Samuel Schmidt

Hello Communications 324 class. My name is Samuel Schmidt.

I enjoy music that marginalizes groups of people; even though those are not my beliefs. Although equality is a fairly new concept, I do not believe I will ever see it in practice.

When I think of communications, I think of art and technology. Art is an expression of how we remember nature and technology; it is emotions and acts that reflect the ever-changing events in the world. I view technologies as human discoveries and inventions; they evolve with us, and go as far as nature lets them. The question is whether nature is infinite; thus, is technology infinite? Some would believe not. For example, Plato believed that the body was a dungeon for the soul (Grosz 1). My personal favorite invention of all time, whatever its origin, is language, which allows us to think about and ask these questions.

Culture, ideology, and politics are a mere reflection on how humans view and interact with nature and technology. Thus, worldviews and traditions are ever changing with the times. Which brings me to the act of participation; I am always let down by the application of this concept. I do not want to seem controlling or imposing, but I have high expectations of people and the amount of involvement and participation everyone should contribute. Alas, I am often let down.

What do I spend most of my time doing? I believe this to be a loaded question. I would not know where to even begin; so, I will answer it by writing, I spend most of my time living life.

My goal for this class is for the class readings and subsequent discussions to make me think of things I would not normally think about.

One of my favorite spaces would be any McDonalds, because anywhere you are in the world, things will always look familiar to you (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgFIL2CztYY)

Things that make learning difficult and school unpleasant:

– Assigning anything written by elitist academics who lack the courtesy to make their texts understandable (e.g. Judith Butler),

– Abstract discussions in class about readings written by elitist academics,

– Group assignments with uneven participation,

– Lack of windows in classrooms (unhealthy environments),

– Courses not available when they are wanted/needed.

Things that make learning easy and school pleasant:

– Stimulating readings,

– Stimulating discussions,

– Caring professors who know how to facilitate a class into the right discussions,

– Interesting and relevant examples of media texts,

– Collaborative, supportive, and participatory colleagues.

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3 comments

  1. Very engaging and thoughtful blog post! I look forward to more of your ideas!

    Can you elaborate
    “I enjoy music that marginalizes groups of people; even though those are not my beliefs. Although equality is a fairly new concept, I do not believe I will ever see it in practice.”?

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    1. The music I speak of is hip hop. Some of it clearly marginalizes people through misogynistic, homophobic, or violent lyrics, which I believe to be a reflection of and reaction to the dominant ideology in our society. Our economic and cultural systems are oppressive and hierarchical, i.e., global capitalism and religion, and I do not believe that these systems will disappear any time soon. Although I do not actively contribute my way of thinking to change the political system or even just the music industry, I still try to discuss my beliefs in my micro environment, which I believe to be the way to change the systems in practice. Although having an impact on the macro environment would be ideal; as one person, I just do not have that power. All that being said, the music I enjoy listening to has very catchy hooks and chorus; and, capitalist society has provided us with (in the West, at least) many material benefits, e.g., a McDonald’s in every neighborhood. All of this makes it very difficult to not seem like a hypocrite at times. With that being said “A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose” – Gertrude Stein.

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      1. Your comment opens up a lot of questions. A few points that relate: You talk about how you are one person and don’t have power. In some ways, this is true and consequently DIY ≠ DIWO (do it with others).
        You might want to push what you mean by “micro environment” further, and relate that to the course material. Perhaps also relevant to your final project.
        If you have an interest in hip-hop, that is also a ‘space’ composed/produced by bodies and in turn produces particular bodies. I think that is a wonderful avenue for your final project. It opens up a lot of possibilities.

        Some texts:
        http://www.racialicious.com/2009/02/18/tricia-rose-on-the-hip-hop-wars-race-and-culture-part-1/
        https://www.academia.edu/8876510/_The_Stage_Hip-Hop_Feminism_Built_A_New_Directions_Essay_
        Brother’s Gonna Work it Out by Charise L. Cheney
        http://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/mp/9460447.0008.203/–politics-and-place-of-a-legendary-hip-hop-track-in-detroit?rgn=main;view=fulltext
        https://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/american_quarterly/v054/54.1forman.pdf
        http://www.lalev.co/Represent%20race%20space%20and%20place%20in%20rap%20music%20MURRAY%20FORMAN.pdf

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