Blog Post #12

The End, My Friend

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To be perfectly frank, I didn’t know what to expect going into this course. As a longtime reader, I’ve never been hugely into movies or TV shows. Movies, especially, hold little fun for me because I prefer an immersive experience in a fictional universe and movies are so short. I also don’t like watching a show one episode at a time, spread out over a season. I almost always wait and binge-watch a show obsessively, losing myself in the fictional world in much the same fashion I would a book. This makes me horrible to watch TV with, actually, because I don’t like any talking that will disrupt the suspension of disbelief, and I have been known to make a big to-do of pausing a show while watching it with someone until they get the hint to knock off the commentary. Of course, I do enjoy talking about a show when it’s over, just not during.

So, I didn’t know what to expect, but I feel that I now have a firm foundation in what’s going on in this realm of media studies (as well as a justification for my viewing habits). I understand what’s at stake, to whom the main voices belong, and what sort of vocabulary is under discussion. Now, the question that remains for me is: how will I be able to use this in the future?

I inevitably see myself ending up somewhere at the junction of writing, textiles, and crafts, and perhaps unexpectedly, I see digital media studies as a sort of propelling force along that path. Perhaps this is because arts and crafts are no longer able to remain in only the realm of the physical; the digital component has become huge and unavoidable, and anyone who works in this area must address this fact. Perhaps it’s because my design work has always interestected with narrative and fandom, and digital media studies provides more ways to work in this realm. And perhaps it’s because craft has a social component, as does digital media studies, and the overlap between them is often particularly striking to me. No matter the reason, though, I certainly see how my knowledge in this area (limited though it is) provides me with more lines of inquiry and jumping off points than I previously had.

I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s postings and having discussion in class meetings, and I hope you’re all able to put the knowledge from this course to good use, too. I have to say that our discussions have also prompted in me a desire to watch a wider range of TV shows or movies and perhaps even check out a few video games! It seems as though all in the class are much more knowledgeable in these areas, and it’s been fun to see what everyone is interested in. I’m definitely having a Netflix week after finals.

Oh, and there is one last thing I’ve learned: Star Trek really and truly is the answer to everything.

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7 thoughts on “Blog Post #12

  1. Melissa,
    I enjoyed your posts and comments throughout this class, especially your perspective on a number of concepts that only solidified for me after I read your posts. Without knowing more about your future plans, I think the possibilities of doing something in the realm of media or social media are limitless and can only benefit from the concepts we learned in this course. I don’t know if your lack of experience with movies or games was a disadvantage or not. Certainly you and others brought up examples that I didn’t know, but it didn’t seem to affect my ability to grasp the readings. Nonetheless, moving forward with the knowledge of these concepts will help when we encounter (well, really any) media. I temporarily thought about adding a meme that would counteract your Star Trek obsession with a Star Wars (my obsession) reference, but I think it’s best to just let it lie. I wish you the best.
    Tim

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  2. Melissa!
    I have enjoyed reading your posts as well! (In both classes we are taking) I wish I was in Louisiana still so we could get a cup of coffee sometime! 🙂 Anyway glad to know that I’m not the only one who binge watches TV shows and hates when people talk during them. I usually drown people out if I’m watching a show. It drives my husband crazy because he will try to talk to me, but if I’m watching something it’s like he’s not even in the room. Pausing seems like a good strategy, I should probably try it. Best of luck to you!

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  3. Great summary post, Melissa. To you and Ashley both, I’m a fellow binge-watcher. My first experience with it was long before the days of Netflix, when my mom and I rented the first season of 24 at Blockbuster on DVDs. We watched the entire season in a day and a half, pausing only to run to the bathroom or get a snack. That experience ruined me for watching any shows in real time anymore, especially action-filled or mystery shows.

    Great luck to you as you discover how you’ll incorporate all of your areas of interest. It was a pleasure learning alongside you!

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  4. Have you taken Rasmusen’s Introduction to Folklore and Folklife class yet? We talked a lot about the cultural significance of crafts and, like other folkloric artifacts, their expression of the values or beliefs of a culture. The unit on digital folklore also provides a great overview of the internet as a medium of folklore and its artifacts. I especially enjoyed this presentation by Lynne McNeill “Folklore Doesn’t Meme What You Think It Memes.” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBDJ2UJpKt4). That TEDtalk really changed my perspective as a literature teacher, and now I can see in hindsight it helped pave the way for this course too. McNeill disproves the idea that the internet is a “time waster,” instead promoting all cultural productions as valuable. It opened my mind considerably to all the worthwhile products and mediums I had been overlooking out of a misguided concept of genius. Throughout this class we have certainly learned to appreciate the cultural expression found in digital media, whether it be through film, television, video games or digital fandoms. Like I posted on my own blog, I really hope this is just he beginning of my adventure into digital media!

    I cannot recommend the Folklore and Folklife class enough if you have not taken it yet. It totally changed the way I see how we as folk express our culture and pass it on to others. It also really opened my eyes to all the possibilities of producing art digitally. I cannot wait to see all you will accomplish!

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    1. Thanks for the tip! I am still decided what I need to take, so I will consider it seriously. I’m always interested in the intersection of craft, artifact, and digital medias.

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  5. Well, now I am eagerly anticipating your textile-based social media empire!

    Add me to the binge-watcher list. It all started for me when I used to rent every adaptation I could get my hands on of a given Austen novel and hole up for a weekend to watch and compare them all. Since those old BBC adaptations can easily go on for 10 hours or so, there were many all-nighters in those days.

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