Category Archives: English

Canadian Spelling… what’s the difference?

Canadian spelling has been historically linked to British standards. However, spelling conventions are constantly shifting on the ill-defined continuum between British and American English. Some argue that there is a regional bias to Canadian spelling: Ontario, British Columbia, and Atlantic Canada more closely follow British practices, while Alberta and the Prarie provinces have gravitated towards American conventions.[1]

Here are my recommendations to aspiring Canadian writers:

Buy the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, and don’t trust your word processor’s spell-check feature. The English (Canada) dictionary in Microsoft Word follows British conventions, even in cases where Canadian writers prefer American spelling.

Finally, follow the Spelling Guidelines listed below and your documents will be truly “Canadian”. To find out more guidelines for creating technical documents, visit my on-line style guide for technical communicators.

Spelling Guidelines

  • Where a verb has two past-tense forms, use either without preference (e.g. kneeled or knelt).
  • Use preferred spelling in the case of place names, businesses, book titles, movies, and other works.
  • Apply Canadian spelling to government departments and agencies (e.g. United States Department of Defence).
  • Diphthongs use American spelling in most cases. (exception: “oe” diphthongs such as manoeuvre).
  • The use of silent e+ suffix follows American or British standards.
  • Always use –our endings instead of the American –or.
  • Always use –re endings instead of the American –er.
  • Always use –yze endings instead of the British –yse.
  • The use of silent –l or –ll follows American or British standards.
  • Always use double consonants, following the British model, except combatting.

Canadian Spelling Conventions

Convention Examples
diphthongs
anemia
hemorrhage
orthopedia
c and s
defence
licence (n.) practice (n.)
license (v.) practise (v.)
foreign plurals
appendices
bureaus
indices
e + suffix
acknowledgement
judgment
livable
double consonant
combatting
libellous
pedaled
–l or –ll
appall
enrolment
instalment
–re not –er
centre
lustre
theatre
–our not –or
behaviour
flavour
humour
–yze not –yse
analyze
breathalyzer
catalyze

[1] Mastin, Luke. “Canadian, British and American Spelling.” Accessed December 9, 2011. http://www.lukemastin.com/testing/spelling/cgi-bin/database.cgi?action=home.

Critical Dystopia and Science Fiction in Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood

Atwood’s recent self-described work of ‘speculative fiction,’ The Year of the Flood, touches upon a number of themes, but most evident in my view is the “critical dystopia” epitomized in the world Atwood has created. In Scraps of the Untamed Sky: Science Fiction, Utopia, Dystopia, author Tom Moylan identifies the key signifiers of utopia and dystopia in modern science fiction, and suggests that since the time of Phillip K. Dick and Cyberpunk, much of modern science fiction can be defined as “critical dystopia.” Moylan suggests that “dystopian narrative is largely the product of the terrors of the twentieth century,” (xi) as authors reacted to a world increasingly fraught with exploitation, repression, state violence, war, genocide, disease, and the perils of capitalism’s new phase of monopolized production and the extension of the modern imperialist state. We are now in the second decade of the twenty-first century, and such concerns remain at the heart of current fiction, though arguably with a greater emphasis on globalization and its effects on the environment.

It is therefore my intention to identify some key signifiers in Year of the Flood that establish it as a work of “critical dystopia,” and address parallels between this novel and the dystopian novels of earlier authors. In addition, this essay will address an often disputed claim about the Year of the Flood and her earlier novel based in the same universe, Oryx and Crake; that they have adopted the conventions of science fiction and practice a “genre blurring” typical of critical dystopia. Frederic Jameson suggests that dystopia has “…been the one science-fictional sub-genre in which more purely ‘literary’ writers [such as Orwell, Huxley, and Atwood herself] have felt free to indulge.” (7) It is hoped that this examination of Atwood’s work in the conventions of dystopia and science fiction will help to illustrate what is so unique and exemplary about her work.

When interviewed by The Progressive shortly after publication of The Year of the Flood, Atwood was happy to acknowledge the dystopian nature of her novel, yet was insistent that it was a work of speculative fiction, not science fiction. To provide context for this essay’s argument, Atwood’s statement was as follows:

The ancestor of science fiction is H. G. Wells with books like The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds. Those books involved things that are very unlikely to happen or are actually impossible, but they are ways of exploring possibilities and human nature and the way people react to certain things. And if you go to another planet, you get to build the whole society and you can draw blueprints and have fun with talking vegetation and other such things. The lineage of speculative fiction traces back to Jules Verne, who wrote about things that he could see coming to pass that were possible on the Earth—this wasn’t about outer space or space invasions—but things that we could actually do. (Rothschild 61)

While I understand Atwood’s reluctance to be lumped in the same category as novels dealing with extraterrestrials and interstellar travel, her statement belittles the work of many authors that identify themselves as science fiction writers but present believable alternate realities. One needs to look no further than Canada’s own Robert J. Sawyer, whose recent work has focused on the potential of quantum physics, genetics and science’s impact on faith in god as a means of altering our destiny in the near future.[1] Jameson supports my claim, positing that “Atwood can now be considered to be a science fiction writer, I’m happy to say, and this is not meant to disparage… at this moment in time, all fiction approaches science fiction, as the future, the various futures, begin to dissolve into ever more porous actuality.” (7)

Atwood’s “ancestor of science fiction,” H.G. Wells, wrote The War of the Worlds when the specter of industrialized conflict, soon realized in World War One, was beginning to haunt the human imagination. (Deresiewicz 25-26) Deresewicz also suggests that “if the twentieth century was the age of physics, it’s been said—the computer, the Bomb—then ours will be the century of biology, and Atwood draws her conclusions accordingly.” (27) Is Atwood not herself informed and motivated by the discourse of environmentalism and globalization, which suggests a looming catastrophe of global impact? Though one cannot simply pigeonhole this novel as strictly science fiction fare, Atwood clearly borrows from speculative fiction, science fiction, and dystopia in The Year of the Flood and practices a form of “genre blurring” typical of critical dystopia. Works of critical dystopia such as The Year of the Flood often intensify the practice of “genre blurring” (Moylan 196) and by self-reflexively “borrowing specific conventions from other genres,” critical dystopias transcend the perceived boundaries of dystopian form and “expand their potential for creative expression.” (Moylan 196)

According to Katarina Labudova, The Year of the Flood includes “elements of science fiction, speculative fiction, cyberpunk, alternate history, dystopia, futuristic thriller, black farce and fantasy,” (136) but arguably science fiction and dystopia trump any other literary convention the novel explores. Many readers, myself included, suggest that Atwood’s novel adopts the conventions of science fiction through her portrayal of an alternate near-future. James Gunn once stated that science fiction is “a literature set in worlds different from our own – and different in ways that invite the reader to interrogate these differences, to ask hard questions about them in terms of what they can tell us about our own world.” (Booker 13) Atwood’s novel is presenting a future of corporate control and genetic manipulation that one hopes to avoid. Her narrative encourages readers to question how to alter our path in order to achieve a sustainable future, though one hopes they would not go so far as Crake did and initiate an apocalypse. As one reviewer stated, “scientists can tell us about the extinction of species…[but] we need stories to help us make sense of these events.” (Bocking 9)

The Year of the Flood operates, in Tom Moylan’s terms, “inside the ambient zone of anti-utopian pessimism with new textual tricks,” exposing the “horror of the present moment.”(196) Atwood’s novel plays these tricks, among other ways, by appropriating the phonetic shorthand and blatant misspelling of text messages with an enthusiasm that borders on the obnoxious, until one remembers that she’s actually toned down the language of the internet at the same time as she has made it more clever, filling it with puns.  Examples of these puns are evident in the text, and offer a commentary on the corporatization of science and culture. Toby is employed at a beauty clinic called “AnooYoo,” while the brothel where Ren plies her trade is under the umbrella of a corporation called “SeksMart.” Ren also spends time in the gated compound of the “HelthWyzer,” before leaving its confines to attend college. This use of shorthand is not limited to corporations, and is evident in the products the characters use, with “Sea/H/Ear Candy” being a substitute for “mp3 player”, and the names provided for the corporation-created spliced animals, like the “Rakunk”, “Liobam” and “Mo’hair.”

We are not explicitly informed at what time this book begins, as the book follows the timeline of the God’s Gardeners, opening in year twenty-five, the year of the ‘waterless flood’ that erases most of humanity. Nonetheless, it is clear that the world presented in Atwood’s novel is very near to the present day. Her world is one devoid of the jet-packs, laser guns, and alien races that are typical of many works of science fiction. The advances proposed in the novel, such as CorpSeCorp’s spray guns, the human-hair sprouting Mo’hair sheep hybrids, and the advent of a new BlyssPlus sex-pill that promises countless orgasms, are rooted in present-day technologies and place the novel in the near future, or the present of an alternate dimension. This use of present-day tech reinforces the nature of the decaying society Atwood has created, “where governments are absent and corporations control whatever is profitable – from sex to security,” (Bocking 9) and contrasts it with past dystopian narratives that focus on the all-powerful role of the state.

However, one can see Atwood drawing inspiration from past dystopian narratives, and shows some parallels with the works of her forbearers.  According to Moylan, critical dystopias share “a deeply negative portrayal of late-twentieth-century capitalism,” (197) and Atwood is not the only author to reflect upon capitalism’s detrimental effects on the global environment. Kurt Vonnegut, who shares with Atwood a canon most recognized for his dystopian works, also turned towards making more direct commentaries on the environment and humanity’s disregard for planet earth in his later career. In Vonnegut’s final publication, A Man Without A Country, he makes the following statement:

Don’t spoil the party, but here’s the truth: We have squandered our planet’s resources, including air and water, as though there were no tomorrow, so now there isn’t going to be one. (Vonnegut 44-45)

Atwood, writing in the voice of Toby, expresses similar sentiments in The Year of the Flood, as Toby illustrates her views on the destruction of the planet and her motivation to become part of the God’s Gardeners:

            Everybody knew. Nobody admitted to knowing. If other people began to discuss
            it, you tuned them out, because what they were saying was both so obvious and
            so unthinkable. We’re using up the Earth. It’s almost gone. You can’t live with
            such fears and keep on whistling. (Atwood 239)

Let’s turn now to some of the more evident connections of Atwood’s novel to classic works of dystopia. Just as in Orwell’s 1984, where the author distinguished the populace into the upper-class inner party, the middling outer party and the proles that comprised 85% of the population, Atwood divides the society in Year of the Flood along similar lines. Of course, Atwood’s divisions are based on science and capital rather than politics, but one can’t deny the similarity of a world in which elite scientists, protected and funded by corporations in gated compounds, are shut off from the unwashed masses that inhabit pleebland. In Year of the Flood’s world, Geniuses such as Glenn (or Crake) are shuttled off to Watson-Crick to further developments in science and become the pillars of society, while those without scientific capacity like Ren are sent to wither in arts college and accept a life of middling prosperity in the service industry (and I hope this isn’t suggestive of our own futures).

Under Aldous Huxley’s caste system in Brave New World, Glenn would emerge as an Alpha male while Ren would likely struggle to qualify as Gamma. Moving away from literature to the lens of the cinema ,thee consumption of SecretBurgers draws an interesting parallel to the overpopulated world of 1970s genre film Soylent Green, where much of the population must subsist on those namesake wafers that Charleton Heston exposes as being composed of human remains. Of course, the eco-cult of the God’s Gardeners are strongly against the consumption of such food, but one imagines that Adam One and his followers in their desperation would have not been above consuming the secret protein (explicitly stated in the novel to contain human flesh) in the name of survival.

The God’s Gardeners themselves prove to be a typical construction of modern dystopian fiction. According to Moylan, critical dystopia “adopts a militant stance that is informed and empowered by a utopian horizon that appears in the text- or at least shimmers beyond its pages.” (196)  The Gardeners are of course a radical religious group organized around ecologically based principles that reject the normality presented in the world of the corporations and the surrounding environs of pleebland. As a “low-tech, low-carbon footprint, recycle-minded commune” (Labudova 137) they are the antithesis of the dominant order represented by the corporations. Throughout the novel Adam One prophesizes the coming of the ‘waterless flood’ that will take down the dominant social order and allow a new beginning for their followers. This prophecy is not presented as an attainable one; the novel presents us events that bring down the majority of the gardeners themselves, and their utopian horizon is yet to be realized.

As well, the splintering of the gardeners and the emergence of Zeb’s MaddAddam sect then presents us with a competing vision, of non-violent resistance vis-à-vis violent radicalism. In Atwood’s universe, the schism between Adam One and Zeb can be seen to parallel the militant stance of Moylan’s critical dystopia, through their ability to take action and perpetuate genetic violence against the established order through acts of “eco-terrorism” These acts, such as re-engineering the bean weevil to destroy HappiCuppa plantations (Atwood 260) end up being blamed on the peaceful Gardeners, precipitating their destruction. Of course, in the end Adam One and the remaining Gardeners return to their Rooftop Garden to die, while the members of MaddAddam persevere. The fact that Atwood presents the radical group as the one that survives the horrors of post-flood existence is perhaps most instructive.

Margaret Atwood has published works influenced by many different literary conventions in her long and prolific career, and it is unfair to pigeonhole her as a writer of a specific genre. However, it is clear that in the first decade of the twenty-first century, Atwood’s knowledge of science and her commitment to environmentalism and eco-criticism has been a major factor on her writing. As such, The Year of the Flood shows signs of both the “critical dystopia” analyzed by Moylan in Scraps of the Untamed Sky, and the conventions of science fiction in general. Atwood has no need to defend her work against claims it is “science fiction,” as her past works ensure that she will be remembered as a writer of many persuasions, and likely as Canada’s premier author of the last thirty years. Indeed, The Year of the Flood and its “genre blurring” are simply reflective of the state of humanity in the twenty-first century, as globalization dismantles our previous notions of race, class, gender and nation.

Works Cited

Atwood, Margaret. The Year of the Flood. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 2009. Print.

Bocking, Stephen. “Science Friction,” Alternatives Journal, Vol. 36, No. 3 (June 2010), pp. 8-10. Print.

Booker, M. Keith. The Science Fiction Handbook. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009. Print.

Deresiewicz, William. “Honey and Salt.” Nation 289.14 (2009): 25-32. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 23 Mar. 2011.

Jameson, Frederic. “Then You Are Them,” London Review of Books, Vol. 31, No. 17 (September 10 2009), pp. 7-8. Web. 16 Feb 2011. http://www.lrb.co.uk/v31/n17/fredric-jameson/then-you-are-them

Labudova, Katarina. “Power, Pain and Manipulation in Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake and the Year of the Flood.” Brno Studies in English, Vol. 36, No. 1 (2010), pp. 134-146. Web. 15 Feb 2011. http://www.phil.muni.cz/plonedata/wkaa/BSE/BSE%202010-36-1/BSE%202010-36-1%20(135-146)%20Labudova.pdf

Moylan, Tom. Scraps of the Untainted Sky: Science Fiction, Utopia, Dystopia. Oxford: Westview Press, 2000. Print.

Rothschild, Matthew. “Margaret Atwood.” Progressive 74/75.12/1 (2010): 61-62. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 23 Mar. 2011.

Vonnegut, Kurt. A Man Without A Country. New York: Seven Stories Press, 2005. Print.


[1] The works of Sawyer I am referring to are: Flashforward (Tor Books, 1999), Rollbacki (Tor Books, 2007) and Calculating God (Tor Books, 2000).

The Pulse of the Beat: Aura, Technique, and Masculinity in House Music

Electronic dance music, popular culture, and modern science inject the flesh with fantasies of immortality, limitless pleasures, and unadulterated agency. With their tax-funded market research and their potent techno-imaginings… they passionately fabricate the human-machine hybrid known as the cyborg, the fembot, and the posthuman. (Loza 349)

            Ah, the glorious pulse of the 4/4 kick drum. House music has had a long and storied history since its birth in the Chicago club scene during the waning years of disco, attaining primacy in the early to mid 1990s and rising once again in recent years as a driving force of current trends in pop.[1] As a product of musical subculture, scholars over the years have analyzed electronic dance music from a host of perspectives, covering the genre through both hetero and homosexual lenses. They have focused on the agency of individual vocalists, the producers that create the musical space for vocalists, and the culture of the dance club where house music is disseminated by DJs to the dancing masses regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation. This essay will seek to highlight what distinguishes house music from other modern music genres, in relation to Hebidge’s concept of subculture introduced in his seminal work Subculture: the Meaning of Style. House music does not seek to resist authority or be political; rather, it’s a celebration of the physical and the sexual, and often associated with signifiers of masculinity. We will also highlight house music’s place in the postmodernist cultural analysis that has replaced Benjamin’s “age of mechanical reproduction” with a concept of more relevance to music in the 21st century: the “age of digital reproduction.” Peter Wollen has established the link between Benjamin and the postmodernists as follows:

As Benjamin’s “age of reproduction” is replaced by our “age of electronic reproduction,” the trends which he discerned are further extended. Reproduction, pastiche and quotation, instead of being forms of textual parasitism, become constitutive of textuality. (Wollen 169)

Central to Benjamin’s analysis is the concept of the “aura”, the uniqueness of a cultural artifact that provides it with agency and relevance to the spectator or consumer. For Benjamin, “that which withers in the age of mechanical reproduction is the aura of a work of art.” (Benjamin 79). Cultural theorists have argued that we have evolved from this age of mechanical reproduction into a new era, the age of digital reproduction. For Goodwin, in the age of digital reproduction the aura has been further demystified by the fact that anyone may now own an “original.” (Goodwin 259) Therefore, ours is an age in which the aura itself can be mass-produced, and consecutive advances in technology, from cassette to compact disc, from DAT to lossless Mp3, have allowed motivated consumers to obtain exact copies of a musical performance.

Furthermore, the rise in computer-based music production software has made it simple for producers of electronic dance music to deconstruct old texts and create a pastiche of old and new that appeals beyond dance aficionados to the widest possible audience. Technology provides the means for the sounds of the pulsing kick drum, deep basslines, and repetitive vocals to move beyond the realm of club subcultures into pop music’s field of large-scale cultural production, and those producers that harness the technology effectively are rewarded with increasing fame and larger audiences. For electronic styles such as house, this is nothing new, as DJs and producers have been using turntables, tape splicing, and other “analog” techniques since the 1980s to breathe new life into old texts and create hybrids of dance music motifs and vocal and instrumental passages created by another artist, often without the original artist’s permission. This technique, known as “sampling”, has been a key component of house music production since its inception. Early house sampling was tied to largely African-American motifs like blues, funk, jazz, and soul. What has changed in recent years is the ease of aspiring artists to appropriate the artistic endeavors of their forbearers, and the diversification of the producer’s source material.

Advancements in technology have merely made it easier for the producer to utilize samples, creating a proliferation of remixes and “mash-ups” of old and new motifs both in the underground and in the rising popular form of “euro-pop”, a genre which owes its success to its progeny in the club scene and essentially fuses the sounds of underground house music with vocals rooted in classic American and British hip hop, rock, and pop. Linking this to Benjamin’s analysis, the “technique of reproduction detaches the reproduced object from the domain of tradition…it reactiviates the object reproduced.” (Benjamin 79) Recent popular songs have moved beyond mere sampling and have ‘versioned’ passages from diverse sources such as 80s dance pop (Flo Rida’s “Right Round” appropriates the chorus of Dead or Alive’s “You Spin Me Round”), and 60s rock and roll (Benny Benassi has achieved global recognition with his sampling of both verse and chorus of Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze”).  Again, we must remember that this phenomenon is simply an evolution, or pastiche of, the hip-hop sampling culture of the 80s and 90s, or going even further back, the practice of ‘versioning’ in reggae of the 70s, where numerous vocalists share identical rhythms and vocal refrains. (Hebidge xiv) Currently, the Black Eyed Peas are storming up the pop charts with the Time (Dirty Bit), a song that fuses the instrumentation of underground house music with hip-hop and a blatant sample of the 80s hit “(I’ve had) the Time of My Life.” These words present an instantly recognizable refrain to anyone familiar with the film Dirty Dancing, and indicate an obvious ploy for cross-cultural appeal.

A landscape that revels in the fusion of originals and copies, where we cannot distinguish humans from machines, populated by cyborgs and fembots, appears to be strange territory for authors and auras. (Goodwin 267) For Benjamin, the “uniqueness of the work of art determine[s] the history to which it [is] subject to throughout the time of its existence.” (Benjamin 78). Furthermore, he states that “the presence of the original is the prerequisite to the concept of authenticity.” (78) As eloquently stated by Barbara Bradby, dance music’s “concepts of authorship (originality, art) and of authenticity (the real person in the real performance) developed around this use of technology and not in opposition to it.” (Bradby 157)  These concepts drive the production of modern dance music, and have become increasingly evident in the rise of the “euro-pop” sound epitomized by artists such as David Guetta, Flo Rida, and the Black Eyed Peas.

Dick Hebidge is recognized as one of the key scholars of subculture and style, particularly as it pertains to youth subcultures, groups that often appropriate music to epitomize their ideals and practices. For Hebidge, subcultural style “is not merely a matter of content (different signs), but one of form (different signifying practices).” (Frith 41) Simon Frith once wrote that “music is not just something young people like and do. It is in many respects the model for their involvement in culture.” (Freccero 90) However, when looking at house music one must steer clear of the common perception of subcultural style as politically motivated and grounded in resistance to the mainstream. Arguably, house music has survived over the past three decades as a result of its opposition to the subcultural norms of politicization and resistance, as it is a genre that is celebratory in nature.

This begs us to answer the question: what does house music celebrate, and how and why did this allow the style of house to cross the boundaries into mainstream pop consciousness? First and foremost is the celebration of sexuality. House music has long been a central part of homosexual club culture, and is a part of the soundtrack to subcultural style represented by the gay club scene. Hall and Jefferson alluded to a link between cultural products such as music and the ethos of a group long before house music superseded disco. (Amico 361) As well, though ‘subversiveness’ is often considered a de facto correlate with gay/lesbian/queer culture, house music in relation to homoerotic masculinity is not defined by such a dynamic. (Amico 359) As well, though the rise of Chicago house in the early 80s is often linked to gay/minority subcultures, identifying with this music is by no means restricted to a certain gender or sexual preference. For example, by the late 1980s in New York City house music had become the dominant mode of expression for DJs resident in the city’s largest nightclubs.

Using the tools of post-feminist critical analysis, Barbara Bradby sees dance music as a culture that subjugates the female. She states that “women have once again been equated with sexuality, the body, emotion and nature in dance music, while men have been assigned to the realm of culture, technology and language.” (157) However, Bradby also acknowledges the role of female vocalists in bringing house out of the underground to reach a wider, more diverse audience. (156)

Loza identifies in her article “Sampling (hetero)sexuality” a desire to “focus on how electronic dance music, to borrow Barbara Bradby’s apt formulation, ‘samples sexuality’ in the diva loop.” (Loza 350). The diva loop became an especially common component of house tracks with modern improvements in production software, and essentially takes the tail end of a phrase and repeats it in succession in order to build the dance floor into a kind of orgiastic climax. As has proven to be the case, this effect has crossed into pop pastiche, and can be heard in the time (dirty bit)[2]and other euro-pop hits involving female vocalists. The feminist critique re-genders the role of the diva and suggests that “each sexy computerised simulation of the diva brings the hetero male achingly closer to those essential truths of sex and race.” (Loza 353) The voice of the singer is mediated, manipulated and re-presented through the filter of the ‘masculine’ pursuit. (Amico 365) For Loza, the representation of the female in house music serves simply to celebrate the hegemony of heterosexual masculinity. Amico suggests by ‘building a climax’ through techniques like the diva loop and the breakdown, house music allows dancers to build up their “muscular masculinity”, though in this case he is referring to an idealized image of muscularity fetishized by homosexual club-goers. (361)

Masculinity is represented in house music through the composition of the rhythmic elements of the music itself. The drum, in this case the 4/4 kick drum, is the dominant representative instrument in house, and it cannot be ignored that in popular music drummers and percussionists have been overwhelmingly male. By impelling dancers into physical action – remaining on the dance floor for hours on end – the drumbeat also engenders the construction of masculinity through a physical response. (Amico 364) One who dances the night away is effectively participating in a ‘sport’ in which masculinity is perpetuated by continuous physical activity; this occurs regardless of the gender or sexual orientation of the participant.

The analyses presented in this essay form only a fraction of the ideas that cultural theorists have applied to house music and its associated practitioners and consumers. It is clear that house is becoming more and more an integral part of modern pop music styles, and at the turn of the decade, further integration into the consciousness of today’s youth can be expected. The evolution of the “age of digital reproduction” will continue, and perhaps in 2020 we’ll see a DJ’s appropriation of the Black Eyed Peas storm the charts much like BEP’s pastiche of Dirty Dancing conquered the airwaves in 2010. Sexy divas and muscular beats will continue to provide an outlet for sexualized masculinity, and production techniques will be refined to provide a new spin on old forms. As long as there are producers and willing consumers to lap up 4/4 rhythms, and clubs to provide a venue for the efforts of a new generation of DJs and dancers, the pulse of the beat will live on.

Works Cited

Amico, Stephen. “’I Want Muscles’: house music, homosexuality, and masculine signification,” Popular

 Music 20.3 (2001) 359-378. JSTOR. Web. 20 Nov. 2010.

Benjamin, Walter. “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” Cultural Studies, Allan J.

Gedalof et al. eds., Toronto: Thomson-Nelson, 2005. 74-86. Print.

Bourdieu, Pierre. “The Market of Symbolic Goods,” The Field of Cultural Production: Essays on Art and

                Literature. New York: Columbia University Press, 1984. 1-34. Web. 28 Nov. 2010.

Bradby, Barbara. “Sampling Sexuality: Gender, Technology, and the Body in Dance Music,” Popular

 Music 12.2 (1993) 155-176. JSTOR. Web. 20 Nov. 2010.

Frankie Knuckles. “Frankie Knuckles- Your Love”. YouTube.com. 23 July 2009. Trax Records. 29 Nov.

2010 < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOLE1YE_oFQ>

Flo Rida. “Flo Rida- Right Round (US Version Video)”. YouTube.com. 11 December 2009.

Warner Music Group. 29 Nov. 2010 <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcCw1ggftuQ>

Freccero, Carla. Popular Culture: An Introduction. New York: New York University Press, 1999. Print.

Frith, Simon. Introduction to “Part Two: From Subcultural to Cultural Studies,” On Record, Simon Frith

and Andrew Goodwin, eds., New York: Routledge, 1990. 39-42. Print

Goodwin, Andrew. “Sample and hold: Pop Music in the Digital Age of Reproduction,” On Record,

 Simon Frith and Andrew Goodwin eds., New York: Routledge, 1990. 258-273. Print.

Hebidge, Dick. “Cut ‘n’ Mix: Culture, Identity, and Caribbean Music. London: Methuen, 1987. Print.

Loza, Susana. “Sampling (hetero)sexuality: diva-ness and discipline in electronic dance music,” Popular

 Music 20.3 (2001) 349-357. JSTOR. Web. 20 Nov. 2010.

The Black Eyed Peas. “Black Eyed Peas- The Time (dirty bit)”. YouTube.com. 23 Nov 2010.

blackeyedpeasVEVO. 29 Nov. 2010 < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwQZQygg3Lk>

Wollen, Peter. “Ways of Thinking about Music Video (and Postmodernism),” Critical Quarterly 28.2

(1986) 167-170. Wiley Online Library. Web. 25 Nov. 2010.


[1] For a popular early representation of house music, see “Your Love (1987 version)” by Frankie Knuckles and Jamie Principle. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOLE1YE_oFQ>

[2] The Black Eyed Peas, “the Time (dirty bit).” <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwQZQygg3Lk>. 0:52 to 1:03 provides a example of the diva loop.