Monday, May 7, 2012

It' so bad...But oh so good!!!

Steven Johnson's book Everything Bad is Good for You brings out some good points on the cognitive side of things. He noticed early when he was showing the sims game to his nephew and from there his nephew was able just by being shown the game tell him that he needed to lower taxes in a part of his sim town so that the factories would again be able to work and the crime and povery rate would decrease. Steven made a point that if the child had been sitting in a class room and taught the same information he wouldn't have gotten any of the information needed to know what he was talking about because he would be bored out of his mind. I agree with what point he was making. There are so many things going on today that kids find it even harder to sit still and listen. I think thats why there are so many cases of mis-diagnosed cases of ADD and ADHD. Now not saying that someone's child that has been diagnosed has been diagnosed wrong but what if we gave the kids a different outlet. A different way to learn. We learn even when we aren't trying and that is what happened here.

At the same time I do feel that we don't need to shove Ipads at all our kids and say here learn. While being employed at a restaurant as a hostess I see alot of families come in and wait to be seated and don't talk to each other because they are too busy checking their facebook or on their Ipads. They sit at the table and don't talk to each other because each is lost in their own world of technology. I see that as a problem. How are these kids or even people going to be able to go out and get jobs that require them to be able to sit and speak with someone or if they go in for an interview they aren't going to be speaking to a computer.

Its great that our technology allows us to connect in ways that we have never been able to before. In that respect how is that going to hender and help us in the future. I see great things happening and bad things. When kids started playing games on their game consoles that were violent there were questions and concerns of those kids being violent to others. Now we have the kinect and that allows the users to get up and move without having something strapped to their hands like the wii. We have things to help and hinder. At this point I think it's up to the parents to draw the line.

We can help our culture by keeping some of the non-technological values like having conversations with each other face to face at dinner or if you are a tech savy family how about sitting down with your kids and playing with them. Understanding what they are doing online or on their phones and being able to go forward technologically with them.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!!!

In class we watched different new segments and from what I news is good news. We saw everything from planes not being able to land properly because of wind. The amount of just filler and fluff we use for news because we don't really want to be bothered with alot of information. The news is now reporting on celebrity information because that is what we want. We want to know what celebrities are doing now and not so much of what the world is doing.

This has become our news. If we want it the news will report it.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Lights! Camera! Action!

Thinking of movies from my childhood takes me back to a place of no worries. Being able to stand next to the television pretending I'm Ariel off the Little Mermaid. Singing at the top of my lungs about being "out of the sea, part of that world". Although I would like to imagine myself being a cute red head with an awsome body its not what I feel is the movie of my generation.

The movie that I feel that has defined my generation has to be the Scream series. Although the series is obviously not one movie I can't help but remember the first time I saw the movie itself.  We are too old for Disney and too young for Throw Mama from the Train. The first time I heard that voice over the phone talking to Drew Barrymore before she had her insides pulled outside I knew that there was no way that I would be caught on a friday night alone again.

Scream broke all the rules in scary movies. The killer wasn't supposed to be the heart throb of the movie and the bitchy reporter wasn't supposed to get her five minutes of fame. They were both supposed to die! However scream changed all that. You quickly found that the cute blonde died first and the ballsy brunette won out in the end. Scream redefined how we looked at our lives and made us wonder...Could my boyfriend be a serial killer?

Continuing with the next four trillogies I can't say that todays generation will be defined by their version of Scream...Scream 4 in which the killer uses modern technology to show case the killers blood bath but those of us Scream veterans will always have a place in our hearts for billy...the boyfirend even though we may not want to admit it

Friday, April 20, 2012

Really Reality?

When I think of reality television the first thing that comes to mind would have to be the larger than life celebrities that have cameras following them all the time. We watch their every move or so we think. Their moves and decisions being altered by the editor before the final copy hits our television sets and have us on the edge of our seats waiting every week for more.

Reality television really isn't our reality. I mean how many people do you know have their own private jets or are driving cars that cost about the same as a house. Or their houses are not houses at all but mansions? I don't know about you but that is not my reality.

The first time that I started watching reality television was when I became interested in the Real World. Strangers forced to live in a house..blah blah blah...I would hole up in my room and get really comfy and watch the all day marathons on saturday's in case I missed a big fight between the room mates or worse missed a hookup by the bad boy in the house that has fallen for the good girl that is out of his league and has a boyfriend that she is completely devoted to back home. Oh yes...I was a RW groupie!!

After a while though I seemed to just out grow the same old thing that the real world is known for and before you know it I was skipping episodes and wanting to watch something else. But MTV being the sneaky things that they are came back with the Real World/Road Rules challenge. Once again I was glued to my television and couldnt get away.

It seems that my reality wasn't good enough. Seeing people live together and fight, love, and fight some more seemed to be the reality that I wanted. But when you look at these people this isn't their reality either. They are playing the game they signed up for and are at the mercy of producers and editors. Not being able to choose how the rest of the world gets to see them as.

Funny how unsatisfied we are with our own lives that we need to escape into someone elses. Not much has changed over the years. We still have our Real World...but I have graduated to new more of whatI would like to call cultured reality television...oh yes. I have traded strangers in a house for a screeming dance coach and alcohol induced mothers! DANCE MOMS!!!

I am addicted. Like a crack feind I only am able to watch this when no one else is around. My fiance has banned it from the house as have I banned south park. I have the episodes on OnDemand though our cable company so that I have feed my nasty litte habit. I guess we never really grow out of watching reality televison. We just find new shows to tickle our fancy :)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Run DMC....Reba Mcentire VS Lil Wayne....Carrie Underwood

Thick gold chains and flaiming red hair have given way to dread locks and good girls gone bad. With the music of our generation ever changing looking back on where it started sometimes can make us laugh, take us back to lemonade on grandma's front porch or even make us want to run away and become the next big thing.

In the 1980's the world of new school hip hop music was born. Rum-DMC was one of the first new groups on the scene for hip hop. When we compare the old and new of hip hop we find a huge difference even in the lyrics. From Run DMC's song "Hard Times" the first stanza are as follows:

Hard times spreading just like the flu
Watch out homeboy, don't let it catch you
P-p-prices go up, don't let your pocket go down
When you got short money you're stuck on the ground
Turn around, get ready, keep your eye on the prize
And be on point for the future shock

Instead of  talking about women and their status they talk about hard times. Now lets look at Lil Wayne

All I was taught was murder murder
Kill drama, and nothin' less
I strap tha Smith-Wess, and bust.. it in they chest
I had ta hustle hustle hustle hustle
Had ta struggle for success
Hid grams in girls' breasts, stick bricks.. under they dress
Them niggas there with me fooli'
Me, I'm full of that dilly
Hope when I catch them slippin'
Him and they daddy's trippin'
Shorty can hold it down
Shorty be totin' rounds
Smellin' like a pound on school grounds
Shorty, wow
Hair... all over my head
Bandana 'round my brain
Eyes bloodshot red
Briches down to my legs
Guns up in my trench
When niggas playin', they get drenched
My pockets is full of lead
So, nigga, stay off tha ben
I'm young with bad nerves
Since I lost my partna, I've been troubled, hurt in this 'burb
So I'on't even hesitate ta leave 'em on tha curb
And wet dem niggas' shirt
Nigga, get 'em full of birds
Tell them niggas, Geezy!
I tried to find a song that was less...well less. Alot of the songs that I pulled up were very explicit.  Obviously a huge difference. Lil'Wayne is one that you can expect to do collaberations between artists and this is what we can expect. Judging by this Hip Hop is going to continue to go into this direction.

With looking at Country you used to see alot of sad songs and a more twang. You understood when you heard the first minute that the song was country even without the lyrics. Now its hard to distinguish because coutnry singers are making their songs sound so universal. The lyrics however I have noticed are ones that even now every one can relate to. For example compare Reba Mcentire and Carrie Underwood.

Reba's "When you Have a Child"

And when you have a child
Those four walls you call a house
Take on a life of it's own
When you bring 'em home
You will cry and you will laugh
When they hurt it cuts you in half
It's your flesh and bone

Every parent can understand this even when its sung. Now look at Carrie Underwoods work. Her newest song "Good Girl"

Hey, good girl
With your head in the clouds
I bet you I can tell you
What you’re thinkin' about
You'll see a good boy
Gonna give you the world
But he’s gonna leave you cryin'
With your heart in the dirt

You can relate to seeing that really nice girl with the bad guy that she thinks just hung the moon. When she sings she sounds country but the tune is so catchy that you cant help but sign along and understand what it is that she is saying.

Country is getting more of a pop feel to it because its getting more play of the radios that are not soley country. Hip Hop is getting harder to understand and is getting dirtier. There is almost an unattainable feel to hip hop now. I cant relate to getting money or going to clubs where as with country I have had those friends that I tried to warn to stay away from the bad boy and she didnt listen. If this is where hip hop is headed then Im staying with country!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Sims and Bootleggers....quite a combo!!!

The bootleg community isnt anything new. We all have downloaded content off the internet or have purchased the fresh on dvd movies out of some guys car for five bucks. If you haven't then you are in the minority! Bootlegging has become a part of who we are a culture. It becomes easier for the masses to aquire what they want for little or no fee. I know that when I was stationed in Korea it was nothing for me to go into the village right outside the base gates and purchase movies that were either in theatres in the US or had just come out on dvd. Mash ups and getting the latest Mp3 online have become part of who we are just as much as recording songs off the radio onto a blank tape was to previous generations. Every generation had their own form of bootlegging we just are more technologically savy about it.

As someone that is not that into video games I still understand the pull that they have. I remeber playing against my brother and sister on the old nintendo console, playing super mario brothers. Trying to unlock secret levels and getting a leg up on each other. Playing for hours and getting mad when our mario died. I guess now Im just old even though im 24. I don't like computer games or the new games that are on the xbox and play stations. Video games are a part of life now more than they have ever been. Questions that I would have now for video gamers are; do your video games help you? can you see a difference since playing video games? I dont know and feel completely dumb when talking to someone about them. I reminice about the times when tag was THE GAME or simon says and red rover red rover. Do we learn as much from the games we play now? Or should we dust off those old clue games...dig out the uno cards and go back to what we knew when I was growing up.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Be a Man!

This past week we focused on how being a "man" is important with the male species. At a young age boys are taught that they need to be tough. They need to act like men and that being a man is showing how "hard" you are.

Boys are taught that if you do anything like a girl you are less than a man. You have to be able to beat each other up and be the best if you want to be a man.

I wonder if this want to show manhood not only comes from the media but is in our DNA. I mean when you think about it Indian men had to prove their manhood. Men in old time greece did the same thing. Manlier men were more highly re-guarded. I know that the movie "Tough Guise" says that the media shows this in movies and television as well as advertising but where did it come from? It had to start somewhere from us to start having these thoughts about men.

Animals fight each other to the death sometimes to show who is the alpha male. Men sometimes do the same thing. Gang members have initiations that have the person getting in get the crap beat out of them to show how tough they and if they fail then they don't get in. I don't know about you but I don't think i would enjoy a book club that I wanted to join to beat me to death with books because I wanted to join.

Men have used violence to show their masculine sides for years. I think it has gotten worse because we are putting more violence in our games, shows, advertising and letting our children see these things. Were basically saying that its ok for men to be and act violent.

Unless we completely rework everything. Nothing is going to change.