Semester Review Video, Spring 2008

This 31-minute video was compiled to serve as an entertaining, yet still relevant, review of the spring 2008 course I taught at TCU, “General Semantics for Mass Communications Practitioners.” It contains over 70 clips from 36 different sources, so it goes by pretty quickly. General themes addressed:

  • Herbie Hancock, Miles DavisRole that language, words, and other symbols play in how we perceive, evaluate and respond to life events
  • Basic brain/neuroscience findings that relate to how perceptions and reactions can be conditioned by symbols
  • How some behaviors lift us up, inspire you to “follow your bliss,” and create meaning in your life by taking whatever fortune or misfortune comes your way and turning it into something of value (as in “non-judgmental” jazz)
  • Other behaviors exploit our susceptibility to symbols to control, manipulate, stigmatize
  • How we use and respond to obscenity, profanity and other language/symbols construed by some as “offensive” — specifically, the F- and N- words
  • Corporate and political propaganda and PR (“Planning Reactions”)
  • Advertising to condition our responses, proposing to instill loyalty beyond reason and cult-like devotion

George Carlin*Some content may be considered objectionable and inappropriate for some viewers. Obscenity and profanity are the subject of some of the clips so their use, both audibly and visually, occurs throughout. *

Therefore it might be prudent to review the list of sources to determine if your sensibilities can withstand the content.

To put these materials in context, the lesson outline from the course syllabus is included below the video.

Source Materials (in order of initial appearance)

Images from VideoMaterials from these television, movie, documentary and private sources served as a review of the course materials from the Spring 2008 course, “General Semantics for Mass Communication Practitioners.” Fair use of these copyrighted materials for educational, non-commercial usage, is appropriately applied.

  1. “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart, Comedy Central
  2. “For What It’s Worth,” Buffalo Springfield
  3. The Birds, directed by Alfred Hitchcock
  4. V for Vendetta, directed by James McTiegue
  5. Five Easy Pieces, directed by Bob Rafaelson
  6. The Empire Strikes Back, directed by Irvin Kershner
  7. “Talking Sense,” from the 1952 television series “Of Men and Ideas”
  8. The Brain: The Universe Within, Discovery Channel
  9. Guzer.com
  10. South Pacific, Rodgers and Hammerstein, directed by Joshua Logan
  11. Faces of the Enemy, written by Sam Keen, directed by Bill Jersey
  12. Revenge of the Sith, directed by George Lucas
  13. Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Movement 1954-1985, executive producer Henry Hampton
  14. Dress to Kill, written by Eddie Izzard, directed by Lawrence Jordan
  15. “The Colbert Report,” Comedy Central
  16. “MadTV”
  17. My Fair Lady, written by Alan Jay Lerner and Fredereick Lowe, directed by George Kukor
  18. Jamie Cullum: Live at Blenheim Palace
  19. “An Interview with Charlotte S. Read,” Sensory Awareness Foundation
  20. Blue Man Group: Inside the Tube
  21. Herbie Hancock: Possibilities, Showtime, directed by Doug Biro and Jon Fine
  22. The Sixth Sense, directed by M. Night Shyamalan
  23. “The Collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge,” copyright The Camera Shop
  24. “Real Time with Bill Maher,” HBO
  25. Blazing Saddles, directed by Mel Brooks
  26. The N Word, directed by Todd Larkins
  27. “Bill Moyers Journal,” PBS
  28. “Independent Lens: The Paper,” directed by Aaron Matthews
  29. Bob Saget: That Ain’t Right, directed by Beth McCarthy
  30. Bud.tv
  31. “Flight of the Conchords,” HBO
  32. FucK: A Documentary, directed by Steve Anderson
  33. George Carlin: Doin’ It Again, HBO, directed by Rocco Urbisci
  34. Toxic Sludge is Good For You, produced by Margo Robb
  35. “Bill Moyer’s Walk Through the 20th Century: The 30-Second President,” PBS
  36. “Frontline: The Persuaders,” PBS, produced by Rachel Dretzin, correspondent Douglas Rushkoff

Course Review Video, Spring 2008

Course Outline from the Course Syllabus

Spring 2008 Course Outline