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Matthew Resnick

ENC 2135-0025
Genre and the Fallen of the Second World War
Humans are scared creatures. Their fear of the unknown is an evolutionary
trait that has kept them around for so long. It may have boiled away since the time
of fighting wild animals in the wilderness, but that fear persists today and is
embedded in much of peoples everyday lives. A farmer checks for predator tracks
in the field near his flock, a doctor listens to a newborns heartbeat with a
stethoscope to check her health, a lawyer glances at the weather app on his phone
to see whether he will need to bring an umbrella to work. Humans fear uncertainty
and surprise, so they employ tools to help them illuminate the darkness. Such tools
are prevalent even in the production and consumption of media. Notably, the
concept of genre allows a consumer to relatively simply and concisely digest any
composition and to avoid processing every composition in its objective entirety. The
bounds on genre are fuzzy, and often works overlap multiple genres, but the system
still stands as a viable way to wrap even the most complex of works under a neat
Genre is a helpful concept for most consumers of media, however not every
tool that comes from the human fear is beneficial to a civilized society. In fact, one
such tool not too dissimilar from genre very nearly led to the destruction of all
societies. Using tools to quickly understand works of literature or art is generally
harmless, because in doing so one can be wrong and suffer only by
misunderstanding the work. Using simple tools to understand other humans is not
quite as harmless, though. When humans dont understand other humans, they
stereotype, segregate, and stigmatize. Such generalization and categorization cant
quite be applied to humans because they are more than works of literature and art.
In the 20th century these tools, among others, would lead to the largest loss of life
due to a single conflict in the whole of human history, most commonly known as the
Second World War.

//pp1 informs, purpose, constraints, bias examples

(pg. 120: The goal of the chart writers is to make it easy for readers to absorb data
quickly. /The whole point is to make information accessible and digestible. /Their
tone is neutral and objective.
/Chart makers use color and shading to separate and highlight different pieces of
information. /Chart makers lay out information and visuals in a way that shows
readers what is most important to glean.)

//pp2 pacing, tone of voice, visual cues for tragic appearance, then for optimistic