Tuesday, January 28, 2014



1) Why is "high culture" associated with masculinity, but more looked down upon aspects of culture such as melodrama are associated with feminism?  Do you think that there are any legitimate connections, or is this simply another example of the pervasive sexism simply being extended unrelated things as a way of defining their worth?

2) Williams' argument throughout Playing the Race Card is that melodrama has been a critical component in the perpetuation of race relations in America, and Marx uses melodrama as a mode through which to organize a political revolution.  Because of the "good vs. evil" inherent in melodrama, do you think that it is possible for it to promote peace or solidarity?  Or do you believe that melodrama is most effective in pitting people against each other?

3) After watching "Mickey's Mellerdrammer", do you see similarities with how melodrama is portrayed in cartoons and other forms of children's programming today (in regards to subtleties such as the audience, not a blatant mustachioed villain)?  Do you think that because of the form that melodrama virtually always follows there is much flexibility in the way stories are portrayed? Or do you simply think characters and storylines change, but only very slightly and without changing the overall trajectory?


1) Although I certainly do think that there are instances where people unnecessarily try to bring issues of race into certain conversations where they are irrelevant, I do not at all think that the motivation behind speaking on race is meant to be "dramatic" or serve as a "distraction from the real argument". On the contrary, I think that in most cases when someone is accused of playing the "race card", the accuser is the one actually the one distracting from the real argument.  Issues involving race are still extremely prevalent in modern society, whether people choose to acknowledge it or not, and by simply labeling any conversation about them as "playing the race card" really distracts from the bigger issue and hinders growth and progression.  I am unsure of what you are referring to when you talk about a racist lead detective, but I think that what you brought up about the Left and President Obama is significant.  I do not think that the political Left is implying that everyone opposed to the President's policies are racists, but rather that race is an issue that factors heavily into the politics surrounding his policies, which I agree with especially considering the fact that he is the first president of color.

2) I think that news broadcasts including stories about athletes overcoming their personal struggles and winning Olympic medals is definitely melodramatic.  They depict a victim hero that, despite their struggle and seemingly against all odds, emerges victorious in a competition of the world's greatest athletes. In doing this, the news blows up the athlete to heroic proportions making them all the more likable to common families around the world who would likely otherwise think much lesser of the feats.

3) I definitely think that it has become a normalized daily occurrence to hear the media talking about violence.  I think that this is largely due to the glorification of violence in popular culture (music, movies, television, and literature) over the last several decades which has in turn led to a desensitization of society to these violent scenarios.  Not only does the desensitization remove the innate feelings of fear, empathy, and horror from exposure to particularly violent images, but it also in some ways encourages that type of behavior.  I think that these violent images have lasting effects, especially on children, and that in turn leads to real life violence being committed and being talked about in the media.

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