Remarkably, another semester is coming to an end. Despite my initial doubts, I have thoroughly enjoyed this class and appreciated the theme of metafiction. As I will discuss more later, the foremost thing I will take from this class is the necessity to be skeptical and look everything up. Next semester is scheduled to be another fun one; I will be taking Investments, Intermediate Macroeconomics, MIS, Intermediate Spanish, and Public Speaking. More immediately on the horizon though, I foresee myself being a lazy bum over Christmas break by doing nothing more than enjoying home-cooked meals and the comfort of my own bed. Even though I’m sure I should be looking further out onto the horizon towards something more meaningful, my mind can’t make it past those two subjects.
One interesting idea I took away from the aesthetic readings was the techniques and methods behind film discussed in Bernard Dick’s Anatomy of Film. I spent the first eighteen years of my life with no appreciation for movies (hence why I haven’t seen any films discussed in class, including the Star Wars series), and have only recently gained a slighter appreciation for the art. Given this, I was completely unaware of the techniques and methods used in telling a story on a screen. Due to this lack of knowledge, I found the discussion on this subject quite interesting. From now on, I will never again be able to watch a movie or TV show without noticing the lighting, transitions, or shot length. Another idea from the aesthetic readings that I found interesting was from White Space is Not Your Enemy. I helped create our high school’s yearbook my junior and senior year, but still didn’t have the understanding of how to effectively design a layout that I do now from reading that book. I’m not sure if there will come a time in my future in which I will be able to put this understanding to use, but nevertheless, it is satisfying to have the confidence to design a not-so-boring layout.
As far as the theoretical readings, I really enjoyed all of Chuck Klosterman’s articles. One idea in particular that has stuck with me is his discussion in “This is Emo” about how people can’t enjoy a real life love because of what they perceive from movies as the standard of an “ideal” love. This is an idea that I have heard discussed several times prior to this class, but I had never heard it put quite the way Klosterman did or examined in such depth. The idea still sticks with me because I think it is absolutely true and extremely unfortunate. Another idea that I found interesting was Blackmore’s discussion of memes. Let me make it clear that I in no way found this article exciting or entertaining (in fact, it was quite the opposite: almost torturous); however, I found the material that was presented fascinating. Viewing everything as possibly just imitations of other things rather than original ideas has changed my perspective on nearly everything and has caused me to start to doubt if it is possible to be original anymore.
Finally we have the strange package from Monsieur Johnny B. As I previously mentioned, the necessity of looking everything up has remained a crucial thing for me; therefore, the first thing I did when searching for meaning in this package was look up the address listed on the package. The address is West Ball Road in Anaheim, California, of course referring to Disneyland, and hence recalling to mind the points presented by Jean Baudrillard about how Disneyland shows that the rest of America is fake. Also very noticeable are the images of Truman from the Truman Show and Buddy from Animal Man; both of these characters, along with Disneyland, call into question of what is real. Although there are many meanings to derive from this package, I interpret the combination of these three primary details to mean that Monsieur Johnny B. is sending me a simple reminder that the society we live in is a mere representation of what is “real”, but is in fact far more fake than even the fictional Disneyland. I certainly don’t think that I am being “controlled” by any outside forces like Truman or Buddy were; however, I strongly believe that the media does manipulate what we see, hear, and read, thus guiding us through our lives. This just once again brings us back to the all familiar necessity presented in this class (the only appropriate way to end this): be skeptical and look everything up. Not everything is as it seems.