[eight] happy halloween y’all

It’s an hour til we’re supposed to meet and I’ve JUST found time and willpower to get some notes down.

This week. A lot happened. Making a lot regarding thesis not happen. So.

Wanted to read Participatory Culture. Read 2 pages. Super rad 2 pages. But… yikes, only 2 pages.

Honestly, most of my progress this week was with the creative piece. And by progress I mean I got inspiration and made some more brainstorming notes. Which! Is cool! But not what I needed to do this week.

Okay, let’s get down to business.

From last week, I really like the idea of putting this Thing of a Thesis together in a website or a podcast. No idea how I would be able to format it into a podcast. Plus I kinda wanna maintain a sense of anonymity for the people I interview, so were I to do a podcast, I wouldn’t be adding the audio from the interviews, just talking about the findings from all those interviews, which I feel wouldn’t really–

What if tho. What if I did both. What if the podcast portion was the more journalistic portion like I did 2 weeks ago. Just like. Talking about my own fandom experiences.

Then there would be a companion site where the podcast is hosted… that also documents the interviews with my friends. I like the idea of it being multi-modal. And who knows? Maybe the podcast will be a continued thing and I could make more episodes with my friends…

That’s post-Thesis, tho…

I have always wanted to try my hand at YouTube… This ain’t really a far reach from that, huh…

Anyway, regarding who I would interview… Lemme just make a mental tally.

After a mental tally, I’m wondering if 15 people is too much. I feel like that would be the Most I would do.

… I might cut it down to 10 just for my mental health’s sake. MAYBE. IDK. I love the idea of hearing many different perspectives, y’know? … Kinda translates to the creative piece, huh. Whew.

As to what I’ll be asking them about… when I first came up with this interview idea, I was thinking of staying in the BTS fandom and kinda exploring that environment (as rife with drama as it is), but I feel like maybe it’d be best to start there and explore what other fandoms each person is in. Maybe limiting to KPOP, maybe not… That I have to think about. Might be easier just for this purpose to limit to KPOP, since I’d be interviewing mainly from one group of friends and we came together through that fandom.

Maybe post-Thesis podcast can expand to other fandoms…

Ah, optimism.

Okay. Next week. I will have written out questions for the interviews. Just startup things I definitely wanna ask. I’d like for the interviewees to kinda Go Off on their respective interests and feeling of belonging (or not) in their fandoms, as well as any productivity that came from these interests career- or academic-wise. God knows I have. Kinda.

BYE.

–CM

p.s. – thetigerofmaltesekind gave me the idea of possibly crafting a “fake fandom” for my creative piece. Like, modeling social media posts and reviews of the story. I’m. Intrigued by this. And will definitely think on it.

Just a Couple of Thoughts

I have been using the term “brief” to describe some of my previous blogs but I think this is going to be the shortest one. I expect that we’ll have a short class this week, so I guess it’ll be quite fitting.

The story is progressing at a steady pace. There is not a lot of information that I can share at the moment. One interesting development that occurred since last week actually involves the language that I’m using in the story. Would that be the correct term here, ‘language’? This may be a bit difficult to describe but I’ll try my best anyway. Recently, I had a chance to watch an animated (short?) film online. It’s called The Selfish Giant (Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jtLTS7T8cc). Apparently, it’s based on a famous children’s book by the same name. It sounded somewhat familiar but I’m not quite sure if I’ve ever read it or not. Regardless, it was not necessarily the story itself that caught my attention —granted it’s really good one, but rather the look and feel of that animated film. It reminded me of old Rankin and Bass movies, particularly the animated Hobbit film (which I adore). It has a very interesting style and esthetics, texture and color, that gives off that… I don’t know, magic? Childhood wonder? If you watch it, you’d know what I’m talking about. For some reason, this certain aspect reminded me of something that I’ve tackled during a presentation project from last year, and it was in my Writing Literature for Children class. Talk about ‘quite fitting’. In that presentation, I mentioned how language could be “tweaked” in order to make the feelings more tangible. I remember referring to an article called The Sound of Writing, which was written by Michael Lydon (Link: https://www.vocabulary.com/articles/wc/the-sound-of-writing/). In it, he talked about how a writer can musicalize the language he/she is using. So, I began to wonder after watching that animated film I’ve mentioned, if I can musicalize the story that I’m working on by adding “texture” and “color” to its language. I’ll probably need to design lists of adjectives in specific categories to utilize and experiment with to see if that intention is possible. I know it all sounds too methodical, but then again art sometime requires a certain method, right? I’m interested to see the result. Obviously, this would be more fitting for the revisions, but in order to save me some time, I might as well begin to experiment with it moving forward.

Was that too brief? Well, that’s pretty much it from me this week. In terms of the research aspect, I’m sad to announce that I’ve stopped with my chase for that book I kept mentioning in my previous posts, as it seems that it’ll cost me a pretty penny to acquire it. The good news though is that I’ve found a couple of new books “to chase”. One particular book is called The Disordered Mind, by Eric Kandel, and the other is called The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness —which sounds very, very interesting, by Sy Montgomery. I’ll probably talk about those at some point, after purchasing and having time to read them of course. Until then, I’ll be busy over here… working on my story.

Week 8: Wrestling with Pedagogy and Validating Intuition



This week has been very productive.

To Do List:
1)    Identify a story as a starting place:

2)    Writing LS pedagogy in my own words. This document is very much a work in progress.

3)    Begin Assembling the visual component
a.     Photos (I distributed photos for the first four chapters)
b.     Carol complete last of gestural sketches (Had last meeting to finish collaboration)

Delving Back into the Analysis

Is it the (long awaited) research reporting time? I hope not, because I haven’t done much…

For the past two or three blog posts, I was missing the much needed research/lit review aspect and I was feeling a bit out of touch in that arena. Besides reading a few articles, I haven’t had the chance to dig too deep into the themes that were going to be relevant in my story. Fortunately, I was able to do… some stuff for this week.

Firstly, I should mention that I was finally able to look up the book that I was referencing (or rather simply mentioning) in my previous posts. Sadly, the book was unavailable at the store where I work at, and it was also unavailable to order from the online service, which makes me think that, for some reason, it is discontinued. There is still the possibility of me ordering it from an online store (such as ebay), but I feel bummed out that I won’t get to use my employee discount. If you’re wondering why it matters so much… Well, I just wanna feel special, dang it!

On more serious note, I was at least able to go through the book that was landed to me, which I believe I had mentioned before. An interesting book called African Rhythm and African Sensibility, by John Miller Chernoff, was something that I think I really needed. Admittedly, I haven’t read the whole book —I’m the best student there is, I know. However, what I have read already offered me much to work with. Within the first couple of pages, I’ve stumbled upon a great quote: “…music is beyond rational understanding: it is too close to the basic mysterious and contradictions of existence; it touches and conveys realities for which words or logic are inadequate…”, pg.2. This was apparently a reference to known philosopher Nietzsche, whom I must admit that I’m not too familiar with —I do love what he’s saying though. Music is often described as “food for soul” by many people, and I believe the reason behind that sentiment has something to do with the limitations of language when it comes to conveying certain (and true) emotions. We tend to resort to applying metaphorical speech when words with pre-existing definitions fail us, which is possibly the closest one can get to music in language,but even then the transference of complex emotions is at question. Thus, the concept of music offers something unique to play with, especially in a written story.

I probably need to offer some context as to why this concept was very interesting to me, in terms of its relation to my thesis. I tend to neglect (on purpose) giving away a lot, or if any, plot points of my story in these blog posts. It is to avoid spoilers, as well as dealing with copyrights and whatnot. Though, I guess I have to make an exception for this particular case. In the story that I’m working on, the characters perform… something —that I’ll keep a secret, and they are able to “see” the experiences of other characters who lived in the past. I wanted to add an element of mystery and intrigue to this fictional process, and my peers in the class (once again, I thank them very much) suggested that I add a musical element to it, which I thought was a fantastic idea. So, this particular book was the perfect thing to study for. Another favorite quote of mine from it is this: “Rhythm is the most perceptible and the least material thing.”, pg.23, which is exactly what I intend to interject into the story: rhythm.

That might’ve actually sounded more epic (and perhaps pretentious?) than I had intended. No, I do not plan on reinventing literature… obviously. I simply hope to interject another layer of interest and enjoyment through, shall we say, world-building. Writing around the characters with this perspective, and how certain rhythms affect them within the story, could not only flesh them out in a better sense but also introduce something for the readers to contemplate and interpret. The author Chernoff mentions in his book that “The most important gap for the participant-observer…is not between what he sees and what is there, but between his experience and how he is going to communicate it.”, pg.11. This is the element that I’d personally like to play with. Having fictional characters engage in a fictional ritual, and how they relate to it, can also serve as a some sort of analogy for the readers as they’d be engaging themselves in this fictional world with other-worldly setting. Can it be done? Absolutely. Can I do it? Well… that’s the challenge of it all, is it not? The point of the thesis is to show “what’ya got!” and as I’ve mentioned in my previous blog post, I like a good challenge. So, here’s hoping that something satisfactory will come out of all this.

I guess that is it for now. As I’ve stated earlier, I was only able to go through certain portion of the book. Hence, not a lot of in-depth analysis. But, this is more than enough for me to go on. I’ll do my best to check up on a few more research articles whenever I get the chance, but for the time being, I should get back into the story itself. Act 3, here we go!
Reference:
Chernoff, J. M. (1979). African Rhythm and African Sensibility: Aesthetics and Social Action in African Musical Idioms. The University of Chicago Press.

Research Days, Spring 2020

I want to draw to your attention the opportunity to showcase your work at Kean Univerity Research Days which takes place in April on campus.  “Research Days” at Kean is a special time when both faculty and students celebrate the research that is being done at Kean.  Please consider sharing your work at this gathering.  More information below:

We can talk about what you might want to present at Research Days and formulate a plan for sure!

Week 7: Spiraling Through the Layers of My Themes


Working my way through the spirals and layers of material that I have while attempting to take vast unspoken concepts I have worked with my whole life and trying for the first time to articulate them in my own words. I think I had a break through this week and feel a bit of momentum. Although this post is a bit all over the place it indirectly touches on all three of my themes and puts into words things I have struggled with. I have been driven by this idea of defining the intuitive aspects of art and art instruction. I have embraced the idea that there is often an overlap with the language of world religions that remains unspoken. Art like religion addresses human suffering and a relationship to big life questions. So in the spirit of taking a stab at "big life issue," I have  continued to elaborate on theme #1 from last week: Defining Lynn with theoretical connections.


With an intended commitment to deepen understanding, academic theorists in the jazz dance paradigm look backward to codify, and make sense of historical and cultural differences within the jazz dance form. By sorting out differences, accentuating them, and creating boundaries around each perceived lineage, details of a more blended fusion becomes hidden and distorted through the lens of the hierarchical categories. This hierarchical stance renders subtlety insignificant and blinds us to the similarities that prevail across lines of difference, ignoring the possibility of a common ground.

Artistic forms often engage with broad concepts and ideas around “big life issues,” such as birth, life, and death that have generally fallen under the heading of religious. The ritualistic practice of any art form participates in broader conversations and addresses vital matters.

This week I read from An Aesthetic of the Cool, by Robert Farris Thompson. Thompson is an American historian and writer with a focus in the art of Africa and the Afro-Atlantic world. He has been a member of the faculty at Yale University since 1965.This article provides an in-depth foundation for the etymology of the word cool, tracing its African origins. Written in 1966, Aesthetic of the Cool is cited as being the first academic article documenting the concept of cool and has been referenced by jazz music historians, including Lewis MacAdams in Birth of the Cool. Beat, Bebop and the American Avant-Garde[1]. Accepting the belief in current jazz dance academia that jazz music and jazz dance evolved synchronously[2], Thompson’s research provides language that is inherent in the pedagogy of LS and her jazz dance technique. LS states, “For me, everything begins with the music[3].”

Raised in the taunting melodies and harmonies of classical music, trained with the heartbeat of Russian ballet, vetted by the Broadway jazz dance circuit and infused with the African polyrhythms of jazz music in the 60s, 70s and 80s, LS’s life evolved in a way that crafted vast musical principles into a foundation of impenetrable spirit. Moved by the rhythm of generations before her and conducted by the wisdom of experience she created a dance pedagogy that transformed countless lives across multiple continents. Given her integrated relationship with music and dance, there are two pieces of Thompson’s article that directly link to the legacy of LS.

The first significant piece of this article relates cool to transcendental balance as it evolved from West African Manding divination[4]. Prior to the European colonization of West Africa, divination was an accepted form of religious practice in which a diviner was consulted and accepted methods practiced to access what was considered to be spiritually authenticated knowledge regarding the life’s “big questions.” These questions included things like relationships, marriage, birth and death. Depending on the African tribe, the methods for divination varied in form. Methods ranged from basket divining where sacred objects pertaining to the question at hand were placed in a basket, a ceremony performed and symbolic answers provided by the diviner to secret water drumming ceremonies invoking the spirit of the dead[5]. Within divination there is a convergence of the spiritual seeking, ritual, symbolism, community, social redress, and ultimately transcendence. Similarly, in An Aesthetic of the Cool,Thompson explains that the concept of cool is related to spiritual transcendence, representing the mastery of body mind integration. This mastery is exhibited when an artist can channel their emotion into the work of their artistic craft and remain aloof in their composure as opposed to being consumed by the emotions of reality. The goal of this aesthetic is to act as though one's mind were in anotherworld, the world of spirit. This does not imply disconnection, but rather a spiritual development to the higher self.

The language of West African divination, and Thomspon’s Aesthetic of the Cool is reminiscent of McKenzie’s definition in The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticismregarding “cultural performance” that was permeating the artistic landscape of theater and dance in downtown Manhattan during the 1970s. McKenzie outlines three identifying components of cultural performance. First it involves social and self-reflection through dramatization or embodiment of symbolic forms. Second alternative embodiments are presented. Third, inherent in cultural performance is the possibility for conversation or transformation of both individuals and society.

LS is a practitioner of body mind integration. She lived her life seeking answers to life’s big questions through the vehicle of movement, teaching movement and the training of movement teachers. Jazz music and dance has been her backdrop and provided the tools. Her quest for answers to her own suffering have led to the evolution of her Simonson Technique. Contained within her class structure, including her renowned 10-minute warm up are the solutions she conjured in the form of anatomy and alignment principles. Elia, in Simonson Says, reminds the reader that LS has been a teacher for more than thirty years in fifteen different countries[6]. LS draws on these experiences to continuously hone the ritualistic nature of her jazz dance class and pass it on to generations of new teachers. The four basic principles of S…. Jazz Technique are built on the personal mastery of body mind integration and the aesthetic of the cool outlined by Thompson: According to LS, by increasing awareness, a dancer has the potential to dance injury free throughout their lifetime. Every student contains the capacity to be taught to dance by integrating their body and mind. When the student is recognized and witnessed as a whole person, not just as a technician, then their awareness changes. The rhythms, energy and style of jazz music are the foundational inspiration for movement.

LS performs her role as teacher not unlike that of the Manding diviner. The sacred space created in her movement studio contains a convergence of the spiritual seeking of the student, ritual repetition of the warm-up and structure of the class with its improvisation segment and the expressive component of the performance time at the end of the 2-hour transformation, symbolism in the physical movement, community, social redress, and ultimately transcendence.

The second significant piece of An Aesthetic of the Cool, relates to the historical significance of the word cool as it relates to specifically to jazz music, in the late 1940s and early 1950s. According to Thompson, the word cool has political implications as it is an expression of community. That community may be a relationship between more experienced musicians in a jazz club excluding the less experienced, or a relationship between a musician and a dancer connected to a rhythmic vocabulary beyond the onlookers. Thompson claims that, cool can be a function of craft in fields of expressive performance like dance and music. Used in this way, the term is an acknowledgement of a deeply motivated, and complexly intertwined sense of elements serious and pleasurable, disciplined and playful, consciously and artistically interwoven. It is from the mastery of these skills that relationships are formed. Inherent in these skills is a collectedness of mind that allows for availability to the relationship at hand. Thompson clarifies that according to Yoruba tradition, drumming is only cool if the drummer is not too self-involved and therefore open to the shared communal expression of the music. The 1940s and 50s gave birth to some of the finest jazz artists ever to exist. The introduction of heroin into the landscape fueled the ephemeral rise and fall of many a cool jazz musician. Drug addiction does not allow room to be anything but self-involved shifting the journey from integration of body and spirit to one of the spiritually bankrupt drug-high. However, at the height of cool, many jazz musicians have been documented in their ultimate marriage of body and soul through their instrument of choice, inspiring countless musicians and dancers.

In Birth of the Cool. Beat, Bebop and the American Avante Garde, author Lewis MacAdams weaves a cultural history of the American avante-garde in the 1940s and 1950s through the lens of jazz musicians in New York City. MacAdams documents the history of “the cool,” tracing its origins to the fringes of society, particularly African American men living in resistance to the oppression of white America, the Jim Crow laws and the betrayal of the same country they were expected to fight for in World War II. MacAdams follows the concept of cool from its darkest days in the shadows of Manhattan to its journey to mainstream America via the fusion of musicians, poets and philosophers of the time. Jazz musicians like Coleman Hawkins, Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus. Poets like Allen Ginsberg and Juliette Greco. Writers like Zora Neale Hurston and Jack Kerouvac. With a focus on jazz musicians of this period, MacAdams brings a cultural foundation, local history and superb storytelling to life in the present. The author traverses the boundaries of social class, race, and art form making connections between people, places and language[7]. LS was an artistic product of these times, and for her everything was motivated by the music. She responded to the interdisciplinary call of the cool.

Cool Jazz followed on the heels of Bebop. It merged the philosophical underpinnings of Existentialism and the music of Bebop[8]. It signified the transition of jazz musicians from clowns and entertainers to that of artist. It was a marriage of classically trained musicians, African rhythmic foundations and culturally savvy individuals. In 1957, cool jazz pioneer Miles Davis released his famous album entitled, The Birth of the Cool, on Capital Records. In this compilation, Davis treated his ensemble as a single section based on a model of choral music to achieve a voice like quality with a “purified aesthetic[9].” It was an overtly modern sound with radical implications.


In the 1950s, LS’s girlfriend Vicki brought the cool jazz of Miles Davis back from San Francisco and the two started improvising around the living room. Hearing that kind of jazz transformed LS. It was as if there was already something familiar in the sound and it was new all at the same time. Her connection to the music was intuitive. Or perhaps, it was the coolness as achieved by Davis and transported through the notes to LS. Suggested in the lore of the West African etymology, through the aesthetic of the cool, one person can restore another to serenity though the newness, purity, rebirth and healing contained within. LS’s connection to the music of Miles Davis marked the beginning of a life-long journey intertwined with jazz music and the spiritual metaphors contained within it.

In 1984, Dance Space Inc was founded at 622 Broadway, NYC by LS and four of her students, LD, DP, MG, and CW. It was to be the home of the Simonson Technique for more than ten years.  It contained five studios, two performance spaces, a Pilates room, an Alexander Technique room and a non-profit wing that provided funding for independent artists. The five directors formed a community around the principles of the Simonson Technique and ranging through four levels from beginner to advanced. Jazz music was at the heart of this community and all five directors would eventually follow the call of the cool down different pathways in relation to the music of jazz. However, the community had a political leaning as described by Thomspon simply by aligning around the Simonson principles. Blocks away, another new dance studio opened within months on Dance Space Inc. Dance Space Inc, its foundation vibrating with the live musical rhythms of ancient African traditions, would long outlast the short-lived Pineapple Dance Center.

I believe that Thompson’s etymology best suits the jazz culture and rests at the foundation of Lynn Simonson’s evolution as a jazz dance artist and teacher. Thompson states that,

“Manifest within this philosophy of the cool is the belief that the purer,the cooler a person becomes,the more ancestral he becomes. In other words, mastery of self enables a person to transcend time and elude preoccupation. He can concentrate or she can concentrate upon truly important matters of social balance and aesthetic substance, creative matters, full of motion and brilliance. Quite logically, such gifted men and women are, in someWest and CentralAfrican cultures, compared in their coolness to the strong, moving, pure watersof the river.”

Thompson’s description provides the framework for Lynn Simonson’s approach to dance, choreography, jazz music, improvisation and life. Simonson emphasizes the importance of carrying things forward while honoring the past. The balance of these components create the transcendental balance that connects back to the Manding people of West Africa. This honoring of the continuum past was lacking in the definition of improvisation outlined by Carter in Improvisation in Dance. On the other hand, Thompson points out the notion of full embodiment symbolized in the aesthetic of the cool. In this sense, argues Thompson, “coolness imparts order not through ascetic subtraction of body from mind, but quite the contrary, by means of ecstatic unions of sensuous pleasure and moral responsibility.” This description explains a sense of ordinary lives raised to an idealized level, not the childish nihilism referenced by Carter.

(Next up…..How does Lynn represent the ecstatic union??)


This week I would like to flush out the details of LS’s pedagogy. Outlining her technique, the principles, and her framework for training teachers.



Resources:

Elia, S. Dance Teacher Magazine.  Simonson Says. 2001.

Gioia, T. The History of Jazz. Second Edition. Oxford University Press. New York. 2011.

Gridley, Mark C.  "Styles", in Ron Wynn (ed.), All Music Guide to Jazz. San Francisco. 1994.

Guarino, L. & Wendy Oliver. Jazz Dance. A History of the Roots and Branches. University Press of Florida. FL. 2014.

MacAdams, L. Birth of the Cool. Beat, Bebop, and the American Avante-Garde. The Free Press. New York. 2001.

McKenzie, J. Performance studies/ The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism. Performance Studies. Second Edition. 2005. https://www.brown.edu/Departments/Joukowsky_Institute/courses/architecturebodyperformance/files/257077.htm. Retrieved on 8/1/2019

Silva, S. Taking Divination Seriously. From Mumbo Jumbo to World Views and Ways of Life.
Silva, S. Taking Divination Seriously: From Mumbo Jumbo to Worldviews and Ways of Life.  
settings
Religions 20189(12), 394; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9120394
Received: 24 August 2018 / Accepted: 29 November 2018 / Published: 30 November 2018

Thompson, R.F. An Aesthetic of the Cool.  UCLA James S. Coleman African Studies Center.    https://www.jstor.org/stable/3334749Accessed: 14-09-2019

Zimmer, B. When Cool Got Cool. Visual Thesaurus. May 27, 2010. Retrieved on 10/10/2019:




[1] MacAdams, L. Birth of the Cool. Beat, Bebop, and the American Avante-Garde. The Free Press. New York. 2001. P. 70
[2] Guarino, L. & Wendy Oliver. Jazz Dance. A History of the Roots and Branches. University Press of Florida. FL. 2014. P xvii.
[3] Interview with Simonson on 3/15/2019/ Book 2.
[4] Thompson, R.F. An Aesthetic of the Cool.  UCLA James S. Coleman African Studies Center.    https://www.jstor.org/stable/3334749Accessed: 14-09-2019

[5] Silva, S. Taking Divination Seriously. From Mumbo Jumbo to World Views and Ways of Life.
Silva, S. Taking Divination Seriously: From Mumbo Jumbo to Worldviews and Ways of Life.  
settings
Religions 20189(12), 394; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9120394
Received: 24 August 2018 / Accepted: 29 November 2018 / Published: 30 November 2018
[6] Elia, S. Dance Teacher Magazine.  Simonson Says. 2001.
[7]MacAdams, L. Birth of the Cool. Beat, Bebop, and the American Avante-Garde. The Free Press. New York. 2001. P24.
[8]Ibid. P24
[9] Ibid

[seven] a smol upd8 of big things

After the past few days, I’m in one of those moods where I don’t wanna fluff anything (basically i cba it’s not personal it’s just that kinda day/week/year), so I’m gonna give a Brief update on my progress (which is going so frustratingly slowly with all the other heckin sTUFF goin on so pls forgive thank uwu).

So Firstly, my interlibrary loan for Participatory Culture (Jenkins, Ito & boyd) came in a few days ago and I Finally got it. I get a feeling this is gonna be a reading week. Someone needs to change the password of my netflix account so I can’t be tempted. I’ve also been reading through Affinity Online and I can’t help but laugh at every sentence, just because of how relatable it is–this is the stuff I’ve thought about for years, self-reflecting on my own progression through and connection with fandom communities and platforms. It’s a wild time.

Secondly, didn’t get to work on my creative piece like I wanted to. I got an idea to streamline Baby Owl’s plot line, though. I’ve been doing some thinking about character-driven plot v. plot-driven character. I always see that the former is preferred, but what happens when Things are happening that leaves a character lost with no option but to just let those things happen to them? I guess since this is a story with more than one plot line, moments where the plot drives the character are bound to happen… Hmmm… I will think further on this.

Thirdly, the fandom diary. I’ve had a good time with it, and I like the thoughts that I’m able to get down in the moment of experiencing this participatory inclusion. Still processing how it’ll feel to expose myself this much to the public. Like, I’m an open book, but I guess the stigma of being in this fandom is… tiring, haha. Debating how discrete I’d like to be in the actual thesis paper. Shrug. Here it is, btw. Only people on campus can read it.

Lastly, talking to a friend of mine yesterday in depth about KPOP fandom gave me the idea to interview different fans that I know to hear their opinions and stories of inclusion and exclusion. Anecdotal, mostly. I’m not really looking to prove anything, honestly. More like showcase. Like you see this shit i gotta deal with? it’s a Thing and it’s serious so take it seriously. Pardon the language. Gotta brainstorm what kinds of questions I should be asking them… Maybe I can do those interviews over the break between semesters. We shall see.

Aaaaaand that’s all for this week.

I got nothin for a clever ending phrase thing, so-

L8r,

CM

Week 6: Three Themes



I spent a lot of time this week trying to define my overarching themes that connect the theoretical components with the biographical details of LS. I made some very good headway and still have a long way to go.

1). Defining LS as a person. 
LS is unapologetically a deeply spiritual person. She is a seeker of wisdom, inspiration and healing through the arts and beyond. Having gathered her own brand of spirituality from life's circumstances, LS remains relentlessly open to whatever comes her way through the rhythm of the universe. 

a. What made LS unique and valid? Her technique, her international recognition and following and validation at European and American dance festivals, Dance Space as a home to her technique. Her ability to adapt and fluidly change forms like a chameleon. Her openness to change.

b. Why  hasn’t LS been documented? Her intuitive nature may be seen as invalid. (This week my research led to the ways in which intuition is used by different philosophers and religions.) Fusion and cross-pollination in the community and how that process developed the forms that exist now. Her ability to adapt and fluidly change forms like a chameleon. Her openness to change. She was young and female.


2). Music as a way of life. Metaphors within the musical form of jazz that assist in creating a sacred space. The universal chord: Improvisation, clave, rhythmic repetition, polyrhythm & the aesthetic of the cool.


3). Creating a Sacred space for students to have a personal transformation.
Defining LS’s technique and its relationship to “cultural performance” as defined by McKenzie. How the technique of LS and class formatting create space for personal transformation as a result of the surrender to the artistic practice. Distinguishing the Dance Space version of downtown dance (the more nihilistic theater dance.) My belief is the relationship to the music and the proximity to the other “world” music in the Dance Space building brought a spiritual component to the practice. This vibration at the foundation must be articulated carefully or rendered invalid in academia.
I think I have been dancing around this theme and not quite wanting to put it into words as it almost minimizes the experience. But I have to face it head on and find language that validates it in alignment with the west African forms that are at the foundation. It is indeed at the heart of who LS is. Joseph Campbell, renowned writer and mythologist used the phrase “to follow your bliss.”  When asked what he meant by that he explained the following:

“I came to this idea of bliss because in Sanskrit, which is the great spiritual language of the world, there are three terms that represent the brink, the jumping-off place to the ocean of transcendence: Sat, Chit, Ananda. The word “Sat” means being. “Chit” means consciousness. “Ananda” means bliss or rapture. I thought, “I don’t know whether my consciousness is proper consciousness or not; I don’t know whether what I know of my being is my proper being or not; but I do know where my rapture is. So, let me hang on to rapture, and that will bring me both my consciousness and my being.” I think it worked.”
— Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth, pp. 113, 120





Sticking with Another Brief One

“Remember when I said that [insert whatever was promised in previous post]? I lied!” – Terry Meena the Third

Did you get the reference? No? Dang… I might be getting old.

Well, I’ve got some good news and a bad one. I guess I should start with the bad one and get it out of the way. Sadly, I was not able to get into the research mode as I had hoped. So, I won’t be able to share much in this post, or any for that matter. That was whole reason for that silly start on this post, to ease the blow a little I guess. Did it work? Oh, well. I still have the book that my classmate, Jeanne, trusted me with (and I promise to keep it safe) for at least another week, so I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to go over it this week, especially now that I have quite the spare time, which I’ll get to in a minute. I also managed to find a couple of more interesting articles to go over. They’re relativly short, so it won’t be too much of a burden (hopefully).

Now onto the good news. I’ve finally completed Act 2 of the story. Man, it really feels great to be able to say that. It’s over! Well, at least for now. Until I began to dread my time limitations for the next act. A couple of things that I’ve “discovered” (re-discovered?) this past week, that I should mention, include my method of writing, or rather the strategy of how to approach it, and once again the implementation of themes. Let’s actually get into that first. I had been concerning myself over how to implement the themes that I wanted to… well, implement, into the story. As I finished Act 2, I realized that all my worries were naught. As in, I do not need to do anything specific to accomplish what I need, the themes basically implement themselves, as long as I’m conscious of them while writing. I just wish that everything else in life were that easy. Then again, perhaps that’d a bit too steal, right? You need a little bit of challange every once in a while. What am I saying? I love challanges.

Anyways, the other so-called “discovery” was in relation with relocating, the strategy to boost creativity. I’ve mentioned in my previous post that the approach, or the strategy, or whatever you wish to call it, was becoming less effective somehow. Again, I came to the realization that it’s not necessarily the relocation, it’s the campus. It’s too crowded. During the summer time, when we had that (awesome) Writer’s Retreat course, the campus was quite empty, and I could just find anywhere to sit and enjoy myself writing. Now, I need to find a space and it’s really difficult. The library is always full until around the evening. The Starbucks is also full. Even some of the chairs and desks randomly placed on faculty floors are often taken. That unfortunately causes me to lose inspration and the will. So, in the end, after waiting for someone to leave so I can take their spot, I could not bring myself to get into “the zone”. However, I manage to find a comfortable spot right away, I’m good to go. With my computer in front of me, and a cup a coffee to boost by the side… Let’s go! Or, at least that’s my theory for now. I could be totally wrong, and what I claimed last week, having assimilated into the whole thing, might turned out to be true after all. Let’s hope not.

Is that everything? You know I’m begining to feel as if I’m repeating myself. I really miss quotations and citations (oddly enough), so I’m hoping that I’ll get some research stuff done for the eventual Lit Review. The fingers… no, I refuse to say it!

[six] MORE PROGRESS kinda

Well last week was great for revelations, huh. Now that I’m on a Path, I’ve got an idea of where to go, but…

whERE DO I  S T A R T.?

Just kidding, I have places to start. Been looking up Henry Jenkins and his research. And by that I mean I have one book on its way via interlibrary loan, and two others of his in my tabs. I think I actually cited one of his works, Fans, Bloggers, and Gamers: Exploring Participatory Culture, in my NetNarr Field Guide post from last semester.

So… that saves me from searching for one link. I actually just re-found that link… now. As I write this. I’m like banging the table I’m so happy. LESS WORK FOR ME. LOVE THAT FOR ME.

Fans, Bloggers, and Gamers (thank you, Mr. Jenkins, for using the Oxford comma; you’re cool) will probably do me a better service this time around, actually, since the Field Guide post was about fandom in general and my thesis is more about the participatory culture within it. And since participatory culture is, ah, in the title… It’s a no brainer, y’know?

So that’s cool. Felt like checking off a box even tho that box is just part of a bigger box that’s part of a bigger box that’s probably part of an even bigger box we’ll call Academic Part of Thesis. Smol achievements are achievements.

And speaking of smol achievements, I got to work on Creative Part of Thesis this week, too. More than anything I pretty much just rewrote/updated/changed up/cleaned up the portion that I already had done from E-Lit. I know it was originally a children’s story, and I do still want to maintain elements of it (like a false promise as the reader gets further and further from the owl story) but I’ve found myself having a bit of fun with it–adding a bit of sass from the narrator, mostly.

It just feels nice to get back to this story, I guess.

Anyway, I hope to finish Baby Owl’s main route for next week, maybe start on some of the offshoots from it (still BO’s POV, just working on the different choices) and start figuring out some other POVs, maybe working on Mama Owl’s.

Regardless of what I get to, I’m hyped.

Before I go, though!

I wanted to pop back to our discussion in class last week. We started a chat about online fandom discourse and exclusion. I could go on for a while about it, but in my recent perusals of KPOP Twitter (ok mostly BTS Twitter but don’t tell ARMYs I said that), fans can be found excluding other fans based on:

  1. Race (don’t get me started on the cultural appropriation arguments, do not)
  2. How much excess information you know
  3. How long you’ve been a fan (something I’ve struggled with, believe it or not)
  4. If you’ve gone to concerts, bought 878497 albums, bought merch, spent that $$$$$
  5. Whether you vote on music shows/award shows (it gets to a point where you need to block the voting hashtags)
  6. If you give attention to a group that is Not Your Group (I’ve seen notices going around warning fans not to do this… seriously…)
  7. Multi-fan (liking more than one group) v. “pure blood” fan (I have literally seen this term used)

Yeah. There’s a chance you could be targeted, reported, and kicked off Twitter for any or all of this. It’s a mess.

So… exclusion? We got it. It’s a sport at this point.

I just go on there for artist and fanfic updates at this point. Big shrug.

Sigh. Well, I don’t think I really had a point to this little rant, so I’ll leave it there.

L8r, y’all.

CM