Kink

This is about the documentary, Kink, on Netflix. The film brings the viewer into the world of BDSM pornography through a behind-the-scenes look at the production and individuals who are a part of the business. It’s a very honest and open documentary and doesn’t hold back on showing anything; I don’t recommend it to anyone who has difficulty watching scenes related to BDSM. The important thing to examine from the film through a queer analysis is the individuals themselves. The directors who are filmed attempt to explain what exactly BDSM is and how it does not follow many of the stereotypes that are perpetuated about it. These people that are involved with BDSM porn–who make a living out of it–do not consider their identities as being comprised simply of that. However, they do fall within the queer community.

From a heteronormative perspective, what they’re doing may be considered degrading or harmful (especially towards women) but a queer analysis creates a different interpretation. Because BDSM is a controlled environment which is all about mutual respect, a queer perspective would give women agency and power in that situation. Many of the women who partake in BDSM feel empowered and confident, not only with their sexuality; it allows the individual to lay out specific guidelines to what is and what isn’t allowed, which is conducive for a healthy sexual relationship.

Grace and Frankie

This is yet another example of interpreting a visual product (a Netflix show) with a queer analysis. The show focuses on two women (Grace and Frankie) whose husbands leave them for each other. It relies on both queer reception and queer production. First of all, the show features a relationship (and potential marriage) between two men which is in itself queer. The relationship between the two women could also be interpreted as queer; even though they are not explicitly romantically involved, they grow to have an intimate relationship. More so than that, the show only focuses on characters who are in their 70s or late 60s and gives them sexualities and agency which is often rare for TV shows. Also, the show is centered around divorce (specifically, a man leaving a woman for another man) and life after divorce, which is also rarely shown in a light-hearted manner.

Apple

Image result for apple

Obviously, technology is a main focus we’ve been discussing regarding desire but I wanted to specifically focus on Apple products like the MacBook or the iPhone. Especially in recent years when the Internet and its role in our lives has grown exponentially, Apple has filled a major social and commercial space in enabling and developing that role of the Internet. That kind of ubiquitous connection creates a dependent relationship–and desire–between its user and the product. Furthermore, to follow Guattari’s ideas, Apple products are not always used in the way they were originally intended. Masses of people use the Internet to browse cyberspace for a variety of uses, and the MacBook and iPhone themselves are sometimes used to fill some type of desire (there are people who put their phones in various situations–like in the microwave–to see what happens).

Amy Schumer

This is a clip from stand up comedian Amy Schumer. Some of her humor is hit and miss, but I think it’s generally pretty good. Her comedy deals a lot with sexuality and her sexual freedom, as well as gender and race conflict. In this video, she incorporates expectations for women–like wanting to have kids–and stereotypes (such as women who have a lot of sex are “sluts”) into her routine as a source of humor. Her subject matter suggests disidentification because she talks about oppressive stereotypes that women face, but she does so through humor and jokes. Like Margaret Cho, comedy allows her to cope with those stereotypes in a disconnected way; therefore, she can disidentify with those expectations through exaggeration.

Bisexual pride flag

Maybe a little straightforward for a blog post this week, but flags specifically for the LGBTQ community are a great source of identity for those individuals. This particular flag is for those who identify as bisexual. It was introduced in 1998 and the colors represent each sexual attraction; the pink (same-sex), blue (opposite sex) and purple (an overlap of attraction to both sexes). Even though the traditional rainbow LGBTQ flag is meant to be all inclusive of any sexual orientation, it has gradually developed to broadly represent gay and lesbian. Bisexuals tend to be under represented and overlooked; this occurs in other media forms such as film. Therefore, this flag allows an identity outlet for specifically the bisexual community. Having a permanent image creates an opportunity for them to form an identity and a queer sense of self.

Parable of the Polygons

http://ncase.me/polygons/

This is quite different from traditional video games or games like Lim or Dys4ia, but the interactions within the post are still playable (they have an objective and a means to obtain that goal). In this way, the format itself speaks to a certain queer perspective as does the ultimate message. The final message aims to make a point about segregation and bias–even small behaviors can have larger societal impacts. The game encourages diversity within the moving of the pieces, but it allows a larger interpretation that can be applied to circumstances in a social context. It’s in this way that this game is similar to games such as Lim; a basic and simple outline allows the player to create their own interpretation and to draw their own conclusions.

David Bowie

Pretty much anything David Bowie could be considered a type of camp. However, his role as the goblin king, Jareth, in the movie Labyrinth is an example of camp as a style. This is most clearly indicated through his appearance and his wardrobe. The hair–oh, the hair–and his clothes are themselves terrible, but the aesthetics in the movie are also exaggerated and dramatic. The makeup on Bowie is overly stated and his image would not be considered conventionally beautiful for men by the heteronormative society. In that way (and among others, regarding the movie’s main plot), his character and his role in the movie could be considered queer. While this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s camp, the combination of the character, clothing, hair, over exaggeration and dramatization, and style of the movie do make Bowie and the character camp.