Sunday, October 30, 2005

Tits, Fence, the 3rd Wave, Cleaning

I. Alt-Porn and Fence

How do folks feel about the cover of Summer 2005 issue of Fence? My feelings about porn--alt porn etc--are complicated and probably not terribly uh, specific to me.

And even if I didn't have a personal aversion to porn....Well, it seems worth noting, duh, that a poetry magazine has alt-porn on its cover and then a link to an alt-porn site with lots of cred in the pop-alt world.

I'm not sure why suicide girls is feminist. Yes: you can have market sex appeal even if you're an alt-girl with dark hair and piercing. But that's more about niche-marketing and cultural management than Feminism. If I had my notes to Empire by Hardt and Negiri I could be more articulate about "cultural management."

But I have some. Here:

"We have thus arrived at a series of distinctions that conceptually mark the passage from modern to imperial sovereignty: from the people to the multitude, from dialectical opposition to the management of hybridities, from the place of modern sovereignty to the non-place of Empire, from crisis to corruption." (This is in Part II. I think on page 207.)

Right. Alt-porn=a hybridity. Or am I, like, way out of touch with the third wave? Economic equality is by no means a done deal. But I'm all for the Riot Grrrls and Buffy. And I'm all for the idea of complicating, confusing, questioning what it means to be female, feminine, etc--and that includes playing up and playing with excessive or new forms of traditional femininity (does that sentence cancel itself out?). I enjoy the fact that people often assume I'm a cute bimbo--it makes it that much more devastating and shocking when they find I'm not.

But people still like looking at our tits even when we're displaying them ironically and they'll pay money for it. As Rebecca Wolff notes, tits sell better than almost any thing else. Yup, ok. So put them on a poetry magazine and maybe you'll sell more copies of the magazine. Fine. But why not devote a bit of critical thinking to the implications of this? The editor's note pauses only briefly: "I pause now to muse upon the dubious impulses that govern my own, and the average consumer's, purchases."

I want reflective risk-taking art and reflective, risk-taking criticism, too. The editors of a magazine need to worry about the aesthetic, political, and economic (yes yes) decisions they make--they don't need all the answers, but I want to know that they're at least thinking about them. Sigh.

II. My superstar Parrotlet Lester

Time to talk about Lester. Lester took two baths today. He is very clean and green. Right now he is eating hemp seeds.

III. Criticism I Heart

Speaking of reflective, risk-taking criticism, anyone in New York next weekend should check out the CUNY Conference on Contemporary Poetry. Especially this, like, way cool panel on Friday:

11:00-12:20
Segal Theater
Syntax in Text and (Gender) Performance: Cha, Ono, Waldrop, Weiner

MODERATOR: GENYA TUROVSKAYA
  • Linda V. Russo: Spaces too wide to reach the next word: Gesture and Gender in Rosmarie WaldropÂ’s Poetry
  • Kaplan Harris: Fashion Auras, Culture, and Gender Norms: The Journals of Hannah Weiner
  • Jessica Smith: Gestural Poetry: The Performance Works of Yoko Ono and Theresa Hak Kyung Cha

IV. Reasons to Clean

Me mum is coming to town on Tuesday, and my kitchen is really really messy.

V. Etc

Postmodernism is about longing. Lyric often uses a "beloved" third party in order to form a connection between "I" and "you." I swoon, but poor beloved.

1 comment:

shann said...

That explains why the local B&N didn't have a copy on the shelf- I personally think it's an idiotic cover- anyone who knows the magazine at all would laugh- even horny professors from local MFA programs would spend their pornmag budget elsewhere.

I'll have to poll my kids (17 and 21) but they don't buy lit-mags anyway.