I have a large collection of computer games that I play regularly, (the PC variety not the shiny expensive console variety) but there has always been a certain aspect of "gaming" that has bothered me.
Dictionary.com describes a game as 1."An amusement or pastime". or 2. "A competitive activity involving skill, chance, or endurance on the part of two or more persons who play according to a set of rules, usually for their own amusement or for that of spectators".
In computer games it is an accepted practice that when you get "stuck" you can cheat your way out of your situation if you know the proper arcane commands. Game developers build cheat codes into the game to give it's players the ability to "play God", for example, and take no damage, such as from a hail of bullets that would otherwise call up the "you have died" screen.
If I define a PC game as in the second definition above (because they do have rules and involve skill) and take away the elements of skill and chance by cheating, am I still playing a "game"? What do you call a game that is not a game?
This is the word I love to hate. It has gone from meaning a female dog to a vulgar reference to a angry woman to a mainstream reference for an upwardly-moble woman. Lately I heard it used as a non-gender reference for someone who does general tasks ("He is the office bitch.") Altho I personally wouldn't use it, "Bitch" is a truly amazing example of the organic ability of language to change in context over time.
Laudanum is opium and was once used as a pain reliever before people realized it was addictive. Samuel Taylor Coleridge was taking this when he went into a reverie and wrote "Kubla Kahn", one of the great poems of the late 17th century.
I am a long-time bike nut. Recumbent bikes put your feet in a forward position as you lie semi-prone on it. Uses some different muccles than an upright bike. They are best for flat roads and fast downhills, but climb like dogs.
Ahhh Superheros! Few genres are better suited to studying archetypes. Take Bruce Wayne... This guy has issues up the wazoo. He fights crime, but only as a panacea to escape the pain of his parent's death. The best deconstruction of the superhero mythos I've read (aside from "Watchmen") is Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns". This graphic novel has Bruce going head to head with his old nemesis Clark Kent; still regarded as the classic hero despite attempts to "flaw" his character in recent years.
All archetypes have their roots in antiquity, but for the *most part* the anti-hero is a product of post-modernism. The anti-hero struggles with personal demons, wanting to do right but cannot rise above his faults. Holden Caulfield, Travis Bickle, Batman, Han Solo and many Clint Eastwood characters are modern anti-heros.
Happy 30th birthday STAR WARS! I left the theatre feeling that my fundamental outlook towards movies had changed... Gone was the squeaky-clean future of Star Trek. SW opened my mind to new and exciting vistas of the imagination!
How has the paradigm shifted for you?
I’m not sure I would call feminist semiotics “frightening revisionism�?. It is one of many well-established theories on language as a cultural phenomenon. I highly suggest a great book that explains semiotics in an easy to read format. It was written by one of my former profs. “The Signs of Our Time�?, by Jack Solomon (Harper and Row). It was written in the 80’s and his examples seem a bit dated now, but the principles are easily applied to modern situations. Have a great Memorial weekend!
The only feminists that want superiority over men are the Amazon archetypes you see in books, movies and TV. (I hate to bad-mouth comic books, but...)
Semioticans are scientists who follow established standards within the scientific community. Some of them are involved with research from a feminist perspective. They are scientists, that's all.
I am making observations and drawing conclusions on the use of language as it pertains to cultural, social and political influence. What's the point of "shunning" one language mode over another?
Sounds like you had a bad experience with a feminist... or perhaps your religious upbringing colors your perspective? In any case, I enjoy discussing language with you!
Uselessness... your use of "radical" to preface the word "feminist" has got my attention. Many acute language scholars (for example)would identify themselves as feminist but not "radical". They don't even have to be female (I'm not).
There are plenty of examples in the lexicon to indicate that language is biased towards the male. If that observation makes me sexist, so be it, but isn't that redundant?
Uselessness, I appreciate your comments. As far as judging patriarchal language use as good or bad, I am an impartial student of language. I feel it’s umm… useless to make value judgments on language conventions that were being established before we went bipedal. Sorry if I gave you that impression!
I am leaning toward the belief that no language is truly gender-neutral. An infant learns the “language�? of the mother first and then the dominant father’s language.
According to what I have been reading and studying on this subject, semioticans posit that a “mother tongue�? would consist non-symbolic and a-logical soothing sounds and touches such as hums, croons, and caresses. A “mother word�? might consist of a combination of sounds and touches. Patriarchal language classifies and concerns itself with order and recording events. Matriarchal language is based on feeling and does not classify or record. These non-words are passed on to the nursing infant but are lost as the child grows and absorbs the dominant patriarchal language.
Of course, attempts to gloss such a female-centric language is problematic; you can’t classify a language that wasn’t meant to be ordered. Doing so would bring it under control of the patriarchal language. This is similar to American Sign Language, a purely visual language, which looses it’s meaning when you try to gloss it, (record it by writing it down).
You say you wonder if such a language would be practical. Regardless of whether a mother tongue is a true language or not, it is absolutely essential to the cognitive (including language) development of the infant. Research shows that babies deprived of this important sensory input suffer severe delays in developing cognitive growth (ex.Deaf children of hearing parents). In other words, without the mother tongue hard-wiring our brains at infancy, there ain’t no language. And we all wouldn’t be wasting time trying to impress each other by creating new words here on wordie.