Welcome to parker deren.
The idea behind our blog stems from a series of un/related events. And, our nascence would not have been possible without the intellectual, creative intercourse of a few key people with whom I hold a deep affinity. For this reason, I would like to think of us as a community.
Naming this blog parker deren seemed like a no-brainer. As a guest writer for Fanny Garcia’s pLAywritinginthecity, I was invited to write a review for Celebrity Saturdays at io West. After sitting through two and a half hours of “nondivergent frat boy” humor, I found myself close to fetal position. I felt assaulted. Silenced. Shocked. Perplexed that something so inane took ahold of me. Yet, as the deadline approached, my voice remained incapacitated. As a teacher, I could not assign my name to controversy. As a thinker, writer and educator I could not overlook how pop culture perpetuates gender and racial stereotypes.
I decided to write the article as “Parker Deren,” because it aired androgyny sans ethnic undertones. No one would question the intent or validity of the author. The appellation seemed neutral. However, both Dorothy Parker and Maya Deren embody intellectual creativity. Both were political. Both expressed themselves uniquely, distinctly, in questioning cultural and societal norms. As a witty, sarcastic, surrealist woman in search of greater meaning, I embrace them both.
Still, I procrastinated. To write the review meant to revisit silence. To not write the review meant to comply with silence.
A week later, still no article. I meet Nancy Kazar for a few happy hour Belvedere martinis in tears. Somewhere in between drunken lucidity – and stupidity – I shared my idea with Ms. Kazar. I have no idea what I said. Something about how each woman we know succeeds in her specialized field. And, we need to build a forum that allows for divergent ways of thinking in a holistic manner…Whatever it was resonated. And, this blog would not have started without her belief, wisdom, guidance and love.
I envision parker deren as a place of resonating dis/harmony. A place where un/silenced voices oscillate, chime and clang. Our purpose is to examine various facets of culture from art to economics to politics to the metaphysical. Because no matter how hard we wish them to be separate, they are connected to our well-being – our lives. Life propels discourse. And, discourse annunciates life.
We look forward to this engagement and welcome interaction and feedback.
Natalie Mislang Mann