The Reality of news in the 21st Century : The Final Countdown!!!

The video I chose to focus on for the final was Steve Colbert roasting President Bush. Haha. I think two thirds of the jokes went right over his head lol. I chose this video, because not only is it funny watching the President squirm in his chair, but I really like what Steve Colbert (and his writers) do; Steve is racy, dramatic, and opinionated. Overall, he really does a good job of presenting information to an uninformed young generation. Hey! They gotta get their news somehow.

News satire seems to be the “real” news of the 21st Century.

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It’s no longer boring new reports accompanied by monotonous tones. News Satire draws the attention of millions by utilizing a sarcastic sense of humor, which showcases the many flaws in media and mainstream news. News Satire challenges society to critically think about what’s being presented them, and why.

Yes, Colbert may say things that are politically incorrect, and extremely inappropriate at times, but it is a savvy way of presenting news. The humorous witty jokes, and dry nature of the presentation helps the viewer reflect on the “realness” of a scenario. In lesson 11, we addressed Parody News. Parodies have been around for centuries. People enjoy news, humor, and entertainment. News Parody incorporates all 3, while challenging mainstreams authority and biases.

Here an article on how news satire does a better job informing viewers than actual news does.

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20141113/06034829128/yet-another-study-shows-us-satire-programs-do-better-job-informing-viewers-than-actual-news-outlets.shtml

The 4th estate, the news, is a check and balance on the government. The fifth estate is the non-mainstream journalists, who report to the people on the flaws of what’s being reported to them. Basically, news satire is the 5th estate, which watches over the news. It works to keep society on its toes, by presenting real problems in a humorous, sarcastic way.

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The Colbert show really plays into the young generations way of thinking. It has a lot of sarcasm, a lot of blunt comments, and a lot of roasting. In the Common Era, it seems that people enjoy being entertained by an opinionated, straightforward, no holds bar type of person that gets right to the point. Many reality shows bring in bank by casting these type of stars who challenge authority: Simon Cowell, Hell’s Kitchen host, Abby Lee from Dance Moms etc. The bad guy sells, and the person willing to say whatever they feel wins. Not only does Colbert challenge the media and the government, but he also challenges people to pay attention to what’s going on in the world. People love to see someone challenging authority. They love to see the awkwardness of someone getting called out for their wrongs. Society thrives on these TV shows where rebels report, and fight the mainstream.

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In lesson 13, we focused on the rise of Reality TV. Is reality TV real? Well we’ve learned throughout the semester that money makes the world go round. There is always an incentive of some sort. Reality TV is what’s “trending”. News Satire (a form of reality TV) works to appeal to a young generation, the future voters, and challenges it’s viewers to critically examine what’s being presented to them. A lot of people in this day in age have a hard time watching the news. News satire is a great way to keep and audience entertained while bringing them up to date on current issues.

Yes, the Colbert Report is scripted, but the issues that are being presented are real, and that in itself, is a form of entertaining news. Not to mention that The Colbert show does pull in the ratings which makes money, and keeps the show on air. Of course the Colbert writers are bias and present their stance just like every news station does. There is always someone paying the bills; therefore, there is always an agenda. Really the 5th estate is reporting just like the 4th estate. Maybe in a few years there will be a 7th estate, who knows?

This is an article a study is conducted on college students which analyzes their thoughts on Colbert’s news presentation. It also reviews the student’s political stance. The study also suggests that the audience believes Colbert is liberal if they are liberal, and right wing if they are conservative. It also suggests that Colbert’s heavy social media, humor, and mainstream influence  has an effect on this young generations political stance.

http://www.psmag.com/business-economics/the-truthiness-of-the-colbert-report-3788

In lesson 2, we discussed Generation Like and the obsession with being connected and sharing. It’s the infatuation with being accepted and the positive and negative effects of a social media driven society. There are a ton of positive effects of social media: networking, sharing, friendship, happiness etc. The negatives: addiction, low self-esteem, drama, and loss of sleep etc. Social media has numerous effects on different people for many different reasons. Many people in the digital age look for gratification online to define them. News Satire is everything the opposite of trying to fit in. It presents a positive attitude toward challenging mainstream ideals and social constructions. News Satire sends a message about standing up for what’s right, and what you feel is right. In this digital generation where everyone is obsessed with looking good, and being liked, it is a breath of fresh air to see news parodies that challenge society. It’s nice to see the minority’s point of view. News Satire has an attitude to it, that encourages people to have a voice; liked or not.

21st Century News. Focused on soft footballs, and no air time for  Nepal earthquake coverage.

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Artistry

Well can’t say I do anything too creative. I don’t make music, or knit, paint, or draw, but I do enjoy scrapbooking, and cooking :). So I think I’ll go with the cooking route since I have a lot of pics from different foods I’ve made.

I love to cook. For me, it is extremely relaxing, and fun. It’s like creating my own masterpiece, and the only way to get good is to keep doing it, and by making mistakes and learning. I love to travel, try new foods, and then attempt to make them from scratch at home. Usually the first couple of times I make something, it’s ‘aight’, but then I change a few things and each time it gets better and better until I perfect it.

One of my favorite ‘masterpieces’ I make is my Oreo, snicker, peanut butter pie. When I went to Miami a few years back, my boyfriend and I ate at a restaurant called “Prime 112”, and that is where I ran into the best treat of my life. This pie is huge, super rich, and extremely filling. I was so full from dinner that night, and then woke up about around 4:30 am hungover and starving. The leftover pie was sitting next to the bed, and needless to say, scarfed it down in about 30 seconds. Other people must have loved the pie and tried to mimick the dessert as well, because I was able to find the recipe online! My boyfriend’s friends always come by and ask “when are you gonna make that pie again?”

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This also leads me to the point of how great the Internet is for cooking. Back in the day, before technology, the only way to get a recipe would be having it told to you, and written down on actual paper from someone. My grandma has a whole book of recipes printed out. Now, I can go online, find dishes that look good, get reviews from real people who have made it & ran into problems, or switched things up to make it better. The entire community can upgrade a recipe and make changes to the dish until the best version possible comes surfaces! Anytime I want to make something I just look online for the recipe. Now days, there is no excuse to not know HOW to make something. Even the simplest things like a good cream cheese, alfredo sauce are online, and you can make a quick, bomb, easy dinner. The Alfredo recipe I found online is absolutely fantastic!

http://www.food.com/recipe/alfredo-sauce-64196

*you can also substitute milk for cream*

. The latest thing I found through media, was a mac and cheese recipe that was shown on the show “the Chew.”

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The actor Jussie Smollet had a recipe for a swiss mac and cheese that looked killer. My boyfriend and I were drooling watching it. Anyway, got all the ingredients, made it , and it was junk. Not enough bacon, the swiss cheese was not cheesy enough, too bland, and the fresh rosemary was too overwhelming in the dish. So I switched it up to medium cheddar, and monterey jack. No rosemary. Doubled the bacon, and made my own home made parmesan bread crumbs to top it off. It is awesome, and usually what I make when we bbq at our friends. Sorry no pic of the one I make.

But here is a bomb picture of a bacon mac and cheese I found 🙂 macncheesepic-thumb-550x500

Well if you aren’t hungry, you probably are now lol.

Here’s a some enchilada stacks I make. Once the cheese melts, they are ready to go!

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A low-carb pancake, made with almond meal, and eggs IMG_0253

The Reality of TV

For years, TV was focused on learning and the idea that viewers need to take something educational away from a television show. Well, this has definitely changed! TV now is purely for entertainment purposes. Sorry, but educational shows don’t get ratings, and we all know it’s about the $$.

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In the article, The 40-Year Transformation Of How TLC went from The Learning Channel to Home of Honey Boo Boo, Kirsten Acuna looks into how TLC has changed, but not really why it’s changed, except to appeal to a mainstream audience. It almost seemed like the article was written to promote TLC’s upcoming new shows lol.

Charles B. Slocum of the Writers Guild in his article, The Real History of Reality TV Or, How Allen Funt Won the Cold War, discusses how reality TV is “ the ultimate peek into the neighbor’s kitchen window. Or, the bedroom window.” Lol. The article really did a great job of walking us through the inception of reality TV dating back to the 1940’s with Candid Camera.

Slocum draws a different conclusion of why reality TV is so prevalent, “The economics are too attractive to ignore. Reality makes for cheap TV.” He elaborates on how budgets are cheaper; therefore; production teams get more bang for the their buck.

Sister Wives Portraits

I watched the show Sister Wives. I’ve heard of this show throughout the years, but haven’t had the time to sit down and watch it. I think it’s usually on Sunday nights, which conflicts with my other reality TV line-up: Keeping up With the Kardashians and Real Housewives of Atl.

Sister Wives consists of a family of Polygamists who are  from Utah, but bought a whole block in Vegas where the family now resides. There is 1 man, 4 wives, and 20+ children. The show gives viewers a first hand look into a life of Polygamy. At first, I thought, “oh hell no, I could never do that!” but as I watched a few episodes, I really noticed a sense of love, and family. They seem to put the typical social construction of “normalcy” to the side, and do what works for their family. As Mormons, polygamy is not a new concept and to some, is considered a normal way of life.

Most importantly, the children seem healthy, happy, and loved. The family seems more than financially capable of providing for multiple families. Kody, the dad, must be a baller of some sort, cuz each wife has her own house, and he just pops in whenever he feels like it. Imagine how much their monthly bills are?!! Crazy.

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I think overall, the sense of family and bonding really triumphs all the other emotions like jealousy, anger, and selfishness. I personally always felt like if a person can take care of their kids, emotionally and financially, then by all means, have as many kids as you want! Now the single moms who have 7 kids, and live off government assistance paid for by tax dollars is another issue for me.

On Sister Wives, and shows like 19 Kids and Counting, the kids seem happy, loved, and financially taken care of. The wives on Sister Wives do have issues with one another at times, but I think that is normal. No family gets along 24/7. The wives do have arguments, but at the end of the day they are all there for one another. I just know I am not the type who is willing to share, lol. I am too selfish to make time for another woman to sleep with my husband at night. Hell no! But, I think since these women were already raised in the Mormon Church, they are conditioned from a young age to believe that this lifestyle is acceptable, and is a great way to live. And… maybe it is… idk; I’ve never tried it. Too each there own, and whatever makes them happy!

Best reality show ever: Love N hip hop Atlanta 🙂

I think people religiously watch reality TV, and shows like Sister Wives, because it gives viewers the ability to view life outside their 4 walls. It’s not every day we run into a family of polygamists, and even if we did we wouldn’t get an in-depth look into their family dynamics and home life. We wake up with the family, we see their candid moments, and we as viewers start to feel as if we truly know and relate to them as people. Without reality TV, this wouldn’t be possible. And unlike fake scripted shows, reality TV is REAL! I mean yeah, scenes can be positioned to address certain things going on at the time, but overall I do not think Sister Wives are actresses hired by TLC, and all 20 children are actors/actresses as well. If it was scripted to that extent, the Internet would pull the cards on the show, it would lose credibility, and no one would watch anymore. People watch reality TV, because it is something we would never be able to see in our immediate life, and it’s real life at it’s best!

Another epic Reality tv series I’ve followed for the past 6 years is Teen Mom. A study showed that since the show aired teen pregnancy rates have gone down.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/13/health/16-pregnant-teens-childbirth/

Here Tyler and Caitlynn who gave up there daughter for adoption meet her for the 1st time..

The Benefits of Documentaries

I love, love, love documentaries. Every time I turn on Netflix, I go straight to the documentaries section to see if there is something I haven’t seen yet. I honestly rarely watch scripted shows anymore. Acting rarely keeps me engaged. I now, 90% of the time, only watch reality T.V and reality movies (documentaries, and docu-series). It is so much more intriguing and REAL to watch something that is ACTUALLY happening, rather than watching some director with a fantasy/fake script. To me, it is just so cheesy; I don’t get it. It’s even hard for me to watch movies.

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Deidre Pike in Reality Movies, touches on 3 questions addressing the credibility of the newly popular documentaries. “Are news documentaries, honest, independent, and productive?”

Are documentaries honest? I truly believe that news documentaries, for the most part, try and present a picture that will increase the sells. Documentaries try and portray the situation, but just like any news source, there is always going to be multiple factors in deciding why they are covering the issue, and how they are benefiting from it. I do believe that documentaries  do a great job at presenting a fair depiction of the story they are covering. Most of the time, they present a well balanced view.

Pike discusses the move Super Size Me, and I agree with the viewers who were critical of the documentary. It was a a smart and calculated decision for Morgan Spurlock to eat this crazy amount of food daily. Yes, you gain weight if you eat 5,000 calories a day, is that a shock? But..  the documentary made it seem like McDonalds was in the wrong for serving food and acting like a business. As if they have some ethical obligation?! I believe over eating is a personal responsibility. If Spurlock would have eaten healthy choices at McDonalds (and yes there are some!), he wouldn’t have gained weight. It is not the corporations responsibility to worry about individuals inability to control their portions. Do I think fast food should be regulated in general, yes, but it’s pure existence for so long, lets me know it will never go away. I wish the world was free of unhealthy foods, but that’s NEVER going to happen. The grocery store will always have Oreos, soda, and chips. If you ban one, you have to ban em all, and that will NEVER happen! So why blame McDonald’s for making money? It’s like saying plastic surgery can be unhealthy, and people become addicted, so let’s outlaw all plastic surgery for everyone.

The Super Size Me documentary did a great job, of presenting a message that McDonalds will make you fat if you eat it everyday, and let viewers interpret it how they felt. Like news satire, Documentaries really make it possible for viewers to critically think about what’s being presented to them. And, sometimes their message is skewed to present a message that sells. Pike states, “Such “gimmicks” aren’t unusual in the history of journalism.”

So0o0o many documentaries stand out for me, I don’t know which one to choose. I personally love Lisa Ling documentaries. I really feel like she does and excellent job of really getting to know the people she’s filming. Her view acts as an insider’s perspective ,and that really adds to the credibility of the documentary. She has a good show called Our America, and it’s more of an investigative type of docu-series. It ranges from inside looks from prostitution, to sugar daddies/sugar babies, to the oil boom in South Dakota. It really lets me see what something is like that I would never personally experience, which is freakin awesome!! I want to see what a prostitute goes through walking the streets at 4am in high heels, 7 months pregnant with a jon’s baby, and addicted to crack.

I love how documentaries really give an in-depth look into situations that don’t make the mainstream news feeds. It allows the audience to see understand issues that we don’t see on a daily basis. Documentaries take us up-close and personal to the in’s and outs of what’s really happening. It lets the viewer feel as if they are living, and dealing with the issue along side of the people in the documentary. It not only informs the viewer on the facts, but documentaries do a great job of engaging viewers and evoking emotion.

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News Satire at its Finest

Parodies and satire really have taken over the airwaves in the last 5 years. It seems every channel has their own comedian “journalist” to give their take and spin on the portrayal of “real” news. Steve Colbert and Jon Stewart are household names, and to many, are viewed as exceptional journalists. Satire is the new news, or as Rachel Sotos describes it, “the fifth estate.”

I personally find news satire hilarious. It is always fun to make fun of people and situations that are presented in such a serious manner. I think news satire can really put things in perspective for  people. As Rachel Sotos explains in The fake news as the Fifth estate, “we become critical consumers, if not more responsible citizens.” Satire really engages it’s audience by presenting serious issues going on, and 1. makes fun of the way it’s handled, 2. Presents other points of view, and 3. Really makes the viewer critically question and think about what is being presented.

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Sotos touches on the fact that satire, more than ever, is crucial in keeping check over the fourth estate. The fourth estate, known as the press, must be watched and checked just like the government has checks and balances. Without this “fifth estate” as Sotos puts it, the fourth state could publish any material seen fit, giving society a one sided or false interpretation of events. Without the fifth state, the media department could skew news for their benefit. Sotos informs that “6 mega-corporation: Disney, Viacom, Time Warner, GE, News Corp, and Bertelsmann, own 90% of the media  (television, newspaper, internet, magazine, film, radio, and cable).” It’s really interesting to think about what and why we are hearing the news we hear. Are we controlling what they play? are they showing us what they feel we need to know? are they simply presenting the news? is it fact? bias? skewed? missing information? There really are more questions than answers, but it’s basically a yes to all. In the media industry , it’s all based on viewers, ratings, money, and power.

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Soto explains how satire has been around for years, “Franklin wasn’t only a man of many inventions, but also the first “american humorist”.” Humor and sarcasm is a great way to reflect and evaluate the circumstances of the situation. It informs society of the news, yet does it in a way that provokes thought.

The Abuse of Satire by Gary Trudeau

This younger generation really seems to cling to news satire. Jon Stewart and Steve Colbert really do a great job of capturing the essence of satire. These young viewers don’t want to watch Fox news all day like we are 50 years old. Every time I go to my parent’s house, it’s Fox News this, Fox news that. And every time I am there I fall asleep watching it… so boring lol. Also, media today is so bias one way or another. It’s hard to really know what’s fact, and what is their interpretation, what is their agenda. I feel satire has a way of showing all these flaws and biases through humor, something people enjoy and understand. A lot of people retain and comprehend information better when they are actively engaged in the conversation. Satire helps to interest the listener with reality and “truthiness”.

The mindless joy of video games

I’ve been on both sides of the coin. When I love a video game, it’s one of the best highs in the world, and when I hate it, I could snap the disc. I’ll start off by saying, it is rare that I ever truly  obsess over a game. There are only 2 games that come to mind that I can say I love………. Guitar Hero and Mario Kart!! gh2.xbox360.06.lg

I can remember being absolutely addicted to Guitar Hero from about 18-21 yrs old lol. At one time, 8 years ago, I stayed up till 5am with blisters on my fingers playing. At times, I can play anywhere from 4-8 hours. I got started when my friend had it at his house where everyone chilled and partied. We would all pass the guitar around and play. It really feels like such an accomplishment when you beat the song list and get more songs!!!!  Then when I finally got my new game Guitar Hero 2 when I was 19, I couldn’t have been happier. I loved it, I can remember bringing it in my car to all my friends house, and we would all play. My ex’s son Tristan was like 8 and we would jam out all weekend long lol, we both had guitars and would do guitar duets on hard. I can relate sooo many good memories to Guitar Hero. Sometimes I’ll hear songs like Black Magic Woman, or Cult of Personality, and automatically think back to guitar hero.

But……. then I did get Guitar hero this Christmas on the Wii,Guitar Hero 7, and it’s just not the same! I literally have played it twice since I’ve had it. I don’t know if I’ve grown up a little, so that’s why I don’t like it, or if not being around my friends who like it makes it not as fun, or the fact that you don’t have to beat songs to win songs. They just give you all the songs off the get. There just seems to be no challenge. I like a challenge lol. Now the newest Mario Kart game is awesome! That game is a timeless masterpiece!!! Me, My boyfriend, and our friends, will have Mario Kart tournaments where we keep score, and play all the levels consequtively. I probably have 14 papers in our junk drawer of score sheets we’ve saved just so we have proof lol. This last Christmas I got the Wii U, along with the new Mario Kart 8 ( that sounds so spoiled, but those were my big presents, I’d been wanting for like a year :-] ). AND… ………..The Mario Kart 8 is freakin awesome !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! New levels, and new tracks to master! I haven’t played a lot of it though, because our friends up here don’t play, or aren’t as good as me and my boyfriend, so it’s not fun to write the scores down for them. I learned that I must really really like a challenge, cuz it’s not fun unless I’m competing. I like to win.

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So the other side of the coin I was talking about…… my boyfriend is addicted to Madden. ugghhhhh!!! I hate Madden!!!! Which is weird because I am a diehard football fan, but Madden is this fantasy……..fake!!! lol. I really only hate it, because 1. I am not good, 2. My bf literally will spend 5-8 hours daily playing Madden. I can walk in the door, and he wants to tell me what happened in this fake game where he scored this touchdown and what happened, and I honestly tune him out. I am not allowed to walk in front of the tv (which is right in the center of the living room) or he will throw a fit. I’m not allowed to talk to him or,  I somehow “mess him up”. He has now advanced his addiction by buying and using this headpiece to talk to other players online. He’s constantly talking trash in a headset walking around our living room like he’s a coach, and shouting at the tv. It is seriously an addiction. He has an issue. I can wake up to the commentators at 7 am, and he’s up drinking coffee with the game on. uggghhhhh!!!!!! I hate Madden.

People play video games for many reasons. They obviously find something extremely entertaining and fun. Some people like the challenge. I’m all for if it makes you happy do it, but I do think there is a fine line between happiness, and addiction. It is really hard to pin point the short term and long term effects of video games. It is hard to believe correlation does not imply causation. In Christopher Beam’s article Death from Above, he pinpoints one problem that is going on, “While improvements in technology make video-game violence ever more realistic—and desensitizing.”

I agree with Beam, and I believe some of the effects are lack of proper social skills for short periods of time, lack of building relationships with actually people, lack of productivity by wasting your days playing. And physical effects of being lazy and not moving your body. I believe that the messages that some video games send give us skewed perceptions on what is real, fake, or acceptable in real life. Games where you rape, and kill don’t necessarily lead to someone raping and killing, but for example, could lead a boyfriend thinking a women as property, and cause him to think treating her poorly is acceptable. In his science brief, Craig A. Anderson gives us his findings in his scientific brief about how media influences our behavior, “Repeated media violence exposure increases aggression across the lifespan because of several related factors. 1. It creates more positive attitudes, beliefs, and expectations regarding use of aggressive solutions. 2. It creates aggressive behavioral scripts and makes them more cognitively accessible. 3. It decreases the accessibility of nonviolent scripts. 4. It decreases the normal negative emotional reactions to conflict, aggression, and violence.”

I think video games have psychological effects that are hard to determine. As this generation gets older and science advances, we will see when we are 80yrs old, the true effects that video games has on a person.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jordanshapiro/2014/08/27/a-surprising-new-study-on-how-video-games-impact-children/

Cartoons!

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. 

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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.”

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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.

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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.

http://fox4kc.com/2015/03/18/girl-rsvps-to-birthday-party-explaining-she-cant-go-because-you-are-black/

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”.

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/100/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.

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http://news.cnet.com/Building-a-21st-century-radio/2100-1025_3-5402054.html

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.

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http://www.californiahistoricalradio.com/radio-history/100years/

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.

The Music Industry

The music business is a complicated system. In the essay Don’t Stop Believing by Deidre Pike, she addresses 3 points that question the music industries honesty, independence, and productivity.

The first point discussed was honesty. Is the music industry honest with the way they promote music and artists? Record  label executives, who are investing their money want to sign a person that is going to make them money, can you blame them? Just like any other investment an investor makes, they want to statistically sign an artist who will likely give them a return on their investment and then some. People don’t realize how much money is spent on an artist to make them popular. Yes, with the advent of YouTube people can rise to stardom and create a loyal fan base, but they will not make it to the popularity of superstars like Justin Beiber, or Miley Cyrus without the push, connects, and money a record label/investor is able to give them. With the digital age, streaming, and social media, it has helped independent artists develop their fan base, but still is a rarity, and a long, tough road to really making it.

http://nypost.com/2014/01/02/indie-artists-are-new-no-1-in-music-industry/

In the essay, it touched on Ani DeFranco, who is an artist who works her butt off independently and has had some success. Not to be rude, but I had no idea who she was, and have never heard a song of hers in my life. Without the push of the record labels, it’s hard to stay relevant for long periods of time. Yes, maybe 5 years you can stay relevant working hard, and spending your own money, but not only would it be much much harder, you also are in a position where other labels and people with money can blackball you or buy you out. Money makes the world go round, sad but that’s life. Macklemore, he made it, and now takes the money he made and continually invests it back into his career.

Can music be independent, yes! Like we saw with Nirvana and other pieces of art, if it’s good, people love it, and it sells, then record labels jump on. I don’t think the message matters anymore, I think it’s more based on what sells. Controversy just adds more hype to the artist and the music. Great example with Nirvana. Another that comes to mind that did it independently is Macklemore, who was able to become a super star overnight, and still has his own record label, Macklemore LLC.

macklemore-billboard-cover-soundisstyle

If I could think of another artist I would think of Pink. Record Labels tried so hard to mold her into what they wanted. And 90% of the time, if the artist doesn’t conform they’ll say, “bye bye, we’ll find an artist that will.” Then there are those few artists that don’t conform, stand their ground and stay true to who they are. It’s just a question of whether or not an artist is willing to sell their soul to the devil. It’s all a mind game. If they change who they are as an artist, they’re considered a sell out, if they change they also may find super stardom from taking some great advice, or they can fall flat on their face conforming and then the label drops them and they are broke, and back to square one.

http://faze.ca/issue08/pink_interview.html

It’s hard to make it in the music industry. Now record labels won’t give you a chance unless you have a huge fan base online, and they feel  you are someone worth signing. My boyfriends friend J.Spoolz is a rapper, and has a song with Wiz Khalifa (before Wiz was big) and the song is hard. Then Wiz blew up, and Spoolz didn’t make it. He’s since tried to get in touch with Wiz to tried to shoot a video, but can’t even get ahold of him and the label isn’t interested. To make a long story short, Spoolz is still on the grind, doing concerts, making music videos, paying for verses from other known rappers, stays popular on social media, and travels all around the US, networking and making music. He has probably spent over 100 grand in the last 6 years trying to make this rap thing happen. All it takes is that momentum, one hit song, and a record label actually wanting to give you a chance, but so far it seems more like a hobby, and a money pit. I respect his hustle, because even when people try and talk trash about him he continues to push. But…. still you have to have a ton of $$$$$ to even think about making it independently. All the money he’s  spent traveling and financing this endeavor will never be returned to the investors, unless he makes it big, and the chances of that seem slim to none.

Is the music industry productive?

I think music does influence the way we think, and at times shapes the person that we are. But like the decision in the Judas Priest case, music can not directly make you do something. There are other factors that play into the decisions a person makes: mental illness, bad life, depression, abuse, anger, pain. Music is a form of expression, and a lot of times I like music because I relate to it. I love rap music, which lyrically talks about guns, hoes, and drugs. But I also love christian music and singing to the lord, and country music & thinking about the fair and drinking beer. It’s just different moods I’m in, I want to listen to different things. Most of the time it triggers memories and good, or fun feelings.