Final Weekly Summary: it really is The End.

For my final project, I wanted to stick with some of the themes that were implemented by my group projects – the audio and visual projects – and frame my narrative through the lens of my character’s point of view. The largest part of my final project was a VCSO (photo sharing) account that is run by Lorraine Baxter in her efforts to document what she believes is the beauty in humanity. There is a definitive shift in thematic content about halfway through her account as she begins documenting places that are, in a post-apocalyptic world, vacant of living people.

“…she would spend as much time as she could, every minute of every day, using her artistic and journalistic perspective to preserve the narratives and personalities of individuals – living, dead, or soon to be dead – for the sake of any potential humanity as to thrive as it once did at any point in the future.”

I wanted to close my project by incorporating Lorraine one last time. In order to make her “character” work within the narrative, I chose to leave the specific “origin” and explanation behind the pathogen that ended humanity confidential. Part of my project is meant to shift the focus more towards how the cover up involved is primarily what led to the devastation being as bad as it was. Because Baxter’s efforts were journalistic in nature, I wanted her to be somewhat in the dark, so (we) could be exposed to information through the literal lens of her camera and the figurative lens of her POV. I thought it would put a more unique spin/angle on the project.

All in all, this was a very cool class. For sure not one I excelled in, but one I enjoyed nonetheless. The exposure to different formats of storytelling was fun – but the more enthralling parts of the semester, I felt, were the assigned readings reflective of actual, impending realities that could lead to apocalyptic events in the real world; I couldn’t get enough of them. Considering how terribly difficult a full college course load could be, I really appreciated being able to take a class where the readings are actually very interesting, and the assignments are simply fun to do.

I was especially fond of the daily creates in particular; I suggested several, like far more than what was requested, so I hope at least some of them could potentially be useful to future students. We were asked to do 7 final ones, but I had some trouble getting all the embedded content in my project to work and submitted it late, so I did 14 TDCs hoping it would maybe even it out a little. Like when you put one piece of lettuce on a burger, so when the burger gets to your stomach and your body is like, “Oh HEY yes okay fatty greasy food to the left thank you,” the lettuce can just be like “Oh no man he’s cool he’s with me.” That’s the kind of effect I’m hoping having completed twice the number of assigned TDCs might have this week.

I also actually enjoyed the two longer video assignments in particular having taken an “Intro to Cinema” class last semester; those were right up my alley, and I was able to do them in iMovie, so it was a win-win all around for me. For future students, I do strongly suggest the Cinema textbook I recommended in my weekly summary post for the first assignment. There is one section that is really helpful in breaking down the shots/frames/mise-en-scene elements for the video essays – more so than all of the clips put together, I felt.

Basically, this class is awesome, and I would absolutely recommend it to any students in any major, even if just as one of those “you-have-to-take-this-weird-awesome-class-before-you-graduate” type courses. I’m glad I did it. I was worried I hadn’t taken enough super “fun” or “cool” classes in college, and now I can graduate knowing I definitely had that experience.

 

The End is upon us

At the beginning, nothing really seemed out of the ordinary. In The Digital Age, people all over the world were constantly receiving exposure to breaking news updates and viral media content on a vast range of topics every day. We had all heard of the “Apocalyptic Fiction Genre” that seemed to be only beholden to conspiracy theorists and melodramatic English majors. As it permeated film and cinema, works like “The Walking Dead,” “Warm Bodies,” “San Andreas,” “The 100,” “The Host,” “Doomsday,” “I Am Legend,” “The Matrix,” “The Hunger Games,” “The Divergent Series,” and so on entertained audiences with the notion of a global pandemic, a sentiment that could only ever be met with empathy during brief bouts of international news coverage over episodes of global distress ranging from topics like the “Swine Flu” epidemic to the ever-evolving effects seen around the globe of man-made Climate Change. It seemed like, in this fast-paced society whose shifting social constructs, political ideologies, and cultural perceptions about the human experience were rapidly evolving, inciting conflict and debate in even the most remote corners of the world, the actual prospect of an impending apocalyptic event, or series thereof, was improbable: outlandish, if you will. But, once it began, it became difficult to overlook the subtle changes that were taking place in our communities as the earliest symptoms started to present.

 

It didn’t stop there.

Slowly, we began to see people we’d known all our lives changing right before our eyes. A sudden onset rise in instances of unpredictable temperamental behavior and rage-fueled interpersonal interactions, automobile accidents, and a dramatic incline of crime in virtually every major city and surrounding areas in the world started to advance the rhetoric of conspiracy theorists, religious extremists, and apocalyptic narrative enthusiasts everywhere.  It still seemed surreal – almost as if it was just unusual enough to be unnerving, but not crazy enough to incite real global panic.

It wasn’t until physical manifestations of the virus began to manifest that the overlapping reports around the world actually began to intersect. With the shocking onset of physical anomalies appearing in previously completely healthy individuals going viral through viral social media awareness campaigns and press releases on what was slowly evolving into a mass public concern over possible DNA-altering substances and/or technology, the speculations of previously overlooked parties began to solidify in the realm of public opinion.

People everywhere were demanding answers for their toddlers shocking new tail or their best friend’s new super strength or their co-workers newfound ability to sprout wings on demand. Whether or not all of these reports are confirmed is still unclear at this time; over the period of just days, several billion reports flooded news stations, social media, CDA tracking facilities, government reports of pathogen tracking and journalistic efforts to pursue the evolving controversy. These reports varied in nature, some citing the growth of extra limbs or the altering of their epidermis to reflect the exterior of many fish, reptiles, and feathered creatures, and others citing the agonizing and unwilled replacement of body parts like eyeballs or limbs with what appears to be non-organic materials. With everything from cyborgs to angels to super heroes being reported around the world, much of the world found it altogether too easy to cast aside what seemed like “rumors” and “hoaxes” reflective of the common and culturally encouraged pursuit of internet virality.

Then, suspicions of a global threat were confirmed when an emergency broadcast warning of a viral biological weapon resembling a pathogen or virus of some kind had been confirmed interrupted television, radio, internet streaming services, WiFi providers, and cell phone updates in virtually every satellite-accessible privately-owned digital device in the world.

Panic ensued.

Transcript of broadcast: An unprecedented flu-like infection of unknown origin is being monitored in nearby human populations. The virus acts upon previously undetected genetic material (inaudible) infected individuals, resulting in unpredictable behaviors. Mutation seems to fall into at least four categories, each expressing themselves differently. The origin of the original genetic material continues to be a mystery, though the CDC and CDE confirm confirm that mutation expression can be deadly or dangerous to the infected individual and those nearby. If you have experienced any abnormal symptoms in the last 72-96 hours, you are encouraged to report to the following (inaudible)- *end broadcast*

Emergency Broadcast

Amidst the practically immediate panic and global outrage rooted in confusion and fear, the CDE released the following memo. The rapidly evolving rumors of government testing on citizens, extra-terrestrials, and experimental technology prompted a series of public statements, press releases, follow-up interviews and basic crisis management initiatives from both the CDC and the CDE.

 

Breaking CDE Interview!

The inadequate explanations, lacking advisory content, and vague language used in this rhetoric backfired as billions of people around the world were succumbing to the virus. Small citizen democracies formed as a strong sense of distrust towards governing bodies advanced conspiracy theories about the virus. Rumors of deliberate genocidal population control, alien technology, extra-terrestrial pathogens, foreign invasion preemptive strikes, Artificial Intelligence overreach, humanity-ending-pandemic, etc. spread rapidly as video footage of the infected circulated. Rumors of such footage or images being removed from social media within hours or sometimes minutes advanced concerns of cover-up efforts and government conspiracies. The following excerpt is from one of the most-shared articles concerning such matters. Over 700 million people are projected to have seen and/or shared the original blog post, often vocalizing connections between their personal experiences and expertise in relevant fields.

Government Made Virus

The Eagle Report of Galesburg, IL. featured a harrowing segment on the pandemic, encouraging callers to directly describe their own symptoms and any information/events/experiences they may have been witnesses to in lieu of this matter. Citing the CDE memo, host Lorraine Baxter sought to shed light on the ambiguous nature of the rhetoric that is being used to inform citizens around the country of the situation. The broadcast specifically focused on themes of censorship, transparency, citizen autonomy, and the need for clarification of recent events and of resources that are available to citizens at this time. This controversial broadcast was interrupted by a nerve-wracking interruption warning listeners in her area of the extent of the pandemic.

Around the time of the broadcast, the following infection maps were leaked by WikiLeaks from the CDC headquarters. The first thing journalists reporting on this issue noticed is that these maps seem to indicate that the CDC knew about the pathogen almost a week ago, several days before it became public knowledge in any capacity. Secondly, seeing how quickly the pathogen was being distributed across the continental United States, seemingly from major population centers and densely populated cities, prompted a call to action that was supported by private councils, small government leaders, private citizens, special interest groups, doctors, law enforcement, and professionals in relevant fields that was entirely supported by public opinion in un-infected regions to close all long-distance public transit services to prevent further advancement of the virus.

As journalists on all media platforms reported on the public outcry in uninfected regions to shut down all highways, airports, train stations, etc., there was an uproar from populations within the affected communities, panicked about losing any chance of escaping the infection zones. Major population centers descended into near absolute chaos (note the clip featured in the radio show broadcast). Rioters, protesters, and looters alike took to the streets despite the countless warnings against defying quarantine regulations. Footage taken from private quarters and buildings of infected citizens and protesters being shot dead on sight in quarantine zones took the internet by storm.

 

Lorraine Baxter, host of The Eagle Report, escaped with two of her colleagues from the studio to take shelter at her home before the quarantine fell on Galesburg, IL. In the time after her city was engulfed on the map by red, she escaped with her camera, voice recorder, tablet, and extraneous supplies, vowing to document as much of humanity as she could before it was “gone forever.” Traveling town to town, hunting down survivors in the aftermath and compiling footage she had taken throughout her career, she started a VCSO account for supporters around the world to turn to in moments of despair or hopelessness.

Within five years, every living human on earth ceased to exist. Countless documents, footage, and evidence obtained during that time indicates that the virus was indeed created and covered up by American government officials. Due to the nature of the cover up, before the cease and desist on foreign and domestic travel was put in place, it is estimated that roughly 35 infected individuals were able to discreetly leave the country; almost all of whom were unaware of their infected status at the time of their travels. The rapid spread of the virus, which may forever be unidentified outside of the conspiracy, through those 35 people is presumed to have led to the very preventable death of the over 7 billion people inhabiting the rest of the planet.

Lorraine, traveling by herself and maintaining strict personal rules for avoiding contamination during her travels, lived to be one of the last 500 people alive. At that point, she had shifted her focus in her photography from documenting humanity for what it was to documenting the tragic kind of beauty in the monuments to our lives we left behind. The second half of her account is mostly photos of abandoned hospitals, schools, government buildings, cultural sites, etc. Some of the sites were pristine and quite well-preserved, while others were quite bleak in nature.

The remaining people of earth had mostly colonized into smaller factions ranging from roughly 50-90 people scattered around Europe by the time she died. There was one larger group of almost 140, though there seemed to be a general consensus that the smaller the groups were, the better short-term democracies would work, and the less likely they were to become exposed to the virus.

vcso.co/lorrainebaxter

 

 

take one down, pass it around, 12 gallons of water on the bunker wall

Week 12

On assignment notes:

For my 12 stars of media assignments, I chose to re-do my original cover – a GIF of a the last man on earth, Lionel, walking on the beach, which I did before I even got to the ending and found out the closing image is when he swims to shore and the novel ends with him being the last man on earth. Alongside the Animated GIF Cover (5 stars), I also did the Alternate Ending (4 stars), and the Pinterest Board (3 stars). I am particularly proud of the Alternate Ending assignment – I am not cynical enough for the real ending of this novel, and much prefer the one I wrote.

Personal reflection:

This week I had the pleasure of spending submission night in the emergency room, so you could say it ended with a bang on par with both the beginning and end of the world. I have a heart condition, and went to take my medicine last night – however, I did not realize that a friend’s bottle of medication was thrown in with mine over the weekend, and I accidentally took something I wasn’t prescribed that interacted negatively with my heart medicine. However, the terrifying experience prompted me to consider what the end of my life would mean at this point in time, and I am kind of glad I had to hold off on submitting my weekly submission post because my experience last night somehow prompted me to think about this class on a different level.

In the face of death, or in a situation where you realize there is a very real possibility that you might die then and there, people are prompted to think about a LOT of things. Some of them are like significant – people you care about, life-changing events in your life, your “legacy” after you pass, etc. However some of the things that invade your mind could be very, very small memories you didn’t even know you had. The steam from your morning cup of tea. The feeling of getting home from the grocery store and realizing you forgot the same item you have been forgetting to buy for weeks. Your dogs warm breath on your neck when you’re watching tv. The way the energy in a room shifts when someone opens a bottle of alcohol. The feeling of walking down stairs at the gym after pushing yourself on leg day. The dumb little cartoon you read in the Sunday Style section of the paper one morning as a kid while your parents discuss the contents of the current events section beside you.

Last night, I am not kidding, I thought about this class more than I would like to admit. More specifically, I thought about all of the times and all the ways and all the methods this semester that I have been forced to imagine “The End.” It is easy to brush off the concept of an apocalyptic event because it seems like something that will happen in the far distant future, long after everyone you know has passed away, and your distant descendants will have to deal with it. The reality, though, is that for thousands of years, people have brushed off the consequences of their societies in their time and neglected to seriously consider how they, and everyone they know, are further affecting the future of mankind every single day. Will your iPhone or piano or television or favorite pair of shoes end up in some museum one day? Will your descendants remember your name? It’s hard to say what life will be like when the world is so different that we couldn’t even recognize it if we were able to live that long, but, we should be doing our part to shape it in the best way nonetheless.

Whenever we enjoy any aspect of life – getting better after illness, enjoying an ice cream cone, catching up with your best friend on the phone – those experiences happened the way they did, when they did, because of the culmination of efforts, activities, legacies, quotes, writings, discoveries, inventions, policy initiatives, etc. of people whose names we may never know.

One of my favorite viral sentiments is the idea that we talk about time travel as the one scientific phenomenon we may never harness, and we discuss how dangerous it could be, and how you could change one small thing in history and forever alter life as you know it in the future. Yet every day we make small choices that could serve as a cataclysm for the future of humanity and think nothing of it. We like to talk about how changing one small thing in the past could forever alter life today, even though that is basically an impossible situation that we shouldn’t waste time deliberating. Yet we can work to make incremental changes in our lives and communities that could potentially change the future for the better. Last night, I stupidly and absentmindedly took the wrong medicine because I wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing, and I could have died. And I don’t know what would have happened in this world after. I don’t know if I could have lived an amazing life and made a difference in some ineffable, untraceable way or some grand, legacy of a sort – but I also don’t know if my death could have prompted some shift in the universe, in some loved one’s priorities or some cultural understanding, that contributed to the ever-evolving and arguably mutually-deteriorating state of humanity. There is no way for me to have known what would have happened. But today, having lived, I still know that there is no way for me to know what life will be like in 400 years. I am still in the dark, just with slightly different parameters. We all are. But accepting that some things are just unknowable, and that the best we can do is to try every day, even if the successes of our efforts may forever be unknowable, might just be the point of our existence.

Empowering other people – making the world a “better place” – does not just transcend national borders, climate, gender, culture, race, religion – it, above all, transcends time. That is why I believe all lives have some meaning – some significance to the “overall scheme of things.” So the hopelessness that is often associated with not knowing – not knowing when or how you will die, or what will happen after, or what the point of your life was, or what will become of humanity without you, or what the point of humanity was – that sense of hopelessness is the most liberating of all. It gives us the most liberal, flexible parameters to pursue liberty and happiness and to find meaning and fulfillment in our own lives outside of the angst and thousands of years of speculation over the great existential questions that have been and will always only get as far as deliberation. The question shouldn’t be why is the world like this – the question should be what can (we) do in our world as it is, to propel the world that will be beyond it’s current state.

Accept that some things are just unknowable, and that the best we can do is to try every day, even if the successes of our efforts may forever be unknowable.

That, to me, is the most frustrating obstacle of the human condition.

QUOTW: Look to your right. The thing you see is the only weapon you’ll have during the End. How will you use it to survive?

A: To my right is a perfect stranger. I suppose this could be either super helpful or kind of a hindrance, depending on his capacity to survive in a post-apocalyptic landscape. Is he a chemist or an engineer or a doctor or a military guy? Or is he like a poet with the muscle mass of a sloth? I would actually have to talk to him to find out if and how he could be useful in the event of a catastrophic event, but I’m not going to do that because he is currently arguing with someone on the phone about the correct pronunciation of “Apartheid” at great length.

Emerging Evidence

Emerging Evidence: Today I found the following flyer stapled to every tree/pole in my neighborhood. It was also trending on social media and on every office building I drove past. It’s everywhere – it seems like it’s from some kind of intel seeking/leaking organization… I don’t know what to think, but I’m nervous. Are they conspiracy theorists? Is this some secret society of journalists? Or pathological intelligence leakers? Are they criminals? Heroes? Vigilantes? Is this even real? What do we do. This pandemic thing is getting very real very fast.

 

 

 

 

Re-Wardrobing The Last Man

For one of my media assignments, I went a different direction. I made a Pinterest boat for the The Countess of Windsor, who for reference is described by Wikipedia as, “Mother of Adrian and Idris, an Austrian princess and former Queen of England. She is haughty and ambitious, scheming to restore the monarchy through her children.”

I went classic princess vibes, but with a stronger air of pompousness. This meant using a more dramatic tiara style, instating what would probably be a real fur shawl, and a LOT of gold embellishments. She is a schemer, but she is not necessarily smart or conniving. Her interests are primarily shallow and self-serving in nature, and she is aesthetically very bold in her expression of worth and monetary stance and impractical in her employment of traditional “rich person clothes” and snobbish attitude even in lieu of a world-ending plague. She dresses almost as if she expects she is immune to the plague due to being so beautiful. 

Re-Designing The Last Man

After having read the novel, I realized that my first book cover was pretty much flawless. It fit the ending – the most significant part of the narrative – perfectly. So I decided to take it in a new, more satirical direction. This GIF focuses more on the internal emotions of Lionel as I would presume them to be in the format of a meme. I used footage of Carlton from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in one of his most distraught/dramatic/iconic scenes to illustrate Lionel’s presumable frustration at his situation.

I thought it was pretty funny, but I honestly don’t think I could out-do my first rendition of the cover. So this was a more lighthearted endeavor.

 

Last Man – Large

Rescripting The Last Man:

Alternate Ending:

The novel ends with Lionel swimming to shore and coming to the realization that he is the last man on earth. I kind of hated that, so I changed it. I mean it was a great book – but I like my apocalyptic fiction to be more inspiring or thought-provoking than saddening or negative in nature. So, I wrote a new ending where Clara and Adrian survive, too, and the three of them proceed to make a home for themselves. As any remaining evidence of The Final Plague (what I’m calling it) disappears, and they come to the conclusion that they are safe to live their lives, but bear the weight of being the only surviving members of mankind, they begin laying the groundwork for a whole new world…

 

As the storm rolled on over the sea, Adrian, Clara, and Lionel gather themselves amongst the wreckage of the ship. Within minutes, the image of a shoreline appears amidst the lingering fog, and as the weather dissipates with the passing of the storm, Clara was struck by a sense of hope she had not felt since Switzerland. Evelyn’s face appears in her mind, and as she begins to shed tears at the next wave of their journey, she recalls their time in Milan. The thought of that period and Evelyn’s inevitable end in typhus eradicates that hopefulness all at once as the ever-coming waves of existential reality and awareness over the state of the world and loss of almost all humanity are pushed back to the forefront of her mind. The sudden return of a hyperawareness-induced fear-driven survival mentality prompts her to revisit the realism that there will be no truly safe place; there will be no true sense of comfort, not even in the appearance of land after their ordeal. She rises, facing Adrian and Lionel.

“The ship is wrecked – we need to swim. Now. Before the climate shifts and we can’t find the shoreline again,” she states, hiking up her skirt and climbing to the edge of the craft. She glances over to see them still slowly processing their surroundings. “Let’s MOVE.”

The frigid waters flushed their complexions and awoke whatever fogginess had overcome the gentlemen. As they swam, the fear they had lived with for so long began to spin internal concerns over the contents of the water. The seemingly inherent safety of land over the stretch of water between the three survivors and the sand channeled their focus – as they swam in silence, and the shoreline grew closer, that deep, internal sense of concern for self-preservation began to shift to what awaited them.

Thirteen years later…

The sounds of the children playing drew a small grin across Lionel’s face. He leaned over to glance out the window above the sink, where the five of them could be seen chasing each other through the grass and shrieking in the light of day. He returned to washing the dishes.

Behind him, Adrian and Clara entered the kitchen. The golden-hour sunlight instated this tonality of calm, one that they were all coming to accept with each passing year.

“How were they today?” asked Clara.

“They kept asking about The Old World – they’ve been particularly curious since they found the wreckage a couple miles out. I went back this morning and buried the remains I found at the site. I also removed the engines so they could play on the cars.” Lionel turned to Clara as she joined his side, set a burlap sack down on the floor, and began drying the plates in the stack on the counter.

“How was your trip to town?” He asked.

Adrian had returned from outside, unloading the contents of the vehicle with each shift.

“It was good! We got an excellent haul. We found a bookstore we hadn’t known about until today and raided it – we were able to pull like 20 new books for the kids. We also picked up some wine and more first-aid supplies from the infirmary.”

Clara turned back to Adrian, curious about the time he had taken to select the books they’d brought.

“What are you teaching the kids this week?”

“We are discussing the foundations of the future republic. The incentives that are assumed of tyranny versus the value of a society governed by the people, and the implications of their role in the future of mankind in terms of establishing the first colony and working to maintain the principles they are reading about after the three of us have passed.” He uncorked a bottle of distilled water and poured a glass; his eyes slowly fixated on the bubbles in the tonic rising to the surface. “I know we are doing the right thing, but looking at the young girls now, I can’t help but become more and more distraught at what my role will be when they come of age.”

Clara and Lionel held their focus on the dishes – the sloshing water and squeaking of the soapy washcloth were the only sounds, accompanied by the occasional laughing shriek from the kids outside. She looked up through the window; recalling the plan they had hatched over a decade ago, she felt all at once every memory of having had each child. Seven pregnancies in thirteen years. The complications with the final three occurred to her; she shifted her stance and returned her attention to the task at hand.

“They will come to understand,” Lionel said, “and if they are the last of mankind, at least our species will come to an end with the best of us.”

The silence dwindled as Adrian stacked the bookshelf with the new texts. Outside, the sunset gradually thrust their little society into darkness. Around world, vegetation overgrew former structures of societies past. Wild fauna and descendants of domesticated pets from before their time lived freely amidst the remains of cities, ancient ruins from cultures long before The Final Plague had taken its first victim, and coexisted amongst the remnants of billions of people from The Old World.

As the children returned home upon the inarguable darkness of night, around the world, testaments to the human condition juxtaposed the inevitability of every existential question humanity had failed to answer since the dawn of its existence. Lionel and Clara set the table as Adrian loaded the shelves with the languages, rhetoric, science, history, mathematics, technology, policy, arts, writing, and philosophies that the future of mankind would be built upon – and as the future of the human race sat down at the table behind him, seven of ten chairs scraped against the floor. He continued to ponder the ramifications of every word he said to them, as he had for every day of the last twelve years. He joined the Mother and Father of humanity in taking their seats at the table, and they began discussing the children’s new playground.

Outside, the world was silent, and the sounds of their laughter transcended the darkness of what once was for the rest of time.

 

 

11:11 And Other Lucky Things

Week 11 Reflection:

On luck:

In 3rd grade, I wrote my first academic essay; it was a research paper on grizzly bears. In 4th grade, I wrote my second one on Harriet Tubman. From that point on, research papers were my thing, and still are. I still think bears are awesome, and Tubman is my favorite female role model. For my 22nd birthday, my parents surprised me with an enormous (8ft tall) bear of my own – who I named “Harriet.” What most people don’t know about Harriet, though, is that when nobody is around, she comes to life. For one of this week’s TDC assignments, I was fortunate enough to catch her on film.

On Week 11 work:

I completed the group video show – honestly I’m a little confused in hindsight on the “path” options provided for this week. Aren’t we all supposed to complete the video? Was “Path Two” just the group progress update blog posts? I did them confidently thinking that was fulfilling the requirement, but now that I’m writing the weekly summary post, I’m less sure I finished everything I needed to. That said, I finished the video (see blog post for link) and I’m proud of it. It’s for sure kind of eerie as it plays off of the idea of the erasure of the human race from existence whilst alluding to different theories and mindsets surrounding the concept of “The End,” but the goal was to kind of invoke that internal reaction; to prompt a certain call-to-action by inciting a certain unease through the structure of the narrative. Go take a look!

For my second movie media assignment, I watched “Children of Men,” which was absolutely enthralling. I did the mashup assignment where I focused on the theme of “lack of empathy for immigrants” as I felt it was very relevant in modern society. With the current collective mentality of prejudice towards immigrants rooted in xenophobia, it was very interesting seeing it portrayed in such an emphatic manner and under the circumstances of survival, but in a way that still draws on how the lack of empathy involved in ruthless immigration deterrent tactics reflects poorly on society in general.

I actually had several suggestions for TDC’s that I’ve kind of been thinking about all semester, so I used my blog post to write them out in a list format. Maybe they’re not all total winners, but they seemed to fall in line with the kind of themes and personal digital endeavors that we are often prompted to consider by the Daily Create assignments.

On closing a note:

QOTW: “You hear on the radio that the End has started. What do you do first?”

A: For SURE call my dad. That’s always my first move in a situation of crisis.

Daily Create Ideas

  1. What are current structures/concepts/rituals/themes/traditions/aspects/cultural qualities/etc. in modern society that we should fight to maintain in a post-apocalyptic world? Create a collage that illustrates facets of our society that we should work to keep and build upon despite the circumstances of our planet and species after The End.
  2. If everything on earth was destroyed beyond repair except one object, what should it be and why? Tweet us your response. 
  3. If humans were to experience 100,000 years of evolution overnight, what would we become? Use the character-generator site to illustrate where you think human evolution is headed – given the current state of mankind and a presumed suspension of current apocalyptic suspicions. 
  4. If a Netflix special was made that was based on your current skillset/the current place in your life, what kind of show would you have? How would it be structured? What genre would it be? Create a 30 second promotional video for a Netflix special based on you/your life. 
  5. If the apocalypse started right where you are at this moment and your only form of communication with people outside the situation was via Twitter, what would you tweet amidst the chaos? Would you request help? Profess your feelings? Share a secret? Spread the word about what’s happening? 
  6. Edit a selfie of yours to illustrate what you would look like after a classic, culturally-accepted apocalypse trope; i.e. bitten by a zombie, burned extensively, swollen from floods, shot, turned to ash, etc. Show the before and after on Instagram. 
  7. What is your survival playlist? Create a playlist of songs you would turn to in moments when music could help you function despite the chaos around you, or empower you in in times of crisis, or inspire you in the face of despair… etc. What is your apocalypse playlist? Share the screenshot(s) on Instagram.
  8. Tweet at least two small accounts – local politicians, small organizations, grassroots lobbyists, small companies, friends, local celebrities, restaurants, etc. – with a controversial statement about a potential apocalyptic reality. Make it interesting, respectful, and open-ended enough that they might be prompted to respond. Screenshot what happens and share it on Instagram.
  9. If you found out The End was coming and needed to assemble a team to build a bunker, who would you choose and why? Your team can consist of existing or fictional characters, strangers or friends, professionals or loved ones, etc. Write a “first group text” and put the screenshot on Instagram. Meaning, the first text in your group chat meant to prompt communications, set tone, provide precedent, explain the purpose of the group, and incite a reaction. Share a screenshot of a list of all the other contacts in the group chat in the same post and caption with short explanations behind each of your team picks.
  10. Suppose you could go back in time and tell ONE person ONE sentence – and for whatever reason, they could never tell anyone else – who would you visit and what would you say? Make your response the caption for an Instagram post that illustrates you in that moment with that person.
  11. What do you think was the greatest man-produced cataclysm for the general progress of the human population on earth over the last 100 years and why? Most influential person, thing, invention, discovery, treaty, law, novel, etc. Tweet it!

10 of Spades; as in, they flocked to video week in spades

Week 10 Summary

This week, I do not have much to report. Really. I feel like I said everything there is to say about my week in terms of this class in my assignments – specifically the blog posts for Path Two and the video assignment(s) blog post. So I’m just going to get straight to the main requirement for this post – the QOTW.

Q: What question would you like to ask the class?

A: What is the difference between a lobster with breast implants and a dirty bus stop?

While you ponder the very complex, thought-provoking, and sophisticated question I have posed, please allow me to share ten quotes I found about digital storytelling:

  1. “Story is the song line of a person’s life. We need to sing it and we need someone to hear the singing. Story told. Story heard. Story written. Story read creates the web of life in words.” Christina Baldwin Storycatcher
  2. “If people aren’t taught the language of sound and images, shouldn’t they be considered as illiterate as if they left college with out being able to read or write? ” George Lucas
  3. “Ok, so I totally agree with Stephanie because this was an outstanding assignment. I mean if you had just a class for digital storytelling I would so sign up… ” High School Junior District 99, Downers Grove, IL
  4. “We are our stories. We compress years of experience, thought, and emotion into a few compact narratives that we convey to others and tell to ourselves.” Daniel Pink A Whole New Mind
  5. “Here is a challenge to the young people of our country and those on the other side of the world– to go through the wall that separates the ambassadors and heads of state– to reach into the hearts and minds of peers in foreign lands with the truth as we live it, as we can best convey it– partly in image, partly in sound, but always in our own voice.” Matthew Formato Master English Teacher
  6. “I know only one thing about the technologies that await us in the future: We will find ways to tell stories with them” Jason Ohler
  7. “Knowledge is not intended to fill minds. It is intended to open them…. George Siemens Knowing Knowledge
  8. “A story should be remembered for its soul, and not the bells and whistles.” Bernajean Porter
  9. “Make the best out of the bad. Just laugh it off. You didn’t have to come here anyway So remember… every picture tells a story, don’t it?” Rod Stewart Every Picture Tells A Story
  10. “In the end, folks, we ain’t nothing but a song…a story.” Joe Lambert, Center for Digital Storytelling

Also for the record, the answer to my question for the class is, “One is a busty crustacean and the other is a crusty bus station.”

You’re welcome.