Sunday, April 22, 2007

Feedback from Jess B, author of "Pop Culture Blogging"

The two questions response...Your strongest analytical work was in the post "Male Sexuality and Patriarchy in "The Deal." You picked a specific topic and clearly analyzed it.Throughout all your posts you chose quotes that accurately supported your analysis. You could use this strenght for your last post, by picking a specific topic from one of the episodes and then chosing quotes to back up your analysis.

Response to third question...~From the beginning you picked a clear topic. For readers who liked your topic, the could continue returning to your site to find new analysis on your specific topic.~You chose a topic that is interesting because it has been a major part of popular culture for many years.~You did a good job sticking to the topic of gender. All your posts were analysis of different aspects of gender throughout "Seinfeld," which kept the blog focused and interesting.~You did a good job making your posts analytical and finding readings to cite which assisted in the understanding of your argument. The only post I felt you didn't analyze quite enough was the one on "The Girls Next Door." You just brushed the surface of analying the show. If you had gone further into it, it would have been great.~The quotes you used very accurately support your arguments and you chose for a variety of readings, which was good. They helped to give you a broad range of topics on gender.

4th question response...~I thought it was great how you chose a variety of gender perspectives to analyze. It made your blog focused and interesting.~I found it a little confusing when you included actual conversations from the episodes because it was not always clear what it added to the post. Just make sure that it adds something to your topic.~You're really great at picking a topic for analysis and choosing readings that support your argument and provide understanding of it. It makes it easy for you readers to understand.~I wish you could focus on a new element of gender for your final post. If you picked a new reading to support it, I think your final post would be great. Your overall topic and different ways of analyzing it have been great. I think you have done a really good job on you blog.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Blog Buddy Work with Jess B, author of "Pop Culture Blogging"

1. Where has your Blog buddy shown strong analytical work (be specific—is it a particular post, a type of analysis, a site for analysis that seemed to click more so than others, etc)?

2. How could your Blog buddy use this strength for the final Blog post and presentation?

3. Think about the following statements in relation to your Blog buddy’s Blog and then provide feedback on each area (constructive praise/criticism):

The Blog is on a topic that has been clearly evident in the Blog posts throughout the semester
The Blog is on a topic that seems to interest my Blog buddy
My Blog buddy’s topic is one that has produced a good set of posts that were analytical used gender as a primary category of analysis
The posts make analytical arguments. The posts are understandable and each post logically outlines and supports the argument presented. The posts were clear, provided insight, evidence, and analysis to connect the topic with the assignment for each of the posts
The sources cited in each post are relevant to the topic and help to aid the understanding of the argument and/or assisted in proving the argument.
The quotes used illustrate a broad range of course readings throughout the semester.
The quotes were clear and succinct; additionally, the material was presented so that I could differentiate the Blog buddy’s ideas from that of the author cited.

4. Finally, complete the following:
I thought it was great when you...
I found it confusing when you…
You’re really great at…
I wish you could focus (more) on/alter/edit/explain/expand on/etc these three things…

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Motherhood in "Seinfeld"

For this blog post I decided to discuss the way “Seinfeld” views the topic of motherhood. Thus, the most obvious person to analyze would clearly be the show’s only regular female character, Elaine. When browsing through the initial six seasons of “Seinfeld,” the first thing I noticed was that none of the episodes discussed or were based on the topic of motherhood. Initially, I thought nothing of this and figured that the show just decided not to broach this particular subject. However, after finally stumbling upon the episode entitled “The Soul Mate” I realized that the absence of the topic of motherhood to that point was in fact no mistake at all. Motherhood was not discussed to that point because in this episode it becomes very clear that Elaine has no intention of having children, and “Seinfeld” once again uses humor to make a mockery of the belief that all women are supposed to do so.

Elaine first appears in “The Soul Mate” in her apartment with three of her friends who recently had babies named Carol, Gail, and Lisa. The following discussion occurs:

CAROL: ...but because it comes out of your baby, it smells good!
ELAINE: (sarcastic) Well, that's...that's sweet.
GAIL: Being a mother has made me feel so beautiful.
CAROL: Elaine, you gotta have a baby!
ELAINE: (trying to change the subject) Oh, hey, you know...I had a piece of whitefish over at Barney Greengrass the other day...
LISA: Elaine. Move to Long Island and have a baby already.
ELAINE: I really like the city.

This conversation is the first indication that Elaine does not want to have children. Elaine is obviously not interested in hearing about how great it feels to be a mother and does her best to change the subject and hint to her friends that she is not interested in having a baby. Later in the episode, Jerry and Elaine are discussing Elaine’s night with her friends and her feelings towards motherhood become very obvious…

ELAINE (to Jerry, imitating Carol): "Elaine, ya gotta have a baby." Ugh.
JERRY: Why do you invite these women over if they annoy you so much?
ELAINE: They're my friends, but they act as if having a baby takes some kind of talent.
JERRY: C'mon, you want to have a baby.
ELAINE: Why? Because I can?
JERRY: It's the life force. I saw a show on the mollusk last night. Elaine, the mollusk travels from Alaska to Chile just for a shot at another mollusk. You think you're any better?
ELAINE: Yes! I think I am better than the mollusk!
KEVIN: I couldn't help overhearing what you were saying. I think I agree with you. I mean, all this talk about having babies.
ELAINE: Yeah, like you must procreate.
KEVIN: Besides, anyone can do it.ELAINE: Oh, it's been done to death.

Once this conversation is over it becomes very obvious that “Seinfeld” has challenged the social normative that all women should procreate. At this point in the series, Elaine is perfectly healthy, has a well-paying job, and is becoming what society would view as “middle-aged.” Therefore, it is obvious that Elaine could definitely have and support a child, but she simply chooses not to. The show goes on to further reinforce its position on motherhood throughout the episode, even going as far as having many of the men in the show willing to get vasectomies to prove to their girlfriends that they are dedicated to them. In conclusion, the episode makes a mockery of the normative idea that all women should eventually have children.

Some clips from "The Outing"