If you’re over the age of ten or so, you probably got chills when you saw the first trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, even if you didn’t end up liking the movie. That feeling is due to a concept called “intertextuality” and it’s everywhere these days.
Note: The above video contains some strong language.
As this video from YouTube channel Nerdwriter explains, intertextuality refers to when one piece of media relies on the viewer’s knowledge of another. The trailer for the Force Awakens, for example, offers very little compelling information about its story or characters if you’re unfamiliar with Star Wars. However, returning fans of the series will recognize stormtroopers, speeders, droids, and best of all, the Millennium Falcon. Each of these are intertextual cues that rely on another movie to carry the emotional weight of the trailer. You can check out the Rogue One trailer and spot some intertextual references for yourself.
Intertextual references don’t necessarily need to involve nostalgia either. The Hunger Games plays on moments that readers remember from the book. The Warcraft movie builds on environments and characters from a video game. The Marvel Cinematic Universe references interconnected movies among its various franchises. Deadpool relies heavily on viewers knowing Ryan Reynolds’ other superhero movies like X-Men Origins or Green Lantern. Intertextual references can be built on anything that a viewer already knows from some other property.
Of course, none of this is to say that intertextuality is bad on its own. Watchmen, for example, is filled with comic book panels come to life, and it’s a great asset of the film. While some franchises can use intertextual references to build up excitement for a mediocre film, others can use it to enhance or explore new areas of a story that viewers want to see. There’s nothing wrong with intertextual references, but it’s handy to recognize them when you see them.
A baseline is simply the way a person behaves normally, without any special reason to act otherwise. We often try to watch body language for things like whether someone’s lying or if they’re attracted to us, but not everyone behaves the same way under those circumstances. By watching for someone’s baseline, you learn how they behave regularly, and then you can watch for when that behavior changes. As tips site Barking Up the Wrong Tree explains:
If someone is always jumpy, jumpiness doesn’t tell you anything. If someone is always jumpy and they suddenly stop moving — HELLO. So ask yourself: “Is this how they normally act?”
This step is so crucial to reading someone’s body language that you should practice it long before you ever try to find out what a particular action “means.” The next time you’re interacting with someone, take a second to observe things like where they put their hands, how they position their feet, or how much they smile. You don’t need to take notes (that’s creepy), but simply practice being observant. The more practice you get, the easier it will be to notice changes in body language when they happen.
You already know what it is. But what it does? That could be anything.
The stuff inside this box make the bumps and bleeps and binary go from soft quiet whispers to visible quality data. The stuff inside this box turns the invisible air waves into the news and weather, or streaming entertainment, or the big report your boss just emailed you. The stuff inside this box can even play the MP3s to your headphones, assuming you have all the wires plugged in correctly. And that’s what a computer does. That’s what a computer is.
What a computer ISN’T is the end-all be-all magic box. Because a computer of any sort, even one as cool as this laptop here, is just the way-station. The Internet is out there, the games are out there, the files and the videos and the work and the LIFE is out there. Waiting for YOU to FIND IT. WHICH YOU WILL.
Think of this laptop as a really good truck stop halfway through a family trip. It might not be the only option, but it’s certainly an option that’s gonna make your life soooo much easier.