One Last Addition to Essay 2
Recall that Essay 2 asks for you to include a quotation from one article you’ve found on your own and one quotation from a text we’ve read together—and to connect these to your discussion of your Essay 2 song. For Friday I want you to find a text we’ve read together (from the Google Drive folder of readings) that connects to your Essay 2 song or social issue. I want you to do several things with this text, creating a paragraph of your own writing about it as you do:
–Find a quotation from this text that you can connect to your Essay 2
–Write a paragraph: begin by explaining the connection to your song/social issue, then introduce the quotation using the names of the author and title. Finish your quotation with an MLA-formatted in-text citation (see below) and a transitional phrase that leads into your discussion of the quote’s wording and significance (eg This quote shows… / What this passage suggests…). Finish your paragraph by tying back to the connection to your social issue/song that you began with.
–Below your paragraph, use Bibme to create an MLA Works Cited citation entry for your text you’re quoting from. Refer to the MLA Citation Guide I’ve created as well for additional help.
EX: (I did two paragraphs—the first is a transition and recap for context and then my second paragraph is where I quote from a text we’ve read and link it to my demo “Essay 2 song”)
As I’ve been suggesting so far, the theme of deception appears in several different ways in the video and soundtrack of Beyonce’s “Partition.” Not only does Beyonce routinely present herself as a shadowy silhouette in the video, but her suggestion in her lyrics that “I just want to be the girl you like… the girl you like is right here with me” suggests there to be a kind of “twoness” in her which leaves us guessing: who is she really—the woman wanting to be the girl or the girl herself?
While it may seem something of a stretch, this theme of deception in Beyonce’s work can be thought of as a kind of provocateurship that is linkable to the online phenomenon of trolling. As an artist in the age of the internet, Beyonce knows that part of going viral is provoking her audiences in ways that may offend many viewers (see, for instance, my earlier discussion of Bell Hooks and Bill O’Reilly). Beyonce’s willingness to provoke her audience in certain ways is what links her to what might be called “troll culture.” As Noah Berlatsky notes in “Beyonce, Sex Terrorist,” if we observe Beyonce’s work carefully, we notice that “what she says is quite pointed” (Berlatsky). For Berlatsky, Beyonce’s “Partition” is aware of “the pressure to be respectable” coming from critics like Hooks and O’Reilly, and the song actively subverts this pressure. He continues: “the video is a fantasy about steamy married monogamous sex, which works deliberately to make O’Reilly’s conservative values look sexy and illicit. It’s also a re-imagining of black female eroticism as linked to power rather than subservience, which turns hooks’s respectability politics into a self-aware sensual tease” (Berlatsky). As this quote makes clear, Beyonce’s work manifests a kind of critical intelligence even as it may appear to be just one more form of overly sexualized pop media garbage. There is a logic to this garbage, Berlatsky reminds us, and in Beyonce’s unabashedness—not only her exposing of her body and sexuality for the camera but also for the subtler details in her work such as dropping a napkin for a white servant to pick up—there is something of a provocateur, perhaps even something of a troll. Berlatsky’s point is basically that, beyond the play of light and shadow that is part of Beyonce’s Sasha Fierce schtick, she could be thought of as admirably trolling—that is, challenging and critiquing—the demand for women’s “respectability” on both the right and left.
Berlatsky, Noah. “Beyoncé, Sex Terrorist: A Menace for Conservatives and Liberals Alike.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 12 May 2014, www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2014/05/beyonce-sex-terrorist-a-menace-for-conservatives-and-liberals-alike/362085/.