All I really want is a coffee, But I’m afraid that I’ll overload on caffeine like I did yesterday. My hands were literally shaking during the exam. I’m starting to be tired of being tired…

So this morning marked the end of my New Media class.

Ok I was going to do some sort of sum up, but I keep getting distracted by the chat room talk going on in my other browser window. I’m watching some anime on my computer, and these free streaming sites always have an ongoing chat. There is some kid writing overly melodramatic emo-esk one liners in fancy red cursive, about how much his life sucks since he turned 10. Dear lord shoot me now. And the worst part? they are encouraging him. One of them keeps offering him hugs….Aaaaaannnd, now he’s turned on them. And someone is claiming to have ascended and become god. Yup, we are reeeeeeally going to change the world with the internet, clearly. This is the future of  discourse in our society.

Anyways, I’ve come to the conclusion that the exam question is probably going to be somewhere along the lines of, “How has the internet affected of changed the notion of identity in our society?”  Or “Discuss the impact of New Media on our society.”

So that is what I’m going to study for. In the meantime, I’m going to watch a half-hour of cartoons, then prepare a powerpoint presentation for tomorrow. Yay…..ish.

And with that ends our adventure,

for the last time, I bid you

Good Bye.

Alright,

So I have two posts left to write. My goal is to get this done today. Had I really been smart I would have just taken my last post and split it into two, and then  this would be my last post.  Oh well…

Lets see, lets start with what I remember from last class. The teacher has been wearing this x-mas santa claus hat for the past few classes I guess to get himself into the holiday spirit, and because he seems to enjoy making himself look like a bit of a spectacle when standing up there at the front of class. He then borrowed some girl’s tuque half way through class. It was one of those ski mask hats, that pull down over your face with holes for the eyes and mouth. But in this case it was orange with read stitching, and sort of looked like a mexican wrestling mask. Seeing as the professor was dressed in all orange as well, it made for quite the effect when  he put it on.

Content wise we continued on in the same vain as we have for some time now, taking a mainly critical theory approach to the internet, society, capitalism, etc. The word terrorism worked itself into the discussion. According to Chomsky America is the leading terrorist state and all of that. And the North-American way of living, cubicle life and all of our social norms can be interpreted as a type of psychological terror. It forces us to follow certain rules, limits and regulates our freedoms, etc.

I’m not sure how I actually feel about that. I’m kind of trying to take up the belief that you shouldn’t complain about something, unless you can give an actual solution. We may not always have to like social norms, and they do need to be revised regularly by society in order to be effective. But they do serve a function that we need in society. Like it or not there will always be norms and rules of social conformity. We can work to change what they are, but they are always going to be there, and I think we would be much worse off without them. I guess I’m just feeling that the word terror is a little harsh today. I’m iffy about giving value statements and judgements about an entire system. It’s all too subjective.

Anyways, that is one post down, one to go…

till my next post up shortly, Adieu

So apparently the magic number is 22, And as such I still need three more posts to fulfill my requirements in New Media.

Its been nice taking a break from posting though, things have been so crazy that one less thing on my to do list has been great.  With less than a week of class left, it’s officially go time.

So the teacher commented on the Wikileaks scandal this week in class, and I have to agree with one of my fellow classmates, it seems to me that there really wasn’t anything in there that we didn’t already know anyways so I fail to see the big deal. I wouldn’t put a classic bait and switch beyond our political system, so it does sort of make me wonder if this isn’t detracting our attention from something bigger and more important.

I’m not sure wether the teacher is being relatively repetitive lately in his lectures, or wether it just seems that way because I’ve seen a lot of this material and the basic theories behind it before. We talked a bit about critical theory, and where the debate over meanings take place, and how it is forever a struggle to keep any ideology in place.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the discussion was when he said that our desires match the needs of the marketplace. I thought it was interesting because from a business point of view, marketers would instead say that the market place matches the needs of  consumers. Yet another little chicken egg story in our society.

And we he spoke about the media system as a boxing ring in which we debate meaning, he stated that in 20th century society it was a boxing ring in which the cultural elite from both the left and the right fought it out. In the 21st century, the fight has apparently changed as with the internet the population for better or worse is like a 3rd force in the debate. Suddenly the new media has gone WWE on everyone’s @$$. Which is a mildly entertaining idea, but I’m not quite sure I buy it. A lot, if not most of our perception and opinions are shaped by our environment and the media is a major element of that environment. Our perceptions have already in essence been influenced by the  elite left and the elite right for most of our natural life.

How then can we really have new perceptions and view that truly differ from what either parties are already saying? Wouldn’t we just be confused and watered down versions of what is already there in the ring? Ok sometimes we are even more extreme versions of what was there, usually out of ignorance. Which is even scarier. Not to go Platonian on anyones rear end, but how much power do we really want to be giving to a general  population that is ranked 18th in education among 33 industrialized nations? When democracy becomes a tyranny of the majority, do we really want to go trusting this majority to make the right decisions? Personally, I’m not so sure…

Not to say that it isn’t great that se have an improved chance to make our voices heard, because there are issues on which the elite have failed miserably. And that level of power can create a level of corruption just as bad as anything else. I just think we are being a little optimistic in thinking that a system ripe with Trolling and hate speech that we haven’t heard elsewhere in years, is really going to be a positive influence. It could, but I’m not quite ready to hold my breath, ya know?

I think it’s the process that is revolutionary, not the content.

Till next time, I bid you adieu…

It just occurred to me that this blog is only supposed to last until the 25th of november or something lake that, and as such my blogs are officially numbered.

My last blog was really long and incorporated everything that I really had to say on last week’s classes, so its not like I have much to say this time around.

Subject… subject…. Ah! The American Music Awards were last night. I thought it was nicely ironic that the best new artist and artist of the year was a Canadian. Although considering it’s Justin Bieber, they can keep him. I think what hit me most of the night was to which point most of the signers really weren’t very good. If video killed the radio star, then auto-tune clearly  killer the vocalist. And they wonder why they can’t sell records like they used to…

There were two highlights to the evening. Ke$ha’s performance was one. Not because I particularly like her music or singing, although it wasn’t the worst of the evening by far, but because of her back up dancers. picture these big beefy guys show up in leather  jackets and horrible blond mullet wigs. Then halfway through the lights change and we suddenly realize that they are all also wearing short-shorts, fishnet hose and high heeled pumps. Oh an eyeliner makeup. Considering the importance put on country music on that show and the associated general american sensibilities, it made me laugh.

The second highlight was the NKOBSB performance. I think it has officially been long enough, and I can openly admit that I could still remember all the lyrics to the BSB songs. Oh, they also sang better than most of the other male performers that night. Which is good for them, really sad for everyone else.

Anyways, I’m done babbling,

Adieu

 

I swear things are so busy right now, I keep thinking my heads going to explode or something…

I can’t believe that its already friday and that this is my first post of the week. (things have been so crazy that I just checked my other posts to confirm that this was indeed the 1st one.) But that’s what you get at university I guess. I’m just glad that the project for this class at least is done.

So I have to admit, I don’t really remember much about class on tuesday. In fact, I don’t really remember much about tuesday at all. Well other than the teacher playing the song Jesus is alright with me. And I seem to remember two bunnies being involved  in a Youtube video. Oh, and the teacher was wearing a shirt that said real men love bunnies.

But I don’t really remember much about the material. I think we were going on about capitalism, its inherent inequalities, and I imagine we talked about the production and ownership of meaning again, and so on  and so forth. I think some guy in class tried to argue for capitalism, because he felt it was starting to be painted in too harsh a light.

Really, it seems to me that we have been saying the same thing over and over again for a few classes now. Capitalism, in order to survive, must use hegemonic methods to continuously reinforce its ideology. It does so mostly in this consumer society through the mass media, which in the last century was tightly controlled. The war for the future of capitalism, or of any ideological system in society is done through the imposition of meaning. Now in comes the internet, a strange new force that continues to avoid tight control, and creates a possibility for a wide and more equal debate then we have ever had. Or at least for more voices to be heard.

But I have to wonder, since we are so tightly controlled everywhere else in life, is this freedom we speak of on the internet real, or are we already too closely shaped by the rest of our environment, to the point that we are really merely reflecting back the ideologies we have been taught in our online behavior?

Anyways, we spoke of post-modernism a bit today and he used it to speak about a fragmenting society. But from what I’ve understood of Post-modernist theory the fragmentation has always been there, its just more apparent now a days. Collective meaning only works up to a certain point, because each individual’s past experiences will influence how they perceive or understand any given symbol.

What they are against are meta-narratives, who falsely try to boil down reality to a single ideology that is supposedly “right”. But every ideology has a pit fall, by the simple virtue that meaning is really only what we make it, as it exists within people not objects or the world around us at there will always be multiple meanings possible. and two competing and seemingly opposite ideologies can both be right, depending on the parameters.

All this to say that I feel the teacher was bastardizing, oversimplifying and being a little dismissive of post-modernism today. Its about the subjectivity of reality, which we are just more and more aware of as time moves forwards. Nothing is changing or increasing save our awareness of it.

Well, I have way too much work so,

Adieu.

I never understood the appeal of the Itchy and Scratchy show on the Simpsons until someone  introduced me to these cartoons… And I always end up feeling like a bad person after watching them and finding them funny. It makes me wonder both about the state of today’s society and my own psychological state. But then again, some people think the Saw movies are the best thing ever… At least I only get amusement from the killing of ridiculously cute cartoon animals.

So on Friday’s class we got to talking about feminism. Or at least about the place of women in our society, the reinforcement of patriarchy through the mass media, and briefly mentioned the role of women on the internet. Which was somehow both fascinating and very boring to me.

I hate statistics that compare how many women partake in a certain activity or tendency versus how many men also partake in that same activity or tendency. The teacher mentioned a variety of statistics about gender and the internet, and stated that there were differences, but none of the margins were particularly large one way of the other. Maybe that’s because gender wasn’t a very useful variable to base the analysis on?

We have such an obsession in our society about the difference of gender, that we seek to find, create, and reinforce/overstate those differences at every chance we get. When in reality, gender is not a constant state of being. And I can’t help but feel that this constant search to find the ways in which we differ, or the way that we just take for given that men and women are automatically different and opposing demographics, is hurting us more than it is helping. Why do we continue to put so much importance and emphasis on gender? Why do we continue to make this one of the main axis’s on which we base our identities and those of others around us? These is a fairly large body of work in sociology that sees a fear of gender ambiguity as one of the main causes of homophobia, as well as many of the troubles and conflicts currently taking place between men and women i.e. domestic violence, hatred towards women,etc.

All this to say that as a woman myself, and as a feminist, I hate being pigeon holed into statistics with other women, solely because I am a woman. That’s just not good enough. I am more than my gender.

Girl power doesn’t empower me, it exasperates me.

This isn’t to say that certain statistics that find pronounced differences between genders are wrong. But I believe that the differences found have infinitely more to do with our socialization process of differentiation  then with anything remotely genetic. And if we were all raised in a society that promoted the same attitudes and values in both men and women, that the difference margins between genders would greatly disappear.

Everyone is born with certain genetic dispositions in their character. But it has yet to be proved that those dispositions actually correlate with gender. I think it is more accurate to say that those dispositions are particularly strong in certain individuals and will remain strong regardless of gender and upbringing, and that for the rest of us, they are either encouraged or discouraged to develop in us depending on our particular socialization.

Well, I have some marketing homework to do now,

So I bid you adieu!

Heeeeeelloooo out there!

I considered adding a written echo effect to that intro, but I’m feeling a little too lazy this morning.

It’s taking a lot out of me, just to write anything on my blog this week. In good part probably because I have a lot of other projects coming up right now, so I’m focusing more on that work, rather than on some of my New Media readings.

Well there is one interesting thing that I thought I could mention. The teacher keeps talking about our fair use rights when dealing with copyrighted materials, and how we have certain rights when it comes to using it to make parodies, etc. But with a quick internet search, it turns out that we have no such rights in canadian copyright laws. Instead, we have what are called fair dealing laws, which actually give us far less freedom when it comes to the use and manipulation of copyrighted materials.

Luckily though, it would appear that these laws have about as much bite as the laws that deal with music and video downloading and sharing, and therefore very rarely if never actually inconvenience the population at large.

Well I have other classes to attend,

till next time, Adieu.

Well, as the title mentions, it was so very nice out this weekend, especially on sunday. Which is basically why I got nothing done yesterday, opting instead for a walk around Lac Beauchamp in Gatineau and am writing my sunday post on monday. Oh well…

So I’ve been showing my research project off to a couple of friends after they bugged me for it for a couple of weeks. I now feel like I’ve seen my own face enough times to last a lifetime. Every single person I know who has seen the video has laughed at my impersonation of a 12 year old tweenie. Apparently I am a ham, and the pig tails were a good idea after all.

I don’t know if I mentioned this in my last post, cause I can’t remember when I finally sat down and did it, but I am now officially done reading whatching YouTube. So I am now only one chapter behind in this class. Woohoo! I think… I somehow can’t seem to decide whether celebrating being only slightly behind in a class is a good thing or not at this point.

On a completely unrelated note, the new Harry Potter movie is coming out in less than 2 weeks and I’m starting to get really excited. It will be a sad day when the last movie comes out next summer, like a piece of my child hood is finally coming to an end. If you are a Harry Potter fan, might I recommend looking up the Harry Potter Puppet Pals on YouTube if your not already familiar with them. They are some of my favorite videos online.

So I get the feeling I’m going to be seeing a lot of marx, or at least his academic followers for the second half of the semester… just a feeling…

Not that that is a bad thing. This is the part of media studies and communications that I really start to get into. Ideological conflict studies are my favorites, cause it is really never just black or white and I love complex thoughts and puzzles. And concidering this is going to be directly applied to mass behaviours and popular culture, that just makes it all the more fun, cause those sujects really fascinate me.

It is also going to be kind of weird for me this semester. I’m also taking a lot of business classes this semester: financing in the arts, Art org. administration. organizational behavior, and last but certainly not least marketing. I feel kinda like I’m permanently trapped between two ideologies or points of views this semester. Because on the one side I’m seeing how organizations approach and view marketing, the media, the population, and their relationship with these factors. And on the other side, I’ve got communications and media studies critiquing organizations and their roles and relationships to the media.

Needless to say, the points of views that I’m seeing this semester don’t match up the same when trying to explain the roles and wills or corporations. And to tell you the truth, I’m not sure which side of the story is actually closer to the truth.

We talk a lot about how corporations limit our choices and regulate consumers and our culture. And yet from  marketings point of view, companies are merely doing whatever they can to best satisfy the customer, and are only reflecting back in their efforts those values which are already very strong and pre-existent in the consumers. In other words, communications says companies dictate consumer thought, but marketers are taught to be dictated by consumer thought. It is really starting to sound like one of those chicken egg stories. Maybe the real problem isn’t corporations or really any one actor in the system, but that capitalism and  the mass media, as it stands today, has created a truly self perpetuating system of mass group think.  “I was only doing it cause you were doing it.” “you were following our values? but we were only following your values!”

It’s hard to think objectively about our own culture and to really take a step back to examine it with truly neutral eyes. And because we are all increasingly sharing the same culture with such mass distribution of cultural artifacts and meanings. I wonder if it might actually be becoming harder as our cultures slowly meld together in some incredible patchwork quilt.

Anyways, I’m rambling, there isn’t really a point at this point…

On another subject, I might start to get picky if he keeps bringing up the music industry. I feel like the situation is a lot more complex economically and structurally that he has let on so far. Having taken a music industry, music marketing, and introduction to entertainment law class, I’m a bit of a music nerd and not easily impressed by generalizations. Some people, especially at labels are truly hurting because of illegal down loading. Those people aren’t really the artists though for the most part. They just like to say that because it’s easier to feel bad for the artists then it is to feel bad for the labels after years of putting both us the consumers, and the artists through the ringer.

Not to say that artists can’t make a lot of any money from record sales, but the brunt of it does go back to the label, and a lot of CDs have to be sold before the artist sees a penny from it. Which is why more and more artists are heading back to the road more seriously, where they get a much bigger cut of the profits, both for performance and merch sales. And this side of the music industry is booming. The record industry, not so much.

Well, my fingers are cold. I think I’m going to go turn the heat up in the house now. Adieu!

So I went and saw Paranormal activity yesterday,

Didn’t sleep most of the night and had a near panic attack when my dad came back home at like 5 A.M. and wandered around the kitchen making oatmeal.

I really need to stop getting talked into seeing these stupid movies… My imagination is clearly not my friend here.

Still working on various projects for school and I got a bit more ahead in my readings for new media. I’m now somewhere in the first half of the 6th chapter of watching YouTube. I’d be farther along, but I got sucked into a live streaming of John Stewart’s Rally To Restore Sanity instead. Kind of ironic since the 6th chapter is about politics and conflict and such.

If you get the chance, look the rally up on google and read some of the articles about it, especially the ones that feature his closing speech. Or better yet, I’m sure it’s already made its way onto YouTube by now somewhere. For all the humor and the ridiculousness, he makes some really interesting  and valid points about our media system both in the USA and in North America as a whole. And although it seems silly and down right un-responsible to take a spoof and satire comedy show seriously, I can’t help but allocate credit where credit is due, for intelligent argument and reasoning. I think what’s really silly is that I live in a world where I feel I can put more trust it the truths and reasonings of a comedy show personality, then in my media and news system. Now that is really sad.

The pictures I posted are of some of the signs at the rally. There is a list going around of the 100 best posters and I thought these ones were great and had to share.

Till class resumes this week and I have something new to share,

I bid you, Adieu!