Theresa Donis — Blog Post #5

Blog Post #5

The closer we get to primaries, the more concerned I become with who I’m going to vote for. Although I am voting Democratic, Clinton just doesn’t rub me right. I don’t think that many people take enough time to really look into her campaign and all that’s happened. What I recently realized is that she’s working really hard to get in with the African American community, which is no real surprise. It’s said that because Obama could relate so much with the minority communities that he was able to go for two terms—maybe even three if it was allowed. Clinton has participated, in my opinion, in cultural appropriation to gain votes.

Not very long ago she went onto a popular morning radio show, The Breakfast Club, and made a statement that she too like Beyoncé, carries hot sauce in her bag. In fact, her whole campaign team carries it in their bags. For some reason I felt like this was quite a reach on her end. Do you so badly want to be liked by a community you helped to oppress when your husband was in office? I don’t know if I’d be a part of that awfully small welcome committee. During Hillary Clinton’s fundraising event one Wednesday, two Black Loves Matter activists interrupted her to share a very important message with the guests and Clinton. Activist Ashley Williams tried to confront Hillary with a sign that quoted something Hillary had once said in reference to at-risk youth in the 90s “we have to bring them to heel!” She also referred to them as super-predators, which in my opinion should automatically cost her some black votes. When Williams pushed for an apology, she was escorted out by security while Clinton ‘promised’ to talk about it later.

Looking back at things like this makes me genuinely curious if Clinton has good intentions when it comes to helping us minority communities or is she just in it for the votes?

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Billions – Marissa Pearlstein

When we spoke with one of the writers for the new series Billions, I found his job to be intriguing and interesting. To me it’s crazy how people can get to where they need to be just by hard work and dedication. The show itself was eye catching and had a good plot. This guys story is oddly comparable to the show itself. The show displays two men who are money hungry and driven to make it somewhere in life and make as much money as they can.. Whether or not we make money or don’t each person can relate by having their own drive and own passion to do something and be something and become something. Each show you can see a little bit of yourself in most of the characters which makes people become hooked on series in the first place. When a viewer can relate themselves tot he characters thats what makes the series become worthy of watching.

Network and the Election- Jennifer Collado

After watching the movie “Network,” I got a feeling as if I was experiencing this firsthand. Howard Beale’s infamous line “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it” is one that resonates with these troubling times. With this election going on, there are very opposite views being shared. This line could apply to either side of the campaign. Sanders’ supporters are fed up with the inequalities in the system while Trump supporters believe they are “losing” their country. Both sides feel extremely passionate about how they feel. The media fueled Beale’s rants much like it does with Donald Trump. They know that drama and reckless ranting will allow them to receive the ratings they sick. It is completely irresponsible of the media to believe that an election is the time to do this.

Theresa Donis — Blog Post #4

Race and TV — Blog Post #4

Growing up as an African American in the United States can sometimes be a struggle. Although we’ve managed to make strides to eliminating segregation, the idea of racism still lives on. In some places it it more apparent than others, for example in film and television. I grew up when companies like Disney and Nickelodeon were in their prime; their channels brought it in billions of views from kids all around the world. Something I noticed when I looked back was that on each channel, and for every show they broadcasted, I could count on five fingers or less how many African American stars they had. Whether they were the main character (rarely ever) or a supporting character, they were always outnumbered by their white counterparts.

This seems to be the one place we’ve grown to see a lot more of a resistance in the fight against racism. There are a surplus of TV shows and films that reinforce negative stereotypes of people of color and plague our airwaves. We see many black characters characterized as ditzy, poor, or partaking in illegal activities. Another incident that has recently occurred was the Nina Simone biopic featuring Zoe Saldana as Nina. Many at first couldn’t find a problem with this but then there were those that caught on quickly. Nina Simone was a soulful songstress that was constantly criticized for her large nose and her dark skin.

I’m so disappointed in Zoe, as well as the individuals who are in charge of putting the biopic and casting together. If she had to put on blackface to play this part, she wasn’t the right actress for the job. Don’t get me wrong, I think Zoe is a good actress, but no one can honestly say that the producers/writers couldn’t find a better actress that didn’t need to put on blackface to play this part. This is honestly so offensive to not only the black community but Nina’s family. She deserves more than an actress in blackface portraying her—and in such terrible blackface at that. The truth of it all at the end of the day is that Zoe is considered a ‘safe’ brown actress for the whites. My question for you is what do you think? Was it wrong for them to cast Zoe and put her in blackface? Is colorism more prevalent than we thought?

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Stacey Roberts

Sociological Analysis seeks to understand how audiences assign meanings to messages they receive from the media and how audiences take up those meanings in their daily lives. Symbolic interaction: suggest that the character and the conduct of people’s social interaction are powerful shaped by the symbolic meanings they assign to objects, events, other people and social context . It was influenced by sociologist Max Weber(German) and George Herbert Mead ( American). However, it was Mead’s student Herbert Blumer that coined the term “social internationalism and outlined three core premises of his theory. Human beings act towards things on the basis of meanings the have for them. He believes that as simple as it may sound, many scholars often forget that objects, person’s ideals etc shapes out attitudes. Meanings derive from the social interaction one has with one’s fellows. Therefore meaning is negotiated through interaction with others e.g. social institutions like education, religion and media. Symbolic interaction is that these meanings are modified through an interpretive process used by the person dealing with the thing he/she encounters. Therefore interpretation is not an automatic application of established meanings but a formative process in which each person revises meanings as a guide for action based upon individual experiences.

Contemporary Perspective

Dramaturgy: used to explain the ways in which media shape human behavior. It was developed by Erving Goffman 1922-82. He used metaphor of theatre to explain the character and functions of public behavior, especially face to face interaction

He believed the self is a sense of who we are which is not a stable independent entity rather it’s a performed character which is endlessly staging. The self is not inherent or innate it is a product that emerges through social interaction, for example, it is hard to believe you are intelligent if people call you stupid and if you want to be considered all you have to do is publicly perform intelligence. Impression management: is the art of successfully staging a character or part of enacting a performance that creates the desired impression of the self.

Four stages

1. stage: describes a performance’s degree of publicness. Front stage refers to those performers that occur in full view of an audience while backstage refers to a place reserved only for the performer. There are things people will do in private but not when others are watching.

2. Setting: refers to the scene or situation in which the performance is occurring, from the actual physical location to the features of the locations. Settings plays powerful limits and constraints on performances of self.

3. Parts: describes the pattern of actions that define the character being performed. When playing a part a performer typically tries to convey particular image of his or herself through appearance.

4. Team: takes into account the cast of players who share who share in a performance. For example, a team may be defined as a set of individuals whose intimate cooperation is required if a given projected definition of a situation is to be maintained.

Question: what would be Blumer’s views on the contemporary perspective since he coined the term social internationalism. Would he disagree or agree?

Adrienne Johnson- Dramaturgy/Impression Management

Is the world our stage? Of course it is. I often use this theory to explore the the ways the birth parents of the foster children I care for practice impression management as a way to be viewed in a positive light, despite their mistakes. Often times the birth parents will enter the courtroom (Stage) and put on the best act they no how, but because the foster parent, social workers, attorneys have had close interactions we recognize the different between the person front and back stage, along with their instrumental motive. When motivated by Instrumental purposes, the birth parent is attempting to manage perceptions as a means to get what they want, ie. their child, their parental rights, etc. But the birth parents are not the only ones who have to switch back and forth based on the environment, the people you’re interacting with or situations, foster parents must perform as well. When officials are not present, we show more of a connection and bond, but when in the presence of the agency staff and birth parent it becomes more reserved in terms of the way we interact with the child because we are mindful of the birth parents perception of us as well. Foster parents are often seen as the bad guys, so at a visit for example, we are more encouraging of the birth parent, while expressing the the desire to promote reunification despite our personal judgement or beliefs. We all perform to improve our self images, but do you think you are able to identify your true self and distinguish your front and back stage? Do you believe we have a true self? or is self identity dependent upon these social interactions?

F- Bombs for Feminism – Marissa Pearlstein

Earlier in the semester we discussed a video of younger girls using the f- word and a few felt uncomfortable and others found it inspiring. I understand the message and I think the greater message of the video is very meaningful and shows a lot. I think some people found it uncomfortable because clearly young females using such language is not something you see normally nor do you hear it every day. I personally think what they are trying to convey was reached to its fullest potential. Women day in and day out experience situations worse than young females using the f word. I am sure these children do not go around and just use the word on a normal basis but women’s voices need to be heard and if it takes an extreme measure like this to be heard then I am all for it.

Edith Britton – Extra Credit

Edith Britton – Movie Analysis

Straight Outta Compton, 2015

Straight Outta Compton is a drama/documentary film that was released in theaters in 2015 and was directed by F. Gary Gary. It’s the story of the movies producers Dr. Dre, and DJ Yella, rappers MC Ren, Ice Cube, and Eazy-E (played, in order, by: Corey Hawkins, Neil Brown Jr., Aldis Hodge, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Jason Mitchell). Also shown in the film is the tumultuous relationship with their manager Jerry Heller played by Paul Giamatti. The movie ends with the disbandment of the group and the untimely death of member Eazy- E, who contracted the HIV virus.

The five of them made up the legendary and controversial group N.W.A “Niggaz Wit Attitudes”, who rebelled against the police on stage after enduring years of getting racially profiled and assaulted by them. Their outcry against the police was a public statement that connected with communities similar to their own. One of the most widely known stories of police brutality, is a video that showed African American, Rodney King being beaten in the hands of police officers, resulted in riots erupting in South Central, Los Angeles a year after a predominantly white jury found the police not-guilty in 1992.

The impact of the films release saw many people using the title “Straight Outta Compton” slogan as a badge of pride for the communities they come from, just as N.W.A represents every aspect of who they are and where they came from without shame. The name resonates with the film completely because the trials and tribulations the characters go through is a testament to their strength that they learned from the tough streets in Compton. However as most internment memes that become popular, many parodies and jokes where made from it as well, but none without connection to the person it’s making fun of.


Straight Outta Compton memes

Straight Outta Compton is the story of the member who made up the legendary rap group N.W.A in Compton a neighborhood in California, and how they used their immense talent as a way to get out of the neighborhood and environment that was perpetually keeping them down. It begins with showing and in depth look at who these individuals are and where they’re coming from. The film highlights the intense divide between the Police and the African American population they are meant to be protecting. Because of bias and assumptions, the members of the community are met with unprovoked hostility and aggression. Music proves to be their means of escape from this.

In the movie Ice Cube is played by his real life son. The resemblance between the two of them is uncanny. One screen that really stood out to me was towards the end, Ice Cube is with his wife and they’re in the living room and the television is on. As he’s watching the TV, the screen then shows an interview with Ice Cube. He’s watching “himself” on the TV being interviewed with his wife. What I found to be an interesting stylistic approach was the filmmakers and producers choice to use the actually footage from the mid-80s of the real Ice Cube juxtaposed with his son playing him. It made the events being expressed in the movie have a more authentic tone because of the eerily resemblance the two men have and the different types of video format from the TV of the real-life interview being showed.

The events in the movie already happened so the movie doesn’t have any loose ends or ambiguities. I was already a bit knowledgeable about the history that this movie was telling.

In our class discussions we’ve talked about feminism and how woman are viewed in a hyper sexualized way that seems to escape many men. When this movie came out there were articles about the treatment of woman in the movie.


Misogyny in Straight Outta Compton article:

http://www.vox.com/2015/8/25/9205595/compton-movie-misogyny

Of course that genre has a reputation, especially during that era of being misogynistic towards woman. But that can be said for all music genres that involve a male superstar. Its apart of the territory that I appreciate the movie wasn’t afraid to show no matter how grisly the topic. The hotel party scene where we see numerous groupies drinking, having sex, doing drugs with the guys and their crew within every corner of the hotel room, not concerned with privacy was as important to show as Eazy-E dying in his hospital bed. You can’t take one out and tell the story – it would loose some validity to the message the film is trying to send.

I mentioned Straight Outta Compton in a response about the Oscars, because it was in the middle of the debate of #blackactorsmatter. The film, despite its success received only one nomination from the academy, for best screenplay. This brings along the questions about the gatekeepers and the kind of society we live in. The FACT that this is HISTORY upsets many, but when was history concerned with the opinions of others who weren’t there to experience it. The topics, language and images in the film may be hard to digest for some but that doesn’t mean it never happened and should be ignored. They’re one of the most successful groups in the Hip-Hop /Rap culture and paved the way for many following in their footsteps. To think after watching the film that other artists of all races and cultures have not been influenced by them, is inaccurate. We can see from their style and the stand they took against the police, as benchmarks for this.

Links:

IMDB

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1398426/

Biography.com. The Biography.com website. Rodney King Biography. A&E Television Networks. n/a. Web. May 20, 2016

http://www.biography.com/people/rodney-king-9542141

Victoria Mozatto – Impact of American culture

On March 30, 2016, we were presented with the question “Is American culture through mass media hurting other cultures?” Finally having the time to look over my findings from the class… It is clear there has always been a connection between industrialization and workers within society. But how far has American customs trickled down to effect other cultures?

Last semester, I took a class on self and society. We evaluated how our customs in America has altered our native backgrounds. I came to the understanding that American culture has had a strong hand in altering life outside this country. Through mass media we have this necessity to make certain products and norms to seem important. We dwell on having the next new trend or object to help our credibility. In reality, it takes a lot of hard work to produce these products we continuously use.

Some may not know this, but Mardi Gras beads has taken over many aspects of China’s economy. Chinese prison like factories are controlled by huge corporate businesses to manufacture Mardi Gras beads. It is startling to look at the effects of globalization and creation of a cultural divide. Many young women are forced to make sacrifices and leave their families. The people that are working at these factories, work for pennies just to support their families back home. They restricted from socializing with particular groups of people and confined to living quarters. The working conditions are very harsh. It’s sad to think that a simple object, such as Mardi Gras beads has impacted China so greatly.

I guess you really don’t know where something comes from until you do the research yourself. How do you feel about the effect of American culture imposing on other countries?

Check out this documentary to see how serious this matter is: Mardi Gras: Made in China

Edith Britton – The History and Evolution of TV

The History and Evolution of TV:

Question: With the advent of Hulu, Netflix, etc – how does this affect the content you watch? What do you watch on T.V?

In class we discussed the History and Evolution of TV. TV has changed so much in the past 10 years, with online streaming sites Hulu and Netflix as we discussed. These new ways of television consumption have changed a lot in our social interactions and how we carve out the time to watch these shows on our own time. I think about this a lot and reading this chapter made me question things myself.

This new advent of technology with how we watch TV has changed how we absorb information and socialize with each other. There’s a divided to how we view things and at the pace in which we consume it. I personally miss expanded conversation about issues because we all absorb information differently/ in different mediums/ from different sources. I like a few shows on Netflix, mainly Daredevil). I like how Netflix has created these shows and written them as mini movies, and not like the original TV shows that have breaks. I think the space between digesting TV shows is important however to social interaction and connection. Binge watching to me, is difficult. I can watch 3-4 episodes and need a week break from the show at least. There’s so much out there that in order to digest the information has changed.

During the spring break I started watching It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I got to the 6th season and if anyone asked me to fill in certain seasons for him or her, I wouldn’t even know where that season started and how it ended. When binging we loose a lot of our ability to retain information. We just digest and consume that when our brain can’t take a pause and recharge we loose that info.