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WildCherry15's blog

thank you, everyone!

to everyone, blogging with you and being with you in class has been awesome. i wish media studies majors had been able to come together like this more throughout our time here. i am really impressed (and entertained *smile*) by everyone's comments and thesis topics, and i'm really excited to hear how they turn out, whether they be about PWT, mash-ups, wikipedia, or digital poetry (and all the other amazing ones too). three-hour classes never passed so quickly before.

i wish everyone a happy winter break and the best of luck with everything next semester. i kinda wish we could keep this blog going to keep in touch, but that's kinda unrealistic. oh well. c'est la vie. it's been fun, and i hope to see y'all around. senior year's halfway over--AHHH!

final thoughts on blogging

soooo, it looks like the blogging adventure of ms 190 is winding down. i have really enjoyed this. i was in the ms149 theory class last fall and did this there too, but it really frustrated me for a while. i did not understand if it was formal or not, how serious we were supposed to be and such. i approached it like i approached the written reading responses we had to do in intro media studies (also with prof. fitzpatrick). those written ones were intense. we were graded very toughly on a scale of 1-10. i remember working sooo hard to get that 10, and it only happened once or twice. i don't think that i'm such a grade-grubber, but i really felt like high quality writing was expected of me. and i wanted to become very articulate in that class, especially because media studies was so new and different for me (as a frosh, coming from a high school with limited elective classes).

new thesis option: scott mccloud-style

so i was thinking. in doing our thesis, we have the paper option and the project option. yet it seems that many of us doing the paper are incorporating project components, whether that be a CD of mash-ups or digital poetry (from people whose new bff is dreamweaver-lol!) mine has a website component too.

all this makes sense, because we want to show it, not just say it. that was the cool thing about scott mccloud and his theory of comic books; he debunked the notion that "truly great works of art and literature are only possible when the two are kept at arm's length" (mccloud 140) by using comics to theorize on the validity of the comic form and its ability to convey complex ideas. well done. he has a chapter on this called "show and tell" (138).

how people read online

in doing research for my thesis, i was looking at web psychology and how using this medium requires fundamentally different mental processes. consequently, people read material online differently than they would if it were in a book. they scan, generally. it's about breadth, more than depth. i was not able to use this material in my thesis work, but i thought it was interesting. here's the link.
the website's summary is itself very demonstrative of the principles it advocates, kind of like scott mccloud, with his don't-just-say-it-show-it kind of mentality.

media in education

as i was watching the "what is art" claymation piece from racinian's recent blog entry, i started thinking about how i miss making creative pieces about theoretical concepts. we did that in high school kind of a lot, but instead of stop-motion we did collages, videos, and some other stuff.

for a literature class, we filmed a version of the show, "the dating game," where the three possible choices to date were portia (from julius caesar), scout (to kill a mockingbird), and veruca salt (willy wonka and the chocolate factory). it was hilarious, but really analytical as well with the comments we threw in. my friends and i had so much fun writing the script and doing the acting. this class was AP and very well-taught, yet still fun.

serendipity

this is sort of related to carter's last article on "why blogging is important." the fact that blogging randomly helped some old high school sweethearts unite after 47 years is awesome-and serendipitously random.

i had my own serendipity the other day, also thanks to technology. i usually delete the digester, but i decided to read this particular one. there was a message from an alum who works at procter and gamble (the company that deals with a zillion different products from pringles to fabreze) and she was saying she was available to help any pomona person looking for an internship or job at her place.

Thesis Inspiration

Wow! So we got that first big chunk of thesis out of the way. I am so relieved. It took me so long to completely figure out my interest and how they could all be molded into a coherent, structured argument.

(It ended up being about the relationship between women and the digital biography--past, present, future, and how they are using it for activism, expression, and more. I ended up dropping a lot of that crazy talk from class presentations about how post-postmodernism=feminine=multimedia. It was faulty logic and not practical.)

So, going on now to plan the next stages of thesis, I went to look at some examples from last year. One thesis stuck out to me in particular: Melissa Budinic's "It's a Theme Park After All: Constructing Disney as a Postmodern World's Fair." Because Disney has long been a fascination of mine, and because I find postmodern theory very interesting, this topic appealed to me. It also seemed to be of real interest to Melissa, which really showed in her writing.

I Heart Scientists

"Science is the most successful open and distributed communicative system human beings have ever created" (Vaidhyanathan 131).

In The Anarchist in the Library, Siva Vaidhyanathan looks at the controversies over intellectual property. This is particularly difficult because the product is intangible, and it is particularly important because information processing is the main labor to sell and buy in the current age. Powerful transnational corporations that control culture and finance government have the monetary incentive and the political connections needed to make sure they get paid.

Post-Postmodernism: "Age of Synthesis"

So I've been kind of fascinated with the idea of post-postmodernism lately. I used to just blow it off, because the name was too meta for my taste. But it is actually a cool concept: a return to the unity fractured by postmodernism. The best, most succinct definition I found was "Age of Synthesis"[source 1].

This is different than flat-out modernism (which also claims to unify), because it is more aware of itself as a construction, "aware of its own failures, insubstantiality, and secondariness" [source 2]. Also different from the modern industrial notion of unity, the "Age of Synthesis" unity is more natural, traditional, and "lyrical"--a reaction to technological disillusionment.

Internet=Feminizing Agent?

"For within living structures defined by profit, by linear power, by institutional dehumanization, our feelings were not meant to survive."
--Audre Lorde, "Poetry Is Not a Luxury"

I've been reading some feminists for my thesis, even though I've never really been into the whole feminism thing before. It's actually interesting stuff, when I can digest it at my own rate. It seems to me that feminists attribute the overly rational nature of the Western, capitalist world to the masculine forces that founded it.

In positing an alternative, less rigid social order, Lorde looks to poetry, which she associates with women: "At this point in time, I believe that women carry within ourselves the possibility for fusion of these two approaches so necessary to survival [ideas and feelings], and we come closest to this combination in our poetry" (37).