Mass Media, the Final Word

Mass Media is great right? So many movies, so many songs, so many television programs and fun filled websites! But what is this doing to us socially? Is it making us smarter and more aware? Is Mass Media teaching us lifelong lessons that will help us get a job, land a smoking hot girlfriend or make correct moral decisions? The answer my friend, is absolutely not.

Some people actually spend more than 6 hours a day watching TV. Some people actually believe that they are carrying on intimate relationships and “Best-friendsmanship” relationships over the internet. Some people actually go out and pretend they are gangster rappers and rob, steal and cheat their way through life.

Mass Media has went from true entertainment to absolute destruction. Movies, radio and television programs in my grandparents’ day where created solely to entertain and better the un-informed masses of people. Programs were educational and tasteful. They would be careful not to offend the viewers by promoting sex, drugs and violence. Today a show won’t even make it on the air unless it has a strong dose of sexual, violent and drug usage angles. People expect to be shocked and amused by offensive topics and situations like rape or murder. The simple fact that these things sell is reason enough to believe that something is drastically wrong.

Apart from Mass Media plugging wrong ideas into minds of what is important in life, the way we interact with our families and friends is changing as well. 50 years ago a family would all sit around together and share a TV viewing experience. It was something to look forward to and look at as a reward for finishing a long day full of work. The family would talk and discuss their days together while watching television because it was simple shows that were being viewed. The people didn’t need to think so much and be so involved. Today’s family must sit in silence during prime time dinner time and eat their food while their eyes are glued to the newest CSI show where if you blink or answer your child’s question pertaining to their homework you would not understand the remaining 35 minutes of the show and probably the next seven episodes of the season.

There are so many shows and movies out in the Mass Media and a sufficient amount of televisions that everyone in the family can watch whatever TV shows they want by themselves secluded in their own rooms. Communication within the family is failing. Marriages and child-raising is failing. Productive quality spent time is failing. I believe Mass Media and its promotion of individualism is going to run this country into the ground. As IPods improve the ability to not talk to anyone and websites improve all means of meeting, talking and relating with individuals, soon we won’t have to ever leave our houses and see anybody. We can have all our selfish pleasures and work environment however we dream it. Soon no one will be comfortable having a conversation with a random stranger and be able to learn anything knew.

Mass Media is the worst thing that has ever happened to the world, I get sick to my stomach when I think about all the wrong it is going to cause in our futures. I’d love to rant all night about how I feel about this, but I got to go, the new Entourage comes on in 85 minutes followed by South Park, Simpsons and the Celtics game leaving me just enough time to check my e-mail, tweet my favorite professional athletes, Facebook my friends, play a quick game on the Xbox, review a few of the new movies coming out this month, read about albums coming out by my boy “Thug Nasty, Nasty Thug” and maybe order that new Patriots jersey I’ve been wanting to get my girl for Christmas. Did I mention how much I love that I don’t buy into all this Mass Media garbage.

OH!!!! The Horror!!!! Oh wait, I saw that coming!

Gender Roles in Horror Films

            Before we can begin to discuss gender roles in horror films we need to establish the reason behind horror films. A horror film is created to scare the life out of an audience. People have a strong and almost grotesque desire to be brought to the brink of total fear without the real possibility of being in danger. With the help of bad lighting and even worse music scores a horror film is packed with intensity and gradual emotional build-up that eventually has the viewer gasping for air when they suddenly see the flash of a blade that comically, they actually knew was coming. Horror movies have also been titled “Slasher” movies. You never see the villain using a gun or a blunt object to do their dirty deeds. Deaths by a gunshot or a 15 pound rock are too quick and leave no opportunity for screaming. The weapon of choice of every villain in these movies are usually whatever the audience would like least to be met with; a butcher knife, a meat hook, or a chainsaw. All weapons of choice usually tie into blue collar work as if to say any one of these everyday workers could go home after work with their tools and carve up your family.  Horror movies are easy to produce. The storyline is almost always the same; an evil villain who at one point was traumatically bullied by the same type of people they set out to kill. The main point in all horror films is simple; be careful of who you hurt, be nice to everyone and don’t ever take advantage of a female.

            The male roles in horror films, both villain and victim are completely chauvinistic. The villains are looked at to be big, scary, larger than life, strong and man-handling. They have a “super human” ability to endure amass pain; gunshots, stabbings, electrocutions and burns. These villains have absolutely no feelings. They are portrayed as “rapists” who are always looking to capture, embarrass and torture women. The Villains also tend to capture their target along with or in front of their boyfriends or a male who has a love interest with the woman. Doing so ties the male viewers into having to think about what they would do if faced with that same situation, which is, let’s be honest, one of the most horrible things imaginable. People are petrified about having to witness a rape or mutilation of someone that they love and care about. Once again, for some reason, our society lives to think about these gruesome situations and loves to be pushed to the brink of complete fear. These villains in horror films or “slasher” films never have the audience feeling bad or sorry for them; they are depicted as pure evil, unable to feel human emotion or pain and willing to rape and kill anyone of us at any time.

            The male victims in horror films are always the popular high school football jocks. Once again, rehashing the fact that the storyline for these movies are steady and simple allowing plenty of audience creativity within themselves. The victims in these movies live in their letterman’s jackets and are all over six feet tall and have collegiate athletic frames. The jocks usually find themselves only weeks away from entering college to play football under a scholarship or have some other kind of promising future lying ahead of them. Popular high school jocks are typically stereotyped as big time partiers and women degraders. The reason we see the same type of male characters in these horror films are because we all went to high school and we either were the jocks, hated the jocks or wanted to be the jocks; it is easy for everyone over the age of 13 to relate to these characters. Just as in every horror movie, the main point is that the saints survive and the sinners die; it is easy to understand why the jocks always end up decapitated and not breathing toward the end of the movie. One reason they wind up in the afterlife is the way the males are always depicted as tough, aggressive and eager to fight these villains who challenge their manhood at an instance without thinking of the possible outcome of death by the chainsaw the villain is swinging in front of their face. However, just as female roles in horror films always have one “main girl” who survives, there tends to be one “good guy” who lives; typically the most nerdish guy in the group who previously led the audience to believe that they are worthless and destined for failure.

            Females in horror films are portrayed in an even more stereotypical fashion than high school males. Movies, television and commercials have stereotyped women to be able to maintain the perfect idea of a woman; a perfect figure, perfect hair, perfect make-up, perfect form, even when dealing with grueling, masculine activities. This portrays the life-long idea that women should always remain proper, elegant, beautiful and gentle. The idea of a perfect woman is why in horror films we witness these obvious and cheesy female stereotypical roles. The majority of horror films depict the female characters in more instances of fear, screaming and cowering than males, because frankly, our society’s media has branded women as weak and non-resourceful. Throughout all horror films the female victims are the party girls and the most “sexually experienced.” They are usually all killed while the pure, innocent virgin lives to tell the tale everyone wants to know about; this also supports the claim that these horror movies push the previous fact that women are to remain pure and as good as a woman can be. Women are also shown in these movies as horrified to fight or attack the killer until they are forced to defend themselves. In these movies, they never portray a woman to be able to figure out how to defeat the evil “man” who seems to outsmart them and be one step ahead of the girl. The villain usually dies by a stroke of pure luck while the woman is defending herself because she has to, leading to the everlasting idea that women in horror movies will always be a sex symbol that guys hope to see naked before they are killed out of the movie.

            In the rare occasion a horror movie arises with a female villain, they are typically not as attractive as the female victims. The female villain is portrayed to be everything a male would never imagine a female to be; dangerous, evil and violent. Okay, so maybe I’ve met a few females with those traits, but female villains in horror movies are inhumanly characteristic. With a female villain, a flashback or storyline always plays a large role in the beginning of the movie to explain what or who said or did to hurt this poor girl’s feelings. Again, the obvious point is shown to always treat a woman or girl with respect… or else. Hell hath no fury like that of a woman!

My dear Newspaper

My dear newspaper, oh where did you go? What happened to you? Why have you lost that lovin’ feeling? I used to pay good money as a broke college student subscribing to the newspaper because I would gain so much from it. The newspaper was full of interesting and clearly thought through articles accompanied with useful photographs. A reader could easily see the team work involved in creating a story for the newspaper. A backpack journalist is a word I hear talked about more and more every day and I’ve started to see the negative impact of their ability to hold all responsibilities needed to write a strong, thick, true smack you in the face story; something we are all truly looking for. There doesn’t appear to be any brainstorming before stories are written to see if there are any other angles or takes that could spice it up a bit.  Today’s articles are full of long, drawn out, space filled obvious information. When and if I find myself at the finish line of a long grueling race I call reading a Denver Post article I find myself feeling more lost and confused then when I started. The columns seem to be quickly smashed together with as much information in as little as a space possible in order to move on to another story and leave plenty of room for the mass amounts of useless advertising space.

The days of looking forward to sitting down early in the morning and reading a newspaper from cover to cover along with four and half cups of coffee and your pals Snippy Squirrel and Blueberry Bird singing in the sunshine are over. Now, it’s pick the paper out of the gutter or slop the thing out of a puddle because the delivery drivers that stayed on for a pay-cut have to work three times harder covering ten extra streets really care about their job. The front page of the paper is always a story about a horrible incident, a Politian scandal or the Broncos “unexpected” failures (please). The newspaper is all about negativity these days, granted our society doesn’t help, but it is clear to see that there aren’t enough good people working in the newspaper trade anymore. Pay cuts and job security are affecting the love once had by a flourishing newspaper market. Writers aren’t putting nearly as much heart and passion into what they are producing as they used to when they entered their career, but who could blame them? Easy news is more appealing than having to wait to read yesterday’s news that is vaguely talked about already. The internet has made it impossible for the newspaper market to stay on course with the speed of today’s technology and society’s need for instant information; even if that information is complete malark. People feel more comfortable believing that they are more informed than the person sitting next to them and this “easy news” allows them to have the “oh, I already knew that” attitude. People have lost their patience. People are petrified to fall behind in an already falling economy. The last thing people want to do is take out 90 minutes of their day reading a newspaper when they can get their personalized needed information instantly on smart phones or on their computer at work in seconds? How could the newspaper survive? It was inevitable that the short attention spans of readers that our society created would eventually draw away from paying for yesterday’s news although thoroughly researched and analyzed. And it is sad. Budget cuts meant talent losses along with the quality of stories. Many of the greatest writers have left the newspaper world to pursue magazine and on-air action. A drastic change would need to happen to save the Newspaper world as a hole. A new audience will somehow need to be created or found. Maybe newspapers need to go back to the Revolutionary days where they were looked at as very outspoken and controversial. Stir up a little dirt and piss some people off. The newspapers are already failing successfully, why not make one last extreme attempt to grab the minds and hearts of the people that want to really change the world and write about stories “the man” doesn’t want to be told. If newspapers began to write columns with a sort of “South Park” mentality, giving it to you straight, I guarantee not all would agree with it, but everyone would talk about it, and write to it, and voice their opinion again, and read it, and BUY it!! My God, it would be a “newspaper” again!

GWH

Good Will Hunting, brought to the screen in 1997 was written by the lead actors Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. While attending Harvard, Damon created the script for a class he was taking and confounded in his long-time Massachusetts friend Ben Affleck to polish it up once interest arose from Damon’s professor. The script originally sold to Castle Rock productions for $600,000.

Good Will Hunting is a story about an inner city kid with a potential “rags to riches” future ahead of him and the trials that he faces daily. Though a good kid at heart his troubles began as a young orphan who was in and out of juvenile correctional facilities and also in and out of faster homes. In an early scene, Will and his friends get into a fight with some Italian inner city kids on a basketball court and really show where loyalties lie and establish all the characters in Will’s entourage. Right from the beginning of the movie there are a lot of relation that the audience feels with Will, maybe not to the criminal extent but to the point where many similarities of friendship, values and morals. Although Will looks and lives the life of a trouble maker, he is a genius with a caring heart that has felt so much pain he now believes that the world is out to beat him down.

After an opportunity to help a Math Professor at Will’s place of employment instead of serving jail time for the fight he took part of, Will’s character really comes to life. Along with doing his community service solving math problems Will had to attend counseling sessions to deal with his anger issues and his diminishing future.  Will is looked at as a brilliant mind once he meets with his chosen counselor, played by Robin Williams, and begins to open up and talk about his life and his experiences. Will expresses his pain he feels from being abandoned at a young age and begins to create a fatherly bond with his therapist, Sean. Once again, the subject of dealing with real life everyday struggles is constantly being addressed with the patient/doctor turned father/son relationship. Will and Sean help each other out; Sean, a recent widow, finds himself in the same sorrow ship Will has been sailing his whole life and the discussions that they together are obvious and helpful to anyone dealing with similar issues.

Throw in the lady. Minnie Driver, playing Will’s eventual girlfriend Skylar plays the role of the ultimate lifestyle changer that many have experienced. The early relationship Will and Skylar have together is typical; insecurities, misunderstandings, constant change of emotions. The movie does a great job showing a lot of the real life problems people deal with in their own relationships and the more correlation presented the more the audience pays attention. Throughout the movie, Will falls deeply for Skylar so much that he experiences a feeling that he has never felt before; love. This new feeling scares Will into pushing Skylar away before she has the chance to push him away and let him down like his parents did to him. Sean talks to Will about his decision with Skylar and helps him see that all of the horrible situations that Will has encountered were never his fault. Will has always believed that something was obviously wrong with him because of his early misery of being abandoned by the ones who are supposed to love you the most. Sean helps Will finally see his true potential and his real genius at the end of the movie when Will has completed his required counseling sessions and Mathematic meetings and hugs Sean goodbye. The ending embrace with Sean and Will really shows that it is okay to be helped by people who care about you and also shows the change of Will’s once unemotional, hatred filled, confused lifestyle to a promising citizen with endless career and happiness opportunities. The movie ends with Will leaving the comfort of his hometown Boston in his junk car his buddies got for his 21st birthday and pursuing the only girl in his life that he ever dared to love more than himself. 

These independent movies are far more advanced than any of the junk being thrown at viewers today. Independent movies deal with real life issues that people can use their minds’ thinking about and apply the meanings to their own lives. Independent movies are made to show people the real side of how life is and it all begins with proving what can be done with little funding and a lot of passion for writing and describing. Action movies, cheap comedies, horrible horror films, they are all forms of instant satisfaction. Big time corporate movie companies don’t put any care into what message they are sending out to their audience, they place their care into what these idiots will pay for. Such as with independent music there is a clear view of the dedication and talent that goes into independent movies and with that comes true appreciation. These movies get seen and they get seen by the right audiences, the ones who will take the storyline to heart and somehow better their own lives.

YOU HAVE “0″ FRIENDS!!!

Just as every other episode starts, “You have 0 friends” begins addressing the main issue with the very first line. Eric Cartman exclaims to his buddies, “I’ve got more friends than Kyle! I’ve got more friends than Kyle!” In one of my favorite episodes of South Park from last season, the boys exploit the sad truths of Facebook users who revolve their life around it.

Everyone in the town of South Park has been hit by the Facebook wave. However, 4th grader Stan Marsh is the only character who seems to see the evil, destructive tendencies Facebook carries but gains his own “profile” his friends created for him as a surprise.  Within minutes of signing on, everyone Stan ever knew in his life found him to be a stuck up snob because they weren’t friends with him on Facebook. Stan ran into family problems with his father who was deeply hurt by the thought of not being his son’s friend. Later that day at school, Stan’s bad day continued as his girlfriend found him out to be a lying, cheating, dirty sleeze since he never updated his relationship status from “single” to “in a relationship” and then a few days later it hit the fan again with a “F@#K You!!” from his girlfriend after she creeped his page and saw a comment that read, “You look cute in that bunny costume.” Little did she know the comment was from his Grandmother’s bridge club friend. Facebook is ridiculous; the previous scenario is so quick to come true. What’s the best way to fuel the raging drama in a person’s life? Go snoop through the person in questions’ profile and pick out comments and photos that will help strengthen the goal of looking like a complete ass.

South Park is far beyond a cartoon. The show challenges society to look at themselves and the way they are living their life. In every episode, creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker put the obvious issue right in the faces of the audience, usually to the full extremities of the imagination. The more gruesome, disgusting, or violent the show seems to be, the more sense the show makes. For instance, in the one scene where Kyle is looking to find new friends somewhere other than Facebook, the show shines some light on the horrible problem that has taken over a once great idea which was ChatRoulette. The show also pokes fun at celebrities and the people that put so much faith and love toward them, such as the MAD MONEY Scene where Cartman posts a podcast on Facebook pretending to be “Mad Mike” and offering his knowledge on how to play the Facebook Friend Stock Market. Drop Kyle, because he is friends with a nerd who only has one friend and add Clyde because he has a birthday coming up and his mother is treating all his friends to Casa Bonita. As ridiculous as that sounds, people do sacrifice their lives to Facebook. Some people check their Facebook page once every ten minutes and add as many strangers as they can to prove popularity to their other friends. South Park connects with their audience with a sort of “laugh now, cry later” approach. The jokes are so funny, so hilarious and so embarrassing that they will leave a viewer laughing hysterically and then thinking about how they are part of the group being made fun of. The show states the obvious and always ends with a simple sentence that completely sums up the issue and what we can do as a society to change it. In this episode, Stan’s “what I learned speech” was “Who Cares? Friends shouldn’t be some kind of commodity for a person’s status. The episode ends with Stan battling his “profile” in the Facebook world in a life or death game of Yatzee which he wins and is able to delete his profile. All of his 850,000 friends got lost in the Facebook world and ended up in possession of the nerd who never had one friend and his life changed dramatically. This last scene with the nerd who sat at his computer all day waiting for a Facebook friend to appear and got 850,000 instantly really shows what kind of person cares about that; A nerd, a loser. Go out and enjoy your real friends. Check Facebook at most once a day if you must, because we all know we use it!

RHYMESAYERS

Rhymesayers Entertainment

Rhymesayers Entertainment specializes in Hip Hop and limits all talent to the same genre. Some known artists under the label are of course, Atmosphere, along with Eyedea and Abilities, Brother Ali, Blueprint, P.O.S., Abstract Rude, Soul Position, Musab and Los Nativos. All the previous artists are postered all over Rhymesayers.com and the Rhymesayers Facebook page with their music and biography information. Also on Rhymesayers.com a listener can find every album ever produced by ever artist. Only Atmosphere, Eyedea and Abilities, Brother Ali and a select few based on the region can be easily found at large scale music stores.  

The Rhymesayers are a bunch of cold souls walking around Minneapolis on cold soles. Nearly every artist on the Rhymesayers Entertainment label has deep ties to the hip-hop culture that exists in the mid-west, mainly Minnesota. Created by Sean Daley, Slug of Atmosphere, in 1995, Rhymesayers have been using a lifetime of street learned lessons and the love of original hip hop to help give struggling people a crutch to lean on. All artists under the Rhymesayers label possess the same gift; the ability to use their opportunity for constructive reasons. The Rhymesayers portray life in a “new-wave” folklore tale; rapping about real life everyday tragic situations and their outcomes, leaving the listener to make their own obvious conclusions and prevention advice. The Rhymesayers are real, they care; their main mission is to rid this already soiled world of the dis-respectful ungrateful people and their message is translated through the stories they tell.

The Rhymesayers are targeting on the fan who has had enough of the garbage thrown at them by recent mainstream musicians. So many “artists” are abusing the position they have been giving to be heard by thousand and even sometimes millions of people by pushing the importance of having expensive objects and the easy ways to obtain them. Music is so powerful; it has the ability to hold the attention of even the most dangerous of people. Criminals listen to no one except themselves and whoever in is their headphones. The Rhymesayers see their opportunity to be listened to and heard and dare the listener to love and respect their life. The Rhymesayers are making music for the fan who respects the person standing next to them at a bus stop, the fan who will talk to a person of the opposite sex in search of knowledge and not instant sexual relief. The Rhymesayers are making music for the fan that is dealing with just another day and is in need of the simple and subtle sound that is forever flowing down the cold streets of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Being a strong underground independent label there are more roads an artist must take in order to gain fans. In other words, the artists have to go out and do it the old fashioned way, with hard work and dedication. The Rhymesayers choose to remain humble and true and allow the artist to earn their own following by marketing themselves in new unique ways. Along with the slow, gradual popularization of artists, the small label faces the problem of not having adequate money to spread out equally through the artists. With little budget money for studio time, production cost, album cost and tour expenses some aspects have to take a hit may it be the quality of the graphics on an album cover or the size and number of posters that hang out side. To some, an album cover that lacks clear pictures or a lot of colors might be disappointing, but to the followers of Rhymesayers it is perfect; it shows that the artist is not above average like the others, they take an ugly picture just like the rest of the non-professional photographers in the world, they show you that the true beauty is what is play through the speakers.

I don’t believe that independent labels will ever overcome the issues of light funding, but I also believe that they would prefer it that way. Underground music will always have its’ strong underground following who will find their way to the music that they want to hear. Independent labels take pride in the distance they have put between themselves and the big corporations. An established independent label has already proven that they have worked hard to get where they are to bring the listener the music they want to hear and that is highly respected. Independent record labels are putting out music for fans to use and love and better themselves above making big profit for the luxuries in life, instead turning around and putting that profit back into other projects or into the community. If the “Indi” labels didn’t exist more people would be less creative. People would be forced to listen to whatever the radio stations and TV wanted you to hear if it wasn’t for independent record labels to satisfy the large diverse appetite for the millions of different styles and angles of music.

2015

2015. Only five years away. When I was a little kid we dreamed that we would be driving flying cars and have robots waiting on us hand and foot by the year 2015. Now, a mere five years away, in some aspects those dreams have come true. Obviously we are not on pace to be flying around in a Grand Cherokee, but in a virtual world we are well on pace to have anything we can imagine fly us around to different locations and unknown worlds of information. The rapid advancement of technology, along with making everyday living so much easier, has allowed technology itself to get better!

                The internet has led to a new wave in the way we gather our information and new ways we teach ourselves. By the time 2015 rolls around, I believe every school will be on their way to becoming completely connected online. The youths’ generation relies on this never-ending advancement in technology and will be more interested in doing everything in school through their own personal lap-top. Students feel more connected with technology than they will ever feel with a bulky, heavy book of words, leaving the imagination to do 70% of the work. It is sad to see the old school teaching methods fail, but if you can’t beat them join them.

                Some would say the rapid rise of the digital world has done a tremendous disservice to society. More people are getting lost in their own secret worlds and are gaining more comfort being alone and socializing with others who enjoy the life of solitude in the virtual world. More and more people have to rely on meeting their “soul mate” online or through online role playing video games. By 2015, a person originally known as a “mack” will be a legend from the past. People will no longer feel comfortable enough meeting a stranger of the opposite sex in a face to face setting, they will need to have a web cam and their comfy chair in order to feel like they are being themselves. The digital world has promoted the wrong kind of individualism. Everyone and their mom has some sort of MP3 player, blasting the music that makes them happy and allowing them the ability to remain in their virtual world and not be trapped into talking to someone on a bus, or next to them in line. In 2015, it is inevitable that kids will be spending more time inside playing video games and role playing games and with that, sports in the USA might see a decline in participation rates. Along with kids not staying active, it is installing an unhealthy start to a long life of obesity and struggling. Struggling to find an attractive partner, struggling to find a decent job with their poor grades in school, struggling to find a real purpose in life besides the one of false fame and glory. No wonder why more than half of War of War Craft players have had to marry each other.

 The digital world has made it so simple and safe to carry out what used to be very serious and dangerous military operations. By the year 2015, the military will be able to use nearly no human bodies to go into a hostile environment and secure things their way. Wars will be fought from arm chairs and almost no emotion can go into killing a whole village of whatevers and whomevers. Winners of wars will be won by who can afford the newest type of technology. Billion dollar business deals and meetings in 2015 will be done by CEO video avatars in a virtual world who really are in their robes or on the golf course. The virtual world in 2015 will virtually have a generation and generations to come that are completely unable to perform socially in a public setting, no one will feel comfortable without multi-tasking every waking second, everyone will have their ideas, passions, loves and beliefs skewed. Upcoming generations’ idea of the reason for living will be completely opposite from the general idea of life the last 200 years and it will be all wrong. In all honesty, by the year 2015 no one will be able to read this. A gigantic global internet crash is all it would take for Armageddon to happen. From what I have witnessed and experienced, life and history has been all about people trying to make things better and easier. Once we get as far as technology can go, what else is left to conquer or create or invent? With nothing left to advance or think up everyone will have nothing left to look forward to or dream about. The Internet will fail the masses that have relied on it for so long and the Mayans’ prediction will come true. 2012… Appreciate it now my friends.

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