Tuesday, April 21, 2009

C.S.A.: Confederate States of America

This was a film that was hard to grasp considering the contrast between comedy and the utter disbelief of the topic of slavery. Oftentimes it seems that our country has a difficult time talking about slavery and its impact it has created throughout our country. Although slavery seems very far off from my generation, it really hasn't been that long since African Americans were free. This film dealt with the concept of what the world would be like if the South had won the civil war. Although it was consumed with a great deal of humor, it is a very scary concept to think about. What would the war be like if there were slaves? It's extremely hard to consider since much of my generation is much more accepting of different beliefs and have a contrasting belief to the people during that era. The interesting thing about the film, is that although is it not factual, there are a great deal of events and products that were prevalent during that time. That is what made this film so believable and all the more scary to picture. Prior to this class I never heard of this film, but I think it is an important contribution to the notion of slavery. I find our country to frequently dismiss the idea of slavery, and we need more pieces to contribute to our understanding of this extensive and intrusive era in history.

Performances of Pain: Women and Triathlons," Erin Striff

This lecture was very interesting to see. I never looked at the performance of pain, and more specifically, how woman are portrayed through this. Erin's lecture pointed out how woman who were photographed were oftentimes smiling and very welcoming, while males seemed to take pictures which defined the male qualities of aggression and athleticism. This is a very intriguing contrast from one another, despite the similar obstacles they must endure to complete such a task. The Iron Man, more specifically, is an event that is intensely gruesome. Through the video of Julie Moss competing in the 1982 Ironman, I was amazed at the sense of determination she endured in order to complete such an overwhelming phenomena. The Ironman ultimately tests the limits of the body, and it is clear that this competition shows the immense stamina needed in order to even complete it. Mrs. Striff also pointed out how there is no Ironwoman, but the competition remains Ironman despite the attendance of females in the competition. Oftentimes anything athletic is considered a male domain, and I wonder if this is due to the history of gender roles. In the past, the males were the hunters for the family, while the woman stayed at home doing domestic work. Is this innate history part of the everlasting impact that we still associate with male and female roles, and more specifically in triathons? I think this would be an interesting idea to explore more intently in order to grasp the fuller depth of this identity.