I have four written assignments due to-morrow and all I want to do is play Skyrim. How the hell am I supposed to get my own projects off the ground? "Wait until you're an old man and retired," is the "responsible" answer I used to get. Nevertheless, I have been doing research for a new comic I may launch early next year. I might have time for it since I'm only going to be taking one class--I decided the only way I was going to get through Japanese II was if it was the only class I was taking. It's just as well since that one class, five units, cost a hundred ninety five dollars. That's not counting text books, which fortunately I already have. It's not hard to understand why the Occupy movements have been criticising the cost of education.
Though I guess Frank Miller doesn't get it. Maybe you've read by now his sad, vitriolic blog entry attacking the Occupiers as "a pack of louts, thieves, and rapists." I suppose I can see from the Capitalist perspective how people who want everyone to be provided for regardless of how much profit they accrue would be thieves, but rapists? One can only guess at the spectre crafted by his paranoia that prompted that designation.
I suppose even when he was writing good comics it was the rhetorical excesses that made them so entertaining. It doesn't surprise me the guy's a conservative, and maybe considering the Neo-Con wet dream that was 300 I shouldn't be surprised he's this wacko. Still, it's amazing to me someone can spew crazy of this proportion without being self-conscious about it. But maybe that's just a sign that I don't watch FOX News.
Anyway, one of the assignments I'm working on to-day is the write-up for a "Song Analysis" in my Interpersonal Communications class wherein I was to put together essentially a mix tape with the intention of communicating something to someone I was in a meaningful relationship with. The assignment rubbed me the wrong way for reasons I laid out in my introductory paragraph;
I compiled the songs for my sister, Chelsea. I must confess the idea of directly communicating something meaningful to someone with what is essentially a “mix tape” seemed juvenile and tacky to me. This may relate to my perspective on art and perhaps communication in general. I feel an artist can ultimately communicate only with him or herself and the audience can only respond to artistic stimuli through the prism of their own minds. Art is effective when the artist successfully and consistently speaks with a voice and to themes that resonate personally with a large number of people. He or she accomplishes this by tapping into his or her own fundamental humanity or common psychological traits. Trying to tell someone something about themselves while not accepting it as an aspect of yourself almost inevitably comes off as patronising and is in only rare cases productive if the statement is negative. The statement comes off as trite if it’s positive. In either case, because mix tapes are infallibly more about the creator of the mix than the intended recipient of it, it’s pathetic because the creator seems implicitly unaware of this. I used to love making mix tapes for people when I was younger but it was absolutely never constructive and in fact usually created distance between myself and the recipient. Eventually I realised it was because I was introducing my concept of them, and my concept of myself, which they inevitably found discordant with their own conceptions of themselves or me. It emphasised the futility in effecting those concepts of another person in a proactive way.
But I did enjoy coming up with the list of songs, and I found I came up with a theme and an arc with them. I had to explain these things for the assignment, but in my concluding paragraph, I said;
I’m happy with my sister’s responses to these songs, even though they mentioned none of [my explanations of their meaning]. She enjoyed them and found her own meaning in them. These songs potentially relate as well to my sister as they would to anyone else, and therefore to my mind are more likely to have a positive impact on her. They respect her autonomy and freedom to take what meaning from the songs she would like.
So see what you think, if you like;