Super Highway 8 Rogerian Other

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Super Highway 8: Rogerian Essay

The picture in question shows a pleasant-looking country road made up of both grass and dirt that has a rustic wooden fence that has fallen into chic disrepair over time. The path the road takes curves in a manner that give the viewer a sense of movement, and the trees on either side of the road are able to give a clear impression that this is a scene from springtime. Some might criticize this image as being derivative and banal. Another form of criticism that one might have for this image is that it’s very non-specific. It’s almost impossible to place where in the world the image occurs; even the trees are non-descript. Critics of this image might even point out that this picture can be connected to websites, businesses, blogs and books all over the world: it is an image which has been used and accepted as a means of embracing and depicting simplicity of thought. While some might use these reasons to support the notion that this image is very banal, one can also use it as evidence for the universality of the image and the unity it inspires. This image can be found all over the internet, and rather as evidence for the image’s banality and clichéd qualities, one can infer that there is something about this image that provokes a sense of calm, or hope, or some other positive emotion, thought or sentiment in people. The unity that this image provokes is what prevents it from being banal.

Interestingly enough, this is an image that is readily found on a host of stock photography websites, something that critics of the image use as evidence for its triteness and overwhelming banality. However, in this case, we can use the massive dissemination and ubiquitous quality of the image online as proof of its universality: it strikes a chord in so many, delivering messages of hope and inspiration, and of the beauty and calm present in nature. One could argue that in embracing its own banality, the image transcends the immediate banality: “From the perspective of the everyday, banal imaging transforms the perfunctory into the performative, inviting new forms of gaze, aestheticisation, engagement, communication, connection and immortalisation of life through the visual” (Ibrahim, 42). One can see this image emerge on websites that represent a host of business from substance abuse rehabilitation centers, to blogs about wellness and meditation, to wedding planning, to blogs about how to care for your pet, or about ageing gracefully.
There is so much about this image that is applicable to the human experience because this photo highlights so many themes that are present in human life: calm, transitions, transformations, and the beauty of uncertainty (Nisbet et al., 305).

One of the greatest strengths of this image is also what some might consider its greatest flaw. The image of country road curves gently in such a way that there’s no way to see where the road leads to or if there is a final destination, such as a house or estate or lake or some other geographical entity. Some viewers argue that this uncertainty creates a sense of anxiety for the spectator, as an image of a road leading to an unknown destination can leave people with a sense of unease (Gross & Rene, 2005). However, this element of the unknown is exactly what makes so many other people gravitate to the image. By showing an aesthetically pleasing image of a road that leads to an uncertain destination, the picture encourages the average person to enjoy the journey. The future is unknown to all of us, and there’s nothing one can do to change that. With as much free will as the individual has in life, there’s still only so much within our control. Hence, this photo encourages one to enjoy the journey, as so much about the process of reaching a goal is equally important to the goal itself. It’s not necessarily up to us to understand where the road leads but to make the most of our journey upon our self-chosen paths.

One of the major strengths of the image is that it spotlights and embraces the inherent beauty of uncertainty. Yes, the fact that the destination is veiled can cause some viewers anxiety, but on a greater scale sometimes anxiety or discomfort can be a powerful motivator to many people. “Uncertainty leads to changes in life that we may or may not be prepared for, or expect at all. These changes can be good for us, or they could tear us apart” (Hosane). Just because uncertainty and anxiety doesn’t always lead to the rosiest outcomes does not mean that it’s not worthwhile. Life is….....

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Works Cited

Gross, Cornelius, and Rene Hen. "The developmental origins of anxiety." Nature Reviews Neuroscience 5.7 (2004): 545.

Hosane, Nina. "The Beauty of Uncertainty: Each Day is a Blank Canvas." Tiny Buddha, 22 Jan. 2016,

Ibrahim, Yasmin. "Instagramming life: Banal imaging and the poetics of the everyday." Journal of Media Practice 16.1 (2015): 42-54.

Mandel, Ken. "Virginia History: 8 Events That Shaped the State." Newsmax, 23 Feb. 2015, Accessed 22 Apr. 2018.

Nisbet, Elizabeth K., John M. Zelenski, and Steven A. Murphy. "Happiness is in our nature: Exploring nature relatedness as a contributor to subjective well-being." Journal of Happiness Studies 12.2 (2011): 303-322.

Wallenstein, Peter. Cradle of America: four centuries of Virginia history. University Press of Kansas, 2007.

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