Monthly Archives: October 2012

“… women might begin to reweave the web of visual power that already binds them by taking the unruly woman as a model–woman as rule-breaker, joke-maker, and public, bodily spectacle…. Mary Russo notes that the category of the grotesque is often projected on the female body when it makes a spectacle of itself through… violation of proper feminine bodily containment. She asks how this category might be used ‘affirmatively to destabilize the idealizations of female beauty or to realign the mechanisms of desire’ (221). In acts of spectatorial unruliness (emphasis added), I believe, we might examine models of returning the male gaze, exposing and making a spectacle of the gazer, claiming the pleasure and power of making spectacles of ourselves, and beginning to negate our own invisibility in the public sphere.”

Rowe, Kathleen Karlyn. THE UNRULY WOMAN: GENDER AND THE GENRES OF LAUGHTER. Austin: The University of Texas Press, 1995. Print. 12.


“You’re lucky I don’t take all your money considering you made me watch this all afternoon.”

Hannah (Lena Dunham) to Adam (Adam Driver) as he gets off on her watching and degrading him while masturbating, on GIRLS S1.E5 “Hard Being Easy”

“A grotesque world in which only the inappropriate is exaggerated is only quantitatively large, but qualitatively it is extremely poor, colorless, and far from gay…. What would such a world have in common with Rabelais’ merry and rich universe? Satire alone would not suffice to explain even the positive pathos of the quantitative exaggeration, not to speak of the qualitative wealth.”

Bakhtin, Mikhail. RABELAIS AND HIS WORLD. Trans. Hélène Iswolsky. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1984. Print. 308.

EW: Once BABY MAMA came out and did solid business, was there any talk of you and Amy (Poehler) doing another movie right away?

Tina Fey: No, it didn’t make enough money. I would like to do something that’s a little more at our personal taste. I feel like that movie is a pre-BRIDESMAIDS-era movie where there was just a little bit of a vibe of Everybody be niiice! Don’t have too many jokes! Wear a skirt! It’s just a little bit soft for my taste.

Baldwin, Kristen. “Tina Fey: The EW Interview”. ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY 5 Oct. 2012: 40-50. 47. Print.

John Landis grew up near (Elmer) Bernstein, and befriended him through his children. Years later, he requested Bernstein do the music for NATIONAL LAMPOON’S ANIMAL HOUSE, over the studio’s objections. He explained to Bernstein that he thought that Bernstein’s score, playing it straight as if the comedic Delta frat characters were actual heroes, would emphasize the comedy further. The opening theme to the movie is based upon a slight inversion of a secondary theme from Brahms’s ACADEMIC FESTIVAL OVERTURE. Bernstein accepted the job, and it sparked a second wave in his career, where he continued to do high-profile comedies such as THE BLUES BROTHERS, GHOSTBUSTERS, STRIPES, and AIRPLANE!, as well as most of Landis’s films for the next 15 years.”

Elmer Bernstein“. Wikipedia, n.d. Web. 7 Oct. 2012.

“That the grotesque exists has always been a given. But it is up to the culture to provide the conventions and assumptions that determine its particular forms. Culture does this by establishing conditions of order and coherence, especially by specifying which categories are logically or generically incompatible with which others…. the grotesque is becoming less and less possible  because of the pervasive, soupy tolerance of disorder, of the genre mixte…. with the emphasis, especially in literature on non-closural and heterodox works that deliberately skew traditional forms, how can any given point of mixed-mode confusion be called merely an ‘element’? The most conspicuous forms of our culture contribute to this process: in more innocent times it was possible to create a grotesque by mingling human with animal or mechanical elements; but as we learn more about the languages of animals, and teach more and more complex languages to computers, the membranes dividing these realms from that of the human begin to dissolve, and with them go the potentiality for many forms of the grotesque. In short, the grotesque–with the help of technology–is becoming the victim of its own success: having existed for many centuries on the disorderly margins of Western culture and the aesthetic conventions that constitute that culture, it is now faced with a situation where the center cannot, or does not choose to, hold; where nothing is incompatible with anything else; and where the marginal is indistinguishable from the typical. Thus the grotesque, in endlessly diluting forms, is always and everywhere around us, and increasingly invisible.”

Harpham, Geoffrey Galt. ON THE GROTESQUE: STRATEGIES OF CONTRADICTION IN ART AND LITERATURE. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1982. xx-xxi. Print.

“…. Hysterics privately enact the battle between Carnival and Lent, a battle in which the anorexic figure of Lent–a figure represented as emaciated, old and female, a figure of humourless fasting and sexual abstinence–is invariably the victor….”

Stallybrass, Peter and Allon White. THE POLITICS AND POETICS OF TRANSGRESSION. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1986. 184. Print.


“The Fight Between Carnival and Lent”, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 1559

“If all societies… that seek to produce a new man through a process of ‘deculturation’ and ‘reculturation’ set such store on the seemingly insignificant details of dress, bearing, physical and verbal manners, the reason is that, treating the body as a memory, they entrust to it in abbreviated and practical, i.e. mnemonic, form the fundamental principles of the arbitrary content of the culture.. The principles em-bodied in this way are beyond the grasp of consciousness, and hence cannot be touched by voluntary, deliberate transformation, cannot even be made explicit; nothing seems more ineffable, more incommunicable, more inimitable, and, therefore, more precious, than the values given body, made body by the transubstantiation achieved by the hidden persuasion of an implicit pedagogy, capable of instilling a whole cosmology, an ethic, a metaphysic, a political philosophy, through injunctions as insignificant as ‘stand up straight’ or ‘don’t hold your knife in your left hand’….”

Bourdieu, Pierre. OUTLINE OF A THEORY OF PRACTICE. Trans. Richard Nice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977. 94. Web.

“…. Where Bakhtin emphasized the dirt of the fair and the lower bodily stratum, the pedlar displays soap, mirrors and items of dental care, commodities of beautification (particularly for women) of a cosmetic nature. Consumption here is not the drunken excess of physical indulgence but rather the subtle intimation of lack in the very display of cosmetic repair. The body of the rural woman, reflected in ‘looking-glasses from Venice’, witnesses a triangulation of desire and body-image through ‘worldly’ goods. These commodities measure the body by another standard, they reveal its provincialism at the very moment of provoking, and appearing to satisfy narcissistic desires. The pedlar’s pack, like Belinda’s dressing table in The Rape of the Lock, critically ‘speaks’ the woman’s body through the display of fashionable commodities. If the fair displayed the grotesque body, it also displayed the ‘fair’.”

Stallybrass, Peter and Allon White. THE POLITICS AND POETICS OF TRANSGRESSION. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1986. 39. Print.