Final Paper: Nuclear Weapons Leading to Apocalypse

After gaining insight from Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones, and hearing recent class discussions, I was intrigued to research more about Nuclear weapons and their potential to leading to human apocalypse. I have come up with the thesis that nuclear weapons are a technology of high power and have a strong potential in today’s society and have a likely potential to lead to the downfall of human civilization. Through analysis of the history of the making of nuclear weapons, nuclear weapons in today’s society, the impact of such weaponry, and the relation to class sources, I will explore how nuclear weapons could lead to an apocalyptic event in the future.

According to Oxford Dictionary, a nuclear weapon is defined as a bomb or missile that uses nuclear energy to cause an explosion. Nuclear weapons made their impact on society starting in the early 1940s. The United States turned a page in technology in 1942 with the beginnings of the invention of Nuclear Weaponry. August of 1942 was the start of the Manhattan Project in the US employed 130,000 individuals and spent billions of dollars creating the first nuclear weapon. This development would soon be used in July and August of 1945 when the US tested and implemented their Atomic Bomb. Equivalent to over 20,000 tons of TNT, the United States shook the world physically and mentally with their bold move of dropping an atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

When considering the technology behind nuclear weapons, it’s important to explore the science behind it. According to Arms Control Association, “The first design of a nuclear weapon in the United States was a gun-barrel assembly, in which two sub-critical masses of very highly enriched uranium (HEU), were brought together by normal artillery propellant in a short gun barrel into a single over-critical configuration.” The world had to start somewhere in the creation of such a powerful weapon that it makes sense that they used a set up similar to weapons popular at the time, guns. The advancements in the technology moved rapidly and according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, “Most nuclear weapons today are two-stage thermonuclear weapons that derive their explosive energy from the combined power of nuclear fission and fusion. An initial fission reaction generates the high temperatures needed to trigger a secondary—and much more powerful—fusion reaction.” This starts to show how advanced the technology has become and all of the small details that goes in to such a large piece of machinery. Since the start of construction of nuclear weapons, there have been over 67,500 nuclear missiles built and over 4,680 nuclear bombers built all over the world. Nuclear weapons not only pose a threat of immediate explosion and wide-spread radiation, but there are also many secondary effects such as the contamination of all food and water supply, the pollution of air, and the destruction of power grids. This is not to mention the threat of a nuclear winter, a period of abnormal cold and darkness predicted to follow a nuclear war, caused by a layer of smoke and dust in the atmosphere blocking the sun’s rays. An article from Mother Nature Network states, “In 2007, scientists Brian Toon and Alan Robock concluded that if India and Pakistan were to launch 50 nuclear weapons at each other, the entire planet could experience 10 years of smoke clouds and a three-year temperature drop” (11 ways).
The reactions to this bold and hazardous weapon were dependent on the nation. In 1946, the UN attempted to create an anti-nuclear weapon act banning the use of such weapons. Their plan failed as the Soviet Union became the second nation to successfully create and test a nuclear device in August of 1949. As of 2014, a total of 9 countries are armed with nuclear weapons that can be launched within a minutes notice. Since the creation of the first atomic bomb, nuclear warfare has only been used as a form of attack twice in our world history. This was the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Although not used in harm, there have been over 2,000 nuclear tests conducted as more and more countries began to create their own weapons. . If we base numbers off of the amount of deaths caused from the bombing on Hiroshima, the United States alone has built enough nuclear warheads to kill 25,000,000,000 people between initial, immediate deaths and the effects of radiation. This makes nuclear weapons the most powerful and detrimental technology there is.

Nuclear weapons were viewed as a large threat in 1962 during the Cubin Missile Crisis. In October of 1963, it was brought to President John F. Kennedy’s attention that the US had obtained aerial footage of what seemed to b e a nuclear plant in Cuba. This lead to nuclear weapons being the largest threat of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. Professor Ernest May writes an atrial about John F. Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis and states, “Dwight Eisenhower (Kennedy’s successor), had calculated in 1960 that, if a crisis led either side to fire nuclear weapons, all humans in the northern hemisphere could perish. ‘Gravest issues’ indeed.”

Such rapid production of mass killing devices is a topic easily related to recent discussions and readings of Crisis and Apocalyptic events we’ve experienced in class.

Nuclear weaponry can relate to our reading of Oreskes’ “Collapse of Western Civilization” when stated, “In the prehistory of “civilization,” many societies rose and fell…” Although differing in the main topic, this reading can strongly relate to the effect nuclear weapons had on civilizations and society as a whole. This reading goes on to refer to actions being predictable and accurate which was very untrue of the consequences of nuclear weaponry in its beginning stages. When first brought about, nuclear weapons were seemingly unpredictable and risky. At the turn of the century, society is able to much more accurately predict what the consequences of nuclear weapons would be based on past experience. The world can assume the destruction brought about by such intense weaponry and can envision the world at its collapse with such technology, but no man can fully foresee what the world would look like amidst such chaos. After our discussion in class, it was brought to my mind about apocalyptic events and how the production and use of nuclear weapons could, in fact, lead to a self-induced apocalypse. The world has become a dangerous place with power put into the hands of people who are thought to be trusted. No matter what level of trust we have in those superior to us, there is always room for conflict. Today’s world is a dangerous place and seems to never have peace. I truly believe that World War III will happen within the next 100 years and that very little will survive of it. I also believe that World War IV will be fought the way original battles were hundreds of years ago and our world will begin anew. I truly do believe that the real ending to the world as we know it will be when Jesus comes to rescue all that is left of the world but I plan on further exploring how nuclear weapons could bring about an apocalypse of their own.

Early in the semester we read An Archive of Feelings by Ann Cvetkovich. This book describes the struggles and trauma of women as an archive. Oxford Dictionary defines an archive as a collection of historical documents or records providing information about a place, institution, or group of people. If we analyze nuclear weapons as an archive, we can see more about their history and the effect they have on society. Nuclear weapons were created practically incidentally when splitting the smallest of subatomic particles and developed into a world-wide phenomenon of both safety and danger. In further analysis of this archive, we can see the potential ending, that being, an apocalypse. This potential for destruction is similar to the trauma being experience in Cvetkovich’s, “An Archive of Feelings.”

Apocalypse Never is a book written by Tad Daley that describes the reasoning behind why nuclear weapons should be abolished or our world will perish. Valerie Plame Wilson of firdoglake.com states, “Apocalypse Never is a frightening book to read but impossible to put down. In clear, accessible prose, Tad Daley unblinkingly lays out the case, point by point, for why we must ultimately rid the world of nuclear weapons or else suffer the inevitable consequences of the end of civilization as we know it. Daley then takes on the task of showing how this seemingly Herculean task can be accomplished, even within our lifetimes. It is compelling and accurate in its assessments and one of the absolute best out there on why we simply cannot continue along the way it has been.”

The topic of nuclear weapons is one that seems very “hush hush” and is not confronted head on as it should be. Many people know the possibility of their use exits but are too naïve to believe it will ever happen. Since there are not bombs being launched left and right, it seems as though it will never actually happen in our lifetime. On March 15, 2015, it was released in articles from The Independent (UK News) that Vladimir Putin of Russia was prepared to release nuclear missiles on the United States of America saying, “They (USA) helped training the nationalists, their armed groups, in Western Ukraine, in Poland and to some extent in Lithuania. They facilitated the armed coup” when speaking on the annexation of the Black Sea and Ukraine Crisis (Vladimir Putin).

Our world has become a very advanced and powerful place to live and it is not crazy to believe that one small instance could put civilization up in flames, literally and figuratively.

Works Cited

“Apocalypse Never – Rutgers University Press.” Apocalypse Never – Rutgers University Press. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2015.

“Arms Control Today.” The Technology of Nuclear Weapons. N.p., 1 Nov. 1997. Web. 27 Apr. 2015.

May, Ernest R. “John F Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis.” BBC News. BBC, 18 Nov. 2013. Web. 30 Apr. 2015.

“Nuclear Weapons: How They Work (2010).” Union of Concerned Scientists. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.

“Nuclear Weapons Timeline.” ICAN. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.

“Vladimir Putin Says Russia Was Preparing to Use Nuclear Weapons ‘if Necessary’ and Blames US for Ukraine Crisis.” The Independent. Independent Digital News and Media, 15 Mar. 2015. Web. 27 Apr. 2015.

“11 Ways the World Could End: Nuclear War.” MNN. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2015.

Advertisements

Our Blog as an Archive

When starting this class, I was both captivated and a little skeptical of using this blog site. I have never used something of the sort for a class before so I did not really know what to expect. I also struggle very badly in terms of new types of technology (funny considering this class topic) and do not always grasp certain things, like tagging, easily. After getting going with the blog, I noticed how laid back and easy to use it is. I really do think it is the best way to structure this class with our writings, topics, and opinions. In terms of the final assignment, I have noticed some trends amongst our classmates. Since we are able to create our paper entirely off of a topic we choose to write about, there are many topics that relate to things typical to be interested in by college students: gaming, music, cell phones, sports, etc. Although seemingly typical, the people writing about such topics are exploring something very broad and creating pieces of writing that intrigue to reader since most of us have similar interests in today’s society.

I was also very intrigued by some of the topics that I did not expect to see. For example, I did not necessarily picture someone to write about honey bees, solar panels, or neuroprosthetics.  Topics such as these differ from the ones I shared before because they are topics it typically thought about or expressed. I am very excited to read about these topics because they are all things that I did not have much knowledge about previously.

I have seen how these blog posts have developed in their depth over this semester and how topics have come about. I know personally that I would start with a topic and then find myself exploring a different branch of it than I expected. I really enjoy the limitlessness of this blog and how open ended it can be. It is rare to have a class where you can write about definite things that are of interest to you and put a spark in your mind. I love being able to navigate through this blog and wonder what sparked someone to write about their topic of choice. It not only allows us as students to express ourselves through our writing, but also to relate to others and find a new relatability to some of our classmates.

I think many of us in this class could say that this was one of the classes where you did not have to know everyone’s names or speak outside of class, but that you felt comfortable to talk and express your ideas in the classroom. I believe the blog is a big part of this and became an archive of all of our personalities coming together.  I am very excited to see what everyone has to offer in their final papers because I think we can all learn a lot about ourselves from each other’s posts and could spark future ideas of our own. I know that after getting in our small groups and discussing our topics with some classmates, I became very intrigued by the topics and could see myself exploring some of them in future works of my own.

Personal Reflection

I chose to write my blogs and end term paper about Nuclear Weapons after
the discussion we had in class on March, 27, 2015. In class, we spoke
about apocalyptic events, what individuals in class felt about it, what
beliefs were, and what possible events could lead to such an outcome.
During this class period, we were also taught the meaning of the word
“eschatology” and that is the theory of what will happen at the end of
time. I think our class knows fairly well by now that I am very
religious and truly believe that the end of the world will be when Jesus
decides. However, I am not naïve to advancements in human technology and
the potential threat they pose. Nuclear weapons are a technology unlike
any other. The amount of power behind such a small atom is dangering and
life threatening.

As Americans, we have freedoms and safety. In our country, there are not
many threats on a daily basis. There have always been issues that arise
such as terrorist attacks but as a country, we are generally in a very
safe place. We do not have a Taliban walking around the streets of our
country or men in uniform walking around cities on a daily basis. It is
not the norm to see an Army man carrying a gun around the streets of
Cleveland or Columbus. There are not children carrying around bombs and
sacrificing themselves. America is a country that people come to for
freedom to think and live at ease.

Growing up in a place like Ohio, it is hard to believe we would ever be
a true target. I feel like people in places like New York and Washington
DC may view such powerful weapons as even more of a threat than most
considering if there were to ever be an attack on America, it is
typically in an high functioning political area of the sort. In all the
terrorist attacks in the past decades, there have been targets on the
twin towers in New York city, the Pentagon, the White House,
Jacksonville Florida, Little Rock Arkansas, etc. Ohioans have been
fairly free from threat in terms of being the immediate target of
something horrible happening. This is not to say, of course, that Ohio
is completely safe and nothing will ever happen to us here. But in
general, people of New York and Washington DC could feel much more
threatened than others if there were ever to be the threat of a launched
nuclear weapon.

Everyone has there own thoughts and feelings about what apocalyptic
events will happen in the future and what will truly cause the end of
the world. Although I believe the end of the world will be when God
decides the world has become too corrupt, there is strong potential for
an apocalypse due to the strength and power behind Nuclear Weapons.
Everyone will perceive these weapons differently based on their
backgrounds and lifestyles but as an American, I find comfort in knowing
that my country has something powerful to keep myself and my family
safe.

Observation of Nuclear Weapons

Germany was the first country to discover the possibilities that could arise based on the splitting of a uranium atom. This brought about fear in the United States, as it was a time of Nazism and Fascism in other countries. Albert Einstein who escaped from Nazi persecution had come to the United States and felt it was his responsibility to inform the President of what the German physicists were on the breakings of. After writing a detailed letter to President Roosevelt, there was a slow agreement to start the making of an Atomic Bomb in the United States. An atomic bomb is defined as a bomb that derives its destructive power from the rapid release of nuclear energy by fission of heavy atomic nuclei, causing damage through heat, blast, and radioactivity. This was then named the Manhattan Project. Having study based out of only three universities in the US, the University of Chicago, with the help of Enrico Fermi who had escaped Italian Fascism, discovered the first controlled nuclear chain reaction. This discovery was the turning point in the making of the first Nuclear Weapon. After such an advancement, funding was much assisted and development quickened. Towards the end of development, roughly $2 billion had been spent on research of the atomic bomb alone. It was seemingly impossible to keep such a large effort an entire secret but the nation seemed to manage very well. After completing their first trial, the United States prepared for the first detonation of an atomic bomb. Unprepared for such extreme results, the Americans on the trial were surprised at the blinding flash that was visible for nearly 200 miles. The homes of citizens had windows blown out over 100 miles away from the detonation due to the extreme pressure and heat.
The United Nations made the first attempt to ban the use and creation of such weapons in 1946 after seeing all of the negative effects it had on the world. Since this time, there have been many efforts and treaties in the potential elimination of Nuclear Weaponry. One example is the Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and Under Water. This was signed in 1963 by The Governments of the United States of America, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The treaty contains articles such as Article 1 which states, “Each of the Parties to this Treaty undertakes to prohibit, to prevent, and not to carry out any nuclear weapon test explosion, or any other nuclear explosion, at any place under its jurisdiction or control.”

Since the creation of the first atomic bomb, nuclear warfare has only been used as a form of attack twice in our world history. This was the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Although not used in harm, there have been over 2,000 nuclear tests conducted as more and more countries began to create their own weapons. As of 2013, the United States alone has built over 125,000 more nuclear warheads. If we base numbers off of the amount of deaths caused from the bombing on Hiroshima, the United States has built enough nuclear warheads to kill 25,000,000,000 people between initial immediate deaths and the effects of radiation.

http://www.un.org/disarmament/WMD/Nuclear/
http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/since-hiroshima-weve-built-125000-nuclear-bombs
http://www.ushistory.org/us/51f.asp

Nuclear Weapons

After gaining insight from Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones, and hearing recent class discussions, I was intrigued to research more about Nuclear Weapons and their potential to leading to human apocalypse.

The United States turned a page in technology in 1942 with the beginnings of the invention of Nuclear Weaponry. August of 1942 was the start of the Manhattan Project in the US employed 130,000 individuals and spent billions of dollars creating the first nuclear weapon. This development would soon be used in July and August of 1945 when the US tested and implemented their Atomic Bomb. Equivalent to over 20,000 tons of TNT, the United States shook the world physically and mentally with their bold move of dropping an atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The reactions to this bold and hazardous weapon were dependent on the nation. In 1946, the UN attempted to create an anti-nuclear weapon act banning the use of such weapons. Their plan failed as the Soviet Union became the second nation to successfully create and test a nuclear device in August of 1949. As of 2014, a total of 9 countries are armed with nuclear weapons that can be launched within a minutes notice. Such rapid production of mass killing devices is a topic easily related to recent discussions and readings of Crisis and Apocalyptic events we’ve experienced in class. Nuclear Weaponry can relate to our reading of Oreskes’ “Collapse of Western Civilization” when stated, “In the prehistory of “civilization,” many societies rose and fell…” Although differing in the main topic, this reading can strongly relate to the effect nuclear weapons had on civilizations and society as a whole. This reading goes on to refer to actions being predictable and accurately predicted which was very untrue of the consequences of nuclear weaponry in its beginning stages. When first brought about, nuclear weapons were seemingly unpredictable and risky. At the turn of the century, society is able to much more accurately predict what the consequences of nuclear weapons would be based on past experience. The world can assume the destruction brought about by such intense weaponry and can envision the world at its collapse with such technology, but no man can fully foresee what the world would look like amidst such chaos. After our discussion in class, it was brought to my mind about apocalyptic events and how the production and use of nuclear weapons could, in fact, lead to a self-induced apocalypse. The world has become a dangerous place with power put into the hands of people who are thought to be trusted. No matter what level of trust we have in those superior to us, there is always room for conflict. Today’s world is a dangerous place and seems to never have peace. I truly believe that World War III will happen within the next 100 years and that very little will survive of it. I also believe that World War IV will be fought the way original battles were hundreds of years ago and our world will begin anew. I truly do believe that the real ending to the world as we know it will be when Jesus comes to rescue all that is left of the world but I plan on further exploring how nuclear weapons could bring about an apocalypse of their own.

http://www.icanw.org/the-facts/the-nuclear-age/

http://www.icanw.org/the-facts/nuclear-arsenals/

Magazines

Andrea Mayer

Professor Josephson

COMPSTD 2367.04

4 March 2015

Magazines

                In 1741, the first two magazines in North America were published by Benjamin Franklin and Andrew Bradford. Franklin competed with Bradford to see who could publish their magazine first. Bradford’s American Magazine, or Monthly View of the Political State of the British Colonies beat Franklin’s The General Magazine, and Historical Chronicle for all the British Plantations in America by just three days (American Magazine). Magazines have come a long way since the 1700s and target specific audiences in today’s society. As a medium, magazines are tangible, book-like bound packets of information on any possible topic. Magazines target specific audiences such as pre-teens/teenagers, young men, young women, expecting parents, middle age parents, and grandparents. By targeting a specific audience, the publishers of magazines are able to relate to a certain genre and topic.

The first “teenage magazine” created in the United States was Seventeen in 1944 (History). Pre-teen and Teenage directed magazines such as J-14, Girl’s Life, and Seventeen use vibrant colors to gain the attention of their desired audience. They typical portray a well-known celebrity on the cover with a flashy headline. Magazines for this age group express themselves as a medium by containing posters that you can tear out and hang up, surveys for the reader to take, and quizzes such as “What actress are you most like?” By using such tactics in the set-up of the magazine, the publishers are able to acquire and keep the attention of the reader. However, teenagers do not stay teenagers forever and grow up into young men and women with magazines directed specifically for them.

Men’s Health and Sports Illustrated are two of the most popular magazines that target young men, ages 18-35. These magazines relay information about recent Sports topics and also give tips for men to use on how to lose weight or stay fit. Built like any other magazine, Men’s Health grabs the eye of the reader by having a shirtless man with chiseled abs on the front.  Sports Illustrated is known for either having a recently important athlete on the cover, or a woman in a bikini for sex appeal.  Sports Illustrated is credited with the first photographs through the use of an object in sports for a better angle (for example, in the net at a hockey game or through the glass backboard during an NBA championship) in 1965 (Sports Illustrated).  Contrary to these genres of magazines are magazines directed towards a young women audience.

Vogue and Cosmopolitan are two of the most famous magazines focused towards young women, roughly age 20-40. Vogue made its first appearance in American in 1892 and contained basic yet direct titles such as the 1916 September issue, “Forecast of Autumn Fashions”. Although modernized, Vogue is still directed towards the same audience as it was in the late 1800s and keeps women up to date on the latest fashion trends. Magazines as these typically portray a beautiful woman in appealing clothes on the cover to make the reader want to know how to have a body image like the model. Through the use of neutral colors with a pop of red or pink, magazines such as Vogue and Cosmopolitan bring the reader in to what’s “hot” in the fashion world. Many times, these magazines will have multiple pages of perfume samples where the reader can lift a tab and smell a fragrance. This hands on experience is one of the many reasons women still love to get their magazines at the end-cap at the grocery store. For the women who are a little bit older and ready to start a family, a different category of magazine is specifically for them.

Fit Pregnancy and Babytalk are two of the most popular examples of magazines directed towards expecting parents (mothers in particular). By using big names such as Kourtney Kardashian on the cover, publishers are drawing in readers not only for the reason of parenting advice, but also to see what the celebrities are doing during their pregnancies. These magazines give expecting mothers an idea of what vitamins and supplements they should be taking, what vaccines are said to be controversial, what is fashionable to wear when pregnant, and what to expect when having their baby. They are also known for giving advice for the first year of parenting and have been referred to as the “Bible for new moms”. These magazines use pictures and description to let the reader know what is normal and when to seek help with a new baby in the house. Many new parents immediately think the worst when they hear their baby’s first cough, but with the help of magazines like Babytalk, they may learn at what point they should begin to worry. There are also references to designers when coming up with ideas for decorating the baby’s new room.

Magazines like People and Bon Appetit are directed toward the middle age parent. By providing entertainment for the reader, People keeps its audience up to date on all the drama in Hollywood.  People is also a fairly new magazine as it started in 1974 featuring photos of the beautiful Mia Farrow, a major star of the era. A magazine like Bon Appetit is designed to enlighten the reader on cooking habits by providing recipes, how-to’s, photo’s, and responses of those with first-hand experience. These magazines are perfect for a reader who has some extra time on their hands to try some new things. The Bon Appetit website even has a link to its own archive, showing each monthly magazine and its main topic (Thanksgiving in November, Christmas in December, etc.).

Good Housekeeping and Grand are two examples of magazines designed for older individuals. These magazines relate to the life of a grandparent and provide the reader with activities and ideas to try when watching their grandchildren next. These magazines also include family friendly recipe’s and “self-improvement” articles. The information is portrayed in an organized manner, making the magazines easier to follow and seem more professional. There are also images that show real-life examples of the topic at hand.

By targeting certain audiences, magazines are made to relate to any individual. Each magazine is set up a little different, but has the same book like design. In Marshall McLuhan’s, The Medium is the Massage, he argues that the context is what we take away consciously, and the medium is what we take away subconsciously. This is seemingly perfect in terms of a magazine. McLuhan continues to share that the way information is portrayed is just as important, if not more important than the actual content of the information itself. Magazines of each genre portray themselves differently as stated before. Through posters for teens or perfume for women, each magazine does something a little different to relate to its target audience. Having a medium with such strong variety, the magazine industry is still thriving even with the advancements of technology.

Magazines are also used for companionship. In Alone Together, Sherry Turkle states, “We are lonely but fearful of intimacy…We are psychologically programmed not only to nurture what we love but to love what we nurture. So even simple artificial creatures can provoke heartfelt attachment” (1). This can relate to how some people thrive off of the information found in magazines. Readers can become so consumed in the lives of others and the drama portrayed to them that they seemingly find companionship in such an artificial item. Magazines can become a source of information and entertainment for many that essentially eliminates them from reality. They are in their own fairytale world simply by feeling involved in the lives of other people whom they have never met.

In the Archive of Feelings, Ann Cvetkovich states that an “archive of feelings” is, “an exploration of cultural texts as repositories of feelings and emotions, which are encoded not only in the content of the texts themselves, but in the practices that surround their production and reception” (7). If we view magazines as an archive of feelings, we are allowing ourselves to question the meaning behind magazines and also the messages being portrayed. This becomes much more apparent in terms of controversial tabloids. If the reader explores the cultural text and the feelings and emotions encoded, it becomes much more than just the latest drama. In terms of magazines such as Sports Illustrated, the reader may begin to look into much more detail than they would have originally. It begins to twist the interpretation of the reader.

The onset of technology and internet has made many forms of writing suffer. Almost all magazine articles are online now and can be viewed with the just the click of a mouse. This will lose the true affect that magazines have on readers. Readers will not be able to rip out posters or write in their answers to a survey, and they will not be able to lift a tab and smell the designer perfumes and colognes. Although the industry is suffering, magazines will never fully leave the paper-back world. Whether it’s in line at a grocery store or in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, magazines are everywhere waiting to be picked up and enjoyed.

Works Cited

“”American Magazine” & “The General Magazine,” the First Magazines Published in North America: Both Very Short-Lived (January 1741).” : HistoryofInformation.com. Jeremy Norman & Co, n.d. Web. 03 Mar. 2015.

Cvetokovich, Ann. Archive of Feelings. N.p., n.d. Print.

“History.” Teen Magazines -. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Mar. 2015.

McLuhan, Marshall, Quentin Fiore, and Jerome Agel. The Medium Is the Massage. New York: Bantam, 1967. Print.

“Sports Illustrated.” Sports Illustrated. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Mar. 2015.

Turkle, Sherry. Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

Magazines

There is a well-known picture that represents our humane society both past and present. It is of a man sitting at a bus stop holding a newspaper from roughly the 1940s and a pictures of a man sitting at a bus stop holding a cell phone from the 2000s. Such a picture shows that no matter the era, the actions of humans are still the same. Whether it is a newspaper or a cell phone, humans are engulfed in the entertainment and simplicity brought by the technology in front of them. Having something to read or scroll through allows an individual to be secluded from others while still being present. It is a distraction and an escape from reality. Magazines are a unique example to explore through this mindset of distraction and seclusion from the everyday world. Throughout the years, magazines have developed into such a wide range of categories and are individualized for a specific target.  As children, many of us have probably had fundraisers for our school by selling magazines to family and friends. My elementary school did this, along with other sales, to raise funds for things such as donations, projects, damages, etc. We would be given a catalog with every magazine that a customer could purchase, and the options seemed endless. It was amazing how much money our school raised through such an easy fundraiser. Everyone was willing to purchase a magazine because they knew they would get their money’s worth based on how often they would turn to their magazine. With there being so many different magazine themes and targeted groups, there is literally something for everyone to be interested in or intrigued by.

Once people have a magazine, they are submerged in it’s contents. Whether sitting at home on a Sunday evening, or hanging out in the waiting area at the doctor’s office, people are amused by magazines. They sit there and read the gossip, the latest in sports, the new gardening style, the latest fashion, etc. When sitting in the waiting area, many individuals are frightened at the sound of their name being called to go into the exam room after being so in-tune with the paper product sitting in their lap.

In Sherry Turkle’s Alone Together, she states, “We are lonely but fearful of intimacy…We are psychologically programmed not only to nurture what we love but to love what we nurture. So even simple artificial creatures can provoke heartfelt attachment.” This leads to a controversial topic: pornography. One of the most well-known examples of pornographic imagery is Playboy Magazine. Although Hugh leads a very successful lifestyle, there is a potential underlying meaning to the use of such magazines. Society relies on technology for companionship and acceptance with one’s self.

Many people who read magazines are reading to be in tune with the lives of others. Ann states, “They read to find out about other people’s lives. We are all-nearly all- curious about other people, about our neighbors, about the people in the next street, about the workmen on the building site around the corner, or about the other children playing in the park” (1). Humans have a desire to know what is going on and want to feel like a part of something else, because they themselves are never good enough. Some people even feel like the life they see through a magazine is better than their own. They want to be the character they are reading about. Turkle states, “He scanned in pictures from magazines and wrote profiles for imaginary people. Then, he used their identities to begin conversations about himself.” This is just one example of the potential use of a magazine to make an individual feel a part of something better.

Magazines truly are a medium of information that is used to evoke feelings that are not present in an everyday lifestyle for some.

  1. http://www.bdtips.com/read/?article=why-do-people-read-books-newspaper-and-magazines

Photo :