It Will Shock You How Much It Did Happen

Don Draper’s memorable line from Mad Men resonates as Klosterman touches on it and the semester draws to a close

Next semester is going to be my busiest semester at Trinity yet.  I’m planning on taking 18 hours–all of which are going to be upper division classes that are either for my major (Communication) or minor (Business Administration and Communication Management).  I’m going to take Principles of Public Relations, Persuasion, Magazine Writing, as well as Legal Concepts of Business, Fundamentals of Information Systems, and Human Resources Management.  The reason why I’m taking so many classes next semester is so that I can have an easy-ish senior year.  We’ll see how that goes… I intend on studying abroad over the summer in London, England, which I couldn’t be more excited for.  After I graduate, I would love to get an internship or, better yet, a job at Clear Channel Communication headquartered here in San Antonio.  It’s been my dream job, since I found out about them a couple of years ago.  I would be interested in working in literally all of the services they offer.

When I first ordered and received all the books i would need for this class, I was both overwhelmed and intrigued.  I told everyone I had to buy comic books for class, which was usually met with envy because who wouldn’t want to read a comic book for class instead of an Intro to Biology textbook?  I have never in my 20 (nearly 21) years of living considered the intricacies of comic books and all that they have to offer.  I learned from Scott McCloud in Understand Comics: The Invisible Art that comic book characters can be drawn as intricately or as detailed as the artist wants to make them.  The other interesting idea I took from the readings was from White Space Is Not Your Enemy.  I was so not looking forward to reading this book, but once I got started, I realized I was learning a lot.  I noticed that I was making mistakes in a lot of my designs that were not as obvious as I might have thought (an example would be to avoid centering everything on a page–who knew?!).  I understand the significance behind the title, as well–in order to keep the viewer’s eyes focused on the message of whatever you’re trying to sell, you have to keep it simple–especially the background.  A little white space never hurt anyone, did it?

Chuck Klosterman was by far my favorite author out of all the readings we had throughout the semester.  He was very colloquial in his writings, which made me actually want to read what he had to say.  His idea of laugh tracks was the most interesting to me.  Ever since I read this article, I found that I agree with his idea that “it will always seem stupid, because canned laughter represents the worst qualities of insecure people” (Klosterman, 163).  Yeah, that sounds a little harsh, but I think it’s true.  He goes on to explain that “insecurity is part of being alive [but it’s] never less complicated than a machine that tries to make you feel like you’re already enjoying something, simply because people you’ll never meet were convinced to laugh at something else entirely” (Klosterman, 163).  As much as I loved learning about memes, I did not really enjoy Susan Blackmore’s Meme Machine.  I think the reason why I disliked it so much was because it was too long and my attention span is not very wide.  Comparing memes to Darwinism was an awesome concept.  I like learning about something that I never would have thought of in a million years.  I agree with her idea that memes have the same three main features of natural selection: variation, selection, and retention.

While we were watching The Truman Show (Weir, 1998) in class, I was struck with this idea: what if the movie was only telling a common belief some people may share?  After all, the main character’s name is “Truman” — true man.  I’m not trying to generalize here, but I think a lot of people have a vain intricate belief that the world does, in fact, revolve around them.  The photos of Quinn Tulpa represent a person’s idea of being watched–hasn’t almost everyone had that feeling before?  The last image with the words “World history your life story it’s all just metafiction” depicts the ideology of our world being one big story in which we’re all characters.  I don’t really know what I would do next.  I guess I would keep the information to myself and probably have the sense that everyone gets this news at some point in their metafictional lives.

Sources Used:

Chuck Klosterman (2009). “It will shock you how much it never happened,” excerpt from Eating the dinosaur. New York: Scribner Press.

Kim Golombisky & Rebecca Hagen (2010). White space is not your enemy: A beginners guide to communicating visually through graphic, web, and multimedia design.

Scott McCloud (1994) Understanding comics: The invisible art. New York: HarperPerennial.

Susan Blackmore (1999). The Meme Machine. London: Oxford University Press.

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