I’ve just found a new way to SEE my modules. That is, I’ve just found a way to interlink what I’m learning in a few of my modules, so that they complement each other’s arguments.
For instance, in Cultural Studies, we’re learning about the symbolic significance of objects. What is significant about comic books? Their plot. The lessons they claim to impart, the notions they say they purport, despite being criticised for corrupting the youth with their repetitive narrative and stereotypes. Comic books are a medium through which we are told how to behave as social animals. We are taught moral lessons (eg. With great power comes great responsibility) and, in commercial fiction, are led to believe in the ‘norms’ of social custom (eg. a woman needs a man to complete her). We are told what to expect, what to believe, what is right and generally accepted – to the extent that we don’t see anything wrong with that anymore. And that is when the impact of pop culture is most keenly felt.
Which brings us to pop culture, and its pervasiveness. And why are we so susceptible to all these messages? Because of the media. Of course it’s because of the media. It’s become the scapegoat for everything, hasn’t it? Nonetheless, it is still the barrier between us and reality (or whatever reality is, since it is nothing but an imitation of all true Forms, according to Plato). Our perception of reality and society has been distorted even more so now because of how the media has become so easily accessible to us. Because of the gamut of entertainment sources (eg. TV, film, music, literature, etc), we have allowed the cultural zeigeist to take over and cast shadows over our eyes. Are reality TV shows really a reflection – or even a depiction – of reality? What is reality? Isn’t it just one person’s view of the world against another’s? How could you tell what is the absolute reality, anyway, since we invariably go through the same experiences in a different way? Could we all possibly see the same reality? Are we all just seeing shadows on the Cave wall? Are we really to conform to the dictates of the media? Which version of the Truth is right?
So. In the teachings of Plato, we are to cast off our shackles and see the Light. Let us not be deceived by the shadows in the Cave that we think is reality; instead, see the fire that casts those shadows.
Well. That’s what I make of it. I’ve managed to draw a debatable connection amongst four of the five modules I’m taking. The only module I can’t find a link with the others is my Nature of Language module (duh).
And please don’t think I’m actually that impassioned about casting off my shackles and see the Light. I’m happy listening to my American Top 40 and reading my commercial lit, thank you very much. All I was doing was string everything up so that it makes a modicum of sense to me. I can stay in that Cave, for all I care.
Obviously, university education hasn’t done much good for me so far. I’m still a passive little conformist. But really, why wait for rain when there are no clouds, right? Well, not much, anyway.