Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Foucault's reference to child molestation...?

In Foucault's History of Sexuality on pages 31-32 (approx) there is a passage about a "simple-minded" adult farm hand who is institutionalized for paying young girls in exchange for sexual favors. Foucault says "So it was that our society...assembled around these timeless gestures, these barely furtive pleasures between simple-minded adults and alert children, a whole machinery for speechifying, analyzing, and investigating" (pg 32). So is Foucault saying that both the act itself and the sectretive, scientific manner by which the act is discussed (literally the words used to describe the act) is wrong? Or is he saying that just the way it is discussed is wrong? I was uncertain b/c it seemed that Foucault thinks the act of child molestaion is not immoral in this case b/c it is an "everyday occurance" (pg 31) in village life. Also, the way Foucault describes the "simple-minded adults and alert children" leads me to believe that he is reversing the role of child and adult. The adult is thus the one in need of protection, unaware of himself or his acts, and the child is the one in power with control of the situation. If my understanding of this is correct, then Foucault is saying that the young girl is in fact taking advantage of the ignorant farm hand and not the opposite. Or he is implying that this act is a normal, mutually beneficial exchange between two individuals with no ill effects in either case until authorities stepped in to distrupt matters. Whether the girl would willingly give out sexual acts for money (with no ill effects towards her mental health) or not it seems disturbing to me that Foucault's sympathies lie more with the farm hand (an adult male) than the "little girl". Foucault also states that since adult women denied the farm hand sexual acts b/c he was a "half-wit," he had no other choice than to get sexual favors from the little girls who didn't know any better. That explanation kind of disturbs me too. So I wasn't sure if Foucault was condemning the act, the way the case was handled in regard to the treatment of the farm hand, or the way the entire manner is discussed.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

For those of you who have a few minutes to explore....

Since my last exciting post about cyber exploration was taking too much screen space, I have decided to move it to my own blog and redirect the reader there. Why not use the web for it's intended puropose and explolit the utility of hypertext?

Here's the URL:

But, I can't resist posting this revisionist imagery:

Monday, October 17, 2005

"El Velo de Berta" - "The Veil of Berta" - Tuesday, October 18, 7pm

Dear fellow bloggers, in respond to so much talked and readings about Marxism, Bartheism, Faucaultism ...etc, here I am inviting you to a movie. This is a movie that to me bring some insightfull thoughts about how one of the several revolutionary indigenous movement of our American continent, complicates the marxist ideology that in many ways capitalizes on the notions of revolution....


"El Velo de Berta"
"The Veil of Berta"

A film about the Mapuche resistance to the RALCO Dam on the Bio Bio River in Chile.

Jeannette Paillán
Mapuche filmmaker
will be at the screening

Tuesday, October 18, 7pm
New College Theater
777 Valencia Street
San Francisco

For more information call: 415-643-8210
or e-mail

Co-sponsored by New College Media Studies MA Program

“ The Veil of Berta", is a delicate narration of the story of Berta Quintreman, an elderly indigenous women who at the age of 88 lead the last group opposing the constrtuction of the Ralco project, a gigantic dam that will stop the flow of the Bio Bio River, and flood the land where her native Mapuche Pewenche community, Ralco Lepoy, have lived for centuries. A woman with a strong personality and a unique blend of humor and energy, Berta lives alone on her small pieces of land, and observes all the traditions of her people. On a daily basis she greets the trees and the sun, takes mate ( a typical herbal tea) with her dead and says her prayers. But at the same time she confronts the authorities of Endesa and the government, manages to halt the machinery and works together with other families to prevent the flooding of their land.

Joris Ivens Competition IDFA 2004- Holland

Ramsar – Award, Best Documentary
V Festival Ecofilms, Greece

1st Mention of the Jury
3 Continents Film Festival, Italy

Jeannette Paillán, Director of the Mapuche community organization Lulul Mahuida, is a Mapuche filmmaker and journalist. She served as festival coordinator of the 7th Festival of Indigenous Film and Video (2004, Santiago, Chile). Her films have been screening internationally since 1994, and her documentary Wallmapu was awarded at the 2003 Human Rights Film Festival in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Wallmapu (2002) is the first documentary entirely directed and produced by Mapuche. It is the first historical film of Chile from the indigenous perspective. "The Veil of Berta" is her latest film.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

a little late...

I had wanted to mention this while we were reading Barthes but i just got on the blog recently after much difficulty. It happened that during the weeks of reading mythologies i was also reading a lot about General Idea, an art collaborative and gay menage trio from Toronto in the 70's and 80's who made some really radical work at that time. I found that the single text referenced (and referenced heavily) in writings about the group was Barthes Mythologies. Reading these two in conjunction was really interesting, Barthes for providing a deeper understanding of General Idea, and General Idea for providing an antidote to the tedious use of myth described by Barthes. In General Idea myth becomes self aware, it is in fact a tool they use in their perpetual re-invention of themelves and elements surrounding them. General idea takes myth and twists it up in this totally complicated, beautiful way. I suggest for anyone who has found themselves thinking about Mythologies a lot, to look at General idea, their writings, and writings on them.
(this address below is an article on them, but there is better information in books in the library, and their publication FILE magazine)

Saturday, October 15, 2005

For the love of a higher power

As you may or may not know, my love for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim runs as red as my blood. I fucking love them. and if any of you are watching the ALCS series against the white sox then you should all be as upset as i am. the first bad call happened agaisnt josh paul in game 2 when the score was tied in the 9th inning and the batter was called out on strike three swinging. the ball was ALMOST thrown in the dirt but paul caught the ball without it touching the dirt. the runner ran to first and was called safe after the home plate umpire clearly motioned the batter was out. that set the stage for extra innings and a white sox victory.

the second bad call has just occurred in game 3. steve finley was batting with runners on first and third when he grounded to second to end the inning on a double play. HOWEVER, finley clearly hit the catchers glove with his bat when he hit the ball. that should have been catcher interference, resulting in bases load and 1 out. but it was botched.

now, afer these two huge mistakes, the umpiring crew for this series needs to be dealt with. however, they will not. for fans such as myself who want to see the angels go to the world series, it is a crock. the fucking umpires will go on with life like nothing happened and i will sit in my apartment loathing them for all etrnity. fucking a. now, instant replay in baseball is non existant at the moment but these two examples are prime canidates for the implementation of instant replay. i hear, "i dont believe in instant replay" from many critics and ball players included. but give me a fucking break. how could you not want insant replay after something like this happens. the angels already lost one game due to idiodic error. they are currently losing the second one due not entiely to error but partly. this is a BIG series. its the playoffs. next comes the world series. dont let it happen to your team like its happened to mine. stand up for instant replay.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Teachers 4 Social Justice - Free Conference / Sat. Oct. 15, 2005

In light of our last reading about "Docile Bodies" I thought some of you might be interested in attending this free conference. Visit their website for registration.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

crime and punishment

If we are going to have a judical system which evovles around crime and punishment, and then take away the punishment aspect of it, it further inhibits the system, either come up with a completely different judicial system that emaphisizes the idelogy behind the law rather thatn emphasizing the punishment, instead we are mixing and macthing elements from new and old judicial systems, which won't work.

Monday, October 10, 2005

the spectacle of the trial

During the Foucault reading I kept wondering what his take on these "celebrity" trials like O.J. Simpson would have been. Anyhow at one point he claims that "[the execution no longer reflects the social status of the criminal]". I know that only 2 of the 85 people executed in 2000 were women (is that a wierd thing to know?) but I don't know statistics about race, class I was thinking that perhaps it might be that class is still reflected in who is executed. In the context of the reading this may have not been his point anyhow, I don't remember, but I thought it might be something interesting to find out.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Louis Althusser

In trying to think of something to engage in critically while reading the Althusser piece I found myself at a loss. I think much of the first portion is communicating simple ideas that are not only written in an abstract manner but are in fact simple enough to be taken for granted. Or maybe it just appears that way. Althusser presents his ideas as fact so it is easy to just say "okay...sure 'no production is possible which does not allow for the reproduction of the material conditions of production'...absolutely...why not." Furthermore when someone says "Their index of effectivity (or determination), as determined by the determination in the last instance of the base, is thought by the Marxist tradition in two ways..." who am I to argue?

Progress of Shaving Technology

Perhaps I am a bit delayed in making this post, as well as a bit redundant, but this evening I was struck by a commercial for razors. I remember in class we briefly discussed the marketing of razors as "new and improved" products by simply adding more vibrating blades. The commercial I viewed this evening was not only marketing these "improvements" but specifically marketed them towards women. The words "specially engineered for a woman" still rings in my ears. And what is different about this razor? Dose it ooze estrogen into your skin to stabilize moods? Absolutely not. The difference is that instead of a masculine black blue or green, this razor, created with women, in mind is pink.