The typical conventions that modern day society has placed on ideals relating to sex are pretty much completely thrown away when it comes to the story of Omaha. Disturbing notions of sexual activity and even the needlessly poetic descriptions of ejaculation and physical pleasure completely negate any potential worth in intimacy, romance and passion – but realistically it has become obvious that such things are not meant to be a part of this story. The awkwardness of the sex simply serves as a form of comic relief. When the pillars that hold together the foundation of any structure in culture are stripped away and then applied to a form of art, including literature, the result is one of two things: an innovative piece that will be followed and eventually grow to be known as a cliche, or a forgotten piece that is ignored and disregarded for it’s obscure presentation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuSBnKJpsvQ

Ending scene of Kids, a movie to raise aware about the spread of AIDS, and the growing sexual activity of younger people in modern, Western society.

Omaha & Blowjob Girl

December 12, 2011

As I’ve stated in other blog posts, almost anything related to sex in Omaha Bigelow was really disturbing and awkward to me. This video, while meant to be for entertainment purposes, generally silly humor, pretty much depicts exactly how these instances made me feel. It was just very off putting, and I felt as if I almost had to read things over again and again to understand why things happened the way they did. I honestly have nothing positive to say about Omaha Bigelow, his journey to enlarge his penis and anything sexually related in the book. Definitely made me a prude. It’s not sexy, it’s not fun, it’s not appeal. Maybe it’s just something to laugh about because of how absurd it is.

In this scene from the relatively successful film Spanglish, starring Adam Sandler, the concept of the Field of Perception comes across extremely well. The range of motion as far as a character’s sights and understanding are concerned is their field of perception, and that can differ from what the narrator sees, other characters and the audience as well. In this scene, two characters who are evidently married are having a discussion about their children and approach to parenting. The wife becomes very upset about the husband’s calm, relaxed nature – especially towards the idea of them having a dispute and disagreement. The two characters are perceiving the situation in extremely different ways. While one is views things as a reason to discuss, debate and prove a point, the other (Sandler) is very lax and hands off about the situation, clearly aiming to diffuse any kind of tension before it grows worse.

The idea of voice acting is fascinating and directly relates to different types of narration and focalization as well. In this video Mark Hamill explains his role as The Joker in Batman: The Animated Series. He favors the role because not only can’t audiences see him personally while he performs the voiced of the popular villain he portrays, but for the most part he creates the characters moods, inflections and even energy levels through his own interpretation. The character of the Joker is made to perceive things, as Mark Hamill, the voice actor first sees them fit to a certain scene or situation. I related this in a sense to Saturn in The People of Paper. He could see all, react, offer additional information and even lay his own judgments upon the other characters – essentially distant from them and not included in the story, but still knowledgable and relevant. Mark Hamill is an actor, who has nothing to do with the fantasy realm of Batman – but he gives life to The Joker, without the conscious choices Hamill makes, The Joker would be a much less impacting character.

Understanding Language

December 12, 2011

“The niggah better be cool or I’ma axe my grandmother to turn him into a fuckin’ pigeon. That’s some stupid shit. Like I’m your girl and everything and he’s pulling that booshit.” (Yunque 61)

The author successfully makes use of effective phonetic depiction in the text of the dialogue. It makes it easier to almost give voice and life to the characters, making it easier to read. Ironically enough however, people may not pick up on certain phrases with such skewed spelling and pronounciation at first, so it can also end up being extremely difficult to understand these kinds of quotes. Reminded of the slang talk that surrounded me in my youth, I actually find it pretty repulsive when people are comfortable speaking in such a manner. Why someone would love to project their lack of education is beyond me, however it is shockingly common in our world – in very different societies.

Disturbing Sex Scene

December 12, 2011

“She was breathing heavily, and after he lay down she was on him, straddling him and placing the bohango inside of her. She lay on him and began slowly grinding herself on him with such smooth motions that a few minutes later he had exploded inside of her.”(Yunque 147)

-There was an overwhelming sense of discomfort on my behalf while reading through a lot of the book, especially the extremely strange ways in which sexual acts were depicted and described, and even how they ended up happening. The sex is not sexy at all, much like the sex as described in the story of Moll Flanders. She had been with multiple men and her passion and desire was explained at times, but at no point was it appealing and thrilling in anyway. I actually dislike that kind of rigid, coarse structure to something such as acts of intimacy in literature – it just isn’t my style or preference. It is possible when it has a more fitting context I suppose. I just constantly felt as if the events in the story, the behaviors of characters and the constant focus on inadequate men and sex was almost too abnormal for me to enjoy – it all became pretty disturbing for me. Reading this novel must be done with a humorous sentiment in mind, otherwise if you try to take it seriously, you’ll be left in an awkward mind state.

Nabo and Omaha – Ethnicity

December 12, 2011

“The Nigger of the Narcissus, that’s the title. Anyway, she’s not a Negro, or black, to be more accurate. She’s Puerto Rican.” (Yunque 109)

When the discussion and debate over ethnic background and skin color began in the story I was immediately reminded of the kind of language used in the story of Nabo by Garcia Marquez. Just as the characters in Omaha Bigelow wanted to have a very specific designation of their ethnicity, as well as others, Nabo felt that unspoken connection with the black man, referred to as a “negro” in the story, who played the saxophone at the square.

 

Real Dialogue

December 12, 2011

“I thought you were going to say ‘leave you hanging.’ Get it? Hung? Which I hope this gringo whiteboy is gonna be after the ceremony.” (Yunque 91)

The rather harsh language, sarcastic and often times demeaning humor that’s used throughout the book, specifically through dialogue actually serves a relatively profound purpose. Characterization is amplified to a massive degree, and understanding both the mentalities and social realms the characters dwell within becomes evident. Often times the characters’ dialogue is riddled with profanities, slang terms, insults and mocking jokes, overall lacking compassion and even shame.

Not Sexy

December 12, 2011

“She then reached her hand down and found his erect organ. It was hard and thin like that of a monkey or a chihuahua. She opened her eyes and took it in her fingers under the water and caressed it until Omaha was moaning and then his back was arching up out of the water and the little pee pee was shooting a stream of brightly colored fluid of magenta, silver and pearl into the air, where it hung momentarily before crashing like delicate glass into the cloudy water.” (Yunque 33)

Very little pleasure can be taken on behalf of the reader during this kind of sexual encounter. The language isn’t appealing, the actual event and the manner in which it is described certainly isn’t arousing. Instead it’s almost disturbing. It seems as if the author had no intention of making it alluring though. The language used in regard to the colors and more specifically the relatively beautiful wording of the similes clashes harshly against the awkward sexual images that they are meant to describe. The well written language of the novel’s narrative is definitely weakened by the overall subject matter, which becomes obnoxious and disturbing.

People of Paper: Imagery

November 16, 2011

“For the first five years of their marriage Merced felt no shame in having a husband who wet his bed. She got used to the smell of piss and mint in the morning. And she could not imagine making love without the fermenting stench of wet hay underneath her.” (Plascencia 18)

While the above quotation may be rather brief, it is evident that the author is fully capable of providing rather impacting imagery with few words. This is an exceptionally impressive skill and further intensifies certain moods and tones through the story. I genuinely felt disgusted when reading about a grown man who soaked himself in urine every night that he slept. Furthermore, the fact that his wife tolerated and even grew somewhat fond of it seemed even more disturbing. I actually imaged the scent of the drying, aging urine and my skin crawled when reading about the wet hay against their bodies. The fact that it affected me so much was a definite sign of affective writing, however the content did not necessarily appeal to me. The shock value behind it however, being that it did seem so abnormal and extremel, is definitely drawing to readers amongst the first few pages of the book. Realistically, it was an ingenius way to begin – starting with a story that was so unorthodox that it would draw readers in to read and see where things went.