I learnt a lot about myself today, whilst sitting terrified next to the man I had decided was going to kill me. On a plane I had predicted would plummet to earth full of empty bodies, leaving their empty minds and thoughts straddling the clouds. In a seat I had set the fortune for; to burn with my carcass over Portugal, or France. I’d chosen the role of the innocent man who sat peacefully next to me, ordering a sandwich and some wine (the last supper). I learnt a lot about myself today.
It scares, but also excites, me how quickly things are changing in today’s society. The technological landscape we live upon has an ability to manipulate and create nuance in things we may have previously thought stable. For instance, fashion. What was previously a straightforward industry is now a complex culture that thrives off the changes instigated by modernity. Designers are pressured to create new and exciting products to fuel the desires of its growing audience. People don’t just want the product, they want to know how it was made, who made it, and who’s wearing it.
The fetishism surrounding violence in the media often creates an uncomfortable landscape which forces us to question our moral status. Media surrounding violent events such as 9/11 are discussed by Daniel O’Gorman when he suggests:
While Islamic terrorism might be seen to enact more manifest violence than US-style capitalism…the drive within each to privilege fundamental detail over the nuanced complexities of world history is necessarily conductive to a reinforcement of arbitrarily delineated – and mutually antagonistic – categories of collective identity.
As an A-level English literature student, particularly interested in the poetry aspect of the course, I found Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ song Same Love inspiring in terms of analysis. On first listening I could immediately pick out the various techniques usually associated with poetry and started to appreciate the way in which the lyricist had used language and method to manufacture such a heart-warming, gripping piece of writing.
One approach to ensue academic progression seems to be fixated on a competitive atmosphere where people are compared and shown off to encourage better performance for peers. But surely this has negative consequences? There are benefits, I admit, but surely context restricts these. In a classroom, for example, I feel it is unnecessary to flaunt and boast about good grades in front of a student in a lesser position. That student may have tried twice as hard as you and felt confident and content with their results. That is until you buried them in your selfish exploits and lavish demonstrations of superiority and intellect.