Sometimes, especially toward the end of the semester, I get so caught up in finishing assignments and finals that I have to remind myself of the good in life, namely, there are things to look forward to once hell week is over. These “rewards” are things in the near and far future, goals and dreams of mine that I wish to accomplish and achieve. Starting with short-term goals, I am taking many classes I am truly interested in next semester as I dig deeper into my majors and minor of Communication/Marketing and Creative Writing respectively. I am especially interested in my poetry writing class. I am also planning on studying abroad in Italy next spring and I hope to take a painting course in Florence. Further down the road I want to start my own blog, and thanks to this class and Media Audiences last semester, I am familiar with writing blogs making it less scary to actually start one. Finally, my ultimate dream is to be a successful published author and I hope to gather as much experience here in college and abroad that will positively influence my writing.
This class has helped me not only fulfill requirements for my Communication major, but I also learned several concepts that I found truly interesting. Two of these include the use of negative space, and the idea that there is “no guarantee that anything exists outside of what (our) five sense report to (us) (p. 60). In the Graphic Design Textbook White Space is not Your Enemy, Golombisky and Hagen discuss how “Negative space (which) is empty space…is not your enemy” (p. 44). I find this to be very interesting and useful because I have designed brochures for school clubs, my job, and college classes before and I think the go to approach is to focus on the elements on the page. I think I subconsciously understood what looked good and what didn’t but now I know that when something worked it was mostly because I was correctly using negative space. I think it’s interesting to think of the absence of something as something in itself, to think of “space (as)… a key element in graphic design. In Understanding Comics the Invisible Art Scott McCloud discusses the idea “that the whole world (might) just (be) a show put on for (our) benefit, that unless (we) was present to see things, they just ceased to exist…fascinated by the fact that they could not be disproved” (p. 60-61). I’ve found myself entertaining this notion as well and it’s interesting to think about especially when knowing you’re not the only one.
Regarding the theoretical readings, I found Morrison and Klosterman the most interesting. In Supergods, Morrison poses the question of whether our reality is actually real. Specifically, I enjoyed how he expresses the idea that we could just be as real as a comic book. I also enjoyed how he describes a comic book writer drawing himself into the comic as someone wearing a “fiction suit.” Almost as if this gives us the opportunity to be part of a world that isn’t real, assuming our world is actually real and not just a parallel universe. Klosterman also engages in the concept that reality is mis-represented or not reality at all. This is Emo is my favorite reading we’ve done this semester. I found it profoundly true although, as the title would suggest, quite depressing. Klosterman argues that we will never know true love because our entire concept of love is fabricated. It is because of this that everyone is dissatisfied with their relationship. “(We) want fake love. But that’s all (we) want, and that’s why (we) can’t have it (p. 6). Both of these ideologies fascinated me this semester because it takes a while to wrap your brain around them. But once I did, I thought about them quite a lot. In fact, most of the readings we had questioned the reality we accept as real. We did create most of what we define as real and what if it’s just not?
Finally, if I was Quinn Tulpa, a Trinity student, who received this strange package with photographs with my face pasted on them my first reaction would be to freak out a bit, I mean I think that is definitely a natural response. Assuming I get over the creepiness, I think I would attempt at finding an underlying meaning. Looking at the photos, I decided that Johnny B. was trying to communicate to me that my sense of reality, that the world, reality itself, was not real. I believe this is what he is trying to tell me because my face is pasted interchangeably on other people, especially onto the main character of the movie The Truman Show who discovers his entire world is constructed by the other people in his life and made into the ultimate reality show. In fact, one of the photos says “we don’t need the media to reflect our problems in real time- each existence is telepresent to itself…We have swallowed our microphones and headsets.” This is hinting at the fact that we might be just like Truman in the Truman Show, not aware of the fakeness of our reality. I then proceeded to look up the address just out of curiosity and found out it was a Disney amusement park which reinforced my belief that Johnny B. was indeed trying to tell me to be more aware and observant, that I might just be like Truman, like Morrison’s Animal man, and like Disney land, not real.
I think this leaves us with several ending questions. Is reality an underlying truth, or a matter of perception? Is anything actually real? And most importantly, are we ourselves real? I just know one thing, if presented with the option of a fabricated life or reality I, just like Neo in The Matrix, would pick reality.