This apocalypse-themed course is reaching its final cadences as the semester drives toward the climactic and stressful finals season. I appreciate the structure of this course–finishing projects early spares us an extra burden during such a hectic time. I can honestly say I look forward to coming to class; an interesting lecture offers respite from an otherwise grueling schedule.
The material for this course has generally been some of the most enjoyable out of all of my classes. The only article I could point to that I just straight-up didn’t like was the Bernard Dick explanation of film techniques and vocabulary. Of course a textbook chapter would be less interesting than, say, a humorous pop-culture essay, but I just feel like there could be some less tedious way to learn such jargon. There are obvious benefits to such a widely encompassing lesson, and it was a helpful and necessary resource when writing the apocalypse film essay (for terminology and context purposes), but I will not think back fondly on the experience of reading that particular piece.
It’s difficult to choose a favorite reading from this semester. I enjoyed reading all of the Klosterman pieces, specifically “This Is Emo” as it has long been a favorite of mine. I constantly lend out my copy of Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs and practically force friends to read that essay particularly. I am a big fan of his. I am beyond excited about his visit to campus. I hope he’s not a jerk.
I also really enjoyed the Baudrillard piece on Simulacra, mostly for the discussion and cultural context rather than the writing itself. Actually entirely, I can’t stand the way he writes.
On Monday, after finishing the explanation of postmodernism, I would be very interested in discussing the possible negative manifestations of postmodern attitudes, specifically on my generation. Something I’ve often contemplated is the general apathy among my peers towards mostly all subjects (specifically tragedy and social injustice), a striking contrast to the protesting social activism of late-twentieth-century youth. I feel that the tendency of postmodern ideals to steer away from absolute truth has created a hesitancy to develop opinions on issues that are no less present in our era. It is difficult to imagine a movement (in America) as passionate as the anti-Vietnam protests or the Civil Rights Movement, even though our country is still militarily active and still socially oppressive. Laws about immigration and same-sex marriage are stifling the rights of citizens daily, but these human rights violations seem less than important to the average American twenty-something.
Perhaps there is a specifically American version of postmodern attitude that manifests more apathetically (in focusing on political correctness and equality of opinion) than other parts of the world that are clearly still passionate about human rights and social ideals. Perhaps we take for granted our political opportunities, recognizing the corruption and ignorance of our politicians but not feeling any power (or motivation) to change anything. There is a much louder voice on anonymous internet forums than in voting booths these days. We have unprecedented power to spread ideas and move people (just look at Egypt), but the equalizing nature of the internet favors a hierarchy of entertainment and fanaticized opinion over one of intellect and thought. Do we just feel powerless? Or do we truly not care? Is this some kind of post-postmodern recoil? This apathy is something I’m very interested in but have yet to reach any specific conclusions about… I’m curious to know what others think about the way we think.
I am excited about continuing my studies in the Communication department next semester. I am taking (Dr. Delwiche’s) Web Design course, Media Audiences, and Magazine Writing. I am also going back to finish some requirements for the English major, ready to get literature back into my life. I am hoping to secure a study abroad program for the summer to study Spanish, hopefully in Spain. With a summer program I’d have the luxury of not taking required major or common curriculum classes (since I have time during the semesters) so I would really love to do an intensive language program and study something I won’t have time to at Trinity.
I still have yet to figure out my horizon beyond that, perhaps next semester’s studies will help point me in a direction.