Is it Folklore?

I just had the last day of folklore. Well, it’s not the last day. It’s the last day before presentations begin. We talked about fairy tales and got into a big screeching fit.  Then we moved onto humor and were left gasping for breath after the laughter had died down.  I don’t think I can tell you about it since I am trying to keep things PG.

So we have to do this field research project for the folklore class. The final product will consist of a twenty minute presentation and 8-10 paged paper. Most people are doing their research on stuff we already know is folklore, like fairy tales, bathroom stalls (see previous post), and holidays.  I decided to do something different. I hope I can make the argument that it is folklore.

My folk project is going to be centered around Dance Dance Revolution and Pump It Up.  There are two video games where there are four (DDR) or five (PIU) arrows on a pad on the ground. There is a screen in front of you.  You pick a song and as it plays arrows rise on the screen in front of you.  When the arrows reach the top of the screen (let’s say it is a left arrow that rises first) you need to step on the correct arrow on the pad (in this case left).  Then more arrows come faster and faster until you feel like you are flying. Okay, the game isn’t folklore. Its pop culture. But I can prove that the events surrounding DDR and PIU are folklore.

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Fairytales are folk lore and today in class, we discovered an interesting thing about Cinderella. Cinderella stories (there are many variations of Cinderella, versions that include mutilation and incest). First, think about this. (This is a bit Freudian and although most of his theories are way out of line, his theories is easily visible in literature. Anyway, bear with me because this is somewhat cool.)  A child is first aware of his mother as kind and nurturing. She takes care of him and is a source of great comfort. However, soon the child learns there is more to his mother. His mother scolds when he does something wrong and bosses him around, telling him to pick up his toys and such. No more comforting mother for him. So, it would seem to a small child that there are two mothers. A nice one that comforts and makes him happy. The second mother is evil and won’t leave him alone. she burdens him with chores. Now, going back to Cinderella stories, a fact is that most Cinderella tales involve an evil stepmother and a fairy godmother. This pairs up nicely with everyone having a nice mother and evil mother. Is this the reason why the most common versions of Cinderella have a evil stepmother and fairy godmother? Is this why a story that seems out of place in the world of modern day feminism (a woman waiting patiently to be rescued) is still one of the most prominent fairy tales out there? I don’t know… It seems a bit far fetched but so do the other explanations of why Cinderella is still around.

Art and Etsy

I just did something that I never thought I would get around to doing. I’m attempting to sell my beadwork pictures (some of the pictures posted previously). I’ve set up my “shop” Here or at http://NightsRiver.etsy.com. Do you know what it cost me? 20 cents per post. That’s a good deal. It gets slightly more expensive if you actually sell something (3% of what you sell the artwork for). But that is still not bad. I hope I sell something! However, I’m not counting on it. Bead pictures aren’t something that people really search for or know about. In addition, I had to make things more expensive than I would have liked. All of those beads are expensive, each picture takes around ten hours to make, and framing of course costs extra.

I’ve got three views already for some of my little pictures! yay!

I had an assignment to use Richard Russo’s novel Nobody’s Fool as an inspiration for a story. I never did figure out how I wanted it to end (which will be obvious I’m sure). Anywho, here it is:

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I was reading a book in the quad when a demonstration stared for transgender awareness and a guy started handing out flyers with the types of different trans on it. I saw genderqueer as one of the categories. The definition is a person who doesn’t identify as male or female but as genderqueer. I’d never thought of it before but I guess that’s pretty close to what I feel like. I am not a man… duh. But I feel being called a lady is insulting. A woman isn’t completely inaccurate but I feel as if I am more of a person instead of a gender. Here is how I would identify myself. First I am Lauren, 24 years old, a student near graduation with a creative writing and psychology major, I’m a gardener, I’m a farm girl, a rider of horses and mules… a person, a human being, and at the end of a very long list, a woman. So I don’t qualify as genderqueer. I’ve just never been a very good girl.
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Urban Legends

Urban legends were the topic of my folklore class the other day. We read a bunch of them and they are pretty interesting.

There is a beautiful woman is making advances towards a guy at a bar. They leave and go to his apartment; they guy probably thinking it is the luckiest day in his life. They have beers before getting down to business. As they are starting the guy passes out—the woman spiked his drink. When he comes to he is sitting in his bathtub which is packed with ice. There is a note written on the mirror in red lipstick for him to dial 911. For some reason, he keeps a phone on the floor of his bathroom (this was pre cell phone days). So he calls 911. The operator picks up and listens to his predicament. The operator tells the man to check his back where he feels loose skin. The operator tells him to stay in the ice until help arrives. What happened was the woman took him to his home to harvest his kidney.  Moral of the story: If you think your getting lucky you better think twice.  This story also has a second versions. Guy takes the woman home, they have sex. When the morning comes the woman is gone, but written in the mirror with (once again) red lipstick, there is a message. I have HIV, enjoy the rest of your life. And the guy gets tested and he is HIV positive.

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This was a very vivid dream and location and people seemed extremely important in my dream. So please bear with me for my lengthy descriptions. And I warn you, it was an unpleasant dream so you might not want to read it in the first place.

It starts in a circular reddish orange room with something like a retractable ramp in the middle which is closed for now. Other than that, the room floor is clear.  There are a few chairs and velvet covered benches along the walls. There are five rooms branching off of the circular room like spokes of a wheel.  Each room is a different dark color. One is blood red and another is a shadowy forest green. The third is a blue, an underwater blue right before the light fades away and everything becomes black. The n there is the gray room, bleached of color. Lastly there is the room painted an ill looking yellow. Continue Reading »