Archive | September, 2014

Blog Post 5

30 Sep

In this weeks blog I will be talking about how masculinity is represented in popular culture. This is the example I am going to be using in this blog about masculinity. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8XAVo1vLDg Skip to the :35 second mark. In this commercial, and like many other Old Spice commercials, Old Spice is trying to convince the audience what a real man spells like. He says and is assuming that your “man” is using female body wash and can’t be the man you want him to be unless he uses Old Spice. He is also assuming because he doesn’t smell like a man, he cant do man things like buy you tickets to a place you want to go to, or buy you diamonds. Because of course, diamonds are a female’s best friend. At the end of the commercial Old Spice has a text that says, “ smell like a man, man.” This is saying anything that you use for body wash besides Old Spice is for females. This commercial does support a one point Kat discussed in her article. One point that it does support is the association of muscularity with ideal masculinity. She mentioned in her article that men might feel uncertain about how to respond to the challenges of women in many areas of the social relation. I do agree with that. As we see in our society some men are afraid to talk to women. But as far this commercial goes she mentioned that in general, men have advantage over females in the area of physical size and strength. I also agree with that statement. In this commercial the actor is clearly physically fit. He’s not your average skinny male with a high pitch voice. So while he is saying that using this body wash makes you man, also looking like him makes you more of a man. That’s why he is telling the females to look at her man, and comparing it to how he looks. I do not think this is a healthy representation of masculinity in society because not every man looks like him. Everybody isn’t physically fit with a deep voice. I also know for a fact there are other body washes that are for men that wont have you smelling like a female. This commercial is trying to target men that might question if they’re really a man or not. When in reality, you can be skinny with a high-pitched voice and use another brand like dove for men and still be a man. It can be improved by not trying to call out men who don’t use Old Spice body or who are skinny.

Blog Post 4

22 Sep

I feel like we learn a lot about gender now in pop culture than before. Back then they would have ads that clearly shows a women getting disrespected. But in a sense, people didn’t take it as serious as they do now. Whether it’s music, movies, or television, people always find a way to point out gender roles. A good example would be the motorcycles add we looked at in class. Most motorcycle companies market their bikes in two different ways. Either they have a male riding the bike, or a female half naked posing on the bike. One thing that we talked about in class last week that I found interesting is that males are always doing something. I never noticed it until the teacher brought it to our attention. If a male celebrity is walking on the beach with noting but a speedo on, people will just think he’s taking a walk on the beach. Reverse that scenario and have women with a bikini on walking on the beach, and we call it flaunting her “goods.” In our book, Pop Culture Freaks, the author talked about how society brands woman as the social inferior of the man. After reading this chapter a few things the author talked about started to become clear to me. The author mentioned that no matter how much progress women make in this society, men would always have the upper hand. We can even bring race into this conversation. Some, not all, employers would rather look to hire a white male than hiring a black male. But if you throw a woman into the equation, that same employer would hire a black male instead of a woman. What does this say? This shows that some people don’t think women can do a job as well as a man. Pop culture has influenced my own life of how I act. I’ve never been gay or thought about being gay. But if you see somebody gay do something on television that you do, you might think twice about doing it again. I’m not saying this is right, but it just shows you how much power pop culture has on people. Everybody is scared what the next person might think of him or her. So if I see a celebrity that I look up to do something people would consider straight and cool, I might try to imitate him so I can get the same reaction from people. The only example I can think about is when Kanye West brought back the skinny jeans. People automatically correlated skinny jeans with female jeans and called him gay because most females wear skinny jeans. But comes to find out, wearing skinny jeans changed the whole rap culture. You don’t see rappers wearing bagging jeans or bagging clothing in general like they use to.

Blog 3

16 Sep

My thoughts are the same about this class. I’m still interested in learning about pop culture and the different aspects of it. One thing that I like about this class are the activities that we are doing. I like the love/hate debates that we plan to have because you will get to hear people’s different opinions about different topics. I’m also looking forward to the lip sync contest we are going to have. I love classes that are interactive rather than just us sitting and learning every class period. This helps some students learn better. I’m looking to learn more about the cultural diamond that we talked about the other week. I think it’s interesting that there are different ways to view pop culture. It makes me think about the roll that I play in society. Right now I would say I’m the receiver like most people are. But soon I want to transition to start being the creator. That’s where the money is and that’s how you start to get notice. I DJ and make mixtapes so in a sense I am a creator. I create music content for rap artist in the Carolinas to enjoy. I put out the content onto social media, which is the social world. And from the there, people who listen to my tapes become the receiver. So in a way you can say I am a cultural object, or at least becoming one. I think the biggest challenge for me will be keeping up with the readings and passing the quizzes. The last quiz we took I studied for but when the quizzes were handed out I could barely answer the questions. After a few more quizzes I know I’ll get the hang of it. I’m going to overcome it by trying too study a lot more and more often. If I have a question about the material or a concept I will start coming to you (the teacher) a lot more for help. I need this class for my major so I have to pass. I’m trying to get at least a B in this class. An A would be perfect, but a B will have me satisfied. You can help by always being available to help me when its needed. Another way you could help is always making sure we understand the materiel before we have a quiz the next class.

Blog Post #2

9 Sep

There were a few things about Media Economics that I found interesting in last weeks discussion. A few key terms that I am going to discuss are Monopoly, Oligopoly, and Interlock. I’ve heard these terms before in the past but I never knew what they meant. Monopoly is when one company dominates an industry, and Oligopoly is when a few companies dominate and industry. These two definitions immediately reminded me of Clear Channel Communications. Clear Channel Communications is a mass media company that has 850 AM and Fm radio stations, making them the largest owner in this industry. This company started off as a Monopoly. It was one company that dominated a large amount of the broadcasting industry. Not only radio, but also Clear Channel later started buying television stations, and also started its own advertising firm. This can be referred as Vertical integration. Anything that they needed to brand their station they owned. They owned radio, television, and even advertising. People who held high positions within this company also held high positions in their other media departments. This is also known as interlock. Interlocking refers to a board member of a major media organization is also a board member of another corporation. So in a way, their employers were getting paid off of three different media outlets. Even the CEO of Clear Channel was the CEO of both radio and the advertising firm. In 2006, Clear Channel decided to sell all of their TV stations as well as 161 radio stations making radio industry an Oligopoly. Instead of Clear channel only dominating in radio, major companies such as Providence Equity Partners and Brian Capital Partners started to dominate also. I work for a few radio stations now that dominates the radio industry in the south. I’ve witnessed first hand the cons of working for a company that owns multiple stations. One of the worse benefits is the music head director treats all the stations the same. Whatever the hot song of the month is, the song gets over played because it’s on all their stations. Lets say Taylor Swift new song is the hottest pop song of the month. No matter where you go, if you turn on a pop station, that song will be playing. It will also be played over and over again every thirty minutes. Some people see this as a good marketing plan. I mean, if everybody loves the song, why not play it as much as you can right? Wrong. There is no creativity or diversity when you do this. No matter where you go you will hear the same music. In my opinion that is one of the reasons my generation has turned away from radio and turned to their iPods.

Pop Culture Post #1

1 Sep

Something that I feel nostalgic about is when I went to see Kanye West and Jay Z in concert for the first time. Both of them went on tour together and their show was amazing. I feel nostalgic about it because it changed the way I viewed concerts as well as how other artist started performing during their concerts. It wasn’t a normal performance, their production made their concert feel like I was watching a movie. They had moving stages, visuals representing their songs on over five different screens (including the moving stage), and a special encore at the end of the show. Now I’m not saying any of this is new. I’ve seen artist such as Brittney Spears, Katy Perry, Michael Jackson, and even Miley Cyrus have great performances. I’m soley focusing on the rap industry. The book we are currently reading, “Pop Culture Freaks,” defines the word culture as both sacred and everyday. Before the Watch The Throne tour the culture for rap performances were generic. The artist song would come out and they would stand in the middle of the stage for about two hours performing their song. There wasn’t any productions value; there wasn’t anything to excite the crowd. Ever since their tour, the trend for high quality production has increased in the rap industry. As of right now I don’t think there is any pop culture that I will feel nostalgic about ten or twenty from now. Music is my life, so I go to a lot of concert throughout the year as well as keep up with other artist outside of the rap industry. Besides Kanye doing his Yeezus tour last winter/spring, I don’t see any rap artist trying to break out that generic box. The Reflection theory examines the ways that culture reflects the social world. If the rap culture is satisfied with mediocre, it’s eventually going to rub off on the social world. Which is actually happening now in the rap industry. But that’s a whole different topic I won’t touch on today. Overall, if rap artist are satisfied with how they perform now, eventually other genres will start to out produce the rap industry. But hey, if people love their music enough to see them stay in one place to perform, who am I to judge?