Thursday, July 29, 2004

The limits of cultural studies. Gemma just came up with the idea of submitting an abstract to the Cultural Studies Association of Australasia conference about Weekend at Bernie's. Tom suggested we could link it into Caribbean zombie narratives, as the film takes place in a tropical island paradise. I said excitedly that it was carnivalesque. Tom added that we would have to coin a neologism like "necro-carnivalesque".

Tom went on thoughtfully that Bernie's death symbolises the corruption of the 1980s, and the two main characters' attempts to 'keep it alive'. "It's the ultimate act of passing: instead of passing off as white [Ed's note: or straight], you're passing off as alive," he said.
Gemma added, "And you could also talk about Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead!"
I said, "We could have a whole panel!"
Gemma said, "It could be called Weekend at Bernie's II!!" And she added, "And then you could contact Andrew Bolt about it! That would make his year, I think!"

This was all very jolly, except that I used to joke about writing a conference paper on the non-verbal vocalisations of Michael Jackson, and then it was accepted to the conference and ended up winning the award for best postgraduate paper, and then it was accepted for publication. So cultural studies is NO LAUGHING MATTER, people!

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