This picture is ballsy: it says, “Yes, mofo, I am rich and loving it. Look at what I can afford and how enjoyable it is. Here’s a glimpse into the fantasy life I lead.” It doesn’t dress itself with any hints of moral superiority or claims of virtuous character in the person experiencing the breakfast with a view.
Yet, when I peruse the various study motivations blogs or the studyspo tag, I can’t help but feel class is getting suspiciously mixed in with studying — an activity I often think to be indicative of good morals and virtuous characters.
Stick with me here. I am not accusing anybody of a wrong. I am just trying to explore why I’ve grown to find studyspo cringe-worthy.
I have always thought studying to be a laborious, praise-worthy activity. Somehow, for me, education makes for a better world and it takes a good deal of self initiative and idealism to bring one’s self to pursue it wholly. Not just for the degree, but for the education itself.
Now look at this, these typical studyspo pictures. The desk shot.
It screams upper class. The macbook, the omniprescent (as you realize when you’ve seen enough studyspo) Starbucks coffee, the cute notebooks, planners, pencil holders, drapes, the huge assortment of colored utensils you know cost a pretty penny. It’s all very, very expensive.
To me, this presents the idea that studying has been stripped of its virtuous and moral quality, switched out for the idea that the study life is simply something that can be bought. The “uni-lifestyle,” afternoon revisions at Starbucks, drooling over expensive, cute study materials and photographing them to post between classes. Studying is reduced to a lifestyle choice afforded to the rich.
It’s not that the rich can’t bedeck their studying with cute and luxurius surrounding and supplies. It’s that blogging about studying should be goal directed. What Tumblr should be focused on is the end result of studying, the knowledge gained. More posts about what you learned today, how your level of sophistication, enlightenment and awareness has been increased. Studying is just a process to achieve a higher end. The process itself shouldn’t be what we’re all idealizing.
Because, you know, this is studying too and it ain’t that glamorous. Studying under streetlights because they have no electricity at home.
Insofar as I too make modest contributions to the studyspo on Tumblr, I made this post to express my unease about something that I also do. I know I am a more efficient learner when I feel comfortable and organized, but I would hate for the studyspo community to eclipse the greater point of studying and treat a comfy and carefully curated study environment as an end in itself.
Totally agree. Studyspo can be pretty and all, but on the scant occasions I actually do scroll my dash (instead of directly reading blogs) the monotony and lack of this type of content is mind numbing.
I agree to an extent, i mean you never know, i am definetly upper class, not even middle class, i am bottom of the society, however sometimes my shots come across as these. I have 526362 pens and high lighters all on discount, the desk i have is 3/4 of my bedroom but it doesnt show, with the right angle and right lighting everyone can seem upper class…but I feel you
But it doesn’t matter, really, whether the film is feminist or not, it matters that what they cut is the one sex scene where she’s getting the oral sex! It’s about female pleasure making people uncomfortable, it’s insane. Particularly when you think about how much misogyny makes it through in other movies, how much violence, too. Is it weird that I even want affirmative action or reparations that reward women filmmakers for taking the risks of expressing authentic sexuality? I’m so mad that I was raised on the highly commercial, misogynistic characterizations of sexual women as disposable sluts or props for a man’s storyline, yet if I try to disrupt that portrayal, I have to minimize the parts that are “uncomfortable.” Uncomfortable for whom?
THE FALLING MAN
Do you remember this photograph? In the United States, people have taken pains to banish it from the record of September 11, 2001. The story behind it, though, and the search for the man pictured in it, are our most intimate connection to the horror of that day.
Originally appeared in the September 2003 issue
In the picture, he departs from this earth like an arrow. Although he has not chosen his fate, he appears to have, in his last instants of life, embraced it. If he were not falling, he might very well be flying. He appears relaxed, hurtling through the air. He appears comfortable in the grip of unimaginable motion. He does not appear intimidated by gravity’s divine suction or by what awaits him. His arms are by his side, only slightly outriggered. His left leg is bent at the knee, almost casually. His white shirt, or jacket, or frock, is billowing free of his black pants. His black high-tops are still on his feet. In all the other pictures, the people who did what he did — who jumped — appear to be struggling against horrific discrepancies of scale. They are made puny by the backdrop of the towers, which loom like colossi, and then by the event itself. Some of them are shirtless; their shoes fly off as they flail and fall; they look confused, as though trying to swim down the side of a mountain. The man in the picture, by contrast, is perfectly vertical, and so is in accord with the lines of the buildings behind him. He splits them, bisects them: Everything to the left of him in the picture is the North Tower; everything to the right, the South. Though oblivious to the geometric balance he has achieved, he is the essential element in the creation of a new flag, a banner composed entirely of steel bars shining in the sun. Some people who look at the picture see stoicism, willpower, a portrait of resignation; others see something else — something discordant and therefore terrible: freedom. There is something almost rebellious in the man’s posture, as though once faced with the inevitability of death, he decided to get on with it; as though he were a missile, a spear, bent on attaining his own end. He is, fifteen seconds past 9:41 a.m. EST, the moment the picture is taken, in the clutches of pure physics, accelerating at a rate of thirty-two feet per second squared. He will soon be traveling at upwards of 150 miles per hour, and he is upside down. In the picture, he is frozen; in his life outside the frame, he drops and keeps dropping until he disappears.