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After Antigone’s Claim this is a subject I’ve been (re)thinking of lately. For a period in the summer, I suppose it could be said I had a masculine identity crisis for a number of reasons, given that I am perhaps not the best exemplar of the (cultural) male archetype.

For my money, I find that the concepts of ‘manhood’ and ‘womanhood’ are often determined in opposition to one another; that is that ‘manhood’ is the opposite of ‘womanhood’ and vice versa. I prefer to think of it as the opposite of childhood, but that’s just me.

Anyway, I’m boring, so here are interesting media links on this topic instead:

What does it mean to be man, explored through hands.

Trailer for a film exploring Western ideals of masculinity, and why they are poisonous.

The Replacements – Androgynous

Here come Dick, he’s wearing a skirt
Here comes Jane, y’know she’s sporting a chain
Same hair, revolution
Same build, evolution
Tomorrow who’s gonna fuss

And they love each other so
Androgynous
Closer than you know, love each other so
Androgynous

Don’t get him wrong and don’t get him mad
He might be a father, but he sure ain’t a dad
And she don’t need advice that’ll center her
She’s happy with the way she looks
She’s happy with her gender

Mirror image, see no damage
See no evil at all
Kewpie dolls and urine stalls
Will be laughed at
The way you’re laughed at now

Now, something meets Boy, and something meets Girl
They both look the same
They’re overjoyed in this world
Same hair, revolution
Unisex, evolution
Tomorrow who’s gonna fuss
And tomorrow Dick is wearing pants
And tomorrow Janie’s wearing a dress
Future outcasts and they don’t last
And today, the people dress the way that they please
The way they tried to do in the last centuriesĀ 

I had meant to do something else for my first blog post but this observation was too funny to pass up.

So, in my seminar someone offhandedly referred to the fruit of The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (loquacious, innit?) as an apple, as is the popular conception. Of course, nowhere in the text does it state that it is an apple, so where does this stem from? Obviously the apple is (at least in Western Culture) the quintessential fruit, and one most associated with intellectualism and thus the transgression that implies (Newton’s apple, teacher’s apple, apple a day keep the doctor away). But later that day, while I was eating potato chips at the bus stop (I’m that guy, yes) I noticed that the French referred to it as pomme de terre, fruit/apple of the earth.

In Hebrew the fruit is referred to as Ha’adamah, fruit of the earth. Given that French is a Romantic language and early Christian translations of the Bible were in latin, it’s easy to see where the conception of it being an apple comes from.

Except that pomme de terre also means potato.

The forbidden fruit, with all the eroticism, transgression, and liberation that it implies for humanity, that which caused The Fall and our expulsion from Paradise, Original Sin, was a potato.

A potato.

Just picture it, a nude rosy cheeked Eve in the hue of youth, flush with the overwhelming discovery of knowledge and of her own latent sexuality, with the tempting serpent coiled round her shoulder in an insidious seduction, voluptuously, sensually, taking a bite out of a potato, before passing it on to Adam.

But if potatoes confer knowledge of good and evil, what is the fruit of The Tree of Life?

yam

 

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