The end of Popular Culture…

Posted by: | April 4, 2009 | Comments Off on The end of Popular Culture…

The three readings this week were my favorite so far. The first one by Gomez-Pena illustrated the leader of the Zapatista movement, “Subcomandante” and his ‘performance’ as a leader, hero or perhaps a representation of popular culture. The Zapatistas as a “National Liberation Army” are known for their use of media and theatrical ways of getting what they want. Their war is a performance, and could be viewed as one of the first post modern liberation movements. Subcomandante is a major representative of the Zapatistas and could be viewed as “the latest pop hero in a noble tradition of performance activists..”(223). He and the Zapatistas are known for wearing black ski masks that hide their identities which in turn illustrate the planning, performance and symbolic intentions of the group. Subcomandante Maccos is a new age super hero, in some ways constructed by the people for the people.

The second article is about Jennifer Lopez and her bum… As welll as the fact that she is a topic of discussion as a so called “crossover celebrity”. Jennifer Lopez is considered Latina from the Bronx(from Puerto Rican heritage) and has a stereotypically Latin female body. ‘Latin Body’ as in a curvy figure, like a guitar, with a nice sized bottom.. all of which has generated a sort of public obsession. The article aims to prove that J.Lo is one Latina working in Hollywood that has refused to conform to the “white” idea of what is beautiful. That she loves her booty and doesn’t feel that when a woman is wearing clothes it should look like it looks on the hanger. Her body conflicts with this mainstream pop-culture idea of what is desirable. Throughout the article, Beltran wants to portray the idea that, “it is possible to view Jennifer Lopez not as another victim constructed in a still-racist society as an ethnic sexual object…But as empowered and empowering through asserting qualities such as intelligence, assertiveness, and power-while also proudly displaying her non-normative body and declaring it beautiful”(82).
The third article by Valesquez analyzes salsa, instruments and the performance of a Latin style and identity in London. The attempt to portray ‘Latinness’ through music and dance is not solely for people from Latin areas of the world. The talent, desire, and love of these art forms is not something that is only from ones roots. Valesquez analyzes the connections between music, bodies, and places and how they are less linked to your back ground than a lot of people think. (Or used to think?) It’s the idea that I’ve seen brought up in many anthro classes regarding the notion that ‘black people can run fast, or are good at dancing’. After hearing about these things in class its funny how I am aware of people in my daily life actually making reference to that. The thing this article says most is that there is a sort of tie between dance and Latin American people but the tie is not biological, and that its not only Latin American who know how to do it. There is latin American culture in many places around the world and other people living in those places are often inclined to join in and try out things they fine appealing within those cultures, and they will have just as good a chance as getting the dance steps as the next guy. A persons chances at getting the movements are specific to cultural practices and social meanings within their own life.


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