Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Hmm, is this how some men pick up chicks? Staring not-so-subtly until you're forced to look back? Pity that the only reaction I allow my face to articulate is puzzlement and disorientation. I've hung up my hunting gear and succumbed to the will of patriarchy. Artemis never appears to profit as much as Apollo. I was reading "Female Chauvinist Pigs: The Rise of Raunch Culture" and was hit with an insight: Perhaps the reason Playgirl sells exponentially less than Playboy has to do with a man's discomfort with being at the end of a woman's gaze. While women are rushing to pose for Hefner, men are taking their sweet time to pose for objectification. Thirty years on, our society still hasn't reached a compromise. What we need to do, I think, is to conciliate the role of conscious visual cognition in culture: who has it, who wants it, what can we do about it. In Leader's Stealing the Mona Lisa, he talks in length about the relationship between the observee and the observed from a Freudian perspective. In The Art of Travel by de Botton, he mentions the human need to capture natural beauty. He's referring to aesthetic representations, of course, but it does make me think whether the acquisition of an object, or person, is the look as opposed to starting with one.


That bi-weekly material yearning is creeping up on me again. It began last night while staring up at my ceiling and discovering a hook, a single ornamented hook. "You know what would look great hanging off that thing?" I thought to myself in a vaudevillian twang. "A mobile. A Scandinavian designed mobile. A Flensted from the Musee d'art Contemporain boutique." Which just so happens to be closed for reorganization. It doesn't help that my midterms are also creeping up on me, which only inspire more procrastination. "That tea cart will look good by my couch," I continued. "And canvasses." I want to start realizing the preliminary sketches to Giorgio de Chirico's The Uncertainty of the Poet. It will look great above my headboard. The limbless nude figure, phallic symbolism, distant wanderlust all add up to something unsuitable for obedient children. Yes, artistic integrity is fundamentally opposed to the act of the "rip-off," but I'm not an artist; just a student trying to decorate her meagre space.

I've been purchasing more books of late. One of which is Stephen Clarke's 2004 bestseller, "A Year in the Merde". (Actually, it's "God Save La France," the French translation by Leon Mercadet.) It's a satirical jab at Parisian customs written in the style of Bridget Jones with ... larger feet. The irony isn't lost on me. How will text written by a Briton (with British sensibilities) turn out under the mercurian watch of Gauls (who, needless to say, have their own set of expressions)? Will Clarke's humour transcend cultural barriers or will it have to be tweaked for domestic consumption? His prose isn't very sophisticated anyway so I'm not exactly worried. It is if not an infinitely easier read than Rapport sur moi by Gregoire Bouillier, which killed me with its useless freakin' tenses.

Fucking French!

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