Presentation on theme: "For review of the OG's: There are four main parts to this material in the following order. Traditionalism against which Romanticism revolted: 1. Puritanism."— Presentation transcript:
For review of the OG's: There are four main parts to this material in the following order. Traditionalism against which Romanticism revolted: 1. Puritanism 2. Work Ethic 3. Gender traditionalism Major points are in gray/black boxes The Romantic revolt comes under 3 headings: Authenticity Part One: INTUITION: Discover one's true self Major points are in green boxes Authenticity Part Two: EXPRESSIVISM: Express your true self Major Points are in red boxes Authenticity Part 3: INTEGRITY Have the integrity to maintain your true self Major points are in blue boxes:
1.Discover one’s nature Listen to the still small voice Ignore conventional wisdom authenticity 2. Express one’s nature: be nonconformist Develop one’s inborn abilities 3. Have the integrity to resist coercion out of one’s authentic life and seduction back into a conventional life.
Difficulties in authenticity expressivism self-development & integrity It takes strength of character. Freedom is frightening: fear may make one run back to the closet The outcome is unknown, the future uncertain Conventional society will attempt to punish you.
Nations, like families, have great men only in spite of themselves. They do everything in their power not to have any. And therefore, the great man, in order to exist, must possess a force of attack which is greater than the force of resistance developed by millions of people. --Charles Baudelaire
Freedom is frightening because no one can tell you the way There are no road maps, no well-trodden paths to follow, no scripts. One has to make it up as one goes, with only one’s instincts to follow No one will be able to give you advice. You will be uncertain and anxious without others like you to give you reassurance For more on this, go to the Taylor lecture and see the part on Existentialism
Calvin wants to avoid the still small voice; it makes him nervous
Rebel Without a Cause illustrates the severe anxiety that can result when one knows that the old ways don’t suit one, but hasn’t figured out a new way yet and doesn’t even know where to look.
Rebellion even in Pleasantville doesn’t come easily: The kids need permission from Bud To turn the juke box back on after the town council has decreed that no one shall listen to that kind of music anymore. They are used to obeying the authorities and their instinct is to do so again
According to Mademoiselle in 1986: Dating was probably never fun, But it wasn’t navigating Shark-infested waters, either.... If you wanted sex, You got married: society required it--it was not optional. Men pursued women ardently and openly; women pursued Men ardently and covertly. The game was clear to all players.” Even if the rules were stifling, it seems, at least we knew What they were--and the consequences of breaking them. - Beth Bailey, From Front Porch to Back Seat The editors of Mademoiselle are exhibiting a fear Of freedom: give us rules, even oppressive ones. It’s too hard to have to make our own choices.
Vast numbers of American women and men during the early years of the cold war--more than ever before or since--got married, moved to the suburbs, and had babies. If they felt frustrated with their lot, the women were more likely to turn to tranquilizers, and the men to Playboy magazine, for escape. But few were willing to give up the rewards of conforming for the risks of resisting the domestic path. --Elaine Tyler May, Homeward Bound:American Families in the Cold War Era
the young Republican, though often seeming to hold up Babbitt as his culture hero, is neither vulgar nor materialistic, as Babbitt was. He conforms because he believes it Is socially practical, not necessarily virtuous. Both positions, however, are the result of more or less the same conviction -- namely that the valueless abyss of modern life is unbearable --John Clellon Holmes, author of “Go” the first Beat novel
By virtue of this inevitable nature, private will is overpowered, and, maugre our efforts or our imperfections, your genius will speak from you, and mine from me. That which we are, we shall teach, not voluntarily, but involuntarily. Thoughts come into our minds by avenues which we never left open, and thoughts go out of our minds through avenues which we never voluntarily opened. --Emerson Yet here we see a different view
For the ease and pleasure of treading the old road, accepting the fashions, the education, the religion of society, he takes the cross of making his own, and, of course, the self-accusation, the faint heart, the frequent uncertainty and loss of time, which are the nettles and tangling vines in the way of the self-relying and self-directed; and the state of virtual hostility in which he seems to stand to society, and especially to educated society. For all this loss and scorn, what offset? He is to find consolation in exercising the highest functions of human nature.
Some of the rebels in Pleasantville become afraid of their new selves ashamed of themselves for no longer being “normal” one’s old conscience will not disappear overnight: --Betty will suffer pangs of guilt for leaving her husband and children and committing adultery with Bill. --those kids who had pre-marital sex will not lose their conventional morality so easily: they will feel guilty too. The old ways will reassert themselves and must be resisted
Conformity suppresses what is natural in us. Fear of being different can lead us right back into the closet.
Bill tries to make deals about what colors he will use In order to be able to paint while still remaining respec- tably within the norms. The kids in the malt shop give in to their traditional Respect for authority after the Town Fathers have put Forth the Code of Decency banning rock ‘n roll.
For nonconformity, the world whips you with its displeasure. -Emerson One must have courage to endure the punishments the conventional world will inflict upon those who rebel against it.
e.e.cummings i sing of olaf i sing of Olaf glad and big whose warmest heart recoiled at war: a conscientious object-or his wellbelovéd colonel(trig westpointer most succinctly bred) took erring Olaf soon in hand; but--though an host of overjoyed Noncoms (first knocking on the head him) do through icy waters roll that helplessness which others stroke with brushes recently employed anent this muddy toiletbowl, while kindred intellects evoke allegiance per blunt instruments-- Olaf(being to all intents a corpse and wanting any rag upon what God unto him gave) responds,without getting annoyed "I will not kiss your fucking flag" straightway the silver bird looked grave (departing hurriedly to shave) but--though all kinds of officers (a yearning nation's blueeyed pride) their passive prey did kick and curse until for wear their clarion voices and boots were much the worse, and egged the firstclassprivates on his rectum wickedly to tease by means of skilfully applied bayonets roasted hot with heat-- Olaf (upon what were once knees) does almost ceaselessly repeat "there is some shit I will not eat" our president,being of which assertions duly notified threw the yellowsonofabitch into a dungeon,where he died--- Christ (of His mercy infinite) i pray to see; and Olaf, too preponderatingly because unless statistics lie he was more brave than me: more blond than you.
One may suffer Unpopularity Ridicule Loss of career Loss of friends Social oppression Poverty Even death America is no place for an artist: to be an artist is to be a moral leper, an economic misfit, a social liability. A corn-fed hog enjoys a better life than a creative writer, painter, or musician. -Henry Miller, The Air-Conditioned Nightmare p. 16
America is not so much a nightmare as a non-dream. The American non-dream is precisely a move to wipe the dream out of existence. The dream is a spontaneous happening and therefore dangerous to a control system set up by the non-dreamers. --William Burroughs, “Beat” author.
In the real 50’s world Mary Sue would have been ostracized for sleeping with Skip Betty would have lost all her friends for leaving her family--she would have been openly snubbed. Bill would have had to run off to Greenwich Village
The judges of normality are present everywhere. We are in the society of the teacher-judge, the doctor-judge, the educator- judge, the “social worker”-judge. Michel Foucault Discipline and Punish, (1975 ).
Our society is engaged in much the same conflict today. People are ostracized, attacked, and even prosecuted because they read books and magazines society doesn't approve of; or they put chemicals into their bodies society doesn't approve of; or they have romantic relationships with people society doesn't approve of. It matters not that these are peaceful people who are just trying to pursue happiness. Society refuses to accept lifestyles that don't fit some preconceived notion of normalcy. Pleasantville has a happy ending, as the society accepts that these differences are not simply aberrant behaviors exhibited by lawless people, but t he natural expression of hopes and dreams which are inside every one of us. ---Jonathan Richter
Girls who violated the sexual conventions by “putting out” or “going all the way” often suffered a cruel fate: scorn if they were lucky--worse if they weren’t.
In 1949, Bergman met Italian director Roberto Rossellini. She fell in love with him while performing in his film Stromboli (1950). Bergman left her husband, Dr. Aron Petter Lindström and their daughter, Pia Lindström, for Rossellini.They married on 24 May 1950,. The affair caused a scandal; Bergman, who was pregnant at the time of the marriage, was branded as "Hollywood's apostle of degradation" and forced to leave the States. Anger over her private life continued unabated, with Ed Sullivan at one point infamously polling his TV show audience as to whether she should be forgiven.
Lenny Bruce: prosecuted and persecuted for use of “obscene” language in his nightclub routines
In the mid-90’s there was a spate of hate crime: Matthew Shepard tied to a fence and beaten to death because he was gay. Teena Brandon raped and murdered because she was a man in a woman’s body and tried to pass as a man.
"in the name of property values, Hermosa Beach was then  in the midst of clearing out the last remnants of its hippie culture, and the town fathers were apparently intent on preventing bohemian youth culture from ever blighting their fair city again. The police showed up at the party and almost literally told Black Flag to be out of town by sundown." Michael Azerad, Our Band Could Be Your Life, p. 20
Pleasantville illustrates two kinds of reaction to nonconformity immediate, vigilante and emotional official, thought-out, long term
I t was illegal for more than two homosexuals to congregate in California during the 1950s Harsh repression and widespread institutionalized homophobia followed quickly in the wake of wartime, when gay and lesbian communities had flourished. As anti-communist crusades launched investigations to root out “perverts” in the government, homosexuality itself became a mark of potential subversive activity, grounds for dismissal from jobs, and justification for official and unofficial persecution. To escape the status of pariah, many gay men and lesbians locked themselves in the stifling closet of conformity, hiding their sexual identities and passing as heterosexuals. As one lesbian recalled, “It has never been easy to be a lesbian in this country, but the 1950’s was surely the worst decade in which to love your own sex.” --Elaine Tyler May, Homeward Bound It’s all too easy to chuckle at Harry Hay when you see him in Before Stonewall, this effeminate old man with his flamboyant clothing, but it took an enormous amount of courage to be out as a gay man in the 50’s, to publish a magazine and found an organization for gays. If gay men like Matthew Shephard are still being harassed, even killed, in our own, supposedly more liberated times, imagine what threats Harry Hay faced in the fifties. Even that supposedly most anti-bourgeois radical organization, the Communist Party, forbade gays to be members.
Patti Smith, from “Suite” p. 84 Of Early Work 1970-79 citizens! we must not sleep. our sons are running like seasons to nature. man the tower and trestle tenderfoot soldiers. daughters! be awake at the wake be you rigid and immobile and in guard citizens! resurrect your sons from this sad spot of decay.
Then the official reaction The Pleasantville city fathers struck back against the kids’ rebellion By banning rock n’ roll, imposing Curfews...
1.They close down the library 2.The schools are to teach the “non-changist” view of history 3.They ban umbrellas and any other devices to protect against rain (“head in the sand”) 4.They ban all music but Johnny Mathis and other “temperate and pleasant” music I.e. no rock ‘n roll or jazz 5. The only permissible paint colors are black, white and gray 6. They close down Lovers’ Lane and ban big beds--no more marital or other sexuality
The first two illustrate the Romantic view that traditional knowledge will ignore or suppress anything that contradicts or challenges it as well as the conventional attempt to prevent change
The next four illlustrate the traditional attempt to suppress nature: Rock n’ roll appeals to –Sexuality –irrationality –emotions Lovers’ Lane/big beds are banned to suppress sexuality Colors are banned to suppress the ability to express oneself in untraditional ways.
HAY’S UNEASY relationship with the gay movement — he reviled what he saw as the movement’s propensity for selling out its fringe members for easy, and often illusory, respectability — didn’t develop later in life. It was there from the start. In 1950, when Hay formed the Mattachine Society — technically a "homophile group," since the more aggressive idea of gay rights had yet to be conceived — his radical vision was captured in a manifesto he wrote stating boldly that gay people were not like heterosexuals. Indeed, Hay insisted, homosexuals formed a unique culture from which heterosexuals might learn a great deal. This notion was at decisive odds with the view put forth by many other Mattachine members: that homosexuals should not be discriminated against because gay people were just like straight people. By 1954, the group essentially ousted Hay. –Michael Brosky
In 1956 Beat poet and owner of City Lights Books Lawrence Ferlinghetti published "Howl" in his new Pocket Poets series. Because of the strong content of the poetry, United States Customs officers and the San Francisco police seized the books, banned their sale, and charged Ferlinghetti and Ginsberg with publishing obscene material. A lengthy court battle ensued, culminating in the decision that "Howl" was not without redeeming social importance, and the obscenity charges dropped.
I have never been able to accept the two great laws of humanity—that you’re always being suppressed if you’re inspired and always being pushed into the corner if you’re exceptional. I won’t be cornered and I won’t stay suppressed. Margaret Anderson My Thirty Years’ War, ch. 1 (1930).
The enquiry... is not whether a man has talents & genius, but whether he is passive & polite & a virtuous ass & obedient to noblemen’s opinions in art & science. If he is, he is a good man. If not, he must be starved. --William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, engraver and as complete a Romantic as ever was.
An indie filmmaker may find himself facing a tempting offer from a big studio. She’ll get much more money, studio backing for publicity and distribution... And she’ll have to let the suits have a say in the kinds of films she makes. One must resist the temptation to “sell out.”
Buying cool stuff that you think will make you a rebel Conforming to the other nonconformists around you, Exchanging one kind of conformity for another. One must be smart enough to avoid ersatz kinds of nonconformity:
The square world will attempt to commercialize nonconformity to sell it to those who want to be hip
The “prejudice” was the long-standing belief that it was not feminine to smoke.
Smoke these and you can be the kind of free-spirited woman who rides a dirt bike with the man on the back.
Romantics: Be true to oneself at all costs Practical people: Be sensible: sometimes you have to go along to get along. Don’t make waves. Be a team player. Cynics: Everybody has a price. Don’t be a sucker. Fatalists: There’s nothing one person can do to change anything, so why try? Moralists: One has a duty to others; one can’t just run off and do as one pleases. Contrast 11