Personally, I am not the blogging type Even though this could potentially be my final posting ever, I can safely say I am not going to mourn. Next semester is set up to be my easiest yet. I am primarily fulfilling more common curriculum requirements, which include classical mythology and Improvisation. Both classes I am looking forward to very much. I am also excited at the prospect of only having two labs next spring. I have had three labs for the last two semesters and it is a nightmare. My semester is predominantly set up to be less demanding than typical because I will be taking my MCAT in March. Whats the MCAT you ask? Only my impending doom. It’s the point in my life where essentially my whole past and future culminant and lie teetering on a hinge between success and failure. I’m not worried….well only a little. I am sure it will be fine and am almost eager to take it and see how I do.
I can honestly say that I enjoyed reading the McCloud’s Understanding Comics textbook. It was a nice reprieve from the usual college textbook, while still serving as an effective source for learning. One of the ideas that I found most interesting from the text was from the section on icons and symbols. I was intrigued by the section discussing the message conveyed by the amount of detail in comic books. McCloud discussed the difference in reading comics that are exceedingly cartoonish versus incredibly graphic. Up until reading the section, I never understood why an artist would “dumb down” their illustrations. An artist might use a generic, cartoon to preserve the message behind the picture and allow the reader to closer identify, even take the place, of the character in the comic. Another concept I found practically intriguing from the reading was McCloud’s section on the gutter of the comic. I have already discussed this in my movie blog posting because I utilized this principle in my trailer recut. Essentially, the gutter of the comic is one of the author’s most powerful tools. It is a space between scenes that allow the reader to personalize and fill in the story with their own imagination. This can cause the message to be considerably more meaningful to the reader.
There were certainly readings I considered more worthwhile than others. One of the more interesting readings I thought was the short story on the desert of the real. I am a big fan of the movies that explore this idea (such as The Matrix, and Inception, among others). One of the most interesting things about the short story is that it cannot be validated, but serves to pick at your brain causing you to question everything we consider reality. How do we know where the map ends and the land begins? I must admit, even though Chuck Klosterman is depressingly pessimistic, I enjoy his sarcastic uncensored analysis of reality. I rather enjoyed his except, “This is Emo”, because I found it to be equally as relevant as it was amusing. The “John Cusack” effect that causes women to possess and cling to a fabled ideal romantic man is a principle I believe lead to misconceptions in males as well as females. Men tend to believe that they need to be the optimal romantic wonder-guy to get the girl. The pressures to perform bold and extravagant declarations of love are ever weighing on a man’s mind when courting a lady.
Naturally, my first inclination is to assume Dr. Delwiche has lost his mind and leave it at that (but for some reason this is not considered a viable option). I think the point of the message is that these readings, although they may seem foreign and unidentifiable, are actually directly applicable to our lives. We may be enrolled in a course discussing metafiction, but more significantly, we are engaged in a world of metafiction. We are observed at all times and the interpretation of our actions can be construed anyway the viewer wants regardless of our intentions. We are in a world that is constantly shaped and manipulated by others without our knowledge and it can influence us. In the same way, we are always observing others and affecting people’s lives in some manner with our actions. There are many worlds outside of our own, and many of them overlap and are interconnected. Life is metafiction.