To reflect on the readings overall, I really enjoyed most of the readings that were assigned although some definitely more than others. My absolute favorite reading of the semester was Simulacra and Simulation by Jean Baudrillard. As a Sociology and Urban Studies major, it got into similar style writing and ideas, since Baudrillard was a sociologist and philosopher, in addition to the fact that I strongly agreed with the majority of the claims he was making.
Now to discuss the negatives, my least favorite reading would have to be “Star Wars: A Myth for Our Time” because as a person that has only seen a few Star Wars movies a long time ago, as well as many of the others movies Gordon talks about, it was just so thoroughly removed from myself that it was hard to relate, retain, or care about this reading as much. Although I do know that I want to eventually watch all of the Star Wars and Star Trek series, I haven’t done that yet.
I did not particularly enjoy reading the reading by Gordon, but it still had some interesting parts. The part that I found the most interesting was “Burroughs’ heroes “Kill like maniacs,” they are still represented as clean. In other words, Burroughs lavish fantasies, no matter their unconscious content, are guilt- free for the reader; one can indulge oneself and still come away feeling innocent” (Gordon 317). I think that this idea was so interesting because I feel that it applies to multiple activities such as playing video games and paint ball, as well as various other genres of film especially horror movies. That is a statement that could reflect a major point of film popularity in general– it allows the audience to be somewhere else, viewing and being invested in other people’s problems and struggles, and yet at the end of the day they do not actually affect our lives.
Due to the fact that I truly found more of the sociological and philosophical readings the most interesting, I really wish that we could have a deeper class discussion about these readings or having a writing assignment on them where we can read each other’s thoughts because these are topics that really make people have to think very thoroughly about topics they may not regularly think about, such as life and the meaning of life. I also think that since this class is common curriculum a lot of these students do not get taught to think about topics like this in their regular classes. I think it would be fascinating to see various opinions and conclusions on simulations and life from interdisciplinary thinking. I fortunately get to take many classes that allow me to explore these topics. As a Sociology and Urban Studies major as I said earlier, with a Biology minor, I have the opportunity to discuss these topics from multiple angles, and I think that learning about it in a Communications class was a very unique experience. Next semester I am taking the classes: Evolution (BIOL 3435), HIV/AIDs (SOCI/ANTH 3381), Death & Dying (SOCI 3348), Sociological Imagination (SOCI 2335), and Asian Religions (1330). I am very excited for these classes. I think it will be great to take these courses to get a lot of my Sociology major out of the way before I study abroad in the Fall of 2014 semester. I am planning on going to Tokyo for that entire semester, and fortunately they have a lot of Urban Studies classes that I can take in order to count for my second major.
Enough about talking about myself though, let’s talk about the future of your class. As much as I think that opposing, or complimentary, class topics such as “heroes and villains” would be extremely interesting, you do run the risk of upsetting some people that they did not have the choice of which topic they are in. I also think since these are such narrow topics if someone really did not enjoy that topic it would/could get very boring over time. Topics such as conspiracies and some of the other topics you have done in the past are more broad and can allow for more of a variety in readings and examples. From the student perspective, I think that the concept of teenage identity would be the most interesting because you can tackle that from multiple themes: mental illness, family, relationships, sex, etc. And I love Perks of Being a Wallflower as a very important film out of this list for people to see if they have not already seen it. :]