Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Grotesquely Fascinating Stereotyping

One of our talented e493 undergraduates has weighed in with a link!

To: bnericci@mail.sdsu.edu
Subject: South of the Border
Date: Fri, 16 Feb 2007 05:03:07 -0500

Greetings Professor Nericcio,

Apparently there was a party at Santa Clara University that "sparked outrage" among members of the Multicultural Center as well as school officials. I wanted to share since it fit right in with our studies under the heading of "Grotesquely Fascinating Stereotyping."

Caitlin Petrakovitz | ENGL 493


of course, it has happened again! Thanks to Stephen W. Bender for the headsup! A CNN video will be here until CNN yanks it. Viva la fiesta, I guess!?

Sunday, May 06, 2007

I have seen the future of the world wide web and it's making me smile...

With a massive tip of the sombrero to the folks at drawn.ca for the headsup on this curious, dynamic, and diverting youtube video.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Frantz Fanon, Skin Bleaching, Capital, and the Epidermal as Existential...

Late, but salient, Dan Barlow checks in with a post that will "scare you white."

Date: Thu, 3 May 2007 11:56:21 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: English 725: last minute blog work
From: "Dan Barlow"
To: bnericci@mail.sdsu.edu

Dear Professor Nericcio,

Perhaps it is too late for blog entries, but it occurred to me that I've only submitted one thus far. Here is one of scanty proportion that is nonetheless extremely interesting and relevant to issues of racial constructions in the media--something into which you know I am heartily indulging for my seminar paper. Simply put, here's a website touting a salable skin whitening product akin to Fanon's so-called "denegrification" serum...Hollywood's secret remedy for melanocytic malediction:

PS: It even turns nipples pink!

Thanks again and again for everything!!!

Dan Barlow

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Gustavo Arellano and Ask a Mexican

Our cadre of graduate student correspondents never cease in their mission to scour the web for ethnic mannequin and obscene machine tidbits of note; here Julie Nares files a timely Reuters story:

To: bnericci@mail.sdsu.edu
From: Julie Nares
Subject: interesting article
Date: Tue, 1 May 2007 23:36:45 -0700

Hey Dr. Nericcio! I know it is too late for posting anything on the blogs or anything like that, but I thought you might find this article interesting. I know you have heard of the column "Ask A Mexican" but especially in light of today's discussion on laughter and the perpetuation of stereotypes, I thought Arellano had some interesting thoughts on the subject. He notes that his column constantly gets questions addressing Mexicans by derogatory, yet common slurs, such as "beaners" or "greasers." He deals with these obviously racist people with humor. It is almost as if he recognizes that within laughter lies the problem of perpetuating stereotypes but he also finds the solution to curtailing them. He also recognizes that most people get defensive and angry when they believe they are being made fun of and deals with that with humor too. All in all, I think this author and article is interesting enough to forward to you and to others (?). Hope you enjoy it!

Julie Nares

Here is the link:
PS - Note that the article was under the "Oddly Enough" headline of my Google homepage. I am not sure what to make of someone categorizing this article and man as "odd" because what he is attempting to do seems anything but odd to me.

Spike Lee's Bamboozled, by Kimberly Hart

Kimberly Hart writes in with a brief dispatch on Spike Lee's Bamboozled:

Date: Tue, 01 May 2007 14:17:38 -0700
From: "Kimberly R. Hart" khart@
To: bnericci@mail.sdsu.edu
Subject: Engl 725 Blog potential

Hi Professor Nericcio,

So many things seem to pertain to this class and I don't know why I didn't think of this until now. I saw this film in a black studies course in undergrad and thought it was very interesting and provacative--it's the Spike Lee film, "Bamboozled," that came out in 2000. It's based around an ivy-league educated black writer for a major TV network. He becomes frustrated in being unable to pitch a "Cosby-esque" show and so as a sort of backlash, he creates a blackface minstrel show. The irony is that it becomes a huge hit. What is interesting within this movie is that instead of white actors in blackface, there are black actors in blackface. I thought that this went along quite well with the theme of mannequins and the notion of how we see the black body in media. Although disturbing, I thought the movie was well done, definately making a bold statement. People should see it! Kimberly Hart

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Will Eisner and Sei Shonogon and Peter Greenaway

"I have found that there are but two things in life which are dependable: the delights of flesh and the delights of literature."
-Sei Shonagon

In the Shonagon inspired film, The Pillowbook, Peter Greenaway asks if these two things are actually much closer to being a single delight. It seems that the late comic legend, Will Eisner, might agree with Greenaway on this topic. Though Eisner is best known as a comic book publishing pioneer and creator of what is arguably thought of as the very first superhero, The Spirit, he has also published quite a few books about the act of graphic storytelling. These books are hailed by today’s most successful and popular comic book writers as must-reads for anyone interested in playing with image and narrative. In essence, it’s comic theory. On pages 14 and 15 of Comics and Sequential Art, Eisner relates the inherent similarities between human bodies and the characters employed in writing with special attention paid to Chinese characters.


Nathan Leaman Calls in with a Posting

Last week, on a very special 30 Rock:

Mandingo was a very sensational, very 1970’s treatment of an oft-repressed moment in American history. Slavery, sexual exploitation, racial oppression—it seems the seventies viewed these issues with equal parts scandal and voyeurism. How, then, do we view these issues today? How do we deal? Apparently with comedy. The running subplot of the critically acclaimed NBC sitcom, 30 Rock, depicts a slightly insane black comic uber-celebrity (think one part Martin Lawrence, one part Eddie Murphy, three parts himself), played by Tracy Morgan, who discovers that not only is he a direct descendent of Thomas Jefferson, but that he is actually 60% white– damn Gina! Throughout the next few episodes, Morgan’s character struggles to launch a new movie project featuring himself playing multiple roles as Thomas Jefferson, his slave, their son, Robert E. Lee and just about every other character needed for the movie. Talk about your black skin, white masks!! It’s actually quite a funny show and most recent episodes can be viewed online for anyone without a television like me. Besides, where else can you find Alec Baldwin dressed as our third president flipping off the audience of the Montel Williams Show quoting Star Wars movies?