1 Queer spaces, and queer time facilitate ongoing engagement in subcultural participation in opposition to the heteronormative, homonormative, and yes transnormative, imperatives of consumerism. Materialism is central to the intelligibility of heteronormative subjects, and the straight engagement of time dictates that as "grown" folks, people must be good producers of capital, in order to be providing procreators. Similarly reinforcing the capitalist agenda, mainstream gay activism is populated primarily by class privlidged white gay men, focused on an assimilationist agenda that stabalizes a gay identity ripe for marketable exploitation. in Material/Queer Theory: Performativity, Subjectivity, and Afﬁnity-Based Struggles in the Culture of Late Capitalism Rob cover talks about a repressive tolerance in which some queer subjects are co-optable, and commodifiable as a targeted market. Marginalized queer subjects are coherent as a necessary part of labor and consumption practices that strengthen the binary that privlidges heterosexuality over homosexuality, and often locates queers people at the margins of the economy. The temporality emerging from queer usages of time however, enables queer people to participate in subversive communities and activities that can undermine the capitalist hegemony beyond youthful rebellion, and into a sophisticated critique of economic exploitation. Temporalities like the D.I.Y. punk culture, urban gardening, the anarchistic gift-economy are have liberated some queer people from the trajectory of capitalist "progress," however Judith Halberstam critiqued the pitfalls of mainstream co option of subcultural production as a queer economic practice. The subcultural artists, by attempting to secure income, allow the subcultural style to something marketable, deprived of meaning, and detached from the gay and lesbian liberation cultural legacy from the 1970s in which the theory that the only way to disrupt the hetero/ homo binary is a complete overthrow of the capitalist project emerged.
2 Judith Halberstam's discussion of what queer is resonates really well with my tracking of my term, she defines queer as "an outcome of temporality, life scheduling, and eccentric economic practices." In this sense queer is inherently anti-capitalistic and in opposition or rejection the heteronormative teleology of birth-marriage-reproduction and death. She is particularly urging us to look beyond queer as an identity category, or sexual minority, but as a way of life. Queer has also been understood as oppositional to the heteronormative matrix, that queer is always this site of resistance. Early in the semester we discussed queering, as a verb, more so than as an identity. It was really interesting to think about our direct participation and engagement in queering, and just what is in need of it. Queering spaces, including the academic world, queering time, queering the weather, and opening up the possibilities of endless queering potentials was a really fun way to dramatically alter my world view, and it made me so much more personally invested in this really complicated and interesting question of what is queer. Queer is also a site in which the celebration of the abject is possible. Queer can be a joyous rejection of the sanitized, deodorized norms of decency. As Mary concluded, the terms queer and abject are in not synonyms, but mutually important. The campy celebration a=of abjection within the queer community is really liberating in a way, and locates queer far from a place of viitmhood which I think is really important. Puar's discription of queer as an assemblage really resonated with me as well. Thinking about the queerness of combining the organic body with inorganic tactile parts, like the ballistic body, or the turbaned Shiek had a very visceral effect, and visual impact on our blog. She breaks down the problematic escatation process of "outing," or delimiting what "queer" is and defining who or what constitutes queer, by exposing the inherient "unqueerness" of the binary construction. She pushes us rather, to look for the queer that already exsists. She took me back to the case that Cohen laid out in Punks, Dulldaggers, and Welfare queens, in which the call for collaboartive activism between the queer community, and other marginalized groups failing heteronormative subjectivity.
3 Tracking the term Anti-Capitalism this term has been really satisfying for me, as it's something that is very personal to me. Growing up poor and queer, I've always been very resistant to our consumer driven society, the vapid messages of our mass communication, and the dehumanization of labor production. I've always know, but now thanks to this project i am able to articulate the connections between queerness, subcultural practices, and anti-capitalism. I lived in an anarchist collective for two amazing years, where we practiced a queer economy, engaged in queer uses of time and now to have the theoretical background I appreciate the experience on a new level. Personally I believe that there is no true liberation for queers or any one with out the dramatic dismantling of capitalist oppression. The true cost of economic upward mobility is the exploitation of the mass proletariate class. My term is so intimatly connected to other tracking terms, like the abject and youth because subcultural living is unappologetically dirty and often populated by young people. It is closely related to ideas of nation/ citizen, as rejection or refusal of queer subjectivities as good citizens opens the potential, and desire to refuse to participate in the oppressive dominant economic structures. I felt like anti-capitalism encompassed a lot, but I wish I had pulled out more explicit connections to my term from the readings through out the semester, rather than being overwhelmed by the interconnectedness of such themes. I found all our reading challenging in some way, and as I returning student I was really invested in grounding myself in each reading, and the overarching themes and refamilarizing myself with theory.
Blogging was a great experience for me. I think that this format for opening dialog, while problematic, can be really important. It was great for our class, as we have such interesting and brilliant minds. So often in the academic setting, we don't utilize each other enough as resources. Reading how everyone else processed these themes and theories, really did help me to engage with them well after class discussion ended. The commenting, and this assignment to empowers us to view our own and each others work, input, ideas, and analysis as important and academically viable. I was already a believer in the power of blogging as a potentially subversive tool, but I had no idea how it would queer my work as a student. To push the forum, and your idea even further, I think it would be cool if you could go totally paperless with it. I really like how much the blog was tied into class discussion, and how carefully and thoughtfully approached the commenting process was, at least from people i the class, and most outside participants. The blogging process has ignited my desire to learn graphic design, because there was a lot potential for visual processing of information that were bipassed to due to time constraints, and my personal lack of computer savvy. My advice on blogging to future students is to just jump in head first, because it's super fun.