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Postmodern Village
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The Mainly Annual
EastWesterly Review/Postmodern Village
15th Annual
Conference

N. Il-CassidyHemingway or the Highway: the Battle for the Heart of the Literary Male from Bunyan to the Beats (and Back Again)
by N. Il-Cassidy

Il-Cassidy seems driven, and by showing the way in which the traditional male has approached literature as a way to count, discount, and recount masculine ideals, he finally takes us back home. It's not the linear nature of the text, but the way the literary male is himself a fiction that Il-Cassidy lays bare. The more we write, the better we was. But given the continual dumbing-down of the contemporary man, is that entirely a bad thing?

Emily VanderposteRemorseless Carnage: Belles Sans Merci, and What They Learned from the Etiquette Books
by Emily Vanderposte

Keats could never have written in the 20th Century, argues Vanderposte; when he wrote to demure was to be proper, and to be proper should have been to be cruel—when need be, naturally. Beauty without mercy saves the soul, she says, but that chaste way is the very Will-to-Power for the ante-liberated femme.

Mittens DuBois-DuganA Thousand Flavors of Bunco: Feminist Games Theory and the Liberated Housewife, Oddsmaking for Freedom
by Mittens DuBois-Dugan

DuBois-Dugan brought her dice, and a salad featuring goldfish crackers suspended in sparkling white grape Jell-O, and taught us all Bunco, a game she claimed is "sweeping the nation." Is a game feminist because it requires no skill, encourages women to squeal together, and involves a lot of eating? DuBois-Dugan seems to think so and claims that Bunco Night is the great equalizer to a stoker of men's poker.

Ruben Wembly IIIFragonard Rock: Rococo Meets The Muppet Show, or How the Frills Flew over the Cuckoo's Next
by Ruben Wembly III

From the out-of-control swinging of Red to the subtle naughtiness of Wayne and Wanda, Jim Henson's Muppets employed a number of Rococo ideals. While the refresher on Watteau, Boucher and Falconet were interesting, we were much happier with the Rococo desserts. How did they manage to get chocolate to curl like that? And the cherub-shaped raspberries were just bizarre. Good, but bizarre.

Dillary HuffSnow White and the 10,000 Maniacs: Natalie Merchant as Innocent Revisioned
by Dillary Huff

Huff's got enough stuff to make puffing it tough; it's good, solid research, not fluff. Smart chicks are savvy: no ribbons, no lace, no white-muffs required. They take no guff and are wise not to play in the rough, deftly handling the balls and the clubs, but not so much as to let you play through.

Peter "Puff" MeriMethistopholes and the Giant Peach: Kid-Lit and the Corruption of Drug Culture
By Peter "Puff" Meri

From the wacked-out puppetry of HR Pufnstuf to a certain magic dragon, one would expect that the drug culture would be the one corrupting the kiddies. Not so, counters Meri, who says an innocent attempt to open the doors of perception was demonized by the squares reading way too much into the hippy-trippy kids' shows. Novel, but one wonders what he was smoking to come up with such an idea.

H.R. WiebeImperialist Buckyballs: Carbon Nanotubes as Tools of Western Hegemony, a Primer in Semaphore
by H.R. Wiebe

Are flagpoles really the best use of nanotube technology? Wiebe seems to think small equals strong, and this semaphore enthusiast spent the first half of his talk explaining to us, through flagging metaphors, that "this room is far too small. I shouldn't be able to see you." This correspondent drifted off a little bit in his presentation, but woke up to something about "I got your outsourcing right here."

Bun E. BachWarrant Zevon: the Rock of Paranoia and the Rise of the Anglo-American Police State, an Annotated, Animated Line Graph
by Bun E. Bach

Pink Floyd's The Wall was just the first to envision the fascistic techniques used to make happen the stadium show. Bach turns the tools of capital against its more tyrannical cultural manifestations through his profusely annotated graph, replete with unlikely resistance figures: with lawyers, guns, and money your liberation is at hand. And that's no cheap trick.

 

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