Today’s daily create was to make something relating to chickens, so I took this snapchat video of my dog, made it a gif, and added a Very Scary Chicken to look like it was chasing her. Voila! Do you like your chicken literal or metaphorical? I wish I could have figured out how to crop a video and nix the sticker, but c’est la vie, she’s still a lovely gif!
1/21/2020- papa smurf ain’t having it
This daily create required me to do a little bit of research, because I did not know what the tweet was referring to. Fortunately, it did not take too long to get a good understanding of the scenario. I decided on this gif because Papa Smurf is conveying a level of anger appropriate to such a denial, plus the colors make me happy.
1/22/2020- memory lane ft a haiku
The 1/21/20 daily create was really fun for me; I played around near my hometown until I found a haiku that I liked- one that, ironically enough, was about home- and this one spoke to me immediately. I like this photo with the haiku because it is my literal, physical home, and one of my closest friends, aka one of the people that make it more than just a city! 10/10 I love being sentimental.
1/23/19- an excuse to go to giant
This one was really fun because I got to a) go to a grocery store and get more yogurt! and b) use colored pencils! which are two things that make for a really good time! Fortunately, the map doesn’t show all of the time I spent staring at the yogurt, or the time spent yearning for overpriced Starbucks coldbrews!
That’s quite the mouthful, isn’t it? If only there was a shorter, more efficient way to refer to the three of those ladies who all have the same name! Well fear not, my fellow classmates! Such a word does, in fact, exist! The goal of the (visual) assignment I completed today was to use this non-translatable word generator to choose a word from a different language that does not translate into English, and then insert that word into an image that better defines it. Interested? Check out the original assignment bank post here!
My word was “naamgenoot”, which is Dutch for “people who share the same name.” The image I selected stemmed from the fact that I had recently watched the 1989 Heathers movie, and have been a big fan of the soundtrack for a while now (its “Big Fun” amiright?), so the moment this word popped on the screen, my brain was filled with echos of “♪ Heather, Heather, Heather, and someone♪” on loop. However, I decided to table the musical for the sake of sticking more accurately to our 80’s theme. The final product ended up looking like this:
and I am pretty pleased with how it turned out, although I do wish I could have figured out how to recreate the gradient sort of look (any ideas?). It definitely takes a little bit of somewhat niche knowledge (or at least that’s what my mother said when I showed her), but I think once the plot of Heathers– heck, once the names of those three lovely ladies down the side are revealed (I’ll give you a hint: its Heather!)- the meaning of “naamgenoot” becomes pretty clear. To create this, I started out with the 1989 Heathers movie poster.
I then opened it up on Gimp (Photoshop but free!) and started editing the photo. First, I color dropped the navy blue and painted over the orange letters that were on the navy blue chalkboard thing. Then I did the same thing with the parts of the background that were black. From there, I chose a font that looked similar to the one in the 1989 poster, and bing bang boom, she was complete! However, this was not the first iteration of my Heathers-but-make-it-naamgenoot poster. This was.
Come on, doesn’t that just scream “people who have the same name” to you? To explain myself, I was attempting to mimic the colors each Heather wears, and was going to add some croquet mallets (which I was originally spelling “crochet”) to give a more abstract feel. I actually spent upwards of an hour and a half trying to make this idea work, without fruition. It probably didn’t help that this was my first time ever using Gimp (or any software similar to it). But all’s well that ends well!
Overall, I really liked the way the over-the-top 80’s style and aesthetic meets underlying crisis that I was referring to in my earlier post (this one!) in the movie Heathers. Heathers does contrast to the other 80’s media I’ve noted in that the strong independent female protagonist does Not end up a mellow mother/housewife (*ahem* Regina from Night of the Comet). To me, this piece highlights the way each Heather in the film is essentially interchangeable. When one falls, another will take her place and everything will remain exactly as it were. To the world, they are the exact same person, and this word is a convenient way to lump them all together while sounding scholarly, rather than just straight-up rude.
This is my weekly summary for the first week of ds106, which went by smoothly for the most part, but certainly with a little bit of a learning curve. I definitely got more confident and excited for the course as I worked through the assignments, going from overwhelmed and anxious to ridiculously excited and having a grand time. The first thing I did was create my website, which went pretty smoothly- at least it did once I realized I was not supposed to use wordpress.com! I didn’t purchase anything, thankfully, just sat at my desk, confused, until I decided to reread the assignment’s details. Getting creative with my ds106 subdomain and making it look all cute was a nice way to ease into the process; it gave me some confidence in my ability to do the things this class requires. Its definitely a little bit cheesy, but that suits my personality and I’m really happy with they way it turned out.
After my subdomain was up and running, I decided to create my accounts, which went even more smoothly than the website formation! I created the twitter first, then the instagram, then youtube, then soundcloud. Creating the accounts was the easy part though. My twitter post was relatively trouble-free; however, I did have to force myself a little bit more concise than I usually am.
But not to fear! Because there is no character limit the other platforms! After Twitter, I took to Instagram, because it was the one I was most familiar with, and captioned a little bit more elaboration- still pretty basic, “I’m excited and am a student” type stuff- and paired it with a photo of myself that’s a pretty good representation of me but toned-down; I have a huge affinity for silk flowers and LOVE craft stores, but am not usually as ~chill~ as that photo makes me seem. Regardless, a lovely photo and a good pictoral introduction to me!
After my instagram post, I realized it was time to finally face Youtube, the platform I had been dreading. Not only did it require some kind of editing skills, but I would have to record myself and hear my own voice, and although I generally have good self-confidence, that just ain’t it chief. I was planning on filming my video in my dorm, but was unable to because my roommate was hanging out with a friend in the dorm. Reluctantly, I set off to the HCC, hoping to find an empty room where nobody would see me. I ended up in a conference-type room in the basement floor, with GLASS WALLS. I was mad pressed, but powered through for the sake of ds106!
Fortunately, once I started filming I realized just how much FUN it was. It was absolutely brilliant, playing around with my “set” and tweaking my “lines”, I had so much fun that I completely forgot all of my insecurities. While filming the first part of my video, I did a “take”, and was pretty pleased with it, but wanted to do one more to see if I could get it any better. So I stopped the camera, reset my props, and went through the process one more time- only to realize that I never restarted the camera. So I re-watched the take I did have and decided it was Good Enough (not just because I was lazy, I did legitimately like it!). I did all of the filming on my phone, and all the footage was pretty high quality, but I ran into trouble exporting it onto my computer, which is actually the problem I was Least expecting to run into. I spent about an hour trying to figure out what was up, plugging my phone into my laptop to do it that way- to no avail-; trying to email the footage as an attachment- to no avail-; downloading the OneDrive app on my phone to modify the video file type- to no avail. I was definitely mad frustrated, but I finally ended up getting the video onto my computer using some kind of icloud option in my email. Honestly I’m not really sure what it was, but it got the footage to my computer so I was not about to question it. I used the editing software that came pre-downloaded onto my computer, which, although quite basic, got the job done, and ended up with a video that I am Ridiculously proud of. I had so much fun making it, and I really think it captured most of the essence of who I am. So I sent it to my entire family and my close friends. For validation. Which I received. Because it is a brilliant video!!
I think it is important to note that I currently have one (1) subscriber, and it’s my mother! Who made a gmail account solely to subscribe to my channel! Which is positively lovely! Validation aside, making the video was actually way more fun than I thought it was going to be, so now I high key want to make more, which I will likely be doing! So that was a fun outcome of ds106 week one!
My final introduction was on SoundCloud, where I decided to spice up my intoductions by sharing my current favorite words. The main theme of my favorite words is those that are fun to say, like “wahoo” and “bonkers.” The SoundCloud intro was easier than I thought it would be, simply a matter of saying everything correctly and not butchering word order!
After the introductions (and the mega-intro blog post that you can find here: )
came the reflection on 80’s pop culture. My mind, after the initial vibes of Big Hair and Flashy Neon, goes immediately to Broadway shows, and then to the AIDS crisis, so I tried to figure out how I could connect all of those together. I think my thoughts on 80’s pop culture were a little bit too serious, I focused more on the underlying chaos and issues than on the culture itself, but once I started, I couldn’t- and didn’t want to- stop. It began with the realization that the big hair neon stereotype was so pervasive that it seemed to be hiding something, trying desperately to seem normal and to mask underlying chaos and horrific things happening. The film I watched, Night of the Comet, was a super interesting supplement to my thoughts. The whole “last 4 people on earth because everyone else is either dead or a zombie” plot of the movie certainly contributed and supported my thesis of “there was some underlying ANGST in the 80’s that The Man ™ does not want us to think about”. Another super interesting tidbit was the transition of Regina from a strong, independent female character, who holds all of the records on the theatre video game and who was ready to shoot anybody who threatened her, into a very stereotypical housewife and mother figure. That transition, and given that the ending is a “happy ending”, implies some interesting things about the role of women (see: they need to be mothers and also to have a Strong Male Figure), which would track, because cultures in chaos tend to revert to more traditional gender roles and ways of thinking. You can read all about it here!
Overall, week one of ds106 has got me mad pumped for the rest of the course. I really enjoy the creative outlet and the way it has (already) forced me to hone my problem-solving skills. I’m really hope to learn more video editing skills, maybe download some better software with more features, but am definitely also excited for all the other aspects of ds106. The 80’s pop culture theme is going to be fun to work with, and hopefully I will find a better balance of serious and lighthearted moving forward. Until next week!
an important ps! as of submitting this weekly summary i have two (2) subscribers! the new addition is one of the close friends I sent the video to! i’m on my way to full-fledged influencer!
80’s pop culture in general, at least when I think about it, is very big and loud and over-the-top, but upon consideration, this is a very stereotypical, 2020-type view of things.
As the gif suggests, this portrait of the 80’s is a very modern, “Jimmy Fallon Tonight Show satire” portrayal, and although there is no denying that the 80’s was the era of big hair, neon colors, and questionable fashion choices (see: shoulder pads), chalking up the 80’s as a decade to those few things is simply a travesty, and a falsehood at that.
The 80’s was also the era of many hot Broadway musicals, with shows like Phantom of the Opera, Cats, and Les Miserables premiering (in the United States) in the 80’s. The insanely popular musical Rent, although not written until the 90’s, takes places in the middle of the AIDS crisis in New York City. Rent ended up facing a little bit of controversy because of the way it seemed to bury the problems of homelessness and AIDS and LGBTQ+ rights in catchy songs and well-off characters, almost romanticizing the issues.
However, this seems to be similar to how we as Americans deal with the 80’s in general. We couch all discussion in jokes about the horrible fashion and silly hairdos, not ever truly touching on the origins and issues that made the 80’s Like That. We focus on shoulder pads and rock music rather than the discrimination faced by LGBTQ+ folk and the terror of the AIDS crisis. Billy Joel’s “We didn’t start the fire,” for example: the majority of the references for the 80’s (only in the last verse) are very much negative, with lyrics like “heavy metal suicide// foreign debts, homeless vets, AIDS, crack,” none of which are terribly positive things.
A film that I watched, Night of the Comet, seems to capture this underlying angst that usually remains shoved into the metaphorical closet. The plot of this film, which came out in 1984, is that a comet comes to earth and wipes out almost all life, turning nearly everybody into either a pile of dust, or a blood-thirsty zombie figure. The film has lots of fear and murder, at one point two children are shown nearly getting killed for the purpose of maybe finding a cure for the zombie-fication. Additionally, although unrelated to the widespread cultural angst this film shows, the end is very conservative and traditional. The main female protagonist, Regina, who, throughout the film is shown defending herself and taking no grief from anybody, ends up in a stereotypical mother/housewife role. This was incredibly interesting to me, because I truly expected Regina to remain a strong, independent woman. However, when I consider the fact that this movie was made in 1984, it becomes less of a surprise. Regina says something along the lines of “its up to us to uphold civilization” so of course she would fall into a housewife/mother role, because that is- according to the thinking of the time, not my personal beliefs- the only civilized place for a lady to be.
In conclusion, a lot of the loud, raucous 80’s culture seems to be a desperate attempt to keep things normal and secure despite a wave of chaos and change, what with computers becoming common in homes in the 80’s and the domestic and foreign chaos. Not to say, of course, that that makes 80’s culture inherently bad, or that 80’s culture can only truly be enjoyed by nitpicking it for metaphors. I enjoy all of these things just as much at a surface-level of appreciation, especially the abundance of neon colors!