In one of my classes last week, we discussed ethics and how it affects people in our society. This specific situation deals with a man who claims he had gotten medal of honor in award for his duties in the military, and because he lied they accused him of violating the "Stolen Valor Act."
He pleaded that this was a violation of the 1st ammendment (which I agree). The stolen valor act, to me, is quite controversial because this act is attempting to make speech, like satire and parody potentially a crime just because they arent truthful (4:50-5:05). Is this act justified under this certain situation? It doesnt seem realistic considering tv shows like Tosh.0, Daily Show, Colbert Report are fueled off this type of humor.
Analyzing one's personal view of gender is an incredibly complex task. I believe that American society, and the media in particular, have drastically distorted our views of gender. I think that when one considers the way that he or she (or neither, or both) examines one's relationship towards gender and sexuality, it is imperative to take into consideration one's geographical location, one's socioeconomic class, and the environment in which one was raised.
I hardly remember being a young child. For me, trying to remember my early childhood is like looking through fog, and I can occasionally discern vague shapes and figures, but I always seem to struggle to make out specific details. I often can't remember whether my recollection of an event is an actual memory, or a result of viewing photographs taken during that time. I was a shy, quiet kid, and although I played sports, I also dressed in a stereotypically girly way, and I often played with polly pockets and American Girl dolls. My best friend and I would often argue about who was girlier, and because she more more stereotypically masculine colors and was thinner, she always seemed to "win". Honestly, trying to get anywhere near my childhood mindset seems impossible. I can't fathom how I liked the things I liked, and looking back at how I acted often feels like a painful experience. My friends and I have jokingly labeled sixth grade as my "mean year", the year I was rude to my close friends and attempted to "be popular". I even bought a hoodie from Victoria's Secret's Pink line, and started dressing girlier. However, I also played basketball and, as a result of growing up watching my brother play hockey, I was passionate about hockey and could talk "with the guys" and my athletic tendencies also place me in the "average" category, whatever that even is. When I took up dance after a long break of many years, I took several different types of dance, including ballet. Ballet is considered incredibly helpful for building a foundation of discipline, strength, and technique that can significantly benefit one's ability to do additional types of dance. Yet, I felt like my friends would severely judge me, especially my best friend. I didn't want to be considered even girlier, so for many years I didn't tell her about ballet. Eventually, I couldn't avoid her finding out, and I was so humiliated.
Between seventh and eighth grade, for whatever reason, it was as if i woke up with a completely different perspective on life. I honestly don't know why my mentality altered so drastically. I just simply didn't care what people thought anymore. I was becoming a stronger, more skilled dancer and basketball player, I had a great friend group, I became a vegetarian, the Blackhawks were doing extremely well (haha), and for whatever other reasons, I just gave up all interest in caring what people thought of me. I mean, I still wanted people to think I was a kind, intelligent, respectful person, because I wanted to be all of those things. But, aesthetically speaking, I didn't give a crap about anyone's opinions, and that mentality has only grown stronger ever since.
I also don't know why I've started to question my gender lately. Similarly to my drastic change of mindset during the summer before eighth grade, in the past few months, I have had the strong urge to be a guy. I've always preferred the athletic body type aesthetically, and because I've become so serious about dance, I've realized that it would be much more convenient if I cut my hair extremely short. I'm also striving towards minimalism, including owning a small wardrobe of a small amount of quality clothing, and so maybe I'm favoring sneakers and pants to skirts and more stereotypically feminine shoes because of convenience and necessity. Maybe I've realized in this past unit on Feminism that women still suffer from a lot of discrimination and societal judgement and expectations, and maybe I just want to feel the power that society often attributes to men more often than women. Maybe I'm just bored. As I've said, where I live, in a very progressive, accepting, privileged community, I have very few problems and I often feel like I have no right to complain about anything, and that there are SO many more important things to do and worry about than my gender.
A while ago, since I realized that mainstream media basically sucks, I would limit my relationship towards the media to reading a few sites and watching a few tv shows and movies that are high quality, respectable works, and that portray life in a reasonably honest way. I've considered cutting out media completely. But right now, I feel like the media can exist as a tool for creating positive change and improving one's emotional mentality. I watch shows such as Project Runway, that oddly enough represents an extremely diverse group of people who are so talented and passionate that their outer appearances don't have any relationship to their abilities. I look up to actresses such as Rooney Mara and Ellen Page. I listen to podcasts with awespome female comedians. I read RookieMag religiously.
Dance has also actually helped me forget about sexism and gender. I am completely in lvoe with contemporary dance, which is basically whatever style of dance you want it to be, and emphasizes the emotional movement, in relationship to song lyrics. When I dance, I forget about how I look. I am free.
On a recent episde of Conan, host Conan O'Brien pretended to take a U.S. citizenship test because of the recent government proposal that U.S. citizens should have to take the same U.S. citizenship test that immigrants are required to take. This is a recurring skit on Conan's late night show, and is particularly effective because of its satirical nature. When Conan brought his show to Chicago last summer, he even had mayor Rahm Emmanuel give him a 'Chicago citizenship test'. Conan is criticizing the fact that hopeful U.S. immigrants are expected to be able to pass this test when many current American citizens would not be able to pass the test. Although Conan's message, or at least his show's message, is that the current U.S citizenship test is not a fair decision factor for who deciding who should be allowed to be a citizen, he adds humor to the situation through also criticizing American culture, such as it's obsesion with pop culture and celebrities, and it's lack of knowledge on important current issues. He also relates to his audience through his satirical humor, such as when he says that no one cares about the location of the Liberty Bell or Mount Rushmore. Thus Conan is able to voice his / his show's opinions about serious issues in an entertaining, appealing way without sounding forceful or dry. Satire has the power to not only give a voice to important issues, but to spread awareness of these issues to a wider audience that may not have been aware of them otherwise.
In 1994, The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was created. It is the first U.S. federal legislation acknowledging domestic violence and sexual assault as crimes. Since 1994, much progress has been achieved toward women's rights. Obama recently signed to expand the act, targeting expansions to address the needs of vulnerable populations, and help prevent problems in upcoming generations.
I agree with his actions on this newly expanded act, considering the statistic that 1 in 5 women are raped in their lifetime compared to 1 in 71 men who are raped in their lifetime. This shows women are more vulnerable to abuse, rape, stalking etc. and can use these acts to help them and keep safe.
I do believe that these acts are a great idea to help women be aware of their rights and not be afraid. They can speak out about domestic abuse and feel safe, but it is ridiculous and petty that we have to enforce these acts to protect the women of our society. I believe the reason men (and rarely women) rape is due to how they've grown up being abused, and they simply repeat the abuse they've been through. The acts help to stop this vicous rape/abuse cycle. Also i believe the way women are depicted in advertisements/ music videos/ movies helps give women a vulnerable image to men with harsh intentions.
Obama is giving women a greater oppurtunity to use these acts as a lifeline and protection like he says in this speech. Obama also uses the technique we talked about in class, starting off his speech through humor for a serious situation, pretty cool
In Toady's society we live in a world that has been taken over by the media. The media plays a big role in out lives today because we allow it to influence us to believe in anything it says. Television shows also has a big influence on our kids lives because they watch it everyday for multiple hours. The shows that most parents do not want their kids to watch is Family guy or South park. Those shows have found to be very racist but in a humorous way. I believe that Henrietta Berdanine's thesis is in a way correct because of the view that society has on race.
Hennrietta Berdanine believes that popular culture is lagging behind and the this harsh and damaging stereotypes are still occurring in today's society. She is true even if society does not think what they are doing is wrong it still is. Society does not know what people of other race been through and to just throw them under this category because they do not like other people is wrong.
People in today's society uses comedy to cover up the damaging stereotypes. They use them in Family guy to attract viewers because of their funny racial slurs. Mostly they are white comedians and some black people do not care and laugh with the comedians. Other blacks' feel bad and stricken by the fact that they are on television talking about the stereotypes and people are laughing at it.
Thus proves Hennrietta Berdanine's thesis that society has taken steps backward and until we can eliminate al of those stereotypes and learn that those stereotypes hurt people and affect people deeply. People thought they have strayed away from basis ideas but they are still occuring in our media today.
Henrietta Berdanine, a professor of critical Race Theory at the Northern Jackson College, hypothesized that although American society and politics has become racially aware over the past century, our popular culture has not. She argues that representation of other minority races are stuck with “damaging racial stereotypes”. While there are occasional skits, songs, books, plays, ect that may play up racial stereotypes, over all I think our country has come a very long way from the minstrel era of the early twentieth century.
American popular culture has been known for hanging onto stereotypes like holding onto a grudge. In this sense, Berdanine sees America’s popular culture as lagging behind the social and political progression of the country in regards to racial acceptance. A perfect example would be the 2013 Oscars presentation with Seth McFarlane. Throughout the award ceremony, various skits and monologues presented racially offensive jokes about Jewish people, African Americans, native Spanish speakers, as well as women. Here in 2013, people still laugh at these horribly crude and antagonizing jabs at other racial groups. This particular example had so much coverage from the media, with hundreds speaking out about the controversy over MacFarlane’s performance, no one even thought to pay attention to the second deadline for “the fiscal cliff” approaching in just a few days. While looking just at this, Berdanine’s thesis appears true. However, a double-edged blade challenges this idea that America is deeply rooted in past stereotypes from the minstrel era, for now new stereotypes may cause Berdanine to revise her thesis. Popular comedy shows, such as the Chappelle Show, poke fun at racial groups not usually associated with racism in the media, and such jokes would not have been around fifty years ago. Therefore, in the grand scheme of where our nation was over a century ago, our popular culture has improved greatly from the times of the incredibly damaging minstrel shows, as the nation has shifted to a more racially accepting society.
American popular culture often times moves at warp speed, mirroring, mocking, and responding to current social and political changes. The media, with technology, is continually spewing out various opinions, interpretations, and messages to the public. Since the time of minstrel shows, I believe American culture has improved greatly. Just think about the hundreds of incredibly successful musicians, artists, and comedians who just a century ago would not be able to express themselves outside of a racially oppressive display. Our music is now more than ever incredibly diversified, with different races and ethnicities cutting across previous racial barriers of genre and style. Opportunities in movies and television shows no longer bind certain people to fulfilling degrading roles. Flipping through newspapers and magazines, our media better represents the range of ethnicities our nation is filled with. The time of minstrel show stereotypes have indeed changed with the acceptance of race in modern American politics and society.
Overall, Berdanine’s thesis is very negative about the current standings of American popular culture.
While recognizing how our political and social spheres have grown increasing aware and understanding about race, she believes the stereotypes of types of the minstrel era America still degrade certain people today. However, I have more faith in our modernized culture. American media and music, art and literature, has indeed grown with the other racially accepting constructions of our nation. Looking at the stereotypes of the past, compared to the still present stereotypes today (because there are still barriers to overcome) America is no longer as widely and intensely degrading as it was one hundred years ago. Otherwise, the term “Melting Pot” for the U.S. would not be so widely recognized today.
I have a confession to make. Although I have always tried to avoid celebrity obsession, I used to watch a significant amount of late night talk shows, Conan and Chelsea Lately in particular, on a regular basis. (I sometimes even recorded them and watched them later...) Now, a main reason I watched both of these shows is because I liked that Chelsea Lately features a lot of standup comedians, and Conan sometimes features cool bands, and Chelsea Lately in particular is directed at mocking celebrity culture - however, I knew that I could have been doing other, more worthwhile things with my time. Having watched many celebrity interviews on these shows, I became aware of a basic, disgusting formula, one that I was reminded of when I read the superb story "Kitty Jackson Opens Up About Love, Fame and Nixon!" In Jennifer Egan's novel A Visit From The Goon Squad: talk show hosts (the hour-long late night ones are all men, by the way) sit down with actors, most often young, white females, and they spend a creepily long amount of time complimenting these women on how amazing they look, before they ask them generic questions about their lives. First these actresses will express how grateful and honored and surprised they are by their fame and success, and how unreal it feels, and how lucky they are, and blah blah blah. The celebrities will attempt to sound unique and individual as they tell personal anecdotes that make them seem relatable and human, such as how they're also going to college (always prestegious ones), or how they're terrible drivers, etc. Then they'll promote their most recent film or tv show, and show a clip of a scene. All the while, the hosts pretend to sound surprised and interested, and I wonder how many more interviews these hosts can sit through before they pull their hair out, strand by strand. I guess it depends on the size of their paychecks. (hopefully Conan doesn't do this, his hair is beautiful.)
However, David Letterman's been doing late night shows for decades, and he's still as creepy and faux-surprised at celebrity anecdotes as ever, and he's still got a fair amount of hair on his head. But how is this possible? It's because of the same reasons that I used to watch a lot of late night talk shows, sometimes on DVR, and sometimes on YouTube, as a pathetic and unhealthy means of procrastination from homework and studying for finals (talk about a shame memory).
Only occasionally will I get genuinely excited about the actors being interviewed, such as Ellen Page, one of my few celebrity girl crushes, whose film work, while interesting and high quality, is far less important to me than her environmental activism. I don't care much for her late night show interviews, in which David Letterman apparently forgets that he's already spent several other interviews asking her about her childhood in Nova Scotia and her house that used to be a brothel, and so he repeats the same dialogue all over again, to an audience that hopefully hasn't watched as many late night interviews as I have. What draws me to her is her passion for environmental activism. I could listen to her talk for hours on Bill Maher about her efforts in bee preservation, and observe her apparently orange-tinted hands, which I found out about in the YouTube comments under basically all of her interviews, which she got from eating so many orange vegetables.
However, we don't get to hear about these things in late night talk show interviews or on standard celebrity news websites. Instead, we get tricked into thinking that we care bout the boring annecdotes and gratefulnes of these actresses and actors, young, beautiful, white ones in particular, such as Anne Hathaway, who, yes, is talented, beautiful, and seemingly very kind and polite. Some of them, such as Anne, admit to the ridiculousness of it all. George Lopez pointed out to her a few years ago in an episode of his now-cancelled talk show that hundreds of news stories were written about Anne's "geek-chic" style after one public outing in which she donned a pair of black rimmed hipster glasses. After she claimed that the glasses were worn purely out of necessity after her contacts broke, Anne criticized all the media attention, sarcastically saying "Libya-shmibya, I'm wearing spectacles!" This moment, while small, held for me a bit of hope - hey, here's one celebrity who understands. Maybe I can count on her for intelligent interviews? But I can't. In a later interview, on Chelsea Lately, she mentioned her vegetarianism, and I thought, oh, hey, maybe she'll talk about animal rights? But then she just complained about how all she'd been eating lately was "kale and dust" to fit into her "terrorizing" catsuit for The Dark Night Rises, and then did an interview with Allure magazine, in which she complained some more about how her extreme diet of hummus and radishes led to, wait for it, A PIMPLE!
I don't know if our culture's obsession with celebrity life will change. They mean different things for all of us. For many of us, it's not really about the celebrities themselves at all. For some, they're a temporary escape, a fantasy, a glimpse in to lives often much more glamorous than our own, a chance to pretend that we're not at home in our sweatshirts and fat pants, balancing chemical equations, making dinner for ungrateful husbands, or cleaning up baby spit-up, but on red carpets, receiving prestigious awards in tight, expensive dresses. For others, when we hear of bad celebrity behavior, it assures us, whether all that accurately or not, that we don't regret our decisions and our life choices, and that although we may have made mistakes, we're not as fucked up as those guys. I am proud that I have and continue to eliminate unhealthy and unimportant media sources, such as many websites and tv shows, from my life. Someday, hopefully, maybe, I can help or inspire someone else to do the same. But I will allow myself to watch an occasional episode of a late night talk show. And when I do, I'm reminded of Anne Hathaway, and I imagine her saying "Gaddafi-shmaddafi, I had that cat suit".
The final debate before the election was held, and in my opinion Obama takes the win again. It seemed to me he was as aggressive as the second time and he knew how to get his facts and points across. On the other hand, it seemed to me as if Mitt Romney had not put in his best effort, and handed this one over to Obama. For example when Romney congradulated Obama in the killing of Osama Bin Laden he said you cannot however solve all the problems by killing people. He then contradicted himself my saying his plan was to find the bad people and kill them. Romney did not seem as aggressive, or his usual outspoken self. He even told Obama that the debate was not about attacking him. Although, as usual, he still based his arguments on attacking the president.
Even thought the topic of this debate was foreign affairs, everything seemed to lead back to the problems of the economy. For example, Romney mentioned how since Obama has been president the amount of people on food stamps has increased. I think that the president and governor were trying to get their last words in, and win over the last undecided voters before theh election coming up. It is undeniably evident that both these canidates are well educated men. But I think Obama would make the better president because he knows where he stands and is true to his words. I feel as if Romney always changes his position on certain topics as Obama has called him out for. In the third debate, Romney even agreed with Obama on Iraq, and said Obama brought us back from the brink. Also, Romney is always to busy bashing Obama to tell his plans to make the country better. All in all, Obama was the clear winner for round three and Americas best choice as president.
Obama won this presidential debate. His arguments were
not the only helping his appeal to logos/ethos, but his demeanor walking and talking around the
room was came off as superior to his opposing candidate Governor Romney. Obama kept Romney in defensive mode for many
issues, like energy concerns, Libya (terrorism), gas prices , women’s health,
and immigration. Romney stayed defensive, he did seem to switch between
assertive and intrusive, also Romney almost resembled a child when arguing with
the moderator Candy. In one argument, about Libya, many thought that Obama was
vulnerable but he actually came out on top with an effective and sympathetic explanation.
A second effective argument was when the oil permit face off occurred, Romney confronted Obama about how many oil
drilling permits he had taken away but Obama used his response by saying
something like you can’t just sit on the land and wait to sell when it seems
most profitable, which effectively denied Romney a highlight. A third argument
is when Romney confronted Obama about gas prices, Obama cleverly replied that
the reason for being so low was because the economy was very bad, and to lower
prices again would be by putting America in a bad economic crisis again. A fourth
argument in response to Obama's accusations Romney had said, "I don't
believe employers should tell someone whether they could have contraceptive
care or not." But really, Romney had endorsed Senator Roy Blunt's
legislation, which allowed any employer not just religious institutions to
refuse free access to contraception in a health insurance plan, as Obama's
health reform mandates. A fifth argument about immigration “Romney sought to
reach Hispanics by sharply criticizing Obama for failing to deliver the
comprehensive immigration reform he promised in 2008; but overall, the evening
seemed to signal that Romney is more focused on reinforcing his lead among
white conservatives outraged by illegal immigration than denting the
president's overwhelming advantage among Hispanic voters.”(Atlantic)
I thought this ad as interesting. The beginning is kind of an apeal to tradition, but in a cad way. Kind of like "we used to be like this, but now we're better and we don't want to go back to that." Then towards the end there was kind of a cross between an appeal to tradition and a glory by association.
I saw this ad on tv about a car. This was a suv and basically there was this man and this woman. They were basically fighting over who gets the car. While they were getting ready the most outrageous things were happening to them that really do not happen in everyday life. So this is an example of slippery slope and in the end they both are pretty messed up. The women forgot her keys in the house and the man had his keys, so he was able to drive off in the suv. Then the house blows up and is destroyed with the women inside of it. This also appeals to pathos because the emotion and pain that this man and women had to go through just to drive their suv. Also the feeling the women must have felt after all that she was not able to drive off in the car and she died in the process.
I was watching tv one day and this commercial came on, i was watching it in confusion, as soon as the guy said his line i knew it had to be one of our fallacies, it ended up relating to the non sequitor. check it out:
the new NBC show smash gives a some what accurate depiction of the professional theater world. the story goes, there are two girls up for the part of Marilyn Monroe, in Marilyn Monroe the musical and they have to battle it out for the part. the fact that they are battling for Marilyn is the start of the feminist problem. from the moment the girls step into the audition room, they are being surveyed through the male gaze, just like Marilyn always was. it was all about who had her body and sex appeal. the two things men got to decide, so in that instance the men had the power, and the women have to play at their rules.
the second thing that smash does is project stereotypes, the stereotype of the seductress, the innocent, the mother and the power-women. first, we have Ivy Lynn, one of the girls up for the part of Marilyn. she ends up getting the part, after she sleeps with the director. this act makes her the seductress, and she is already being punished for it. second we have Julia, the writer of the show but also a mother and wife. what happens here is really interesting she brings home he bacon in her family and is the leader of the house, which challenges the stereotype that the wife is supposed to care hand and foot for her husband. in fact her character opposes this stereotype so much that she also becomes a seductress and cheats on her husband. and finally we have Eileen the power-woman. She is trying to produce Marilyn, her problem is that after her divorce she has no money and all the big shot producers won't take on the project without her husbands approval. so she is being controlled by what her husband allows, not allowing her any freedom of her own.
Smash also in some ways supports a patriarchy. First Eileen can't do anything without her husbands will letting her. her struggle slash conflict in the show is trying to over come the obstacles of being a women in a mans business. And Second, and my favorite, Ivy sees her worth only as derek sees her as, so if he thinks she is worthless, then that's how she feels. this thinking shows that ivy is not capable of being independent of a man, and that she in fact needs a man to tell her what and who she is, that she needs a man to define her. i think this is the most powerful image the show gives off, and it does not support very feminist ideas. even though i love the show, to me it is not a feminist peice of work.
The ABC series, Desperate Housewives depicts the lives of five women struggling to maintain the stability of suburbia. Wisteria Lane, where each housewives lives may seem to be a prim and proper neighborhood yet is full of deep and dark secrets these women hide behind their conservative facade. Throughout the course of eight seasons, these women have proven that they are capable of anything ranging from being a nurturing mother, to murder. Though at first I did not notice, this show reinforces the stereotypes made through the media to an extreme degree.
If you haven't seen this show before, some of the main characters are Lynette, Gaby, Bree, and Renee. Lynette who is a mother of five children is a stay at home mother. Bree like Lynette is an accomplishes business owner who prides herself on her home and cleanliness. Both of these women represents the stereotype of the domestic wife and mother. Gaby, who is a former model prides herself on her personal appearance and her outward beauty. She represent the role of the sex object. Finally Renee, the newest character to the show is a New Yorker who has recently moved to the suburbs. She recklessly sleeps around with many men and is known to be a cougar. She represents the stereotype of a seductress. The show presents three stereotypes of women: the wife/mother, the seductress, and the sex object. Desperate Housewives reaffirms to its viewers the stereotypes that have been implanted in contemporary media and lacks to show the true agency women have over their lives.
Both Bree and Lynette are stay at home mothers, who face the challenge of balancing the task of maintaining their social status and the welfare of their children. They portray the roles of the wife/mother by sacraficing their individual dreams to support their families. Throughout the beginning seasons of the series, Lynette could be seen to challenge stereotypes through successfully attaining a high management position at her job by hard work. Yet, when her husband needs her to be more for their children she is faced with the desicion to give up all her hard work for her home. Instead of showing agency and defending her years of hard work, she surrenders her achievements for a broom and an apron and leaves behind her job.
Gaby and Renee reaffirm the stereotypes of the sex object and the seductress. Renee who constanly reciceves criticism for her promiscuious ways. As an older women she dresses provactive, and is not afraid to speak her mind. Unlike the other women in the community she is constantly bringing home different men from bar and various other places but never acheives to have a stable relationship with a man, until later in the show. Once Renee has tamed her ways, and the viewers might actually think that stereotype has been broken, it is once again promted when Bree takes on those qualities.
Desperate Housewives is not a feminist show. Its characters strengthen societies views on gender roles and stereotypes. By captivating its viewers through a male gaze, women are further encouraged to sustain their gender roles. Even before a person views this show, the name Desperate House wives objectifies women. Unlike, feminist films the women in this show do now show the freedom of agency in their lives.
American pop-culture Is often grotesquely inconsiderate when it comes to gender roles. The plethora of programs in just television can span from one extreme to another. Often times shows are canceled because of their vile nature and the extremely high amount of complaints a network receives. A perfect example of a show, which was canceled because of its extreme disrespect is "Family Guy". This program received a staggering number of complaints within it first few seasons because of its stereotypical content, but it was brought back after a very long hiatus because the true meaning of the show was revealed. Although the show "Family Guy" may seem vile and disrespectful the program actually challenges gender stereotypes by exemplifying the gender rolls within the show. By over exaggeratinggender stereotypes like, "the tough guy, player, seductress, and the wife/mother" the show actually challenges gender stereotypes.
One example of an over exemplified gender role is the character Lois. In her life she most often plays the role of the "mother/wife" by cleaning and cooking all day. However she often breaks out of this role and becomes a "seductress" by seducing men other than her husband and even much younger men. The fact that Lois jumps from one extreme to another pokes fun at gender roles instead of conforming to them. Another example of a completely ridiculous way of portraying a gender role is the character who plays the "tough guy". The character Joe would seem very stereotypical because he is aggressive, a cop, and tries to act like a very insensitive man. However what makes him ridiculous is the fact that he is paralyzed from the waste down. By still acting as a "tough guy" despite his disability Joe challenges the idea of gender roles. An additional example of an over exaggerated gender stereotype in the show "Family Guy" is the "player". Quagmire, the character who acts as a "player", is always either having or talking about sex. In almost every episode he goes through mutiple women and never seem to feel any regret, but what makes him challenge gender stereotypes is how he truly feels. In a few episodes he reveals that he secretly longs for a lasting, stable, relationship with a woman he truly loves. The irony is the fact that the way he feels is the opposite of what a "player" is. Thus he is yet another character who challenges gender roles. What the show boils down to is that it is merely poking fun at gender stereotypes by over exaggerating them. The program is absolutely not enforcing gender stereotypes.
To give some background, Buckwheat was a character in a series called Our Gang (Little Rascals) that ran from 1934-1944. The "Buckwheat" character was subject to controversy in later years because it contained elements of the "Sambo" or "Jim Crow" stereotypes.
Eddie Murphy made a series of Buckwheat videos in the 1980's. He appears as an adult Buckwheat and highlights the issues with the Buckwheat character. This video appeared on SNL and uses parody and hyperbole to make fun of and criticize the Buckwheat character. Eddie Murphy uses parody by imitating Buckwheat's hair, clothing, characteristics, etc. He uses hyperbole to exaggerate Buckwheat's behaviors for comic effect.
Most people today have seen at least one episode or part of an episode of the wonderful NBC show, 30 Rock. As both the creator and the lead of the show, Tina Fey uses her witty sarcasm and perfect comedic timing to make this show one of the best on network television. But if you're like me (which you probably aren't because I'm super imperceptive...) you may not have taken the time to realize that 30 Rock is actually a parody in itself. Every character, every incident, and every sketch is dripping in satirical gold.
For example, characters like Jack Donaghy, Tracy Jordan, Liz Lemon and Jenna Maroney are all perfect parodies of the television business class. Jack Donaghy is portrayed as the quintessential business man, always wearing a suit, in a big office, getting everything he wants no matter how ridiculous. Tracy Jordan is the portrayed as the innapropriate, simple-minded, illogical black guy who tries to play the funny man, but usually just ends up being offensive. Liz Lemon is the typical hard-worker who gets absolutely nothing in return. Still single because she's too invested in her work, Liz is the perfect portrait of what we see to be the "nerdy" woman in the workplace. Finally, Jenna Maroney portrays the "dumb blonde" kind of character who is invested in herself and her work, giving some time, but not much, to her friends. Often getting into trouble with Tracy, she is seen as the naive, conceided type of person.
The entire show is a parody of what working at a TV studio is like. Everything from the ridiculous sketches (like the accidental Nazi fireworks...) to the crises that befall Liz and Jack, all add to the ridiculous parody and satire of the show.
This parody of the new spin off of working out called the Wii Fit, is quite hilarious. The director, or at least the narrator, uses irony throughout the entire video to conduct a complete opposite meaning of what the product is attempting to have people do.
The Wii Fit sends a message to the viewers of its commercials and the consumers that buy the product that working out can be as easy as pulling out your Wii, standing on a white piece of plastic, and moving the equivalent amount of walking about a half of a block. Also, through the original commercial, the Wii is advertising the product to be something that can bring the whole family together to have fun, but lets be honest, when one wants to get in shape the first thing they think of is not usually how they can get their family involved.
The real message behind this, I believe, is the unconscious image that the media embeds into the heads of many Americans that a perfect body is necessary for a happy human and the Wii is telling America that it is as easy as moving your leg back and forth to get that ideal body.
The parody includes situational irony through elaborating on how what the people are doing in the commercial is the close to the exact opposite of what you have to do to get in shape, is very comedic and does successful take on the ironic form of satire.
The television show 30 Rock is an NBC comedy that is, in itself, satire. It pokes fun at corporate America and television networks by being a parody of itself. It shows the "behind the scenes" of a fake an NBC show "The Girlie Show," and shows idiotic moves of the people in the business.
The very first episode is filled with irony. About seven minutes into it, Liz Lemon meets her new boss, who just happens to be made successful by his invention of the GE trivection oven.
This is situational irony because you'd expect the new Vice President of East Coast Television Programming to have some background in the media business. Instead, it is made apparent that Jack (the new VP) was promoted not because of his knowledge of the art of entertainment, but for reasons entirely of business and numbers.
This example of irony is showing how corrupted corporate America is by data. The only thing that drives decisions is how much money can be made off of it.
Jack "the businessman" is just one example of the many commentaries 30 Rock makes. The rest of the episode and the many following ones are filled with satirical remarks. They are what make this comedy funny.
Many people criticize Dave chappelle for his style of comedy and skits he performs because a lot of his skits and jokes are based on racial stereotypes. For example the clip from the show that we watched in class with white people dancing to electric guitar, black people dancing to drum beats, and Latino people dancing to a mixture of beats gutar and keyboard.
Why are sterotypes like these funny? Well first of all, stereotypes would not be funny if there was absolutely no truth to them. Also, the majority of people find dave chappele's style of sterotypical comedy funny because they are so exagerated. For example in the clip when the white people where eating dinner and then all of a sudden once they hear an electric guitar, they all get up and start moshpit style dancing. Ofcourse nobody believes this would ever happen, but that is also why it is funny because it is so ridiculous.
Many people believe that even though these racial stereotypes are put out their in a comedic way, these distorted images eventually become a reality and you start to percieve other races in deifferent ways. I believe this to some extent, but mainly when it comes to racist cartoon images that distort the faces and bodies of people of different race. Like in certain old cartoons where they would show black people with big lips. This distorted image gets into peoples heads, and subconciously alters their perception.
I don't believe that Dave Chappelle does this. I dont believe that he projects sterotypes. I believe that what he did was a good thing and that is that he put all the racial sterotypes out on the table and stripped them of their power through comedy. Becuase when you can truly laugh at something like that you dont take it seriously anymore, and I believe that we shouldn't take them seriously because as dave shows, they are just over exagerated generalizations.
Due to many stereotypes that have developed in society, the image of many races, has been corrupted. These racial stereotypes that began towards African- Americans in the pre civil-war era, have continued to develop and mature into the minds of everyday Americans. Snl is commonly known for spoofing, and over exaggerating this stereotypes of many races, especially in the skit below featuring Nikki Minaj.
A few months ago when female rapper, Nikki Minaj was the musical guest on snl she poked around with many racist stereotypes of African-American women. I must admit the first time I saw this clip on snl I laughed because it is such an exaggeration of the African- American women. However, this clip further embeds stereotypes that black women are bossy, demanding, and obsessive with their physical attraction.
When the Blackenstein character asks his bride a simple question, she responds in a bossy and harsh attitude towards him. Also using the stereotype that black males cannot find a job. This part exaggerates that black women have no tolerance, and are are demanding. Further throughout the video, more of these stereotypes are portrayed. These examples of stereotyping are funny because they partially are true, but these stereotypes cannot be used to fully define any race.
These stereotypes of not only the black race, but all races have been around so long that we no longer know the truth of an individuals character. Instead, of actually getting to know the character of a person we "judge a book by its cover" and categorize them with the different images society has formed for us.
Last year a show called Outsourced aired on NBC. The plot of the show is that the company a man named Todd works for is being outsourced to India. He is then sent by his boss to train the new Indian employees. Todd and his employees go through many situations that involve the differences between life in America and India. Throughout Outsourced the stereotype that Indians are ignorant is highlighted and then satirized. .
One character on the show is named Gupta. Gupta depicts the stereotype that Indians are ignorant through all of his dumb actions. One example is that Gupta yells at customers while on the phone and lacks any talent for a call center. This example shows his ignorance because he does not know how to act with a customer. Another example is that he lacks self-awareness. When the employees are learning about how to fake being American Gupta sings and dances crazily and when the other employees ask him to stop he doesn't.. The way Gupta dances shows how he is ignorant to what others feel or that what he is doing is embarrassing. Although most of the situations Gupta finds himself in are very funny they all show the stereotype of the ignorant Indian.
Outsourced highlights many other stereotypes such as knowing little about America. In one episode the employees have to learn to fake American accents in order for customers not to hang up because the company is outsourced. Not only does this situation reinforce this stereotype but it also is comedic.
Outsourced shows that no stereotype can be true for everyone and how stereotypes are very wrong about the different races. When people see Gupta or the other employees on screen they realize how wrong the stereotypes are about Indians. Overall, Outsourced uses the stereotypes people think about Indians to make everyone laugh about the idiocy behind them.
Planet Earth is a series of documentaries that is a compilation of Nature's different landscapes. The show is filled with amazing video-clips of animals in nature. The show has little narration and is only really telling you what type of animals they are filming and what they are doing. I thought that the show Planet Earth was a good example of romanticism in our media today.
Romanticism was a movement in the arts that originated in Europe in the mid 18th century that involved less contemplating and understanding things, to just appreciating the things just for what they are. Focusing on beauty and the all types of emotions. Planet Earth made you feel all sorts of emotions, emotions that are fairly hard to explain. However, i can tell you that when you are watching the deep ocean scenes, scorching hot dessert scenes, jungles scenes, or arctic scenes, you feel different emotions for each one. Also each landscape had it's own sort of beauty. This was not your typical nature documentary because it had zero focus on trying to explain things. The images themselves where mentally stimulating enough.
I myself enjoy Planet Earth, however I do not care much for other romanticism works, because I don't believe in the discouragement of knowledge. Because ignorance is bliss, but ignorance is also mainly why we have genocide and wars in our world. Knowledge is power and the more we try to understand the less we let our emotions make the irrational decisions and instead we act through reason and understanding making ourselves closer to a peaceful world.
One of the many characteristics of Romanticism/Transcendentalism is the power of imagination, or "transcending" the physical world/envisioning ideal worlds. This specific trait of this era of literature is modernly adapted in the novel The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold.
The novel follows the story of Susie Salmon and her untimely death. But what is different about this tragedy than others is that Susie dies in the first chapter of the novel, and then we follow her into her "in-between" imaginary world, some would consider it her own purgatory. In the novel, that was later adapted into a film, Susie uses her imagination to create connections with her family back in the "normal" world in her attempt to bring justice to her murder. Slowly the reader realizes the novel is not about who killed her, but about little Susie Salmon learning to grow up and move on.
Susie's "In-Between" world changes as she changes throughout the novel. It begins where her imagination creates the perfect world for her and when the darkness of her old life begins to reflects in her own world, one can understand she is using her imagination for much deeper reasons.
Throughout the novel the author not only repeadently emphasizes the importance of Susie's imaginiation, enabling her to move on and finally end in peace but also emphasizes how important imagination was for her family, allowing them to hold on to a piece of Susie when she was gone. This is shown through her father. Susie's father feels connected to Susie multiple times in the book, and when he lets the power of imagination completely take over he is able to actually connect with her for the last time. Going through this traumatic experience then allows him to appreciate everyday life, another characteristic of romanticism.
In the end Susie uses her imagination to end her "In-Between" experience and move on with the rest of her murder's victims. But Susie Salmon, with her power of imagination, leaves a lasting impression on all that she left behind. To me, this story influences one to open their horizons to new experiences and new people, you never know what you will discover with your own imagination.