Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Orange is the New Feminism

In the summer of 2013, Netflix released a new original series, Orange Is the New Black, which immediately starting gaining popularity among viewers--both men and women. When I first heard about this show, nothing about it really appealed to me......until I decided to try out one episode. After that, I understood why everyone and their mothers were telling me to watch it. It was one of the most well-written shows I had ever seen and I unashamedly binge-watched the other two seasons when they came out. I understood why everyone loved it, but I thought it would be good to really understand why this show is as amazing and pivotal as it is in our society.

For those of you who don't know anything about the show, it's about a woman named Piper Chapman who is sentenced to 15 months in federal prison. The rest of the show also follows the rest of the characters and explores their stories and their relationships with the other inmates.

First of all, the "protagonist" (and I use this term loosely) is a female and the rest of the cast is almost entirely female with a very small number of recurring male roles. Time magazine released an article called "What Men Can Learn From Orange Is the New Black." (Here is the link to it if you want to read it). I thought it was an interesting read and I definitely agreed with most of what they said. My favorite thing mentioned in the article was, "this isn't a show about women for women: it's a show about people." Orange Is the New Black (OITNB) was considered different because it focused on women, but I think that people feel this way because most things we watch feature a male protagonist/ensemble that has caused us to think that that is what is considered normal. This show has definitely opened eyes for both men and women who haven't been exposed to many issues like feminism in their media.

What I really like about this show is how honest they are about these experiences in prison and how they don't exploit sexuality and other issues for the sake of making their show "edgier." The show explores a huge spectrum of sexuality and the fluidity of sexual orientation. It also doesn't bring women down, it shows that these women are in prison for crimes that not just men commit. The Time magazine article says that the only difference about a female prison is the smuggling of cigarettes in tampons, because we know the guards would never check those. The show does have it's female touches, but it's unavoidable when the cast is primarily made of females.

OITNB does a great job of handling this ensemble of female characters and has basically become its own wave of feminism without causing any sort of social justice movement/riot. highly recommend watching it if you haven't seen it yet! And sorry for the kind-of-cheesy title. I'm a watcher, not a writer.

Fantasy Vs. Reality by Cami Neilson

In class on Wednesday we talked about the realisticity of Disney Princesses.   Of course growing up, I wanted to be a Princess. Not a specific Disney Princess, but to just be one in general. The thought of dressing and living like one is almost every little girls dream. I don’t think as a little girl I ever thought about the possibility of those princesses not being real, they were real to me!  As I’ve grown, I’ve obviously come to realize that the looks and lifestyle of most Disney Princesses are unrealistic. But that doesn’t make me hate Disney. The princesses never did anything wrong in my eyes.. They were nice, sharing, and pretty, so why wouldn’t I want to be like that? To me the princesses are showing (for the most part) a good example for little girls.
This video takes a funny approach to the modern day Princesses and Princes that Disney creates. Almost every girl growing up, wants to be a princess.. It’s a fact. But what about the boys?  If Disney Princes Went to College: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PLELSdcqSM

Monday, September 29, 2014

Music Sounds the Same


Since we are talking about music this week, I decided to look into music that sounds the same. I've known that some songs sound similar, but I didn't know actually how many songs are out there that sound alike. I found this website or blog that collects them and displays them together, so you can actually hear the similarities and its a really good site for displaying how common the same sounds are used.

http://www.soundsjustlike.com/

I went through several examples and was shocked by how much alike the songs can be. Sometimes, they are a decade apart, other times, only 5 years.


After you've gone through some of the similar examples, post about what you think. Did you know about this many? Did you like a newer song that was actually copied from a past song, but didn't know about it? Does that make you interested in the original song used? I find that I am interested to find out what the original song was about and who made it, at times. Have you ever liked an old song and heard a similar sound from that modern song that uses a sample from the old one? Will Smith has used many samples from older music.


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Football commercials

I think that it's so interesting the way companies and  commercials  that play  on Sundays  during football games  and how much they influence our popular culture. They show what they see as the average football loving American should act and what products they should like and should purchase. It depicts that the average football fan is a man who drinks beer and likes women who are sexually dressed. Also a man who likes greasy food and to hang out with his friends and sitting around watching football and playing fantasy football. They make us seem somewhat lazy sometimes as well and that football is a way of life and their lives revolve around it.
I watched this today and started to wonder if any of you guys felt the same way or have ever thought about this kind of stuff before or anything like this in a similar scenario. I think the same is done in a lot of ever other scenarios on TV when you watch a certain event they might try and have commercials that would portray the type of person watching. The reason they do this in my opinion is because they want to see people who resemble them to reassure them that it's cool to do what they are doing.

Marxism

GREENFIELDS from Greenfield Team on Vimeo.

I just came across this animated short and it reminded me of our discussions on Marxism earlier in the semester. I noticed a relation with Marx's take on capitalism in this, here are a few connections I've found.

As capitalism progresses and time moves on, many social benefits are slowly removed. Like this film, you can see living conditions have decreased and overall happiness of the population is low. The population seeks freedom, which has obviously been taken away from them, and in effect, military aggression has risen as well.

The characters in this are obviously part of the Proletariat social class, which would be the working/oppressed class. The Proletariats are be ruled over by the Bourgeoisie, by forceful means with guns and full military gear.

I think class consciousness plays a part in this as well, because the characters actually make an effort to create change. They are aware of the class differences and oppression, which Marx says this awareness is needed before effort can begin.

"Society does not consist of individuals, but expresses the sum of interrelations, the relations within which these individuals stand." - Karl Marx

Friday, September 26, 2014

Is Raising Awareness Racist?

Brett Bailey's 'Exhibit B'

I heard about an art exhibit in the UK called "Exhibit B". It was shut down because it was labeled as being racist. It depicts slavery in scenes using live actors. Some are chained to beds and others are on display as examples of their race.

Here is an article about the show: http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-29344483

In my opinion, it raises awareness about the history of slavery and how slavery was a horrible institution. I understand how it is seen as racist, but I don't think that is what the artists were trying to project. They wanted to show why racism is bad, why slavery was bad, and make people aware of it through shock value. Portraying slavery with live actors makes it all to real for some people and I think it makes many people uncomfortable with confronting what was actually done to slaves on a regular basis.

In Defense of Disney?

In Defense of Disney:

I decided - for conversation sake - I want to defend Disney and their storytelling antics. To help my case I will go “a little” ( a lot)  further to one side than I actually lean, but I think I can still make a compelling case for Disney (or at least show how Orientalism has been a norm amongst story tellers since the dawn of time). …So here it goes.

The article we read for class concludes that The Little Mermaid and Belle (from Beauty and the Beast) are two white characters who are less sexual than their minority counterparts:  Jasmine, Esmeralda and Pocahontas. I am not going to attempt to defend Pocahontas (history states she was actually 12 at the time the Disney film tells her story) and Esmeralda (unfamiliar with this character, I was unwilling to read the whole book containing the original story). I will say that Esmeralda was said to be a petite woman in the book - so it seems Disney may have missed the mark in her story as well. As for The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin, they were misrepresented (in my opinion) as read by the author from the in class article.

Disney did not write any of their movies, making the stories unoriginal. They have taken most of their movie ideas from old folk tales and/or storybooks. Yes, they do change some key points but after reading the English originals of Aladdin, Little Mermaid, and Beauty and the Beast, the amount of changes made reminded me of a few current day book adaptations. Their exceptions are to the movie endings, where the stories change completely. Disney markets toward young American viewer as young as 10 (10-12 year olds), who are only interested in watching movies that end, “and they lived happily ever after.” Even at 20 years old, I still feel this way and I am guessing that most of my classmates prefer stories (especially Disney classics) that have some sort of happy ending.
I pulled out a few points from Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast and Little Mermaid:

Little Mermaid - In the original story, “Ariel” first spots the prince at age 15. The prince himself is 16. After that the story never gives any ages, but it does seems that when the Mermaid gives up her voice it was not many years later. This is why “Ariel”, in the Disney film, looks so much younger - she is younger. The point in the class article made about her walking abilities on land was unique. In the original story each step she takes “feels like knives,” yet she is also considered the most graceful human to walk on land. As far as her ability to walk in the movie, no matter how graceful, if every step I took felt like knives were poking my legs, I would be walking a little gingerly too.

In Beauty and the Beast, “Belle” is looked down upon by her older sisters who tell her that she is too young to marry. In the book, she is one of many children, but the only one that desires to be an “academic” like her father – his dream for each of his children. Disney kept her youth and love for reading as read in the original French tale.

Aladdin - The written story does not mention any age. Aladdin first sees the princess when he defies the Sultan’s orders - and does not stay in his home with his windows shut. In fact, he sneaks all the way up to “Jasmine’s” bathroom door to catch a peek of the princess.  (The version I read was from “The Blue Fairy Book,” by Andrew Lang.)  After the first description of Aladdin there is little reference to any of the appearances of any of the characters - in fact it was very vague.  

As I was trying to gain a better understanding of the folk tales, so I went to Wikipedia (I know I am not supposed to use it but it’s a great summary tool) and found a quote about Aladdin that was very interesting - so take it for what it’s worth:
“Although Aladdin is a Middle Eastern tale, the story is set in China, and Aladdin is explicitly Chinese… Everybody in this country bears an Arabic name, and its monarch seems much more like a Muslim ruler than a Chinese emperor. Some commentators believe that this suggests that the story might be set in Turkestan (encompassing Central Asia and the modern Chinese province of Xinjiang). It has to be said that this speculation depends on knowledge of China that the teller of a folk tale (as opposed to a geographic expert) might well not possess, and that a deliberately exotic setting is in any case a common storytelling device.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aladdin)


Storytellers have always tried to use exotic settings because people know less about them and the listener’s mind can more freely enjoy and create a magical story.  If a storyteller wants to tell stories of impossible situations, the unfamiliarity of the setting is the storyteller’s best friend. I am not trying to make any excuses for Orientalism, but scholars need to understand the commodity of using the unknown has been used across all cultures and all time periods and is not just seen in Disney movies. 

LINKS: To Readings if your interested.  
Little Mermaid------ http://hca.gilead.org.il/li_merma.html 
Aladdin------ http://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/141/the-blue-fairy-book/3132/aladdin-and-the-wonderful-lamp/
Beauty and the Beast ----- http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/beauty.html


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Hercules Vs. Hades Blog #2













Hercules Orientalism 





Growing up I was a huge fan of Disney. In class, we have discussed how the Disney Princesses have been examples of orientalism. From Ariel to Snow White, they all have hegemon traits about them that suggest orientalism in each of their classic films. Hercules was one of my heroes as a kid, and I definitely wish I could have grown up to be just like him.


Hercules is the classic "super-stud". Big-muscled, tall, athletic, smart, and by all means a ladies man. Disney makes him out to be as near of a perfect of a hero as possible, and they definitely succeeded. But what's a perfect hero without a perfect villain? Hades is that man. He is a charismatic and ultra-persuading super-villain, who want nothing more than to bring down his rival Zeus, the father of Hercules. But how could a guy like Hercules ever lose? Watch below and find out: 





https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ts_WDlgNMoo






This was one of the most significant scene in the history of Disney, certainly making a point about where orientalism stood during the 1997 film. Hercules had to win. Disney made him unstoppable at his weakest possible moment (in the Underworld) by revealing his Godliness, infuriating Hades. Hercules represents total hegemon with his power over Hades at the end. Orientalism at its finest, probably one of the more obvious examples Disney has ever released.

Race stereo types in Pop Culture

What defines a persons race?
 Is is the way they talk?
The color of their skin?
What they do in their free time?
Is it how they were raised?

In our day to day lives we don't really point out the differences between white people and non white people because of the way we were raised. Its stopped being an issue and we were taught everyone is equal because we are. But what about in media? When you watch a movie and the bad guy acts a certain way you don't think about the color of their skin in the moment but it wasn't until we had these discussions in class that I realized how rude different ethnic backgrounds are portrayed. 

Hispanics in End of Watch are viewed as thugs who are killing other people.




In Maid in Manhattan Jennifer Lopez is a maid cleaning up after the rich "white" people.


In Love Don't Cost a think Nick Canon tries to be cool by wearing chains, baggy, clothes and the girl is viewed as an object who even makes a reference about him looking at her "booty"


In White Chicks the girls are viewed as materialistic and stupid.


We don't look at these things because in pop culture we have been taught that its okay. Its just media. It entertains people so it shouldn't be frowned upon even though people sometimes could and should take offense to it.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Disney Movies/Channels

When one of our classmates presented her speaking element today in class, it caught my attention. I watched Disney movies/channels all the time when I was a kid, and the silly things that were shown today during her presentation was shocking. I was surprised with all the inappropriate parts of most Disney movies that she displayed and elaborated on. I just never realized about this until today.

From my point of view, Disney movies weren't meant to be viewed that way. Music in Disney movies help kids get in to the story and away from life. I'm sure every kid memorizes most songs in Disney movies. In Frozen, I hear lots of children singing Let It Go, and in Lion King, it would be Hakuna Matata. Animations in Disney movies make children want to watch, because everything feels so real. It actually makes them happy. I think children focus more on the Disney princesses appearance rather than their actions. When I say appearance, I'm talking about their pretty dresses and nice hair, not their body figure, perfect hips, and whatnot. An example would be for Halloween, how many little girls have you heard tell their parents they want to dress up like a princess? I have heard that numerous of times, and actually, I was one of those little girls.

I found a video on YouTube, and if you click on the link below and watch it, it will show an inappropriate part that I'm 100% sure a child wouldn't have heard or even thought about.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QYYOuQGEp0


In conclusion, Disney movies/channels focus more on getting the children to be happy and providing them with entertainment. Parts of Disney movies that probably grown ups would see wouldn't even exist in the eyes of a child. They aren't looking for inappropriate parts while watching a Disney movie, they just want to have fun and be happy.

Dawn of Orientalism


I believe that Celeste Lacroix only touches on what Orientalism is today. It doesn't address what I feel is the real beginning of Orientalism and why it has carried over the way it has into modern society. It stems from photography and artistic paintings depicting the Oriental world from the 19th Century.


In 1800's, came the invention of the camera and photography, so to came an interest in science and cataloging the world. The first color camera was invented by the Lumiere Brothers, who are also credited with the invention of the first moving picture camera.


A man by the name of Albert Kahn, a French millionaire, decided to use the Autochrome method of color photography pioneered by the Lumiere Borthers, which used potato starch on a glass plate; to collect color photos of the people and places around the world. He imagined that this collection, would be accessible to everyone, allowing them to see far away places and understand what they look like, and view the peoples of those places. It was to be known as "The Archives of the Planet."


Unfortunately, the stock market crash of the 20's, which caused the Great Depression, also put an end to the Kahn Collection. But not before it had gotten an astonishing start over 20 years. It consisted of some 72,000 Autochromes and 183,000 meters of film.

Some of the collection is view-able online here: http://www.albertkahn.co.uk/about.html

Besides with the photographers that Kahn sent out, other scientists were also collecting photographs; some to spread racism. These people were collecting images of the people specifically to show how different and strange they were compared to the Western white population. Photography was used to illustrate how primitive they were and how they needed to be colonized and civilized by the Western world. In many of these photos, subjects are posed nude, as to reveal any differences in their physical proportions. It also takes away their humanity and objectifies them.


In the art world, things were very similar. Artists, influence by the stories of the mysterious women of the Orient and the sensuality of them, often depicted them lounging and seductive poses.


Some images illustrate the barbarism associated with the Oriental world. One painting by Eugene Delacroix depicts the execution of women and horses, the destruction of gold and fabric, which was ordered by an Arabian king, because he would rather destroy it all before the concurring army took it from him.


In my opinion, this is where Orientalism got its start. It stems from a need by the Western white world to rule over the more primitive peoples they come in contact with, and a desire to educate them. It is also my belief that this carries over into the fantasy that modern people have about the Middle East or Asia.


These images from the past are still influencing our view of what the peoples and cultures of the Oriental world look like, when they are far from it. This influence is ingrained in our culture and may take another 100 years before we are free of the stereotypes began almost 200 years ago.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Would you board the plane?

Today in class we were talking about Orientalism and the question came up:

"If there was a middle eastern looking man walking onto the plane you are about to board, would you be scared? Would you be so scared that you wouldn't get on the plane?"

Would you get on the plane? Why or Why not?

Personally, I would get on the plane without hesitating. There is no way to know if he is an American citizen or somebody actually born in the middle east. There is no way to know if he has any intention of harming you or not. Why would you just assume that he is planning on harming the passengers of that plane just because of his ethnicity? And how do we reach this point in society? How do people get to the point that they don't trust certain looking people? Is it how we are raised? Is it based on personal experience? No matter how it happens, it just blows my mind that people would be scared of somebody just because somebody that looks like them has caused somebody harm before. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Feminism; where do we draw the line.


Feminism, Is a major part of our every day life. There is always something that women of today's society see and think they should have. But Is there a point where "equality" goes too far? I saw a clip from Ellen where she talks a little bit about equality between men and women. 

Now is this over the top? Ellen mocks feminism a little bit. Where do we draw the line? Do we need, even certain types of pens that match the "pens" that men use?
We have been hearing since we were very little that "life isn't fair", however some can't seem to face that fact. There is always going to be someone, be it man or women that has something that you don't. There are some however that wont rest until women have every right as men. And I being a women myself, feel that that is in a way very unfair to men. Women want things for themselves; so why should men give up their own things so that women can get what they want? Men deserve equality as well.
Let me paint you a picture. You are in charge of a hiring new employees, you need to hire a new worker. You have two candidates one is a women who has very little experience and is just all around not quite up to the standard that the other candidate who is a man is. However someone up higher than you in the chain of command has told you that for so many male employees there must be at least one women. So instead of hiring the more qualified candidate you hire the women. I speak from first hand experience that this happens. How is this fair to the man? That women didn't get the job because she deserved it. She got the job because of a standard that has been pushed into society for equal rights. 
That is where I draw the line. There is a point where we need to let things be. There are just somethings that we can't or better yet shouldn't change.  

Monday, September 15, 2014

Under appreciated films

“Under monopoly all mass culture is identical, and the lines of its artificial framework begin to show through.”
Lets talk about the how every chick flick is the same, or close to.
Lets start with... The Notebook
The Last Song
Twilight
The Vow
Safe Haven
The Lucky One
Endless Love
Friends with Benefits

...anddd you get the point.

Don't get me wrong, I'm always down for a cute, sappy love story but why? Its the same story, boy meets girl... parents don't like boy, ex boyfriend gets involved etc... then the boy gets the girl and they live happily ever after. Every year a new epic chick flick comes out around Valentines Day and every year we beg our boyfriends to take us, or make sure we are at the premier with our girlfriends because it just looks so good. Watching it on redbox just won't do. People have the previous on every radio station, its in every youtube ad and if you go to the movie theater a lot you've probably seen that same preview in every single movie you went to see. They make it a huge deal with every single one.

I will totally admit it, I'm that girl that criticizes the ending and have an input on how terrible a movie was.
Endless love? Awful. Totally predictable and boring.
The Vow? I almost fell asleep. Don't get me wrong, Channing is nice to look at but it was just blah.
The Lucky One? It was okay. I didn't have to see it a second time but I didn't have anything bad to say about it either.
The Last Song? I loved. The ending was out of nowhere. Yes, some of the parts were cliched but it made me think. It even made me cry and question whether they were going to end up together or not.

 So, what about the movies that don't fit the cliche? What about the movies that don't get put on every radio stations and don't have the top actresses? Those are always the best ones. Those movies make you think, they make you feel and relate because they're scenarios that actually could happen. They aren't about random girls moving into a new city and finding love for the first time. They are about the things that are real.
My top 3 favorite under-appreciated films:

 *only watch if you're okay with rated R movies*

#1 Stuck in Love: This is by far, hands down the best movie I have ever seen. It is so deep and real. It tells the story of divorced parents and the ripple affect it has on their kids. The daughter despises her mother and has the worst trust issues in relationships due to watching her father completely destroyed after the divorce. There are kids doing drugs and struggling with addiction at a young age and it shows how much your first love will impact you. All things people can relate to, or know someone who can relate.

 *only watch if you're okay with rated R movies*
#2 The Spectacular Now: This movie shows the truth about the struggles of high school and how scary the future can be and how everyone copes with uncertainty differently. Just because Mr. Popular gets invited to all the parties and everyone knows who he is doesn't mean he's gonna pass all of his classes and graduate. It shows how hard it is on the kids who only have one parent and having to worry for themselves if their parent is gonna be able to pay the bills this month. They show why parents lie in order to protect us, not hurt us. Two polar opposites fall in love, and give each other different strengths. It shows that no matter how much you say something isn't going to happen because you don't want it to, life and feelings get in the way and can change everything.


#3 LOL: This movie captures high school life perfectly. It portrays what a big deal sex is to some people and how it can be completely meaningless to others. It shows the struggles of being a girl and the double standard there is at that age. It shows the bond between a mother and a daughter; one day she's your best friend and the next shes your worst enemy. It demonstrates how much of an impact social media has and how much kids really do lie to their parents. It shows what its like being the black sheep of your family and how hard it is having different dreams from your parents.

They are all movies that make you think, cry and ask yourself questions. They were so well made that you forget about the boy meets girl cliche. 

 
This is a divider, so I know where to grade to.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Is Repetitiveness Always Intentional?

As we've been discussing originality, I've noticed that we've taken a rather accusatory tone when talking about art that seemingly fails to be original. We talk a lot about artists (filmmakers, writers, musicians, etc.) as though they always intend to be unoriginal, like they are knowingly and purposefully ripping off someone else's work. According the Frankfurt theory about media, this is precisely what artists are doing. They saw it all as a giant scheme to keep reproducing the same things just to placate audiences and rake in more money.
However, I believe that many of these artists' intentions are far more innocent. I can personally think of many times throughout my life that I proudly came up with what I thought were completely original ideas for stories. It was only much later that I'd be reading one of my stories and realize how obviously similar the plot was to other, more famous pieces.
I've learned from myself that even when you suspect an author or director of blatantly recycling another's ideas, they may have just been innocently oblivious to what they were doing. I used to be incredibly angry with Christopher Paolini, author of the Inheritance Cycle (aka the Eragon series), because I firmly believed he had intentionally stolen J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings world and made it his own for personal gain. Now I see that he was just a fifteen-year-old boy who probably just failed to see the countless parallels between his work and Tolkien's.
So, all of this reminded me of a film I saw two years ago at the Sundance Film Festival called Stoker. From the very start, I was noticing a lot of Hitchcockian influence in this sinister, slow-burning film. By the end, it was so very obviously like Alfred Hitchcock's film Shadow of a Doubt that I thought the director, Park Chan-Wook, had made Stoker as a very intentional, modern nod to the 1943 film. I was surprised to find out in the Q and A afterwards that he hadn't even noticed the similarities until later on.
Here's a trailer for Stoker:

Here's a trailer for Shadow of a Doubt:



As you can see, there are several parallels between these two films. In both, the main girl's mysterious uncle comes to stay with the family and soon befriends his niece. The girl develops a sort of infatuation for Uncle Charlie, and eventually discovers that he has a thing for murdering people. 
(Here is a picture I took of Park Chan-Wook and the cast at the premiere of Stoker.)


It seems as though Park Chan-Wook specifically intended to pay homage to Shadow of a Doubt, but he insisted in the Q and A that, while Hitchcock did inspire him to get into the film business, he didn't mean for there to be any connection between his film and Hitchcock's. He did admit, "In many ways, although I tried not to consciously think about it, I must have been invariably influenced by Hitchcock."
Does that mean Chan-Wook is in the wrong? Does it cheapen Stoker, or make it any less interesting? I don't think so. 


This past three weeks we have been studying Pop Culture in our Media & Society class, it pretty much covers everything we do in our daily lives. The TV shows we watch, the movies we watch, the music we listen too, look at most peoples cellphones, who has the Apple Iphone, or who has the Samsung S4. I found a video on YouTube that to me covers my point about pop culture, here's the link:http://youtu.be/U_pxfifB6Co .
I hope that you enjoy it.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Game of Thrones by; George R.R. Martin. All about

Jason Ferguson- Media and Society How popular culture affect us

I have started reading the book series "Game of Thrones". I have only finished the first two books, but it is an awesome series as you can see by HBO using the right to produce a TV series based on these books. So in the book's there is a main theme of someone always wanting to rise to the top and how in their society there is one ruler the king and he is the law of the land. There is lords guys or ladies who own land or Castles and run somewhat of there own state lets say. But these books are supposed to be in the day of lets say King Arthur days since there is dragons, witchcraft, and castles. So as I said before there is always someone conspiring by themselves or with someone else to rise to the top or to just move up a social class from where they are at. I couldn't help but think of Adorno & Horkheimer culture industry, and how they say that everything in media today is the same and it isn't changing at all but, just taking on the same thing and putting their own individual stamp on it, and may become more powerful or perfect that thing which it aspiring to be.

"Every detail is so firmly stamped with sameness that nothing can appear which
is not marked at birth, or does not meet with approval at first sight. And the star performers, whether
they produce or reproduce, use this jargon as freely and fluently and with as much gusto as if it were thevery language which it silenced long ago. Such is the ideal of what is natural in this field of activity, and its influence becomes all the more powerful, the more technique is perfected and diminishes the tension between the finished product and everyday life." (pg5 ADKcultureindustry)

So my point being that in these books it is as the title says a game of thrones, someone is always wanting to kill the king and become the ruler of the land and run it the way they want to or perfect it in the way they think it should be perfected. Society that is to run and rule it the way they see it should be done themselves. But yet even though someone may succeed at over throwing the king, noting ever changes. It is still the same day and age of ruler and ruled class the only thing that changes is the status of that person who becomes the king and he changes out his friends and family to be higher positions around him to rule the people or society. I can't help but to agree with Adorno & Horkheimer on this idea that culture stays the same for the most part with a slight twist of their own personality coming out in how they go about doing what they do. Other than that it is still the same. There is a King and class getting ruled upon by his rules which are a set of rules that are established as laws of the land. So why then would anyone want to be king or raise their status or better known as a social class if noting really changes except that that one person is in a better position themselves. So it actually brings Marxism into it as well that people are greedy and want all the power so they over throw the ruling king at the time to become powerful and more rich. But yet again society or culture didn't change it is just a mimic of the person that led before them. So is this book affecting our society? Or is it just and idea or theme that's been around forever and someone just wrote a better more interesting story of kings, knights,drama,love,power, and greed? I guess that is for us to decide.




Killing the youth: The message in the music

 Pop culture is popular media, activities, or any trend of this current generation that can affect the minds of the youth. I agree with Adorno to some degree. The degree being that pop culture does in fact have control over a lot of individuals, not all, but very many. The aspect of pop culture that is an example of this is first and foremost, music. Music has such an impact on todays younger generation its almost scary.

   This first image is the positive side. Back in the day rap music, and music in general used to have a positive message. Rappers rapped about the struggles they faced, and staying uplifted, and how to make a way out of a negative situation. Especially when it came to the black youth. It was about being proud of your skin color and where you come from, and Tupac exemplified that by making it ok to talk about respecting woman and being an example to the youth, not this foolishness we see in the world of pop culture amongst my fellow African Americans today, and even young white kids.



 

Now on a negative note, This modern day music is not good, and it truly is controlling. Music now a days forces you to think that you have to be a certain way, or carry yourself a certain way in order to justify your blackness, which is wrong because your actions do not define your ethnic background. It's true because kids think because a rapper sags his pants, "I have to do it," or because he does this drug I have to try it. Basically what I am trying to say is that music is causing kids to be followers so they feel as if they fit in or are "cool." The most detrimental thing music in pop-culture has done is give the youth the acceptance of the N word. In times past that word was not tolerated at all, but now if you say it, it gives you a since of cool, or it becomes an endearing term. It has gotten so bad that even young white kids, and all races are using it like it is a normal word. This is all through the influence of modern music because almost every rapper today loves to use the word in every line.


                                                      This is the example we see today
                   http://reason4rhymes.com/2013/03/hip-hop-news/music-industry-exec-says-gangsta-rap-is-designed-to-send-black-people-to-prison/




 At the end of the day Adorno had a point by stating that pop-culture today makes today's people followers, and no longer thinkers for themselves. Instead youth feel they have to act this way to fit in. I honestly have to say that this is true because most of these kid's are trying to do everything the latest hip rappers are doing instead of trying to get educations, or reasonable occupations because what they see on TV seems like the easy way out.