Posts Tagged ‘#hailscanlon’

Stress Be Gone

Monday, April 29th, 2013

If you’re going to lose your mind this week lose it somewhere beautiful.

Contradicting contradictions

Saturday, April 27th, 2013

No one was more shocked than I was when Garrett opened his mouth for the second time all semester and dropped a bomb on the class, but I think before we all point fingers at him for being so closed minded we should try to consider this from another perspective. From what I’ve gathered, Garrett doesn’t seem to care for spoken word/slam poetry in general. His comment was not unique to Staceyann Chin. I believe he thinks that all spoken word/slam poetry has the tendency to become tantrum-like, so I think it is unfair to make accusations about his response being directly influenced by the speaker’s race and gender. Though these things should not be ignored, I don’t want to put words into anyone’s mouth either. I saw that Julia mentioned that Staceyann Chin is purposefully acting as the “angry black woman” caricature and if that’s the case, shouldn’t we think she is abrasive? Wouldn’t she want us to? Personally, I believe Staceyann Chin gave us a very raw and honest performance and I think that is why it was so shocking when Garrett outright dismissed it. However, no one had a problem with me nearly ripping my hair out when Amiri Baraka hoo-ed like an owl with the most unfortunate saxophone player alive. In the same vein, both poets were trying to get under the listeners skin, to aggravate them, to put them on edge. The saxophone was over the top and so were Staceyann Chin’s high knees.

Slam poetry, Orientalism, and Harry Potter.

Friday, April 26th, 2013

“A Letter to JK Rowling” by Rachel Rostad

I found this while reading Racialicious . Of course, initially reading the headline made me so happy because I’m thinking, “Oh man, Harry Potter AND slam! Ballin’!”

Her delivery is crazy good, nothing too distinctly different from the other videos and performances we’ve seen but you do see her pause for applause. Unusual?

Also, fun fact: after learning about Orientalism, I do wonder whether or not J.K. Rowling was aware of

a. having little to no minority characters (with exceptions like the Patel twins and Cho Chang)

b. depicting a female Chinese character who is meant to contrast with Ginny to make Ginny seem stronger (re: a Chinese woman is supposed to be weaker than a white woman–systematic racism, anyone?)

c. Maybe if Rowling wasn’t aware of these choices, isn’t it still problematic?

Food for thought! Happy CoPo-ing!

Sermon / Spoken Word

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

 

This is a snippet of one of my favorite spoken word pieces called crucifixion type love this was the only video that was a performance and not a production.

 

He doesn’t get “preachy” but he does incorporate religion into his piece.

Close Minded Perceptions of Poetry

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

In light of our discussion over the last few days, I wanted to bring our attention to a statement that Nicco made about hearing a spoken word piece as a monologue  in a movie. I was talking to Julia the other day & I interpreted his statement as if he felt that the presentation of that particular poem was more of an act than that of a way of self expression.

 

I want to know if anyone else felt like that. Are& slam poets putting on an act?

John Rives Spoken Word

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbtVepS53t0

Hey all this guy is really great! I thought this performance is also really cool because he incorporates sign language into it. Enjoy!

Stand-up, Slam-down

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

Don’t you just love when things line up in your life? I do, and today, it happened!

For the past two weeks, I’ve forgone my usual lunch break to attend the Anthropology Department’s Senior Thesis Presentations from 11-11:50 every Monday/Wednesday/Friday. My favorite of today’s lecture had to do with the way “black humor” is used as a form of political resistance against the day-to-day stereotypes made about people of color. My pant-suited classmate argued that Dave Chapelle and Chris Rock are perhaps the best examples of this in action.

After showing clips from the above videos, Mandy asked the audience: Do you think this is effective in changing racial stereotypes? Those who spoke up agreed that Chapelle and Rock’s stand-up acts presented a double-edged sword: On one hand, they exposed just how ridiculous the popular assumptions that comprise racial stereotypes are. On the other, the giggly conversational delivery by each comic, created a window for listeners to take their statements less seriously (than perhaps they ought to) and/or laugh, then move on. What was missing from the performance was the incentive to change their behavior, and do so with a sense of urgency.

Slam Poetry seems to be the new-improved model of poltically-charged stand-up. Sure audience members involuntarily laugh at Staceyann Chin’s one liners:

“she tells me how she was a raving beauty in the sixties
how she could have had any man she wanted
but she chose the one least likely to succeed
and that’s why when the son of a bitch died
she had to move into this place
because it was government subsidized.”

OR

“Will I still be lesbian then
or will the church or family finally convince me
to marry some man with a smaller dick
than the one my woman uses to afford me
violent and multiple orgasms”

But she isn’t laughing. Her humorless delivery makes a statement that no one can misinterpret. In the end we are downright scared of her (or at least I was).

What do you think?

A preview to tomorrow’s slam poetry presentation.

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Def Poetry

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

I love def poetry and I’m so excited to hear it and learn about it in class. I watched the videos that Dr. Scanlon posted on the blog and my favorite was the one by Gina Loring, Somewhere There is a Poem. It is so cool how she intertwined history and touched on major historic events and people and it all flowed so well when she said it. I’m always amazed by how def poets speak their poems so well and so fluidly. My favorite part, well I have two. The first was when she sang the beginning of Amazing Grace-incorporating different spoken art styles into the reading is one of my favorite things and it really added to the poem, it gave it even more of a musical flare. I also loved how she used repetition to transition from one subject to the next and how it made her sound as if she was rapping. The poem flowed so so well and I loved her voice as she recited, the intonation and changing speed with which she spoke was beautiful. I found the written poem online and pasted the lyrics here because I loved them so much 🙂  This was so great!

Somewhere there is a poem
And I want to write this poem
I want to speak this poem
I want to feel this poem
I want to experience this poem
Cradle it in my arms
Feed it a good meal
And send it on its merry way

I want to sing this poem
“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound”
Somewhere there is a poem screaming
Get up, stand up
Stand up for your rights
Human beings, human beings
Beings being so
Caught up in the tangible material surface
Or that they never actually feel
Their touch is liquid and grazes right through
But misses the core
This poem whispers to me
And rocks me to sleep
And tells me stories of indigenous people
Diseased and tricked and slaughtered
And made to be extinct
But this ain’t no pterodactyl
Or tyrannosaurus rex blood flowing through my veins

I am a Creek American Indian
I exist
I am an African
I am an old Jewish woman muttering prayers in Yiddish
As my name is replaced with a number on my arm
I am a little Japanese girl
Staring in horror
As my village is bombed and burnt to the ground
I was born in India, but not to the right caste
So regardless of what I accomplish
I will always be a peasant
I died in Mexico three feet from the border
Gunned down by evil troops
Who shoot for a living
Who sacrifice their souls for
The man-made boundaries of these Americas
Somewhere, there is a poem somewhere
Dozing in subway stations
And flying high on a 405
And taking the L to Brooklyn
The 15 to Vegas
And the Marter through Atlanta
And cruising down a dark street in Oakland is a poem

This poem comes from somewhere deep
Somewhere where the angels sleep
Where pixies dance and mermaids weep
Where hymns are hummed
So God will keep us all in mind on Judgment Day
This poem warns, but does not sway
For what you do is up to you
Where you go and who you know
If you close up, or if you grow

Somewhere there is a poem about the insanity
Of war, Hiroshima, Hiroshima
Hero, hero, war hero
Hero-, hero-, heroin is
Crack cocaine is
The systematic genocide of my people
Brown skin behind bars
Locked up behind bars
Trapped behind bars
And slaves behind bars
Kept in lines behind bars
Counted behind bars
Bars, there are more bars
Selling alcohol on a single reservation in Oklahoma
Than in all of Ventura county, county
Counting me in ‘cause I’m down for the revolution
Which may not be televised
And may not get radio play
But it will be told through poetry
‘Cause somewhere there is a poem

This poem speaks to me and draws me in
Like an amusement park to a kid
I want to freak this poem and dream this poem
And share it with y’all
Hold up, shhhhh
I just did

Walcott on Empire and Language

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

I thought this interview would be a good addition to the blog because Walcott speaks directly about empire, a prominent theme in his poetry that we focused on in Friday’s class. He gives an interesting definition of empire from his own perspective, and discusses his culturally and racially diverse background. He and the interviewer also engage in a discussion about language towards the end of the interview.  I think the last minute of the interview is also a highlight!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EEgIhJfwcg