January 13, 2012

Swapping apartments with my landlord either in February or March, as her son is or isn't rolling back into town and she'll need the bigger (my current) apartment. The other apartment is a-okay but a bit further south (read: I saw a donkey drawn cart when I saw the place) but loads cheaper and nearish enough to the subway to make it a good move.

So this means that I've started packing. I already have about 8-10 boxes ready to go. I haven't started the real packing; I've just put most of my books into boxes. When I came here 3 years ago, everything I owned fit into two suitcases. Now, I need at least two maybe three bookcases. As I don't read a lot of fiction, it's harder to pawn my books to the local ex-pat coffee shops, donating to the libraries here is a bureaucratic nightmare, and the used bookstores pay less than the going rate for paper for books.

But there are much worse problems to have.


January 11, 2012

New Jack City (1991), Mario Van Peebles.
Boyz n the Hood (1991), John Singleton.

While watching these films on my day off the other day, I thought that it might have been fun to have been a Critical Theory/Film Studies professor in the early-to-mid 90s. I was trying to imagine the syllabus for a course called "New Jack Theory" that was something of an intro to theory and the mechanics of critical discourse.

Take the opening scene of New Jack City: A white man in a suit is being held over the rail of the Brooklyn Bridge by the henchman of Nino Brown (Wesley Snipes). The (Wall Street?) suit takes a header into the East River. If you screened Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971) beforehand, you could discuss power dynamics, race representation, audience expectation, cultural production (and financing thereof), etc . . . .