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Pat, You'll Never Believe It

Pat, You'll Never Believe It

California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: June 29, 2006
Latest Update: July 4, 2006

E-Mail Icon jeannecurran@habermas.org
takata@uwp.edu

Topic of the Week:

Perspective Says It All
And Laughter Helps

Well, at first I just put up the chapter here - but it was very, very long. So I figured it might be better to just tell you what I had in mind and let you read the text in the chapter file at Pharaoh Pippin, you wet all over your Mama. I called it Chapter 47 randomly. I figured it was quite a ways away from the other chapters that are up.

I find that I can teach much more effectively with stories and images than I can with textbooks. The initial introduction to most theories is designed to give you a sense of the history of a field, how it came to be, how it grew, how knowledge changes interdependently with other knowledge as new facts are discovered, new contexts come to matter, and new values emerge. That's almost like a story of creation. And it's easier to grasp in story form. time enough later, in advanced courses, to read the theories themselves.

Pharaoh Pippin is my cat. He peed in my lap in the car, as we brought him home from the vet's this weekend. His behavior created an epiphany for me. I had never to my knowledge experienced penis envy. I never saw a penis that I was conscious of, and I certainly never wished I had one, pace Freud. I could never figure out what Freud really meant by penis envy. But there was Pharaoh in my lap, and for the first time, I could see why one might want a penis. What a glorious image that golden spray offered. Once the cat realized that he could just direct the spray away from us, he relaxed and I began to laugh. What a way to discover what Freud must have meant. Had I seen this as a little girl I might have received his theories a little differently. We'll never know. But I'm certainly willing to entertain the possibility that I could have been wrong about the advantages of being male.

Trust me, being piddled on by your cat, in a car, when you have no means of stopping the stream of piddle, no towel, and are a good ten minutes from home, on a busy street in the valley, could rattle anyone. Our love of soap opera and escalation of drama often leads us to over-dramatize events like this. Instead, the sunlight must have shone just right to light up his stream of urine like a golden rainbow, and I belatedly "got" penis envy. There he was in my lap, leg stretched out, the image, for all the world looking exactly as it might have looked were I engaging in the act myself. And all I could think was what fun that would be.

Life in the big city is sometimes hard to take. Traffic is awful; schedules are impossible; we're all dong the Superwoman and Superman thing; we're tired, stressed, and it's easy to flame in exasperation. But if you can manage to see the humor in it, you can release the stress, de-escalate the soap opera of life, and have a little more fun, as will your family and friends.

I'm no Pollyana. I know life sucks sometimes. But laughter cures; soap opera lingers and encourages excess. Got a story about finding the humor when others are freaking out? Share it with us. Stories help. We'll use our writing skills to record stories this way of searching for alternative perspectives that bring a little love and laughter to the world, as we try to listen in good faith to one another.

And we'll write stories for our kids to help them learn to find the laughter of an alternative perspective. We could cry. Or we could pick ourselves up, shake ourselves off, and laugh at the inanity of most of these situations. Try it. We'll need it this Fall for our community activism in Moot Court.

Hope you enjoy the story. It was just too long to include here. love and peace, jeanne

* * *

References:

Table of Contents:

NEWS, Announcements, and

Current Events Discussion Topics:

    Software Dilemma

    My old art software is having problems. Am investigating new software. Any suggestions welcome. jeanne

    And while we're on software, take a look at this: Adobe's Accessibility Resource CenterSince our primary goal is the achievement of community activism in the interest of fairnes and justice, we need to be aware of the speed with which we are capable of ignoring the differently abled and the less privileged. I'd like to get this. I refuse to use FrontPage because when we bought it, it used to frames and advanced html that interfered with accessibility.

    HIV Stories

    I was writing about the elementary school priniciple, Mrs. Dumestre, who scared me to death as a kid. And I wondered haphazardly if her family had continued and the name carried on in New Orleans. I googled "Dumestre" and found this delightful story. Maybe there is hope. Her family name goes on, but in a much happier and more loving vein:

    New Orleans Nurse Practitioner to Women With HIV Jeanne Dumestre, New Orleans, Louisiana: Outstanding Nurse Practitioner. Read the story and the interview. What do you think makes her worthy of this outstanding award? What does her story tell you about finding work you enjoy?

    Insurance Coverage for Human Papilloma Virus HPV Vaccine - Recommended for all young girls by 11 or 12 years of age

    from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    July 3, 2006

    "Health insurance company WellPoint Inc. said Thursday it will cover Merck & Co.'s vaccine that blocks the two types of the STD human papillomavirus (HPV) responsible for about 70 percent of cervical cancers. Earlier on Thursday, CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended the Gardasil vaccine be routinely given to girls ages 11-12. Health officials estimated that more than half of sexually active women and men will be infected with one or more types of HPV in their lifetime. WellPoint said its decision to cover Gardasil was prompted by the committee's recommendation. [Source: Associated Press, 06.29.06.] "

    Materials on the Dada Art Movement

    I need to recheck some of these links. I thought I backed them all up, but things were pretty hectic. As soon as I can take a break from narrative writing I'll be puting up lectures on this. We'll use the concept in Moot court this Fall because the Dada movement occurred in a time very similar to our own - in which people felt a kind of despair, and artists responded with the kind of inanity they saw all around them. jeanne

    For more on understanding why and how artists engage in the process of trying to change traditional museum-bound painting, go to Dada as Arts Politically and Socially Opposed to Some of the Consequences of Our Culture and Our Preference for the Rational and The Arrogance of its Knowingness. And don't miss Paul Tractman's Dada, The Irreverent, Rowdy Revolution in the May 2006 Smithsonian Magazine Online. Backup. And now 'Dada' at MoMA: The Moment When Artists Took Over the Asylum By Michael Kimmelman, New York Times, June 16, 2006.

    Why School Is Like It Is

    What's the big idea? Toward a pedagogy of idea power. by S. Papert. Our topic for Moot Court in Fall 2006 will be Thinking, For All of Us, By All of Us This reading will is one from a graduate MIT course, Technologies for Creative Learning, Fall 2004, by Prof. Mitchel Resnick. I'll have more up on this shortly. jeanne

Visual Sociology

  • Visual AIDS

    Backup of 'fiery turd' by Chuck Nanney

    "fiery turd," 1998
    Chuck Nanney
    Latex on canvas, wire, 1" x 6.25" x 3"

    References:

    • July's Web Gallery: Vital Signs. Not only unusual media, but also the revisioning (seeking another perspective) of unusual sights, things we sometimes refuse to see. Note how similar this is to Facing Their Scars and Finding Beauty this is.

    • Visual AIDS. Founded in 1988 by arts professionals as a response to the effects of AIDS on the arts community and as a way of organizing artists, arts institutions, and arts audiences towards direct action, Visual AIDS has evolved into an arts organization with a two-pronged mission. 1) Through the Frank Moore Archive Project, the largest slide library of work by artists living with HIV and the estates of artists who have died of AIDS, Visual AIDS historicizes the contributions of visual artists with HIV while supporting their ability to continue making art and furthering their professional careers. 2) In collaboration with museums, galleries, artists, schools, and AIDS service organizations, Visual AIDS produces exhibitions, publications, and events utilizing visual art to spread the message 'AIDS IS NOT OVER.' "

    Curator's Statement Curator, Catharina Manchanda, of Germany, does a hepful critique of the art in a July 2006 selection of art on Vital Signs. Take the time to look at the whole selection on the site of The Body, and to follow the curator's interpretation. Sometimes art says what words cannot.

  • Art As a Social Catalyst

    Facing Their Scars, and Finding Beauty, http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/18/nyregion/18burn.html
    Richard Perry/The New York Times

    Louise Benoit, left, and her sister Rebecca, who were badly burned in a house fire that killed five relatives, with portraits by an artist in Hoboken, N.J. from Facing Their Scars, and Finding Beauty

    These photographs really struck me when the NY Times published them. Recall Goffman's Stigma.

    References

    • Backup of Facing Their Scars, and Finding Beauty.
    • Celebrating Erving Goffman, 1983 By Eliot Freidson, in Contemporary Sociology, 12 (4) July, 1983: 359-362. "This paper was read at a memorial session for Erving Goffman at the Eastern Sociological Society meeting in Baltimore, March 4, 1983. I was asked to discuss his early work. Others discussed his later work." Discussion of Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, Asylum, and Stigma.Freidson speaks of "Goffman's deep moral sensibility, the compassion he displays for those whose selves are attacked, whose identities are spoiled, whom the social world through its ordinary members and its official agents, seeks to shape to its convenience. In all this Goffman is as much moralist as analyst, and a celebrant and defender of the self against society rather than, as might be expected of a sociologist who cites Durkheim, a celebrant of society and social forces." A few paragraphs from the end of the file. Consulted on July 2, 2006.

SquiggleA Range of Sources on Global Info

Left/Right Perspectives - Cursor - New York Times - The National Review
Arts and Letters Daily - The Economist - The Sierra Club - The Guardian
Wall Street Journal - The Weekly Standard - The Nation - The Cato Institute (Libertarian)
BBC NEWS | Americas
- truthout - Museum of Tolerance, Los Angeles
Los Angeles Times - Chicago Tribune - La Opinion - The Washington Post
Cursor's Al Jazeera Archive - Ha'aretz - Palestine Monitor - Palestine Report
The American Prospect

Memorandum, Political Web - Diggs - College Network of New York Times - New York Times Learning Network

Indymedia - Mother Jones - BBC News - New Profile - KPFK Progressive Radio
Progressive Sociologists Network Environmental Working Group - Mirror of Justice

Theory, Policy, Practice of a Career by jeanne and Susan.



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