For our Creative Thinking class, the professor took us through a closed reading exercise for the poem “Etude”. As we stumbled through the analysis, it became apparent that the lesson he was trying to teach was that everything we needed to know about what the poem was saying, was in the poem. Similarly, when we’re analyzing stuff for work, everything we need to know about the situation is presented in front of us. It took an hour and a half for him to pound the idea of “call it as we see it” into our head.
However, we can’t do that because the world, society and culture are not poems. While the social construction of the world is just as meticulously crafted as a poem, what we see is often intended to mask over something else- like in the Matrix.
But I can understand what the professor is saying and I think a lot of the insights that communication strategy people are responsible for come from just calling out what we see. And I do realize the affects of injecting our personal bias into our analysis.
I saw a documentary about dragons on the History Channel (yeah, I know, I’m a pimple infested nerd) and how on all sides of the world, different cultures inject different biases into the interpretation of the dinosaur bones they found. That’s why dragons all over have the same characteristics, but how dragons interact with people within each culture is very different. For example, the heavily Christian influenced West interpreted dragons to be another form that the Devil takes, thus leading to the stories like Beowulf and King Arthur. In the East, it was more secular and things tended to be more tied with nature, leading their interpretation to something that controls rain, luck and fortune. In these examples, they both missed the point- they found dinosaur bones, no more and no less.
This now presents the issue of the truth and which one the world revolves around. Does it work on the literal truth (dinosaur bones) or on the perceived truth (dragons)?
I definitely think it runs on the perceived truth, so I’m going to take the red pill and jump in. However, even if it does run on the perceived truth, I think people confuse things and take the perceived truth as the literal truth. And that’s where things get confusing…ha, maybe this is why the professor told us just to take what’s given to us.