Category Archives: Entertainment

Harry Potter?

Reading through the different court cases that were listed.While many of the cases stood out to me, it was difficult to pick one that I could talk about and relate it to today.

I decided to go with a case that I could relate to me in someway. Counts v. Cedarville School District was a case that took place in 2003 that was controversial about allowing the “Harry Potter” books to be checked out of the school library due to the fact that they promoted disobedience and disrespect for authority and dealt with witchcraft and the occult. The only way there were allowed to is if they brought a signed permission slip from their parents. In the end the board of education voted against it because it violated the students First Amendment rights’.

I haven’t really noticed anything like this now because I don’t really pay attention to the news. But the reason I chose this case was because I can relate to it. Harry Potter was one of the only things I wasn’t allowed to watch or read as a child because of the very reason of it dealing with witchcraft and my parents felt it inappropriate. So every time it came on I tried to watch it but would change the channel if my father walked it so he wouldn’t notice it. One time I had brought a Harry Potter notebook home and my parents saw it and instantly took it from me until they realized it was only a notebook.

So I can relate to this court case quite a bit but it also didn’t affect me during this time since I could even read them anyways.

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Looking Beyond What We See

In today’s society we are constantly exposed to many forms of visualtv media. From television programming, to online videos, or online show streaming we are exposed to many different types of influence. What purpose does your favorite show serve? Why is it aired on the channel provider that it is on? Why does it come on later in the day rather than earlier? Why does it always feature the same types of commercials, night after night? As Americans we are targeted by big time cable companies and are influenced by the programming they present before us, whether we realize it or not.

For the last week, I have monitored my TV and visual media streaming and recorded what shows or streams that I have watched, for how long I watched them, and what I thought the overall purpose of these shows or streams was. While, I don’t consider myself an avid television viewer, I do watch a good amount of You Tube videos, and use streaming services (Netflix and Hulu).

MY TV VIEWING HABITS

  • WatchMojo / 15+ Videos / YouTube
  • Monday Night Football/ ESPN
  • Workaholics/ Hulu
  • Family Guy/ Netflix
  • Bad Lip Readings/ YouTube –

monday-night-football-live

It is rare that I sit down and actually turn on my cable to watch some “good ole fashioned” television, whether that be from lack of good TV programming or my hectic lifestyle is up for debate. But I believe that one of the most influential parts of TV is the target audience. Not only do they target specific audiences with the type of programming but also with the advertising displayed. While watching the MNF game this week , every single commercial I saw was geared towards a male audience. Why? Because that’s who ESPN knows will be watching. They show the big trucks, home improvement, and more masculine advertising because they want to appeal to their audience. It is no coincidence.

While that is about the extent of my cable viewing, I do watch a lot of streaming services and online videos. While these often don’t have the same influence of advertisement, they convey some pretty interesting messages if you watch them closely. For example while I was watching an edition of Bad Lip Readings, they targeted the current presidential debates which have been hot topics for all the wrong reasons.

While the famous Bad Lip Readings are famous for being more comical than influential I believe that with the current condition of our presidential election it sort of adds on to the mockery this debate has manifested itself as. Even before I watched the video, a Hilary campaign ad played prior to the video. So maybe the page, used the current election to push a video that is a hot topic that they knew would receive a large amount of views and would spread fairly rapidly. No matter how we look at the videos, ads, TV shows, or any other visual media one thing is for certain. Media is a powerful tool, there is always a hidden agenda  and based on what we see it could shape our thoughts and ideas to current events or political issues.

 

The Power of Popular Music

Music and music stars definitely have changed from where it first started. From Edison phonograph to the radio, and now to all the different outlets of media like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Spotify, Pandora, etc. The music industry has changed immensely. It used to be the Ed Sullivan Show which the Beatles got their huge break. Nowadays any social media outlet can give you a rise to fame if used correctly. Also, there has been many shows about finding the next star. Shows like The Voice, American Idol, and X Factor are all shows to get people famous which they have. With music icons like One Direction, Kelly Clarkson, Justin Bieber, and a lot more coming off of these platforms the music industry has grown and changed over the years. I think it has changed for the better because music, in general, is taken for granted nowadays, and we underappreciate how much we need it in today’s society.

Celebrities I would say that are music stars all have some kind of impact. The impact we see as readers or consumers is that of a more negative light from my personal experience. The tabloids and websites want the juicy filled gossip. Yellow journalism at its finest. Even though that is the case the music stars that stay away from that light tend to have less recognition, which is sad, but true in some cases. That goes with about any celebrity you either live a gossip filled life or you are boring, and nobody wants to hear about a boring music stars’ life. Celebrities do have an impact, but it has more of a negative connotation in today’s light because people would rather talk about Taylor Swift and Kayne’s feud over something else because of it interesting. In today’s society, you will hear about a celebrity donating or helping out over twitter or something, but it will not be on the news or anything because the gossip usually surrounding these people get a lot more viewer interaction.

I still believe even today that the quality of music is the reason people stay on the charts. Your public image as a celebrity definitely can influence that, but it does still come down to what song is ultimately better in popular standards than if you are more popular in real life. I say that because indie artists always find a way on the radio eventually it may take a while, but it happens. The power of trends changes music almost every day for our generation now, and it influences us as people, which is why I still think that the quality of the music is the reason a song gets popular. It can be influenced by image, but overall it is more about the music than your image as a music star.

One music star today that I have a true connection with his music is Childish Gambino. A songwriter and rapper that generally doesn’t fit the norm, because he is a jack of all trades. In his young 33-year-old life he has already been an actor, comedian, and musician succeeding at all of them. He in high school had been already a good writer because he was voted    ”Most likely to be a Simpsons writer” in his yearbook. Also, he graduated from a Performance Arts School in New York for dramatic writing. Getting his first break, he went on to write for “30 Rock” eventually getting to be in his own series “Community”. Having music as a hobby similar to other musicians Donald Glover focused on his acting career with some mixtapes coming out in the late 2000’s. These were just underground labels, so not much came out of it. Donald would then start to gain popularity over doing covers of indie songs, and then his mixtape Royalty really launched him into success in his music career. He then left his TV series, he was about to focus on this career, he had for himself because he wanted to focus on his career as a musician. He then went on to release an album under the name “Because the Internet” which blew up in 2013.

I enjoy his story because of Donald Glover or Childish Gambino whatever alias he goes under, really had a lot given to him. He already worked hard on TV, and then it was a comedian even for a while, and then finally he went on to a music career because according to a letter written by Donald was that the anxiety and distress were getting to him. He has used TV as a medium, and he before that he was on social media platforms to promote his hobby, not his job which then turned into a full-time job for him because he felt it was right. I think that most of his success came from social media and the fact that he is a soulful guy which makes a true connection with his audience. That is something that doesn’t happen as much anymore because sometimes it is about just writing the next big hit. To Donald Glover, it is more, and that is something I really enjoy about his story and music.

21 Not So Savage

I am completely convinced that you no longer need any musical talent, or training in the arts of music to be successful in today’s music industry. So many artists in our generation rely heavily upon their image that they create to market themselves rather than actual musical ability. They turn to brand representation and pay per visit events to generate revenue rather than the music that they produce and put into the market. Due to this, the quality of the music is being produced is suffering dramatically.

One artist I believe to embody this idea of lack of true musical or talent is the up and coming rapper and hip hop star 21 Savage. 21 burst onto the music scene during the heart of the summer of 2016 after being featured on the highly anticipated 2016 XXL Freshman class.

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His songs are centralized of a slow 808 style beat with a recurring baseline that essentially plays on repeat throughout the entirety of the song. 21 raps about his life before he found the fame in his music, and what he is willing to do to keep his “Savage” image alive. However, that is all that 21 writes his lyrics about. There is little to no content in his work that isn’t involved with murder, sex, drugs and money. Below are some lyrics from one of 21’s most popular songs in the industry today courtesy of Genius.com ;

“Cup, woah767i7i-20
 Muddy, yo
Hit the yolk
Got the stick, woah
Keep it on me, yah
 Knew you got it, yah
One in the head, yah
Bitch I fuckin’ dare
Nigga I double dare
Why the fuck you stare?
Pew-pew, bet you ass don’t stare”

21 Savage, “Savage Mode”

 As you can see, young Savage has quite a bit of deeper meaning behind his lyrics. The lack of lyrical effort would even be bearable if 21 would simply put some effort into vocalizing his vision. He literally sounds half asleep of extremely intoxicated in every single song he has produced. But I can’t blame him, I would need a few drinks to ake it through a 21 mixtape as well.Below is also a music video for 21’s hit “Red Opps” just one of many of its kind;

But this leads us to pose the question, if he is selling so well, and has so many fans of his music then how could he be an artist with no talent? 21 uses his music to propel his image of being a “savage”. His music exemplifies the modern idea of what used to be known as a “gangster”. Staying out late, picking up as many woman as possible and killing anybody who crosses his path. While music is free speech and you can talk about or say whatever you want, I also believe that many before Savage have done a much better job of portraying this message with much better musical content. But that’s the issue with the industry in our generation. Every artist puts out radio hits to get signed to a record label and live out their career in mediocrity, producing sub par music in exchange for selling their image. Artists are more concerned with making money, and putting in as little effort as possible to achieve it. The worst part of the whole situation is that as an audience, we are buying into it.

Music: A Way of Life

To start out music goes back centuries and over the years music and artists have evolved. Many people that become big in the music industry gets discovered. Whether they go on a show such as American Idol or the voice, such as Carrie Underwood who won the fourth season of American Idol and now she continues to make music and win Grammy’s and Academy of Country Music Awards. Others happened to get discovered on you tube and became famous and still make music and produce albums such as Justin Bieber.   Sometimes artists just go their own way, performing wherever they can and climbing the ladder in their own unique way, and sometimes that’s what works best.

Now as we see these artists evolving and making music for their audience and trying to stay high on the charts, the music has progressively strayed away from where it originated from. Music used to be a sign of life and a way to communicate how someone was feeling. But now music has transformed into something more and meaningless. While music is still used to communicate feeling, it’s also expressing negative reasoning, such as drugs,  sex, and, money. As if these things are the key to happiness. It then leads to others going out into the world and creating their own form of chaos by either doing drugs or trying to get away with other crimes (graffiti,  theft, etc…).

There’s many artists to choose from but there’s one that speaks to me. A rapper based out of Kansas City, his name is Steven Cooper, formerly known as Lyrycyst.  Coming from a broken home the thing he had was the lyrics that he wrote. Starting out doing talent shows and then he moved on booking any gigs that he could get and going on minimal tours. In his early years as an artist he began as a Christian rapper but then just recently he strayed away from that label but still delivers positive lyrics. The reason for moving on from the “Christian music” label is because he wanted to reach a bigger crowd through his music in a positive way.

While getting his music out there he has been featured with Tech N9ne and Akon and continues posting music on Spotify and YouTube and selling his music on ITunes and Amazon. He’s had songs featured on ESBN and MTV. As he keeps climbing the charts and releasing new music while running his own labeling company.  He continues rising to success.