Saturday, March 20, 2010

What's Your Tribe?

Art Sparker asks: 1.What's your tribe? (Read the many comments on her post for some interesting answers.)
2. How do you recognize members?
3. Does your tribal identity shift or fray?
4. How much is culturally based and how much is values based?

My tribe (one of them) is people when they're reading.
Whether I like the person or not, I usually feel a tender identification with someone reading, something like I feel toward someone sleeping.

How 'bout you?

ABOVE: Zak Smith at the Planet Coffee Shop (2006), by Sarolta Gyoker, via Martin Amis Web

ABOVE: Unidentified woman on a Western Addition porch, c. 1960s, by Kurt Bank; from found sf

ABOVE: Hunter Gaudet, 16, by Nicole Bengiveno, from the NYT: "The Future of Reading" *

ABOVE: Whoops--now I can't find the attribution. It's one of the 1, 569 images of "girl reading" at Getty Images.

ABOVE: Clinton & Obama, from the NYT, "Forging an Alliance" (3-18-10).
This photo intrigued me: what are they looking at together? In my mind, they are reading something on a computer screen.
They remind me of another duo:
(Thanks, Margaret!)

ABOVE: "Bush Reads to Muslim Children": "U.S. President George W. Bush listens to 3-year-old Alexandria Hudome before reading from a book of poems to a group of Muslim children during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr December 17, 2001." Photo: Mark Wilson, from Life magazine

ABOVE: St. Jerome Reading with His Lion, Rembrandt, from the Rijkmuseum, Amsterdam
(One of my favorite pieces of art. Talk about tender: Jerome was a right crab-cake, but he's sweet here, alone with his book and his friend--the lion from whose paw he'd removed a thorn.)

ABOVE: Pamela Anderson reading Unmarketable: Brandalism, Copyfighting, Mocketing, and the Erosion of Integrity, by Anne Elizabeth Moore; from The Sun (UK).
(I'd posted this photo--along with one of Marilyn Monroe reading--a couple years ago.)

BELOW: Two photos from Google's Workplace, via Obnoxious Queer
The culture of reading is changing, but even Google has a library of books (and what looks like books wallpaper?).
* From The Future of Reading:

"'Young people 'aren’t as troubled as some of us older folks are by reading that doesn’t go in a line,' said Rand J. Spiro, a professor of educational psychology at Michigan State University who is studying reading practices on the Internet.
"'That’s a good thing because the world doesn’t go in a line,
and the world isn’t organized into separate compartments or chapters.'
” [italics mine]

My Sicilian grandmother, reading, 1950s.


ArtSparker said...

Lovley series. Thank you so much for posting St. Jerome and his Lion, I love Rembrandt and had never seen this. It speaks so of ordinary life with a lion, who of course doesn't read and seem a little bored. I hope he read aloud to it sometimes, because I think cats enjoy that, they like being near at reading aloud times certainly.

Fresca said...

Thanks for sparking it, SPARKY!

Another favorite Rembrandt print of mine is his
"St. Jerome in a Dark Chamber"--I saw it in a museum once and was crushed by the weight of its beauty.
I wonder if Rembrandt identified with Jerome...

Cats are bad readers! They always want to lie on TOP of paper!

Tessa said...

Fascinating and thoroughly thought-provoking. A wonderfully eclectic mix of images, too. (And brava to Artspark for posing the question in the first place!)

Margaret said...

"I usually feel a tender identification with someone reading, something like I feel toward someone sleeping."

Yes, moi, aussi!

Reminds me of this:

Jennifer said...

I love the images of reading! I would consider myself of the geek tribe--there's even a word for that gush of wordy excitement when you discover another person is a member of the tribe--"geekgasm."

When I was on a Caribbean cruise this Christmas, I was sitting in a lounge with my husband and slowly became aware that the couple one table over was discussing Firefly and Livejournal and writing fanfic. I wanted so much to go over there and talk to them, but at the same time that sense of kinship might not extend to random strangers showing up and plunking down next to you and starting a conversation. I don't know, sometimes I wish I weren't so withdrawn about things like that. Most people would have "flashed their geek creds" (okay, I was extra-limited by not having watched "Firefly"!) and launched right into conversation. I am terribly shy face to face, alas. But it was a fun experience, sitting there and feeling connected to total strangers in the middle of the ocean.

momo said...

What a lovely idea, our tribe of readers! When we did that thing a few years ago where we posted 10 images (remember?) one of mine was a Japanese print of a woman reading while sitting on the back of a giant carp. I think I'll post it again. I use it as my avatar in some places.
My cat "helps" me read by sitting on my reading material as well, but mostly he uses my reading as an excuse to cuddle next to me.

Fresca said...

Happy Sunday Morning, all!
(Well, anyway, it's a sunny Sunday morning as I write this at Bob's Java Hut anyway.)

TESSA: Thanks for writing: nice to meet you!

MARGARET: I've thought before that Clinton & Obama reminded me of Kirk & Spock--so I added that *perfect* picture you sent. Thanks!

JEN: "Geekasm"! Heh. I didn't know that word.

I would add Trekkie to my list of tribes, of course:
I felt entirely among my own at the 2008 LV Star Trek con, and felt entirely comfortable talking to strangers--
--sort of like I feel in a Catholic Church.
I may not like all its manifestations and members (hardly!),
but I trust we recognize each other as belonging to the same tribe, for better or worse.

I think these people on the cruise were a message for you, Jen:
Watch "Firefly"!
(Would you have gone up and said hello if they were talking about, say, Blakes 7?)

MOMO: I don't know that "10 pictures" meme--what was it?

momo said...

I was mistaken--it was someone else who tagged me with the meme, and it was "8 images that amaze you."