Archivo de la categoría: Media

Collusion

Collusion happens when in the “Oppressor-oppressed” relationship, the oppressed one adopts the attitudes that reenforce the way the oppressor sees him. So people complains about being stereotyped but they end up becoming almost “cliché”.

This is a really good example of collusion in the media, from the movie “Crash”. Unfortunately, due to copyright issues, the video can’t be shared, but here is the link so you can watch it in youtube:

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Archivado bajo Culture, Media, Stereotypes

Deinstitutionalization, the key to the internet’s success

We saw in class how the deinstitutionalization is the KEY tool of the internet. When the modern social system was created, the people in power decided to institutionalized everything, so they could control several aspects of the social life. For example, first, men created religion but then the Church was born, so that people knew the official way to do things “properly”. Same thing happened with laws, government, education, art and a long etcetera. 

With the emergence of the internet, people had now access to unofficial contents, forbidden readings and images, controversial data and so on. Since it is a source of information that’s not institutionalized, it has much more freedom than other media, and this is what keeps attracting people to use it as a reference, or even as a truth finder.

Traditional media like television and the press, are talking about what’s going on the internet, giving the chance to underground communication products to become mainstream. However, it might look innocent and harmless, but media corporations are doing that because they don’t want to lose control over the information, and it’s a way of saying “we are aware of what’s popular, we are watching you”. So the culture is policed, because as members of a civilization, we should fear lack of control, we should repress every instinct that sets us apart from the human rationality and we shouldn’t be watching or learning from a source that has no regulations whatsoever. 

Everyday in the Jock Turcott Building of the University of Ottawa, in the first floor, inside the office of “Protection Services”, there are several videos about drugs being projected. The information comes from an official source and it’s there in order for the students to learn more about the risks of doing any kind of drug. I have seen those videos many times, read the pamphlets and even asked questions, but I can also get the same info and more from the internet. This is an example of videos you can find:

So we have the stoner trying to show how to roll a blunt in the “proper manner”, and we have a professor talking about how drugs should be legalized. That seems pretty legit, and it’s interesting to read all the comments the video generated. Even when you can find videos like “how to smoke crack”, on the other hand you can bump into serious information, so why shouldn’t we take advantage of this deinstitutionalized media?

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Archivado bajo Media, youtube

Stereotypes in Youtube

Here it is, my midterm assignment!

The amateur video phenomenon I chose was “Because I’m ____________” videos.

This consists of people out there making fun of the stereotypes they have to put up with in normal life, when coming from a particular background different that the countries they live in.

I tried to emphasized the fact that traditional media is the one in charge of creating, spreading and maintaining those stereotypes, in order to control the divided society in an easier way. This process has been working pretty well but is definitely suffering because of the new alternative media: blogs, vlogs, personal spaces on the net, and so on. With the emergence of youtube, the possibilities are infinite and  even though your video can be removed, you can always post it again with a potential audience of hundreds of millions!

So, the stereotyped people can now create their own videos making fun of the situations, therefor communicating that it is not a big deal, it’s not going to stop them from doing and being whoever they want. Yey! rebellion!

The main sources of information were:

Chomsky, N. (1991). Media control. The spectacular achievements of propaganda. New York: Seven Stories Press. 

Oakes, P. J., Haslam S. A., & Turner J. C. (1994). Stereotyping and social reality. Great Britain: Blackwell Publishers.

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Archivado bajo Culture, Media, youtube

The 113,176,284 views of fame

Stardom and identity, two basic things we need to take care of if we want to become famous someday…
This chapter presents an interesting analysis about the created (MANUFACTURED) image of singers and bands, so they can become representative of something with a deep meaning.

Andrew Goodwin provides some examples: Vanilla Ice’s created past, so people into rap music would think he’s from “the ghetto”, when he has spent his life going from middle to upper class. A newer example could be Jennifer Lopez, on her song “Jenny from the block”, in which she describes how she’s from the South-Side Bronx, and how she always keeps that in mind, to stay down to earth. The truth is even when she lived in the Bronx, neighbors and teachers have acknowledged her social position was not bad at all.

It’s not a secret that pretty much every band or singer who wants to become famous has to give up its own image and style (if they had any) so managers and record companies can create a new one, more attractive, commercial and flattering. They cannot look like regular people, because in the end, if you want to be a star, you have to look like a star. This doesn’t apply only to pop singers, there also a created image waiting for country musicians, rock bands, metal gods and whatever that pops into your mind. Each music scene has its own stereotypes and they have to be fulfilled. 

The author mentions that music videos provide clues of who the star is, rather than complete meanings, so the mystery factor becomes the key to consumers buying and visiting everything that has to do with the star, in order to accumulate as much pieces as possible, to put the puzzle together. 

c_amy_winehouse_3But the star is not always singing, shooting videos or giving interviews, that is just what the music companies want us to believe. The star also has a life and we are extremely surprised whenever we see the magazine’s section: “People like us”, that shows movie stars or famous musicians doing normal things, like buying coffee or looking awful. Why do we automatically assume singers are role models? Why do we, as consumers, embrace the speech of rebelliousness and coolness of a star and then get outraged by celebrities doing drugs? 
We are doing exactly what they want us to do as consumers, idealizing famous people and thinking they’re better than us just because of fame itself.

But guess what, common people have find an easy way to become famous, without having to go through all the stardom issues. Yes! Youtube man, as the answer to everyone wanting to get their 15 minutes of fame, by having several thousands of people watching their videos everyday. 

In press conferences, managers control how pictures of the star are taken, but what happens when there are millions of  people with cameras all around the world?

See for yourself (It’s not good and still, has 113,176,284 million views):

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Archivado bajo Media, youtube

Reality Class Notes

Ups, not enough space in the computer.

Ok, here we go:

Damn it! see? Reality tv can also have its problems. But the whole point of this post was to acknowledge the subversive potential of the new reality tv, because you can pretty much say whatever you want about any topic. This doesn’t mean your video is going to be seen by thousands, but even if few people see it, you might have planted a seed.

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Archivado bajo Media, Reality, School

Hyperrealism, kind of…

I was doing some internet research on Baudrillard, trying to understand his idea of hyperrealism, and I found this:

…Reality itself founders in hyperrealism, the meticulous reduplication of the real, preferably through another, reproductive medium, such as photography. From medium to medium, the real is volatilized, becoming an allegory of death. But it is also, in a sense, reinforced through its own destruction. It becomes reality for its own sake, the fetishism of the lost object: no longer the object of representation, but the ecstasy of denial and of its own ritual extermination: the hyperreal.” 

An excerpt from “Symbolic Exchange and Death,” originally published in Paris, in 1976, which I found in http://www.artseensoho.com/Life/readings/baudrillard.html

I have to admit is hard to understand like this, but is easier if you think of some examples. Photography, as he says, reproduces an exact moment. Pictures were taken in a determined time and space and they represent a reality, but you can take them out of that time, space and reality and they will remain the same. Viewers will be able to “see” a place, person or situation, understanding at the same time that what they’re seeing is not necesarely real. It’s just a representation. 

Fruits

Another example could be all the people addicted to internet. Actually the internet itself is a good example. How do we know if everything we’re seeing is real? Like those dating sites, how can you prove that Handsome69 is not a 13 year old boy or a fat office worker? Or female robots in science fiction. Or stories of writers who discover their lives are being written by somebody else. 

This is a great tale by Jose Luis Borges, an argentine crazy writer who shared this idea of hyperrealism, if I got it right. Enjoy

http://www.phinnweb.org/links/literature/borges/aleph.html

 

 

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Archivado bajo Media, Reality

Chapter 1

Ok so, I did miss the class, but if I recall correctly, we were supposed to read Chapter 1. So that’s what I did.

One of the things the author emphasizes is THE CONTEXT in which the video was created. We shouldn’t judge them just by the esthetics or content, we must look at the hole picture and do some research before saying anything. Is funny how videos are censured because they are considered offensive or ¿dangerous? to some groups in society, but people who complains (and there is always going to be a complaint) rarely search the background of the band, the director, and so on. Nowadays it seems that in general, all musical genres have their way to do videos. If your a rap singer, you should put hot women and a lot of bling, “dog”. If you are a pop artist you have to be in excellent shape and wear preppy clothes, look beautiful at all times! and stay positive ;) Rockers on the other hand should not give a damn about their reputation and looks, they are “rebels”. There isn’t much innovation in the field, and there’s a lot of censorship, but every once in a while there’s some music video that causes controversy.

Another thing I thought it was interesting, is how in the music business, rockers dislike music videos because all the attention is drawn to them and they looks, so listeners won’t give a damn about lyrics anymore, if the video is good, they’ll like the song, if not, they won’t listen to it. And there’s also the “imagination vs given images” issue, it’s better when you picture things than when you know exactly how they are and it is impossible trying to create another image, because you’ll always be influenced by the one it was given to you. This happens all the time with books turned into movies, some adaptations are nicely done but sometimes they suck.

A few pages ahead, the author speaks about videos used in concerts and how all the audience positively reacts to them, because enriches the live performance. 2 years ago I went to see Roger Waters, he was going to sing the whole Dark Side of The Moon and other Pink Floyd hits, plus some of his work. During the show, there were this huge screens on stage, and each time a song started, a radio appeared on the screen and a gigantic hand “changed” the station, so a new song could start. That was so amazing! We were definitely waiting for a great production and we would have been disappointed  if his show hadn’t had this kind of details. But to give a different example, there a lot of artists who like to keep it simple, so they can connect better with the audience, which is fine too. 

So I leave here a little moment from one of the greatest concerts ever! at least in Mexico. You can see the huge screen right there and its sick quality! 

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Archivado bajo Media, School