THST 2450 – Approaches to Media Studies – Exercise 4: Digital Narrative

Loud As A Mouse

 

The Eve. The Other Eve. Strange thoughts a-brewin’. Spectacled crooners were reading confused eulogies of California, and an overpriced rack of ribs never tasted so good. Everyone was regularly parsing their mind to find the right inflection with which to apply the goofy syntactic sequence of vowels and consonants which indicated the arrival of The New Year.

“Happy new year’s!”

“Uh, yeah, you too.”

It wasn’t all rosy. But it certainly wasn’t all thorns, either. Those who were busy earning in all sorts of spectacular ways mostly closed up shop early for the day. Just another day.

“Are you celebrating anything special today?”

“WE’RE ALIVE!”

As mouse-like warriors of the dark tried to make themselves big, their souls screaming into the temporal abyss, they tore away at foundations made up of the yearscape, and of people — close people who were not ready to be ripped away for nothing. But a quick-draw, superficial meme mentality had convinced one another that they weren’t right, this wasn’t right, nothing was right. But that was right. Did anything make more sense than anything else?

Walk-skating on the slick uphill and pumping gait brakes on downhills, he stepped a muted clop through dark and quiet city corridors. Some of them were subtly abuzz with humans of similar ilk, flouting fantasies rife with noble delusion. He was no different in this regard. Smart people were delusional; those who were less so possessed the same quality to varying degrees.

Today was the day of walking contradictions. Lusting for freedom, in the bars and clubs to dramatize the dance of life, then craving the caress of comfort, on their way to watch it all unfold on screen under blankets and sheets.

 

 

MausHaus

 

Streamers and ornamental kazoos hung from the top of the mouse’s small tree-house door. They had been left there by a human passerby. The mouse knew nothing of streamers, kazoos, and barley-based brews. It dealt in scurrying, scrounging, scavenging, scraping the soil with its sinewy digging tools known as claws. It experienced visceral connection with the earth, even if it didn’t know it did. It knew nothing of Super Bowls and Stanley Cups and Miss Universes, New Years, new days, new hours, new minutes, and new seconds. Each moment was a moment for the mouse.

The human, with its hubris, had segmented these moments into blocks, obsessively logging the goings-on of itself virtually worldwide, invading its own organism’s privacy from each individual’s conception. This inspection had its virtues; cancers could be diagnosed, monitored, and treated — killed if necessary. But, a chicken-egg dilemma emerged from this: would these collective maladies exist if not for this public system? The organism created, and thus commodified time, consequently limiting its own cells’ potential abilities and lifespans. Nevertheless, the track record with time was impressive: sophisticated architectural structures, jet-propelled astronomical vehicles, all that jazz.

Or was it? Maybe it was only really formidable while viewing through the filter of modern time. All this swirled around his mind as he passed by a tag on the wall that read:

 

time

 

He huddled over the table, teetering on the edge of his chair, making out with the coffee spout. Tapping the feeder for another hit. Higher was the desired direction on all fronts. But this trajectory also seemed to encounter a blockage by the modern temporal paradigm to which he was subjected. By extensively packaging and sub-packaging time into classified containers, they had let a good many tangible things fall into an hermetic seal as well. Substances which unlocked rooms where ideas of higher consciousness thrived were all but destroyed. The clock did not have any use for them, in fact the clock was threatened by them, for they essentially negated the clock when put into use. So here he was, crafted into a modern mouse, ready to shuffle about within the paradoxical free-range time limits this land had allowed. Although it wasn’t the land, it was again the surface organism which hovered over itself.

There he was, standing, swaying, his toes jerking as if they were scared of bass rumbles. The music. There lay a special palace in unmoving time for this… this what. He had a beer and a half in him: far from stoned. But he might has well have been on moon juice given the current sensations. The shocks. Plodding in their approach, sharp in their attack. He surrendered.

Still he could hear the far-off cries of “I think my life, is passing me byyy…

Solve the puzzle, music man. Be my escape guide, music man. Make me feel, music man.

It was his birthday.

The mouse knew nothing of birthdays.

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THST 2450 – Approaches to Media Studies – Exercise 2: Speaking Subjectivity

YAGpXPd

 

Language, and the way we use it, is clearly a prevalent factor in how we interact with the external world and how others perceive us. In different circumstances, we demonstrate language habits that reflect our class or perceived class distinctions. Personally, in the presence of a prospective employer, for example, I might say that I am “going to” do something, not that I am “gonna” do something. This also depends on the environment of the prospective job. The distinction would probably be inconsequential on a construction site. However, if I was on a construction site and had to communicate with a corporate member, a project coordinator or building manager for example, I might be inclined to speak more formally. This also might depend on the level of familiarity with the person I am speaking to.

 

With the idea of the workplace in mind, a lot of self-monitoring seems to be inherent in going for an interview at a new prospective job. I, whether premeditated or not, tend to rely mostly on a rehearsed mental script when taking part in an interview. A lot of statements made during the conversation feel the need to be ended with a result, like: “I coordinated locations for placement of outdated equipment, which I feel helped the company with more efficient operations.” It likely isn’t as formal as it is written here, but the focus, for me and ostensibly the employer, is on the results-based outcome of the answer. As in the construction site example, there is likely a propensity to speak in more proper terms, even though this may not even be absolutely necessary given the interviewer. Even though my high level of language self-monitoring may not needed from the interviewer’s perspective, it might still be a good idea to take part in this monitoring because it shows a certain amount of effort and a disciplined mindset.
Other than the interview scenario, I find a certain amount of self-consciousness in many environments. A recurring environment is the university campus. This awareness of language appears in a few aspects of content. Firstly, the content of informal language seems to have a higher sense of monitoring attached to it. A joke among cohorts — “talking shit” — I feel at least has the potential to be construed more often as insensitive language. I’m not advocating hate speech by any means, but the trend of this issue looks to be indicating a more politically correct ethic. The content of academic language is something that I am perhaps hyper-conscious of. Each individual university course, or at least each department, seems to have its own linguistic nuances, and essentially its own language. Words take on different meanings at different times; in an art history class, a ‘formal’ analysis means examining the use of form (shape, line, composition) in a piece of art, rather than an ‘official’ or ‘sanctioned’ analysis. If a work makes a ‘classical’ reference, that word is probably being used to mean “relating to Greek or Latin literature, art, or culture” rather than having to do with tradition or establishment.