Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tolman introduces the idea that popular culture and dominant society force American girls into sexual repression. Young, middle class, white girls like 'Isabel' from the article are told it is unladylike to have an identity. To be anything but a willing servant for a mans many many needs. I can corroborate her point with direct evidence. I know dozens of girls who could be described as such. Girls who dress for men, act for men, even girls who will have sex with each other FOR MEN.

We've all seen it. Half the internet is websites made up of the girls who believe their bodies are nothing but a tool, a tool with the power to control a mans libido. These women are understandably desensitized from themselves, as they never think of their sexuality in terms of what they find appealing, but what they can do to be found appealing.

I could not stop thinking about the Madonna video we watching in class when I read this article. Her and Tolhman's points are very similar, the difference is only in the delivery. However, with a few more explosions or near deaths, I have no doubt Tolhmans point could have been banned from the media outlets too.

The embedding was disabled. My apologies.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Twilight: Making America Question the Importance of Literacy

Fearful of the future? If you wish to be I'd advise you to read Twilight, or any of Stephanie Meyers unfathomably popular preteen masturbatory aids. Meyers has created two eternal characters in this series. I'm using the term 'character' liberally as to pretend that Edward Cullen and Bella Swan have a dimension between them.

These books have engulfed the young teenage population in white hot flame. While the grand appeal looks promising on the outside ("THE KIDS ARE READING! PRAISE THE LORD!"), any greater magnification of this situation brings a host of problems. While I could endlessly prattle on and on about the flaws in this publication, I will instead STUDY the afflictions it has placed upon young WOMEN.

Bella is a young high school aged girl who just moved to a small dreary town with her father. Bella has no friends at her new high school and is not really interested in making any. Shes a quiet girl with nothing to say, until she meets Edward Cullen; her new obsession. Her obsessive thinking is idealized, even before they interact for the first time. When they do interact it is brief and inconsistent for months, however it is the only thought that Meyers indicates she has. Dedicating her mind entirely to him though he has no real presence in her life yet.

Throughout the book Bella makes a few shallow friendships which serve as literary speed bumps to slow the courting further. When Edward and Bella do spend time together it is fast, and dangerous. Being a vampire Edward has strength he expends great effort trying to control, and has a supernaturally natural yearn for blood. However he yearns the deepest for Bellas blood. This increase in danger is meant to instill an equal increase in passion. This is the biggest problem.

Meyers frequently and directly correlates danger and love. Though we have seen in the book every interaction Bella and Edward have he never once asks her what her favorite band is, what the last book she read was, what her mom does for work, or anything one would want to know about their "soulmate". The connection is unspoken, a 'love at first site'. Meyers approaches love unrealistically, and tells readers through the character of Bella that if you love a monster long enough and steadfastly enough, eventually he will become your prince (or in this case he will suck the life from your neck and make you immortal). Meyers glorifies dangerous and nearly abusive relationships, while at the same time glorifying women who are seen and not heard, and women who format their life around a man.

The only thing I can hope is that these books will inspire further reading in the lives of young people, they'll need to educate themselves out of the ditch Meyers dug for them anyway.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Vincent Miller made a great deal of points in the fourteen pages of dense material I dug through. However I do believe that he is looking at the social networking phenomenon in an unreasonably narrow scope. He accuses these sites of perverting the English language, of "killing the art of conversation". I do not agree with this commentary. The internet has simply given everyone a voice.

Literacy is no longer something reserved for the elite, or the powerful, or even the Y chromosome owners among us. With each generation the percentage increases, and not everyone has something inspiring to say, and that shouldn't be expected each time words are written.

Communication is defined as "the imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs." (dictionary.com) The internet has become the number one medium of communication, but it is not an artist sanctuary. It's a virtualized real world, and in the 3-D world, people don't speak for beauty, they speak for survival.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


There are many things about this show that make me like it, in theory. I like how it provides an outlet for kids with a more alternative taste in music to indulge in trashy pop culture.

However it does little to differentiate itself from just that.

Glee does as much for the under thought of sects of high school as Captain Planet did with the introduction of their disabled friend "Wheeler". Each student in the Glee Club is stereotypically perfect. The characters are hard to relate to, and perpetuate (as they highlight) only the negative stereotypes. I think that the character Kurt exemplifies this to its fullest extent. He acts how one would assume any young gay man (with a bit of money) should act.

This show is still a piece of pop culture dribble.
Don't let the choreography fool you.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Hip Hop Metropolis?

Music is generally referred to as a emotional outlet. A way to express what one can't in words. It has beauty, understanding, and insight. It is one of those things that makes us stand out from other animals.

However capitalism, in its feverish onslaught of all things pure and good, has single handedly demolished the notion of music as a popular art form. Hip Hop, being one of the newest musical genres, never had a chance. Teens are the most major consumer of this music due to that reason as well. The image presented from most of these money grubbing 'artists' is either artificial and made entirely by the these big suit record executives and their underlings, or is a message manufactured by the people bringing them to life after being approved by these people.

And we wonder why there is no powerful counter culture emerging from the millenium generation? The voices of our generation are silenced or at very least overshadowed to near nonexistence by the voices that make the money. Because money is everything. And it's the most fickled temptress there is.

This is a song by my favorite hip hop artist as he talks about how American pop superstars act and are enabled to act indefinitely.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Coming of Age with the Internet

I constantly remind my parents that my generation is 100 times more important and meaningful than theirs. I mean, they may be bankrupting Social Security, but we have controlling stake in the internet. I knew ever since the Napster crisis was found to be orchestrated by a 19 year old, the youth was going to have a very different romance with the internet than its creating generation.

I agreed much with McMillian and Morrison when they kept reiterating how the majority of online personas, relationships, and activity much resemble the offline versions for people. I also believe that the internet is not simply a place where everyone can escape from themselves and create an alter ego. The internet is a place where people can explore alternate forms of expression to further find who they are and more importantly who they want to be.

One of my favorite points these women brought up was the idea that the internet helps expose millions of seldom seen view points. Without this wealth of information at their fingertips they could not even find the points which they may closely relate too. One of my favorite new inventions is something called the StumbleUpon Bar. It allows you to rapidly search through a plethora of websites about any topic imaginable. It offers a wealth of knowledge to anyone, of any race, creed, or lifestyle.

The internet is the closest we have gotten to, to having a great equalizer. It is slowly becoming our one cohesive factor, and I cannot wait to see what it brings to our society in the future.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Raby baby!

Generational gaps are always very fascinating things to study. Two situations could be identical save their time period, and that could change nearly every other faucet. Raby highlights many of the age related disconnects that exist in society. It also goes into detail generalizing the adolescent experience. Aside from simply 'otherizing' teens, the adults in the article assume responsibility as resident teenager expert. When the teenage experience is relived by these women, it seems like a seven year period of angst and anguish. It also seems like something that once went through once, one has all knowing other worldly experience to help anyone they might encountered so afflicted with teenagedom.

I don't understand though, how adults who live in the same society as the younger generation, can be surprised at the way teenagers act. For if they are a product of their environment, it is an environment created by the generation in charge. How do you expect impressionable thirteen and fourteen year olds to act when thirty year olds are singing about 'bitches' and Call Of Duty is desensitizing the masses to mass slaughter.

But there is some hope that both good deeds will be recognized and that the older generation will foster this hope for the younger ones. On the television channel 'TeenNick' there was an award show earlier in the year called the Halo Awards. If anything can give you hope that the teens of this generation want to be understood and want to grow into productive members of society.