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Wednesday, Jan. 23

January 23, 2013

SpongeBob: Today we talked about a lot of stuff in a pretty short time. There was a handout on Jung (which you can download here); the big takeaway was that his ideas about dreams were markedly different from Sigmund Freud’s. Freud saw dreams as essentially negative; a place in which repressed memories of traumatic events found their expression. Jung saw them as a repository of thoughts shared by everyone in the world, something he called the collective unconscious. From this collective unconscious, he believed, came archetypes.

Next we talked about Joseph Campbell’s idea about why we have mythologies and religion. All of it, he believed, stemmed from a commonality among cultures:

1. First there is separation — man is cut off from his contact with God.
2. Next, there is inevitable alienation. This is a painful breach. It affects man profoundly.
3. Finally, there is compensation — which comes in the form of myth and religion.

And last, we began brainstorming characters from literature, film, TV, etc., who are similar to SpongeBob: childlike, trusting, naive, essentially uncorrupted and uncorruptable. We ran through a few; on Monday I want you to bring back for me the best example you can think of, and be ready to defend your choice.

Also, if you need it: the course syllabus.

New Media: Today you got the New Media 1.23 – Syllabus and we reviewed what we talked about last Wednesday. You have a reading assignment for Monday, which can be found here: New Media 1.23 – 8 Traits of New Media Landscape. There might be a quiz… annotate it if you need to.

Family Values: Today we talked not about TV, but radio — the root of all sitcoms. We discussed the ways in which radio predated TV as a big physical object in the people’s living rooms during the first part of the 20th century. (Think Christmas Story.) We talked about the fact that these objects were expensive, that there was therefore only one of them in most households, and that it would have been natural for families to gather around this big, expensive object to be entertained.

Next, we listened to a segment from one of the most popular broadcasts during the Golden Age of Radio: Amos and Andy and “Marriage Proposal Mixup.”

I had you fill out responses after we listened. People rightly pointed out that the “mistaken identity” plot has been used on innumerable sitcoms; that Andy’s character (the clueless, easily-duped protagonist) has likewise been recycled endlessly (pay attention, SpongeBob folks!); and that the idea of white actors portraying black characters like Amos, Andy and Kingfish could be a source of uneasiness (which it was).

Remember for Friday to please bring a notebook you can use for this course. Any notebook will do.

Also, if you need it: the course syllabus.

Press: Please think about your choices for Friday, when we will continue our discussion.

7th Grade Enrichment: Today we had our first meeting. We responded to, and discussed, the philosophical problem “The Freeloader.” Then we took a sample spelling quiz, and I gave out a list of words for next week’s spelling bee.

Survey Screenwriting: Today we talked a bit about spectacle and you have a homework assignment for Monday, which can be found here: Screenwriting 1.23 – Assignment 1 Spectacle.

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