Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Wrestling (March 23rd)

Posted by vene131 on April 29, 2017

“Wrestling’s lack of separation between actor and character—in the narrative and
in performers’ minds—has contributed to a significant lack of understanding from
cultural commentators encountering wrestlers’ stories of fan attacks.”

I think this quote is something that struck me when reading this article about the fans involved in the wrestling fandom. One thing that this class has definitely opened my eyes up to is the fact that fandom life can relate to just about anything; it’s not all about nerdy things anymore which is so cool. I think that this lack of separation between and actor and character is something that a lot of people have trouble comprehending when they see performers that are involved in more reality TV based mediums. From what I have learned, with wrestling they are not necessarily their character, but they definitely put parts of their own personality into their characters and this makes it difficult for fans to separate the two of them. So I think when people hear of these fan attacks, they are forgetting to consider the fact that these fans sometimes legit think these people are the character. Since a lot of these actor perform some pretty violent things, I think it kind of makes sense that some fans would think that the way to get their favorite wrestlers attention is through some violent act especially if they are trying to reenact a particular scene that they have done on WWE before. I mean, there are tons of actors out there who have certain lines from movies and shows they will always have fans shout at them on the streets. Wrestling fans just have a harsher approach because they watch a harsher show.

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Wrestling Part 1 (March 21st)

Posted by vene131 on April 29, 2017

I definitely agree that wrestling is this thing where the storytelling borders on the line between real and reality TV. I haven’t watched much wrestling in my day, but I can definitely see how that is a huge part of it that makes wrestling appeal to its fans (you know, minus the fact that grown men are being slammed with chairs). I think that the article points out how the way they do storytelling is different than most TV shows. Because there is no primary text they use a lot of fan interaction to shape their stories. Now what I know of wrestling is what I have learned from my birth father. He was a professional boxer when I was growing up, so I knew a lot about how real boxing was but not much about how fake wrestling was. However, I know that he still watches it every Monday night and how WWE is like a Thing that his family has to watch every week because he says you never know what the writers are going to get up to anymore. From what he has told me, they used to use a lot more fan influences then they do now, which is ironic since there are things like Twitter that fans can use to tweet writers (I mean, I do that with my shows. The Shadowhunters writers probably hate me.) But I think the fact that fan interaction was even slightly part of the writing processes is commendable and probably the reason people kept watching. If writers will consider fan ideas at all I like to think they are cool people.

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Posted by katemilner9 on April 28, 2017

As we finish the book, and in turn, come to a close in the course,  our reading does a good job at illustrating what has been an underlying theme the whole time: media is really just a series of relationships. It’s the relationship between the media producers and consumers, between consumers and their friends or between media producers and their competition. Like any other relationship, these are all dynamic. Over time, we can see how priorities change and how new information works to shape our perception of how they go together. The parties can all look for different things as time goes on, there’s nothing keeping them static in their old ways. To study pop culture is to understand you’re looking at a big picture that’s always subject to change, regardless of what’s happened historically.

We leave this class now able to recognize how important being aware of the media we spread is. Just like we saw in They Live!,  once your eyes are opened to how media works, and how even quick retweets have a deeper meaning, it’s hard to un-see. From this point on, we’ll all be forced to look at how media moments function from a business standpoint and how our interactions with media as fans effects and molds the entire industry itself. There are things we never noticed that we’ll now see in everyday life, and at the end of the day, that’s one of the most important things you can leave a class able to do. While, sure, you could say we were disillusioned, regardless of how you feel about it, it’s new knowledge that helps us to understand the world around us, which is always a plus.

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Ham4Ham (extra credit)

Posted by vene131 on April 27, 2017

 hamilton lin manuel miranda grammys 2016 latino people hispanic people GIFBefore I ever knew about this being an extra credit opportunity, I knew that I was going to this talk because HAMILTON. I live for Hamilton. I listen to the soundtrack almost every day (gotta make time for Moana, ya know?) Either way I knew this talk was going to be very lit as the kids say.

One thing that stood oImage result for talk less smile more gifut to me was this notion of performance, and how a lot of historical musicals like Hamilton upfront tell you not to trust the narrative. Musicals like Hamilton keep some of the historical accuracy, but makes sure you know to question the performance. One example of that would be the song The Room Where it Happened. Listen guys, I am in fact a Burr. I am proud of the fact that I am a Burr. I mean, this is the most me thing I have ever seen. So when she explained how this song is literally telling the audience that they cannot trust what is going on and Related imagethat they should question is I was right there with her just silently clapping in my head. The Room Where it Happened is Burr talking about how no one actually knows what happens in these private meetings between political figures except the figures that were there. So this tells us as an audience that yes people can tell us what they think happened in history, but the truth is most of the time we don’t actually happened. “We just assumed that it happens” because “no one else was in the room where it happened” as the great Lin Manuel Miranda once said.

Image result for i[m erasing myself from the narrative gifAnother example she used was with the song Burn. Burn is literally made up. No one actually knows what Eliza Hamilton’s feeling were when Alexander published the Reynolds’s Pamphlet letting everyone know he was a cheating hoe. All we do know if what we think a wife would react to in this situation. So the song Burn is just Eliza burning all the letters Alexander wrote to her and basically solidifying that she no longer wants part in his narrative. However, I think that’s the main point of Hamilton. Yes, it tells the story of our founding fathers but it tells us the story in a way that makes the audience question everything that’s happening; and who is to say that isn’t how we should look at history in every sense? We are the one’s telling their story, not them. We do not actually know how these people felt in these situations. What we do know is this– the musical Hamilton is about a young immigrant who worked his way up and left a legacy that is now put back into the narrative of history.

And if you guys wanna watch a bit of the musical they performed at the Tony’s! If you’re wondering why they look like they are supposed to be holding guns it is because they usually do. Unfortunately, the night before the Tony’s the largest shooting against my people in US history happened at the night before, so to honor those who died in Orlando at the Pulse Nightclub the did the performance without them.

But if I am being honest the main lesson really is this:

Related image

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It’s finally over

Posted by cameronbrooks3 on April 27, 2017

I can’t even lie it’s feels so good to say that this is the last blog for the semester. Of course it was fun while it lasted and got to learn new things in the world but it’s time to move on to the next big thing. Before I do that let’s talk about the conclusion, this book has explained spreadable media in a whole different perspective, either from technology in the present or in the past and how to make something old still  relevant or new. One question that was asked in the book was how far should spreadability go? My response for that is I don’t know, let’s find out. If we make a decision on what we want the next big thing to be, we will either be satisfied or not. Throughout the years we have always been updated on the next big thing and even surprised, so if we make a decision on where we want spreadability to go where will the excitement go? Where will the creativity go? And most importantly what will we even be looking forward too IF we made that choice? It always feel good to have that rush inside of you ready for something new and just can’t wait anymore just like children on Christmas Eve they just can’t wait to open their gifts on Christmas morning which huge grains on theirs faces. Overall, this book is the true definition on what goes on during this time of media and it’s doesn’t feel right saying goodbye.

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The Wind Blows Where the Wind Will Blow

Posted by emilyfalicaa on April 27, 2017

My favorite part of the conclusion of Spreadable Media, was our discussion in class regarding a theory behind dandelions. There is the concept that you can create a beautiful flower of advertising but once it is let loose you don’t know where it will go. A few months ago I went on a missions trip to Panama City Beach and our motivation all week was ” the wind blows where the wind will blow”. We were taught and told every day of that week that we could work the hardest, we could help people, we could build a pretty picture, we could do exactly what we were told to do. But the wind would blow the seeds of our flowers ( or works and words) to various places. In the end, we might see where that seed planted itself. Others might get lost. They might also blow around for years before they make any difference in someone’s life. And that is exactly how spreading advertisements works. You could spend months creating the perfect method to market your product. You could take all the right methods and balance them accordingly. You could find some awesome mode of getting fan interaction. But you don’t know where the wind will blow the seeds of your work nor how long it will take for them to flourish. The only thing you can do is work hard and hope your production spreads from person to person and plants a long lasting impact.

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Extra Credit (4/26 event: Thoughts on Pop)

Posted by tommistowers on April 27, 2017

Yesterday I went to the extra credit opportunity you gave us that was called Thoughts on Pop. The event was split up into two sections with two different speakers. Dr. Andrew Rosa talked about “A Strike for Justice”: St. Clair Drake and the Struggle for Educational Reform at Hampton Institute. While Dr. Michelle Dvoskin took a different turn and talked about musicals. She focused on three main musicals that are reenacting history through musicals.

The first section was Dr. Andrew Rosa reading parts from Black Metropolis and the way he interpreted it. John Gibbs St. Clair Drake was the author of Black Metropolis: A Study of Negro Life in a Northern City. John Gibbs wrote this story after he attended Hampton University that was a huge impact into writing Black Metropolis. After Gibbs had enough of the way he was being treated him and other Hampton students began a strike. The strike started by a list of reasons such as for more black teachers, higher academic standards, the dismissal of racist and unqualified faculty, an end to various strict disciplinary policies, and more.

The second section was presented by Dr. Michelle Dvoskin. Throughout the entire presentation she focused on three different musicals. These three musicals were Hamilton the musical, the 1776 musical, and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson musical. Hamilton the musical was based on the life of Alexander Hamilton. This musical had more of a hip hop feel Dr. Dvoskin noted. 1776 the musical was based on the events that surround the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson was based on Andrew Jackson’s life. This musical had a rock and emo feel said Dr. Dvoskin. Dr. Dvoskin said that all the musicals performed are a performance of the past but not the past itself. The musicals are about the events from the past that are made into a story form. Dr. Dvoskin made an excellent point that really stuck out to me! She said, “History book edit and simplify the pass to clean it up. You do not see the founding fathers trying to get out of signing the Declaration of Independence or the heartbroken responses that Eliza (Hamilton’s ex wife). History books don’t show the arguments and any mocking that was happening throughout these events. Although these musicals are to educate people and they are well educated musicals they still had some incorrect events. One incorrect event that Dr. Dvoskin talked about was a scene from Hamilton called “Burn”. Eliza is heartbroken by Hamilton’s public affair. The song states that she is burning the records of her ever being Hamilton’s wife. Dr. Dvoskin said this timing was off. By the time Eliza burned the letters Hamilton wrote to her, he was already dead. Therefore, this was not directly after the affair, it was years after. Dvoskin states that the challenges with these musicals are to make sure the musicals have correct historical events and in the correct order.

In conclusion, at the beginning of this event I thought it was going to be boring. Once Dr. Dvoskin started talking things started to turn up. Overall, I thought this was a good event!

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Posted by adusheck on April 27, 2017

As the book ended it was nice to reflect on all the ideas presented throughout the book. Through reading “Spreadable Media” my mind has opened up and considered completely new depths when thinking about media and the way it is produced along with the conflicts that arise with it. Although I obviously knew before reading this book that there was some controversy in the media industry this book opens your eyes to the less surface level issues that occur and inform you of issues that occur before, during, AND after the production of a work. I think that before reading this book I was really clueless to the struggles that producers go through to one have their works funded, how that is effected by online viewing and also the struggle to understand the audience. As a viewer you just watch a work and either like it or don’t like it, most of the time if you choose to watch something it is because it looks good and you end up liking it so we as viewers don’t think of all the work it takes to make something likeable not just to us but to the millions of other viewers who hold a million different expectations aside from the ones that we have that also need to be met. Not only has this book opened my eyes to what big name producers and writers go through but also fans to some extent because although it is extremely necessary for a work to have a fan base the fan base is also limited in what he/she can do to show support to a particular type of media without it being considered copyright which is also a huge issue.

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Posted by amycorysite on April 27, 2017

The conclusion to our textbook, “Spreadable Media” emphasized how today all individuals in our day and age are able to spread media content. Because of this, the concept itself is of great significance to the way in which we going about spreading such content. Due to the fact that most media spreads at a viral rate has created a great amount of anxiety for corporate companies. Many of these companies still think they have the ability to control and pick apart how media is spread, but those days no longer exist. In relation, we finally find out the symbolism behind the decorative dandelions lining our pages and blog! Dandelions produce 2,000 every year; in which, they then blossom and blow off in the wind. The concept behind the dandelions relates to the way many writers and artists gravitate towards participatory systems that allow them to reach out to the audiences that would relate best to their content.  The “dandelion-style tragedy” is an example of the way writers and artists go about producing a large amount of their content on the Internet. In turn, they then have their followers spread the vast content for them. In doing so, even those who start out as the most insignificant writers and artists can then gain a larger readership over time. A prime example of this concept are Grassroots content creators. These creators are the result in pushing corporate companies off the grid in their attempt to continue to control the spread of media on the Internet.

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Presentations on 4/25

Posted by taylorbelcher on April 27, 2017

I was able to attend the Popular Culture Studies Capstone Presentations on Tuesday, April 25th. Each speaker presented very interesting and relevant topics. I took a few notes on each of the presentations. 
The first presentation by Garrett Hunt titled “Not Merely Entertainment: Japanese Anime and Manga” brought up some interesting facts that I had not known before. I had seen a few Japanese anime and manga growing up, but I never knew the history behind them or how they were made. Garrett talked about Osamu Tezuka, who created a lot of animes. Something interesting that I had learned was that he was inspired by the bombings in Japan, so he included that in his creations. Garrett also talked about different approaches people take in making anime and manga. One that he explained was the social sciences approach, which is examples of science versus religion within the anime. Another approach that he discussed was dramatic and literary criticism. This one focuses on universal themes and storytelling. The last one that Garrett talked about was the cultural documents approach, which allows the discovery of elements of Japanese culture through anime and manga. Like I said, I really enjoyed this presentation because I learned new information that I did not previously know and wouldn’t have researched on my own.
The second presentation was “Bob Dylan Rocks… The High Arts?” by Alissa Kendrick. Alissa discussed the controversy over whether or not Bob Dylan should have won the Nobel Prize in 2016 for his songs. She brought up a few interesting questions. One: Is music really literature? In my opinion, I think that all songs are poems; therefore, music is literature. Another question she asked was why did they award him now? Why not back then when the songs had just come out? When another person had asked the same question, Alissa had responded that she had done research and said, “The Swedish were leaning more towards American, and 2016 was leaning more towards politics.” Finally, going back to the “is music literature” question, Alissa stated that “if he said he was a poet and wrote his songs as a book of poems, then it probably would have had less controversy.” Alissa brought up a lot of great questions during her presentation, and I agreed with her opinions.
Marshall Metcalf gave a very interesting presentation over the connection between Alice in Wonderland and drug culture. He explained the history of Alice, when the book was published, and when the Disney animation came out. He brought up a good point saying that when it came out in the 50s, people didn’t like it because they thought it was too colorful; however, it became more popular in the 70s because of drugs. Marshall also explained how LSD became known as Alice. Even though it was not intended, it was easy to relate the two. Lewis Carroll originally intended for it to be the criticism of society’s view of children. Marshall’s presentation was about things that I have heard before, but he did a good job and still made it entertaining.
Lastly, Ariel Moore’s presentation “A Burger and a Dream” was also very interesting to hear. She compared the average American family that was on tv in the 50s compared to today and how different they are. She mentioned examples that had a minimum of two kids with at least one boy and all Caucasian, such as Leave it to Beaver; however, she also mentioned examples of shows today such as Blackish, which shows a different ideal family than ones shown in the 50s. Ariel then went through and talked about each of the characters on Bob’s Burgers. She said that Tina was the icon of millennials, and she did a poll on Twitter asking who they related and connected to more. Ariel stated, “52% most identified with Tina.” I thought that this was very creative and smart for her to do. She also talked about how Linda’s character had a Thanksgiving song that went viral on Facebook. This also shows how pop culture has influenced tv and technology.  

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