Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Relations with the public...

I think I’m getting a little more focused on this now. The point Professor Jeffreys makes in one of his responses with the reference to Billy the Kid has a certain resonance that I’m starting to grasp. If I’m not mistaken I believe he’s referencing the circulation of comic books that valorized the New Mexico Outlaw’s exploits. Those things got real popular. Sure, it was news, and it was entertaining. They were heavily laden with ads but it was the stories that kept readers captive. The ads then became incidental exposure in the marketplace of ideas rather than manifest content. How very Meiklejonian of them.

From that realization I’m reminded of Scott Carrier’s suggestion that I should give the Capstone project a narrative structure—the whole Odysseus epic I mentioned in the previous post—rather than an academic, argumentative one. To do that would make the academia incidental same as the ads, and it would give the piece a clever form of meta-commentary. I can never resist doing that. Academia and advertising placed on an equal plane? Déjà vu.

From there I gain insight into methods that marketing and advertising professionals in Internet and new-media-driven industries are trying to do. It is not that they really want to provide an up-front service as much as it is that they are developing ways to make their true motives appear incidental. It’s a bait and switch. It was always a bait and switch.


  1. Odysseus the Kid,

    The last paragraph of the latest post suggests something rather fascinating and unlike previous capstone theses that I have seen. So, next post, I would really love to see you outline the narrative. Don't necessarily worry yet whether you're writing memoir-style or gonzo-style. Just give us (and yourself) a sense of the trajectory. After that, I'd be interested in seeing how the academic incidentals might function in the finished project.

    Odysseus, after all, was a sort of Billy the Kid of that era. Stories about him circulated so widely that the Homeric Odyssey narrative may have a kind of meta-commentary already, with many references to the renown of O throughout the Hellenic world. And then, those famous wanderings are given to O himself to narrate in one relatively short section of the whole tale, which is mostly about bringing O home at last, hooking him up with his kid and old swineherd as sidekicks, and letting him lay waste to the suitors, Bronson-style.

    Legends sell the tellers who sell the legends.

  2. I can only sit back and watch the clever gun-slinging going on between you two, like a nerd at a show down.
    So (in my nerdiest voice) I will only say that I don't mind the narrative vs. argumentative approach. It could definitely make for an entertaining and creative project, true to your outlaw style. However, it does still need to be an academic paper ... including discussion of academic sources a plenty. So I'm just offering a nerdy bit of warning (in case necessary), approach it how you will, but the content should ultimately be there. If all that was totally unnecessary then go ahead and shoot the hat off my head, and I'll turn tail straight out of dodge.