Thursday, 8 March 2007

Power Pointing

It's International Women's Day today and the undergraduate feministas round here have done their bit for the sisterhood by hosting Pancakes Against Patriarchy. What Pancakes Against Patriarchy may lack in political rationale, they amply make up for in alliteration and butter.

Pancakes Against Patriarchy coincided with my class. If they hadn't, I would now be sporting that post-pancake glow and idly musing on the interconnectivity of race, class and gender. But as I had NO PANCAKES, I am bitter and hungry enough to ask: is there any correlation between dispersing pancakes amongst university students and generating resistance to sexual violence, workplace harrassment, Sydney Anglicanism, Barbie dolls, cosmetic mutilation, Tony Abbott, pole-dancing kits for five-year-olds, and the state-mandated Brazillian wax? Is there? Is there really? I suggest, yes I do, that next year the young feministas consider distributing Fortune Cookies Against Patriarchy, so that the rapturous pleasures of eating free sugar can be accompanied with pithy little readings from bell hooks and Shulamith Firestone.

Meanwhile, in the absence of pancakes, I was delivering my First Ever Powerpoint-Supported Lecture this morning. No mean feat, this. Admittedly, my nephew has been submitting school projects via powerpoint since the age of 8, but I - who prefer to use my computer solely for looking up pictures of hedgehogs on the internet - had to leap a whole herd of techno-inhibitions before I could so much as open the powerpoint application. Once I was down with my control panels, there was no looking back. Indeed, the hours I have spent over the past week selecting font colours and manoeuvering graphics finally explain that great powerpoint riddle: why the virtuosity of the visuals is in inverse proportion to the meaningful content of the talk.

I surprised even myself with my astonishing competence yesterday when the tech support chap helpfully told me (upon enquiry) that my ibook would "need an adaptor for the VGA 15 pim". Rather than buckling at the knees under this violent assault on my powers of comprehension, I managed to ask around until an adaptor for the VGA 15 pim made itself available.

Powerpoint presentation, hear me roar.

9 comments:

Karen said...

I certainly agree with you about the fortune cookies, although pancakes probably pull in more passers-by.
My father wasn't especially patriarchal, but he did have a few strictures and one of them was "Thou shalt not ever, upon pain of death, buy an Apple computer". So it feels quite rebellious to read of someone else having one, especially after my ipod adventures a few years ago led me to the conclusion that all Apple tech support staff are under 20 and on crack. It seems like you were doubly tempting fate! Did you read this in The Guardian the other day too?

K (has an old Toshiba, because she was assured that it wouldn't break when she inevitably dropped it).

Maria said...

Prior Preparation Pleasantly perfects Powerpoint Presentations, Pancake Platters and alliterates nicely enough for me.

Hope it went well, anyhow.

TimT said...

You should give a Perfectly Perspicacious Powerpoint Presentation Against the Patriarchy, Perfesser!

alexis said...

Ha! Karen, that Guardian article is poifect. PowerPoint makes w*nkettes of us all. In my defence, the lecture was on W. Blake, and I wanted to talk about the relationship between his illustrations and his words, so the ppt wasn't entirely gratuitous. Not that I didn't exploit the opportunity to slip in a couple of irrelevant slides of Byron looking drop-dead fetching.

As for the good family MacIntosh, any 'puter named after a raincoat's going to do it for me.

alexis said...

M & T:

see ya later
alliterator

Karen said...

Oh, well if illustrations were involved, that's alright then! A friend of mine whose PhD is entirely based around computer-simulated generations of heat flow (she says casually, hoping she got that right) had to give a presentation at a conference and the powerpoint didn't work- so he had nothing to say! That's enough of a deterrent for me- but I'd make an exception for Blake too.

Did I tell you that I once had a room full of students point-blank refuse to read any Byron because they were so offended by his spot of incest? I almost said "Well, you know, the incest prohibition is just to protect the gene pool", but I caught myself just in time.

Did you see that Baudrillard died?

K (is chatty because she has to work on the really hard bit of the book today).

alexis said...

Just remind me, Byron and Augusta Leigh weren't actually related by blood, were they?

Re incest: I'm more concerned about positions of authority and trust being used coercively or - at the very least - against children's interests, than I am about gene pools. Byron and Augusta, from all appearances, were both empowered and consenting adults blah de blah.

Karen said...

Yes, they were half-brother and sister (same father, different mothers).

And I agree with you completely, of course.

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