Frens. I have been through the Stargate and back and will now divulge the secret to having a pleasant experience inside the MRI machine. Feel free to use this, unless you already have a process. This requires good brain muscles. Your mileage may vary. FIRST! Do not, I repeat, do not open your eyes. When they push you into the magnetic womb, keep those peepers unpeeped. There is a nice flow of cool air spraying near your face and you can delude yourself into thinking you’re lying in an open area. That’s fine. NO PEEKING. SECOND! Do not accept the gift of music. I have no idea what kind of playlists MRI technicians have available, but for this plan to[…]

I find Facebook frustrating. As storyteller, the Facebook algorithm creates a logistical dilemma. In some cases, I like to use the first comment as a, for lack of a better term, the punchline, or, in most cases, a secondary punchline. Sometimes it is to give further comment to what I’m posting, other times it is to beat my readers to the obvious joke. I am not always successful, but narratively I find that first comment area gives me the necessary “beat” before a nice aside. It’s is the “Ching” to my “Ba-dum, dum.” Unfortunately, when enough comments appear, Facebook shifts the order around, placing the “Top Comment” in this coveted spot, erasing any of my intended narrative flow—a small example[…]

[The video from which this is taken. Warning: contains Zizek.] I would like to offer this screenshot as a visual representation of how GenX was raised in the most disillusioned cultural environment, while continually doused with the marketing of Baby-Boomer nostalgia. (That nostalgia leaned markedly white and middle class.)   My argument is GenX was disallowed its own cultural validation while standing in the shadow of the perceived greatness of its parents’ generation. While the argument of eternal generational comparison may be made, I offer that this was right after the birth of marketing and the onslaught of nostalgia-based culturalization found its birthplace in the 1980s. From music to film to literature, our desires, interests, and ideals were continually compared[…]

Put Your Filthy Hands All Over Me

I’ve been wanting to do close readings of things other than books and film for a while and when I spied Justin Timberlake’s video for his new single, “Filthy,” I thought, “yes, let’s do this.” The song itself is catchy and, while there are only about six or seven different lines in the whole song, the video packs a whole lot of meaning into those lyrics. Let’s try to unpack it. “Haters gonna say it’s fake…so real.” Timberlake appears in a Steve-Jobs-like fashion on stage at a technology conference ten years in the future. He seems to be premiering his latest creation. The robot walks down the stairs in a stilted fashion, non-threatening and mechanical. It is easily pushed around[…]

This is Ernie. Ernie is a cat. A cat has no self-doubt.

Last night a friend and I texted back and forth about the “waiting game.” All of our PhD applications are in and now it’s just a matter of sitting by while committees of people decide our fate. While texting, I was also checking out thegradcafe.com for information about wait times, acceptance/rejection ratios and general conversations about applying to graduate schools for Literature, Composition, and Rhetoric. I had made the conscious decision not to check these forums before getting my applications together. That was both a wise and unwise decision. Had I known that one of my schools only accepts one student with an outside M.A. I would have saved the money on the application. (A similar realization for my friend[…]

I occasionally wonder if I take my work seriously. Sometimes, when I’m researching or writing, I find the thread of a theme and I grab on for dear life, pulling, stretching, and, ultimately, tying myself up in knots. Then (and it always happens) I get a big “shit-eating” grin on my face and slice through everything like I’m Alexander the Great and my paper idea is the whole fucking world. I never wonder if I take myself seriously. I do not, and sometimes, that comes through in my academic work. I worry that eventually someone will ask me, “are you making fun of what we do?” Not really, but I can’t deny, that occasionally, I like to, as the French[…]

While I was in Seattle, I got a chance to do a little research at the University of Washington. Their library is huge and intimidating, yet everyone was wonderfully accommodating. In their Special Collection area I was able to go through two volumes of Japanese school readers from 1908 and 1903. Near the end of my browsing, with unlimited enthusiasm but limited Japanese, I came across this scene (pictured above) from “Momotaro” in one of the katakana readers:   I reads (if I translated correctly): The cart had treasure. The dog pulled enyaraya. The monkey pushed from behind enyaraya. The pheasant pulled the rope enyaraya. It’s a simple stanza that uses a familiar scene from a popular story to help[…]

Now, that doesn’t mean I won’t at some indefinite time in the future. The only reason for not having watched it thus far is that it came out at the same time I was edging into my thirties and felt the need to distance myself from my own teen angst. The reason I bring this up is to establish that I’m no Joss Whedon hater, I loved Firefly, but there has yet to be a compelling reason to launch into binge watching another show. (Have you seen my To-Be-Watched list on My Anime List? NO? It’s secret!) Anyway, scrolling through Twitter I came across a thread describing the early Wonder Woman script that Whedon wrote. Another disclaimer, I have not[…]