Music for the Masses: The Aura and Participatory Culture

Music sampling took off in the 1980’s when sampling technology became affordable enough for musicians to be able to experiment with digital sampling techniques. Prior to that, sampling was “referential,” which means that musicians would borrow aspects of songs from other musicians. For example, rock music takes folk songs and classic symphonic melodies and borrows sections of them to recreate them in another format. This new technology has created a new way for the consumers to become the producers of media. Now, in 2017, any consumer can download music off the internet to make a custom mashup, then post that back online for a new group of consumers to listen to. Henry Jenkins calls this “participatory culture,” which is when the consumer-producer dichotomy changes and consumers become the producers. In regards to music mashups, what does this mean for the original producer? Well, according to Walter Benjamin, is interferes with the aura. The aura is a sense of uniqueness present in a piece of art. Benjamin referred to traditional forms of art in his essay The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, and its transformation in mechanical reproduction through the means of photography. But I think that it can be applied to music as well. While music may lack the unique aura that a painting like “Wheat Field with Crows” may have, it has one nonetheless. The original studio recording of a track, never mind the method of release, has an aura. A live musical performance has one as well.

In 2004 DJ Danger Mouse released his mashup album The Grey Album. He took the vocals and lyrics from Jay-z’s newly released instant hit The Black Album and mixed it with music and background vocals from The Beatles classic White Album, which is where the title of The Grey Album comes from. EMI Records, the copyright holder for The Beatles music, issued a cease and desist order to Danger Mouse as well as the independent music stores that were selling his album. Danger Mouse initially stated that the record wasn’t intended for commercial use, rather as a promotional item for himself, and the artists featured in the mashup. He pressed 3,000 copies of it but it caught fire on the internet and went viral. Record stores sold copies of the album, which then ended up available for free download online, and Danger Mouse had no permission at all to sample the tracks for commercial or noncommercial use.

EMI eventually dropped the case. While all of this was happening, online copyright activist groups, with the main goal to keep the internet free, kept circulating the album on digital download sites. The entire controversy was picked up by major media outlets like Rolling Stone, MTV, and NPR. In an interview with NPR’s Terry Gross, Jay-Z actually said that he felt honored to be put on a track with The Beatles (then right after with no transition she asks him about selling crack) (Gross, 2010). In a BBC interview with Sir Paul McCartney, he said that he didn’t mind the “tribute” that Danger Mouse created, but the record company did.

The copyright ownership of The Beatles catalog has transferred hands several times throughout the years, in the 1980’s Michael Jackson obtained ownership the entire catalog and transferred 50% of it to Sony. Now, after his death, Sony owns 100% of The Beatles publishing rights, and Paul McCartney is trying to get them back. There is a copyright law saying that songs produced before the year 1978 can have their publishing rights transferred back to the original songwriter after two 28 year terms (so 56 years). The album Please Please Me will be available for Paul McCartney to purchase again in 2019, and by 2026 all of The Beatles catalog could be back in control of a Beatle. The question of who holds “intellectual property” rights to music comes to mind with the Paul McCartney/Sony controversy. You’d think it would be to the songwriter as they were the one to create the song.

Walter Benjamin describes the aura as a work of art’s unique existence. In The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction he says: “We define the aura of the latter as the unique phenomenon of a distance, however close it may be… It rests on two circumstances, both of which are related to the increasing significance of the masses in contemporary life. Namely, the desire of contemporary masses to bring things “closer” spatially and humanly… overcoming the uniqueness of every reality by accepting its reproduction” (Benjamin, 1936). What he means by this, is that in the age of mechanical reproduction (which is now), we desire to bring art into our own lives and experience it in ways that weren’t intended originally by the artist. For example, Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” prints can be bought at Walmart or Target to be placed in bedrooms and living rooms as personal expressions, or using #starrynight on Instagram to post to the world that you’ve seen the painting in person leads to the decay of the aura. The aura adds value to the work of art, and reproductions diminish that value.

With music, the aura is a bit tricky. Music is made to be listened to and to be interpreted into each of our own unique worlds. So saying that something decays the aura, when there may not be one is complicated. I think, and I think Benjamin would agree, that music does have an aura. The original untouched studio album would have an aura, as well as a live music performance. When a musician makes a mashup of two classic records, or when someone records a live performance and posts it on Instagram, that leads to the decay of music’s aura. So when Danger Mouse took “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” by The Beatles and “What More Can I Say” by Jay-Z and put them together on The Grey Album, the auras of both songs were diminished, while at the same time the mashup album gained one of its own- an aura transferal of sorts.

But what about the ritual function of art that helps reinforce the aura? Benjamin has a very cynical view of the ritualistic function surrounding works of art, he says “for the first time in world history, mechanical reproduction emancipates the work of art from its parasitical dependence on ritual. To an ever greater degree the work of art reproduced becomes the work of art designed for reproducibility” (1936). Here, Benjamin refers to things like photographic prints, which are designed to be reproduced, it would apply to music as well since it’s made to be distributed and reproduced. Not only is it reproducible, it’s able to be remade and interpreted differently for different people based on their own world view. A love song for someone can be a sad song for someone else. This can be seen with music mashups like Danger Mouse’s The Grey Album. While, a large part of the idea for the album probably came from the clever joke of the white and black albums mixing to make grey, Danger Mouse mixed the songs in a very unique way and the songs took on a new meaning combined.

Benjamin mentions the “two polar types” of valuing art, which are cult value and exhibitory value. The cult value means that a work of art should remain hidden, which preserves the aura more so than exhibitory value, which is on display. He gives the example of statues of Gods only being available to certain clergy members, and some art works only being open to the public seasonally. This instills cult value into the objects because it isn’t available for just anyone to come and take a photo of for their Instagram feed, seeing one of these objects is an actual experience and its unique. Exhibitory value, Benjamin says, begins to take over cult value. He mentions this in reference to photography, as usual, but looking at the ritualistic history around music it applies to it as well. Music has evolved from a way to collectively communicate stories (folklore, mythology) to a solitary method of communication. Music is meant to be exhibited in some ways, live performances are a spectacle for consumers and music is available for them to listen to freely. Benjamin mentions that the photograph takes on both exhibitory and cult value when, for example, you look back at a loved one who has passed away. Looking at an old photograph would fill you with nostalgia and remind you of a loved one, much like hearing a song from your childhood reminds you of your parents and siblings. The Grey Album was made to be exhibitory, but then quickly took on cult value. Danger Mouse said himself it was a promotional experiment. He wanted people to view it and become fans of his mashups. But when EMI told everyone they couldn’t listen to it, everyone wanted to listen to it more (as is human nature). When EMI issues cease and desist orders to Danger Mouse and all of the independent stores that sold the album, that acted as a way to preserve the cult value. Granted, they probably did it because they would have made a lot of money had Danger Mouse licensed the songs for the mashup, but they also want to control how the songs are used. Much like how the amount of people who see certain pieces of art is controlled by clergy members.

Benjamin mentions Dadaism and the “relentless destruction of the aura of their creations, which they branded as reproductions with the very means of production.” Music recordings are similar to this, and, by the same logic, music mashups are a Dadaist form of art and they destroy the aura just like the Dadaist collages. How does this destruct the aura, though? Taking a work of art (whether it be a painting or a song) and placing it somewhere it doesn’t necessarily belong – like mixing The Beatles with Jay-Z – diminishes the value of the original work.

Henry Jenkins’ participatory culture allows a fan base to have a say in what it is they consume. The consumer/producer dynamic is shifted and consumers are demanding more and more control over media. Our expectations as consumers have changed along with this as well. The internet has allowed for fans to create content based off of their interests, such as fan made trailers, in depth theory discussions about films, fan fiction, video game mods etc. Granted, it’s noncanonical most of the time. Henry Jenkins gives several examples of participatory culture in his book Convergence Culture, but he talks in depth about the Star Wars fandom and how participatory culture has in some ways revitalized it.

Jenkins uses the term “grassroots participation” a lot in regards to this. He references the punk music scene and how that brought out new ideas and sounds then that was all channeled into the mainstream, and that’s what he means by grassroots. Looking at Danger Mouse’s The Grey Album, it can be considered grassroots participatory culture, as well. “Like the older folk culture of quilting bees and barn dances, this new vernacular culture encourages broad participation, grassroots creativity, and a bartering or gift economy” (Jenkins, 136). What he means is that the internet allows us to collaborate with producers (even if the producers don’t want their content to be tampered with), and this collaboration brings new ideas and ways of doing things. “Within convergence culture, everyone’s a participant – although participants may have different degrees of status and influence” (136).

Jenkins says that the new participatory culture has presented two responses from media industries: prohibitionist and collaborationist. An industry having a prohibitionist response means that they don’t want the fans to have control over the media content. They may be interactive and get consumer feedback, but the consumers aren’t able to contribute to their interests without violating a rule or a copyright law. The record industry is prohibitionist. Danger Mouse created a brand new album using different aspects of albums owned and controlled by a prohibitionist industry, so they wouldn’t allow that and they issued the cease and desist orders on him and the record stores that sold copies of his album. That was all in an effort to control how their property was being used, but in the age of the internet, controlling the content gets more and more difficult. The internet can sometimes be a dark place where rules are ignored, and in the case of music, it’s essentially free online now. This has caused a lot of problems in the music industry since less people are actually paying for music, so their position as prohibitionist is understandable.

The collaborationist are the companies who value their fan’s opinions and believe that their contributions are valuable in helping to improve or revitalize something. A great example of this is video game mods and the video game company Bethesda making mods available on console systems (when previously mods were only available through playing on PC). Should a fan want to modify their Fallout game, they can simply enable mods in the start menu and choose from a wide range of mods created by the “Garden of Eden Creation Kit” (or GECK), which Bethesda made available to players so they can make the mods. Gamers have wanted mods to be on console for years before Bethesda made them available for console players. Now the consumers of the game are apt to spend more time creating mods and revitalizing their gameplay with new fan made quests and items.

Danger Mouse’s tribute to The Beatles and Jay-Z is no different from this. Granted, he wasn’t legally allowed to distribute the album since the music industry is prohibitionist and had copyright law protecting the music. But he acted as a fan who saw a unique way to pay respects to two albums. Paul McCartney and Jay-Z also support the collaborationist efforts of Danger Mouse, and albums like his. That’s an interesting thing to point out since the actual artist of the song, the people with the intellectual property of what is being used are perfectly fine with the creative endeavors put forward by Danger Mouse, but the record companies aren’t. Not only is Danger Mouse acting on his own as a collaborationist, but his fans, who downloaded the music and distributed it even further online, act as collaborationists as well. There are online efforts to “keep the internet free” and dismantle the unfair copyright laws that currently exist. Creative Commons developed out of this idea, everything on the website is made and uploaded by users and it’s free to be used however someone sees fit, all that is required is giving credit.

Henry Jenkins mentions anthropologist Grant McCracken and his idea about why companies would benefit from releasing their copyrights. “Corporations will allow the public to participate in the construction and representation of its creations or they will, eventually, compromise the commercial value of their property.” By this McCracken means that if prohibitionist media industries continue to forbid the participation of fans, who are interested in the material enough to want to collaborate in the first place, they will lose the fan base. They’ll move onto something else that interests them and allows them to contribute to the fandom.

Danger Mouse wasn’t the only person to make the obvious joke and mashup The Black Album with White Album, but he was the first. Jay-Z himself said that he didn’t even think Danger Mouse’s album was the best, but it inspired others to use their skills and creativity to make something (Gross, 2010). With the rise in participatory culture, anyone can participate. You no longer have to me a film student at USC to make films that people will enjoy, you don’t need to have any professional training to make a music mashup. Mashup artist Girl Talk is one of the most famous remix artists and he studied biomedical engineering and made his mashups on the side until he became famous for it. These artists are untrained but are able to make good art nonetheless. Danger Mouse did have a lot of training, he was a record producer prior to The Grey Album’s release, and he was a member of Gnarls Barkley.

These musicians create music that eventually gets an audience once it’s on the internet. Henry Jenkins would call The Grey Album a cult media success. He says “A cult media success depends on courting fan constituencies and niche markets; a mainstream success is seen by the media producers as depending on distancing themselves from them” (142). Even though Danger Mouse didn’t anticipate the fan reaction he received, it has a sort of a cult following behind it and people are still talking about the album and the legality in 2017, when the album was released in 2004.

There are some comparisons to be made between Walter Benjamin and Henry Jenkins arguments. A prohibitionist media industry would be interested in protecting the aura or the cult value surrounding their content, as opposed to the collaborationist industries who value the help and ideas from consumers. Though Benjamin didn’t know about participatory culture, I think he would agree that it is necessary for media industries to continue to gain and maintain fan bases in order to thrive. The media industry is, in Benjamin’s terms, exhibitionist. The industry needs viewers and consumers in order to function. If fans move from one company to another because they aren’t able to contribute what they want to, then that company is failing in its goal. EMI, for example, needs the fans of The Beatles to want to participate and want to feel invested in their content so the brand stays strong.

Mashup artists like Danger Mouse and Girl Talk put their work out online, as producers, then their fans take the music and collaborate by making music videos and, in some cases, remixing them. The consumers becoming the producers twice over. When I was searching the track list for The Grey Album on YouTube, I found several fans made music videos for the songs but the audio was taken out because it violated copyright laws. EMI and Sony prohibit fans from being able to participate in something they care enough about to try to collaborate with in the first place. Consequently, fans are less likely to want to be involved with the brand, and in an industry so reliant on the fan base this is a negative effect.

Benjamin and Jenkins have two different views on how music mashups are perceived as art: Dadaist and grassroots/folk culture. Benjamin uses the example of Dadaist art to illustrate how a production is branded as a reproduction just through the production of the work of art. A music mashup is composed of songs that were not originally created by the mashup artist to begin with, but a new production is made by reproducing someone else’s work. Jenkins refers to grassroots participation as a way to collaborate and generate new ways of doing things. He talks about the folk culture and how aspects of that are brought into the mainstream through grassroots participation. It’s easy to say that using music mashups to take something old and bring it back into the mainstream is a good thing, like how rock bands sample old folk songs. But in Danger Mouse’s case, he did a mashup with Jay-Z and The Beatles. The Beatles are the most popular band to have ever existed (pretty much) so there is no need to bring them back into the mainstream.

One question that I’ve thought about a lot since beginning research on this is, are the media industries right to have their prohibitionist stance on the content they control? On one hand, yes. EMI has the publishing rights to The Beatles White Album, so Danger Mouse taking the songs without permission to use them violates that and EMI has the right to take The Grey Album down. They have the right to determine how something they own is used. On the other hand, allowing fans to consume a media text by purchasing a song or an album, then tell them they aren’t allowed to use their creativity and make another production of something, totally different from the original, seems unfair.

The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction and Convergence Culture are both written, I think, based off of a common ideal: a work of art should be viewed as a collective experience. The aura makes a piece of art unattainable for consumers, and the destruction of the ritualistic nature of art will allow consumers to experience the art on their own terms. Participatory culture allows people to contribute to the media they consume by using their creativity and brand attachment to make content and put it back out for others to consume.

Postmodernism in Film

Films often use aspects of postmodernism; whether they use postmodern film technique (editing, whip pans, camera zooms, nontraditional transitions etc.) or if they reference classic postmodern ideas. Postmodern films have three common elements: 1. they utilize homage and/or pastiche to films that came before. An example of something paying homage would be the television show Stranger Things (2016 – ) paying tribute to classic 80’s films like The Goonies (1984) and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), the Duffer brothers mimicked some iconic shots from those films because they inspired them. Pastiche imitates the style of other films, for example Brian de Palma’s Obsession (1976) is a pastiche of Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958). 2. They are “self-reflexive.” By saying a film is self-reflexive, you are saying that it draws attention to the fact that it is a film, Sunset Blvd. (1950) is an example of this. Finally, 3. They blend high and low brow activities (Woods, 1999).

In this post I will discuss the use of Jean Baudrillard’s postmodern idea of simulation and simulacra and the hyperreal in films. In the introduction to his 1993 book “Symbolic Exchange and Death,” Baudrillard defines simulation:

“Today, the entire system is fluctuating in indeterminacy, all of reality absorbed by the hyperreality of the code of simulation. It is now a principle of simulation, and not reality, that regulates social life… we are now endangered by models.”

Baudrillard explains that there are three orders of simulation, we are in the third. Every order references the order that came before it – so we, in the third order, have a reference point at the end of the second order. The second order, he says, is the only order that what we deem “real” exists; that is the real of production, signification, and consciousness. Each phase is made more and more into a simulation, and every apparatus of simulation gives itself an anterior reference point for the new simulation to build off of (Baudrillard, 1993).

Hyperreality is when you are in an indeterminate state. You are unable to tell the difference between simulation and the “real.” The point Baudrillard is getting at, is that we don’t see the “real.” We’re so influenced by the signs that mass media tell us are real – we see re-presentation instead of presentation (Baudrillard, 1993).

Baudrillard is a very reputable philosopher and many film makers have taken his ideas and drawn on them in their films. Discussing postmodern ideas in film is an outlet for exposing the audience to ideas they don’t (and may not want) to see. For the purpose of this essay, I will discuss three films: Blade Runner (1982), The Truman Show (1998), and The Matrix (1999). All three of these films use Baudrillard’s ideas of simulation and hyperreality – in very literal ways. All three films stress how technology is becoming so advanced, and with advanced technology comes control and power.

Blade Runner is a dystopian film that takes place in Los Angeles California in 2019. The film is about Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a Blade Runner (hunter of Replicant scum) who is tasked with the job of finding and “retiring” four escaped Replicants. Replicants are artificial humans, the Tyrell Corporation says that they are “more human than human” at one point in the film. Replicants aren’t supposed to feel anything, they’re programmed to do their jobs and die (essentially). The Tyrell Corp. discovered that they begin to feel emotions roughly four years after their creation, so they automatically expire after four years. The four Replicants that escaped are just searching for a way to extend their lives. They want to live – which is in essence one of the deepest human desires we possess.

In the end of the film the final Replicant, Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer), expires before Deckard can kill him. Before he dies, he saves Deckard from falling to his death. Rewind five minutes before and Batty was chasing him and breaking Deckard’s fingers. Why the sudden change of heart? In the original version of the film, Harrison Ford did a voice over as Deckard, he says after Batty pulls him off the edge:

“I don’t know why he saved me. Perhaps, in those last moments, he loved life more than he ever had. Not just his life, anybody’s life. My life.”

That line gives the impression that Batty found in his search for more life he had destroyed others, he’d already killed Tyrell (Joe Turkel) and he fought in a war where he saw such terrifying things, he was already too late and there was no need for another casualty. This, I think, illustrates Baudrillard’s concept of simulation. In order for the simulation to become fully realized it has to have a reference point in the prior apparatus – so in order for Batty to become more than human it has to be human and the one thing Replicants lacked was empathy.

Or he realized that Deckard was a Replicant too. Not only are the characters in this film suspended in hyperreality, the audience it too. The Replicants are so well made that they are indistinguishable from humans, the only way Blade Runners can tell them apart is from the Voight-Kampff test where they look for the Replicant’s lack of empathy. Most Replicants are aware of their status, but some do not know that they are a Replicant – a simulation. Rachel (Sean Young), for example, did not know she was a replicant until Deckard so rudely told her that her memories were actually the memories of Tyrell’s niece. After she found out she escaped so she could live her life freely. The movie makes us wonder if Deckard is a Replicant too. In the 1992 Directors cut we are shown a dream that Deckard has while he is staring at his “family” photos on his piano. A unicorn is galloping through the forest with its fabulous mane flowing in the wind. At the end of the same version, Gaff (Edward James Olmos) places an origami unicorn on the floor outside Deckard’s apartment, which leads us to believe he knew about the unicorn dream (and I don’t think Deckard is the type of guy who goes around telling people he dreams about unicorns), which could mean that he knows Deckard’s memories are fake (Salim, 2008).

The Matrix is a story about how artificial intelligence enslaves the human race and the human’s attempts to take back their lives. This is similar to Blade Runner because the A.I. in both films become equal to humans, while the A.I. in The Matrix aren’t human like – but they are super intelligent. Neo (Keanu Reeves) is a computer hacker who wants to know what the matrix is. He ends up meeting Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and she takes him to Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) where he gives Neo the opportunity to see what is actually going on. Morpheus explains to him that the technology that humans created became too powerful, as a last effort to defeat the A.I. the humans caused a nuclear winter and basically killed the sun so they wouldn’t have solar power. The A.I. just used the humans for fuel instead.

They created a simulation called the matrix. The matrix is the third order of simulation and its reference point was before the war – before the artificial intelligences creation even – in 1999. The computer simulation had everyone hooked up to it thinking they were living in the year 1999, and no one knew any better. That places the matrix in hyperreality, the humans who were in it couldn’t tell that they were. The last human civilization on Earth is a place called Zion, there live the people who have either never been hooked into the matrix or were born in Zion. Many of them are freedom fighters and want to destroy the matrix and free the humans from their entrapment.

The Matrix is a good film to look at when discussing Baudrillard because it obviously uses his ideas, which oddly enough Baudrillard himself disliked. This film took the idea of simulation and used it in its literal and philosophical meaning. It places the characters in a two different orders, one of simulation and one of the real. After the war people were either enslaved or they were not and they were left to form Zion. The humans who were incubated and hooked into the matrix were put into the simulation order – what they believed to be real was actually not. The other order was the “real,” where the people who were not in the matrix, or they chose to leave it, can see what is actually happening. Two conflicting orders stemmed out of one reference point.

The Truman Show is different from the previous movies I’ve mentioned because everybody but Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey) is in on the simulation. Truman was suspended in a hyperreal simulation for his entire life. He grew up in it, he didn’t know any better. He was constantly in a controlled environment. There were paid actors surrounding him every day, his “mother,” “father,” and even his “wife” were all fake. He has never known real. Truman’s life is a perfect allegory for the life of an everyday individual.

There is one scene where Truman is picking up a newspaper and a fashion magazine “for the wife” and we see the headline of a newspaper. It says “Who Needs Europe!” Truman wanted to be an adventurer, but the producer of the show kept him from doing that. In an earlier scene the headline on the paper read “Seaside: Best Place on Earth!”

The simulation in The Truman Show is particularly interesting to me. The takes place in present day, the show has been running Truman’s whole life so it probably began in the 60’s. The entire town has a 50’s atmosphere, we see clips of the viewers and we see the technology the producers have to make the show so we know that the world has evolved since the 50’s, but Seaside has not. Truman watches I Love Lucy on TV still. This simulation began based off of 50s culture and didn’t evolve with the rest of the world. I think that has to do with the audience, not Truman. The show was created in the 60’s, when Truman was born, which was a time of social and political turmoil – Vietnam War, civil rights activism, Kennedy assassination etc. The Truman Show distracted American citizens from what was actually happening. It comforted them when the world around them couldn’t. Which means that the show was part of the “real” world’s simulation as well.

The Truman Show is self-referential. We know from the very first sequence that it’s a set, the people are actors and this is a television show. The film uses several different camera angles and shots to remind us, we often see Truman through his bathroom mirror camera, or sometimes the camera has a vignette on it telling us that we are looking through a camera and not a characters POV.

On top of that it blends high and low brow entertainment well. Generally reality TV is seen as low brow. When we think of reality TV we think of Jersey Shore or some show about “real” housewives where all they do is fight. The Truman Show depicts an incredibly sophisticated reality show. It takes place in the world’s largest set, it’s an entire city in a bubble basically. The technology being used is very high tech, as well. They can control the weather and the tides just by pressing a few buttons. We see shots of the viewers all watching the show, they all come from different walks of life and everyone likes the show.

Baudrillard’s idea of simulation is that we, humans in a mass media based society, are stuck in an indeterminate state of what is real and what isn’t. He says “we are endangered by models.” We look up to celebrity icons and we emulate what we see – but what we see is fake – we are manipulated by corporations, and technology has become a large part of our daily lives and we rely on it too much. Blade Runner demonstrates the idea that corporations manipulate us, they created the Replicants, they made them look and act human only to use them as slaves – some Replicants don’t even realize they aren’t human. The Matrix shows us what it would be like if we continue to rely on technology as much as we do (hyperbolic, of course, but so is Baudrillard’s work), technology will inevitably be human’s downfall. And The Truman Show shows us one real person, who is influenced by people around him who he thinks are real but are actually not. They’re paid actors and his entire life is made to emulate the people around him.

Bibliography

Baudrillard, Jean. Symbolic Exchange and Death (Theory, Culture & Society). Sage Publications: 1993.

Salim, Majid, a Study of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. Dissertation. Manchester University, 2008.

Woods, Tim. Beginning Postmodernism. Book. Manchester University Press: 1999.

About Me

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Alyssa and I am a human.

I like to do digital art and I like my Christmas music trapped. My aesthetic is a dad from the early 90’s who wants his teenage daughter to think he’s “hip.”  I say “that’s wack” more than I should, as I think a lot of things in today’s world are wack.

Is “wack” still cool?

I’m a big fan of animals. I also love puns. And that just about sums me up.

Now for the point of this blog. Sometimes I think about things and sometimes I want to write those things down. But if I think of things and write them down, I want it to be on my own terms.

I also have videos I’ve produced for classes and just for fun outside of class posted. Some photographs I’ve taken and think turned out well are here as well.

I may post short stories or poems I’ve written here as well – I also may not because I did that in eight grade and I’m 87% sure Stephen King stole one of them and turned it into the hit Series Under the Dome. The moral of the story is that there’s no way Stephen King can write as many books as he does without stealing ideas from 13 year olds.

~

Alyssa