So Long and Thanks for All the Fish!

Whilst I have never actually read the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and therefore probably do not understand the profound wisdom of this particular song but I do know first-hand that the tune of So Long and Thanks for All the Fish is so catchy that you can get pieces of it stuck in your head for at least a week leaving doubts about the actual sequence of verses in their wake. Not to compare this semester to lingering doubts, but the analogy does seem in context for the series of sequentially imparted although not necessarily sequentially remembered readings of this semester.

For example, I do distinctly remember reading the Shaviro reading about Disney. I can see the page layout in my mind clearly. I know that it was about the falseness of Disneyland but there was a great deal in that reading that I simply did not understand. I know that we were all fore-warned that it was a dense reading but I simply could not make sense of it at all. On a secondary note, whilst the lengthy Dick reading about film was very beneficial in the presentation of vocabulary in the description of films, I think that it might have been more beneficial in the context of specifically examining that aspect of a singular film, a case study going blow by blow, separate from the greater meaning implied. Perhaps this is just me because I have never wanted nor considered working in the movie industry but I feel like I take a lot of elements of the live-action film for granted as perpetuating of the media the puppet masters of any particular work may have been exposed to previously. I found it very difficult to try and extract a greater meaning for the film paper because my applicable knowledge covered essentially the costuming, setting, and literary resonances of the film I was covering. Outside these elements I found it very difficult to focus on how the elements were shot when I looked at how the characters fulfilled literary stereotypes, how they progressed, how the storylines interacted with each other, how the characters suggested greater metaphorical meanings, not to mention the impending need to address the inclusion on the part of the director or writer to include a metafictional plot point.

I think it is easier to take for granted the live-action movie because it is shot from life, whilst there are things you can change, which let’s face it, the movie industry proved recently with movies like Cloud Atlas, is practically everything and to some extent things that it is ridiculously impractical or unrealistic to try to change. For example, in the coming of age type romantic comedy of Morning Glory (Roger Michell, 2010), in the progression of the plot throughout the movie Becky Fuller, Rachel McAdams’ character, is becoming a more successful and respected television producer. However, in the final clinching moment of the movie there are two scenes back to back where the costuming choices were made to accommodate one of the scenes which left the logic and semiotics completely by the wayside in what they were representing. Now, this clip, which is a terrible quality but which illustrates this point perfectly is that throughout the entire movie she’s bettering herself for The Job and there’s a line in the beginning about her dream job of being a producer for The Today Show and she’s there in The Interview and suddenly, she’s forgotten everything she’s been moving through throughout the film and believe me, I know, that these things seem like really small things and maybe they are but I just want to point out that this seems vaguely like everyone just went with it and followed what they were told and didn’t question a thing—because the way this movie is presented is as if it were real life and the real life Becky Fuller, would have looked in the mirror and would have chosen her entire outfit herself and she probably would not have actually turned up in a beige dress that completely washes her out when the people she’s being interviewed by have all turned up wearing monochromatic tones. No, she’s not guaranteed to know that but she would have known that The Today Show producers were in that caliber range of professionalism. Also, not that this particularly matters but, honestly, who runs like that in two inch stiletto heels, I mean, that’s just ridiculous.

It’s like Roger Mitchell and his producers have thrown this entire symbolic resonance out the window or suspended it for this scene thinking no one will notice if it’s just one scene or maybe they only want to get it past people one time. I don’t really know, but it stands to reason, from this that I’m not the only one who takes elements of live action films for granted and I think it stands to reason that, as McCloud pointed out in our course readings for comic books, that in the context of comic books and things that are the entire intellectual spawn of their artists or writers or producers is that since every aspect is created afresh, every aspect is individually considered and chosen following some sort of grandiose plan. I guess that is the perpetuated idea that allows us to take many movies for granted. The idea that the perpetuated media is somehow an accurate representation of what is waiting, and what will become of us in time. Once upon a time, this brilliant idea was released into the world: “we read books to find out who we are. What other people, real or imaginary, do and think and feel…is an essential guide to our understanding of what we ourselves are or may become,” by Ursula K. Le Guin. In our current society, I would still praise this idea but the fact remains that for the most part a movie or a television show takes a lot less time than reading a book just as Klosterman noted in his commentary hitting the greater points of the faults of the movie industry, romantic comedies specifically, and the direct impact of the media made popular during the highly impressionable years of his generations. I won’t say that this sort of thing was brilliant but it was very accessible and immediately relevant to the cultural impacts of the contemporary media and it got me wondering, how does one do that?

How do you get into a job field where you write opinionated columns with the same determined persona of students writing finals? Is that what Communication Majors aspire to? Do they do that all along, trying to disperse there theories and extracted meanings to the population so that they will have a smooth entre into society the same way University artists are encouraged to submit and participate in artistic shows? In this vein, I will specifically not be doing that again next semester. Trying to fit in the sculptural work of a show with 16 floundering credit hours does not work at all. In retrospect, it’s quite funny, I’ve been telling people for six years that the moral of Jurassic Park, the book by Michael Crichton, is that just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. So, for next semester, I’ll be taking two courses in Communication and Studio Art, towards my majors, in addition to taking Symbolic Logic to satisfy my mathematic common curriculum requirement. In addition, I’ll be taking a dance class, participating in a dance group, and trying to increase my physical activity besides that because that was one thing that I changed this semester and since everything seems quite off kilter it seems I should start somewhere in putting it back together.

Picture from the Banner this Blog

I’m not entirely sure why I like this basic design but there is something rather comforting although rather strange about a hand-rail less staircase in this day and age.

Putting it back together. I suppose this is the meaning of the Quinn Tulpa box on the doorstep. The meaning, along the lines of Dr. Delwiche is crazy but in the Robin Williams as Prof. Keating of Dead Poet’s Society fame is crazy, he’s doing it in pursuit of a point. I believe that the heart of that point is established in this box, that the only proof that most of our lives exist and proceed is through how we use media and other tools because the convenience provided by our tools inevitably makes us less functioning. “If you have no idea what the answer is on any quiz from here on out, just write ‘Marshall McLuhan’.” – Dr. Delwiche, COMM 2302: Metafiction.

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