Thursday, May 27, 2010

Blog Entry 24: Sleep Dealer and the Copper-top Life

Blog Entry 24 will be your final long blog entry (or essay) for the semester. This is an open-note, open book essay. You may use your notes, ask questions (as long as they do not distract your fellow writers), and look up terms. You may use any of our films or readings this semester and your own experience.

As always, you must properly indicate where any and all information you use comes from. To cite a quote properly, you should use quotation marks, the author’s last name and the page number. For example, if I were to quote from an article on race and The Matrix, I would write something like this: as King and Leonard argue “People of color possess particular physical characteristics through which viewers read their race; they do not, however, possess racial identities, grounded in history or community” (36).

Remember: Your primary goal for an in-class essay test is in all cases is to demonstrate an active engagement with the material of the course(s). You should have a clear claim (or position) supported with reasons and evidence. Support you argument with specific details and examples from our readings in the cluster, our films and videos, and (if the prompt does not indicate otherwise) your own unique personal knowledge.

Please write your essay using ONE of the following prompts:

1.RACE: Sleep Dealer is obviously influenced by The Matrix (among other films). What connections do you see to The Matrix and like films? What differences do you see? What do these differences say about issues of race, for example Sleep Dealer is a Mexican-American production--What elements or themes in the film mark it as “particularly Latino” or “particularly Mexican”? What does Sleep Dealer have to say about the rural life versus urban life?

2. SOCIAL CLASS: In "The Matrix, Marx, and the Coppertop's Life (TMAP 216-224), Danahay and Reider argue that the Matrix (at least the first film) is not really about a revolution and that the directors use lots of tricks to actually make us want to be in the Matrix. What are these tricks? Do you agree with Danahay and Reider? Then, compare The Matrix to Sleep Dealer. How does Sleep Dealer address some of the same issues? What does Sleep Dealer have to say about class, work, and technology?

3. GENDER: The father of psychology, Sigmund Freud argues that all women go through a period where they recognize that little boys have a penis and they do not. They also recognize, based on the roles of “mommy” and “daddy”, that men have more “power” than women. From this observation, according the Freud, girls begin to “envy” the fact that boys and men have a penis that leads to power. They then desire a penis of their own, but the only way they can have one in real life is to a) possess or control their father, b) possess or control a male mate, or c) have a male child to possess and control, or c) buy a lot of guns of their own and blow shit up (OK, that last one was not exactly Freud, but he would have said it if he was alive today). Considering the films that you have seen in the cluster and (not “or”) drawing on your own experience of films, television, and life in general does Hollywood portray women as suffering from “penis envy”?

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