It’s been a wild ride, Media Interpretation, but it is time to move on. Next semester will be my final semester before graduating in May. I am taking 12 hours (with senioritis in mind) – Marketing Management, International Trade, Intermediate Spanish, and The Nature of Cancer. This will complete the requirements for both of my majors (Business Administration and Economics) as well as the common curriculum. On the horizon I see myself behind a desk in a secure job that I don’t particularly like, but hey, that’s life.
One idea I took from the aesthetic readings that I found interesting was the meaning behind different film techniques in Anatomy of Film. As a huge fan of film, I enjoyed reading about the purposes of different shot lengths, vantage points, and transitions. Another idea I found interesting from the aesthetic readings was the use of the video game medium as means for propaganda. As an avid gamer, I am always interested in the effects that video games can have on impressionable youth. Also, Dr. Delwiche wrote it, and he is, like, the best professor ever (seniors aren’t above brown-nosing here and there).
As far as the theoretical readings go, I really liked Chuck Klosterman’s articles throughout the semester. I especially clung on to the ideas presented in “This is Emo” about people not being satisfied by real world love because of the way love is presented in movies. That’s a fascinating idea that I have never thought about, but upon looking at the world around me, it seems to be true. I was also interested while reading “How to become a cult leader” about the different techniques used to gain members in a cult. I always knew and felt successful cult leaders had a certain charisma and mystique about them that drew people to their cause, but I like the depth to which the reading explained these qualities. Many of the other articles were also enjoyable, and some not so, but I think each served their purpose in presenting a useful idea or concept. On that note, if I read another article about Independence Day or lizard people, it will be too soon.
Now on to this strange package from the voyeuristic Monsieur Johnny B. There are many meanings to derive from it. The first thing I noticed was that the package came from West Ball Road in Anaheim, California. This is of course referring to Disneyland – “the objective profile of America,” according to Jean Baudrillard. Johnny B. is trying to remind me that we live in a country where the projection of a fantasy has become the new “real.” The second thing I noticed was that my face in the pictures, except the one of me studying, is pasted over people we have studied in class – Truman from The Truman Show and Buddy from Animal Man. I interpret this as meaning that in the age of post-modernism, the media is no longer something that is outside of our control. Through zines, the internet, and blogs, we have become the media. We are in control of the truth more than ever. Lastly, I noticed the quote, “we have swallowed our microphones and headsets.” Following Marshall Mcluhan’s famous quote, “the medium is the message,” I interpret this to mean that we have internalized the ideas of post-modernism to question the medium and the message and to always be curious about our own self-identity. The last image that Johnny B. sent me about the theme of this semester’s class – metafiction – reminds me that I am just a “functioning cog in some great machinery serving something beyond me,” as the Fleet Foxes put it. My individual story is just one of many existing in a cohesive universe of stories where we are all aware of the media-fueled author that writes it. Johnny B. is telling me that life is metafictional in that we are not blind to the presence of creative forces affecting our motivations. So what do I do next? I continue my story. Knowing my life is heavily influenced by media doesn’t make it any less real, any less scary, any less beautiful than what it would be otherwise. If the medium really is the message, than this medium I call Brian has a lot to say.