Fortress Mind

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Lumping together Stalin and Hitler was already a sign of extreme intellectual poverty: the norm by which any collective undertaking has to be judged is, it was argued, the number of deaths it causes. If that were really the case, the huge colonial genocides and massacres, the millions of deaths in the civil and world wars through which our West forged its might, should be enough to discredit, even in the eyes of ‘philosophers’ who extol their morality, the parliamentary regimes of Europe and America. What would be left for those who scribble about Rights? How could they go on singing the praises of bourgeois democracy as the only form of relative Good and making pompous predictions about totalitarianism when the are standing on top of heaps of victims? […] It indicates that our democratic West is none too fussy about the nature of the historic fuel it uses to keep its propaganda machine running.

Alain Badiou, 'The Communist Hypothesis, What is Called Failure?'  (via bourgeoisentimentality)

How could they go on singing the praises of bourgeois democracy as the only form of relative Good and making pompous predictions about totalitarianism when the are standing on top of heaps of victims?

(via commiekinkshamer)

(Source: aidsnegligee, via justanotherwastedyouth)

…what distinguishes [the Marxist notion of class] from the sociological notion of class is that, for the former, class is precisely a differential concept, that each class is at once a way of relating to and of refusing the others. Whatever its philosophical presuppositions, the sociological view is formally wrong to the degree that it allows us to think of the individual classes in a kind of isolation from each other, with the almost physical separation of social groups in city or countryside, or as “cultures” somehow self-developing and independent from each other: for the notion of the isolated class or social group is just as surely a hypostasis as the notion of the solitary individual in eighteenth-century philosophy. In history also there are no substances tranquilly persevering in their own essence, but rather a relationality and struggle of every instant, in which class is no more free than the individual not be engaged. So it is that each class implies the existence of all the others in its very being, for it defines itself against them and survives and perpetuates itself only insofar as it succeeds in humiliating its adversaries. Thus, to use the convenient but of course very abstract tripartite formula, the bourgeois defines himself as a nonnoble and a nonworker at the same time, or better still, as an antinoble and an antiworker all in one. And with such a relational concept of class, the criterion of genuinely Marxist analysis is given also: it will necessarily imply the shock of demystification in its very structure, it always in one way or another presuppose a movement from an apparently systematic and intellectually coherent, self-contained surface to that historical situation behind it, in terms of which the ideological product under examination suddenly proves to have had a function and strategic value as a weapon of a determinate kind in a concrete and local struggle.

Fredric Jameson, Marxism and Form: Twentieth-Century Dialectical Theories of Literature, pg.380-1

(via bemusedbibliophile)

(via marxvx)

pybooty:

Coming Out Simulator 2014 - a half-true game about half-truths

Coming Out Simulator is exactly what it says it is. It’s a free-to-play conversation simulator based on/inspired by the personal story of coming out of its creator, Nicky Case.

There’s no easy answer in Coming Out Simulator, no optimal ending to be achieved if you collect the requisite amount of points. Case based the game off a pivotal moment in his own life as a teenager. And just like in real life, the moment of “coming out” in this game is traumatic no matter which way the player chooses to approach it.

Ultimately, it’s liberating as well. But that’s not what the brunt of the experience playing Coming Out Simulator is actually like. […] There’s power in exploring a fantasy like the one in Mass Effect 3, but there’s also power in being reminded that “coming out” the way one does in that game is a fantasy, and a pretty far-fetched one for many people who faced far more difficult challenges when they actually came out.

Coming Out Simulator is a game about that second experience. It’s a painful one. But it’s also a necessary one, that I think more people who’ve never had to struggle with their own sexual identity should see for themselves. 

this game made me cry omfg

(Source: peterquills, via sluttyfart)

jennerallydrawing:

A drawing of thedavidoreilly's game, Mountain. This design, along with several other fantastic designs, are available as prints on shirts and other thingies. Check it

jennerallydrawing:

A drawing of thedavidoreilly's game, Mountain. This design, along with several other fantastic designs, are available as prints on shirts and other thingies. Check it

(via p33p)

leeeeeeeeeegooooooooolaaaaaaaaas:

In the beginning the Rings of Power were created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

(via thranduil-stormborn)

paranoicoadolescentefluorescente:

Sans même devoir lui parler,
Il sait ce qu’il ne va pas.

(via superhighschoolleveldork)

2 days ago - 349

portalgifs:

NO BUT YOU ALL NEED TO UNDERSTAND HOW FUNNY THIS IS THEYRE LITERALLY FILLING A ROBOT WITH BULLETS, LIKE BULLETS THAT YOU FIRE FROM A GUN. NOW NORMALLY FIRING A GUN TRIGGERS THE BULLET TO EXPLODE CREATING A PRESSURE THAT CAUSES THE TIP OF THE BULLET TO BE FORCED OUT OF THE BARREL AT A HIGH SPEED. 

WHaT CAVE JOHNSON’S TURRET’S DO IS LOAD A TON OF FUCKING BULLETS INTO THE CASE OF THE SENTRY LIKE IT”S A GODDAMN GUMBALL MACHINE AND THEN USE A FUcKIN SPRING LOADED PISTON TO FIRE IT THAT IS SO UNNECESSARY AND INEFFECTIVE LIKE NO WONDER CHELL CAN RESIST SO MANY BULLETS THE LIKELIHOOD ITD CAUSE ANYTHING MORE THAN A BAD BRUISE IS LIKE ONE IN A HUNDRED

(Source: bustedbitmap, via gaaaaaaaaaambit)

During the packed panel at San Diego Comic-Con, the Saga writer noted that while today, Joss Whedon and George R.R. Martin are considered cultural monsters for killing off beloved characters, death used to be a more common feature of popular fiction. One problem, he believes, is that too many characters live in the hands of corporations and are therefore considered too precious to kill. Vaughn feels that takes away one of the things that makes fiction so valuable.

Brian K. Vaughn And Fiona Staples Reveal What’s Ahead For Saga (via wilwheaton)

(via wilwheaton)

(Source: toyota, via ecchers)

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Oh Lord Who Art Not In Heaven Above,

Thanks Be To Those Who Made the Naxos Music Library Available to Me

thetallblacknerd:

I loved this speech so fucking much, just agree with all of it

(Source: ted, via futtture)

I’ve decided to post my essays I’m doing for school here now

This one is for an English course, with my subject being fairy tales and their depictions of gender and how gender is perceived in fairy tales. This is a literature review.

———

The Question of Gendered Voice In Fairy-Tale Lore

The purpose of this text is to outline the voices and literature taking part in the discussion and debate surrounding gender and fairy tales. While both topics are individually front line matters of discussion, with a great deal of academic and popular discussion focusing on them, the two together have not been as prominent. Writers have very often dealt with the fairy tale as a genre in which to write (with some, such as Neal Gaiman, becoming known for it), and academics have entire fields on the topic (i.e. folklore studies); however the two have remained an aside. This review aims to collect a portion of the published works on the two topics together.
To begin, a basic knowledge of what constitutes gender is needed. Gender, for the purposes of this review, can be defined as a socio-cultural construct which defines the appearance, roles, and possible outcomes of groups of people. (World Health Organisation)¹ Gender is not synonymous with sex, as sex is not a socio-cultural construct, but a classification system based upon anatomy.
Academics
Within academia, possibly the most influential modern voice on fairy tales is Jack Zipes. In his collection of stories and essays entitled Don’t Bet on the Prince, he argues that modern feminist fairy tales were:
… created out of dissatisfaction with the dominant male discourse of traditional fairy tales and with those social values and institutions which have provided the framework for sexist prescriptions, the feminist fairy tale conceives a different view of the world and speaks in a voice that has been customarily silenced. (Xi)
Zipes believes that the feminist fairy tale, both modern and historical, were tools for the creation of a feminine identity, serving “so that women can regain a sense of their own history and possibly alter contemporary socio-political arrangements (6).”
Kathleen Ragan builds upon this by stating that for many, the idea that male control over the medium propagates a “maleness” over the reader. (228) Drawing upon the work of Bottigheimer, Dundes, Berndt & Berndt, and Stephens, Ragan argues that the approach has strength in its “ intimate understanding of narrative functions as they relate to individuals and groups (228).” Ragan uses this as the opening to her analysis of fairy- and folk-tales in regards to their depictions of gendered protagonists. She found that the gender of the story teller was related to the gender of the protagonist character, with female story tellers recounting 44% of their tales with female protagonists, while males told 8% of their tales with female protagonists.
Furthering the idea, Pierre C. Ruterana quotes Tsao in his article on children’s literature, arguing that children’s literature is a home to gender stereotypes and propagates such stereotypes and ideologies. (86) Ruterana created a case study aiming to examine the effect of a fairy tale contained in the Rwandan school curriculum that depicted a woman who did not conform to socio-cultural norms for women. Ruterana’s research suggests that female fairy tale characters that do not conform to traditional social norms are empowering for children, saying:
When female main characters are portrayed in traditionally male roles, girl readers are enthusiastic about their performances and eager to engage in the same activities as those performed by the main characters. (89)
Ruterana then develops this with the argument that children do not simply read this ideology and remain oblivious to it, but rather absorb it, quoting the work of Yitah & Komasi: “[Literature] seek[s] to inculcate in the child reader an appreciation for certain cultural values and disapprobation of undesirable behaviour (2009, 244).” He then continues to reference the works of Scott & Feldman-Summers (1979), Davies (1993;2003), Singh (1998), and Trepanier-Street & Romatowski (1999).
While the review up to this point could be interpreted as implying that women have traditionally been set aside by a male dominated field of fairy tale literature, it should be noted that, as Laurence Talairach-Vielman cites U.C. Knoepflmacher for pointing out, “Victorian women writers of fairy tales particularly emphasize the links between fairy tales & reality, insisting on ‘the reality of gender binaries’ more than their contemporary male fantasists (25). (273)”
Writers
As A.S. Byatt, perhaps building upon Tsao’s proposal that fairy tales contain stereotypical presentations of gender, points out that many of the tales serve to remind young girls of what would be considered proper for them and to accept that which happens to them. To illustrate the point, she talks about Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen within her essay Ice, Snow, Glass. (64-84) She details the brother’s fascination with mathematics, science, and logic; while the girl is supposed to remain unfriendly with those subjects and remain faithful to kindness, love, and warmth.
Margaret Atwood, in her essay Of Souls as Birds, argues against this as an overarching example of the feminine in fairy tales. She utilizes the examples of The Juniper Tree and Fitcher’s Bird as examples of female strength in fairy tales, specifically that of sisters. To explain this, she states: “Nor was it lost to me that in most of the tales I’ve mentioned, the rescuer was a sister. I was a sister myself, and was pleased to be assigned such an active role (30).” The Juniper Tree, she explains, shows the strength of a sister to enable the resurrection of her brother despite the inability of her father to even recognize the cause of conflict and malfeasance in the household.
Julia Alvarez corroborates Atwood’s belief in traditional fairy tales being strengthening for young girls, detailing her experience with Scheherazade’s tales in An Autobiography of Scheherazade. She notes that she first became interested in the book as the depiction of Scheherazade on the cover “unlike the fair princesses and pale blond or brunette heroines in the other storybooks, Scheherazade could have been a Dominican girl: dark-skinned, dark-haired, almond-eyed (8).” Alvarez continues to show how the parallels between her life and that she found as a child with Scheherazade would continue to buoy her throughout her childhood, rather than the heroines that society and her family tried to provide her with. (Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, the Virgin Mary(16))
While the scholarship and popular writings regarding gender and fairy tales are relatively united and free of major debate, finding that fairy tales propagate specific values regarding gender, the literature is with little exception on the topic of women & femininity. While this is not a negative thing, it simply serves so as to demonstrate the lack of literature on transgender, agender, and male genders.

¹ While the WHO definition is the base for the one provided here, theirs is lacking in that it is based upon the idea of a gender binary, which most gender theorists now discredit.


Works Cited

Alvarez, Julia. “An Autobiography of Scheherazade.” Mirror, Mirror on the Wall. Ed. Kate Berheimer. 1st ed., 1998. 7-7-21. Print.

Atwood, Margaret. “Of Souls as Birds.” Mirror, Mirror on the Wall. Ed. Kate Berheimer. 1st ed., 1998. 22-22-38. Print.

Byatt, A. S. “Ice, Snow, Glass.” Mirror, Mirror on the Wall.
Ed. Kate Bernheimer. 1st ed., 1998. 64-64-84. Print.

Marshall, Elizabeth. “Stripping for the Wolf: Rethinking Representations of Gender in Children’s Literature.” Reading Research Quarterly 39.3 (2004): 256,256-270. Print.

Ragan, Kathleen. “What Happened to the Heroines in Folktales? an Analysis by Gender of a Multicultural Sample of Published Folktales Collected from Storytellers.” Marvels & Tales: Journal of Fairy-Tale Studies 23.2 (2009): 227,227-247. Print.

Ruterana, Pierre C. “Children’s Reflections on Gender Equality in Fairy Tales: A Rwanda Case Study.” Journal of Pan African Studies 4.9 (2012): 85-101. Academic Search Complete. Web. 28 May 2014.

Talairach-Vielmas, Laurence. “Beautiful Maidens, Hideous Suitors: Victorian Fairy Tales and the Process of Civilization.” Marvels & Tales: Journal of Fairy-Tale Studies 24.2 (2010): 272,272-296. Print.

Zipes, Jack, ed. Don’t Bet on the Prince. Routledge, 1986. Print.