While not intended as realistic or plausible predictions, these dystopian texts seek to expose extremist attitudes (such as radical conservatism, religiosity, or technological reliance) as fundamentally threatening to human nature and individualism. Dystopia, then, can be understood as a locale for the constant impediment of human freedom, maintained by a regime’s oppressive control of technology, gender and ideology.
From television’s inception, programs have been loaded with latent hegemonic value and belief systems; the white, middle-class nuclear family of American dreams, in particular, seems to have found its niche in the small screen. For in the same way that it sponsors convention and distinguishes “norms”, the television set has a unique ability to identify and isolate the unusual, different, and marginal.
The word ‘Penis’ as it will be argued here, has been assigned three key emasculating qualities: physicality (presence), strength (power), and personhood (identity). Yet after a careful analysis of this vast array of etymologically associated language, however, it appears that ‘penis’ (in language as well as in presence) signifies not only masculinity but male humanity; the ‘penis’ is not so much a culture symbol, but instead has replaced, as a culturally iconic synecdoche, the ‘man’ in a socio-cultural context.
Using a pseudo-scientific, case-study approach, “The Visible Spectrum” correlates the ideologies of a hospital to that of society. Vollmann’s sociological critique describes the hospital as a microcosm of the society in which it is located; although theoretically structured, efficient and beneficial to its patrons, in practice, however, the institution (and likewise, society) veils its omnipotence in the illusion of an individual’s agency and self-determination, while acting apathetically towards human suffering and misery.
Barthes believes that this constant creation of myth is how a culture invents its beliefs and narratives, and is able to find meaning in the world. This premise draws a particular parallel in our contemporary society: for it is my hypothesis that our culture now locates meaning through mythological art (whether fine, commercial, popular, industrial etc.). Has art truly become myth?