Engaging Directly deux

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Judith "Jack" Halberstam: Animating Revolt/ Revolting Animation: Penguin Love, Doll Sex and the Spectacle of the Nonhuman.

Context: In a modern world in which artificial insemination and cloning are possible, how might modes of reproduction be considered queer?
With this in mind, Halberstam aims to redefine terms such as hetero and homosexuality through the examination of representations of queer lives in popular culture that go beyond our preconceived notions of queer as being referred to as something inherently human. Her argument is broken into two sections: Penguin Love and Doll Sex.
Penguin Love:
In Penguin Love there exists Penguin Porn. Penguin porn is the international response to penguin movies such as The March of the Penguins (2005) and shortly thereafter, Happy Feet (2006). The "Christian Right", as Halberstam calls the conservative audience, elevates both films and their heteronormative portrayals of the natural world to that of a god-like status- ascribing it an equal, if not laudable, example of humanity. While there are plenty of queer illustrations found in the natural world she states, these examples are either not given any credence or are manifested in a different light (i.e-Nemo's dad in Finding Nemo(2003)). Now Halberstam introduces a new term: Pixavolt. Pixavolt films are animated features directed towards youth that "proceed by way of fairly conventional narratives about individual struggle...collective action, anti-capitalist critique, group bonding and alternative imaginings of community, space, embodiment and responsibility"(pg 271). Halberstam gives other examples of films such as Babe(1995), Monsters Inc (2001) and the SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (2004) each of which feature animated creatures that take on a society with "animal values". These films, as her final point, show ambiguous genders and variant sexualities.
Doll Sex:
Has nothing to do with blow up dolls you can find at Spencers (as I was surprised to find out). In her section entitled Doll Sex, Halberstam evaluates Seed Of ChuckyChild's Play series inhabits this through the representation of no gender in the offspring(Glen/da) that is manifested by Chucky and Tiffany, the nonhuman element of the movie and the both transbiological and queer example Tiffany impregnating a human.
Halberstam concludes that the world of animation is best suited to explore and push the boundaries of what a body is, what heterosexual love and commitment are and ways in which genetics and gender can be explored.

Overall, I thought the article was hilarious and raised good points. I enjoyed the poignant narrative about the male clownfish and how he will transsex in order to complete the kinship circuit and maintain a community. If anything in the natural world should be labeled as anthropomorphic, it should be that. After learning about the clownfish and relating it back to Finding Nemo, it made me smile and enjoy the movie that much more. However, the media representation of the natural world as primarily 'straight' leads the larger picture, a picture in which queer is made apparent, is left out. This is true of both the natural and human realms. Homosexuality, when portrayed, is presented through a narrow lens and stereotypes are formed: the natural world mirrors a heterosexual reality, homosexuals are promiscuous and morally ambiguous.
The Seed of Chucky part just freaked me out, I had never seen any of the Child's Play series and simply reading about it made me uncomfortable. But, I guess, that is the point. Movies like those make us uncomfortable and may lead us to question the natural order of things. Just as they should be questioned.

The questions I found myself asking were: what about the nonhuman is "spectacular" as it states in her title? How is the word Queer used? Is it simply something that is outside of the norm or does it take on different connotations? Why "penguin porn"? In what way does porn make itself queer and in the context in which it is being used, how does calling it porn make the animals queer? the movie? the audience?

Ill leave you with this: The Sex Lives of Animals Also check out Sex Lives of Robots...How is this queer?sex lives of animals.jpg

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Thanks for all of the great questions here!

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