Sunday, March 27, 2005

,,Schieb Du Sau!"

Doesn't sound very polite does it really?

Push, you Sod!

I guess that the character in the pram, the mother, takes a post-feminist view to motherhood. Through experimentation with role reversal the comedians will be exploring, using the distancing effects of humour, this post-modern idea. They may possibly also be offering for serious engagement, the idea that motherhood can be an experience that is a little less than wonderful.

It is probably better, on reflection, not to try to de-construct jokes.

Shame I will have to miss the show as I am in Sheffield and it is in Berlin.
But maybe it is a good thing as TT would need everything explained.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Interlude on academia ...

Go here .

You need to watch the whole thing.
It is so weird.

BUt for another wonderful movie go HERE

I think it is post-modern, (in case you want to intellectualise it), but we are supposed to be on holiday .....

Friday, March 25, 2005

Post feminist post

Just to clear a something up.
There is more than one meaning for 'post' and there appears to be some confusion.
When we refer to post feminism, it is not about feminism on a post as some think.

(If only life WERE that simple.)

Perhaps you might like to pop across to the post feminist forum to think about what post feminism is.(The guerilla girls seem a bit scarey.)

Certainly my view is that after the first ardent waives of feminism, many women felt the need to reassert what they valued about femininty - which I think they feel had been undervalued by feminism in its extreme forms. Wikipedia is not really helpful with its definition.

But as Stephanie indicated on a comment on my post yesterday, Angela McRobbie is clear on this sort of thing.

And as synchronicity would have it, Anya in E selves had also only just mentioned the same article as Stephanie, but which I cannot read as Sheffield Uni does not subscribe to that journal ...
I am certainly REALLY looking forward to Anya's article on Sex and the City and hope I can get a copy of Angelaa McRobbie's article soon. (Hint, hint.)

But to get to the point, I enjoy the post feminist stuff a lot because I see myself as a post feminist someone who sees that it is possible to have a very broad idea of feminism. Feminism is more exhausting than the post stuff and far too intense for me.

I like the way the women on Sex and the City make choices about how to live. I think the show depicts women who outrageously enjoy feminine fashions, girlie food (cupcakes) and so on, they are feisty and busy and grab their rights to buy expensive stuff, indulge themselves and use their hard earned cash to do what they want to do. The show does not imply the world has changed from a patriarchy but it does show the post fem position within that patriarchy...
To take a post feminist position does not, I think, mean that you think the work is done. It is a position that recognises a plurality of possibilities for women.

But I am sure Anya will tell us more in due course.

And quite frankly I lurve Buffy.She is an ACTION CHICK ON TOP (Lynn megow):
In “Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Vampires, Postmodernity, and Postfeminism,” author Susan Owen calls Buffy a post-feminist narrative, partly because “a female is controlling the narrative and delivering the punches.” In Buffy's world, the women don't need men to rid the world of the bad guys; Buffy kicks butt all by herself.

But while we wait, go here, as Stephanie suggests and have a real mean mean time.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

DON'T trust the

Silly me.

I have realised now that what businesses do, is disguise themselves as if they were ordinary, even rebellious people. They disguise adverts as subversive messages. Sneaky little devils.

The website I put in my post yesterday is a sophisticated ad for a mainstream magazine. And I thought it was some funky girls with a website. (I did notread it closely enough.)

When I pointed out in that same post was that fly posters had somehow managed to put their texts behind bars, I did not realise how close I was to the truth at that point. The poster with 'Trust the Girls' was a taster for the website. An ad made to SEEM rebellious, of the street, urban grassroots etc. It was in fact a kind of railer for a run of the mill mag however.

So that is quite an interesting little cultural/spatial map to trace I think....

By placing the ad with graffiti and making it masquerade as rebellion, it creates a feisty image for the magazine which is actually part of the whole capitalist thing which a lot of the other graffiti is protesting about. By placing the ad in proximity with rebellious stuff, it seemed part of it.


Moreover the ad was also pasted up in a rough way, done on the cheap. BUT it was behind bars. My interpretation of this was that it made it seem like a poster almost brutalised and imprisoned. It looked like the message was locked in, but maybe the bars were to keep prying hands OUT.

I don't find this evil or pernicious. I find it fascinating, sophisticated, and a thing to be on the look out for. It is something to be aware of.
This is the kind iof text we need to teach about and to be aware that positioning, context etc can be very misleading.

Keep your wits about you kiddos.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Trust the girls

Okay then. Berlin Part 3.

In trying to unlock the secrets ofthe city ...

Lock di City

my intrepid partner in blogging and I, were intent on collecting photos.

Only for you of course.

I found that there were lots of interesting images of women around the city, some of which used the kind of art I assoiate with the swinging sixties.

Funky girls

Do I detect a preoccupation with sixties and seventies music and arts stuff in Berlin? And is this to do with the fact that many of Berlin's citizens were robbed of those decades from Western history? Are some of them locked into this time warp?

(I know many people in the UK have gone a bit retro lately, but lots of the Deutsch seemed to have been locked in this era for ages.)

Another question...
How do the fly posters get their notices up behind bars?
Or, is someone condoning this posting and letting people put up their messages and PROTECTING them with bars?

Either way, this message seemed imprisoned and somehow feminist beacause of that ...

Trust the girls

I struck lucky when I put this phrase into my search engine and came up with this funky site featuring REAL GERMAN DAMEN ..

Even if you don't speak German you should click about round here and look to see women in Berlin.
You might like to click on the left on 'Trendgirl' (see, some German text is quite easy really...) and see the wonderful word: "sexybarbielippen".

See if you can guess what it means.

Please note again the sixties influence on the site.

Ok then, that's all for now.

See you tomorrow ... when yet again, I will be watching me, watching you, watching me, watching you.
Or something like that.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Tuesday is SHOPPING day!!

Hooray. Another shopping day has come around.

If I show you what I have found you may never forgive me, although of course you will fall in love.

I want you to immediately scroll down the page after you have clicked HERE

You see? The monkeys?

You want one don't you? But they are ALL SOLD OUT.
This is a dreadful thing: To advertsise something that the people cannot really have. It is cruel. Damn cruel and heartless.

The consumers' paradise can be disheartening.

Darling Rosa and I are going to try and make some cuddly things of our own.

Yes. We are.

And if you want to know how we know how, then go here.

But I am afraid it was on this site I found this very disturbing picture.


Be afraid. Very afraid.

Now, I also know that you would like me to cover fashion on each shopping day and so why not try to please you?

Well ladies, we all know that there is the gypsy boho look to live up to...
And puts us in the picture with this report on how to get the style.

You should check out ebay for the bargains in order to put this boho look together.

And if you want to accessorize this look, why not go here (with thanks to Kate for the tip off.)

Have you ever had that experience when you are in the supermarket and you prefer what the other shoppers have got in their trollies? Well, now with the help that Michele has found on this site, we can actually work to other people's lists. Hurrah!!!

Finally have you got your pens yet? If the 'real thing' is too pricey, then there is an idea from Guy in the comments section for a DIY fix-me-up.

That's it!!

(Berlin again tomorrow kiddy winkies)

Monday, March 21, 2005

Spaces of Uncertainty

Well, in Berlin, they are just everywhere really. These are the Spaces of Uncertainty that I mentioned yesterday.

Space of Uncertainty 2

They are spaces where their use as actual PLACES, is not yet decided; or maybe there are mutiple uses and multiple users; so it looks like some groups of people have different ideas from others about what should be going on in the spaces.

Space of Uncertainty 1

And I would add, that a great many of these are spaces of contestation. There is a battle going on between users.


Like places which are squats, or places which have been 'done up' and then graffittied.

Having seen for myself so many examples in Berlin, where these sites are definitely spaces, not really places, I was relieved to see that they have not just been written ON, but also ABOUT, (on websites), and in this book


Berlin has the most amazing amount of graffitti.

Graffitti Galore
It seems a lot of people have a lot to say and that they want to say it in ENGLISH ...

Ampelmann gets tough

(...Sometimes for obvious reasons...)

and that they want to say it BIG and HIGH.

Skywalk Ampelmann 2

Here we see 'Ampelmann' , the usually cute figure at the traffic lights ...


who appears as a meme in a number of guises round Berlin. (I will explore this meme later.)

There were so many spaces of uncertainty that it made me feel that the whole of Berlin is a city that is more uncertain than others.

A city on the brink of something.

A city with so many edges, so many margins, and then so many centres.

It is true.

Which is not surprising really.

As it once had the most huge edge the world has ever known, and the West Germans wrote all over that edge.

berlin wall

Where will it all end?


There is more to say about the graffitti in Berlin as well as the spaces.
We will continue on Wednesday, as, of course, Tuesday is SHOPPING day.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Obviously ....

I was unavoidably kept away from my blog.
But never mind I am back now.
Overall Berlin was a bit of a .....


So many things to see, to do.. some of which were sucked into my camera stream.

Fascinating place and a lot to think about.

It was quite easy to read not only the writing on the wall, (too obvious), but other people's minds:


Things went smoothly in general but we did feel a bit marginalised, a bit 'under-provided for', in terms of food:


But we managed to cope and tomorrow you will be treated to seeing the SPACES of UNCERTAINTY captured by me, DrJoolz one of two Blooggers researching on your behalf, in Berlin.

Stay there on the edge of your seat. I'll see you soon ....

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Giving peace a chance

The Swiss have made it clear they are a neutral country.
This is really quite a good job as their weapons of chioce, The Swiss Army knife, does not really stand up to this kind of competition.

It seems however that they have new tactics, since the latest addition to their weaponry repertoire includes ....
a flash drive.


Whoa!! Scarey.

Bet you can't take it on a plane though.

Monday, March 14, 2005

What Ted Said

Or as some would say, "Edward Said".

Today this thing happened to me that has only happened three times to me before.
The other occasions were:

1. My PhD Viva.
2. After a coach drove into the back of my car.
3. there was a man holding a boa constrictor in my classroom.

Today I went to a cross departmental seminar on Edward Said.

And this was the fourth occasion when I had been in a situation when I could not make myself speak. (Actually in my viva I did manage to start talking after five minutes of kindness from one of the examiners)

People around me were holding forth and Jackie gave me a cue to say something about BLOGS. But no, I stared silently ahead. Jackie would definitely have preferred to discuss Bourdieu but batted valiantly on. A Class Act as usual.

I felt totally dislocated in a setting which included English literature, history, sociology, politics and education scholars. I could not join in the conversation at all which was somehow framed in a paradigm which made me feel disempowered. All very odd.

Let me say though now, that I am not at all sure I am happy with Said's views on the role of the academic. Too much faith in the idea of the intellectual I feel; why does he believe that it is only in universities that critical thinking goes on?

But Luckily....
Kate's new shoes distracted me:


They are very chic indeed.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Bags are so very important

Originally uploaded by Miss Peach.
This most wonderful picture was brought to my attention by Jackie.
What a friend to the blogger is she.
To get the true wondefulness though, please click on the pic to see the tags.

And so the time has now come to reveal to the world Kate's divine catch-all. It is this white leather piece here:

Kate's new bag

And if you need to see inside, dream no more as you can see here:

Kate's new bag

And if you click on the photo, you can play the same game as before.

I am so lucky because I have a MAGIC bag.

red bags

THe smaller of the bags was bought for me, in Canada, by Kate.
Yes it was.
And it is magic as I can fit all these things into it:


Please click on the photo as before to see labels.

If you want to see my other bag pix, go here.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Graffitti - democratic text?

I went back to the guitar shop today ... nice people in there ...
THe graffitti round the place caught my eye and I couldn't help wondering what order each of these contributions came:


I don't find any of this at all offensive but I imagine some people would be very hurt by it.

I am what might be known as a 'non-believer' in anything spiritual. And every morning I listen to The Today Programme on Radio 4 where there is a regular 7.45 slot called Thought for the Day, where someone, usually a church leader of some sort, tells us a little parable, fable or otherwise meaningful anecdote, somehow tied up with religion and morality. This I DO find very annoying. Not really because of the beliefs but because the political ideas are never given the same rigorous examination as everything else on the programme.
The Thought for the Day slot is situated within a very sturdy political news programme where politicians are never allowed to get away with any kind of sloppy asumption are unsubstantiated remark. The thought for the day person though, is allowed to get away with saying anything and no one ever challenges their ideas. They nearly always include topical/political angles in what they say and whilst this clearly makes it relevant, it is also therefore poignantly controversial. I don't like this at all; it is most incompatible. In some ways it is a bit patronising to religious leaders, as if they need a kind of protected spot.

However, hidden away here is a little treat where there is an apology about the content of one of the anecdotes given.

And that is my high horse remark for the week. You can comment on that if you want.

There is a lot to be argued either way though on whether the practice of graffitti is a democratic social practice or not.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Getting Personal

Not content with being invited to family affairs, some people tend to dominate:


But actually, it IS nice to have a bit of talent in the family.

Appparently we have to Stand by our Man..... (As if I'd do anything else)..If you want to join in the singing please feel free

stand by your man

The Chancellors' rooms

Here is a comparison of two rooms.
Each room is described as The Chancellor's Room.
I have been to meetings in each one.

Which do YOU like best?

The Chancellor's room in the first location:


A ceiling shot - revealing the only windows in the room and also the ventilation system.


The door - with coat storage facilities.


Practicality meets luxurious foliage.
(Feng Shui in an urban setting in fact)

The Chancellor's Room in the second location:

through a window

This one had a large window . Maybe like a prison?

A woman's place
This one had a door with no tartan at all and which needed a polish.


And no facilities to hang one's coat - not even in the corridor.

So which do you prefer? And which is the luckiest Chancellor?

YOU decide.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005



Well why don't you just go and see what gizoogle means?

Put a web address into the search box and see your favourite web site change into a new variety of English.

Affronted by this disrespect for English?

Well, who owns it anyway?


In the UK, some people think the Queen owns it.
Which is absurd of course.

Also people have talked about the BBC being in charge of the rules.
Right from the start the BBC set itself up as a model of ettiquette in many ways, and the globalisation of the BBC meant that its way of pronouncing words became standardised in many places. But politics have changed and more varieties of English are now appreciated on the BBC, although there is clearly a protocol observed and one of Radio 4s key Today Programme journalists has written in an authoritarian (not authoritative) way about language use.

I am beginning to wonder if Microsoft now has a strong stake - not just in spelling, but also grammar. (What is it with Microsoft and that whole 'which' / 'that' thing? With Microsoft staking a claim in nearly all technological writing, its spell and grammar checks are bound to be influencing us all.


Deborah Cameron has pointed out the absurdity as well as the inevitability and even usefulness of snobbery around language.

But I reckon everyone should just chill. Variety is the spice of life and I don't believe people when they say they cannot understand 'poorly formed English'. It is sometimes just a poorly disguised form of prejudice about race, ethnicity or social class. Check out Labov, that's what I say.

Have fun on Gizoogle.
And thanks a zillion to Rosa for telling me about Gizoogle.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Tuesday is shopping day

So we must go shopping.
This week I am bringing you sites where Internet shopping is about selling you an idea, a lifestyle. They are sites which make you feel that you are getting an inside story somehow unavailable to others.

Let's start with Camper

This site was set up after its successful shoe stores - originally in Barcelona ... had earned an international reputation. And the site, with its history of the shoe business in the family going back 120 years really does make you feel like you are priveleged to know this stuff. Part of the family. It has archives of ads for you to sort through and a new launch, Camper food is about healthy living and wholesomeness. And all of this slice of the site is very funky with a funky, slow dancebeat to help you into a cool dood mood.

All this is a setting for shoes which are alternative - different left foot to right, emphasis on comfort and a kind of 'natural' home made look about them. A far cry from Manolo.

Look here too.

Of course you can buy the stuff (although the e-shop section is a bit clunky) and the image offered is a photo of a shop with shoes to select from and see from a range of angles. Quite sophisticated when it was first set up, but no longer state of the Art.

And maybe they like it that way with their feature on indigenous art making sure they do not get above themselves with sophistication. This is the Internet with an earthy, in touch glow.

Wearing Camper shoes becomes a political statement as well as something about lifestyle choices ...

You can sort through their index to find meatspace stores and I am sure that when you go in their shops you will feel you have the edge if you have had the behind the scenes welcome from the website.

And I hope to buy some Campers when I go to Berlin next week.

An online store which offers more than most is Amplebosom. This company has a strong media presence despite its amateurish non glitzy look on-line. Don't be deceived by this image. It is a selling point that stock is kept in the barn on Sally's farm (yes, you know, Sally) and that she is a real farmer's wife. There are some wonderful pictures of our friend strewn with bras amongst the cows in a shed and looking very busy. She is a woman like us, who was forced to set up a company in order to cope with the problem of not being able to get bras big enough. Sally has no shops but enjoys a strong media presence and you can enjoy watchinmg clips of her from when she was on the telly.

Then of course there is Helen, who flogs handknitted cardis.

Again the emphasis is on the personal, the 'speaking to you as friend' tone. We can find out how Helen learned to knit and how she gets her ideas from the Celtic inspitations around her.
There is an inset piece of info about Women's Aid, Domestic Violence, and the emphasis is on caring, compassion, sisters together.
This is a soft site, presented in muted colours, in comparison to the funkiness of Camper. It is about hearth and home.

So there you have it. Three shopping sites carefully using the public/private affordances of the Internet in order to flog stuff. Happy Shopping.

Monday, March 07, 2005

My mother said ....

I was at THE Golden Wedding at the weekend and my mother said at one point,

"Dr Joolz, please do not blob this."

We blobbers are obviously scaring the pants off all our friends and family.

Hardly surprising as most of the time, I look like THIS:


And Troistetes looks like this:


(Note how this photo has captured the 'trois' dimension)

In fact according to The Guardian, Bloggers are 'a law unto themselves'.
Thanks Guardian, I may take you up on that.

But let's get serious.

We need to go straight to the source of The Guardian's story which is here on Think

The case of course raises issues about what makes a journalist; is it the job title or the behaviour?
Can't bloggers, who behave as journalists, claim the same rights not to reveal their sources?

Hey, and maybe it means we get to hang outside people's doorways and take photos of them as they leave.


But really, the real scoop of today's blog, was that I discovered this:


Well, I will try to bear this in mind as I make my way from Tuesday through to Friday.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Satan's laundromat has

this .

It is all so meta.

Which is quite topical as I am going to go here to be the photographer at my parents' Golden Wedding anniversary.

Ha ha.
Wonder what pictures I'll take ...
Will there be any fights?
(If so, the intrepid DrJoolz will snap it up.)

Married 50 years.

How did they do that?

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Thursday is FOOD day

Yes. I am offering another regular feature .. an exploration of the stuff we eat.
My blog is becoming a consumer's paradise.

I will be looking at cuisine, gastronomy, fast food, slow food, medium paced food, starters, finishers, sweets and snax. (And indeed orthography may be important.)

Obviously, predictably, I begin with ..... the


Cupcakes are, as I am sure you know, tres chic in New York.


This delicious example was found at FlirtyKitty's .

And I think that Cupcakes are getting a bit of a SEXY REPUTATION.
I do.

Take for example the way the girls from Sex and the City have been going at them.

Obviously some of you will want to have one in the oven yourselves.

But swallow your pride, and why not see what the domestic sex goddess herself, Nigella, can offer here?

But OK, what IS the attraction with these sugared mouthfuls?

Well, let DrJoolz deconstruct for you. It won't take a moment to see.
The appeal is to do with their exquisiteness; the way they encapsulate fun, daring and even wit. They can be customised to your mood, your character, your desires.
They are a whimsical, potentially sexy and totally unnecessary luxury.
Cupcakes are the nutritional equivalent of Mary Quant to wholesome beauty.
They are cosmetic; they are designer. They are gone in an instant.

And so, dear bloggers, am I ......

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Tuesday is Shopping Day.


DrJoolz is pleased to announce, that by popular request, she offers advice re online shopping.
This will be a regular Tuesday feature for you to mark in your diaries.
And of course there will be a commentary to help you UNDERSTAND what kind of process you are getting involved in.

OK, so let's begin by getting retrospective .....

One could do a great deal worse than start our journey with Pulp Vintage

Everything about this site is truly sumptuous, from its temptatious picture postcards to its glorious 'item of the week' feature. Divinely, this week there is a superb orange trenchcoat, which I know all you budding Private Dicks out there will want to get your hands on.

....But hang on a moment ... shouldn't we get

How can we resist considering the CULTURAL DISCOURSES?

It is not just interesting because suddenly the word 'retro' has entered common parlance, pretending we have always used such a word with ease. Certainly this word 'retro' has helped us to no longer view something as simply 'old fashioned' or 'out of date'. It has an altogether more edgey nuance; one is at the heart of something pulsating, if one is being 'retro'; it shares a relationship with those in the 'alternative' scene. (Which also begins, I think, with an initial nuance, a frisson of (illusory) consumer emancipation; an escape from market targetting - swiftly followed by the capitalist kill.)

Frankly, what we are talking here, is kids wearing clothes like their Mum and Dad USED to wear (- but now know better). And isn't that a bit weird? "No! It's NOT. It's retro!" I hear you cry.

The word 'retro' imbues items that were fashionable a decade ago, with up-to-date signification. It is about giving things a 'modern spin'. 'Retro' as an abbreviation of 'retrospective' seems sophisticated; it tells us that we are looking back at the past with an understanding of the present and how things turned out. It is therefore ironic. We know where the fashion went from that point, we are knowledgeable, we are being 'retrospective'. In fact, I think it might all be a teensy bit SMUG. (It compares strangely with 'retro' architecture - which is somehow not done ironically, but nostalgically; there is a notion of how the past was better, grander, of higher quality and workmanship, somehow.)

So. We transform the cultural discourses of the fashion of previous decades, (by discourses in this instance, I mean clothes) and give them a modern frame. As this paper explains we are teaching old brands new tricks.

How do we do that?
Well, we take the clothes and we surround them with a hype and a sense of fun we make them seem folksy or cute. Take this site. I just adore it; (the poodle skirts and party goods are best I think). The cleaned up version of the 1950s make it seem as if the people were all like children.

The whole pulp vintage site is fab, from the accessories, to the houseware and certainly the books to the lingerie and dresses all make the shopping experience fun, managing to saturate every mode, every sign wih the 'retro' stamp. The authors make it seem as if the people who wore this stuff in earlier decades were cutesy and innocent. And for us to wear them is a great kind of escapism too.

Is it smug? Or are we in a nostalgic space here? Or is it just all another cynical marketing pitch?

But the best way of knowing, is to join in the consumer fest. (Participant research).

Finally, I love this site reminding us of the wealth of styles, but also that people used to make lots of their own clothes.

About Me

My photo
Sheffield, South Yorks, United Kingdom
I am an academic interested in New Literacies, Digital Lifestyles, Informal Online Learning.