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Thursday, 29 March 2012

THEY GOT TALENT!

This morning our students have taken part in 10th Regional Festival of Young Talents – the number means it started being organized before all these ‘Got talent’ shows! And in 2002 nobody heard of YouTube – do we even remember the world without YT?? Hardly so...

Back to the festival: ‘The Petrycy Band’ played one Polish song (Kiss Me) then one in English (Highway to Hell) and one vocalist succeeded. But as for whole bands jury preferred lighter repertoire, not so rocky or metallic... Thinking that de gustibus non est disputandum I’ve come back home, connected the net and (as on every other day since February) played ‘Somebody That I Used to Know’ by Gotye and Kimbra. Sudden shock hit me as I realized that never before shared I my music taste with millions! For weeks and weeks Adele plus Gotye & Kimbra stay on top of charts almost everywhere with their thrilling lyrics, unusual tunes and maximally magical videos. I totally admire living at this point in time and space than living in times when L.Gaga or other J.Lo held first positions; hard to listen to and even worse to watch. As my scoutmate once said: “Plenty of popular music videos look like promotion of escort agency”. Yuk!

So, is it a change for better in global culture (cool-ture;) or just one insigificant incident that such artistic, metaphoric and sophisticated records beat all the ‘madonas’ with their nakedness? Should it be a hint to our young musicians and singers or not?

Finally, I don’t understand why so many internauts try to pay compliments to Kimbra commenting that she sings exactly like Katy Perry. But she doesn’t – she’s got her own, original, smooth but strong voice with soft south accent and I love it!

Monday, 26 March 2012

STORK OR STORKESS?

Last week one of my students asked me if I was a feminist. The whole thing came into view as I was explaining why men do have one honorary title ‘Mr’ but for women we need to choose out of three: ‘Miss’, ‘Mrs’ or ‘Ms’.



I must admit I didn’t give a straight answer, just brought back the time, many years ago, when I had conducted workshops about feminism for students in Cracow. Yep, all I had known then was from books or magazines; in books I had read about this very wide variety of movements called ‘feministic’. Now I just have to type the F word in Google’s search box and voila, here it is:
Feminism is a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women. In addition, feminism seeks to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. A feminist is a "person whose beliefs and behavior are based on feminism."

Yeah, according to this simply definition I am a feminist. I am definitely and totally for equal political (voting!), economic (earning!) and social (no more double standards!) rights for women. But when I go deeper into the topic, from catholic and conservative feminism on the right wing, through black and postcolonial, lipstick and third-wave, ecofeminism, socialist on the left wing, but also riot grrrl and anarchafeminism to radical, separatists or lesbian one – I find some issues I do agree on and some I disagree about.  

Generally speaking:
Division of labour within households – I’m completely for it;
Reproductive rights – mostly for, especially education and healthcare, but absolutely against abortion;
Gender-neutral language – nice idea, possible in English but not in Polish, no way...
Patriarchal concept of masculinity – entirely against!
Pornography or prostitution – honestly I can’t believe they may be mature and valid choices of any women, can I??

All in all I reminded myself of battle for ideals. Paul P. Mealing, Australian blogger, wrote that this kind of battle is the battle for the future. So, my students, are you feminists?