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Blog 1 – Pandaemonium

Are the concerns expressed in the film Pandaemonium still relevant in the 21st century?

Pandaemonium explores core components of human experience and identity that unquestionably resonate across time to the present day, some I’d argue even more so in the 21st Century than the 19th. Considerations of the role of government and the autonomy, the balance between the strict pursuit of worldly knowledge and an ability to appreciate at the world around us are vital contemporary interests.

The film touches upon the human desire for control and the dynamics of power, pitted against the equally human desire for freedom. Throughout all of human history we can observe the struggle between liberty and tyranny, equality and discrimination manifest itself in a multitude of forms. The plebeians of ancient Rome, the American and French revolutions, the oppressive influence of authoritarian governments this very day are all excellent examples. We are blessed to reside in one of the safest and most prosperous countries on the globe, but even an estimated 13% of Australians are below the international relative poverty line.

The distractions impeding one’s ability to connect with the world around us are far more pervasive and ingrained within our culture than the cold knowledge of books Dorothy Wordsworth spoke so scornfully of in Pandaemonium. The advent of the digital age has enabled the dissemination of knowledge on a monumental scale but that same burden of knowledge erects an intangible barrier upon our ability to process that information. Being so bombarded with targeted advertising, artificial standards of beauty and behaviour, an expectation to be always connected and available, consumerism and a twenty-four-hour news cycle can make mindfulness a hefty challenge. The urge to consume information takes many forms as I compose this blog, from the facedown phone that lies by the desk, the television blaring downstairs, the laptop in the room next to me. Being able to pause, release tension and take the time to simply be open to the world unfettered by man or his machines takes genuine effort. Wordsworth may be dismayed at this state of affairs were she alive to do, but she may take comfort in the continuing resonance of her words.

Whilst the specific contextual dynamics of 19th Century England may not be directly applicable to the present day, the underling conceptual concerns can unquestionably be traced to the 21st Century, and indeed may well still concern the 24th Century.

Header Image: Sobelle, Geoff. “Cinematic Dance Theatre.” .Geoffsobelle.com, Oct. 2016, images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/53bd923fe4b03cf3057ae34e/1483467319332-Z6OJZM5AV09K2DUQH5VR/ke17ZwdGBToddI8pDm48kFmfxoboNKufWj-55Bgmc-J7gQa3H78H3Y0txjaiv_0fDoOvxcdMmMKkDsyUqMSsMWxHk725yiiHCCLfrh8O1z4YTzHvnKhyp6Da-NYroOW3ZGjoBKy3azqku80C789l0iXS6XmVv7bUJ418E8Yoc1hjuviiiZmrL38w1ymUdqq4JaGeFUxjM-HeS7Oc-SSFcg/CoPresenceMojave_L-7795.jpg.

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6 thoughts on “Blog 1 – Pandaemonium

  1. Andrew I thoroughly enjoyed this blog post. Incorporating ancient history into your response was an interesting way of adding substance and strength to your answer. Proving that concepts from history can be relevant and important to modern society. Furthermore, discussing the possibility of the future applications of the ideas addressed was a nice ending. Future university students may be confronted with a similar question about our lifetime and take a similar approach to you by drawing from history.

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  2. Hi Andrew, this was a well-constructed and thought out response to the question. You draw to the reader’s attention a negative aspect of human nature being a desire for control as illustrated in pandaemonium. You then scale this up by illustrating how that aspect, in turn, this aspect evolves into a hierarchy that manifests itself into a power disparity. Furthermore, you discuss how this aspect of human nature conflicts with another, being, the need for freedom. I particularly enjoyed how you were able to link pandaemonium to real historical events such as the French Revolution. The way you analysed whether pandaemonium was still relevant today based on your own personal experience was also a nice touch. I enjoyed reading this response a lot and look forward to keeping up to date with your blog.

    Kind Regards,
    Abanoub Kaloush

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  3. A fabulous, direct and honest reflection on the continuing significance of these Romantic concerns. I loved especially your graphic description of the way our lives are (to quote T.S. Eliot) “distracted from distraction by distraction, men and bits of paper whirled through the winds of time”. Great work Andrew!
    Editing Needed (and some workshop follow-ups- see Purdue Owl for help: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/1/
    * The plebeians of ancient Rome, the American and French revolutions, the oppressive influence of authoritarian governments this very day. = incomplete sentence — can you see that this is an incomplete sentence? Read it aloud. Maybe that will make clear to you why it is incomplete. Also explore the following very useful sites: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/620/01/
    http://owl.english.purdue.edu/exercises/5/18/38 [ ]

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