Gonzo Reflections

He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man.

— Dr. Johnson via Hunter S. Thompson

While both deserve the utmost praise, Hunter S. Thompson shot himself in the face, and Samuel Johnson was an obese man that lived with poor health. There is no getting rid of the pain of being a man. It is a futile pursuit that leaves men and women in greater pain. These are the pitfalls and tricks of attempting to sound profound.

He who accepts his pain becomes more than a man.

We who accept our pain transcend being human.

Running from the pain leads to a blind alley over and over again.

I shouldn’t be doing this again.

There is “nothing special” about being a human.

Divinity is a creation of our own hands.

Now, I’m just trying to sound profound, but I cannot show my cards.

The Poetic Neurology of Social Media

We stand awestruck at the marvels of modern-day technology. We say, “We are connected now more than any time in human history.” Unfortunately, I don’t see it. I remain skeptical. We are connected to a state of disconnected egocentric solitude. It is merely shallow and self-righteous back patting. While accomplishing nothing, we give ourselves gold-plated trophies and ensure that our confabulations continue to convince us that at least it is something. Yes, at least it is something as we decay into nothing.  At least it is something. A poetic and pathetic something.

Performance (Part I)

Madison and Hamera (2006) consider performance a “contested concept.” Performance is not only a contested concept in terms of what qualities help to define a performance, but also a contested concept in regards to the enactment of a performance. Performance manifests and is enacted in a variety of ways, and it is not necessarily bound to particular definition of a particular culture. Japanese people may not consider that which Americans consider performance as an act of performance. Additionally, people continually perform ordinary and routine functions of day-to-day life (Madison & Hamera, 2006). However, some may not consider these performances a Performance with a capital P.

Performance is a “contested concept,” because of the varying disagreements, conceptualizations, definitions, and methods held by various cultures throughout the world. The competing uses of performance challenges and expands the conceptualization of performance. By recognizing that performance is a contested concept, disagreement is then an expectation. This expectation resonates in both the interpretation and critical examination of performance, and it is an expectation when discussing subjective impressions of a performance (Madison & Hamera, 2006). Performance is a contested concept, because there is not a right or wrong conceptualization, impression, or reaction to a performance.

Six Arguments for Performative Writing:

Pelias (2005) has six arguments for performative writing. Jones (1997) and Lindemann (2004) demonstrate two of the six arguments. The first argument of performative writing is that it redefines what defines scholarship. Performative writing situates itself within scholarly and relational writing, but it challenges scholarly writing and pushes it edges (Pelias, 2005). Performative writing relives a real experience, and thus performative writing provides qualitative and quantitative evidence (Pelias, 2005). Performative writing elicits an emotional response, it acknowledges that the world is constructed through several realities, and embodies the political constructs as a personal motive, goal, and need (Pelias, 2005).

Jones (1997) provides a perfect example of Pelias’s notion of the personal manifesting as the political. Through Jones’s performance, scholarship, and credentials that which is personal is inherently a political endeavor. Jones shows the limits of affirmative action. Her performance not only entertains, but also provides a political platform for lower-power groups. She is both speaking about a marginalized group and from a marginalized group. Likewise, Lindemann (2004) also demonstrates one of Pelias’s arguments. Although not necessarily the goal of Lindemann’s piece, the audience sees that the world is a social construct altered by varying realities. Through my own written response, Lindemann allowed me to create and perform as an audience member while adding nuance to how we define masculine, and/or resist the definition of masculine as defined by the master narrative…

Read more “Performance (Part I)”