resistance, he found this:

It’s not my thing, but, there’s a market for it.

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