getting hyper

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Hey guys, just wanted to wish everyone a great summer. Enjoy it, I know I will. It just seems this year flew by. I cannot believe our first year of college is over. I only hope it does not go to fast. I mean seriously how much longer am I going to be able to mooch of my parents; just kidding, I love my mom and dad. Anyway I am sure you all did well on your finals, see ya at 8AM next semester every Tuesday and Thursday.
posted by Melinda Wednesday, April 30, 2003

FREEDOM
posted by PugBy Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Yeah... get used to the One Dollar thing... I still have Darwin sitting in my trunk from when I took honors GFI last year. They wanted to give me 50 cents for it, a pretty much brand new book.

Not that you get a lot for hardcover, but don't expect anything from a paperback textbook here, ever.
posted by Rebecca Polewczak Tuesday, April 29, 2003

I'll take my dollar, Norm, thank you very much. I'll buy a a little more than a hundred penny gumballs with it at Abbott's Big-M in Syracuse and I'll enjoy EVERY SINGLE ONE.

I thought I would post the essay that I was going to write but didn't, just so sombody could read it. If anyone gets something out of it, you've learned more than I have.

Computers started annoying me before I was born. My mom had a job as a software programming department manager at American Cancer. She would write $edit and Cobol programs that would work in tandem to manage the immense databases that the organization uses. The machines that she programmed filled up rooms. The hard disks would fail frequently, so the enitre system needed to be backed up twice daily on immense reams of magnetic tape. During this time I was gestating, and the clickity-clackity of nails on keyboard apparently annoyed me to no end. When my mom would type, I would kick her belly until she stopped. After a week of this my mom decided to take leave and I calmed down. I was born and she never went back.
Although it needs to be typed, I am hand-writing the first draft of this paper. Typing the first draft is impossible, distracting. After every few words on a computer, I need to stop, find out "who's on," check a few away messages, put on a new .mp3. Nothing gets done.
My first computer was the one I used to play "NumberMuncher" in the first grade. My first program involved eating the numbers before the troggles ate you. It was a fascinating introduction into the rhetoric of video games: learn and be eaten in the same game! In any event, one day my teacher rotated our desks and put mine squarely next to the computer. This put me in the position to spend all of my time watching "Troggle" rather than adding and subtracting. When my teacher called the class to pass our papers forward I would begin my addition worksheet. My grades plummetted from :) to "See me" within the day. My mom asked me why I was having so much trouble with addition, found out that I was spending all of my time next to the computer, and wrote a note to the teacher explaining the scenario; I tearfully handed it to the teacher. My crush saw me crying and it influenced her opinion of me throughout high school. In any event, I was moved away from the computer and my grades regressed to their usual :)'s.
After working in the computer industry, Apple II's didn't meet my mom's standards, so she put off buying a personal computer for years. When she started spending time in the library waiting for me to one-click-per-minute my term papers on the green-and-white screens, however, she felt a change of heart. Christmas of 1997 found a Gateway-spotted box at our door. Inside was a Gateway-spotted mug, a Gateway-spotted mousepad, and a note: "Due to the large volume of orders at Christmastime, your computer shipment has been delayed at least a week. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. Please accept this free gift in apology."
A mug for a computer: Rhetoric indeed!
In due time our promised computer arrived at our house, and the sun was shining. We turned the speaker dial, broke the seal on our Encarta Encyclopedia CD, placed in right-side-up in the drive on the second try. Suddenly there was sound -- music! My dad and I smiled from ear to ear.
It took me a time to learn how to hold a mouse. At first I wanted to maneuver it with my left hand, but it only works with the right. Eventually I got used to it, but my mom, raised on a steady diet of number-punchers and keyboards, found it particularly complicated. Of course we realize now that a mouse is probably the easiest of easy-to-use tools that can be wired to a computer. It is probably as fluid and natural as any interface concievable. While we are not yet at Minority Report levels of perfection yet, thank God, we are frightenly close. I saw an advertisement yesterday for a pen that could upload everything you write to a computer. "It fits snugly into the special base / just one click of a button / stores up to four pages of text!" Incredible. Tomorrow we will wave our hand and marvellous things will happen.

Part II. The point of computers

If we desire ease of use so badly, what is it that we want to use? There is, after all, no purpose in software being usable if we are not going to use it. The answer is varied, but the tasks we perform on a computer fall into only a very few categories: We use computers to compose, uptake, and communicate information, we interface computers into control systems, we enlist computers to do our computations for us, and we use our computers simply for fun. There is a great deal of overlap, of course, but every program ever invented deals with one of the above areas. Since the list is so short, there are only a few basic programming structures that I have found:


Data entry systems, for either plain text or encapsulized data
"Control panels" for controlling real-world interfaces and other programs
Text-based controls, including computer languages, for controlling other pieces of software
Active pleasure interfaces such as console games
Passive playback programs for the viewing of information, video, audio, etc.
Person-to-person interfaces for communicating over long distances
Computational programs
I challenge the reader to find a program that does not fit readily into at least one category. All of the wide diversification of programs are merely manifestations of the above ideas, with some tailoring to the specific type of material that the program trafficks in.
The rest of the diversity is flash and pomp alone -- rhetoric.
Part III. Who uses rhetoric?

Rhetoric is important. Chefs know it: The rhetoric of a food is almost as important as the food itself. Some foods -- turkey and mashed potatoes -- are what everyone eats on thanksgiving. Crème brulée is très haute couture. Nobody makes apple pie like Mom. Friday, fish day. The right food at the wrong time remains untouched.
Computers, too, have a rhetoric all their own. Childrens' games must be bright and flashy. Programming GUI's need to be colourless and no-nonsense. Instant message clients? It depends on the person. Like the chef, the programmer must cater to his clientele.
The Disney spirit runs rampant in our country. A lot of people expect "bright" and "fun" to accompany everything they do. They expect a blinking green traffic light to start a program and require a neon red stopsign to mean "quit". It was for these people that Windows Media Player 9 was created. The program uses an enormous amount of code to do the simple task of playing sound and movies. This is because it looks good enough to eat. If listening to music wasn't good enough, now we can see it, in the form of pulsating lightning or bubbling fountain or a thousand other visualizations. The pictures dance to the beat. If that weren't enough, "skins" skins are available for download to customize a player any way one sees fit. Thousands of Disney-afflicted people download these skins every day.
In sharp contrast to the Disney folks are the minimalists. These people believe in the beauty of white space; their refrain is "less is more". Everything must be simple and easy to follow. To sell to a minimalist, a few words needs to say it all. An example of minimalist games and multimedia is sodaplay.com.
Documentationalists believe that any sort of program is useful so long as it has a well-written help menu. These people simply want to be able to use a program, and are probably the least concerned with the its rhetoric.
A company may take one core program and market in a wide variety of forms to appeal to everybody. This is usually the only effective way to sell a program. The rhetoric of our personal preferences thus influences the very fabric of our economy...



PS: I hope this blog dies slowly.
posted by dave Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Not that I would know this from experience or anything, but remember that book we all struggled through? Lanham?

They'll buy it back from you, if you were to hypothetically sell it, FOR A LITTLE MORE THAN ONE DOLLAR! It's sick. Sick and hillarious. I think that I should quit this school thing and start a textbook store in Potsdam. In three days I'll be richer than God!

It isn't worth selling back. I ought to just keep it for my future library. It wasn't that bad...I kinda liked it at the end.
posted by Norm Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Monday, April 28, 2003

Wait! For those few of you still reading, check this out. The whole world is blogging...literally.
posted by Jeff Monday, April 28, 2003

Sunday, April 27, 2003

Oh, good luck on exams by the way.
posted by Marianna Sunday, April 27, 2003

Speculation:

Do any of you think that getting hyper has regular readers outside of the class/university. It would be amusing to query one and see what exactly her or his impression of our class and or discussions is. Also, it would be interesting to see if they will continue to check after this blog is essentially terminated.

Actually, that's quite sad. In essence the blog is about to DIE! Perhaps we should all conclude our semester with a Eulogy, or modeled after yesturday's picnic: an ode to our class weblog?

Any thoughts, or have you all aleady assumed that the weblog has been buried?

posted by Marianna Sunday, April 27, 2003

Saturday, April 26, 2003

Just wanted to wish everyone good luck on their finals!! :-) Keep up the studyin'!
posted by Sarah Saturday, April 26, 2003

Friday, April 25, 2003

Well boys and girls, it's been fun. Good luck on finals and have a wonderful summer.
posted by lkjawefoijalkjsdf Friday, April 25, 2003

Thursday, April 24, 2003

the previous post with the link to sarah's and my narrative is now fixed... it should work now!


posted by Sharon Thursday, April 24, 2003

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

I THINK ITS DONE. YAY, TIME TO WRITE A TEN PAGE PAPER. NOW THAT WIL BE EXCITING. GOOD LUCK ON FINALS EVERYBODY. LINK
posted by PugBy Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Here is the draft of my narrative which is in roughly a Choose Your Own Adventure type format. I have not had a chance to edit it yet, it was basically written and uploaded as is (was). So, minor changes are likely to follow soon, but for the most part, there it is. Hope you like it.
posted by Isaac Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Now I know you all want to read 20 pages of Bob, so...
Get to it!!! Do it now!!! I want immediate satisfaction.

Dan
posted by Dan Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Here is the link to my project; it's done I guess, I may make some small changes or additions over the next week but overall you'll get the idea.
posted by Hope Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Here is the link to Dan, Kyle, Ken and Dave's narrative.
Link
posted by David Tuesday, April 22, 2003

I love the Tell-tale Heart (to repeat what so many others have said already) and I enjoyed Justin's presentation of it.


posted by Nadeeka Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Monday, April 21, 2003

I never understood why people got such a kick out of role playing games, but now that I am obsessed with Outwar, I sorta get it... hahaha... check it out, it's fun.
posted by lkjawefoijalkjsdf Monday, April 21, 2003

Sarah's and my project is done as well. Have fun!

Narrative
posted by Sharon Monday, April 21, 2003

Sunday, April 20, 2003

YAY EASTER, HOPE YOU ALL ENJOYED EVEN THOUGH MOST OF US WERE AWAY FROM OUR FAMILIES. HOPE Y'ALL FOUND A GOOD DINNER!!
posted by PugBy Sunday, April 20, 2003

Happy Holy Easter! Enjoy the 50 days of Easter, and God Bless!
posted by Marianna Sunday, April 20, 2003

Hey Hey!! Happy Easter everybody! Many more. - Mike
posted by Christa Sunday, April 20, 2003

Happy Easter!
posted by Rebecca Polewczak Sunday, April 20, 2003

Friday, April 18, 2003

It's Friday: you're not supposed to be thinking about hypertext.
posted by lkjawefoijalkjsdf Friday, April 18, 2003

Just an observation:

Right now hypertextual literature is a realitively new and developing art. Thus, currently it seems as though there are a few realative forms, which artist (writer's perhaps) are attempting to define inot definate styles.

Reflective thought on the issue:

Does hypertext now exist as a series of attempts to copy what forms have already been introduced, or to rebel against them?

A second reflective thought on the issue:

What is occuring in traditional text? Is literature a constant attempt to remodel or reproduce what is already present, or to ultimately create radical new forms?

Note:

These are all hypothetical questions I presume. Unless you disagree with me on this issue, it is fitting to assert that none of these questions can be answered without drifting into lofty philosophy.
posted by Marianna Friday, April 18, 2003

Thursday, April 17, 2003

All right, my project is done. I'm quite proud of it, but please feel free to send me criticism (riccijm@clarkson.edu). Make sure your speakers are on, but not too high. Enjoy.
posted by Justin Thursday, April 17, 2003

The little pigs really nicely done. I liked the originality of the variations, and the differences in narration tone in the different stories.
posted by Nadeeka Thursday, April 17, 2003

I liked Sharon and Sarah's presentation. It was very cute and it was entertaining to read familiar stories from a limited 1st person perspective. I think the limited narration makes an immense difference. It was also kind of cool the way it all ended. I thought maybe it would just circulate around forever, but the ending re-emphasized the context.


posted by Nadeeka Thursday, April 17, 2003

I'm a big fan of Poe. Big fan. Anyway, I thought Justin did an amazing job not only interpreting the poem, but also putting the presentation together. I wish that my project could level up with that one. Very very good job!
posted by Norm Thursday, April 17, 2003

The spongebob project is sooooo, cool! While it has a childish element of pleasure (which I definately am atuned to) it illustrates yet another outlet for hypertextual narrative. Indeed, hypertextual narrative does not need to be restricted to a sophisticated format, or aimed toward adult readers. The outcomes of the technology revolutionize how children percieve literature as well. Perhaps, those who are young children now, will develop a sense of ease when gliding between traditional and modern textual worlds. It will be interesting to see how literature is percieved later in today's youth's lives (in youth I mean children, not our age gendre).
posted by Marianna Thursday, April 17, 2003

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Here's the project that Lynda and I worked on. It's not done yet, though.
posted by Lindsay Wednesday, April 16, 2003

I really enjoyed dave, sigmunds, and melindas project with the stories of the three pigs. It had reminded me of a couple versions of the story that I had heard when I was little. When we were talking about stories being told through different points of view and narrative reminded me of a Simpsons episode. The goes through out one full day but shows it 3 different times. Each time it focuses on a different person. Through out the day each persons actions seem to show up and have a large impact on each of the other characters. I think that stories that are told this way are awesome. It shows how just the smallest little action might deeply affect another person. This episode is one of my favorites ever.
posted by David Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Just some brief comments about the presentations I saw yesterday.
First, Sharon's project. I enjoyed the idea, and it certainly is an original one. There is a lot you can do with Disney, that is for sure.
Nakeeka: Far out presentation. It seems like something Professor Duemer would recommend we read ourselves. So good job.
Danielle, your idea is pure genius. Very original and "outside the box".
Finally, Justin: I love stories about dragons and fantasy stories. So I will be sure to take a more in depth look at your website. Two thumbs up.
Overall, I thought the ideas were rather innovative and interesting, and I look forward to seeing everyone elses. Well, I'll keep my promise that this post will be brief. Bye.
posted by Sigmund Wednesday, April 16, 2003

btw my aim narrative works only on my computer and my roommate's. i'm still trying to figure out why......

danielle the only thing that can be said about your project is "impressive."

posted by dave Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Here's the first draft of my narrative.
I hope that if you read it, you like it.
Comments, criticism, suggestions, etc. are very welcome.
More bulletins as events warrant!
posted by Norm Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

I finally got my narrative on the web. Unfortunately, I had to delete the guest log element because it didn't work on our server. The narrative is pretty much complete, but I might add some things between now and dead week. We'll see. I hope you all enjoy it. Also, I really enjoyed the Tell Tale Heart narrative, Justin. The emphasis element was pretty cool, because it reminded me of when my English teacher had us listen to the recording of the story back in high school. Nice job. :-)
posted by lkjawefoijalkjsdf Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Here's my project... ATTH. Turn your speakers on, the sound starts after two minutes. So if you get bored just minimize it for 2 minutes. I tried to force the reader to read at the pace I wanted in order to change the emphasis on certain words/phrases. If you can't identify the sound clips, well... you really should. You can e-mail me at riccijm@clarkson.edu about corrections or improvement suggestions. It's not quite finished yet... I have to add page 5. Page 3 was really quite pointless, so I just skipped it. You can read the original story. Hope you enjoy it and maker sure your sound system is on.
posted by Justin Tuesday, April 15, 2003

PART ONE IS NOT DONE, BUT PART TWO AND PART THREE ARE. WHAT IS MISSING IS STORIES OF ADVENTURE AND DEATH. THE ADVENTURES OF PUGBY BURROWS
posted by PugBy Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Here is the our (David, Sigmund, Melinda) project in the making: www.clarkson.edu/~bogdandc/Narrative/.
posted by David Tuesday, April 15, 2003

I love the imagination of the HP! Sharon--I like how you captured some of Disney's tales into the first person, and logically connected them. Nadeeka, I liked your hypertext as well. It seemed to connect the sparing of two siblings at childhood nicely with that of later adulthood. For some reason, though I have never actually read the book, it reminds me a bit of Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club.

Finally, Dave, I like your narrative as well. At first I was progressing click by click, but I began to enjoy it more once I realized all that I needed to do was to scroll down. I suppose I'm stuck in the rut of enjoying a linear text. However, I'm confused by the aim narrative. No matter what I type in it replies

Robert BrtHisSoc: I'm sorry, I don't understand what you mean. Could you try to phrase your request another way? Thanks!

Is this the point of the story, or just an error?

posted by Marianna Tuesday, April 15, 2003

The two last links on this page are to both versions of my project. If it doesn't work, IM me at ipenetrex.
posted by dave Tuesday, April 15, 2003

I enjoyed Hansel and Gretel but I'm not sure I understand some bits...maybe discussion will clear the haze. The hedgehog was extremely entertaining, if a bit traditional.
posted by Nadeeka Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Here is my project. Enjoy.
posted by Nadeeka Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Monday, April 14, 2003

Okay, that is so much cooler than my project.. now I'm jealous.
posted by lkjawefoijalkjsdf Monday, April 14, 2003

i don't know why this isn't working.. so if it doesn't show up as a link... just copy and paste it please!

http://www.clarkson.edu/~dillonsm/Starter.htm

I hope it works

posted by Sharon Monday, April 14, 2003

lol
would have been nice to give u the link too huh
posted by Sharon Monday, April 14, 2003

Hi guys. This is the link to Sarah and my project. Its not done yet, and I know some of the pictures don't work yet... but its a taste! Have fun
posted by Sharon Monday, April 14, 2003

Hey everyone, here is the link to our (Darci, Greg, and Rebecca's) final project. Enjoy!
posted by Darci Monday, April 14, 2003

I COULD GO FOR A BEACH PARTY, THE WATER WASNT BAD IN NORWOOD LAKE THE OTHER NIGHT WHEN I WENT IN. IF I GET A CHANCE, I MAY STOP AT IVE'S PARK OR SOMETHING FOR A BRIEF SWIM, ALTHOUGH IT WILL BE VERY BUSY TOMORROW AND I PROBABLY WON'T GET THE CHANCE.
posted by PugBy Monday, April 14, 2003

A Beach party sounds nice, yet, considering the closest "beach" would be the Raquette, which is a tad bit chilly right now, I think we'll have to abandon that thought in dreamland.


posted by Marianna Monday, April 14, 2003

Its suppose to get up to 70 degrees tomorrow. Who's up for a beach party?
posted by David Monday, April 14, 2003

Sunday, April 13, 2003

I think its really well done Marianna. It looks like you put alot of time into it. It's helpful reading it that you get back to the same parts sometimes it kept me focused on making connections between the links.
posted by Andrea Sunday, April 13, 2003

Impressive, but very reminiscent of the stories we looked at for class.
posted by lkjawefoijalkjsdf Sunday, April 13, 2003

hey marianna,
from http://www.clarkson.edu/~worczakm/immediately.htm, both the "broom" and "poof" links are broken.

Nicely done.
posted by Rebecca Polewczak Sunday, April 13, 2003

Saturday, April 12, 2003

Okay, I'm finally done!

At least I accomplished one thing today.

Here's the link to my project:
http://www.clarkson.edu/~worczakm/Old%20Tale.htm

If you happen to find any mistakes, or things that done't work (links I mean) please let me know. Enjoy!
posted by Marianna Saturday, April 12, 2003

About the 8 oclock class: I heard that since it's a lot of independent work, we don't always meet as a group, so we won't always have to come in at 8 am.
posted by lkjawefoijalkjsdf Saturday, April 12, 2003

I agree that yesterday was a great day to go on a run. But then again i think that everyday is a great day to go on a run. Spring time is the best time.
posted by David Saturday, April 12, 2003

Friday, April 11, 2003

I AM STRANGELY EXCITED ABOUT 8AM CLASSES EVERY DAY NEXT SEMESTER, BUT THATS JUST ME, AND I AM STRANGE. I LOVED THE WEATHER. LAST NIGHT WE HAD A GREAT RUN, AND I AM GOING OUT AT 5AM FOR ANOTHER RUN, THEN FALLING ASLEEP ASAP AFTERWARDS. BUT I WILL GET ALL MY WORK FOR THE WEEKEND DONE BEFORE 5AM ON SATURDAY, SO THAT IS DEFINATELY COOL.
posted by PugBy Friday, April 11, 2003

It snows on graduation periodically... hopefully not this year, I want it to be nice when I get my diploma...
posted by Rebecca Polewczak Friday, April 11, 2003

Looking at the forecast its suppose to get a little colder this weekend but warm up again in the beginning of next week but then get colder again. So enjoy it while it lasts. I hate how it will be really nice for a couple of days and then go right back to normal. Its like a big tease. During spring break back home it got to around 70 degrees then when i got back around here it got back down to 10. Man that is so frustrating. Ohh and i am not very happy about the 8 oclock honors class. Plus im just wondering how its gonna work with only one section. I believe im gonna like the course its just that its so early. Besides for that class my earliest class is 11. Well im gonna go outside and enjoy the weather. you should too. Good luck on all your projects, i know ours is going well.
posted by David Friday, April 11, 2003

I can't believe it...I CAN'T BELIEVE IT! There is SUNSHINE in POTSDAM!!! AHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!--Christa
posted by Christa Friday, April 11, 2003

I have to agree today is beautiful out. The only thing that dampens it is that I am stuck inside all day, but what can you do? Also for everyone who has complained about the paper, just think of what I have to go through to write it. I joined the class four weeks late and some how have to find ten pages that incorporate a course I have barely been in and address topics that I missed class discussions on. I think I can manage but it is going to be a lot of work. So every time you go to work on your paper think of that and I hope it makes you feel a little better. Also what is up with an 8AM Honors class Tuesday and Thursday next semester? That puts me at 8AM classes everyday of the week. Can we say pajamas everyday, I think so.
posted by Melinda Friday, April 11, 2003

There's not much to comment on today except for pure glory of the weather. Hopefully the sun will continue to shine till late afternoon when I'll finally get a chance to get out for a nice long run (might be the last long one in while--one never can quite predict Potsdam's weather). I hope you all are enjoying the smileing, sky and that you find time to get out and savor it.


posted by Marianna Friday, April 11, 2003

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Wow Dave. That's about as random as it gets... - Mike
posted by Christa Thursday, April 10, 2003

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Ten-page manuscripts are not my cup of tea either. I prefer camomile.

How's this for random end-of-the-year stress?
posted by dave Wednesday, April 09, 2003

MY HYPERTEXT FINAL IS GOING GREAT, I AM VERY EXCITED AS I FINALIZE THE EXACT PLANS FOR MY NARRATIVE, WHICH IS VERY EXCITING. HOWEVER, I HAVE YET TO EVEN BEGIN WITH THINIKING ABOUT THE PAPER, MAYBE I WILL START THIS WEEKEND, I REALLY SHOULD. I AM ASKING PEOPLE FOR HELP ON THE NARRATIVE, IT WILL BE WRITTEN MOSTLY BY MYSELF, HOWEVER, I WILL NOT BE WRITING IT ALL. SOME OF MY FRIENDS ARE WILLING TO WRITE THE PARTS THAT I CANNOT WRIT, THIS MAY LEAVE SOME QUESTIONS, BUT THAT IS ALL I CAN SAY AT THE PRESENT TIME, I AM TRYING TO KEEP THE TOPIC SEMI-SECRET UNTIL IT IS DONE. MY END OF THE YEAR STRESSES ARE MOSTLY JUST EXCITEMENT FOR THE SUMMER.
posted by PugBy Wednesday, April 09, 2003

I would've much rather written a 25 page narrative than a 10 page paper.
posted by lkjawefoijalkjsdf Wednesday, April 09, 2003

*insert random cause of end-of-the-year stress here*
posted by Josh Wednesday, April 09, 2003

This is about the war.
My Point Exactly.
posted by Ken Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Okay, so I might have a solid start on my final project, but then there's that essay.......... Hmmmmmmmmm, I'd just like to reflect how impossibly hard it will be two write an non-hypertextual 10 page paper on a highly hypertextual class. I've started a couple of times now, and so far the entire process has been problematic. I've been trying to write formally, while knowing in the back of mind that Prof. Duemer is looking for something a bit creative, and not quite a formal paper. Then I try to write less formally, and the perpetual nagging of my AP English teacher begins to ring through my cranium, as though disecting everthing I'm writtting. I have to find a median--and fast! I want to have this done A.S.A.P. and make it reflective of my abilities as a reader, writer, and thinker.

I hope no one else is having similar problems, because this is the kind of stress (of course I never self induce stress now do I?) no one needs this time of year, but often finds.


posted by Marianna Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

MARIANNA, WAY TO NOT BE A PROCRASTINATOR, LIKE IT IS SO EASY TO DO, I HAVE ACTUALLY STARTED MINE, I SHOULD BE DONE WITH THE WRITING BY THE END OF THE WEEK, AND HOPEFULLY GET IT ALL HYPERTEXTIFIED ON SATURDAY, BUT THATS ASSUMING EVERYTHING GOES WELL. IT HAS BEEN A FUN PROJECT TO WORK ON, TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WAYS OF MAKING A BETTER STORY THROUGH HYOERTEXT, SOMETHING THAT COULDNT BE AS GOOD ON PAPER.
posted by PugBy Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Josh, take a look at the source code. It is a VBScript, of which I know very little.

Yes, Danielle: Ariel and Jasmine, and particularly Pocohontas are all Disney babes.
posted by dave Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Dave, take a look at the source code. It is a javascript.
posted by Josh Tuesday, April 08, 2003

i run win 2000, josh runs a mac. the coffee cup program works on everyone i know who runs xp. and it is interesting, tho u should cite ur sources. i wonder how the program works ...

marianna if u ever need neone to read ur stuff and comment on it id be glad to. i appreciate good literature :)
posted by dave Tuesday, April 08, 2003

I'm partially relieved as do to my completion of the paper version of my final project last night. Unfortunately it is only the paper version. Perhaps I will eventually learn to compose on the computer, but for now I am plagued by the eternal need to utilize a paper rough draft first.

Some comments:

If I had more time (perhaps a years worth) I fancy, an extremely elaborate hypertextual story would be enjoyable to compose. In fact, I would like to consider redesigning my current project with my spare time in the future. I've been interested in professionally writting for some time now, and have synthesized a varity of stories--novel starts--in hopes that I will one day publish. Some of these starts have amounted to over two hundred pages, before I become bored of a topic. I find that some of the fun of writting is the possiblity that the work could someday be published. Thus in a sense hypertext can be invigorating. Immediately after putting in time and effort, a work is published--but in the eyes of a random stranger to admire or criticize. At the same time a paradox develops, as hypertextual publishing does not carry the same level of honor, as do traditional methods. Finally, it is difficult to profit from writting on the web, thus shifting writting from an economical interest/income status, to a purely hobby-based mechanism.

I know this isn't saying much more than we've already discussed in class, but working on this final project seems to make it even more evident.
posted by Marianna Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Monday, April 07, 2003

I'm really mad that I wasn't here for this so called handout.... I wanna know! lol
posted by Sharon Monday, April 07, 2003

I found this page while I was searching for short stories for the project. http://www.short-stories.co.uk/ Of special interest would be the section called hyperfiction. It doesn't have anything but they're asking for materials. Maybe they'll put something up soon.
posted by Justin Monday, April 07, 2003

I hope everyone is watching the game tonight..it should be a good one!! GO SYRACUSE!!!
posted by Sarah Monday, April 07, 2003

That exact same thing was on the jolt about 3 weeks ago.. woop-de-doo..

And just to let you guys know, it opened both of my cd drives, but when i sent it to some of my friends off at other colleges, it did not work for them at all. Besides, when the jolt posted it, they included the joke that it was an instant cup holder.. which was at least amusing..
posted by lkjawefoijalkjsdf Monday, April 07, 2003

Yeah, I have a firewall... a fairly basic one, but I have one nevertheless. One thing I enjoy about owning a Mac is that a huge majority of the (known) security exploits out there (including viruses, etc) are windows based. Although, other than security, I do have a concern for privacy of information on the internet. With all sorts of info starting to be stored online, good passwords become more and more important...and on top of that, good encryption schemes. It just makes me shudder knowing that regular FTP transmits your password in plain text (which means if you password is elf then if someone snags one of your FTP packets and can examine it, they see "elf" as your password). Better encryption is definately needed. On top of that, the huge amounts of data that companies collect about us makes me uncomfortable...
posted by Josh Monday, April 07, 2003

Yes Josh, it is suppose to open the CD drive. I know it is not terribly creative, but it is suppose to make a point, not be entertaining. If I can do that with very limited computer skills, it can’t too much harder for someone to send your computer a different command, like to erase the hard drive or down load every thing on it to someone’s else computer.

I should have known that it would not work on a MAC. See Josh, Mac’s can’t even take orders right! Of cores in this case that is good. Do you have a firewall?

posted by Justin Monday, April 07, 2003

Now see what would be more convenient would be if it would pop the tray back in when i refreshed the page....
posted by Rebecca Polewczak Monday, April 07, 2003

DUDE, JUSTIN THAT WAS COOL, IT OPENED MY CD-ROM, GOOD JOB.
posted by PugBy Monday, April 07, 2003

Nothing happened on my computer... What is supposed to happen? I looked at the source code... is it supposed to open your CD ROM drive or something?
posted by Josh Monday, April 07, 2003

Sunday, April 06, 2003

Hi everyone,
Ever wonder just how secure your computer is? I did. Especially after I was about to make the web site that I listed at the bottom of this enter. I think it can prove just how easy it is for someone to get into your computer. So fare I have not heard of any fire wall or other program that can stop it. I welcome all of you to try it. It will not damage your computer it any way, (to my knowledge).


how secure is your computer??
posted by Justin Sunday, April 06, 2003

Disney babes?
posted by lkjawefoijalkjsdf Sunday, April 06, 2003

I feel that the basic premise of formalism, that of assigning a basic outline to a wide class of tales, is a tremendously useful idea. This is not to say I agree with it. Formalism is a simplification of all of the complexity that is human society. It is a tendency to simplify a story so that it can be talked about in fewer words, using less thought. Thus it is a useful idea.

Cliff notes use the technique extensively to cut whichever story is being analysed in thirds: "Take the story in its full glory, stuff it into a genre (surely the "essence of fabula"), and print a brief analysis of the genre." The result is terse, brief, universally applicable non-fiction that has the unfortunate quality of reduced quality. It is as if I took a classic movie and removed all but the chiefest of frames. The story is preserved but the essence is lost.

Concerning Disney: If you have ever been to the Disney Land, you know that Disney is a moneymaking enterprise. There are profiteers everywhere. Cinderella's castle, the icon of Disneyland if there ever was one, is a gift shop. Disney is a business that markets exactly what the public wants to hear, nothing more and nothing less. By marketing to impressionable youngsters, of course, they control exactly what the public will want to hear in twenty years. Since the public wants and will pay for a constant rehashing of the same old fabula, that is exactly what they give us. Disney babes are just a side benefit.

Structuralism I am obliged to agree with more, as a technically-orientated fool. The ideas of structuralism are exactly the same as those presented in chapter two of the book C++: How to Program. Structuralism is the object-orientated paradigm applied to literary criticism, and it seems to work quite well. The basic premise seems that some ideas inherit from others, allowing for any arbitrary degree of complexity and interlinkage, but everything fits nicely into its box. I appreciate this model because it can be used to make things as simple or representative as necessary.

Of course the most interesting stories are those that refuse to fit in any box ...

That is all for now; it's a beautiful Sunday afternoon and I need to get out.
posted by dave Sunday, April 06, 2003

Saturday, April 05, 2003

Subject: Handout

First of all, I was not offended by the handout (in contrast, to, say, Marianna). I don't think there was ever an assertion that ALL fairytales tell the same story -- just that many of them do, and she said herself that this is often so (I'm basically repeating what Kyle said).

Um, and agree with Danielle about the princess treatment not being that bad.

I (slightly) disagree with the PugBy post. Literature has not traditionally been viewed as a science, and I think a lot of people have this romantic notion about it being inherently non-scientific and being an art. Well, I love writing and I love reading (fiction) so obviously I'm not one of those non-fiction "I only read textbooks" type people. But I think there are scientific (if scientific can be thought to mean, basically, methodical) aspects of literature. I take the techniques I learn in english classes to make my writing stronger and more coherent. That applies even to fictional writing. Of course it takes a certain amount of natural skill to write, you could argue. However, that is true even in the "technical" fields. Only the brilliant can make the connections that lead to a breakthrough in some scientific field. Almost anyone can be trained to be a turn the crank engineer, and almost anyone can be trained to just be a turn the crank writer. If you argue that maybe a turn the crank engineer earns a lot more than a turn the crank writer (as I have often heard), then that is a completely different issue concerning how we value different jobs in our society.

Personal opinion concerning movies (in reference to the little spat Danielle and Marianna were having): Marianna took waaaaay too much offense to the Disney movies. It makes me think of the people who won't read Huck Finn because it degrades black people, or won't read A Study in Scarlet (Sherlock Holmes, for those who don't know) because of what it says about Mormons. Jeeez... I have Japanese background, and I LOVE Japan, but I still love reading Tarzan and the Foreign Legion (set in WWI or WWII) where all the Japanese soldiers are brutal blood thirsty vermin. My parents are Buddhist but I don't mind people drinking alcohol out of the little Buddha cups. Or the fact that someone went and started a band called Nirvana. You get the point. I'm sure I don't follow this policy all the time (emotions do get in the way at times) but I try as best I can.

Also, I'd like to point out that many Disney movies (eg. Snow White, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast) are based on fairy tales that end the way they showed it. They live happily ever after. It is true that Pocahontas was a little girl and never fell in love with John Smith, but remember that he spread tales that she did, so it was a kind of folk tale of itself. I'm not sure WHERE Marianna got her idea that Mulan was going to straight back into her traditional role as a female at the end of the movie. It is true that she declined a position in the Cabinet for the Emperor, but here does it say that she'll STAY with her family? You just assumed. I'm sure many other people would assume the same thing, but the point remains.

"I know of several musicians that were criticized and shunned by the, at the time, experts in the industry, when they were getting their start because the kind of music that the new artist wanted to perform went against someone’s “laws” of music. Later, their music finally reached the public, and was a success. I think that writing is the same way. No one has the right to tell some one else that they need to follow certain laws when it comes to creating there own are. "

You avid readers of the blog will recognize that I copy/pasted that out of an earlier entry by.... Justin. To repeat my earlier point, many scientists have also been shunned (famous example: Copernicus) because their ideas did not fit with the scientific "laws" of the time, but later they were accepted.

Agree with Danielle's comment about Disney and morbid endings.

posted by Nadeeka Saturday, April 05, 2003

Friday, April 04, 2003

a.) Justin, I thought that the comparisons between literature and the music industry that you drew were very appropriate, and I agree. I especially liked what you said about writing being an artform. However, I do think that if you are writing for a purpose (such as proving a point) that there are certain "laws" that you should follow, but that is altogether different from writing detective stories and things of the like.

b.) Up until recently, (and even now) society's opinion is that you need to be married to be happy. In fact, George W. Bush proposed (I don't remember if it went through or not) giving monetary incentives to single mothers to get married. Isn't that worse than Disney portraying happy couples? Besides, in my opinion, it makes me happy when the guy gets the girl in the end of the movie or whatever. One of the things that I hated about Pitch Black was that Vin Diesel's character died and didn't get to hook up with the captain chick (sorry if I ruined that for anyone). In addition, Disney movies are geared toward children. They want happy endings. Most people want happy endings. And the job of a good business is to give people what they want. If Disney movies had morbid endings, parents would be up in arms about it. Parents are always up in arms about something.

c.) Okay, now that I've ranted enough, I won't post anything else on this subject, because I'm sure all of you have had enough of me. (No comments on that statement, please). I hope all of you have a good weekend. Have some fun. Don't sit and do homework. Go out. Do what you do. Peace, yo.
posted by lkjawefoijalkjsdf Friday, April 04, 2003

For the most part, I agree with what was said in the handout. The part about poems giving us a fresh look at the world made sense to me. What we read in newspapers and magazines is written in "ordinary" language, and as we are reading it our general view of the world remains the same. But when you read a poem, there aren't any rules to what language should be used or what structure is best. This can lead to a totally different reading experience that can cause us to think in a new way.

I think Propp's generalization of fairytales works, if you look at the characters there is usually a hero, helper, villain, etc. They also follow a very general plot of a villain causing a problem, the probelm being solved by the hero, and the happy ending. Although this could be considered a general rule for fairytales, it also leaves a lot of room for very different variations to be created.

Bremond's structure for possible narratives......possibility of action, transition to action, and achievement.....seem to work for most novels, but similar to the theory on fairytales, leaves a lot of room for variation. I think it would make more sense to say these rules explain literature than to say they are rules for all literature. Instead of using these rules to create narratives, they should be used to analyze them. I like this theory because it gives possible organization to literature. I like math and science, not analyzing what I read. Having a structure to do so makes it easier.
posted by Lynda Friday, April 04, 2003

In response to Justin's comments on whether formalism is a set of laws for literature of a set of laws attempting to explain literature, I think it is a bit of both. This might sound like a weak and easy attempt to circumvent the issue, but in reality I think it is the most accurate. I think the issue boils down to the purpose of a traditional literature class. Some form of instruction is given, be it in a text book, from a teacher, or any combination as to how to disect, if you will, literature into elements such as stlye, theme, tactics, symbolism, and other literary tools. Then, attempting to group specific elements of a work into a desired mold, allows a teaching model for writting to develop. Students attempt to replicate what the have "seen" or at least one attempt of characterizing a work, into their own works. This seems to provide a standard, and rigid set of rules for writting and composing of literature. However, the really good writers are those that take what they learn, and change it. They can build upon tactics, or reject them. All the while producing a logical work, but one that is not easily defined by the same laws as the orginal. So I guess that I'm trying to put some value into the science of formalism. Perhaps, without attempting to chatergorize literature, new forms do not develop as individuals don't attempt to rebel against the so-called "norm."
posted by Marianna Friday, April 04, 2003

I WILL JOIN THE DISNEY DISCUSSION, I WILL AGREE WITH MARIANNA ON HIS ONE, I HAVE NOT SEEN MULAN, NOR DO I KNOW THE PLOT, BUT IT HAS BEEN MY GENERAL VIEW THAT WOMEN IN DISNEY MOVIES ALWAYS NEED TO MARRY A GUY. IN LILO AND STITCH, WHICH SEEMED TO SHOW WOMEN'S INDEPENDANCE, AND SHOWED THE OLDER SISTER CARING FOR AND RAISING LILO, THROUGHOUT THE MOVIE, SHE SEEMED VERY INTENT ON GETTING THE GUY, AND IN THE END, SHE GOT HIM. THIS IS HOW THEY LIVED HAPPY EVER AFTER. DISNEY DOES NOT RESPECT THE FACT THAT SOME PEOPLE DO NOT GET MARRIED AND CAN STILL LEAD A SUCCESSFUL LIFE, AND ANOTHER THING I DISLIKE ABOUT DISNEY, THEY SHOW LIFE IN A WAY THAT EVERYTHING ALWAYS BECOMES PERFECT AT THE END, AND WHILE I THINK THAT THIS WILL HAPPEN IN THE END, THIS WILL NOT NHAPPEN UNTIL THE END OF THIS WORLD, GOTTA GO BYE.
posted by PugBy Friday, April 04, 2003

Thursday, April 03, 2003

My observation? This packet deals primarily with the ways in which people have tried to make generalizations about literature, and in particular, narrative. I was struck by how the very first page seems to slap us (having read Lanham) in the face with his ideas about AT vs. THROUGH. This time, however, I agreed, though the author makes a distinction that is very important, at least in my mind. Poetry is made to be different from ordinary text (by some schools of thought) in order to shake us out of our usual mode of merely taking in things without really appreciating them. The famous painting of the flower garden comes to mind. If you lived there, how many times a day would you stop and actually think about how beautiful beyond words it was?
I liked what the author said about how poetry "exploits the potential for ambiguity that language always has. I believe that that is actually a form of using language very precisely and "sophisticatedly." There is, I think a difference between looking at the words themselves and the meanings. The transportation device is still transparent, which I think is a good thing (though it would be interesting and fun to once in a while to look at that alone as Lanham advocates), though suddenly, with poetry, the transportation route becomes delightfully visible.

I believe I have found the reason we read the packet altogether. With regards to our hypertext stories: "It will immediately be obvious that one and the same fabula can give rise to a good many syuzhets." Cool.

There's a lot here about Postmodernism, etc., which is a topic that really interests me, but that is a discussion for another time. (Didn't I do a good job of using rhetoric to sidestep the fact that I need more time to figure out what I really believe about what in the genre? I don't feel educated enough to make a good argument yet.)
Greimas is just plain over my head at the moment.

Overall, I really liked what this author had to say, and the tone and ease with which he said it. ...Strange that I assumed it was a he before I just now looked to be sure... A good prep for our final projects.
posted by Norm Thursday, April 03, 2003

I hope I don’t offend you too much Professor Duemer, but I really did not like the packet of reading. Aside for the fact that it was rather dry and tedious to read, not to mention confusing since it was incomplete, I do not agree with the ideas of it. For starters I do not agree with the prepress of the Formalism. Why are such laws of writing needed or on the higher level, what right does anyone have to impose them? Writing is an art form; and as soon as laws are put in place, it losses that title. One example, that I have good knowledge of, deals with music. I know of several musicians that were criticized and shunned by the, at the time, experts in the industry, when they were getting their start because the kind of music that the new artist wanted to perform went against someone’s “laws” of music. Later, their music finally reached the public, and was a success. I think that writing is the same way. No one has the right to tell some one else that they need to follow certain laws when it comes to creating there own are.
This builds into the second part of the readings, were it was claimed that all stories are really the same only with some surface details changed. That in itself is a form of regulating writing. Someone is cutting someone else’s work and making it fit there mold. Not only does this destroy both the creativity, and freshness of the work, but could/would make the author change their writhing still if they ever wrote again. Again, I don’t think that anyone has the right to tell someone else how they should write or what that writing means.

Ok, hold on a minute. I just had a thought.
Now to change tacks completely. I was just re-reading the packet, and I came up with a new idea. I am not sure which one, if ether is “right”, so I will leave both.
What if the Formalism’s and the others in the reading were not trying to regulate writing but explain it? The difference being that they are not trying to impose their views on the industry but merely explain why it is what it is. To return to my music example, it is no longer the industry leaders saying “this is the way it will be”; it is closer to the mathematicians that I have heard of that are trying to convert all music to sound wave graphs to understand what is liked and disliked, and then write music using a computer graphing program instead of instruments. I have heard some of the music that has been composed this way, I think it is terrible. It does not have the spirit in a manor of speaking that really music has. I know of no other way to explain it, but I would hate for that to happen to the writing industry. One of the things that I love most about good music or a good book is how it seams to be alive. Music made by a computer program is not alive, and I fear that nether would a story written to obey any form of laws. Unless it has already happened; and only the “rebels” of the writing industry stick out to me, which would explain why many of the books that I really like have received so much praise and criticism.

I change my mind Professor, this reading has given my something real to think about. I appreciate that.
Has anyone else had any similar ideas?

posted by Justin Thursday, April 03, 2003

This is the right weblog to post responses to right?
Anyway, of course it is easy to compare fairy tales. Most fictional stories, at least in some small sense, revolve around a few major themes that are present in almost every literary work. Morals, if you will. Such themes include the triumph (or defeat) of good versus evil, the perseverance (or not) of love, etc. etc. Fairy tales are especially easily to draw this connection in because it is there goal to present a moral in a thin guise to children, who in turn may start living by said moral. I disagree that the message of the story is most important, because when you generalize enough, there are very few messages. Instead, it is the way the message is presented, and what type of impact it leaves on your psyche that is important. In this case, the book is judged by the cover.

:exclaimer: If the above message made no sense, please forgive me. I am tired.
PS: The weblog spell checker does not have the word for "weblog." There is a word for this, but, ironicaly, it escapes me.
posted by Dan Thursday, April 03, 2003

Another interesting link for those who use Google... Another example of how people can be manipulated. This seems to have a scary resemblance to the media (which can be very selective in what it reports). Now it seems the one of the most popular search engines on the web is starting to direct people to certian areas of the net, keeping them away from others.... The once "free information" now monopolized? That's the problem with the net... you know it is out there, but you have to find it....
posted by Josh Thursday, April 03, 2003

Anyone use direct connect? This article is for you... What do you think?
posted by Josh Thursday, April 03, 2003

I disagree that fairy tales all have the same elements and events. I had never looked at it like that, and I do not think fairy tales should have been looked at in that way. Fairy tales are fairy tales. Some are similar, some have similar plots, some have the similar morals - but they are all just individual and unique fairy tales. There is no science behind it. Science and fairy tales are inherently disconnected.

Defamiliarization - poems uses devices such as repetitions and rhyme schemes to create a "perceptual defamiliarization" in the reader that is not created in a Time magazine article meant to inform people. Ok, that's wonderful.

The difference between the John Doe Murders His Cousin story and the Private-Eye Mystery (page 36) is that the mystery has suspense which people like. No one would read a book or watch a movie if it was like the John Doe Murders His Cousin version because that is not entertaining. Yes the Private-Eye version is a syuzhet of the fabula, but this does not necessitate a page of writing to explain.

posted by Ken Thursday, April 03, 2003

About Mulan. He didn't reject her because she was a girl, but because she lied about being a man. He felt that she disgraced him. And you seem to be forgetting that in the end, the emperor honors Mulan as being very brave. Mulan did what she had to do to save her father. She didn't do it to prove a point or anything. She accomplished her goal. I can somewhat see your disappointment in the ending, but I don't think that the fact that she settled down into traditional roles degrades women. Remember that the man came to HER. He realized how wonderful she was. Maybe I'm a sap or something, but I think that's pretty hot. Especially because he came crawling back. Not many stereotypical men would do that.
posted by lkjawefoijalkjsdf Thursday, April 03, 2003

I'm not anti movie, nor am I anti-love. While I view falling in love, eventual marriage, and even having children as an acceptable way of life, I feel that Disney and other forms of media try to highlight this as the only acceptable end to a woman's tale. For once I would like to see a single life, or a career centered life (again not intending to make the stay home mother be labled as unemployed or anything) presented as something a woman can desire, and in the end be happy with. As far a Pochanatas and Disney's tendency to draw pretty woman, I feel that Disney is as resposonsible for the modern day girls feeling inadequetly proportioned as is Barbie herself. Yes, this is harsh, but I'm being realistic. How many fifteen year olds have waise that span only the size of their hand, and probably a cup size in the order of B-C, as in the case of the Little Mermaid? Except for in rare instances, such a thin waiste can't possible match the bust comparison.

In the case of Mulan, I stick strongly by my disappointment in the ending. Consider the song Reflection. It's all about Mulan's desire to find herself, basically because her attempt to fit the societal demanding image of a woman has been a failure. Then after finding that her strengths are in the nature of curage, and that of intelligence associated with warfar, she comfortabley sits back into the traditional role? This is outrageous, if not uterly preposterious. Why does Disney even bother telling such a story about the transformation of a sheltered girl into a warrior, if she is only to return to the life style that she would have entered into if she had not exposed her character. Finally, the soldier which Disney pairs her with in the end rejected her intially because she was a female. In my opinion any male, regardless of time or situation who shows even a thread of disrespect of another individual on basis of the sex, is not someone who can be trusted, especially in an itimate relationship as the final scenes of the movie suggest.
posted by Marianna Thursday, April 03, 2003

THE THING I TOOK AWAY FROM THIS PACKET WAS NEAR THE BEGINNING WHEN THE AUTHOR MENTIONS RULES FOR LITERATURE (BOTTOM OF PAGE 33). I DISAGREE WITH THIS APPROACH. LITERATURE IS NOT A SCIENCE AND SHOULD BE NOT MADE INTO ONE. THERE IS NO CONCRETE FORM THAT A PIECE OF LITERATURE SHOULD TAKE. IT SHOULD EXPRESS THE IDEAS AND FEELINGS OF THE NARRATOR IN WHATEVER WAY S/HE BEST SEES FIT. SOME STORIES CAN BE TOLD IN SEVERAL DIFFERENT WAYS, EACH BEING MOST EFFECTIVE IN A CERTAIN GROUP OF READER'S. EACH READER HAS THEIR OWN WAY OF INTERPRETING THE TEXT, AND THERE IS NOT ONE RIGHT WAY. SOME READERS FIND A MORE FORMAL WRITING SYSTEM BETTER TO UNDERSTAND, WHILE OTHER READERS FIND MORE VERNACULAR TEXTS BETTER. IJUST THINK THAT STANDARDIZING WHAT IS LITERATURE AND WHAT IS WRITING DOES NOT MAKE SENSE TO ME.
posted by PugBy Thursday, April 03, 2003

Um.. I posted my response on my blog. Mine was about Disney too, but on a different wavelength than Marianna's. In fact I kind of disagree with Marianna. Jeez Marianna, are you anti-movie or something? I think its really harsh of you to bash Disney like that. What's wrong with giving Pocahontas an hour glass figure? Are you spiteful of the fact that Disney chooses to draw pretty girls? And also, what's wrong with wanting to have a prince sweep you off of your feet? I wish I was so lucky. I don't want to work. Truthfully, all I want in life is to get married and have kids. True, I will work as hard as possible, but that won't be because I WANT to work, but because I want to give my kids everything that I can. I'm sorry, but I hate self-righteous feminism. What's wrong with falling in love? Woud you prefer that in the end of Mulan, that Mulan decides that she'd like a sex-change or that she really likes women, and is a lesbian? Hmm? You can be a strong woman and still desire to be loved. I know I do. All I want out of my life is to be happy. Not to change the world. And you know? I don't think there's anything wrong with it. I like the princess treatment. I don't need it, but I like it. And you bashing it makes me think that you've never gotten it. One day you'll get it, and you'll realize that it isn't all that bad.
posted by lkjawefoijalkjsdf Thursday, April 03, 2003

My thoughts on the handout: I think, for the most part, that the fairy tale analysis is correct. Remember that it said that all the elements mentioned do not appear in every fairy tale, nor does every event have to occur in the same order every time. I found this concept very interesting, in that I never would have looked at fairy tales in that way. And in light of these ideas, I'm not sure that I can ever read another fairy tale without analyzing it in this way and looking for a common theme. Something even more interesting was the fact that someone didn't notice this trend until 1925. I found this surprising since literary critics have been around since the advent of the printing press. In all that time, I would have thought that someone would have noticed these things before 1925. It seems very recent to me, but those are just my thoughts. Take them as you will.
posted by Kyle Thursday, April 03, 2003

Keeping up with class assignments: Here's my post on today's discussion of the handout:

This might not seem very anylitical, but I disagreed with the comment that all fairy tales are basically the same story retold with different characters, events, and settings. While numerous tales do have parallels, or are designed to teach a similar lesson, many to not. If one exams the story of Cinderella, she or he will find that the tales appears in almost any cultural language this world has fabricated. In fact, the tale of Cinderella continues to reappear in modern romance litterature and film. Yet, do all fairy tales boil down to the story of Cinderella? I guess if one was to watch Disney movie upon Disney movie this might seem to be the case. The animated disney description of fairy tale is as follows:

Once opon the time there was a single father, who was either a king, nobel, or even a common person. This man had a beutiful daughter, who despite the odds managed to overcome whatever societal barrior that was present, and fall in love with the perfect man, and in the end up with individual and live happily ever after. It seems as though Disney feels that the fairly tale is nothing more than an excuse to somehow place a female in a weeker role, and to propogate sterotypes that girls should desire a princess like state.

Not true? Perhaps you're ready to argue that Disney does nothing of the sort. Perhaps you'll claim that movies like Mulan, and Pochahantas for example place a female in a powerful, and non-stereotypical role. To that I say: WRONG! The debateably true story of Pochahantas or at least as the orgins of the legend claim (some historians argue about her existance), places her as a young girl, maybe about 12, whom never falls in love with much older John Smith, and most certaintly was not the tall, hour-glassed, large busted women of the film. In the case of Mulan, which I will admit to having no historical information on the orgins of the tale, Disney might seem to be making a heroin, but in essence, how does the story end? She falls in love with the soldier, and will probably settle into the traditional role of females in society at the time.........wow that sounds like such a happy ending..... I wonder if they eventually bound her feet, or cut her akilles tendon so that she had to crawl the rest of her life and remain, as a traditional "happy" woman would want to live.

Okay.... So I've gotten a little off topic. If you get a chance to read some of the orginal Grimm's Faery Tales, or Hans Christain Anderson, the aren't quite so wishy washy and definately don't all end with a glamorous clash. Also, exploring the realm of mythology, take what culture's you will, each myth has a different lesson, and therefore can not be forced to share the same motive of boiled down into the same mixture of themes, and plots.

I apologize for the grammer and spelling mistakes, everytime I use the spell checker on this blogg, it decides to delete what I have written, so I have given up. Oh, yes, and for those of you who are confused as to what I'm saying here's a brief explaination of my criticism of Disney's Fairy Tales : I'm a feminist, and everthing about Disney combats the notion that woman need to be viewed in a less sterotypical light. One that reflects all that we are and the potential that we hold. Let's go ladies..... show the world who we are, and that we will not tolerate being thought of as Disney type "Princesses" who desire only to get married, and live happily ever after.
posted by Marianna Thursday, April 03, 2003

Was that a second in favor? All opposed? ::Looks around, sees no hands:: Motion passed, no class today, everyone's going to the beach. :-D

Let's go to Hawaii, I'm driving....
posted by Rebecca Polewczak Thursday, April 03, 2003

The beach definitely sounds great right now. Too much to do, too little time here! I hate when everything gets crammed in at the end of the semester and you are stuck with a million things to do at once!
posted by Sarah Thursday, April 03, 2003

I'm sick of school. I wanna go to the beach. :-p
posted by lkjawefoijalkjsdf Thursday, April 03, 2003

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Alright, maybe I should restate what I said before. I am not against genetic engineering as long as it doesnt include creating "super humans" choosing the genes/traits you want. I realize the importance of genetic engineering in the medical field as it promises, but, as always, there are downsides. Once you know you can do it... who is to stop a few people from doing, and then a few more, and it going main stream? We just have to be careful with how we proceed.
posted by Josh Wednesday, April 02, 2003

I haven't read Brave New World, but I will say this: far too many people don't understand beneficial aspects of genetic engineering, or fail to realize that genetic engineering is essential to modern medicine and advances in molecular biology. I wrote two research papers in high school about somewhat related debates. One concerned the ethics behind Stem Cell research and the other involved the medical and societal implications of the Human Genome Project. What I found from doing both projects was that society seems to automatically fear anything which suggest genetic manipulations. As far as genetic engineering is concerned I have read countless editorials, or works by public figures, which any scientist would be embararrassed to read, because of the variety of false assumptions, and misinformation taken as factual. One common misconception is that genetic engineering is in itself cloning, or holds the ultimate goal of redesigning humanity. In essence genetic engineering is not cloning, and while there is a threat of individual designing of organizims in the future (among other fears) this is not a prevelent goal in most research, nor should it be a reason to stop it. Finally, as I breifly mentioned before, genetic engineering has already made leaps and bounds in improving our world. Consider human insulin for diabetes patients, or much of the corn used to manufacture your Cornflakes and other cereals: both results of recombinant gene technology.
posted by Marianna Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Brave new world is another book that can be applied to the topics of Big Brother. (Has someone mentioned this already?) Genetic engineering is scary... too much control over something which shouldn't be controlled. Soon as politics gets involved in genetic engineering everything goes to the fan (if you know what I mean).
posted by Josh Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Another government related novel would be The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. Of course, there are other issues of religion and reproduction, but barring that, it's interesting how a dictatorship tries to control how and when women reproduce. Sounds like China to me, what do you think? Just for a little taste, the main character's name is Offred. If you break that down, you see her name is "of fred" put together. She was the possession of her husband, Fred. That to me is creepy enough, but the whole book is very interesting. I had to read it for school a couple of years ago. Here is a link with more of a summary if you are interested: http://endeavor.med.nyu.edu/lit-med/lit-med-db/webdocs/webdescrips/atwood157-des-.html
posted by Sigmund Wednesday, April 02, 2003

a.) I agree with Justin about the presentation on Tuesday.. very impressive guys (both groups).
b.) If you liked Atlas Shrugged (which I haven't gotten around to reading yet), you might like The Fountainhead (same author). It's a little on the long side, but its excellent.
c.) Don't insult the film industry. That pisses me off. I'll explain why. Before books were widely distributed, there was the theater. Film, is just another variation on theater. Saying that watching movies is a mode of laziness is ignorant. Reading is important, but that doesn't mean that film is not. Take a movie like Momento (sp?) for example. You need to really pay close attention to that movie to understand what is going on. You could say that it's thought provoking. Being able to understand that movie requires being able to read into the images. True, most of it is spelled out for you in the end, but I'm sure that you all understand where I'm coming from.
d.) Comment on Harry Potter. I don't think putting Harry Potter into film form ruined it. When those books came out my brother (who hates reading) read them all. Then when the movies came out, my mother took him to see them, and they were able to bond over it. Most parents won't take the time out of their busy schedule to read those books just to bond. The movie does that. I used to love going to the movies with my mom. It was "our" time. I also used to love when she read to me. But again, it takes a lot of nights of bedtime stories to cut through one of those books. The Little Engine That Could is long enough.
posted by lkjawefoijalkjsdf Wednesday, April 02, 2003

I thought that Lindsay’s, Lynda’s, and Rae’s presentation and project form yesterday was excellent. And one who is very paranoid of what the government could or is, doing and watching, this strikes home at just what life could tern into. In particular how the government can manipulate the public with the media. This web site, which I used for my project, supposedly tells us just how much control the government has over the media. And it the government really has that ability, I would say look out. Here two very good examples of just how far this might go. The movie “Wag the Dog”, yes I know the name sounds very strange, but it is a good movie where a small group of the government make the whole country think that the US is at war just by it's use of the media. Another example is the book, Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. In this book, the government controls the media completely and uses it to tell the country what they should think. For example, “the people sure welcome this new law because it is needed and for your own protection.” In the book that line was for a law taking away many of the peoples freedoms. I think it sounds faintly frailer. Can you say “the Patriot act” and numerous others!! I WILL NOT live in such a system. And if things get much worse, I think that some major changes in our life still are in store.
posted by Justin Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

I think the reason why the last few chapters of The Electronic Wordseemed a bit more interesting than the rest for most of us, was that it included a comparison to the scientific realms of thought. Thus, since most of us are science or engineers to be, Lanham began to speak in our language.

I also found it rather insulting, though sadly true, the manner in which Lanham speaks of our generation as a sad, almost illiterate source. I often ponder how such a world can survive, I mean one where people watch TV rather than read. Along similar lines is Harry Potter. Orginally it was a great things for kids, it got them reading. Now it has also become a mode of laziness with the production of each of the novels into film form. How depressing!
posted by Marianna Tuesday, April 01, 2003

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