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Sean Lennon, What Are You Doing?

In Don Dissociate on September 8, 2009 at 4:33 pm

rolling-stone-john-lennon-yoko-ono-345x447 sean-lennon-purple-terry-richardson

Stumbled upon this article today. Here Sean Lennon and photographer Terry Richardson imitate a famous photo (by Annie Leibovitz, if the nakedness and Rolling Stone logo aren’t clue enough). Naturally, I read the comments posted by the site’s visitors before bothering to form my own opinion about the photo, Lennon, or recreations of classic icons in general (I still cringe at modern VW Bugs). Naturally, I say, because I’m surfing the internet and can’t be much bothered by original thought.

What interests me about the reaction of fellow surfers is their tendency to jump to conclusions when alternatives are just as available. The most common critique of the photo is that it misses the point of the original.

User Plaid Lemur says:

They missed what was beautiful about the first photo. John is nearly fetal, showing a complete trust and devotion to Yoko. One of the truly beautiful things about it is that it’s John who’s naked and vulnerable, whereas Yoko is clothed—a reversal of the societal norm then and now. The second photo is nothing more than the male taking his normative role along with the female, neglecting the slightly jarring contrast to what’s expected in male/female relationships.

A fair cop, but aren’t Plaid and the other commenters missing something, too? Regardless of the fact that this new photo is a re-imagining of the the Lebowitz shot, it is still a new photo. Similarly, Sean Lennon may be his father’s son, but he is also his own artist. Should the question asked be “how well does the new photo encapsulate the first?” Should we not instead ask “what does the new photo say that the first does not?” Sean Lennon is not naked, he is not fetal, he is well dressed and in a dominant pose. His partner is his girlfriend, but the aesthetics of her pose bespeak a model’s professionalism, not a lover’s intimacy. Her contribution is superficial. Her personality is irrelevant. To me this photograph speaks not only the differences between John and Sean, but to the cynicism of the world today compared to the world as John imagined.

To me this photograph says “this is what you get.”

That said, it’s rather dull isn’t it?

Welcome Back!

In Don Dissociate on August 27, 2009 at 3:46 pm

Fall is here. We are back and so are you. Class was bound to happen. As we are all gradually scaling down our drinking habits to loosely accommodate our new schedules, allow me to share with you some gems from opening week to let you get a taste of the new semester.

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“We are in love with what we think. We have to be, otherwise how could we put one foot in front of the other?”

Student: “Is this ‘a’ (a variable in a schema of existential philosophy) the same as that ‘a’? Are they equal?”
Teacher: “Yes. Well, no. It’s hard to say. Things are always changing meanings.”

(After 35 minutes of lecture)
“Do we have to know all this?
Teacher: “Oh, no! You don’t have to know any of this.”

This was all from one class on one day. By the way, English 4060 is hard.

Real content coming soon…

Ease On Gently Down That Good Road

In Don Dissociate on June 25, 2009 at 6:32 pm

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Hard to believe its been almost two months since our last blog. Hard, because the sleepless nights of final exam season an the poisonous sex-blur of early summer parties have made every day since ambiguous and interchangeable. During my sabbatical I spent a lot of time on teh internets, exploring with timid, journalistic curiosity the terrible and perverse worlds of message board subculture. Let me tell you, there are dark places on the web, available for anyone with proxy servers, a taste for strange, and no god to answer to, and I was ready to open the door to all of them for you, my readers. And, then, today happened.

———

Michael Jackson is dead.

Prior to this, the most important thing that happened to me today was blowing the mind of a blogger at Geekologie and discovering Oklahoma has had an NBA team for a whole year without my notice (Pros in Oklahoma? Seriously?).

Then came the Facebook/Twitter shit-storm of unconfirmed reports that the King of Pop died from a heart attack. Followed, of course, by reports from all the major news outlets that he was, in fact, in a coma. All, things considered, the coma felt like a miraculous recovery!

Unbelievable. I just watched The Wiz two days ago.

Now as conflicting reports are coming in, and everyone but the media seems to know the truth, I can help but think about this report, which dropped about 20 minutes before the first TMZ report on MJ’s (near?)death went out.

According to the Billboard article, MJ was preparing for his 50 upcoming sold-out shows in London, for which he stood to earn up to $50 million.

“Originally we tried to keep the show down to 90 minutes, but Michael has so many must-do songs in his repertoire that the shows now will be two-plus hours,” AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips tells Billboard”

Knowing the futility of such questions, I can’t help but ask “is that what killed you?” Practicing for longer and longer shows that your fans had already paid to see? Giving your us everything we could want for (what now seems a meager) $115 ticket? Did you die for us? Did we kill you?

Is “Thriller” now viable as an apocalypse-scenario?

-d.

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Note: As I’m writing this the facts are still few. The attitude in Columbia nd elsewhere seems to be to accept the worst.

Butch up!

In Don Dissociate, Uncategorized on April 27, 2009 at 7:28 pm

I was informed last week by this gentleman that the effeminate will not inherit God’s kingdom. No, its not enough simply being straight these days; any man or boy who has not soundly rejected every trait, characteristic, manner and behavior that might inadvertently remind God of women does so at the risk of his eternal soul.

To make matters worse, the sorts of characteristic considered effeminate vary over time and across cultures. While there’s no telling whose rules God expects us to follow, that ambiguity does leave room for a few loopholes. I implore you, my brothers, to either destroy or re-appropriate all potentially feminine characteristics before it’s too late.

Here’s a few suggestions to get the ball rolling.

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1. Cologne, scented shampoos or body wash

Can you seriously afford to stand before God and admit you love to smell pretty for $70 a bottle?

What can be done?: Congress passes a law banning the sale of perfumed products to women. It may also be prudent to prevent them from bathing but once a week. In time, smelling nice will be exclusively associated with masculinity, and women will be referred to only as the “smelly ones” if they are referred to at all.

Conclusion: with our %79 male majority in Congress, this seems like a lay-up.

2. Empathy

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Think long and hard about your immortal soul next time you cry at the end of Jerry Maguire.

What can be done?: Reclaiming empathy as a masculine quality will be trickier than you think. Giving a crap how another person feels means less preoccupation with ourselves. And, next thing you know our kids can’t play smear the queer in their backyards, and we can’t post nudes of our ex-girlfriends online. Videogames of many sorts are also out of the question.

Conclusion: Best to just rid ourselves of empathy altogether. It really takes the fun out of dominance.

3. Dancing

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A man dances only when bullets are shot at his feet. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a queer in need of some instructive smearing.

What can be done?: Already in motion! Over the years the art of dance has devolved from complex maneuvers in elegant ballrooms to standing still, smacking our groins against the backsides of women whose faces we never have to see sober.

One notable exception – the end-zone dance (see: Dominance).

Solution: Don’t worry, gentlemen. We’ve got this.

-d.

MIZZOU’s Queer Issues

In Don Dissociate on April 14, 2009 at 1:00 am

From The Maneater:

“A Missouri Students Association referendum to include “gender identity and expression” into the organization’s non-discrimination clause passed Wednesday with 82 percent of the vote.”

Yoko thinks this is terrible. She swears if transsexuals “go all mainstream” she’ll go back to being a boy. Nobody wants that.

I voted for the referendum, of course, marking April 6th as the first time I voted for anything related to student government in my long, long academic career, and it’s kind of interesting to know that 2,297 others agreed with me enough to do the same. Although, now I walk through the crowds on campus pre-occupied with who they were (that guy… that girl… not that guy).

But, mostly I wanted to revisit the wording of it on the ballot. Admittedly, I have no idea of the structure or responsibilities of MSA, but isn’t

there someone responsible for ensuring that the wording of referendums are as unbiased as possible? The actual words on the ballot were as follows:

Do you support adding “gender identity and expression” into Article XII (the Statement of Non-Discrimination) of the Missouri Students Association’s constitution in order to protect gender non-conforming students from facing discrimination and to support the larger effort to offer equal opportunity to all students?

Given the language of the question, a vote of “No.” directly implies that you are actually in favor of discrimmination! It simply articulates the “pro” side of the argument without, I feel, really addressing anything as substantive from the views of the opposition.It’s ironic, because to be frank the opposition did as much or more to ensure this vote passed. Marcus Bowen’s article ignorantly blasting the idea was the first expousure a lot of people I know ever had of it. He gave a real, punchable face to precisely the problem he refused to even acknowledge. He deserves our thanks, just not sincerely:

Marcus Bowen's very punchable face

So, who are the 483 pricks who voted “No.”?

– Don Dissociate