It looks like October outside. A cold, wet November afternoon with nothing to do, and nothing n the box. You wouldn’t believe it’s late august, would you? I just watched the first ten minutes of Johnny English, decided it was an embarrassment to art, and turned my TV off. Last night, in contrast, I watched rear window – now that’s a film! No, scratch that: its more than a film – it is an essay in scoppophilia. It is entirely about films, how we watch them, how we construct stories. I noticed that the james stewart character was, in effect, acting as a viewer, constructing stories. I’m gonna definitely have to watch that again. Here, I should thank my brother Mark for the Hitchcock box set he gave me for graduation.
For many years, university seemed like a destination. Now, having got there, having got to the top of the hill, do I see the path goes further – through hills and valleys more beautiful than I ever thought. There’s so much more to learn, not just in my own subject of film but everything. Academia is immense, ranging from the study of Arthurian legend, to Zoology. Even though I have only a cursory knowledge of either, I am both captivated by the tales off the Knights of the round table and accounts of natural history, especially that pertaining to evolution. Film captivates me the most, however. While I love reading and being read to, film brings such things to life – only in film can those knights say Ni, and only in film can you actually see a tyrannosaurus become a bird. Thus it is how information is presented, both in terms of fiction and non-fiction, which interests me, not so much the information in itself. It goes without saying that I believe that academia should concern itself with both. How can you ever know the truth without examining both art and science? While one deals with the natural state of external things, from strings to stars, the other deals with the internal things. As much as my brothers like to dismiss the arts, I believe the generation and study of art has as much claim to the truth as any of the sciences. This is why both are studied on campuses, and any wider model of philosophy should take both into account.
That is the landscape I see before me now. A world with so much to learn, to study, to read and write about. One full of cool little philosophical debates, which, in the end, always turned my head to mush, but that doesn’t stop me liking them. The thing is, unlike climbing real hills, I don’t feel tired, but, on the contrary, want to go further. I must admit to being egged on in pursuit of mark. University is a place I found extraordinarily welcoming – I loved every day there, both due to the work, the atmosphere of mental stimulation, and my friends. In climbing the hill, one acquires a taste for mountaineering, but one can only know that once one takes the first step. Only once you get to uni that you feel the thrill, the love of learning, the enjoyment you get from being around like-minded people.
This is part of inclusion too. So many kids – not just those with disabilities – a told they can’t. I think people need to be shown how broad and beautiful that landscape can be. I hope that others follow me into that land, and that it enthrals them as much as it enthrals me.