Cultural Criticism - Bell Hooks


Bell Hooks created an extremely accessible approach to the infrastructure to institutionalized white supremestand patriarchy. I found her ability to comment on the conscious manipulation of imagery, and motives was not only insightful but simplistic and to the point. In her explanation of rap and it's relationship with misogyny, the motivation of greed and money are the full force behind the choices represented by the media; once these action are in place, one can ascertain the damage brought onto specific cultures and groups of people. Her most grounded point that stuck with me after the lecture was her comparisons of the "White Wonderbread" society and the "Exotic Endangered Species" that is represented by what is deemed "blackness". This idea that white culture in it's current state is too safe and boring for mass audiences to rely on the this representation, as it does not sell, in exchange for creating a need for an interesting and manipulated image of non-white culture for maximizing a given product or commodity. It is this social construct that allows what we deem as "whiteness" to be what Hooks says as "static" and safe at the expense of other cultures.


The discussion of rap in this film was extremely intriguing to me. Not only in terms of the brief history of rap and what drives people to make rap music, but also in terms of the representations that it brings forward. The static whiteness was also a topic of interest for me because of the implications that it brings. It was good for me that she talked about it at the end because it gave a short explanation of why representations the way that they are. In this Queer Cinema class it will be interesting to see where we can take her topics of the static white and translate it to the static gender norms and see what ends up being the expended culture.

I am definitely interested in further studying the concept of people of color being represented as "exotic endangered species." I've studied this concept in previous classes, whereby just flipping through a magazine you can see black women dressed up as "savages" in ads, and hyper sexualized in music videos, as Hooks mentioned. I definitely think more people need to be enlightened witnesses when listening to popular rap and hip hop music! I hope we will further explore these issues in class.

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This page contains a single entry by Mpedersen published on January 23, 2012 12:21 AM.

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