Something I really value in a class is the ability to relate and/or apply the material learned to situations or experiences outside the classroom. This was definitely something I was able to do, and continue to be able to do, with the knowledge I gained from Media Interpretation and Criticism. I have watched many commercials and seen many print advertisements recently that I am able to pick apart and more throughly understand what the advertising agency was trying to accomplish. I am also very keen to laugh tracks now, thanks to the Klosterman reading, which consequently happens to be one of my favorites from the semester. In the chapter, “‘Ha ha,’ he said. ‘Ha ha,'” from Chuck Klosterman’s book “Eating the Dinosaur,” Klosterman talks about the stupidity of laugh tracks in TV shows. He makes a great argument about how canned laughter is as stupid as we get. After reading this I became hyper-aware of laugh tracks and they began to really annoy me. Thankfully, as Klosterman also mentions, more and more of the modern and popular comical TV shows are not using laugh tracks anymore. This reading from Klosterman was funny, witty, sassy, and overall entertaining. In fact, all of his readings contained those qualities which I loved.
My least favorite reading was definitely “Walt Disney” by Steven Shaviro. I believe this was mostly because I did not understand his references to people and sometimes the wording he used was very confusing and hard to follow. It was also just a boring read overall. It did not grab my attention and I had a hard time keeping focus during the whole thing. I’m still not sure what he was trying to get across in his article to be honest. One thing he mentioned that I found interesting was when he quoted Ed Anger as stating, “‘What scares the Kremlin bosses isn’t America’s nuclear arsenal; what scares them is that we’ll open a K-Mart in Moscow, and the Russian people will like it.'” Shaviro says that this is how we won the Cold War. I believe he might be trying to argue that we won the war not because the Russians were scared of our weaponry but because we could put our businesses in Russia and the Russians would become Americanized. I’m not even sure if this is what he’s trying to say because it was so confusing, however that’s my take on it which I find somewhat interesting.
Had I turned this blog in on time I would have liked to go over semiotics again since it is a topic that I seem to struggle to understand completely. However looking forward I am excited for next semester because my earliest class is 9:30 and the classes I am signed up for were all my top choices and I think they will be really interesting. I am taking a couple business courses and environmental science courses because I am considering majoring in one of the two. I would like to take mass media in the future because I have heard it’s a great class so hopefully I have the opportunity to do so. Right now I am most looking forward to getting my finals over with and going home to Colorado for a nice long break.