Apocalyptic Fears

There has always been a fascination with the idea of the apocalypse and what that would look like. Today, there is a significant focus on a zombie apocalypse, which is where a disease infects a human that kills the host but the disease lives on feeding off human flesh; however, when a human is bitten, this infects that human, and thus leading to a worldwide viral outbreak where everyone are zombies. This seems completely irrational; but yet, this idea has attracted a large audience. What makes people attract to this idea? It could be that it is very close to real factors. For example, the idea of “zombies” sounds too sci-fi, but the idea of a disease wiping out a large population is not so unrealistic. So, it could be a matter of how fear can effect how one views the apocalypse. Therefore, one can narrow their thinking in a way to relate to why people are attracted to these apocalyptic ideals; fear fuels the reality of an apocalypse in two ways: Through what is heard and through what is seen.

An example of how fear can fuel the reality of an apocalypse through what is heard is the radio broadcast of 1938. During the eve of Halloween October 30, 1938, Orson Welles, famous theatre director and radio actor, broadcasted a drama of H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds, in what seemed like a serious news broadcast. During this time, people would eat dinner and then sit down to an evening of listening to the radio. Turning the dial, listeners were scanning the stations to find something to listen to; however, most missed the introduction that included the disclaimer that the following broadcast was only a dramatization, where Martians invade earth and begin killing everyone in sight. Within a half hour of the broadcast, panic filled the streets and Orson Welles was being forced to take a ten minute break to reassure listeners that this was only a fake broadcast, but most listeners had already packed their bags and were trying to leave the city. It was a major moment in history because the fear and panic of what could be a real Martian invasion caused thousands to tremble and some to end their own life (War of the Worlds). People were enraged by this fake news broadcast. Later, listeners on that fateful night were interviewed to explain what was going through their heads at that moment. This is a real life example of how fear can impact the irrationality of emotion. The mind is able to play a role in manipulation of what is real or not. This example shows how one can take a simple act of trickery and impact the lives of many into believing something that is clearly fiction. One listener admitted that as he was in his car leaving the city, and because he heard this broadcast and it was late at night that he could literally see what looked to be Martians over the trees. Of course, it was a fiction of his imagination, but due to the realness of the broadcast, it caused his mind to see what was not there.

One view of the apocalypse that was popular during the mid-to-late 1900s was that a nuclear warfare would take place, resulting in the destruction of the earth. People were terribly frightened that the world was going to end because of the creation of Atomic Bombs. Cities were destroyed and many lives were devastated because of these acts of horror, and because it was so real, fear took hold of the minds of many. Thus, books and films were made to capitalize on this fear, to create an imaginary world after a chemical warfare. An example is the film, Book of Eli, in which the earth was scorched and in desolation because of a world war. The characters live in what looks to be a desert ruin, scarce food and minimal water cause many to resort to robbery and murder (The Book of Eli). This film shows the imaginative world in a post-war setting. While some might not think this is a valid outcome, this work of fiction can trigger fear in the lives of many just by the mere thought of it. This is an example of how fear can fuel the reality of an apocalypse. In the fact, during that time; people saw countries making these bombs and saw the test sites where bombs were tested. Less than a decade later after the Orson Welles broadcast, Hiroshima and Nagasaki became the first cities in the world to witness the power of nuclear weapons. Therefore, what one sees can dramatically effect how people react to these apocalyptic ideals.

Now that there is a baseline for this topic, it is important to know the application of fear. Fear can be a broad area to focus on because so many fears are associated with many different things for different individuals. However, it is important to know what fear is or is not. Fear is a cognitive perception of one thing or another. In an anatomy class, one can learn about “the flight or fight response,” which is induced by fear and danger to either run away or fight. The initial response is in the amygdala, located in the brain, that signals to the adrenal medulla, which is located just above the kidneys, responsible for hormonal secretion, including adrenaline. Furthermore, these organs result the natural response of fear in a given situation. Although, as mentioned previously, it is a perception issue, so a fear to one person may not be a fear to another.

Depending on how one is raised can determine how one perceives the application of fear what is important to be afraid of or restrain from. Religion is one building block of how this can be viewed. According to Richard Eckersley in his essay about apocalyptic fears, he illustrates that “fundamentalism refers to the retreat to the certainty of dogmatic beliefs, whether secular or religious. In an extreme form, this is ‘end time’ thinking” (Eckersley 37). Here, Eckersley shows a view from a Christian standpoint that this belief is to illustrate the fear of the Rapture taking place. So, depending on family belief systems, it can influence how one perceives the apocalypse to take place.

Fear is always a response to a situation or in anticipation of that situation and has many responses including freezing, chills, sweating, and screaming. When presented with a frightening situation, the body’s response could include, but not be exclusive to, what is listed above. Fear is closely associated with anxiety too. One can physically feel the response of anxiety: heart rate increase, overwhelming feelings, depression of what might happen. So, with fear being so closely associated with anxiety, it can effect how one handles a situation, whether they dwell on it or let it go. A lot of depression issues are due to anxiety, which can be a response to how one handles fear. Depression is a big issue in the U.S. along with many other countries, but one could argue that it is due to the fear of the unknown. Fear tactics have been placed on every person in one way or another. In Christianity, the fear of the Rapture is always in the forefront of people’s minds. When Year 2,000 came, many people believed that the Rapture would take place, but it didn’t. People actually committed suicide or caused violence in response to what they believed to be an apocalyptic time. It’s interesting and scary to see how far people will go if they think it is the end of days.

In Naomi Oreskes’ essay, “The Collapse of Western Civilization: a View from the Future,” Oreskes says, “dislocation contributed to the Second Black Death, as a new strain of the bacterium Yersinia pestis emerged in Europe and spread to Asia and North America…disease also spread among stressed nonhuman populations” (Oreskes 9). Here, Oreskes is discussing events from the future but looking in the past and is referring to a widespread disease that affected not only humans but animals too. This essay is interesting because it ties in factors that lead to other problems. For example, Global Warming was an issue that was mainly discussed in this essay, but here Oreskes illustrates that other factors are at play. The point is that when examining one apocalyptic ideal, one can easily jump to a different world epidemic that is still related in terms of apocalypse. Thus, increasing one’s anxiety about how an apocalypse could take place.

Throughout history, one can see how people can plant the seed of manipulation and let the mind come up with its own agenda through fear. Is a Zombie apocalypse possible? No. However, it links closely with real life issues. For example, diseases have always been a threat to populations. The Black Death was a disease in the 1300s that killed nearly one-third of Europe’s population (Black Death). Disease is nature’s way of reducing the population, and while a Zombie apocalypse is fictional, the idea of diseases is not.

It is scary to think how far people’s minds will go into believing certain things, but one must keep their thoughts at bay as to what is true and false. It is hard to say what kind of apocalypse is more possible than others, if any is possible, but fear is the major tool in capturing attention to these ideas. If someone has the power of manipulation and forces fear on others, then it is hard to say what kind of world epidemic could come of such power. One reason why people are attracted to these fictional apocalyptic ideas, is not only because it is based off of something slightly true (like disease is to Zombie), but also because some people want to feel the fear and excitement of a need for survival, to prove that they have what it takes to survive.

Therefore, it is important to keep in mind what fear can do, and how it can manipulate one’s thoughts and actions. Knowing that fear can fuel the reality of an apocalypse through what is heard and seen can help people recognize when they are being manipulated. When listening, not letting those words influence an action. When seeing, making sure what you see is real and not letting what you see entirely influence actions. Use both tools, seeing and hearing, to come up with the hypothesis that what is seen and heard, together, is real. When separated, these tools can lead to a factor of manipulation, which is not the best way to take action.

Works Cited

“Black Death.” History.com. A+E Networks, Web. 26 Mar. 2015.

Eckersley, Richard. “Nihilism, Fundamentalism, Or Activism: Three Responses To Fears Of The Apocalypse.” Futurist 42.1 (2008): 35-39. Academic Search Complete. Web. 2 Apr. 2015.

Oreskes, Naomi, and Erik M. Conway. “The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future.” Daedalus 142.1 (2013): 40-58. Web.

The Book of Eli. Dir. Albert Hughes and Allen Hughes. Prod. Joel Silver and Denzel Washington. By Gary Whitta. Perf. Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, and Mila Kunis. Warner Bros., 2010. DVD.

War of the Worlds. Orson Welles. American Experience. PBS, Web. 26 Mar. 2015.

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Apocalyptic Fears: Personal Reflection

As I began researching a topic, I began to think about the things that I liked to watch, specifically movies and TV shows. One thing that intrigued me was the thought of the apocalypse and those types of sci-fi topics. Even though everything in sci-fi is completely imaginative, it is still a topic that apparently intrigues a large population because more and more TV shows are coming out with this theme.

Even as a young boy, I loved watching movies, whether it’s a comedy, horror, or action/adventure. To this day, my friends and family always know that if they are thinking of a movie but can’t remember the title, they can probably ask me and I will know. It’s funny looking back on all the movies and shows that I have watched throughout my life thus far. But, I have noticed a theme; when I want to watch a scary or interesting movie, I tend to go for the apocalyptic movies.

For instance, I used to watch Waterworld as a kid, which is about a post-apocalyptic world that is based on a global warming issue. It is interesting because I could always imagine myself in another world, a new world. So, early on that new world meant anywhere but at this time on earth. Whether it is a post-apocalyptic earth setting or that the earth was wiped out so a new planet needs to be inhabited.

The movie, Time Machine is another good one. It’s about a guy whose fiancée got murdered right after proposing to her in a park, the murderer was trying to rob them. He develops this time machine many years later and travels back in time, only to find out that he can’t change her dying. In the midst of his distress, he accidently shifts forward into the future many centuries and finds himself in a world run by “moon people” who are trying to capture humans. As a kid, this was a frightening concept, moon people, but regardless it was fascinating.

In my researching a topic, I thought about the new movies and TV shows that I have watched recently: Helix, 12 Monkeys, Book of Eli, World War Z, even Planet of the Apes. All of these movies and shows reveal a world of desolation, whether it’s a virus outbreak, or Apes running the earth. I am currently hooked on the show, Helix, which is about a viral outbreak in a small population that if not stopped, could lead to a world epidemic. Do I think this could happen? No. But, it is interesting to think about, because there are so many diseases and drugs that could potentially wipe out a large portion of our planet.

So, needless to say, my topic is very interesting to me. My many years of watching movies and being fascinated with sci-fi concepts seemed to pay off. I personally believe that the apocalypse will happen according to God’s plan, but I do think that it is possible that some people could think that they can structure God’s plan around creating a virus that could devastate a large portion of the world. I am not naïve to the fact that, in the wrong hands, certain things could influence an apocalyptic world. Nuclear Weapons are another category to get into regarding this apocalyptic possibility, but that’s for someone else to write about.

Our Class Archive of Essays

As I began looking through the different blog posts, I saw a post about nuclear weapons that was of particular interest to me because nuclear weapons, at least for me, is not an advancement that I often think of in today’s society. When the student began their personal reflection of the topic, it was mentioned that the lecture on the apocalypse triggered this topic; I too, have been writing on an apocalyptic theme, so I comprehended the interest in this topic already.

The student talked about freedom from nuclear fear in the sense that the location of the student is not as threatened, politically, by a nuclear attack. I find this evaluation to be true, because if you think of Ohio, it does not pose threat toward persecution; in contrast, places like New York where highly populated areas are threatened by terrorist attacks or political reform can be at a higher level of risk.

This country is very lucky to be so free; no one has to worry about be persecuted religiously. In fact, people flee to this country to escape this persecution. The streets are not armed with military holding guns, men in uniform, or the constant fear that we could be falsely accused of something, resulting in a beheading. It’s important to realize how lucky we are to live in such a great country that lets us live our lives the way we see fit. However, it is also important to realize the dangers that we are at risk to. We are at risk to terrorism, but we mitigate that risk when we migrate to places that are less populated and less politically evident. Thus, Ohioans are great examples of those who are in between, so there is less likely of a terrorist attack here. Like the student mentioned, places like NY and D.C. are more apt to have riskier consequences being in that area.

I like how the student was able to tie in their own beliefs into the reflection because it’s important to know where the author stands on the issue at hand. Those values and beliefs are what make a person. When analyzing nuclear weaponry, it would be good to understand that even though the world may end the way you think it will, think about the effects of what nuclear weaponry can bring in general, not only that it could lead to an apocalypse. I am sure there is a lot to go off of with this topic, and obviously I am not doing this particular project, but keep in mind the fact that weapons may not “end” the world, but that it could dramatically effect it.

The world can be a dangerous place, but here in America, we are so lucky to have the freedom to walk the streets unarmed and unafraid of being accused of a specific religion and being persecuted for that belief system. Overall, this was a great personal reflection of the topic, and I see similarities with myself about this topic. It really reminds me of how thankful we all should be to have the opportunity to live here and express our freedom in whatever way we choose. Great essay!

Apocalypse: Looking Through the Lens of Fear

Looking at different books and films of the apocalypse, there seems to be a significance of truth to these concepts. The idea of an apocalypse does not necessarily mean that the world is ending or that the world will be in desolation, but it could just mean an end to an era. The word “apocalypse” is used fairly loosely in describing what one thinks the world will be in the future.

In examining the film World War Z,[1] it is clearly evident that a world epidemic is happening in New York City resulting from a viral outbreak, thus leading to zombies. As the characters scramble for a cure, those infected with the virus try to infect others to spread this disease throughout the world. We can look at this from the perspective of fear; we, as humans, fear a disease that could potentially wipe out the human race, and we strive to keep our species alive. It’s applicable that this type of apocalypse seems appealing, not only from the point that it is fictional, but also because it has some minor truth to it. Advances in modern medicine and genetic engineering has caused many to fear what would happen if a virus got out of a lab somewhere. So, there is a direct relationship in today’s society why this apocalypse is relevant today.

When analyzing the film Book of Eli,[2] we see a correlation between why that apocalypse happened and why it is a significant study today. The idea in this film is that the earth was scorched by a world war, nuclear warfare, which created a world of scarce food and water. The characters struggle to find fresh water, and find things like Chap Stick to be very valuable. The world they live in looks to be a desert ruin, covered with deserted cars, while trying to survive the raids that gangs will perform for any kind of supplies. If we take that apocalyptic world and apply the significance to today, we see that a nuclear war is not far off. During the Cold War, it was literally fighting for who could make the biggest bomb, so this movie idea was not far from actual truth in the fact that people were concerned that one country was going to destroy the world just to prove a point. Even today with laws and restrictions governing that there will be no arms race, it is still evident that other countries are still making these nuclear weapons. So, the fear is very real, no matter how fictional an apocalyptic world may be.

There are many films to examine; however, I will draw attention to one last film, and that is The Planet of the Apes.[3] In this film, obviously from the title, we can gather that the world is run by apes, who treat humans as if we treat apes now (experiments, zoos, etc.). This type of apocalypse is different from the others in that there is very little truth in it. To us, apes could never gain the intelligence to outsmart humans, but what’s is interesting with the newest films of this type is that the apes could not come up with the intelligence themselves, that it was originally a trial for a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease, but that actually made the apes intelligent. So, even though this idea is little more fictional, it still has the same concept as a viral disease would, but instead of infecting humans it infects primates.

In conclusion, it is interesting to think through different lenses when discussing how an apocalypse may or may not happen, and how valid these ideas are in today’s views. There is a correlation with fear and the apocalypse and that there is a truth to all these concepts to a certain extent, whether it’s a topic on Global Warming, Zombie Apocalypse, or a planet run by apes. When thinking about each concept, it’s important to think about how these different ideas came to mind in the writers; there is a simple truth to all of them and looking at the time in which they are written can show why “this” apocalypse is more appealing than another.

[1] World War Z. Dir. Marc Forster. Perf. Brad Pitt. Universal Pictures, 2013. DVD.

[2] The Book of Eli. Dir. Albert Hughes and Allen Hughes. Prod. Joel Silver and Denzel Washington. By Gary Whitta. Perf. Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, and Mila Kunis. Warner Bros., 2010.

[3] Planet of the Apes. Dir. Franklin J. Schaffner. Perf. Charlton Heston. 1968.

Apocalyptic Fears: Research Question

I began my research to identify one basic question: what is fear? I started with the idea of apocalyptic fears and how they are rationed through a sense of fact. This simply means that fears are evolved from factual data. For instance, one is not afraid of an actual “Zombie Apocalypse,” but what they are afraid of is a viral outbreak or a deadly disease that could spread across the globe like a fire. Fear can be a broad area to focus on because so many fears are associated with many different things for different individuals. However, it is important to know what fear is or is not. Fear is a cognitive perception of one thing or another. In an anatomy class, you can learn about “the flight or fight response” which is induced by fear and danger to either run away or fight. The initial response is in the amygdala, located in the brain, that signals to the adrenal medulla, which is located just above the kidneys, responsible for hormonal secretion, including adrenaline. Furthermore, these organs result the natural response of fear in a given situation. Although, as mentioned previously, it is a perception issue, so a fear to one person may not be a fear to another.

It is also important to figure out what application fear has. For example, depending on how one is raised can determine how one perceives the application of fear what is important to be afraid of or restrain from. Religion is one building block of how this can be viewed. According to Richard Eckersley in his essay about apocalyptic fears, he illustrates that “Fundamentalism refers to the retreat to the certainty of dogmatic beliefs, whether secular or religious. In an extreme form, this is ‘end time’ thinking.”[1] Here, Eckersley shows a view from a Christian standpoint that this belief is to illustrate the fear of the Rapture taking place. So, depending on family belief systems, it can influence how one perceives the apocalypse to take place.

Fear is always a response to a situation or in anticipation of that situation. Fear has many responses including freezing, chills, sweating, and screaming. If you think about the last time you were seriously scared, what happened? Your body could have jumped in response to the situation, you began to be terrified of the situation, or maybe you could not physically move because you were so scared. These are only a few of the responses. Fear is closely associated with anxiety too. You can physically feel the response of anxiety: heart rate increase, overwhelming feelings, depression of what might happen. So, with fear being so closely associated with anxiety, it can effect how one handles a situation, whether they dwell on it or let it go. A lot of depression issues are due to anxiety, with can be a response to how one handles fear. Depression is a big issue in the U.S. along with many other countries, but I believe it’s because of the fear of the unknown. Fear tactic have been placed on every person in one way or another. In Christianity, the fear of the Rapture is always in the forefront of people’s minds. When Year 2,000 came, many people believed that the Rapture would take place, but it didn’t. People actually committed suicide or caused violence in response to what they believed to be an apocalyptic time. It’s interesting and scary to see how far people will go if they think it’s the end of days.

All of these examinations and thoughts have led me to the research question: Why is fear of the apocalypse relevant?

[1] Eckersley, Richard. “Nihilism, Fundamentalism, Or Activism: Three Responses To Fears Of The Apocalypse.” Futurist 42.1 (2008): 35-39. Academic Search Complete. Web. 2 Apr. 2015.

Apocalyptic Fears

There has always been a fascination with the idea of the apocalypse and what that will look like. Today, we see a movies and stories on how a Zombie apocalypse will happen, that is the undead walk the earth looking for live humans to infect. So, the idea is a virus, or disease, had infected a human who infect other humans, resulting in a worldwide epidemic to a survival of the human race. This is not the only apocalyptic view that people have wondered about. Throughout this blog I will illustrate the different ways in which people have imagined how the apocalypse will occur and the fear that takes hold to these ideas.

One view of the apocalypse that was popular during the mid-to-late 1900s was that a nuclear warfare would take place, resulting in the destruction of the earth. People were terribly frightened that the world was going to end because of the creation of Atomic Bombs. Cities were destroyed and many lives were devastated because of these acts of horror, and because it was so real, fear took hold of the minds of many. Thus, books and films were made to capitalize on this fear, to create an imaginary world after a chemical warfare. An example is the film, Book of Eli, in which the earth was scorched and in desolation because of a world war. The characters live in what looks to be a desert ruin, scarce food and minimal water cause many to resort to robbery and murder.[1] This film shows the imaginative world in a post-war setting. While some might not think this is a valid outcome, this work of fiction can trigger fear in the lives of many just by the mere thought of it.

Another view to examine is the fear of an extra terrestrial invasion. During the eve of Halloween October 30, 1938, Orson Welles, famous theatre director and radio actor, broadcasted a drama of H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds in what seemed like a serious news broadcast. The whole radio broadcast was only a dramatization, but the fear and panic of what could be a real Martian invasion caused thousands to tremble and some to end their own life.[2] People were enraged by this fake news broadcast. This is a real life example of how fear can impact the irrationality of emotion. The mind is able to play a role in manipulation of what is real or not. This example shows how one can take a simple act of trickery and impact the lives of many into believing something that is clearly fiction.

Throughout history, we see how people can plant the seed of manipulation and let the mind come up with its own agenda through fear. Is a Zombie apocalypse possible? No. However, it links closely with real life issues. For example diseases have always been a threat to populations. The Black Death was a disease in the 1300s that killed nearly one-third of Europe’s population.[3] Disease is nature’s way of reducing the population, and as a Zombie apocalypse is fictional, the idea of diseases is not.

It is scary to think how far our minds will go into believing certain things, but we must keep our thoughts at bay as to what is true and false. People can play a manipulation game with our minds, but it’s our job to straighten it out into right and wrong. It’s hard to say what kind of apocalypse is more possible than others, if any is possible, but fear is the major tool in capturing attention to these ideas. If someone has the power of manipulation and force fear on others, then it’s hard to say what kind of world epidemic could come of such power. One reason why these people are attracted to these fictional ideas, is not only because it’s based off of something slightly true (like disease is to Zombie), but also because some people want to feel the fear and excitement of a need for survival, to prove that they have what it takes to survive. For example, people don’t watch scary movies because people die, but because they want to feel the fear and live vicariously through the characters. Keeping straight what is real and fiction is key to not being manipulated into letting fear take control.

[1] The Book of Eli. Dir. Albert Hughes and Allen Hughes. Prod. Joel Silver and Denzel Washington. By Gary Whitta. Perf. Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, and Mila Kunis. Warner Bros., 2010. DVD.

[2] War of the Worlds. Orson Welles. American Experience. PBS, Web. 26 Mar. 2015.

[3] “Black Death.” History.com. A+E Networks, Web. 26 Mar. 2015.

Audial Memories

Jake Jenkins

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Comp. Studies 2367.04

Seth Josephson

Audial Memories

Imagine driving on the highway, zoning out from reality as you pass by the lamplights that line the side of the highway. As your mind begins to drift, you may start to tap to the beat that your subconscious hears. You notice your tapping foot when you realize you are listening to a familiar song that you have not heard in years. Maybe you feel excited because it was your favorite song; maybe you reminisce on the times when you were with your friends when listening to this song repeatedly. This song brought up feelings; whether they are good, bad, sad, exciting, or nostalgic. You felt something. Was it the song that made you feel this way? Maybe. Perhaps, it was your mind triggering a vague familiarity that gave you some flashback on a memory that is special to you. This shows how music can control one’s mood, whether it is only the melody or the significant memories attached to the music.

Music has a way of portraying the way one feels. When someone wants to get excited, feeling like they can conquer the world, one might put on upbeat music. When another wants to feel sad, or maybe calm, perhaps acoustical music is the answer. These genres have different effects for different people, but regardless of the genre type, it sparks something intangible. However, these genres do not have a direct relationship to moods. For example, one might have significant memories attached to an upbeat song and still feel somber. In this case, maybe it was a negative memory or a good memory that correlated with a sad situation, maybe it reflects the thoughts of someone who died. In any case, these audial memories are triggered to represent different slices of life. One could argue that the medium of music itself is a portal into a different reality; a different thought process; a previous time; a way to think on the good times, and perhaps the bad.

Today, it’s hard to imagine a life without music, and it has impacted people’s lives in a dramatic way. Music has adopted its way into today’s culture and maybe its purpose is to help listeners think on those past memories so that they will never be forgotten. Much like the taste buds on an individuals tongue, music is the stimuli for the brain to throw back those thoughts to an exact moment in time. Ann Cvetkovich, the author of An Archive of Feelings, says, “Music helps return the listener to the pleasures of sensory embodiment that trauma destroys”[1] Here, she directly relates music to feelings. She examines that the music is not just a medium or a structure of melody, but it is more of an escape from reality that throws one into a continuum of past recollections.

Cvetkovich illustrates this idea of “trauma” to represent the traumatic experiences of the past. Trauma can be represented in something shocking that happened to one in particular or one that is very close, in terms of relationship, to another individual. In such situations, music can represent trauma, or be used as an escape from trauma. For example, some people grow up in a rough household and their only escape from the tough times is to zone out through the access of music. Another example is that music itself is an outlet for trauma, meaning sometimes people listen to angry-sounding music to illustrate how they feel; thus, trauma is shown through music. Some artists even write about the trauma of their past, which can relate to listeners in the same type of situation. As a result, a community is built around trauma with people who experience the music the same way that others do.

Music is used not only to escape from reality by enjoying the melody, but also to create an archive of one’s feelings that can be accessed through this outlet of sound. For example, whatever favorite artist one enjoys listening to now, will most likely not be their favorite artist two or three years from now; if that individual were to hear the melody of their favorite song from this artist in four years, he/she will most likely think back to this current year. Scholar Jérôme Daltrozzo said, “The feeling of familiarity evoked by a melody may reactivate emotional or associative concepts carried either by the melody itself or by the memory representations of this melody”[2] Here, he means that a melody is more than just a sequence of different notes; it has a way of carrying itself into a state of the familiar, a state of memory, a state of meaning. Music is more than just music notes and lyrical sounds; rather, it’s a way to access a library of thoughts, a way to live in the moment and in the past, a way to capture who one is through sounds of enlightenment.

Another way to think about music is in the musical representation of self. Different media are ways to build a profile for one’s self. Some use website interfaces, social media archives, and others use music libraries to illustrate who they are. Profiles can be formed through the music that someone listens to. Look at iTunes, a music library that is designed to suggest music an individual may like; it gives suggested artists according to previous purchases in the past. Or even the Genius button, that when pressed it selects all the music in one’s library that person enjoys and places them into a playlist to listen to, songs that sound similar.

In Watson’s Studying the Digital Self, she says “Online sites gather, authorize, and conserve present and past versions of self that document a person’s life, habits, and desires.”[3] In this essay, she analyzes how one can use the digital archives to characterize one’s self. These online sites reveal whom one wants to be based on the present and past. Music works the same way; people want to show others who they are based on their musical preference. People can shape their desired self through movements of sound.

Furthermore, people use music as an analytical tool to show others who one sees one’s self as. For example, when going on a first date with a new friend, one typically plays music that the date likes. One would not want to play the genres that he/she only likes. Granted that the date may or may not have musical genres in common. In such case, music can be used to build a persona or to almost “win” acceptance of those one is around.

Therefore music is way more involved than just simple sounds; more like a compilation of digital memories and feelings captivated in a variety of melodies to represent one’s self or desires. Whether it is an act of representation or denoted from feeling a certain way, music helps enhance those moods and representations when one already feels a specific way. For instance, when one initially feels sad, typically one chooses to listen to sad music to enhance those feelings. In a study about mood stimuli and music, the researchers concluded that there is a tendency for sad individuals to avoid happy music” (Page 43).[4] In this study, research concluded that the subjects who were feeling sad generally wanted to listen to sad music because it complimented their initial feelings. This conclusion seems to be true because when people feel sad it is hard to shift one’s feelings to be positive when one’s mood is clearly unpleasant or sad.

Music has also been used as a tool to manipulate the audience into feeling one way or another. Take for example, animal shelter commercials; the visuals used in these commercials are solemn-looking dogs with gloomy piano music playing in the background. This tactic is used to manipulate the audience into feeling sad for the animals and going to the nearest shelter and buying an animal. This shows yet another example of how music can be used as a tool rather than as a simple sound structure.

In conclusion, music can be used for a variety of purposes whether it is to be used to manipulate an audience, to identify to others who one is and what he/she stands for, to enhance one’s own mood, or to simply structure one’s own mood. Furthermore music can be used as a tool of appeal or to reminisce on a previous moment in time. All of these are different ways to use music for a specific purpose. It is hard to project what the future holds for music in general and where the audience will take it, but one thing is certain: music will not die, it will live on through the memories and the representation of each and every individual, and it will continue to be a powerful apparatus.

[1] Cvetkovich, Ann. An Archive of Feelings: Trauma, Sexuality, and Lesbian Public Cultures. Durham, NC: Duke UP, 2003. Print.

[2] Daltrozzo, Jérôme, et al. “Temporal Aspects Of The Feeling Of Familiarity For Music And The Emergence Of Conceptual Processing.” Journal Of Cognitive Neuroscience 22.8 (2010): 1754-1769. Academic Search Complete. Web. 4 Feb. 2015.

[3] Watson, Julia. “Studying the Digital Self.” The Chronicle of HIGHER EDUCATION. University of Wisconsin, n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2015.

[4] Taylor, Christa, et al. “Sad Mood and Music Choice: Does the Self-Relevance of the Mood-Eliciting Stimulus Moderate Song Preference?” Media Psychology 18:1 (2015): 24-50. Academic Search Complete. Web. 4 Feb. 2015.