I will start off by saying that I never watch cartoons. I do think they are cute at times, but not something I must watch, like my reality shows lol. But…. I will also say, of the cartoons that I do watch The Simpsons is one of them! I love the humor in The Simpsons, the long standing success they have achieved, and the fact that they are never politically correct. I can remember as a child growing up in a strict Pentecostal home, not being allowed to watch the Simpsons, which only made me want to watch it even more!!! Then as technology progressed, and I had a tv in my room, I was forever addicted to The Simpsons. The show really makes me laugh, and I love to genuinely laugh out loud. I also use to watch other cartoons like Recess, Doug, Darkwing Duck, Talespin, Bobby’s World, Winnie the Pooh, Animaniacs, Captain Planet, and King of the Hill  (as an adult). As a kid I loved my shows, and I guess I related to cartoons more then, since that was basically all  I was allowed to watch. It was between that and TBN, so yeah I chose cartoons.

Also because cartoons has an ability to draw children, and adults in for it’s pure nature of entertainment. I still will watch the Simpsons from time to time, and will still laugh my butt off.

Cartoons have an ability to teach children and adults morals and values, right from wrong, ethics, and manners, etc.. Cartoons and any form of television that we watch is consistently embedding in our minds numerous messages. They tell us what to think, what to like, what’s socially acceptable, how to obtain happiness etc. Cartoons are constantly sending messages to children and adults shaping them into the people they areI believe Homer is one of the main reasons why kids and adults think it’s cool to drink beer. 


It’s funny because many people have tried to create their own Duff beer without a license, but are constantly in a legal dispute for not getting permission from Matt Groening. I don’t know why Matt wouldn’t have the original Duff beer in every bar, and every store?!… but I guess you can get the original licensed Duff beer near The Simpsons ride at Universal Studios, which I did indeed ride, and it was awesome!. but I somehow missed the Duff beer 😦

I have learned so much from cartoons. When I watched episode, Season 5, episode 9 “The last Temptation of Homer”, it brought to light the fact that it’s ok to have dinner with a “friend” in hopes of getting laid, behind your spouses back, but that overall you know it’s wrong, and have a flood of overwhelming emotions of guilt. It sent the message that women can be hoes at times, and Homer must stay strong to fight off these women, because they only want to trap you. Ultimately, Homer falls for the trap, kisses her, but somehow that brings him closer and more attracted to Marge?! I guess I learned sometimes cheating does the trick of renewing a boring relationship.

Cartoons have a ton of influence on the way we view ourselves and the way in which we perceive others. They mold us and shape our thoughts and values. This can happen instantly, or over years of watching. Maybe one relates to the cartoon in the first place because it portrays similar values and humor that they do, or  over time, it can persuade and change their thinking without even knowing. In the Function of Fiction by Jennifer McMahon, she touches on some important points about Homer’s heuristic value, and his power of engaging audiences while shaping their moral compass. I believe Homer Simpson is one of the most powerful men in the world, he’s a familiar man, that has been in my life since 5 years old, hey he’s been their longer than my father lol. Kids grow up with him, love him, and ultimately look to him for all life’s answers (or maybe that’s just me). McMahon explains the reason it is extremely appealing is because it, “combines slapstick comedy seamlessly with sophisticated humor, creating a complex comic fabric that appeals to a diverse audience.” This general appeal of The Simpsons makes for an incredible and popular and relatable show. Every one has a little Homer, Marge, Bart, and Lisa in them. We have all had a job that we hate, or a God fearing neighbor we want to strangle.

The Simpsons ability to connect with it’s viewers on so many levels creates a vulnerable audience, that willing and subconsciously has no problem receiving and storing messages, that ultimately mold them into the person they are. There is so much to learn from cartoons, and like The Simpsons, it teaches us how to have a sense of humor, and how life may not always be fair, but that’s life. You must push through, and make the best out of any situation. That’s life. So have a beer… and in the words of Homer Simpson, “Trying is the first step towards failure.”


Rap music and the Race to the Finish line

I found it interesting in Jennifer Lena’s essay Voyeurism and resistance in Rap music videos, related people’s acts of voyeurism (the white race mainly) and how it keeps them interested in rap music. Which I think voyeurism was a weird definition to say since the ones I found were all related to sex, and pervish acts. It did say the act of spying secretly, but related it to a sexual nature so a little confusing. Any who.. First off, I will start by saying that white people can listen to rap and hip-hop, because it is a culture they have lived as well. The essay makes it seem as if the white race is incapable of relating to black culture, so they fantasize about being like blacks…secretly?? Here is the definition Jennifer Lena used, “I am a voyeur eavesdropping on the black culture. To gaze gather and understand the outside culture.”

Voyeurism and resistance in Rap Music Videos By Jennifer Lena

There is a hood in every race. There are the slums in Dubai, the cartel in Mexico, and the white man’s hood poverty stricken trailer parks. This “hood” is exactly the same lifestyle that ‘blacks’ rap about… but, instead of crack and guns like in Buckhead, whites have meth heads that will shank you over a dollar. Just like the rapper TI raps about slinging crack on the corner, the white hood has tweekers from trailer parks that ride around on bikes slinging dope. Every race has a hood, it just seems that the black hood, where rap music originated is seen as the most authentic version of hood in societies eyes. In the rap culture, it is known as the top of the line “hood cred” as you can obtain. Location, gang, and family can also play a role in obtaining street cred, but someone who gets there street cred in Arcata is seen as having little to no street cred, or a person who earned their street cred in living in Compton are completely different. The type of dirt you did/do also plays a huge role in the respect you receive. “ Did you sling crack or meth, or where you a goon who robbed the dealers and collected bread?” All these amount to earning your credit. Same goes in the white man’s hood, “were you the supplier with all the money who made stuff move, or were you the crazy tweeker who stood on the corner making deals for little profit just to see time in Pelican bay? All these amount to “street cred.”


The essay seemed to focus on how and why whites could possibly enjoy rap. I believe whites enjoy rap music for many reasons, and one is because they can relate to the hustle, or they respect the guys who have the talent and drive to rap about it. It is also hard to be white, rap and get respect. Rap music originated and is dominated by blacks, mainly because they grew up in a culture were hip hop was a dominant household sound. White people on the other hand, were probably not raised listening to rap, as there parents were likely forbidden or against listening to “black music.” They more than likely listened to country or white church music. A newer younger generation picked up rap and rapping in a newly mixed/hybrid society. And because it was probably not introduced as a child, they picked it up later in life, which hinders their talent’s development. Now, the next step if they do have talent, well good luck breaking into mainstream, because society “ is accustomed” to seeing black people as rappers, and if they see a white guy, it is perceived as unauthentic and disingenuous. A rapper that comes to mind that was able to see an insurmountable amount of success was Eminem. A white guy, from the hood in Detroit (8-mile), who knew the struggle of coming up in poverty, managed to hone his talent while being challenged “black rap community” to prove his “street cred.”

People relate to rap for many reasons probably because they enjoy the music, not because they want to sneak in, to see this forbidden culture. I believe that people who enjoy rap music do enjoy listening to the music, but also don’t have the desire to blast up a home for a sack of dope. Rap is a means of expression and entertainment.


This essay also made it seem like every white person falls into the socioeconomic status of middle class, and are automatically deemed as having white privilege. Because there is no way that white people could be poor and struggle like blacks. Sarcasm.

In the video “Hell yeah” by Dead Prez, the white people are portrayed as the stereotypical dumb, non-street wise family, and the black rappers are portrayed as the stereotypical thug, who robs and commits fraud as a means of “survival”. In the video “Hell Yeah” it seems to justify the criminal actions of the rappers. When people play the “I have to rob, and sell crack to feed my family” card it really irks me. “No, you don’t have to, you choose to.” In the video, he steals from his employer who is giving him an opportunity to make something out of his life, and instead he decides to bite the hand that feeds him. Then, uses having a minimum wage job as a way to justify why he commits the crimes. Well, heaven forbid you get an education, or change your scandalous ways, so more opportunities would open up for you, instead stealing is what “had to be done.” In Jennifer Lena’s essay she describes it as “Unapologetic Conspicuous consumption” and refers to being unapologetic for the wrongs done by you, in response to the wrongs done to you.

The video and essay also touched on the idea that rap music paints a picture of being oppressed from the many injustices faced in a society that sees them as less than. I feel bad for the injustices that black people face on a daily basis. The other day I saw a segment on HLN, it was a story about a little girl who received a letter from one of her friends at school, the letter read, “I’m sorry and I don’t want to be mean, but you can’t come to my birthday party because my dad said you are black.” That just broke my heart into a million pieces. Here this poor innocent child is being treated less than, because of something she has no control over. These different ideals that the world has placed on black people are horrible. Race should not dictate how people are treated. Still in this day and age, I see the struggle that black people face, and I wonder if it will ever change. The more we desegregate, the more we can form bonds and relationships that see past color. I feel like the older generation like the baby boomers prior generations are much more racist than our generation. They were taught different. My generation was mixed in with multiracial students from an early age, and many see and understand everyone is equal. Hopefully future generations will continue to mingle, so society can work on not judging people by the color of their skin.

I believe others races can relate to the joy rap music brings of defying authority and as Jennifer Lena puts it, “resistance to hegemony.” In the essay she touched on how punk music was something that was once popular because people related to that as their defying anthem. Everyone likes a good song that tells the govt. to f off, or that talks about the injustices of life. Everyone has felt some type of anarchism against something at one point in time.

How does radio fit into the 21st century?

Act I:  This American Life’s 100th anniversary podcast “radio”.

In the podcast, I enjoyed how Ira Glass touched upon the different ways in which people fall in love and bond with the radio. Whether it’s hearing certain charismatic DJs that draw you in on a personal level, or the interesting material and dialogue the hosts bring, radio is effective in a local market. In Act 2 of the podcast, the host of the radio show, Gordon, touched on a good point when he explained, “We really stick to local news if we can– Merrimack Valley news, southern New Hampshire, northern Massachusetts, anywhere within our listening audience. But it’s always local news because we feel– and I think, Mike, you’ll agree with me– they can hear the national and the international news on their regular radios or televisions.” Radio is the only piece of entertainment that keeps locals in the loop of what’s going on in town, especially if you don’t have social media to keep you in the loop, you don’t read the newspaper, and the local news is blahh ,and focuses on crimes and roadwork. Radio is where you can here positive, fun stuff that keeps you informed and happy.


Act II: Radio in my personal life

I love the radio. I remember growing up falling asleep to country music. I remember in middle school when it was cool to call into the local station KKXX and give shouts out to my friends, or rep my middle school the night before we played our rival team lol. Radio and CDS (or Tapes lol) use to be the methods for listening to music. Now with technology and the internet, there is no need to spend 17.99 on a CD, or the need to listen to radio stations purely for music. We can find any song online that we want, and we can even watch the music video while we’re at it. We can simply plug our iPhones into our car, and play any song and any time from our phone. No need for radio right? Wrong. Radio plays an important part in my life when I’m driving. Sometimes, It gets old playing the same burned CD’s I have in my car, or is complicated when trying to drive while trying to find the song I want on my phone. Radio lends itself to me on a personal level as well as provides an enormous amount of spontaneity. I don’t always know what songs playing and at what time. At any moment I can flip through stations and get a nice surprise like hearing Nsync’s “Bye bye bye”. I can hear songs that I love and totally forgot about.


Act III. Where is radio headed?

I think radio has a place at the local level. Radio stations really do a swell job in smaller cities like Humboldt County where local business are willing to pay for advertisements, which ultimately keeps the radio stations afloat. As much as people say they don’t listen to the radio, that’s a lie, if you have a car, you listen to the radio. Seems like college kids in Arcata probably listen less, because most of them don’t drive. If I didn’t drive there is no way I would hear the radio, but making my daily commute from Eureka to Arcata 6 days a week, I am forced to listen to the radio. Which I love! I always hear Sabina on there from HSU, and other fun, positive DJ’s and it gives me a sense of home. The only thing I fear for local radio stations, is that small local businesses may start to go out of business from being replaced by bigger companies like Walmarts and Auto zones, and the big businesses don’t need the advertising provided by radio at the smaller local level , which could mess up the revenue for radio. Not really sure how it will all play out, but I think radio has a better chance at thriving in the 21st century than say …newspapers do.