Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Jessica Rabbit, Meet Speedy Gonzales

Correspondent Tria Andrews writes in with an animated finding:

From: "Tria Andrews"
To: memo@sdsu.edu
Subject: Re: "I'm just drawn that way." (725e)

Professor Nericcio,

Tonight television trivia and the chapter from Text{t}-Mex, "Autopsy of a Rat," happened to conflate. The trivia question: "What animated character says, 'I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way?'" Answer: Jessica Rabbit. What could be more perfect or timely? This meta statement is in fact a synopsis (I think) of the discussion of Speedy Gonzales and even of Isadore Freleng or I. Freleng or Friz Freleng and his work at Warner Brothers, where he--perhaps purposefully, perhaps unconsciously--perpetuated stereotypes when he himself was a victim of anti-Semitism. Furthermore, is not the artist speaking through Jessica Rabbit (and we all know what rabbits are notorious for)? As Tex[t]-Mex argues, the author is the art--that is, the art is what the artist sees, what the she knows, the artist herself. Rephrased, the artist might say about objectified sexpot, Jessica, "'I'm not bad. I just draw that way.'"



Another student advancing the argument of Speedy, Friz and his ilk with a decidedly John Bergerian view is Sarah Smorol. Let's listen:

From: sarah smorol
To: bill nericcio
Subject: textmex, the treachery of images
Date: Tue, 27 Feb 2007 22:29:59 -0800

Dr. N.- here is something that ties in with the Tex[t]-Mex Blog-- look at these images:

Here is a painting titled The Treachery of Images by Rene Magritte. This painting inspired an essay of the same title by Michel Foucault. The depiction of the pipe is accompanied by the French words reading "This is not a Pipe". It is a painting of a pipe, of course, but it goes deeper; Magritte and Foucault explore the way that we are beholden to the visual. By this logic we might see how the visual representations we absorb, (think Speedy), fool us into cemented definitions. The Treachery of Images indeed. Magritte and Foucault understood this process and sought to chip away at the seeming reality of images and promote instead a more questioning perception of what we see, (are shown?). When considered in the context of the stereotypical images in Tex[t]-Mex which read "not Mexican", "not African" or "Not Chicano", the same loosening of dogmatic mortar happens in our minds.

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