First Post! Reflective Draft

Last year in my Intro Class for the Sweetland Minor, I put together a zine based around the non-human, non-organic female characters featured in the 1960’s version of the Twilight Zone television show. The project grew out of an essay I had written in my Sexual Objects class examining a documentary about Real Doll Sex Dolls called “Guys and Dolls”. In the essay, I argued that the true appeal of these dolls were not just the customizable aesthetic features, but the ability for their (mostly male) owners to impress a kind of imagined autonomy on these dolls; that their ideal woman was the kind who could not have a life beyond the one their owners/partners created for them. I was interested in this idea of imagined autonomy being expanded from the idea of sex dolls to the idea of the robot/doll/mannequin/other non-human women that populated the original 1960’s run of The Twilight Zone: I wanted to pay tribute to these characters whose characters often hinged on the question of how real their own perceptions of their autonomy/humanity were. I also wanted to explore their characters and the implications of their lack of physical humanity in the worlds they inhabited beyond the confines of the (and I don’t think I’m being controversial here) sexist 1960’s television landscape. It was a good way for me to indulge in my love of white-knighting underrated/underwritten female characters, and it gave me a new way to think about the iconic characters and stories from a television show that I absolutely adored growing up.

For my project in my Capstone class, I want to return to the idea of the robot woman and how she exists in different capacities in other sci-fi stories/genres. I’m still figuring out how I want to engage with this subject in a different way, but I definitely know that the work I’ve done previously in exploring these character archetypes will lead the way in understanding how to unpack this subject in Capstone.

Living Out a Story

The topic of my repurposing project is telling a life story.

To tell my life story, I plan on repurposing an alma mater that I co-authored this summer into an outline for a synopsis of major vivid events occurring in my past 19 years of living.  My goal is to create a reflective piece that will stand as a reminder of things in my life that I am afraid I will forget as time passes.

When I first searched for examples of people telling their life stories through different types of media, I came across a website called “My Life Story: A Diary for a Whole Lifetime of Memories”.  This site is based out of the United Kingdom and it sells 1080 page diaries for around 60$.  Part of the catch is that you can buy one for someone who isn’t capable of recording their own life yet, so you can start it for them.  For example, you can purchase one for your newborn child and keep a record of their firsts until a time when the child is capable of recording their own life in the diary.  As I read through their pitch, all I was thinking was “wow I wish my parents had bought me one of those when I was a child!”  If I had recorded my life events up until now, I wouldn’t have to rely on my memory to conduct this project.  But through using my memories now, I can create a reflective diary; one that I will be able to look on for years in the future and be reminded of things, just as I would have been if I had started the diary 15 years ago.  Now is the perfect time to make this all happen.

The second thing I came across was “My Life Story” written by Gordon Dioxide. Gordon is an enticing author.  He comes across as a witty and funny guy, and he was able to turn his rather average and long life into an interesting story. Here is the  LINK to check out his work.

Rhetorical Map of Gordon’s “My Life Story”

Composer: Gordon Dioxide

Subject: An arbitrary run-through of Gordon’s progression of age while attempting to get a job

Audience: Anyone who likes a good laugh.  Especially good for readers on a lunch break or someone who has some extra time for a quick read while commuting throughout the day.

Genre/Medium: Comical Fiction or article in magazine 

Context: A reflective piece written by a man at the end of his life.  He has nothing to loose.  This is something his kids and grandkids can read over to remember his charm and dry humor.

Exigence: The motive of writing was to give people something to remember him by.  Not something that necessarily outlines his life, but something that captures his personality.

Constraints: He was constrained to writing something that would be catchy but not too lengthy so that the reader wouldn’t overanalyze it, but rather accept it for what it is.

 

Gordon writes as if he has no major topic to write about, where as in this LINK, you will find text about a memoir written by a director named Ruby Yang who has a long and vivid story to tell.  Gordon writes about his life in a way that makes it sound so simple and average, but Yang explains life as her protagonists overcome adversity.

I hope to strike somewhere in the middle of these two extremes when writing my memoir but I still want to maintain the same effect.  I want to move my audience in the same ways that I was moved by Gordon and Yang’s pieces.