Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Proposal

Those unfortunate enough to know me will no doubt realize that I am a big fan of pop culture in all its iterations - hence my endless YouTubing, my musings on pop culture outlets, and my hidden references to various undercurrent trends. So, after some restructuring of my final topic, I have settled on a widely known pop cultural phenomenon - Las Vegas.

Baudrillard and Umberto Eco have written several well-received articles/books on the Las Vegas phenomenon, aptly applying the term "hyperreal" to Vegas' absurd mixture of images and the saturation of a uniquely-Vegas persona - the hedonistic, 24/7 wonderland of indulgence. I take a similar view but I take off from a different point - "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas."

What does the saying (a relatively new phrase adopted from a much older vaudevillian tradition - or so they say) mean to the individual's cognitive mapping of the Vegas theme? How does a separation of reality connoted within "stays in Vegas" contribute to the parole of the Vegas experience? How do perceptions of the Vegas reality mesh with our pop cultural identifications of Vegas? And why might this saying be already out of place?

I'll be looking extensively at Jameson, de Certeau, and Terranova, while making asides with excerpts and ideas from Paglen. I'm hoping to look at geographies of the mind and place - and their relationships within a networked individual. It's going to be a jazzy time.


Also, something I found:

Ever wondered who creates those needlessly complicated yet hauntingly pretty user-interfaces for Hollywood-blockbuster computer systems? They may look all futuristic and Wow but have no practical utility in real life - clunky, complicated, and non-intuitive, and probably as unfriendly with other systems as Macs. It's an interesting thing to ponder about how one grasps information technology - is society really still so technologically-blind that Hollywood has to produce images that have no bearing on current tech trends and instead chooses to dazzle the public with fancy-gee-whiz sorts? What does it say about Hollywood's perception of our access to information given that a UI is an access to information?

*I've done some low-level intelligence stuff before... The films that are ostensibly set in the current day with modern equipment featured in the video - Bourne, MI:3, Smith - does not represent reality. We use(d) Windows and Linux just like everyone else.

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