“Independent Study Proposal: Bachelorism In The Postmodern Man,” by Adam Dietz

Mar 31st, 2021 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

Statement of Purpose:

It is the goal and intention of this project to gain a better understanding of postmodern bachelorism through application-based research and documentation.

A Description Of My Subject Matter:

Total and absolute immersion into the postmodern bacheloristic lifestyle will form the crux of this 16 week research project. I will achieve this through domestic seclusion via a shoddy studio apartment that sits above a pizza restaurant. Decoratively speaking, my space will feature one Sopranos poster hung by a single red tac and a Milwaukee Bucks pennant splayed crookedly above my bed, which will be frameless on an unvacuumed floor. Obviously, such living arrangements won’t be ideal, but a slovenly and stripped down existence is exactly what this project calls for. With regards to day-to-day research, the bulk of my work will come through consumption of popular media, with particular attention being paid to the works of Larry David, Martin Scorcese, and some Judd Apatow. In addition to visual media, I will delve deep, but not too deep, into the readings of authors Chuck Klosterman, Ernest Hemingway, and Hunter S. Thompson. My diet, which will also be indicative of the lifestyle, will consist of highly caloric “Hungry Man” frozen dinners, peanut butter sandwiches, and low-cost domestic beer. From an exercise perspective, there will be none.

Relevance to Overall Coursework:

As a PhD candidate in behavioral psychology, a firm grasp on the inner workings of the postmodern man, more specifically the bachelor, will be integral to success in the field. It is my great hope that this semester-long project could lead to more extensive work on the subject, perhaps a dissertation, a book, or something else that could take many-many years to complete.

A Description of my Proposed Methodology:

The bulk of my research will revolve around film and television. I will consume various pieces of media on a daily basis, only leaving my apartment when absolutely necessary. As I ingest these relics of popular culture, I will tweet my thoughts and findings before, during, and after my viewing experiences using the handle @Dudechill00 on Twitter. For my assigned readings, of which there will be three, I will draft a 5-7 sentence response to each and post that on my blog, which can be found at Dudechill00.blogspot.com. My diet, alcohol consumption, and other applicable findings will be meticulously documented in a leatherbound journal that no one will be allowed to read except for me.

*A Preliminary Bibliography:

Aldrich, R. (Director). (1967). The Dirty Dozen. [Film]. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Berg, P. (Director). (2004). Friday Night Lights. [Film]. Universal Pictures.
Clark, B. (Director). (1981). Porky’s. [Film]. 20th Century Fox.
David, L. (Producer). (2019). Curb Your Enthusiasm. [Television Series]. HBO Entertainment.
Eastwood, C. (Director). (2016). Sully. [Film]. Warner Bros.
Grazer, B. (Producer). (2006). Friday Night Lights. [Television Series]. NBCUniversal Television.
Hemingway, E., & Herman Finkelstein Collection (Library of Congress). (1952). The Old Man and the Sea.
Klane, R. (Director). (1993). Weekend at Bernie’s II. [Film]. TriStar Pictures.
Klosterman, C. (2004). Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto. New York: Scribner.
Kotcheff, T. (Director). (1989). Weekend at Bernie’s. [Film]. Gladden Entertainment.
Lumet, S. (Director). (1975). Dog Day Afternoon. [Film]. Warner Bros.
McKay, A. (Director). 2004. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. [Film]. DreamWorks Pictures.
Petersen, W. (Director). (1997). Air Force One. [Film]. Sony Pictures.
Segal, P. (Director). (1995). Tommy Boy. [Film]. Paramount Pictures.
Scorcese, M. (Director). (1990). Goodfellas [Film]. Warner Bros.
Tarantino, Q. (Director). (2019). Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. [Film]. Sony Pictures.
Thompson, H. S. (1967). Hell’s Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga. New York: Random House.
Wolf, D. (Producer). (1991). Law & Order. [Television Series]. Universal Television.

*Films and television shows will be added. No additional readings will be added under any circumstances.

Proposed Assignments and Grading Breakdown:

Research Paper – 100% of final grade

This independent study will culminate with an expansive 3-5 page research paper/personal reflection/summary of the Rocky films/list of microbrews I thought were good/screenshots of clever Tweets I’ve had/doodles/Rodney Dangerfield one-liners.

In Summation:

While I have not, at this juncture, been successful in finding a faculty member to co-sign on my proposed course, I am all but certain one of the many fine minds at our university will find merit in my outline. It is my belief that this research is both important and prescient and that my findings could tilt the world of academia on its very axis. While I’ll miss my wife and six children, I know they understand the significance of the work that I am setting out to do. Once approved, I could begin my work on “Bachelorism in the Postmodern Man” as soon as tomorrow. I’ve already put a deposit down on an apartment.


Adam Dietz is a writer and the co-host of the Home Improvement (the sitcom) podcast “Home Impodcast.” His work has been featured in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Slackjaw, Weekly Humorist, and The Northern New England Review. He lives in Milwaukee with his partner and their two cats.

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