Sunday, October 31, 2004

A Poem

Tsushima Island during Squid Fishing

By Tristan Vick
October 31, 2004

Squid Safari

Glistening against midnight ripples,
Luminescent light was forged from the deepest blue ocean
Awakening spirits.
Sing a’ song as many a sailor do,
Behold the magnificence painted by the greatest artificer.

A thousand and one eyes winked at yet a thousand more.
The hum of the burning ember, the filament
Talking of majesty with the crush of the wave;
In-between was a dance, an articulation.

Time was not important
No more was reality, unaware of the first bellow and blow.
The wind huffed a warm, salty sentence
Reassuring, comforting, but never really heard,
A faint music beating in tangent with nature’s rhythm;

Clapping caused white foamy spray
Perpetual infinity linked among the golden chains, the night’s air gestured
Pausing, breathing, contemplation, intelligence
They came for the grandeur.

Some people have confused this poem to be a "romantic" love poem. Even though the poem tends to utilize romantic language here and there, the poem was not specifically and ode to love. Or rather, it is an ode to love of nature and the dichotomy that exists between man's world and that of the sea. I wrote my Fiancé an explanation of what I was alluding to when I originally wrote the poem, and I break down the specific traits of the individual lines, which contain information that people may not be aware of. Think of it as a way to read into the facts of the poem, but the deeper meaning is still left to the reader to decide.

A letter to Sayaka in regards to my Poem Squid Safari.

Tristan Vick

I will explain what my poem means on the literal level, and why it is about squid. Oh, and also, you can read ‘into’ poetry any way you like. If you felt it was about us, then it might make you feel something or remind you of something about us. Even though the poem isn’t about us specifically, YOU are allowed to read poetry anyway you like, including this poem. I’ve taken college courses about this type of thing! Reading deeper into poetry is something everyone does. I used very “romantic” sounding language, so these words can make you feel deep feelings, for me and for squid!

*Oh, I should warn you, the explanation is real long! Very long! Just so you know.*

Squid Safari [I will explain the title at the end, for now just read my explanations in these brackets.]

By Tristan Vick
October 31, 2004

STANZA 1 (A stanza is a section of the poem that looks like a paragraph. Every time it looks like a new paragraph, that is a new stanza. Basically a section of lines which are grouped together, not necesarrily in the propper grammatical structure, but in an artistic one.)

1. Glistening against midnight ripples, [Line 1 is about the way light reflects on water. Knowing that there may be near 3,000 vessels surmounting aproximately 3 million lights three miles off the coast is a sight to behold! Let alone the stars shining and all of this light gets distorted and reflected back off of the sea.]

2. Luminescent light was forged from the deepest blue ocean [Line 2 talks about the luminescent colors that are coming up from the blue water. This is the squid swimming to the surface of the water to see the lights.]

3. Awakening spirits. [Line 3 is about all the squids looking like white ghosts, or spirits, as they all awaken to see the lights and to be in the pressence of light itself.]

4. Sing a’ song as many a sailor do, [Line 4 is about the fisherman singing a lucky song to help catch fish, just like a sailor would sing. A fishing song!]

5. Behold the magnificence painted by the greatest artificer. [Line 5 is 'me' the narrator saying to the reader, look at this beauty of life, squid, man, the ocean, and realize that the greatest artist -GOD made it all.]

Stanza 2

1. A thousand and one Eyes winked at yet a thousand more. [Line 1 is a reference to all the squids looking up at all the fishermen, and all of the fishermen looking down at all the squids. 1,001 the number has no more significance than it sounds more fluid than saying Three million. The number isn't specifically borrowed from Arabian Nights, because when you total it the sum is actually 2,0001 eyes looking, but the phrase does harken back to a well recognized litterary story -and may sound more poetic (unintentionally) because of it.]

2. The hum of the burning ember, the filament [Line 2 is about the many lights that squid fishers use. They hum, because of the generators and motors of the boats, and the lights have a buzzing sound. Between the ember and the filament exists the contrast between nature and the man made world. An ember is completely a natural entity, where-as the filament which causes the glowing is made by man. This is my celebration of man re-replicating nature, and the love of his accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem. Yet I specifially bring nature into it, because without the comparison, you wouldn't have the awe nor beauty that I desire to represent.]

3. Talking of majesty with the crush of the wave; [Line 3 is about the lights and water noises sounding like so much noise, that it sounds like a conversation of actual people talking. Majesty is romantic language, once again bringing emphasis to the magic feeling of this moment. Majesty can also be taken as a reference to God and Nature. Each subject is in conversation with the other. Nature/Man, Man/God, God/Nature and the ocean caries this dialogue.]

4. In-between was a dance, an articulation. [The 'dance' is about all the squid swimming around the boats to see the lights. The movement looks like a dance. Also the boats circling to scoop up and catch the squid also has circular patterns that may appear to be a dance. You could set this to music, and it would be Fantasia.]

Stanza 3

1. Time was not important [This is about time slowing down, like on a beautiful night when you look at the stars, you feel calm, and time slows down. Time is slowing down for the squid that look up at the boat lights much the same way we look up at the stars. It may seem heavenly eaven, and heaven has no time, so we have reached this stage of enlightenment when both the squid and man become united in this dance within the world they exist, but also transcending that to a newer world, a more heavenly one. You could call it the 'Poetic' world.]

2. No more was reality, unaware of the first bellow and blow. [This is a metaphor for life. Everything is real, but I am using language which suggests that this is too beautiful to be real. There is a joy and a holiness about it that makes us think back to the artificer, creator, GOD. Time slows, and reality isn't what it appears to be, or even what we think it is. Reality doesn't know how to 'be' in this constant state of artistic creation and realization.]

3. The wind huffed a warm, salty sentence [This line talks about wind. An onomatopoeia for wind blowing is 'huff' or 'puff', but these are in reference to small blowing winds, like a human breathe, or breathing. I utilized it in a way that would make nature seem alive, as if it were breathing, living. Huffing a salty sentence is a play on the smells and sounds of the ocean. The ocean is salty, so it would smell salty. The sentence is speaking about the sound of the water, and the boats and squid swimming in the water, the men singing, and the conversation that progresses between all present to the dance.]

4. Reassuring, comforting, but never really heard, [The sound of water is soothing and comforting, but very faint and soft... so you can barely hear it.]

5. A faint music beating in tangent with nature’s rhythm; [Everything suddenly seems to work together. All the sounds start finding a rhythm that makes it intelligent and song like, even though it alludes to the fishermen catching the flopping squid; a state of constant motion and varying degrees of volume.]

6. Sublimity. [This is the best feeling possible. The night is perfect. The squids are happy to see the lights, and the fishermen are happy to be catching all of the squid. We the readers are happy to enjoy the poem. Nature/Man/God all become one. Everyone is happy.]

Stanza 4

1. Clapping caused white foamy spray [This is about the squid caught in the nets, and now they all squirm and try to escape. The noise they make sounds like a clapping, like hands clapping. They smash against the boats, and against each other. The water too is smashing into the boats, making more clapping. White bubbles and foam is made from the water being stirred. More motion.]

2. Perpetual infinity linked among the golden chains, the night’s air gestured [Line 2, here, is about the ripples in the water, and all of the golden lights too, and it all looks like chains linked together as they expand out over the ocean.]

3. Pausing, breathing, contemplation, intelligence [This line is about everything pausing for a moment. The men, the squid, the commotion, everything gets quiet and there is only the sound of breathing. Then only the acknowledgement of thinking, every one is hard at work or waiting for the next wave of squid to swim up.]

They came for the grandeur. [This is about both men and squid. The came for the hunt, and the squid came to see the light. Everyone is happy, but the squid get killed and will be eaten. They all came here to the sea and came together at the point which nature meets the divine. Also Heaven is supposed to be the most glorious and beautiful, full of lights. The squid get to go to a heaven filled with dazzling light. So even though they are dead now, we can still be happy for them, because they weren't wasted. I know, because I ate some of them.]

I titled it “Squid Safari”, because a Safari is a hunt, and an adventure. I thought this would be good, and since not many people know about squid fishing, especially in land locked Montana. I referenced squid in the title so that they may specifically know what the poem is about, or at least ask themselves what do squid have to do with it? Even though most people who read it think it is ONLY about the ocean, or sailing, and the beauty of the ocean; it is not ONLY about these things, but about MANY things. There is under laying meaning, and I hide all the direct connections to the squid because I want the beauty of the language to be read and understood, yet they are both in tangent to one another (on different levels and layers perhaps) and are also part of the same dance. It should be a powerful poem, even on the spiritual level. Yet it is all of these things and more too.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

There's no denying purpose

"There's no denying purpose, because as we both know, without purpose we would not be here."
---Agent Smith

The Smiths'

For those who liked the Matrix, or more specifically the Matrix: Reloaded, just know that it all started with the NES... that is the Nintendo Entertainment System. You don't believe that this is the beginning of the Matrix? I have proof.

Who knew the fight was so long? More Matrix trivia I guess, enjoy.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

The CANON: Charlott'es Web Revisted (Engl. 300)

I’m going to have to side with literary critic Bettelhiem on this one notion, and stand fast in my decision. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, albeit a lovely children’s story, offers little more than a simple moral and should be reconsidered in concern to the MSU canon. Charlotte’s egg sack spawned 514 baby spiders, a rat talks, and Charlotte’s last written words that ever will be seen are “Humble”. My point being, beyond the talking Pig, and other chatty animals, the story is charming, and that’s all it is.

While discussing the canon with Professor Sexson, he argued in favor of Charlotte’s Web. He said that, “It’s not often you find a best friend Like Charlotte, let alone a friend that can write well.” Dr. Sexson argues that Charlotte’s Web isn’t as straight forward and “preachy” as other classic children’s stories, such as the fairy tales of Brothers Grimm. Instead he elevates the status of Charlotte’s Web to that of a smarter children’s story which doesn’t preach down to its audience. Beyond the moral there exists an excellent story of friendship. However, like the story itself, Dr. Sexson’s argument is “charming”, but doesn’t hold up on its own.

There are various well written “chum” stories to consider, such as Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows (which is on the list). The story also focuses on friendship, talking animals, and highlights story above the simplistic morals which so many lesser profound children’s books ardently preach. This in hindsight is a better proponent and defense for other texts, such as The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, another fine example of excellent children’s literature. I would place this book higher than Charlotte’s Web, because even though Charlotte is a nice spider, that can spell words well, the importance of words aren’t as meaningful as the story itself. Charlotte's Web gains value in the relationship and story of the characters. In the instance of The Phantom Tollbooth, Milo and Tock the ticking “watch dog” have grand adventures taking them through Dictionopolis and past the Mountains of Ignorance to save the Princesses, Rhyme and Reason. Beyond the words there exists a grander scale adventure of storytelling, one we mustn’t neglect; one which also encompasses the value and the relationship of its characters. We can appreciate the articulation and word play of this Alice and Wonderland styled adventure, always realizing that the story propels itself, and never succumbs to moralistic views, at least no more so than Charlotte’s Web.

Perhaps Charlotte’s Web does indeed hold itself at bay, and never transgresses to moralistic preaching, but as seen in the above examples “charming” just doesn’t negate Charlotte’s Web the right to be placed above other equally acceptable (if not more so) texts into the canon. To better make my point, I will reflect many modernists’ views of what defines a text as worthy of being canonized. One way would be in considering the work itself, as T.S. Eliot defined the timelessness of “traditional” qualities of texts, “This historical sense, which is a sense of the timeless as well as the temporal and of the timeless and of the temporal together, is what makes a writer traditional. And it is at the same time what makes a writer most acutely conscious of his place in time, of his own contemporaneity” (Norton, p.1093).

Of course, when I was asked whether I think the author Steven King should be added to the Western Canon, my immediate response was that his massive body of work will become a lasting impression upon our literary historical mind, but for the time being, I do not believe his writings meet T.S. Eliot’s criteria of timeless endurance. As is the case of Charlotte’s Web. Perhaps, in the sense of Children’s literature, Charlotte and Wilbur have a head start on Steven King in reaching a canonical state, but I don’t see any criteria which allow Charlotte’s Web any greater claims to canonical fame than The Phantom Tollbooth and The Wind in the Willows. In fact, we could vary easily change the debate to a positioning one, rather than a discussion of alteration, between The Wind in the Willows and Charlotte's Web. My point is that we need to reflect on why they are there, and if they are truly suited for the position they maintain. For the sake of the arguement, and time, I will not digress to that arguement of positioning, but will leave it up to you to ponder.

The text that I believe stands T.S. Eliot’s test of time, would be Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie. This book, like the other children’s works, is well qualified to replace the “charming” Charlotte’s Web. (My first argument "Something to Consider", as seen bellow, identifies reasons for being so.) Also consider it a strong element to feature a minority writer. For those who are overly concerned about repetition, as Mr. Rushdie’s Midnight Children, is also on the MSU list of books, don’t forget that James Joyce, Vladimir Nabokov, and if you count them as one, the sisters Bronte all have repeated titles with their namesake on the MSU list of the hundred best books. Consider these repetitions, before you brush aside Mr. Rushdie. Whether or not we count Shakespeare, the Brothers Grimm, or any of the various other collected works as more than one, or as redundant, this too is up for debate. However, due to the vastness and profound properties of these works, I believe categorizing them as single units fits our purpose. I am not one to debate whether Shakespeare’s Tempest is better suited than Hamlet in any way or means, because both texts have had such a meaningful influence in my own life; that I would do Shakespeare, nor anybody else justice to argue that debate. The debate I can argue is: Charlotte’s Web is not well equipped enough to stand up against Haroun and the Sea of Stories when we hold each text to T.S. Eliot’s definition of a lasting “tradition”.

In finality, I ask you all to question why Charlotte’s Web should stay on the canonical list. Perhaps others will find faults in my argument, but in considering T.S. Eliot, “It is a judgment, a comparison, in which two things are measured by each other. To conform merely would be for the new work not really to conform at all; it would not be new, and would therefore not be a work of art. And we do not quite say that the new is more valuable because it fits in; but it’s fitting in is a test of its value—a test, it is true, which can only be slowly and cautiously applied, for we are none of us infallible judges of conformity” (Norton, p. 1093-4). The essence of Charlotte’s Web is well acknowledged, but it is a shade dimmer in literary vibrancy than the previously discussed texts. Nor can it distinguish itself with any great residing superiority from the other works I have contrasted it against. In reflection, I see no argument which supports its place among the canon.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Some FUN!

What is REALITY?

An entire website devoted to the analysis of REALITY, its construct, its perception, and the psychology behind it.

Like girly boys? Want to read about them fighting, and who would win? Two WB stars have at it here at this funny site.

Ever wanted to hear the "Star Wars" characters rap? How about a rap battle between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker as they dule with lightsabers? Not funny enough, why not throw in dancing Storm troopers, and you get a hoot!

Like women? How about optical illusions? How about 3-D scanned chicks which you can rotate to see from every angle with just the click of a button? Go here:

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Censorship: the Debate continues (Eng. 300)

Censorship is a Cultural Device
by Tristan Vick

I was reading my pier Brian Johnsrud’s opinion on Censorship, and it got me to thinking.

Brian’s site:

Censorship is a cultural device, and only functions within the cultural and historical frame of that culture. Each culture then utilizes censorship in ways which they believe that it best benefits their society. The problem I have with censorship in our country is that we try to censor things that rightly should not be, often times because they are from foreign cultures, and this uneducated fear causes us to censor the world around us instead of helping us to understand it. Basically, we are as a Nation, desensitizing ourselves to the rest of the world around us. This one-mindedness doesn’t benefit our multi-cultural understanding, but hinders true enlightenment and secludes us as a Nation from the rest of the world.

Brian has a link to a Christian society that burns books, because the contents of the books are taken in a context that would define them as anti-Christian. However, this biased slant is only the perspective of a group cowering from things they don’t understand, nor comprehend. Instead of reaching a fulfilling enlightenment, they try and brush it under the table, or rather, burn it. I will not affiliate my Christianity with such fools as these, because they do little good in the world. Their contradiction is so great that it becomes harmful, because they preach that they believe the “word” of the Bible, yet they burn words. Neglecting to see that words regardless of the text hold truths and stories teach morals, and parables bring understanding –this organization tries to destroy the very language which they themselves preach to be truth.

Brian states, “We simply cannot ban entire groups of things, such as porn, just because some of it might be disturbing or disruptive . . . Plato. In doing so we would have to take away numerous pieces of art and culture, because the only way we could label porn as disruptive would be to say it “displays nudity and sexuality in a lude way.”

Even though I think Brian has a good point, I believe his misconception is with the definition of “censorship”, and he is angry at the consequences that censorship entail. He is concerned with the act of banning and what it brings or doesn’t bring (especially under critical light) to society. Yet how do we define censorship?

I would like to refer back to Brian’s statement of censoring porn. Yet in order to do this we must define what porn is.

The Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary (2001) defines pornography as:

Pornography: obscene writings, drawings, photographs, or the like, esp. those having little or no artistic merit.

Brian’s discussion of the painting of the nude “Madonna” by Edward Munch then exposes an anomaly. If porn has ‘no artistic merit’ then how can this classical painting be considered porn? It can’t, and Brian’s point is well taken. However, the issues at hand are with the definition of pornography or porn and what qualifies those who practice censorship as a defining means. As I’m sure Brian would argue, “Huckleberry Fin” by Mark Twain is one of the greatest pieces of American written art, and it is also considered the great American novel by many, including Professor Michael Beehler. Brian’s issues with censorship lie purely in its irresponsible use of censorship and those who censor so brazenly. The answer may be as simple as ‘careless censorship by naïve people with strong opinions’.

Coming back to Brian’s above comment on censorship that…

- In doing so we would have to take away numerous pieces of art and culture, because the only way we could label porn as disruptive would be to say it “displays nudity and sexuality in a lude way.”

Yet what we are working with is not a definition of censorship, but instead, the definition of pornography, and more over, how you qualify something to the act of censorship. In order to make light of this occurance we must better define censorship.

Censorship is a cultural device because our ideas of censorship never lend themselves outside our borders of the cultural mind of society. However, anything entering our national consciousness and perseptive state from external sources, may be censored. This is why I define it as a cultural device, and perhaps, even a cultural device of catagorization. An example will require a multi-cultural perspective, which I will devulge from my own experiences and life in Japan.

The Japanese idea of censorship is not our own. This is where we can better separate the issues of censorship and its core design. First we must come back to the question of what is “pornography”.

In the sense that it is explicit sex graphically depicted with real life images, if that is one defenition we would classify it under, then what would be our thoughts if I were to explain that these sex films in Japan don’t show any nudity?

Pornography in Japan always contains black “censor” bars, or mosaeic blurs to cover and erase the graphic nudity, only leaving the occasional breast shot. Sometimes the mosaeic is so big that you will not be able to view the sex, nor even the actors. If we can’t see the sex is it still ponogrpahy? American PG-13 movies show full frontal nudity and often contain many sexual themes, does this mean they are pornographic in comparison to the Japanese porn videos which show even less nudity?

Pornography is then defined by cultural context, and so too must censorship be defined, but not limited to.

Japanese add the moseaic to their porn NOT because they want to “censor” it, but because it makes it more artistic and imaginative. This censorship issue also has come up with another Japanese construct, Manga. Manga is the term for ‘Comic Book’ in Japan. Paul Gravett’s book: “Manga –Sixty Years of Japanese Comics,” also confronts this issue.

Much of a Japanese person’s home, school and work life is goverened by strict notions of respect and hierarchy. The solitary activity of reading manga allows him or her to leave behind daily formalities and experience, if only vicariously, for the more liberated realms of the mind and the senses. In many societies where repression rules, extraordinary and provocative creativity results. For all their regulated angles of bowing and terms of address, the Japanese are inclinded towards a pragmatic and tolerant approach to religion and morality. This makes quite a sharp contrast to the ‘liberate’ West. Compared to Europeans and Americans, the Japanese generally have far more relaxed attitudes about representations of sex and bodily functions. No wonder earlier generations of Westerners professed outrage at the explicitness of Japanese erotic prints, forerunners of some of manga’s wilder moments (p.12).

Gravett goes on to explain several instances where Manga has been banned. In 1991 the largest Japanese cultural festival held in Britain, hosted a manga exhibit sponsored by the Oxford Museum of Modern Art. However, this exhibit according to Gravette never saw the day of light due to a conflict in how each country defined “censorship” according to their culture. In this case it was a clash of cultural differences of the artistic expressionism and definition of art. Later an independent London art gallery, Pomeroy Purdy, instated a showing of avant-garde manga and images immediately creating a one-sided bias. The Daily Telegraph, a local news paper, condemned the art exhibit as ‘Japanese laughing matter.’ Ten years later controversy arose again in Britain when the second Japan Festival (2001) showed a manga exhibit alongside traditional aspects of Japan such as tea ceremony and Kabuki Theater. The show which had been shown in Paris and Rotterdam (successfully) was removed from the British forum, “presumably because it was deemed unsuitable for the British palate,” according to Gravette.

Again Gravette points out the differences in cultural opinion, and how it defines censorship. Gravette attributes this un-accepting attitude towards Manga as an appeal to ‘cultural snobbery.’ He continues on to mention another example of prejudice against Manga, this time by the New York Times on January 10, 2002. The article accused Manga (and the tired specter of comics) as contributing to illiteracy. The paper was forced to print a retraction, acknowledging that Japan had a very high literacy rate, far ahead of America’s (p.9). The Japanese utilize three separate alphabets simultaneously, including the Chinese Kanji symbols which total over 500,000 in number. This silly comment by the New York Times only proved their naive and extremely uninformed attitudes, and that literacy had nothing to do with Japanese reading comics.

Is this truly censorship for the sake of benefiting American society? Or like Gravette, are we trying to back step the issues of prejudice by labeling it as simply a form of “censorship”?

The issue of one culture finding something acceptable over another isn’t a new debate. Different countries will of course have different concepts of what qualifies as "enriching" to their own cultural and social doctrine, and also that which does not benefit it. As time progresses, the issues tend to fluctuate along with the cultural trends, such as the example of Japanese Manga receiving harsh criticism in the early 90’s and again now. Due to Manga's originality as an art form and its different cultural views, often give a cause for controversy. You can break down the two opposing view points: two sets of people, those who either embrace it lovingly as an imported taste of a foreign culture, or those who ban it according to their differing ideologies.

Historical context also plays a significant part in understanding censorship, such as the instance in 1944 when Grimm’s Fairy tails were banned because they were of German origin. Donald Haase talks about this more in his essay "Your’s, Mine, Ours?" He attributes this Nationalistic view of fairy tales as the reason they got banned for some period of time. That these Nationalistic views existed within the texts, and so they sponsored foreign ideas that our culture deemed degenerative during the 1940’s. Haase continues to critique Sainte-Beuve who categorizes fairy tales as naïve, simplistic, and that have universal appeal. Haase reiterates that,

“Such a view draws on another interpretation of the folk that does not rely on national or ethnic identity and consequently proposes an alternative ownership of the fairy tale. This view of the folk is informed by a universalizing tendency that completely disregards social, historical, and cultural factors.” (The Classic Fairy Tales, Norton, p.358).

I believe Haase was also, unknowingly, grappling with deciphering the occurrence of censorship. His points also remind us that censorship isn’t as simple as like and dislike, but needs to take into consideration the social, historical, and cultural levels. All which are aspects that help us determine what is being sensitized, and more importantly, why.

Censorship then is tricky to define. On the one hand we have a censorship that allows a cultural prejudice towards foreign elements. Elements that enter into our own culture which were not traditionally there in the first place. The mother culture then adopts the foreign elements, but in order to accept these alien elements, it censors them to better fit within its own cultural views and ideologies. The other form of censorship, then, is a method of categorization. It separates the issue of censorship by placing it into two opposing categories. One may be considered bad, so the other is good. It may define which is of our culture, or which is not of our culture too, but the end result is the same. This separation and categorization then falls under the broader cultural collective.

Brian’s original issues with censorship deal with the (often irrational) actions and consequences of censorship. I have set down the definition of censorship as, in the final analysis, a way we categorize things according to social, historical, and cultural context; and if we are not careful in our execution of censorship, it may act as a form of prejudice as well.

Understanding what censorship is then, allows us to look inward at the censorship debate within our own society. With this broader definition, we can critique our own censorship agendas, its importance (or lack there of), and better study the consequences of the actions of censorship.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Hans on Cluckers Gobble-de'gook in the forest of Pigs!

Hans My Hedgehog

'Click above to enlarge image.'

Here are my Children’s Lit. (Eng 304) NOTES for 10/5/04.

As you can tell, I was extremely productive. Seriously though, if a picture speaks a thousand words, then I took the best notes of anybody in class! Haha.

I am a strong proponent of visual story telling as a medium of language. I don't think we've digressed into a dumb state of neanderthal wall drawings, but like such forms of communication and expression as the cave paintings, tapestries, and hand signs they are all a form of visual language. I think in this digital era of 3-D 'realism', the visual language has become as realistic as the worded language -in the sense that anything can be expressed in both realistc terms, and in fantastical terms too. Words are just being replaced by polygons, people are seeing more cinema, video games are raging, and even though our spoken language fluctuates on the knowledge that words provide, the visual language has always been with us, and is the first common language of man. Point and draw a stick figure in the dirt, maybe grunt a bit, yet the fact remains that there was no language spoken or written before the power of the image. Perhaps we have gone in full circle, and people are getting dumber because they are watching too much television and aren't reading or studying their texts as well as traditionally excersized, but I believe that the visual language combined with the written is the most efficient and newest form of language. Thus my interest in Graphic novels and the comic book. By combining the two, the posibilities are endless!

However, I don't really know what I'm talking about, but this guy does:

Neil Cohn is the leading theorist in visual language today. He focuses on how the brain recognizes symbols and processes patterns to form a visual memory that becomes our most common (and perhaps most advanced) form of communication, but don't take my word for it. Read about it. Reading Rainbow!