What’s the Cocktail Party?

At some point in your life, you’re going to be at a fancy cocktail party or some other formal event. You’re going to have to make small-talk with other people. Like it or not, you’re going to have to sound smart. The purpose of higher education is to prepare you for that cocktail party.

Of course, there are many significant benefits to a college education—a broader understanding of the world, increased overall hire-ability, and of course the general pursuit of knowledge. However, one of my first Media Studies professors had a different view, and explained—albeit half-jokingly—that there was a more important and pressing goal that all college students were working toward.

One of the most important purposes of college education is to prepare us for “The Cocktail Party.” Whether form it takes—maybe an actual cocktail party, a corporate event, or even just explaining to friends what it is you really do—at some point you’re going to have to speak to a group of people, and sound smart about something. Throughout my studies, I reminded myself that I was preparing myself to one day impress others with long explanation of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, the FCC Fairness Doctrine, or even the convoluted and complex theories of Jean Baudrillard.

This website is another method to share these ideas, and perhaps continue my ongoing preparation and anticipation of the upcoming Cocktail Party. Here, I share my ideas on a wide array of topics in Media Studies. From more general areas such as news, TV, film, and general pop culture to things more specific to my areas of research, such as memes, online communities, and Internet culture.

And that’s what the Cocktail Party is.

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