Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Why didn't anyone warn me about Mass Comm?

I'm an Interdisciplinary Studies Field major (ISF) here at Cal, which means I get to more or less make up my own course of study within some perameters. In my field of concentration, I have chosen to analyze mass media, consumerism, visual representation, and the like in what has proven to be a more intellectually stimulating series of classes than I had expected. I have taken courses in American Studies, Visual Studies, ISF, History of Art, Women's Studies, and now Mass Communications. In addition to learning volumes about consumer culture, advertising, and visual communication, this academic path has taught me another very important lesson:

The Mass Communications department is for lazy students incapable of conducting critical and/or sub-superficial analyses of social issues!

There, I said it. I swear to Baby Jesus, my Mass Comm discussion section is populated by consumer culture apologists who can't comprehend existence outside their own little personal spheres of affluence and complacency. One woman in my class went so far as to claim that, Hey, we're products of overkill 1980s Regean-era regulation-free advertising aimed specifically at unsuspecting children, and we turned out fine.

NO! No we didn't! We're not fine! We all buy way more stuff than we need, we all inject identity into ourselves via commodities, we all thoughtlessly produces tons of garbage each year and waste water and waste paper and waste plastic, and only see a product for its consumptive value and not the productive process that preceeded our purchase of the product! Aggghh!

I was under the erroneous notioimpression that Mass Comm is for people who are interested in critiquing mass communications; it turns out that it's full of Haas rejects who think this is their second chance at a career in advertising and television. So sad.

In short, ISF rocks. People who go into ISF are there because they want to think for themselves. We're the rebels. We dance to our own beat. And we were most likely unpopular in high school.


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