Sitting in my overly warm, box-like dorm room while listening to some Owl City for inspiration, I am attempting to come up with ideas for an upcoming paper on public discourse. I actually don't feel like I am having much trouble thinking of ideas. I am drawing from conversations I have recently had, movies I've seen, or books I am currently reading.
One idea is on the censorship of American television. Not too long ago, I was watching an episode of "The Weekly Rift". They had one discussion about some perfume or soap commercial that had a nude woman in it, where you did see her chest very briefly. This commercial was aired without a problem in other countries, but was absolutely not allowed in America. Is censoring these sorts of commercials really the right decision? Why, exactly, is it inappropriate if it is tasteful? There are plenty more questions that I feel I could greatly expand on with this topic.
Another idea stemmed from a conversation over dinner. A girl claimed a friend of her's had actually been accepted to be on the television show, "My Super Sweet Sixteen". Apparently, the contract to be on the show had some strict specifics. She girl would have to be a complete terror to her mother, the car her parents bought her and the theme of the party had to be a certain kind, etc. I am not sure if this is true or not, but it got me thinking about the "reality TV" that Americans are so addicted to. Reality clearly takes on a different definition in this context. Is it right to call it reality at all? How much influence on an individual does it have? Why are they so successful? Another subject I feel I have plenty of room to write on.
Another topic I find some interest in is mental illness, specifically those such as depression that increase risk of suicide. I think much is misunderstood about such conditions, which leads to it only furthering and causing a greater number of suicides. Why is this? Why does it seem as though society has a lack of understanding, or simply just averts their eyes from it? What needs to be done?
This, by the way, was sparked by two things. The first is a documentary a friend told me about called "The Bridge". The film crew of the documentary set up cameras around the Golden Gate Brudge, one of the most popular places for suicide, and catch nearly two dozen suicides on film. Friends, family members, and wittnesses are also interviewed. I have not seen it yet, but I am morbidly interested in watching it. The second is a book I picked up called, "Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide". The author presents many different aspects of suicide, and it is very informative, and yet the way it is written does not make it simply feel like some dull textbook. She sites personal stories and pieces of literature that are really provoking. Anyways, both really got me thinking about how suicide and its causes are handled, and I think it could make for an interesting paper.