What Does “Being Famous” Mean Anymore?

Recently, there was an article that caught my eye in the New York Times explaining Shia LaBeouf’s most recent performance art: #ALLMYMOVIES. In this article, Wesley Morris explains the problems with fame today, and how it has become almost meaningless. This article not only reminded me of Deirdre’s blog post, “Just Do It,” but it also made me think of the attention to famous people in our world today.

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Innocence Lost

I’m slowly becoming acutely aware of how much I’m doing it. I do it in my classes, outside of my classes, while watching TV,  hanging out with my friends. (And by “it” I mean analyzing literally everything.) I think that my brain has worked this way for quite some time, and only now have I realized that. Maybe it’s a trademark of the stereotypical English major to over analyze everything, or make connections that may seem far-fetched. As far as I’m concerned, I fit the profile. With the help of Moran’s “Interdisciplinarity,” as well as class activities and essays, E2 in particular, in regards looking too much into things goes, my innocence has been lost.

***SPOILER ALERT*** proceed with caution

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It’s About Time

Everyone is guilty of yelling at their phone at least once in their life. It is a very strange concept if you really think about it. We scream at this inanimate object, as if we expect a response in return. It is not that we are actually angry at our phone. We are upset at the fact that our phone is already malfunctioning, despite purchasing it not too long ago. At least with my phone, I have noticed that it seems to subtly get worse and worse with every use. This then made me question as to whether or not our phones were built to last. It seems that technology these days takes advantage of our materialistic tendencies. They know that they can sell a product with a predisposed life expectancy because we tend to favor “new” over “old.” However, this is not a new concept. Continue reading “It’s About Time”

Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story

By now, I think most people have at least heard of Hamilton: An American Musical. Based on the biography Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow, the music, lyrics, and book were all written by Lin-Manuel Miranda and tell the story of the life of founding father Alexander Hamilton through a hip hop musical. If you weren’t already overly-invested in Alexander Hamilton’s life (like I’ve been for the past few years), you will be after listening to this soundtrack. Trust me. One interesting idea that comes up repeatedly throughout the show is that of legacy and story-telling.

Lin-Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton
Lin-Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton

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And They Held The Air

Last Monday I woke up and walked up the hill to Bailey Hall. Students were roaming around, on their way to class or lunch, talking with their friends and peers. It was such an ordinary day, and the American and Geneseo flags blew in the wind. This Monday I woke up and walked up the hill to Bailey Hall. But it was not such an ordinary day, the flags didn’t fly as high as they once had. On the sidewalk parallel to me marched a mass of students echoing the shouts of a leader I could not see. As myself and the group across from me reached the college green, student activity seemed to stop, and casual talk trailed off. All eyes were following the chanting group. And they held the air.

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Modern Technology and Cybernetic Enhancments

While re-reading some chapters of Interdisciplinarity, I returned to and came across Moran’s discussion of technology and cyborgs in our modern day. It reminded me not only of a video I had seen of a man who became a cyborg, but it also reminded me of Lauren’s blog post I read in the beginning of the year titled, “Civilized Cavemen.”

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The Fun Theory

*Our conversation in class today is a reflection of this post, which just so happens to also be about repetition*

After reading Jonah’s blog post, “The Shared Experience of Absurdity” I could not help but think about the repetitive nature of our lives. At least in college, we wake up, eat, go to class, maybe sleep a little more, eat again, then fall asleep and do it all over again the next day. We have been practicing this same routine for so long that it almost feels like we are cheating ourselves when we do something out of the ordinary. Maybe our monotonous tendencies stem from this structuralist perspective on intertextuality, which is introduced by Joe Moran within the book, Interdiscipinarity. With the concept of intertextuality in mind, “texts are formulated not through acts of originality by individual authors but through interaction and dialogue with other texts,” (76). The concepts and ideas that comprise our world are but recycled versions of other ideas that were thought of long ago. Everything that we say, do or even own was once just an idea that someone had, which was then used as the platform for another idea. It is not our fault that we can get stuck in these cyclic and sometimes even stale habits, for we are only mirroring a practice that has been done since the beginning of time. Continue reading “The Fun Theory”

Just Do It

“This has to be the Shia LaBeouf-iest thing Shia LaBeouf has ever done.”

This is how K.M. McFarland describes Shia LaBeouf’s latest stunt, and I can’t say I disagree.

Shia LaBeouf is an interesting man. Once known for his childhood antics on the Disney Channel’s lighthearted Even Stevens, he’s more recently managed to transcend the known planes of reality into a new one of his own making. This year, a video of LaBeouf in front of a green screen went viral. He urges us to “just do it” and to “not let our dreams be dreams.” However, this blog post is going to focus on something that, for me, exists in a completely different realm: Shia LaBeouf’s performance art.

Shia LaBeouf at the Berlin premier of his movie Nymphomaniac
Shia LaBeouf at the Berlin premiere of his movie Nymphomaniac

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Historical Inquiry

Whether we notice them or not, allusions appear in literature very often. These allusions can range from either references to other works, people, or an event. Today in class, we specifically discussed historic and biblical allusions that Percival Everett included in Zulus. This got me thinking a lot about my past knowledge and how authors use allusions to allow their readers to dive into much more information outside of the text.

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Everyone’s a Critic

Despite that utmost passion you have in what say, believe or even think, there is always going to be someone out there who will disagree with your message with enough fury to match the passion which you possess. Whether what they have to say is beneficial or intently malicious, everyone has some sort of opinion, however, some are just better at expressing it than others. We are all exposed to criticism from the day that we are born, from the simplest form of a critique from a sibling or friend to the feedback and corrections from a teacher on an assignment. Despite the negative connotation that the word “criticism” is typically associated with, criticism can also be construed as constructive, for sometimes we get lost in our own thoughts. Criticism can be seen as a link back to back to reality through the way it offers an alternative perspective on the matter at hand. Everything is open to interpretation, but as humans we have a tendency to value our interpretation over others. Continue reading “Everyone’s a Critic”