We are all constantly exposed to various architectural styles and elements throughout our daily activities. There is simply no escaping the designed environments around us. Because their presence is so widespread, I feel that it is uncommon for people to actually stop and consider how they effect us physically and mentally. For example, the music video for the song Wannabe was filmed in the St. Pancras Renaissance London Hotel. The location is never reveled in the video, but the building is crucial in setting the mood and telling the video's story. From the very first shot of the building, we see several Greek columns forming a symmetrical entrance. This classical formality is crucial in communicating the feeling that the Spice Girls are storming into a stuffy high-class venue to shake things up.
The nice thing about architecture is that we all understand it more than we give ourselves credit for. It's what causes us to describe environments as cozy, jarring, clean, unsettling, or any number of other things. It's the reason why a log cabin on a lake can make you feel relaxed while a cathedral with soaring vaulted ceilings can make you feel insignificant. Learning about architecture is, on some level, essentially giving names to things that we constantly experience but are too busy to notice. For example, there are two primary styles of organizing a building: divisive and additive. Divisive design takes a building footprint and divides the internal space into the rooms needed, while additive design takes each individual room and builds it onto the whole like an over-sized lego set. By having knowledge of just basic architectural elements, it is possible to gain much greater appreciation for the designed environments that we inhabit.
November 2012 Archives
We are all constantly exposed to various architectural styles and elements throughout our daily activities. There is simply no escaping the designed environments around us. Because their presence is so widespread, I feel that it is uncommon for people to actually stop and consider how they effect us physically and mentally. For example, the music video for the song Wannabe was filmed in the St. Pancras Renaissance London Hotel. The location is never reveled in the video, but the building is crucial in setting the mood and telling the video's story. From the very first shot of the building, we see several Greek columns forming a symmetrical entrance. This classical formality is crucial in communicating the feeling that the Spice Girls are storming into a stuffy high-class venue to shake things up.
It seems like there are a lot of rap songs that deal with racial profiling and unjust treatment by figures of authority. Some of them go into further detail about how the primary mission of the local law enforcement is to wrongfully persecute as many people as possible. These are serious social issues in our society that need to be dealt with. Rap is not helping this. People who complain about getting speeding tickets tend to piss me off. There are signs along the road that say what the maximum speed is, and if you exceed that it's your own fault, not the fault of the cop that busted you. Complaining that the police are unfairly targeting your drug and weapon business strikes me as somewhat similar. The law is quite unambiguous about the legality of all varieties of drugs and weapons, so there is no reason to be surprised that figures of authority are out to enforce these laws. Unless I missed something and all these songs are actually about kilos of antacid and vitamins, reinforcing this stereotype is doing more to harm efforts against racial profiling and police brutality than good. As a white male, I cannot even pretend to understand the effects of racial profiling, but I know that reinforcing a negative stereotype is not a way to make things better. I am sure that some of those who are involved in illicit business are victims of circumstance and lack better options, so perhaps a veritable arms race between law enforcement and the aforementioned is not the best solution. Granted, in order to truly eliminate this, one would need to essentially get rid of most forms of illegal activity, which is an unrealistically lofty goal. In the meantime, we can at least avoid perpetuating the problem.
Looking at the lyrics and video that accompany this song, it's fairly easy to pick up on the oversexualized nature of teenagers. What I didn't realize until recently is that this song is also about a cripplingly codependent relationship. Depending on how much you want to read into the lyrics, it could even be construed that there is an abusive nature to the aforementioned relationship. A codependent relationship is generally defined as two individuals, one of which has a psychological condition or disease (classically an addiction) that generates needs for the other party to meet. This second party will then focus primarily on meeting this person's needs, sometimes to the exclusion of their own, and develop a strong attachment to this role. Looking at the list of patterns and characteristics of codependence provided on the Codependents Anonymous and the song lyrics side by side yields a shocking number of connections. Of the five groupings of patterns listed, denial, low self esteem, compliance, control, and avoidance, the song most tends toward that patterns categorized under compliance.
Before the music even begins, the sexual nature of her attire is readily apparent, fitting the pattern of accepting sexual attention in lieu of love as a compliant individual. The opening lines of the song launch us into the realm of codependence as she regrets not compromising her interests so as to avoid the rejection that forms the basis of the song. She goes on to say that she still believes in the relationship despite the supposed loss of the other party, demonstrating an overabundance of loyalty. If one were to interpret the line "hit me baby one more time" as a reference to the abusive nature of the relationship, this overdeveloped sense of loyalty runs the risk of putting her in harm's way. Finally, she indicates that she is willing to give up anything to avoid change in the relationship, firmly supporting her general pattern of compliance toward the subject of the song.
In my perspective, Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit tells us a story about a helpless boy screaming and complaining about his life. He is so unsatisfied and loses the direction. He keeps yelling "here we are now, entertain us"; he could not find the way to make himself happy. At first he tries to find a way to decrease the pains. But after spending a lot of energy and time, he decides to give up and run away.
This song exactly describes Kurt Cobain's life and I believe that the boy I see in his music is him. Just look at what Kurt had done in his life: using drugs and anodyne to relieve his agony. He used his soul to write his own story and sang with his hoarse voice, trying to use music to unbosom himself; he expresses his anger in the song and whips it out.
I kind of understand why people love Kurt. He experienced more pains psychologically than his peers do; life made him degenerate; he had very serious mental problems; he used his heart and soul to express his rage, which almost no one can do in the world. When people hear this song, following the rhythm and lyrics, they will unconsciously gave a wiggle, shake their heads and soak themselves into the atmosphere of rage. Some of them may shout the song out. Most listeners, I believe, usually use this song to relax themselves. Like I was emphasizing, the success of this song is not only the dark lyrics but also the way Kurt yell and his previous experience and pessimism made himself success.
I don't like the way videos like "Hit Me Baby One More Time" and generally most music videos sexualize women. Britney Spears dances around in as little clothing as possible in this music video. What is that telling the tween girls that are her main audience? It's showing them that society accepts this kind of behavior and image from women. This image of women is so prevalent in society, that no one person can be blamed though. If you look at movies and TV shows, the "hot" girls are always a size 2 and dressed in as little clothes as possible. This is a terrible message to send to people. It coerces girls to think that this is the only was they will be considered "hot" and "desirable." These images are on TV, on billboards, in movies, and in every piece of media. You rarely see any girl over a size 4 in commercials and in ads. This is just wrong. With so much pressure on girls to look this certain way some girls resort to potentially harmful methods to get the results. Then people look down on them. Society needs to change this image of the perfect woman. The truth is that not everyone is going to look like this, and it's not fair to say that these girls aren't perfect. Every girl is perfect in her own way, but society sees one view of perfection. I would love to see a shift in this perception of women, but it has to start with the celebrities that everyone looks up to. While Hollywood still promotes this image of women, nothing is going to change. It would be beneficial to society, in my point of view, for this image to change. It would take a lot of pressure off of women from having to live up to unrealistic standards.
I really like the music video for Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit. In my opinion it really captures the essence of what the band represented, and proves that they are the quintessential grunge band. To me the whole video gives off a vibe of apathy. It's set in a dark dirty high school gym that nobody has bothered to clean. The janitor is just standing around, not actually cleaning anything, and eventually starts dancing. When the pep rally in the video starts, all of the students look incredibly bored and couldn't care less about what was going on. The cheerleaders are wearing uniforms with anarchy symbols on them representing the youth of the time's general distrust of the government. The band is dressed in very casual clothes and their hair is unkempt, showing the grunge style of not caring about your appearance. The room dimly lit and full of dust and yellow smoke which also gives the dirty feeling given by the bands appearance. The part of the video that is the greatest example of apathy is when the students start rioting. Mass chaos breaks out and the band still plays on. A fire breaks out, but nobody cares. The band plays on. The rioting students start breaking the bands equipment and carrying off pieces of the drum set, but they still play on. As the song is ending Kurt Cobain smashes his guitar as "a denial" is repeated over and over. The video ends with the janitor ignoring a student who has been tied up with a dunce cap on his head, because he just doesn't care. This is one of the greatest rock songs ever made, and the video is a great representation of what the band, and the rest of Generation X stood for.
I am a huge fan of horror movies, there is just something about being scared to the point where you are afraid to be in a room alone that is exciting. One thing that I ave noticed much like music has become horror movies have grown to be less and less scary due to the time spent on the special effects instead of the story-telling and suspense build up. If only producers and directors could look at videos like Micheal Jackson's Thriller and horror movies from the 1990's again to bring back what was once focused on in a horror movie.
One look at the music video of Thriller it was obvious that Micheal Jackson new what it took to portray horror in a song. For starters the music video is ten minutes long! Obviously he spent a lot of time making sure that his point would get across in the correct way. Micheal Jackson in his music video really focuses on his dancing and singing to portray feelings. He uses these talents that require very little special effects to tell a story about monsters. And I know there are special effects in his video but the special effects are not the only thing being focused on, they are just there to tell the story instead of the story being those special effects which is what is seen in today's horror movies. Micheal Jackson and 1970-1990 horror films portray exactly what horror films today are missing--a story being told to an audience--and it would be great if horror movies could get back to that, as is shown in the picture something as simple as a shadow can scare someone awake all night!
From a member of the Jackson 5, to the artist behind the number one sold album in the world, Michael Jackson will always continue to amaze me as a person. I have a certain philosophy that I thought of when I was younger, when somebody is super talented, beyond comparison, they will also turn out to be weird as F***; and I'm not just commenting on his recent moonlighting as a pedophile, along with training to become a catholic priest. Although they both seem to be related I am talking about his fantastic weirdness long before his surgeries and late night alleged activates at never land. Who would have thought to create such an elaborate music video such as thriller, the way the relatively short eleven music video has so much content, from the beginning plot of the movie, to the dance, to the dream, then to the plot twist, I think Chris Nolan may owe Mr. Jackson quite the amount of money for taking his idea and using it for his own gain in the new movie "Inception". The focus for the music video highlights the simplistic points in the song, even though it has simple and catchy lyrics, it incorporates such a broad audience who can sit down and enjoy Mr. Jackson's music. I think the only person I have ever heard say they hated Michael Jackson's music were the catholic priests who were not invited to never land to play. However, all joking aside, whatever alleged things he does in his free time should never change the power and the message in the music. There is no denying the amazement in the music video that people still experience even though it has been over 20 years, the artist has changed from black to white, and has even passed away, rest in peace the creator of a new age.
Out of all the things for the NWA to write and make a song about, why on earth would they make a song called "Fuck the police". I understand how they could think that they could be oppressed by the "white man", or even be angry how the police were treating them on the streets, however how can any person take a song seriously about blaming the police when in other songs the same people are talking about slinging kilo's and packing heat on the blocks of Brooklyn. Furthermore I doubt any one of those artists were slinging heat or were even considered real OG's at the time of their album release. The song tries to highlight the differences between the black and whites in the rough parts of Harlem and Brooklyn, however, the song only furthers the difference because African Americans seemed to gain a sense of false imprisonment even if they had never had a run in with the police, and the Caucasian people seemed to look downwards on a music video that bluntly commented on the police with a blunt phrase such as "Fuck the police". The social gap between African Americans and Caucasians seemed to grow with the introduction of hard-core rap music, even though the music gave African Americans an outlet to complain and bond over the injustices in the world. In order to solve these injustices the solution should have been to focus on how to solve them instead of just complaining the widening the social gap. Even if a white person during this time period were to listen to a hard-core rap song, they would get made fun of for trying to be one of them by both sides of the social gap. Course I guess everybody could bond if they made a song such as fuck the taxes.
I am not a big fan of rap and hip hop in the first place and these types of songs are a big reason for it! I get the whole rap is another way of expressing ones self and that everyone has their own preferences but honestly who wants to listen to a song that is all about cussing, their is no need for FUCK or ASS or SHIT or NIGGA to be dropped every other word in a song. I realize they have a point that they want to get across about how they are being treated, but, who could possibly think that saying it in this manner is helpful in getting that point across? Think about it when you are being yelled at or when someone drops an F-Bomb just for the sake of dropping it do you listen to them and really understand their message or do you get angry or annoyed or upset? I dont know many people that when in these states can effectively listen to someone and pick up what they are trying to argue, instead they get defensive and fight back...
Granted this is an extreme and was put out to cause people to get upset and want to fight on one side to defend their rights, but do they not realize that the other side (those police they are wanting to fuck) do not see this as well? Maybe their is a reason their were so many riots during that time and so many people getting injured or unjustly arrested by the police...if I was an officer I would arrest someone acting like this towards me as well. Perhaps a lot of this would not have happened if they had been more respectful in saying what they felt/wanted to say.
Watching Video Killed the Radio Star and learning about the origins of the music videos that are everywhere today got me thinking about the music I like and what music videos have done to the industry as a whole. I love listening to music: being able to feel the different emotions associated with different songs, being in awe of the amazing lyrics that artists can produce, and enjoying the instrumental portion just as much as the rest of the song, is what makes music so great in my opinion. I love the classic rock songs and a lot of indie/alternative rock that is produced today (the music that often stays off of the music video path) because it still stays true to the integrity of what makes music great.
As much as I love music I cant stand the current music video craze, if I wanted to watch a movie I would get a movie, and more often then not the songs fall short of their potential because instead of focusing on the song and what goes into making a song great they focus on whats going to make an okay song that will have an even cooler music video--one that can be played on everyone's TV set when that top 20 countdown comes on. Artists should go back to focusing on their lyrics and instrumental work that creates an amazing song instead of trying to become movie producers!!!
While we were watching Britney Spears' music video "hit me baby one more time" in class all I could think about was how young she was. Now it is true that she deliberately dresses like a young school girl, but either way she was only about 16 years old when she made the video. There's nothing inherently wrong with her wanting to emulate the idea of a young girl, but given the content of the song and video, I think her choice was made in poor taste and only contributes to the serialization of girls. Of course if Britney's (mostly young female) fans see her dancing sexually and singing about relationship abuse they will want to follow her lead. She was a role model, and as such she should have considered the consequences that her actions might have on her fan base. I feel like the attitudes of female musical artists in the 80s and 90s, like Britney Spears and Madonna, were large contributors to the trend of sexualizing girls at a younger and younger age. If they had only stopped and considered the effects that their role modeling might have on the next generation of young women, we might not be seeing today's influx of middle and elementary aged girls wearing sexually suggestive clothing and starting to be exploited by men at an earlier age. It's obviously too late to go back and change the female celebrity role models of the past few decades, but it can be interesting to look back and see how their actions have left ripples that are still playing out in today's youth culture.
In Michael Jackson's music video and song "Black or White," the main theme is clearly that of racial difference and its importance in society. Michael Jackson, being an African American boy growing up in a white-supremacist America, wished to be seen as equal to his peers in this sense. He always had an underlying desire to appear to be Caucasian, and places a very large personal value on physical appearance. The primary message that Jackson is trying to communicate throughout this song is that race is not an important factor in determining who a person is. This idea was a very progressive one at the time, and such themes have arguably been more easily assimilated into modern culture with the help of other media. Outside of this particular video, Michael Jackson's insecurities are easily visible in his series of plastic surgeries, none of which have actual medical reasoning or justification to support the decision. Theories behind this are that in a family setting as a child, much emphasis was placed upon the appearance of Michael Jackson and his siblings in their musical group. It has been speculated that Michael Jackson's change in physical appearance/ skin tone has been in some ways "backed up" by his song "Black or White," And reminds his listeners that one of the key traits that they so admire about him and his music is that when listening to his music, it doesn't matter if it was a black man or a white man that produced it; the most important factor is the quality of the music itself. In this way, Michael Jackson never failed to deliver, always giving 110% to ensure that his next album release would be everything that his fans hoped for it to be. As a character, Michael Jackson attempted to draw attention away from the less important traits of physical appearance, and equal treatment of persons regardless of race in the same manner that many promote the equal treatment of persons regardless of sexual orientation or gender.
When interpreted and accepted at face value, R Kelly's "Trapped in the Closet" is a portrayal of a woman that is having extramarital affairs with a man, who hides from the woman's husband. This chain of events can be broken down symbolically to obtain a more complete and a more meaningful theme. R Kelly is emphasizing the stress that modern society places on individuals to fit a set of given standards as well as depict the struggles, both internal and external, that these same individuals have making their decisions and overcoming the adversities they encounter. Additionally, R Kelly is a sort of breakaway performer in that he does not adhere to the traditional "values" of rap music. He does not emphasize violence or inner city life, but, rather, tells the struggle of an African American man that encounters the very same issues that many people of any race do. In this way, R Kelly is able to shrink the racial gap that exists among people of different races, and he seeks to remove this emphasis. Additionally, R Kelly does not use the same amount of slang and abbreviation that is used in traditional gangster rap. This suggests that he is trying to appeal to an audience of more than just inner city black men and teens. R Kelly is one of several rap/hip hop artists that are able to successfully break the racial barrier that has existed within their music. R Kelly also made his series of "trapped in the closet" videos follow a predetermined storyline, which is unlike almost any other music video in existence. Rather, "Trapped in the closet" could more accurately be described as a musical in series format than a series of music videos. R Kelly actually included chapters of this musical on his release albums, which is a first step in including a more racially varied audience in his crosshairs.
The American band Nirvana is an excellent example of the class's themes of individualism as well as self-branding, and nonconformity. Even from the beginning of their most popular song, Smells Like Teen Spirit, the lyrics are: "Load up on guns, bring your friends, it's fun to lose, and to pretend". These lyrics unarguably demonstrate the sort of attitude that Nirvana as a whole meant to emanate. They encourage carelessness, as well as rebellion against their parental generation as well as against societal values as a whole. Additionally, the "rock star" lives led by Nirvana band members were often viewed as the roles that developing children believed that they were expected to engage themselves in in order to be cool and popular. In this way, Nirvana encourages the consumption of alcohol, as well as the use of illegal drugs. When these themes are incorporated into the lives of Nirvana's younger listeners, they can be devastating in the development and well-being of these individuals. The physical appearance of Nirvana in this particular music video encourages a sort of stylized sloppiness, and implies that it is not important to fulfill the expectations of society. (In some cases it is not, although the spread of the beliefs is not necessarily good for society either.) As a whole, Nirvana uses mostly dark lyrics in their songs, with themes of drug use and sexual violence. The inclusion of these themes enables Nirvana to appeal to a larger crowd, surprisingly, because there are many individuals that are consumed by the inclusion of these themes in music alone. A parody of Nirvana's music, "Smells like Nirvana", makes a point to say that the lyrics of the original song are barely coherent, and that the main objective of the music was indeed to bother the parents of the listeners and to rebel.
In a generalization of the song "one more time" by Brittany Spears, recorded in the early 1990's capitalizes on the long controversial issue about sexism and the role of females in the ever-changing world of male capitalism. This song uses provocative language and dress codes within it to provoke a certain image of Brittany. From the way she moves her hips to the way she wears her short plaid mini-skirt, she is portraying herself as a sex symbol for not only men to stare at, but for young women to strive and become. The sexualization of women in the early nineteen nighties had a reverse effect from what women activist have been trying to accomplish for several decades. Even though Brittany was trying to use her provocative language to try and sell records and make a name for her in the music label world, she also set herself to be a Pseudo role model for many young teenage girls.
However, being a teenage guy watching the video, I can completely understand why when I was younger my brother and his friends called Brittany "Jail Bait" even though music videos have become more sexual in the past decade for a 1990 video,
Brittany spears really does appeal to a guys sexual appeal, and if a girl were to dress in the same way and move the same way at a party, there is no doubt that she would find several interested guys, its rather a question of how many. I'm not saying that any girl who wears clothes like Brittany is a slut, but it does get a guys attention; however its what she does with that attention that decides if she is slut or not. The women activist has disagreed with Brittany's approach for fame since the start, saying that her music have turned good girls into bad ones, however it cannot be blamed on the music, it is rather blamed on the person itself and what they do after hearing the music and dressing the part.
I think it's interesting that, although there is no music video for the song "Fuck the Police" we watched a fan-made one anyway. Personally, I have never been a fan of the music video as a genre, so I find it interesting first that somebody would go out of their way to make a music video for a song that doesn't have one. So, you're probably wondering why I don't like music videos. That's a perfectly reasonable thing to wonder, and I'll tell you why. I have synesthesia, a brain condition in whic various senses are connected. So for me, letters, numbers, and sounds have inherent colors and emotions. If that doesn't make sense to you right away I suggest you look it up or ask me, because I don't really have the space to get into the nitty-gritty of it here. But the relevant point is that when I hear music I see shapes and colors along with it. In my experience, these are ALWAYS more interesting than any stupid video that somebody came up with to accompany music. When the music isn't especially good to begin with, it bothers me but I can deal with it. But when the music is transcendent it is, in my mind, a travesty to violate it by adding some arbitrary video. I understand intellectually, of course, that most people do not experience music the way I do. But even so, I don't think that I will truly understand the compulsion to put irrelevant pictures to music.
Watching Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video, I'm always amazed by his penchant for silent storytelling. So much of the video's story is told non-verbally through his dance and body language. I feel as though most of us go through our lives without really paying attention to how we hold our bodies, and it makes a big difference! People's body language and posture determine so much of how we are perceived and received by others. Somebody who holds themselves with strong and proper posture is far more likely to be respected and taken seriously than someone who slouches constantly. We can take advantage of these perceptions in everyday life by ensuring that we always use the right posture for the moment. What to be taken seriously? Stand up straighter. Want to blend in a little? Slouch and keep your head down.
So much of Michael's appeal came from the way in which he was able to manipulate his audience's emotions and perceptions through his carefully constructed, but seemingly effortless, body movements. I think that we could all learn some valuable lessons from his bodily control. If we could all hold our bodies with such grace and poise the world would be a very different place.
R. Kelly's Trapped in the Closet does a good job of showing just how present unfaithfulness is in today's culture. In today's culture, including youth culture, more people cheat than ever before and for any number of reasons seem to think they are justified: their partner cheated, they lost interest in their relationship, or any number of other reasons. In many cases it seems to be the thrill of sneaking around, and the only time remorse comes in is realizing you got caught. This is a drastic change from past generations where you were married off at a young age and it was unthinkable to cheat of your spouse. Instead we have gradually become a culture where cheating is barely taboo, as all sorts of justifications are accepted by society when really none of them should. Many of this can be blamed on the media, where the themes of sex, and recklessness, and often times cheating are shown to youth over and over again. After a while of seeing this it almost seems to become okay as the "everyone must be doing it" mentality comes out simply because that is what is shown in the media, the bad side. Youth culture has seen a shift from stressing the importance of loyalty to physical enjoyment and the want for instant gratification. This translates to more and more youth cheating simply because they want to and can, the opportunity is there because the youth culture accepts it as something that just happens and is uncontrollable. Whether or not people cheat, it is still hard to understand how it can seem okay, regardless of any possible "justification" in a relationship. Unfortunately, the media does a poor job of showing that there is no justification and has made the unfortunate impression in today's society that it is an acceptable choice.
This entry is a good example of how hollowed out the music industry is today. In the era of NWA, songs were written for their political message based on how the artist felt based on issues in the culture at the time, such as police brutality in L.A. Now, musical "politics" are determined by how much money they can make in a failing music industry. The mainstream rap industry has shifted from artists who were passionate about what they did and turned it into a job into many "artists" who are solely in the business for how much money and fame they can have, regardless the of the lyrics and message they are passing on to a new generation of youth. Many blame the Internet for the fall of the rap industry and while this is a large contributor, the biggest reason for the fall of the music industry was the shift from job of music to love of money. Hip-hop and rap simply became a tool to be used to try to make a few bucks and five minutes of fame. Albums became a thing of the past and CD's? Those things I had when I was 10? It all came crumbling down and rappers created single after single to satisfy the failing record companies, many times jumbling them on a mixtape and calling it an album. The Hip-hop culture that walked hand in hand with youth culture is no more, to be replaced with a youth pop culture in which the beats suck, and the lyrics are lacking. And once again, it all revolves around money. If the youth won't pay for it, the artists won't make it for it has become all about how to play the game and less about the love of rap.
As a teenage girl, I understand the pressure to dress sexually in order to appeal to guys. However, does dressing sexually necessarily mean that a girl is a slut? Not at all. In fact, I know many girls who wear low cut shirts and miniskirts that have not even had sex yet, and instead, are waiting for love or marriage to lose their virginities. Certainly girls dress in this way to attract guys, but this doesn't necessarily mean that they are trying to get laid. Dressing or acting raunchy is not the result of being sexually active. Rather, it is the result of trying to fit in. Current media culture depicts the women who are deemed "attractive" as sexual beings who show as much skin as possible. And, of course, once teenage girls pick up on this, they start to show as much skin as possible in mimicry of these attractive and well-liked women. As a result of this, it is now in style to wear clothes such as low cut shirts, short skirts and shorts, tight pants, and push up bras. In addition, it has now become cool to be having sex at an early age, or, at least to appear as though you are having sex. Young girls who haven't necessarily had sex try to act as though they have, and they sometimes even tell people they aren't virgins in order to gain popularity. The thing that many people, particularly adults, don't understand is that even though young girls act seductively or dress raunchily, it does not mean that most of them are necessarily sexually active. Instead, they are just trying to fit in with what is deemed as "cool" by today's popular culture depicted in the media. So, next time you see a girl wearing a tight shirt and a short skirt, reconsider before calling her a slut.
This song seems to express the feelings of the artists. In todays music it seems as if it's more commercial than what the artist is actually feeling or wanting to say. It is a way of trying to get a larger crowd to purchase their music and associated products.
Looking at some of the bands I listen to when they started out before they were signed many of their songs were more personal, and also more lyrical. As you listen to their more recent music usually after they are signed many times the messages their music sends changes and even the style. Some of the bands seem to change their style so it is more acceptable to be played on the radio, and can get into the mix of mainstream music. For example Breathe Carolina started out with harsher sounding vocals and strange lyrics in their first albums, and then their was a sudden shift to a more pop style and cleaner vocals and then some of their new music was played on the radio.
I think it is caused by bands being strongly influenced by media. The bands feel the need to change their music so that they can get signed and make more money. It is also a way to get more people to listen to their music, so that it is no longer underground. But when they do this they all tend to head towards the same direction and it ruins some of their individuality. This also makes their music a lot less personal and it runs closer to being solely commercial. So they must be aware of this so that they can keep their originality, messages, and style. This way they will be able to make new fans without losing the ones that they already had.
Agreeing with the reading material, monsters and all things scary are deeply rooted in youth culture, and specifically that of teens. The question is there as to why youth have such a fascination with scaring themselves. Maybe it's just a way of acknowledging fears that are there in a way that can be controlled and manipulated; you simply watch a movie and at the end of the night it's over, and life returns to normal. I think that Thriller is a good example of this phenomenon and showing the diverse reactions such as Michael's laughing while the audience screams. The point is that the audience is still there, whether they like the movie or not, to satisfy a curiosity towards fear. There seems to be an innate need to be scared and experience fear, especially for youth, as most of us haven't and won't experience the kind of fear we are using to scare ourselves with. The second draw towards scary movies is that most situations depicted in them simply don't exist and so they are fun to theorize about, as zombies don't seem to actually wander down the street. The reading argues that watching these movies is the subconscious preparing for how to deal with these situations, which explains horror films with the human element, the horror that is actually possible in everyday life. It is a natural tendency to theorize a horrible situation happening and how to deal with it, and movies seem to satisfy this tendency as they make a good outlet for the need to visualize and they can get the adrenaline pumping or be the scariest thing in the world but the important thing is they END and life returns to normal. Thriller shows the perfect example of this, as his girlfriend is scared and seems to have this never-ending nightmare but at the end the "conflict" is resolved and she wakes up.
Many teenage girls in this generation believe that there is the "perfect guy" waiting for her somewhere out there. They fantasize about every little detail that they want in a partner, and are not open-minded about any flaws that men may have. This sort of mindset may be due to the made-up love stories in media, particularly the lyrics of songs such as "Wannabe" by the Spice Girls, which portray the idea that a woman can have whatever kind of man that they desire. Girls get this idea in their head that men should behave exactly how they expect them to be, and they sometimes even believe that men are not worth the trouble of dating if they do not possess the specific qualities of the man in their dreams. In my experience, the girls with this mindset behave in one of two ways: either these girls do not generally date and experiment much with different guys since they think that they have not yet met the "perfect guy", or they date but just can't hold a solid relationship since that they cannot accept the fact that guys have flaws. This can either cause many close-minded teenage girls to miss out on experiencing the not-so-perfect qualities in boys that they may end up liking, or it could cause these girls to not be able to hold a long term relationship in the future. These ideas, in which men are not worth your time if they are not exactly what you want, may also contribute as to why there has been such a high divorce rate lately. It has been more socially accepted to divorce your partner if things aren't perfect rather than trying to repair your marriage and dealing with the flaws of your partner. People should realize that you need to work with what you have instead of assuming you will get exactly what you want.
If any hip-hop or rap fan who was a teenager in the 80's or 90's turned on the radio today, he or she would certainly be frustrated with the music that was coming out of the speakers. Mainstream rap music no longer has content. The sole purpose of today's popular hip-hop music is to have a good beat and catchy lyrics, and the least of most hip-hop artists' concern is to develop meaningful messages. Even when you think mainstream rap music has completely lost it, they come up with something even more stupid, such as the song "Teach Me How to Dougie", which has the sole purpose of providing a catchy beat with a lame dance to go along with it. On the other hand, rappers who don't rely on having a dance to build popularity use something else to sell their music: sex. For example, the song "Candy Shop" by 50 cent is filled with lyrical metaphors of oral sex, various sexual positions, and sex in general. The sad thing about that particular song is that I remember listening to it and singing along in the 5th grade. While I understand why these songs may be appealing to some people, it definitely does not deserve the credit and fame that it receives. The message that these types of songs are sending out is "It is cool to have meaningless sex, especially one night stands with many different women". This message greatly differs from the messages in older rap, in which many of the songs dealt with political issues, hardships, and racism. This leads me to highly doubt that rappers/groups such as Tupac, Public enemy, Beastie Boys, and NWA would be happy with today's mainstream rap music. These old-school rappers, who actually incorporated a meaningful message and purpose in rap, are the ones who deserve the fame and credit.
Does the man deemed the "king of pop" across the world really need a confidence booster to add on to his plethora of number one singles and net worth of hundreds of millions of dollars? With his diamond gloves, chimpanzees, Bentleys, plastic surgeries, and all other material items that connote wealth and success, one would think he has enough self assurance to share between himself and every teenager going through puberty, yet he still wrote the song "Black or White" after the beginning of his very noticeable change of skin color from black to white and masculine qualities turning feminine. Of course this song speaks to a push for unity among a world filled with people of all different cultural backgrounds, but it is almost too much of a coincidence to begin to consider that this song has no relation to Michael's personal combination of black and white, and maybe even his very personal struggle with accepting what he was born and blessed with. Was it Michael's consistent role of being in the spotlight that caused him to doubt his self-acceptance? From the Jackson 5's beginnings in 1964, to his preparation for the This Is It concert tour shortly before his death in 2009, Michael was always being scrutinized under the public's eye. "Black or White" was released in 1991. This date was about five years after the changing of his skin color became a public controversy. During those five years, Michael announced he suffered from a skin condition called vitiligo and was simultaneously suffering from lupus. According to Michael, due to these conditions, his skin color was changing, and regardless of the truth, Michael still released "Black or White." Was this song the confidence he needed to accept his conditions? Or maybe this song was his way of distracting the public from criticizing his medical conditions, and his attempt to convince the public to focus on his music career and character. The public may never know the entire truth, but considering that a man with his level of fame and success could have doubts about himself like most humans, almost makes the king of pop much more relatable than most men who own chimpanzees.
The success of Michael Jackson, Barack Obama does justify that the gap between Afraid Americans and the white people has been narrowed considerably.
Look back to the 1940s. About 86 percent black people were born as slaves. They have no rights to choose their mates; they have no rights to get education; they have no rights to do anything except being a tool of the white people. They had the lowest status.
They are not allowed to enroll in the same school where white students are studying, until in 1957. In September 4th, 1957, nine African-American were chosen to attend in Little Rock Central High School, the first integrated school in United States, because of their excellent grades in elementary school. In December 1957, one of the Little Rock Nine, Minnijean Brown was suspended for dropping a bowl of chili on the head of a white student who blocked her way in the cafeteria. In February 1958, she was expelled for calling a white female student "white trash" after the girl taunted her and hit her with a purse. Although few African American students were allowed to go to college, they were still in the
Then look at recent 20 years, everything was changing in the good way--Michael Jackson became the most popular singer and was admired by hundreds of thousands of white people; Barack Obama became the first black president of the United States in 2008; Michelle Obama became the first African-American First Lady of the United States; more and more African- American students get into top-100 American colleges; more white girls start seeking black men as their Mr. Right; the black have rights to vote.
However, the celling still exists--the black always get lower salaries than the white do. But both the black and the white are trying their best the break this celling and I am sure that tomorrow the world will be better off.
The hit song "Baby One More Time" by Britney Spears has played a very important role in the development of our generation, and our society as a whole. Britney showed little girls in the late 90's that it is okay to wear less, and they definitely carried that idea with them once they reached puberty. Nowadays, girls are wearing tighter clothes and less of it. I am certain that there are plenty of older adults opposed to this idea who want to stick to the conservative social values that they grew up with. The older generations are probably just threatened by change. I, along with all of my friends, do not have an issue with this cultural phenomenon. As a matter of fact, we probably have the opposite of an issue with women wearing less clothing. What can I say? Guys love short shorts and yoga pants.
Another influence that Britney Spears' song has had on society is females' increased sexuality. In the music video, she was dancing very provocatively while having a lot of her skin exposed. Once again, I personally feel that this has taken a positive impact on my life to a certain extent as well. I have never complained when a girl wanted to show me how sexual she can be, if you know what I'm saying. There is a certain point where the line on sexuality has to be drawn though. It is socially acceptable for a girl to be sexually active before marriage in the United States, but it is not okay for a girl to get carnal with every guy she meets... especially if it is several in the same night. In conclusion, I will leave y'all with a little food for thought. It's okay for girls to have fun, but don't be "That Girl" because the plain and simple truth is that nobody respects a slut.
Like what the reading materials has said, monsters in movies, books and media videos do provide teenagers opportunities to experience the dangerous issues before they meet them in their adults--when watching the move or reading the book, most teens integrate themselves into a major character; they conjecture the protagonist's behavior; they experience the same stores the protagonist is experiencing. Those scary stories teaches the youth the way to survive and the right decision they should make.
However, I believe these threatening words and images bring not only some advantages but also a great bunch of harmfulness. First look at this way: before vampire stories, wolf man stories, zombie stories and ghost stories are told, the youth do not even know what is bloody and they are not scared being alone. The threatening images and movies make them believe that in the dark these horrible fictional organisms will come out and kill them. When helping the youth overcome the fear, these scary movies and books is causing unnecessary fears at the same time. These non-existent organisms coming from human imaginations are building a more and more dread world for the new generation.
What's more, plots limit the way teens think. When they are watching a horror movie, they are accepting every actions. Take Thriller as a example, the girl in the MV learns that when facing a danger, people will scream and run from a movie she watches in the theater. Then, when the danger truly happens, she starts to scream and run instead of fighting with zombies or calling a phone call. In her mind, the previous movie she has seen tells her what to do and dominate her behaviors. The human-made movie plots kill people's thoughts and limit the way people think.
After watching Thriller by Michael Jackson it made me think about how I react to scary movies. In the music video there is a scene where Michael Jackson is in a movie theater watching a scary movie. Everyone is clenching in fear while Michael eats his popcorn with a big grin on his face. For some reason I'm not sure of this tends to be me watching scary movies. There is one instance that I vividly remember. I was in the front row at the movie theaters watching the movie, The Grudge, with the creepy pale girl tumbling and contorting down the stairs. I remember one scene in the movie where a girl is an office with a friend having a serious conversation with the principle. Next thing I know the principle is making this creepy, sunken eye, screaming face while just sitting in her chair not moving. Ok... I thought that's a little creepy but still a little random. Alright, lets see what happens next then. The main girl turns her friend who is making the same face along with the teacher and that's where I lost it. I burst out laughing and couldn't stop! At the time I thought there was a good chance I was a little crazy, but with age I learned a few things about what scares me. I've come to realize I'm not really scared of "monsters." In class we talked and read about how monsters prepare us subconsciously for situations we couldn't reenact without danger, which got me thinking about why I would think they are funny? I think monsters are funny to me because they try to hard and that, rationally, I know I wont experience that situation. Although I'm not scared of monsters I am scared of situations and movies involving a human element. For example movies like the Shining where Jack Nicholson goes crazy in the solitary cabin stuck in Montana blizzard. Movies that have a human element scare me because there is that chance of someone being that crazy. I think the theory of human monsters preparing me for potential real world outcomes makes sense because I can readily place myself into that situation. Monsters on the other hand I have a hard time taking serious. So from that I gather that my subconscious is preparing my sense of humor for when zombies and aliens begin their attack.
When listening to Smells like Teen Spirit it brings me back to my elementary and junior high school youth. I may not have been alive (or coherent) during Nirvana's prime but I fortunately had an older brother who is credited with exposing me to lots of music. I regret nothing but looking at the situation now I might be a little skeptical to having my newly teenage son listening to Nirvana. I say this because the music's apathetic grungy style. Don't get me wrong I still love the music but it's not something I would recommend for a youngster. I was having a blast listening to Nirvana and Smells like Teen Spirit in my attic bedroom with my neighbor thinking we truly knew what it meant to be alive! My appreciation for Nirvana makes me really curious about what it would be like if I were my age now, 20, when Nirvana was in its prime. I would able to better understand what I was listening to and comprehend the music in its societal context. To me the music was just angry noise that got me pumped up and made me questions the excitement of a happy-go-lucky picture perfect life. I didn't know how to apply the music and grunginess to anything other than myself. To put it another way, it gave me the ideas but my age didn't allow for me to truly understand what to do with them, which I think made me feel a a little lost. Like I said earlier, this makes me really curious about if the music would have had a different impact in my life if I were of similar age to Kurt Cobain when he was releasing his music because I'd be able to relate more to the artist. I make the comparison to how I feel when I listen to music now and the artists are of similar age to me. I understand subtle things that connect me to the artist and make it easier for me to understand and relate to the music. I believe that connection with the artist lets me to make a more positive and direct impact on how I live my life by allowing me to understand the context of the music. I think understanding the context of the music created by an artist is important because it allows one the opportunity to apply it to your own life instead of letting it be your way of life.
The word "thrill" is more than just a simple word for young people. It's a state of mind that elevates a young mind to a level of excitement that reaches unimaginable orbits where the young minds try to out do the previous thrills. The varied and different levels of adrenaline rush sets the tone and ultimately the quality of such moments. The young minds thrive to experience this kick on a daily basis. These moments of heighten exhilaration can happen at any given moment or they can happen after careful planning and plotting. But the spontaneous ones are the ones that offer a buzz that is quite satisfying and electrifying! This sudden rush of adrenaline surges these young minds to scale fences where signs clearly state that trespassers will be prosecuted, drive 8 hours at night to return home against well meaning parents' preferences, consume live insects on a dare, or stroll in a cemetery late late one night and a whole list of events and situations that are numerous, evolving, and endless. One of the things that Michael Jackson's Thriller video speaks to is this rush that young minds relish where fear disappears somewhere in the midst of the need to feel this high. Or maybe fear evolves into something else entirely. It becomes a driving force. The more the young minds feel it, the more it wants to be explored where the only choice is to move forward into it. The video offers a way to experience what might be viewed as dangerous to experience in real life but it is also showing the "thrilling" aspect of those dangerous things--zombies. How many people actually have experienced being surrounded by corpses and zombies like that? Michael Jackson gave people that virtual experience, that thrill and took his fans' imaginations a bit further than where they were before.
It is the young minds who buy the music of Michael Jackson as the themes of his music/videos are quite identifiable. His musicality and dancing skills are somethings that young minds admire or try to imitate but always coming short even on a good day. I remember my friends and I finding ourselves on the floor from tripping ourselves practicing the moonwalk for hours. It took us a while to realize that the task was much easier to do on wooden floors that carpet! Young minds!! The video, "Black or White" is no exception as it has almost everything in it that is quite relevant to the young minds--racism, bullying, gangs, inequality, fair play and parental control to name a few things that I got from his video. Actually, the video is loaded with the one emotion that lives in young minds that often range to high decibels when fueled by anger or discontent to some injustices of our society like the ones in the video. When a friend of color or myself (I am Indigenous of US- Dine & Lumbee) receive harsh looks or remarks just based on our skin color alone sends my otherwise calm demeanor into fits of emotions to another level. Those are the ones that Michael Jackson is yelling about from atop the Statue of Liberty. It is quite understandable in the sense that it is gratifying to release anger in that way. But then there are subtle ones that young minds deal with. You can always remember plenty of times when one disagreed with a parent - right? Oh yeah! Curfews, sharing the family car and such would send us into some of these emotions. Our young minds are quick to anger as if it sits closely on our shoulders just waiting to be summon and springs into action as soon as it sees its opportunity. Thank goodness for maturation as it is able to shove that emotion off our shoulders for a better way in solving issues.
Racism and the young minds. Racism to my mom's generation has a different meaning compared to the young minds of present day. My mother, a Dine from Arizona, lived and experienced racism in such a moving way that she is still recovering from it. In the late 19th century and early 20th century, the US government built boarding schools in various parts of the country. Their primary purpose was to "kill the Indian" and civilized them. My mother, at the age of 6 was given no option but to appear at the school on her own accord and if she didn't, a government van would arrive and take her by force which happened to many indigenous youths of her time. The government's regiment of assimilation was jarring to her as free will was no longer within her grasp as her hair was cut against her wishes and that she was told to not speak her native language. The life of the "hozho" (word that means beauty, harmony, joy and kinship) that her grandparents were guiding her through ended. Today, it is different. Luckily, there are no more boarding schools like the one she attended but racism still lurks in unexpected corners. At a Denny's restaurant, a white waitress seated other patrons before us until my father protested. The restaurant was virtually empty! While playing in a "white clothes" only tennis club, a white women strongly attested to my older brother's long hair with a racial remark that brought out the ferocious mother bear in my mom. Or someone driving by a colored friend of mine and yelling, "Nigger go home!" These are some of mine and today's youth's experiences. But the experiences of my mother and the experiences of the young people who put voice to the hip hop music are nothing compared to mine. I am quite fortunate! Rap music can be used to one's advantage. Learn from it, recognize that it does reflect some truths of our society, decide for ourselves where those truths are and perpetuate those with our own truths learned from our own roots. Those are my mother's teachings/truths.
When listening to NWA's song, Fuck the Police, I get a strong feeling of hip-hops expressive nature. The artists are very clearly conveying their hatred for police in the south central LA Compton area. They express their mistreatment and abuse because of their color. In a part of the song, Ice Cube raps about how because he has "gold and a pager" the police assume he's selling drugs. Racial profiling clearly upsets the artists of NWA. To me, music is such an amazing thing because it allows one to express their feelings, whether it's in smooth jazz or gangsta rap. Fuck the Police is expressing that it's not ok to be treated the way they are and by its aggressive presentation it shows just how serious an issue it is. Its aggressiveness and seriousness of the issue portrayed gave it the attention it needed to bring awareness to these types of problems. I think rap and hip-hop was so important because it gave African Americans a freedom of expression that was unique to them. Slowly over time hip-hop has become more and more diverse but the main roots of expression are still there, for the most part. Mainstream hip-hop has become a little distorted in what it thinks is important to express. It disappoints me that mainstream hip-hops agenda tends to promote what seems like only to be: sex, money, and power. Hip-hop may have died in that sense but it still lives on in its underground hip-hop niche. While some of these underground artists may be well known they still remain true to hip-hop as a form of expressing issues that need addressing. It is these few talented artists that keep my interest in the beautiful form of expression called hip-hop.
Way back when at the beginning of the semester, we talked briefly about what marks the end of one generation and the beginning of the other and what really are the defining factors between the generations. One thing that I think is a great way to distinguish between the different generations is by what form of media they received their entertainment and news from. Over the decades each main stream form of media has had its glory day then was replaced as a younger generation grew up with the latest and greatest advancements in technology. Of course, the other forms of media didn't necessarily die out but they certainly took a dive in popularity. In my opinion, the timeline goes something like this: newspapers were replaced by radio, Tv killed the radio star (get the reference?), and currently Tv is in the process of being replaced by the internet. Like I said all these different forms of media are still around. I still use every single one of them, but the vast majority of my news and entertainment come from the internet or my computer in some way. So to pair these forms of media with their respective generations newspapers would go with the generations in the decades before the 1920s, radio belongs to those who lived from the 1920s to around the late 1980s and the Internet reigns from 1990 to today. This of course implies that there are only four generations in the last century which is untrue. For example, within the 60 year period that Tv reign supreme there were a few generations within that depending on who you talk too. I think though that this is a good way to start distinguishing between generations over a long period of time, and then further breaking those categories into other generations based on other criteria.
After watching the video "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana, I read the comments below and couldn't help but notice a trend in them. Many people would talk about how rebellious this song was. One comment stated, "This song makes me feel so mischievous." I agree with this comment one hundred percent. The video consists of teenagers who looked to be dressed almost like hobos who are flipping their long punk, greasy hair back and forth. After listening to this song an endless amount of times growing up, I, to this day, still get the feeling that I want to run around and break everything in my house, like a total bad ass. I also can't help but think that this song has a dark, depressed side to it. This song became popular because everyone that listens to this song gets this sort of feeling. The only negative effect that this could have in the community is some people might do dangerous things, like running around breaking everything in their house, or things like experimenting with drugs. Kurt Cobain was a perfect example of this "bad ass" lifestyle and a perfect example to this song. He went out and experimented with drugs, later putting an end to his life. He killed himself because he just couldn't take it anymore, the drugs put him into depression and he obviously couldn't seem to reach his way out of it. This genre of grunge music became so popular in the nineties because it allowed people to feel a side that they don't have in real life, they want to feel like they are rebels and can do whatever they please. Even though this grunge music was more for entertainment, it could sometimes have a negative effect on society, like it did with Kurt Cobain.
When I think of "Video Killed the Radio Star" I think of how disappointing MTV is today. "Video Killed the Radio Star" started the Golden era of MTV, where they played music videos all day long. I wish that MTV would return. Now when you tune into MTV all you get is the Jersey Shore and Teen Mom. I don't want to see idiots running around New Jersey when I flip on MTV, I want to see actual music videos. This just depresses me! MTV stands for music television, yet there is no music on anymore. The channel should be renamed to RTV, reality television. If you want to find music videos on TV you have to go to VH1. However, VH1 doesn't show music videos exclusively. They have other programs that they show along with music videos, but at least they air some. That's better than what MTV can say. The music video central is now YouTube/Vevo. I can't complain though. I love Vevo, because it does what MTV should do. Vevo has almost every artist imaginable and I can watch all the videos I want. I can't help but be disappointed though. With all of the channels that MTV has you would think that they could turn one into a music channel. Or with all the money they make they could create that channel. I guess every company has to grow and MTV has decided that reality television is where the money is. MTV is not just a TV channel anymore; it's a global corporation whose number one priority is to make money. I wish MTV would return to the time of "Video Killed the Radio Star," but I know that time has passed. Maybe MTV could bring back Ashton Kutcher to Punk'd and start to redeem itself.
So the other day in class when we were all using the databases to look up various monstrosities and what not, I kept coming across what seemed to be a hot button issue in philosophy...dealing with zombies. The perfect complement to this week's Thriller video, the discussion was about whether zombies could exist in our society. Of course not the brain eating and partially decomposed zombies we seen in such shows as the Walking Dead, but rather the articles seemed to discuss if there could be such thing as a zombie that behaved just like any normal human but lacked consciousness. They would be practically indistinguishable from all other humans but these zombies would not physically feel anything, have no emotional feelings towards anything, and have no soul. The supporters of this idea of consciousless zombies use the idea to support or disprove several other ideas and positions in philosophy of which I didn't really care to investigate further. The best part though is those that oppose this idea of zombies do admit that the concept is possible, and then they go on to show how it doesn't disprove materialism or support physicalism and this and that. Is this whole thing not comical to anyone else? There are people with PhDs, publishing authors, and other really smart people arguing if zombies could exist but not just normal movie zombies. No these are zombies that look and behave exactly like humans, so no matter what you say you can't prove they don't exist. It's probably just due to my scientific mind set but I don't see how there can be academic papers published extensively on bother sides of this argument that will never be able to prove the validity of their arguments. I guess this is why I will never be majoring in philosophy.
Throughout the music video of "Thriller" Michael Jackson kept changing from the charming young man that everyone loves, to morphing into some kind of sick monster within a matter of seconds. This change from good to bad, back to good represents the roller coaster of an average teenage life. Growing up as a child, life is easy; all we did was watch cartoons on Saturday mornings and play with our plastic toys. As we grew older into our teenage years, we began taking on responsibilities. We began to have to worry about schoolwork, learning how to drive, and getting jobs. There are times in every teenagers life that can make one feeling like they are flying high, to being lower than low in just the matter of seconds. These times can become very stressful, which sometimes causes us to be someone who we are not; like some sort of stranger, or monster. This monster might make us do things like experiment with drugs and alcohol, have unprotected sex, etc. We might not only think of ourselves as monsters, but others might as well, depending on the severity of mistakes that have been made. This monster appearance was even apparent throughout parts of Michael Jackson's music career. With his large amount of surgeries to change his looks, and the rumors that were spread about him and children, the public even viewed him as a monster. After he passed away, however, Michael Jackson is looked upon as one of the most influential artists in all of music today. Even though sometimes we make mistakes and look as if we are monsters, we always tend to turn back to normal and these monstrous actions only play a small role in who we become, if we can learn from the mistakes that we have made.
Racism in American society is still present in my opinion, yet not in the way that we all think of racism. Yes, there are still hate crimes and yes there is still police brutality, but I view racism today as a never ending spiral. From my experiences, my limited experiences, racism works like this the greater population stereotypes a certain group of people with certain characteristics: African Americas with crime, Latinos with drugs, gays with flamboyance, Asians with intelligence, etc. Then once this group is stereotyped for long periods of time certain members of that group start to believe the stereotypes, especially the youth. The Latino teen thinks drugs are the norm. The African American thinks he has to run with a gang. The Asian thinks he can't major in art. When this happens it causes the public to further believe the stereotype of that specific demographic which sucks because that then causes the stereotyped group to think they have to behave like their given stereotypes. You can see the pattern developing I hope. I admit there are a thousand and one other reasons why racism is still around and why these stereotypes happen, but his is just something that I think a lot of people don't realize or don't acknowledge. We either think that racism doesn't exist, but let's face it racism will always exist because humans suck, or with think that racism is solely the fault of the public or the group we are stereotyping. This is why the exceptions to the stereotypes are so important. The African American lawyer from the ghetto, the Asian hippy artists, and the homosexual guy who religiously follows the Chicago Bears, all give perspective to the greater public and shows people within that given demographic that they do not have to associate with the stereotypes if they don't want too. If you didn't catch on this relates to fuck tha police because the police stereotyped blacks as criminals so then the blacks got sick of it and started conflicts with the police making them criminals. Both parties were at fault.
"Fuck the police" is a term I have heard way too often in my BAD ASS lifestyle. Growing up in my suburban neighborhood outside of Minneapolis I have witnessed terrible things from daily robberies to weekly shootings. My fellow teenage friends always use "fuck the police" as a statement to excuse their wrong doings. How can we ever say "fuck the police" when the cops are here solely to protect us? I can't begin to explain how many times I've heard someone pissed off say, "How the hell could that cop give me a speeding ticket? I was only going 20 over... FUCK THE POLICE" Obviously the cop gave you that ticket because you are a danger to society. Police are here to make the community a safer place to live in. My friends need to realize that their rebellious actions can easily harm someone. Getting to a head on collision could be a hell of a lot worse than when you are going 20 miles per hour more than you should be. Or some friends will tell me, "Damn, I can't believe that cop gave me a minor at that party last weekend, I only had two beers." The cop gave you that minor because they are doing their job! The law says one has to be twenty one to consume alcohol. Teenagers need to realize that if they decided not to give teenagers who got busted at a party a minor, the police themselves could be in huge trouble. AGAIN, THEY ARE JUST DOING THEIR JOB. Teenagers need to realize that when they are breaking the law, they are subject to getting in trouble for it. When NWA released the song "Fuck Tha Police," they did an AWESOME job with telling the rest of society that ones stupid actions are OK because the cops are idiots and have NO idea what they are doing. They obviously just want to ruin ALL OF YOUR FUN!
Michael Jackson started many trends with his music, but I just realized one more that he started. He began what I call the music video/short film. Thriller, to me, feels like a short movie and not a music video. Music videos to me are simply the artist singing their song and acting out what the music means to them. Thriller, along with many videos today, is more than that. Thriller was 14 minutes long for a song that is 6 minutes long, and was directed by famous Hollywood director John Landis. When I first watched Thriller, my parents told me how big of a deal this video was. To them, it was like the release of a movie. It was promoted so much that they waited around the TV and watched the video as it premiered. That amazed me! I have never in my life waited for a music video like they did with Thriller. Michael Jackson transformed the music video into something more. His videos are some of the most memorable to date because of the artistry and imagination he put into those works. I notice even today that some artists are doing the some thing. One example is Telephone by Lady Gaga. This video is 9 minutes long and is set up like a movie. At the beginning there are opening credits listing writers and directors who worked on this video, just like a movie would have. Lady Gaga turned the music video for her song into a short film. I think artists are trying to bring back the excitement surrounding music videos. They are not important anymore in today's society. I think by bringing in well-known directors to create music videos that act like short films, artists are trying to bring back the days of Michael Jackson and Thriller.
Halloween is that time of the year where fun and fear combine to create memories jam-packed with awesomeness. "Thriller" by Michael Jackson is definitely the quintessential music video to represent the ideals of Halloween. It has scary monsters, epic chases, and undeniably smooth dancing. For the sake of this blog though, let's just assume that this is real life and not a dream. I am also going to focus solely on the monsters' attack. If I had zombies chasing me, things would have ended much differently.
The main mistake the girl in the video made was attempting to outrun the zombies. It is highly unlikely that one can continuously avoid them assuming that they continue infecting the rest of the population. It would eventually turn into a one against a million type of situation, and nobody likes those odds. I personally feel that it would be smart to at least attempt to fight back against the oncoming monster attack. My zombie-slaying fury would begin by obtaining some guns and ammo from my 2nd Amendment loving uncle. Then I would go knock at Tiger Woods' door so that I could use a golf club as a melee weapon. Our interaction would undeniably go something like this.
Me: Hey Tiger! I have some zombies chasing me. Can I borrow a club to beat them down?
Tiger: Oh that sounds like a pretty sticky situation you've got yourself in. I've had quite a few of those myself, if you know what I mean *wink and elbow nudge*. But you can have one my old drivers if you want.
Me: Something was definitely done here, and I like it. But thank you so much, Tiger. You're the best!
I would proceed to take my newfound weapons and go D-Day on those zombies' asses. Every single zombie would be quickly disposed of including the leader. In this situation, it would be Michael Jackson. You had better believe that I wouldn't take it easy on him just because he's the "King of Pop." I would take my Tiger Woods driver and blast his zombie head into the next zip code. At this point I would be safe from the monster attack whereas the girl in the music video would be dead.
Hip hop has grown to be a very popular brand of music. As it has changed it has opened its arms to a broader fan base. When hip hop first began it was intended to be a way for rappers to express their problems and the odds they were facing in their lives and communities. Rappers like Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Biggie, and Tupac used rap to allow the world to understand where they came from and the problems they faced throughout their lives. For example, the video "Fuck the Police" talks about problems that black males constantly face in dealing with police officers. Black males feel they are constantly being attacked by police---even when they are innocent. Issues like this have made it hard for people of other races or backgrounds to relate to rap songs, especially if they have never had the same struggles. During the beginning of rap music, it was seen as a music that was intended for only black people because they could mostly relate to the lyrics and themes of the songs.
Nowadays things have taken a DRASTIC CHANGE. Rap music has become more universally relatable and rappers of the new generation like 2 Chains, Lil Wayne, Tyga, and B.O.B. are changing the rap game. They are no longer focusing on using rap music to express their problems, instead they are rapping about "what is in". They rap about sex, drugs, alcohol and BIG BOTTIES (yes they love talking about botties). These topics are more relatable to different races of people. Now because there is a huge variety of topics covered in rap music, people of different background can relate and find interest in listening to rap music. Now rap music is no longer restricted to black people. You can now go to parties and see white or mixed boys trying to copy their favorite rapper or rap songs. Or girls trying to look like the latest girls they see in the videos. I guess in a way, the changing of rap music has yet again help to bring people together.
Just like Justin Bieber fans, zombies are appearing everywhere in today's world, but more prominently in film and literature. Today's seemingly zombie-crazed society did not recently appear from thin air, in fact, Michael Jackson revealed his take on zombies in his video "Thriller" in 1983. "Thriller" is a ten-minute long music video that combines the song with a storyline. This combination of music and film involves Michael as a scary werewolf, and later, a dancing zombie. Now, did this mark the beginning of today's zombie obsession? And more importantly, why does our culture find entertainment from fear? This question can only be answered when we look closely at why Michael's interpretation of zombies in "Thriller" was so well received from the public, and what made the introduction of zombies as a form of entertainment spread like fire. Michael clearly had captured young hearts at the start of his career as a member of The Jackson 5, and only built upon his stardom from then on, but was his "star quality" and prior establishment in the music industry enough to spread the idea of zombies as a form of entertainment? I don't think so. As much power as this young man had at this stage of his booming career, not even Michael can tell a society what to find interest in. Since I can't give Michael 100% of the credit for starting today's zombie obsession, I think I have to give the soulless corpses themselves most of the credit. The feelings that zombies create inside a viewer or a reader are what appear to be appealing to today's society. They derive fear within the viewer, and because fear is part of human nature, every viewer can find common ground with fear. Fear sells because humans are naturally curious beings, and like to explore each part of their mind. Feelings like love, happiness, sadness, and hate are also selling points, but I would argue that these emotions are exercised more on a daily basis. Because the feeling of fear is exercised less in a human's life, they are naturally more curious about what fear has to offer. Humans can use music, film, and literature to satisfy their need to better understand fear, and Michael Jackson's interpretation of zombies and fear in "Thriller" was no doubt a great way for human's to satisfy this need.