We discussed The Brain of Einstein, The ‘Blue Blood’ Cruise, The Poor and the Proletariat and The Face of Garbo. We discussed that Einstein’s brain was the sign, the formula he had solved the signifier and the representation of his brain as the ultimate symbol of genius, signified. In regards to how Einstein’s brain is viewed as a robotic and mechanical machine producing formulas, can his unfinished equations be considered form because they act as a base for a lot of new findings after his death and continue to feed the idea of a “genius brain”? We also talked about how Einstein’s brain and his findings can be perhaps viewed as a myth because in science, there are always new findings and thus nothing can be considered “fact” per se as discussed in one of our classes.
We discussed The Face of Garbo in regards to fascination of celebrities today and the celebrity culture particularly in America. We discussed how people follow daily lives of celebrities through tabloids whether it is on the Internet or magazines. When people are watching a movie, they are not only watch the movie but with it viewers buy into the personal lives of the movie stars (i.e. from what they are wearing to who are they are dating). We thought that with the example of the actor Garbo in the reading, it related to the myth that people who are following their daily lives somehow know celebrities personally although it is a myth created around to make the viewers of their movies feel included in their inner-circle. Thus, we as consumers or viewers lean “towards the fascination of mortal faces, when the clarity of the flshe as essence yields its place to a lyricism of Woman” (57).
We discussed that the Poor and the Proletariat discussed the portrayal of the “proletariat” by Charlie Chaplin and perhaps connects to contemporary perception of “poor” in our society today. The view of the poor or the proletarian in our society where they are perceived as “still blind and mystified, defined by the immediate character his needs, and his total alienation at the hands of his masters (the employers and the police” (39). This myth is reproduced in many ways in our society. For example, during elections, the poor or the laborers are often portrayed as uninformed voters.
In this analysis, we were not were clear on what the sign, signifier, and signified were.