Wednesday, January 24, 2007

John Lennon, War, and Peace

Our blog, the obscene machine, is part of a set of required readings for English 725, a graduate seminar in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at San Diego State University and for English 493, an upper-division literature course. These experimental university seminars are focused on "ethnic mannequins," "obscene machines" and other fictional constructs that mimic something called the "human." Imagine a course that fuses elements of a literature symposium, a film seminar, and a media studies colloquium with the heart of an ethnic studies course and the soul of a cultural studies conference and you have our two classes!

Because this class will in the coming weeks repeatedly tangle with movies, literature, photography, and graphic narrative, it is also a class very much invested in pursuing any text that either 1. asks good questions on the interaction of word and image; and 2. performs some new take on word and image interaction in thhe creative arts--between "asking" and "performing" one always finds what we can call literature, this being an English grad seminar and all.

All this preface by way of an intro to the work of Josh Raskin and his short, short, animated gloss of an interview with John Lennon. In particular, as you watch, ask the following question: Why does Raskin depict Jerry Levitan, the interviewer, as a ventriloquist doll?


  1. I watched this little beauty many, many times. . .guess you could say that I was completely enthralled by her -and the creator of her. Very ahead of his time.

  2. I worked on an advanced screening of "The U.S. vs John Lennon." Really interesting stuff and really eye opening as well. It's amazing to think how similar things are becoming in reference to the war. He said everything that we wish to do or say.