Week 11 Blog

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The Jackson Katz article on white masculinity and violence was good. It makes sense that working class men would find action movie heroes like Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone more appealing than upper-class men. Katz makes a good point when he says on page 263 "For many males who were experiencing unsettling changes, one area of masculine power remained attainable: physical size and strength and the ability to use violence successfully." So here Katz seems to be saying that in the midst of stressful events and adjustments being made in their lives, White men were able to idolize these action movie stars who were able to effectively utilize their physical power. Katz also makes an interesting contrast when he talks about Eminem, Kid Rock and other "angry, aggressive, white working-class males. In the 1950s, actors like Marlon Brando and James Dean were seen as edgy and angry, but their attitudes on-screen were nothing compared to the "angry white males" of today. Eminem is the ultimate angry white male. Katz makes another good point when he asks what Eminem is rebelling against. His rebellious attitude does appeal to many consumers and so Katz is right when he calls Eminem's persona as "rebellion as a purchasable commodity." I am not saying that Eminem has no legitimate reason to be angry and that it is all a ploy to sell more music, but that type of attitude is often seen in rap artists and it does usually add to their appeal. Although some artists articulate why they are angry, others do not.

I had never heard of the "slumpy class" before reading Becker's article. The points made in the class discussion today on this article were helpful in understanding the concept. The Seinfeld episode that we watched was a good example of how many people (at the time that the episode aired, especially) felt about homosexuality. Jerry and George were not completely comfortable with the concept of being gay but they did not want to be seen as prejudiced so they felt the need to qualify all of their comments on the misconception that they were gay by saying "Not that there's anything wrong with that." It was a really funny episode and they did a good job of writing the script in an inoffensive way.

2 Comments

Great post! Enjoyed reading your comments to both of our readings for this week. You make a great point when you bring up actors in the 50's such as Marlon Brando and James Dean. It's crazy to think that they were possibly seen as edgy at one point but nowadays most actors have an edgy side to them. I agree about your point about Eminem as well when talking about rap music today. Today rather then the 2000s artist with Eminem's type of edge are not seen as attractive but in my opinion can be over the top and they acts are so overdone that they turn off their fans. I'm looking at Joe Rogan for example who is best known perhaps as the host of X Factor. I am familiar with him through that show and one day I was out of stuff to watch on Netflix and stumbled across his stand up. After 5 minutes of watching his stand up I had to turn it off because it was so over-the-top and in your face that I felt hostile even watching this. I kept thinking to myself, "How can anyone possibly keep this act up on a daily basis?" Now his stand up is probably seen as edgy or rebellious but now a days I think that less people will find that attractive compared to Eminem in the 1990's.

Great Post!

Hi. I like your post! Especially the part where you compare Marlon Brando and James dean to current male celebrities of today. I find it interesting that there is such a clear division in time frames that occur throughout our system of powers. Every generation says, "it has never been this bad before" referring to violence that is forthcoming. For example, Now- i think the violence ans sex portrayed in the media has never been worse. It is important to think about how much more of a platform we have to spread this kind of filth throughout our society with 1 click of a button. But in the 50's for example, they didn't have that kind of technology, and yet- they still believed that their generations to come were doomed. Is this a pattern that every generation goes through? Is this a pattern that will only be exacerbated with upcoming technology? Or, is this whole violence idea just something that will be forever represented in new forums of media?

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This page contains a single entry by DarkStar published on April 3, 2013 11:12 PM.

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