March 31, 2005

Annoyance was Never So Well Crafted

I wanted to gnaw my pen, my fingers, my arm. I gnashed my teeth and roared at the utter idiocy of these cookie-cutter characters. "Here We Are" was soooooooo annoying. At least - I mean. I mean, you could feel the sexual repression cloaking the newlyweds. I mean, the unnamed flat characters just couldn't tell each other how they felt at all and so the female part of the couple resorted to stereotypical feminine manipulation. I mean, she basically rewrote everything the male counterpart of the couple said. I mean, she would get so cross and extreme that he would feel obliged to change his tune just to keep the peace. I mean, he played along his stereotypical idiot male line too. I mean - sex on the brain, eager to please. I mean, I mean, I mean, ARRRRRGGGGGHHHH. This story really got to me. Annoyance was never so well crafted.

Posted by JohnHaddad at 3:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Toomer's Bloody Moon

Louisa, a lovely African Amercian young lady loves and is loved by both Tom Burwell, a huge bad black man, and Bob Stone, white son of the family Louisa works for. Toomer shows us the thoughts of both men and Louisa but there is much confusion in the thoughts of all. In the end, after Tom has killed Bob, and the mob burns Burwell alive, Louisa is left alone in the world. More than likely, she is now unemployed and probably rejected by the factory town as well. The full moon is shown as a bad omen and the whole setting reminds the audience of the times, probably around the early 1900s since "high powered cars" were used in searching out Burwell. The story is tragic, the imagery powerful, and the action intense and quick.

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Posted by JohnHaddad at 3:14 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 29, 2005

You’re SEX Ugly SEX Too SEX!!!

Was anyone else’s reading like this!?! Every other word that surrounded this sex-starved teacher’s story was sensual. From her thoughts of how animals mate to phrases of sexual orientation such as ‘he’s fun and straight’ to even the unlikely sensuality depicted from Zoë plucking out her one chin hair! This particular bathroom scene, juxtaposed with a couple fooling around in the adjoining bedroom was rife with sexual overtones. I mean come on, as the protagonist is stabbing into her delicate flesh, with a pointy object, blood is oozing out…all while the couple in the next room is lying on the bed and giggling and cradling each other. I don’t think I’m reading too much into this, but let’s look a little more into this story for evidence. We get the intimate details of Zoë's sister’s sex life, or lack therefore, as well as a visual of Evan's naked husband. Zoë's date, Earl, comes dressed as a naked woman whose anatomy keeps being mentioned over and over and who makes a joke about a doctor having sex with his secretary and makes the drunken statement, "Hormones sprayed around, and now men are screwing rocks." We see the word 'marriage' about as much as we see a period, and we get to hear all about the fooling around of Zoë's bad date (footsies and kneesies ring a bell anyone)? Is this piece about more than just sex? Sure, but it’s hard to miss, and in my opinion, this is a main theme of the story. There are numerous more bits of evidence floating around in my head, but I’d like to see what Tiff and the class come up with as well. Trackback line:
Posted by JohnHaddad at 5:28 PM | Comments (5)

March 17, 2005

Why are Beautiful Women Bonkers?


So why are beautiful women crazy!?! Blanche is introduced as being delicately beautiful in the first scene. She is also exhibiting some rather crazy behavior. Obviously, by the end of the story we see that she is completely bonkers, but regardless of whether we see the barbaric Stanley as the cause of her eventual total breakdown with reality or not, her grasp at reality has been slipping since the beginning. Now the first Yahoo! Search hit revealed this interesting quote, “What makes beautiful women more likely to be crazy? The simple answer is, that they are given more opportunity to be crazy, and crazy behavior seems to be more readily accepted from them.” While the site isn’t exactly academic in nature I think this is certainly true in Blanche’s case. Blanche is offensive and yet is left of the hook. She calls her sister’s house horrible, drinks Stanley’s liquor, accuses Stella of not being glad to see her, and then calls her fat! We get glimpse of her lunacy in the following statements. “I was so exhausted by all I’d been through my-nerves broke. I was on the verge of lunacy, almost!" "As you must have noticed-I'm not very well..." "And I stayed at Belle Reve and tried to hold it together! …but all the burden descended on my shoulders." Additionally, the habit of voicing inappropriate outbursts and then quickly apologizing or ranting crazily almost in stream of consciousness seems a little more than mere personality. Blanche is obsessed about her appearance, in the beginning fussing all over herself to whoever would listen and later sly refusing to let Mitch see her in the daylight. While Stella does initially confront her sister’s lunacy, saying, “stop this hysterical outburst…” she falls far short of helping her sister until the climax of the story when in desperation she resorts to the last alternative, sending her to the mad house, a mansion full of beautiful women.

Posted by JohnHaddad at 5:38 PM | Comments (0)

March 3, 2005

Scrapbook from the Scribe


This semester's course has been very rewarding. I have studied Great classics that I have always wanted to read, examined anti-capitalist, anti-machine literature, and learned a fascinating legend that my Catholic brethren probably grew up with. Fitzgerald imagery was a welcomed departure and sharp contrast to the clipped expressionistic style of Elmer Rice and was the subject of my first paper as well as disagreement with a class mate. (We remained friends in the end).

Of course it was not all academic trudgery... In my wanderings I had some fun along the way.

Additionally, I expanded the horizons of my penguinesque blog and took some of Karrissa's stylistic suggestions, as well as adding some graphical enchancement.

It was a great time so far, and I'm sure the semester will continue as we study the masters of literature and look continue enjoying discussion.

Posted by JohnHaddad at 5:56 PM | Comments (0)

Ransom's Display of The Dualism of Femininity

John Crowe Ransom’s “Judith of Bethulia” was a fascinating poem. For me, it was more interesting than the others because of it’s subject matter, the heroin of the story, the Apocryphal character of Judith. Not being Catholic, I had no idea whatsoever, concerning this character. So I went online and the Catholic Encyclopedia and helped me out. For the benefit of those, like myself, who didn’t know much about this person, here’s a brief summary. When the Jews are besieged by King Nebuchadnezzar, the beautiful widow, Judith, makes herself up in order to be alluring to her enemies. She then leaves the protection of Bethulia and is promptly captured, according to plan. She is then taken to the commander, Holefernes, who becomes intoxicated with more than the woman’s beauty and lies down in his bed. Taking advantage of the man’s state, the heroin, hacks off his head, saving the day. The feminine strength of Judith makes her an incredibly interesting character. While it is obvious enough to me why this story was refused canonization by the Protestant church, (it contains geographic errors), it remains a great read. So armed with this information, I attacked the poem again, this time with a framework of understanding what I was reading. This time the line, “Her beauty was the sword” makes more sense. Man, do I love the information age! Ransom’s poems depict the power of a beautiful and wise woman. To do this he does not mind talking about her naked body, I suppose that is one obvious difference between this version of the story and the Apocryphal one. This story reminds me of the Biblical story of Esther who, like Judith, saved the Jewish people from destruction, while at the same time claiming the life of the antagonist. It also is reminiscent from a negative angle of Samson’s demise in the form of the exotic Delilah, who allures the powerful hero into telling her the secret of his strength, a secret that ends up costing the man’s life. I point out this last story because while Esther and Judith bring death by their beauty and are forever praised for it. Delilah uses her loveliness for evil. To research the author further, I threw his name into a Google search. According to Kieran Quinlan, who wrote about the poet on the University of Illinois’ English Department website, Ransom was the son of a Methodist minister and wrote pieces about religion including the author’s first book, Poems about God, and a defense of religion in God without Thunder: An Unorthodox Defense of Orthodoxy. My point is that as a Protestant, Ransom would most likely not have grown up with the story of Judith. And yet…she becomes the main character in his poem. The gory language in this poem makes me wonder if Ransom is not reminding his readers of this negative side of femininity. The macabre lines, “And now their white bones clutter the holes of foxes, and the chieftain’s head, with grinning sockets, and varnished” display this well. Also, the fourth line, “And a wandering beauty is a blade out of its scabbard,” makes me think that Ransom might be doing more than simply praising Judith. He is also making the deeper point about the dualism of femininity.

Posted by JohnHaddad at 5:30 PM | Comments (0)

State Counter

For a full explanation on how to break up the insanity of pre-Spring Break, check out Sue's blog.

Bold the states you've been to, underline the states you've lived in and italicize the state you're in now.......
Alabama / Alaska / Arizona / Arkansas / California / Colorado / Connecticut / Delaware / Florida / Georgia / Hawaii / Idaho / Illinois / Indiana / Iowa / Kansas / Kentucky / Louisiana / Maine / Maryland / Massachusetts / Michigan / Minnesota / Mississippi / Missouri / Montana / Nebraska / Nevada / New Hampshire / New Jersey / New Mexico / New York / North Carolina / North Dakota / Ohio / Oklahoma / Oregon / Pennsylvania / Rhode Island / South Carolina / South Dakota / Tennessee / Texas / Utah / Vermont / Virginia / Washington / West Virginia / Wisconsin / Wyoming /

I'm probably forgetting some but these are the ones that I remember. Mission trips with Vision Ministries International and Pastor Keith Tucci's Team Redeem over the last several years have taken me all over the states, training me up in teaching, preaching, and defense of the pre-born, expanding my horizons about what the Body of Christ looks like, as well as giving me an awesome opportunity to spread the love and salvation message of Jesus' sacrifice for all. It was a great time. This summer, however, I think I'm just staying home. My home church, City Church of Connellsville, being mentored by Harvest Church in Louisiana, is really taking off in the G12 Vision model of evangelizing and it's incredible how we are working out the Scriptural command to win souls and make disciples of the nations, even in the summer time!

Posted by JohnHaddad at 4:12 PM | Comments (0)