Wednesday, September 4, 2013

the ''low other''

It's time for me to get back to my study of A Queer History of the United States. So, we're still at the turn of the century and we're going to talk some more about turn of the century entertainments. Burlesque, vaudeville, theater and moving pictures, given their various levels of development, were all very popular around the turn of the century. Burlesque was known for it's parody of social  and gender norms but they all had a reputation for disrupting or ''confusing'' mainstream ideas about gender, morality, sexuality and sexual behavior and, I'm sure, race and ethnicity, too.
    The term ''low other '' has been coined by cultural theorists as those who have been quote ''reviled by and excluded from the dominate social order as debased, dirty, and unworthy, but... is simultaneously the object of desire and/or fascination.'' I completely agree with this quote and I would add that it proves that it is possible to '' ...have it both ways.''
    I've come to realize that mass ''entertainment '' is really much more than just entertainment. It is a powerful tool to mold, shape and control society and the masses into thinking, doing and feeling whatever one wants them to. The question then becomes who or what force[s] decide what society will think, do and feel next? Could it be that social and societal phenomenon start from the top down and not the bottom up?

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