Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Noir Candidate?

The  tweet on this post implies that Warren has decided to run as what we were calling a noir candidate.  It worked for Trump.

Saturday, December 08, 2018

Finding and Keeping Your First-Choice Major

In lecture we talked about the link between doing well and doing your first choice thing, with all the detectives winding up in what they figure out is their first choice.  Here's a link to the economics article I cited in lecture on December 4th. Like other research on this topic, it suggests that going to a premium university doesn't make much of a salary difference. What you major in does matter.  But looking at "wages by major" data and picking a higher-wage major will not lead to higher wages for you, if you are actually interested in something else.

Getting paid and being happy are most likely tied to doing that something else instead, and figuring out how to get paid for it. Being really good at the craft is the tactic used by our detectives, as well as a lot of other people.

Here's another example from The Who singer Roger Daltrey's memoir.  James Parker's New York Times review starts like this:
God bless the evil headmasters: the deformers, the belittlers, the squashers of dreams, the ones who leave their oppressed subjects in such a condition of churning anonymous rage that the only possible remedy, post-school, is greatness. “You’ll never make anything of your life, Daltrey,” promises Mr. Kibblewhite, nemesis-like, as he expels 15-year-old Roger Daltrey from Acton County Grammar in West London. Sixty years later, with the title of his new memoir, Daltrey offers a tip of the hat. Or a middle finger. Same thing, at this distance. 
Daltrey has been singing for the Who since 1964. . . . this is the hero’s journey of “Thanks a Lot, Mr. Kibblewhite”: the long arc of life-learning whereby a working-class brawler, a delinquent tea boy in a sheet metal factory, discovers within himself the psychic-emotional circuitry to conduct some of the rarest electricity in rock ’n’ roll. 
You might think, "well, it's fine to do what you love as long as you're a genius. But what about everybody else?"  And yet Daltrey is everybody else.  He's a bullied outcast who turns himself into a genius in large part by focusing obsessively on forming bands and getting really good.

Saturday, December 01, 2018

Chinatown on Noir Capitalism

What's the connection between Gittes and Marx? Here's the slide from Thursday's lecture.
The film Chinatown doesn't say anything directly about 1. It does say something indirectly: Gittes quits the police force, where he is an employee subject to the practice of getting paid less than the value his labor produces.  As a private eye, he is self-employed, which in theory would reduce his exploitation. (He gets to exploit Walsh instead!)

The film has a lot to say about 2 and 3.  Above all, it claims that mega-development depends on the corrupt use of political power.   "Market forces" such as constant migration to California do play a role.  There was quite a bit of migration from the Midwest in the 1920s and 1930s, and some famous literature tried to capture the results, like The Day of the Locust.  But the demand for low-cost housing could have been satisfied by hundreds of small builders rather than by large tract development.  Chinatown is about how moguls override the supposed invisible hand to concentrate their own wealth through force-based control of the political system.  Exploited labor is visible, but mostly around the edges of the film, in the form of mostly Japanese-American servants and gardeners.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Outline of Models of Psychosis


You asked very good questions about whether the same model applies to Harteveld and Bliss, whether the model applies to spree and serial killers alike, whether individuals still have control over how they react to sociocultural messages (barbershop baiting and road rage came up), whether this gender binary is ok (it overstates the binary and ignores gender mobility), among other good questions.  We also discussed our ongoing effort to link sociocultural forces to individual cases while doing justice to both.  Cultural analysis is hard!  Your questions suggest that you are doing well.

PS Scholars have been arguing that gender is a racialized category-- e.g. this research (the title is clickbait--scroll down).

Your Questions about the Frame