Crime in Cronenberg’s Videodrome: A perversion of the everyman’s subconscious

Rena King:
“Don’t you feel such shows [of soft-core pornography and hardcore violence] contribute to a social climate of violence and sexual malaise, and do you care?”
Max Renn:
“Certainly I care. I care enough to give my viewers a harmless outlet for their fantasies and their frustrations…”

Penetrating the Penis: Etymology & Gloss

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.

The Axiom of Content

Barthes’ analysis of signs reveals that there are very few ‘innocent’ objects, that almost everything is ‘coded’ (assigned meaning). He contends that two levels of meaning, or signification, are found within a single image: (1) a denoted meaning that is instantly recognizable by the viewer through its faux-naturalness, and (2) a hidden, connoted meaning that is coded ideologically. One can ask, then, is an image’s meaning mediated by context?

Clinique’s Freudian Purity (In-class exam)

One can see how, in this Clinique advertisement, Freud’s theory of the dream-work is logical; both dream-distortion and dream-censorship are evident. An initial psychoanalysis of the image reveals an inherent desire to be “wholesome” (or “moral”, as depicted by the rounded bubbles), “clean” (or “moral”, as depicted by the medicalized soap) and “pure” (or “moral”, as depicted by the clear, natural water). It is my understanding then, that this advertisement appeals to the viewer as a “sinner”, or flawed individual, and aims to reconcile this deficiency through morality.