One course related topic that I was really kind of hoping we’d touch more on was video games, considering just how huge of an industry it is right now and how much of our generation is engaged in some way with them. Not to mention that some of our communication department (I’m lookin’ at you, Prof. Delwiche) has apparently written articles about them, and has hinted more than a few times at being knowledgable about the medium. I think they, like graphic novels, are definitely an underrated genre of media, but both are becoming increasingly complex methods of story-telling.
I really enjoyed all of Chuck Klosterman’s readings that we did for class, because I like how he writes about pop culture in a way that is both engaging and substantive, but not boring or deliberately obscure (*cough like Baudrillard, see below*) but I think if I had to choose my favorite one it would have to be “This is Emo”. Like all really good articles, I think Klosterman in this reading manages to reveal something that we all are aware of, deep down inside, but haven’t really brought to the surface to turn over in our mind. Because I think it’s very true what he says, that all this media portrayal of epic romances has set us up to believe that such idealistic relationships are possible for everyone, when really they probably aren’t (sad, but true). And I think it’s important to realize that you can’t have things perfect, though you can try to have the best for you.
And of course, my least favorite would be Jean Baudrillard’s “Precession of simulacrae”. To me, it just doesn’t make sense to be a philosopher and a writer if you can’t make clear what you’re trying to say. I think his ideas certainly have value, but his writing is so frustrating that it feels like elite snobbery, a way to ensure that only the best minds deserve to understand his ideas. I don’t like that. So yeah, mostly I have a problem with his delivery, not with his theories.
An idea of his that I did find intriguing was, “since the simulator produces ‘true’ symptoms, is he ill or not?” This is certainly a relevant question in medicine and particularly psychology today. Baudrillard brings up psychosomatics, and I immediately think of hysteric pregnancies as an example. This question has not only practical, medical value, but is also philosophically and theoretically important. It is certainly interesting to see how such a dilemma influences reality and simulation.
My plans for next semester consist mainly of furthering my sociology major and communication minor. I’ll be taking 12 hours of upper division, 9 of them in the communication department. And I would like to study abroad in London Fall 2012, so I’ll be applying to a program next semester. Hopefully I’ll be accepted, because it’s something that I’ve always wanted to do and I think travel is such an amazing way to gain experience in almost every aspect of being a student. Additionally, I hope to become even more active in all of my extracurricular activities next semester, and continue to enjoy my time in college, which has been so great so far. Though I’m only a junior, I’m already dreading graduation and going into the real adult world!