Good day Nation,

In this week’s class, professor Stangelove elaborated on Taylor Hall’s multiple meaning perspective. All discourse contain the seeds of resistance in alternative thinking. This last sentence holds great importance to what Dr.Strangelove has been teaching throughout the semester.

Every aspect of life resides within a particular discourse. All avenues have their own ability within itself to challenge the status quo. Now maybe I’m beginning to be a little philosophical but let’s see how it relates to real aspects of everyday life. Dr. Strangelove ties it to the social structures, and that social structures are ENABLING and CONSTRAINING at the same time. Each structure (discourse) has constraints that tend to control our behavior. Remember, critical thinking holds the key to resisting those discourses.

Take socio-political challenges for example, within times of heartache we have figures that have chose to rise above the norms to bring change. ENABLING and CONSTRAINING at the very same moment. Figures like Gandhi, he inspired a civil rights movement in all of India when challenging British colonial power. Gandhi’s alternative thinking helped him achieve resistance to the social powers at the time, thus challenging the discourse of colonialism.

Capitalism is also another discourse that enables and constraints. Capitalism allowed many to break out and be creative, and in doing so marketed a product to branch out and be successful. In many other cases capitalism makes it very difficult for people to succeed in the dog eat dog market. An active audience is also another form of enabling.

Professor Strangelove also mentioned that too much enabling will bring to chaos in society, and too many enforced constraint will bring to tyranny. We need for society to keep that structured balance in innovation. This balance is discourses is what can bring to the estbalishment of active audiences on the Internet and the passive audiences that receive and take in the content. With this new-age of user generated content, distingueshes a new opurtunity for us the  people to deliver a new message to society along with aiding the media powers to adapt to the times and realize that we the people are changing the amount of control they actually have on the consumers at hand.

Thank you.

6 Going on 16

Good day Nation,

This week’s popular culture class had us view a National Film board documentary on the hypersexualization in our society. The film focused on how little girls are being forced to become more erotic in a young age. This problem then steals their childhood from them, and can be seen as an aspect of deprive the children of today a worry free childhood and youth that they deserve.

The piece begins with showcasing pornographication in music videos and later getting the feedback from young high school students. The film later focuses on the mainstream popularity of the bratz franchise.  This franchise which exploded with the young teen demographic. The bratz dolls suggest dressing like a prostitute is the way in which girls should try to resemble. The doll mixes the ideological notion of fame and associates it with the way the dolls are dressed. Giving the signal that it is Ok to dress down and still be socially excepted and embraced in society. The franchise doesn’t stop at only the dolls, the started marketing a clothing line, so young girls can dress like their favorite characters. We also have the penetration into a younger market. The creation of TWEENS. So little girls that are near the age of 13 can also feel like a real teenager and wear bratz make-up and accessories.

The bratz franchise also endorses tween bras for girls 9-11 years old. These padded bras is to “help” the girls who have started developing get the support they need in a discrete manner. Well, as the film showed it is just another way for the company to market numerous products that help the girls feel sexy and luscious just like whom they ideal on TV and in the magazines.

The whole notion of the sexualization of young children doesn’t only affect the girls, the boys also receive the message but in a different way. The boys see in advertisements and through television that the man who charms the women and who can do so in a convincing and successful manner is “the man on top”, “The GUY’s guy”. Children are always seeking recognition. And it is within the apprehention of this man made image that girls can be recognized by others if she is sexy enough. If she wears the right kind of underwear to grade school, if she shows enough of her body off, that she can finally be that girl she saw on television. And it is the same with the boys, to be the captain of popularity you must have all the girls wrapped around your fingers.

This not only stops these young children from being just who they are, just that CHILDREN. It also teaches them the wrong message of sexual relationships. The new media in today’s world it is all too easy for youngsters to go on google and find pornography, and graphic pornography to be exact. This tweaks the image that they once had of a “mom and dad” type relationship. Now the objectification of women is introduced at a younger age, that women are just playmates looking to be conquered.

The pornographication of a generation is happening more and more quickly of the vast excess to technology and the ongoing connectivity to the Internet. Mass media is shaping the minds of younger children year after year. We must raise the awarness of the issue and speak to the children of today so they ca because n make the right choices tomorrow.

Thank you.

Is How We See Each Other a Concrete Representation?

Good day Nation,

In Dr.Strangelove’s popular culture class this week Strangelove commenced with a look at Jean Beaudrillard and the notion of the Hyper Real. The hyper Real a philosophical perspective best known to be the groundwork for the film “The Matrix”, has us question the reality in which we live.

Connecting it to the field of communications, the hyper real, Strangelove links it to the commercial images that gets enforced heavily on the persons of society, and it is these images that corrupt our notion of reality. Take the example of Christmas. When we think of Christmas, we normally think of the commercial construction of it. With all the presents, the tall evergreen tree perfectly decorated, and last but not least the fabricated image of  SANTA CLAUSE. A socially constructed image of an overweight elderly man who resides in the North Pole and has a dozen reign deer fly him around the world in one night. This ideal image we have of the holiday Christmas, is nothing that represents its original religious connotations.

Taking popular culture into the same view, we see that it is ideological. But at the same time popular culture is mythological. The media system expresses trues in a way that we cannot normally express them. For example, the way in which the media expresses hyper-masculinity. Masculinity is envisioned in such “macho” facets as in James Bond movies, Arnold Schwarzenegger action flicks, and so on. The point is, the reality in which we indulge in within the media system frames the so-called reality of genders.

In the late 1990’s the patterns of masculinity began to be represented in a way which blended it with femininity. The introduction of the Metrosexual Man. This brought to the change in the “metrosexual” in society as well as on the scree. A heterosexual man whom has great taste in fashion, wine, and who also likes to accessorize. Media provides patterns of representation, and it is this representation that constitutes facets in everyday life. Thus, our representation of reality is ever fabricated by the masses.

[Joey from friends, the metrosexual man]

Hence, the notion of the HYPER REAL.

Thank you.

A Girls Problem

Good day Nation,

In this week’s class Dr. Strangelove focused on chapter four of Gender and Popular Culture. This chapter weaves around the subject of women’s representation in the media and centers on the romance, sexuality and relationships that young women ought to seek in life. This notion of romance has often been depicted the ideal focal point for teenage girls for many years. We see it through the television programing, magazines and teen movies.

In chapter four of Gender and Popular Culture, it is expressed that within the mainstream mass media there are two key elements of a teenage girls life. 1) Get a boyfriend, and 2) How to look good. Now like said earlier, this is evident in the “boy crazy” type programming that is fed to these young ladies. This whole notion of looking good, is to look good for men. Product… The product is to attain that ferry-tail ending of prince charming. Media portrays the true expression of happiness as love-filled relationships that transcend into marriage. Dr.Strangelove expressed that all these portrayals all send out and represent the same original ideologies from the past. Nothing has changed, even with the sexualization of femininity, the premise still stands to look good for a man to hopefully capture that prince charming.

Change in Recent Years 

One thing to keep in mind is that women are more adventurous (in an individualistic type of way) in our modern times. Professor Strangelove, elaborated on the notion that more and more women are drinking and going out to clubs now. Before it was that the men went out while the women stayed at home and either took care of the family, chores, stayed at home and did lady type work/duties. But now we have the women drinking, they have disposable income, so they spend this disposable income and party. Why? Because of a new trend. Women in the workforce. Women are now headed to become the bread-winners of tomorrow, and with that come the independence to do more with they’re money. They are no longer dependent on the income of a co-partner, they can and are making their own decisions. The progressive change can also be viewed as contradictory forces.

Dr. Strangelove links this notion to Foucault, when he said if we push to hard for change we get pushed in the opposite direction. Take the women drinking example, women in the social scene can be viewed as a woman being irresponsible. A woman being selfish and neglecting family life. Drinking is also dangerous to a person’s health and may bring poor decisions.

Having that said, a girl doesn’t have it easy from the get go. She is expected to care about a constructed reality from a young age, and later is scene as irresponsible and foolish is she is independent and adventurous. A girls problem? I would say so. And this problem is all brought upon the depiction of women in the media throughout a lady’s whole life.

Thank you.

The War on Gender

Good day Nation,

This week Professor Strangelove focused his class on the stranglehold men have on women in society. He began with the notion “Pornogrpahication” of society that started back in the 1990’s. Which coincidently, is around the same time that the Internet commenced. It was during this time where we saw advertising flourish in the use of skimpy outfits on their models to bring in the ideal target market. Ads began to be more “wet” and seductive in nature. Not only from the implicit meanings of the ads, but also from the surface aesthetics of the ads as well. Thus, mass media sending out the ideal image of the “sexualized” female to which girls should and would want to be like.

Dr.Strangelove then turned to the Mary Tyler Moore show. The 1970’s series focused on the independent woman. A lady that can make it on her own without the support of a man in her life. The story of second wave feminism of the 70s. Sex in the City would bring to the representation of 3rd wave feminism. And that of a women’s independence is found through her sexuality. These two shows different in material but both focus on the liberation of the female person, did so in lacking the political aspect. Shying away from confronting politics was to stay on the air.

Strangelove mentions, having that all the major corporations (especially in hollywood) are primarily owned and operated by white males, feminism comes as a threat them and their dominance over an industry. Thus, making it a gendered economy. As women’s power grew through feminism, the media system took that as a threat. Then the media system laid out through television series a model that would take women’s movement a step back. A series of television shows that would be highly pornagraphied in content, such as Sex in the City.

In doing so it empowers women in the media on the surface level. But by empowering them they [the media corporations] are also objectifying women in the process. Which the case may be, halts them from breaking through the dominant ideologies of society.

Thank you.

A New Text

Good day Nation,

In this week’s class we turn to Gender & Popular Culture by Katie Milestone and Anneke Meyer. This book is to give us an additional look into the world of popular culture and to how gender is socially constructed by the masses in society. Professor Strangelove began with the introduction of the book. When running through the beginning of the text, we see that the forecast for the weeks to follow will be separated into three parts. First being the theme of socially constructed representation of gender. Second, the representation of men and women in the media. Lastly, the consumption of gender in today’s modern day. Milestone & Meyer

Strangelove touches on points in the introduction of Gender and Popular Culture when focusing on how the masses emphasize on the differences in gender. They paint the picture that women are drawn one way and the men laid out another. Our culture makes the few differences our physical beings do have to be EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. This what seems to be an extreme difference is vastly created and constructed by society in which we live. The society molds the differences this way because from what we the people intake from mass media.

CULTURE – Raymond Williams states that there are three meanings of the word “Culture”. Williams argues that culture can refer to a) interllectual, spiritual and aesthetic development, b) a particular way of a group or historical period, or c) texts and practices which produce meanings. (Milestone & Meyer 2012)

Taking this into account Dr. Strangelove focused on the first aspect mentioned. The intellectual, spiritual and aesthetic development of culture. He believe that there is no originality in either of those three factors in today’s modern age. The “original” look that someone is going for is taken from some mainstream figure in popular culture somewhere. And the list continues on from there.

So this is a great portion of what we hope to she light on on the weeks to follow.

Thank you.

A Mid-Semesters Work

Good day Nation,

Here is the mid-term project for Dr.Strangelove’s popular culture class. Raymond La and I decided to work on the subject of music sampling and fair use. We found that this is an intriguing and important aspect in our generation. Especially pertaining to the vast new popularity of music Dj’s and top 40 mashup artists.

Here it is, enjoy!


Thank you.

Atoms into Bits

Good day Nation,

In this week’s class Dr.Strangelove touched on how Youtube as a corporation brings to great debate. And by doing so, it brings great number of communities.

Dr.Strangelove indicates that wherever we find debate more than likely we will find a community. Anthropologist Marry Douglas noted that we can know a community by its debates in society. Professor Strangelove transitions this thought to how online communities are challenging the capitalists ownership in areas of the multiple industries.

The change up of our communication systems is happening by the activity on the Internet. Communication systems had control to manipulate our way of thought, which made it into mass thought. Meaning became an Industry. The capitalist system, Dr.Stangelove notes, is an industry obsessed with the notion of owning, labeling physical property to copyright. Dictating what people can and cannot share with others. This physical body, can be seen as atom property. These atoms are now being transformed into bits in the electronic age of the Internet. Thus, challenging or creating the war on physical property copyrights.

By having many different industries convert over to the Internet (Books, online shopping, auctions, newspapers, digital music, digital video/movies etc…) it makes it extremely difficult to regulate. We now have the start of a cultural war over control. Take the book selling industry, the largest book store is found online, Amazon has taken the great part of the cliental of Chapters and indigo. The largest book store, is of an online company and always was. This shift not only takes clients, but is now taking audiences from television networks movie cinema’s. These online stores are overpowering the smaller in person merchants.

The war on controlling free content and free share is now happening. Record labels and Film studies are constantly trying to change the online copyright laws. Professor Strangelove noted that the whole notion of steeling on the Internet is a paradigmatic one. If somewhat rips a song, he or she is copying it. Not steeling it, for that the original content is still in its original form and place. The above video sheds great insight on this cultural war of Internet copyright and points out further insight on the SOPA legislations.

Alternative Voices

Good day Nation,

In this week’s class professor Strangelove discusses the new self confessions of the new era of today’s society and the need to upload confessions of the self for everyone to hear and perhaps comment. Video Diaries on the internet allow for others to view an intimate self of the producer. These videos provide deep insight into the personal lives of individuals. By doing so, it can spark a connection between individuals, groups and form communities.

Dr.Strangelove also mentions Pierre Bordeau’s notion that invisible structures that impact our lives. This notion can be closely related to the previously mentioned feedback system on youtube video pages. The invisible members who can impact one’s mindset, or coarse of action in the world of the internet. More importantly these new voices expressed in these vlogs bring new ideals and perhaps set out to change elements in society.

Professor Strangelove reveals that the modern era was labelled by the Gutenberg press along with rapid innovations. But the post=modern era is now marked by uncertainty. The new online activity challenges the power of traditional institutions and their ownership. This Internet era that we know live in sets out, (according to Dr.Strangelove), to de-massify and show the alternative voices in society. The new era where the audience is connected 24/7 to the masses and to the Internet. Thus, being exposed to contradicting ideas from mainstream idealism.

This new activity helps to bring the marginalized to the surface and into the open. Dr.Strangelove takes the case of women’s movement and their voice for example. The Women on the Internet take a strong stand against sexism. The Internet allows Women to stand together and empower themselves and unleash a voice that can be heard with no condescending/discriminating interruptions. In doing so the self representation acts against the ideologies of the norm.

In challenging the dominant views of sexists males, it also challenges the dominant male platform of corporate media. We must remember that since the Internet is such a vast intertwining platform, we must make the links that some visions and voices set out to challenge in direct and also implicit fashions on this world scale tool.

Questioning everything we see

Good day Nation,

In today’s Dr.Strangelove lecture we touched base on the matters of videos that bring great debate. Meaning that with viral videos to which gain popularity there will always be groups and individuals that choose to depict and question whether matters are right or wrong, ethical or not, legal or illegal. One harmless upload can bring to great controversy.

In the classroom we viewed this video,

Which we find a young girl hold and pet a dead squirrel. This video which has over 3 million views has brought to the questioning of the little girls parents, Are these parents exemplifying good parenting. Discussion groups argued whether or not these parents should be reported to social services and so forth. Minus the fact, we must extract that these genuine moments caught on video is just that, authentic moments in a family’s life.

There will always be people out to get others, now trying to strip what seems like innocent parents of their child is idiotic, especially from one exert of a video clip. But there are instances where some people upload videos and do not think of the consequences of their actions. CBC reported back in 2009 that a group of young men posted a video of them illegally shooting ducks on a pond front in Saskatchewan. These three men would later be charged and brought to court from the evidence broadcasted on Youtube. CBC. This duck shooting video prompted the human society (based out of Toronto, Ont) to hand out an award of $1000 to help to the arrests of the three individuals in the video.

From this weeks lecture, we can reflect and debate on anything we see on online video. The comment spaces allows for those who feel the need to express themselves on the uploaded content to do so in an anonymous manner. Whether it be negative or positive, freedom of expression allows us to let the producer of content know whether we think their content is right or wrong, ethical or not, and in extreme cases illegal. I guess what we need to consider is that whether or not authenthic material is really innocent in nature, such as the case of the little squirrel girl.