I’m very interested to see how you will connect postmodernism to conspiracy theories. I really don’t know much about postmodern theory, and I hope to understand it a little better by the end of the semester. I also would like to revisit some of the film analysis stuff; that seems like the type of knowledge that comes in handy every time one watches any piece of pop culture.
My favorite reading is either Chuck Klosterman’s “This is Emo.” or Richard Hofstadter’s “The Paranoid Style in American Politics.” I love Klosterman’s work because it is such a raw take on the corrupting nature of pop culture characters—that is, that distilling any large group of people into one fake person creates an unattainable, unrealistic goal for folks. But I also loved Hofstadter’s piece because it blew my mind with how parallel it is to today’s political and social climate of paranoia and suspicion. My least favorite reading from the semester was Baudrillard’s “Precession of simulcrae.” Obviously, I know the ideas in it are brilliant, or at least they became brilliant when I finally figured them out. It was so dense that rereading didn’t even help—I just skipped 4 words at a time and hoped the next one would shed light on the last. One part I liked in spite of the general opacity was the example about a robbery in a bank. I still remember that almost word for word, and I hope that gives me the gist of the rest of the article.
Next semester is less based in the liberal arts for me. I have mostly math and computer science courses set up for next term. Study abroad is an option I haven’t explored fully yet, and I’m pretty sure I’m not graduating just yet. But this class has definitely made me look closely at other communication classes I might be interested in taking; honestly, I wasn’t really sure what a communication class was until I took this one.
I would love to see a Heroes/Villains semester, though with regard to some of the other blog posts, perhaps you should include an “Antiheroes” subsection that both classes do, to avoid dissatisfaction with either category. One topic I would absolutely love to see, especially after our recent discussions about zombies, is movie monsters. You could create a versatile class based around movie monsters and what they represent, how they reflect popular culture, etc. If this is too specific, “cultural fear” or something like that could be a more encompassing alternative. The fantasy and space opera double sounds like a great idea. You could go into detail about what the difference is between science fiction and fantasy is, and have both classes examine an example of a mixture of the two genres.
Well, here we are at the end of the line. This is the final log entry in John Dylan Wagner’s conspiracy journal. The “Man” was too much for me, he’s shutting it down. I’ll certainly miss this class. Well, I’m off to keep my DNA resonance strong with some human blood. Dylan signing off.