Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Archive for April, 2013

Twitter’s Affect on Television News Media

Posted by colleencourtney on April 30, 2013





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My paper will be about Twitter and the affects it has had on television news media. Television news media has been trying to compete against Twitter rather than reporting facts, and I feel as if their credibility has lessened because of it. I plan on discussing how Twitter has been around since 2006 but didn’t seem to become popular till these past three or four years. It’s huge now and all these media sites and people use it to spread news about current events. I want to start off my paper giving a little background of Twitter. Information like what it was originally made for and by whom. Also I plan on discussing all the features that Twitter has, such as retweeting and the trending topics. It’s easy to tweet and retweet to spread a message. I’ll also discuss how many users are on Twitter today.

                I want to discuss events that have happened in the recent years and how Twitter and television news media handled these events. These events will be the announcement of Osama Bin Laden’s death, the plane crash on the Hudson, and the Boston Massacre/Manhunt in Watertown. For the Osama Bin Laden announcement, I remember the night it was announced, as I’m sure many others do. I was on Twitter at the time when people started tweeting about how President Obama was going to do a press conference. Then rumors were being thrown around until people heard about Osama Bin Laden possibly being dead. Then it was confirmed when President Obama gave his speech. I also want to discuss how a man by the name of Sohaib Athbar who was living near the area of Osama’s compound, tweeted about hearing helicopters hovering and hearing a loud bang. President Obama’s press conference came a day later revealing the death of Osama Bin Laden. So, this guy unknowingly revealed the night of Osama Bin Laden’s death.

                Twitter was also the source where we first learned of the plane crash on the Hudson. Twitter users were tweeting about the plane crash and tweeting photos of the plane in the water. Television news media really can’t compete with a regular person tweeting about events that have just occurred. Many of us have become “citizen journalists” even if we don’t mean to be.

                The Boston bombing/Manhunt was basically exhausting for television news media and Twitter. You had networks competing against each other and using news from Twitter that hadn’t been verified. By trying to bring breaking news, these television networks were sacrificing credibility for speed. It’s not as big of a deal when things are reported falsely on Twitter, but when these big television news stations report false news, they are ridiculed. It was tough for CNN and the like, when Twitter users were uploading pictures of the police and other personnel who were set atop of storage buildings with snipers. Television news media weren’t allowed to be that close so they were left to make observations about the police who were standing around.

                So that’s basically what my paper will be about. Just Twitter and how it’s caused these news stations to lose credibility because they are competing with Twitter and other news networks.


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I Love Lucy, an unintentional feminist icon.

Posted by xautumndanielle on April 30, 2013

My research for my term paper thus far has centered around viewing both Lucille Ball and Lucy Ricardo as Feminist Icons, even if that wasn’t the intention of the character or Lucille Ball. While Lucille Ball technically wasn’t for women’s liberation her actions and those of the character Lucy Ricardo helped many women in the post-World War II era and in comedic television begin to flourish.

I started off by researching the societal tensions after the two World Wars, during which many women who hadn’t previously worked began to join the workforce to bring in money for the family and fill positions that had been vacated during the war. Working women weren’t uncommon but the amount of women who went to work, especially married women who were preferred to stay at home and take care of the children, increased. This created a lot of tension in society. Men didn’t want women working beside them and losing their femininity while women felt it was their patriotic duty to do so. I Love Lucy and the character of Lucy Ricardo became an example of the anxiety felt in society by her ambitions to become a star while also struggling with her social position as a woman during the 1950’s.

I then go on to discuss June Cleaver, who is often considered the ideal Post-World War II woman, and her contributions contrasted against Lucy Ricardo’s a bit. While Lucy was technically stayed at home much of the time because her ambitions never really panned out and she was often reprimanded in the end by her husband, Ricky, she never gave up on her dreams . Lucy Ricardo didn’t cater to her husband’s every desire like June Cleaver and allow her wants to go out the window, she chased them, not matter how wacky and crazy the end product turned out to be. I then go on to give a few examples of instances in the show that challenged the stay at home, subservient wife views of the time as well as her influence on shows that came during the major Women’s Liberation movement of the 60’s and 70’s.

Lastly, I discuss Lucille Ball’s life and career. How she managed to make a move from the B-movie, in the background, Vaudeville actress she once was to starring in her own show. How her famous red hair came to play a major part in her life and her hand in Desilu productions which she eventually bought Desi Arnaz out of and ran on her own. I also discuss a bit about how her being a female comedian and not stereo-typically beautiful all of the time helped advance the cause of women’s liberation and change the way they were viewed and influenced future female comedians.

While Lucille Ball was quoted saying she hadn’t much need for women’s liberation, you can’t overlook the contributions she and her character Lucy Ricardo ultimately had on the movement. While it may have not been much or had any immediate effects, she broke barriers in the 1950’s that allowed others to pick up the cause and do great things with it.


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East Coast & West Coast Rivalry

Posted by ardrey821 on April 29, 2013

Since the topic of rivalries was being talked about in class last thursday, I couldn’t help but remember the infamous east coast and west coast rivalry between 2pac and the notorius B.I.G or biggie, which was mainly influenced by the fans of the east coast and west coast hip hop scenes. Not to mention 2pac and biggies enormous hate for one another. I can remember being a kid when all this took place. For me growing up, I really liked 2pac alot more than biggie. But when this beef happened, being closer to the east coast really persuaded me to envy and even listen to more biggie. I can remember being scared to listen to 2pac on my way to school, because I didn’t want to be shunned or even shot for listening to west coast hip hop.

Since the orgins of hip hop were founded on the mean streets of South Bronx in the east coast, and New York city being the forefront of rap during the mid 80’s and early 90’s, I really beleive the presence of another great rap artist such as 2pac scared many individuals in the rap movement, which created a major division in society, not to mention the violence and brutality that accompanied it. I can remember certain beef songs being put out by both 2 pac and biggie, mentioning things about shooting and killing each other. Which ended up to be the truth, as both rap artists ended up dead. No rap rivarly to me will ever come close to the east coast west coast rivalry between 2pac and biggie. I feel that today rap rivalrys are overplayed for ratings and sales.

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Posted by violetknot on April 29, 2013

I’ve recently been getting into shows with cult like followings. I’ve always wanted to see Firefly and Buffy the Vampire Slayer to see what the hype was about, which are ironically both written by Joss Whedon. Now after reading multiple articles for class that talk about cult shows, they instantly pique my interest. I want to know what makes them interesting and why only a certain group of people followed the show so extensively.
For example, I’ve started watching “My So-Called Life.” This show released near the year I was born and I see a lot of things that continued on into the 90s that were part of my childhood. This show is very realistic and analyzes pressing issues of the time. Of course, it can be racist and sexist, but the show is progressive for its time. This show actually ended for a good reason; the teenage actors need to focus more on their education.
However, there are multiple shows that are cancelled for, seemingly, no reason. A more recent example is the show called Cult. It’s basically cult-ception. Cult is about a tv show called Cult and how the followers are actually part of a cult. The show started out slow, but has begun to get better and better. Of course CW has cancelled the show and has no plans to air, or release online, the six episodes that they already have recorded. I find it funny that people that would watch these types of shows often become more attached to shows/media and now it’s cancelled. So now Cult is literally a cult show.

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Thank you!

Posted by msbeck14 on April 28, 2013

I’m the strawberries….

As I embarked upon this semester, I never thought a class could change my whole perspective on LIFE. Pop culture is so many things that I still cant put a definition on it. While I thought pop culture was television shows, movies, books, social media, and pictures; I had no idea of what pop culture really was. I know now that pop culture is like an mixing bowl. The mixing bowl holds all of it’s ingredients, accessible to what’s outside of it. Instead of being covered, hidden or even separated by the shaft of the umbrella, the bowl holds all of the ingredients together. This bowl even allows contents to be spilt over. The mixing bowl culture is the umbrella turned inside out. We live in a society that is full of mixing but finding the proper ingredients is where we go wrong.

So my point is this, pop culture is what you make it. What you put out is what you get in return. If I want positive reinforcement in my life, I have to put it out there in that way. This class has taught me so much. This class challenged me to think about the term spreadability, pop culture, role models, and my role within society. I would have been another “its just” girl. I’m embodying the principals of womanhood. I want to be viewed as a woman that stands for something and falls for nothing. I want to contribute to a mixing bowl full of great ingredients. I want to create a fruit salad that consist of blueberries, strawberries, grapes, oranges, kiwis, and pineapples. My next challenge is making sure that the people around me understand my recipe and contribute the right things so one day our fruit salad will become a delicious fruit pizza.

Thanks for everything Mr. Ford!

Brandi Beckham

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Posted by colleencourtney on April 28, 2013

Our talk in class about rivalries among rappers had me intrigued. Rappers start these rivalries for various reasons such as, gang affiliation, an ex-girlfriend, or maybe because someone else is copying them. Some rivalries can be real but I feel like a lot of rivalries are fake or played up for the media. I remember when 50 Cent and Kanye West had a big rivalry going. I believe their albums were coming out on the same day and I believe 50 Cent made a proposition. He agreed that if Kanye West outsold him in the first week, he would no longer make music. I don’t believe Kanye West vowed to do anything if he was outsold. Anyway, the media hyped this up big time. I remember, I think it was the MTV music awards, and they had Kanye and 50 Cent appear on stage at the same time. I vaguely remember them walking from opposite ends and coming face to face to stare each other down. Anyway, the first week sales came out and Kanye sold around 950,000 while 50 Cent sold around 700,000. As you all know, 50 Cent did not quit making music. Something that did occur was both of their albums selling very well. The feud was basically a pissing contest, but they hyped up the rivalry enough that they both benefited with strong album sales. I think the only losers in that rivalry were the people who bought Kanye’s album in hopes that 50 Cent would quit making music. So any time I hear of a rivalry, I wonder if it’s real or if it’s being played up for ratings or sales.

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SOAP OPERA Fandom is a way of life

Posted by 90210code on April 28, 2013

If any of my classmates could tell, I’m a big fan of the Soap Opera. if you would have asked me three years ago, I probably would have seemed uninterested in the topic and very aloof. Now, thanks to Sam Ford, I’m a believer. 

After reading “The Moral Economy of Soap Opera Fandom” once again, I began to understand it more and more. I understand why fans will stick with a certain soap for years, even decades. They turn their television on everyday and invite these families of characters of families into their living rooms and lives everyday for five days a week. It’s the fan’s personal routine. Mine is to watch my soap opera when I’m unwinding at the end of the day with a snack or glass of wine. Everyone has a different routine. 

It’s funny that I’m posting this tonight because the revival of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” premieres tomorrow on HULU and iTunes. So, all will be right with fans when they return tomorrow. The only trouble is that older fans who only watch only via television will have to start streaming and viewing it online since it’s not coming back to daytime television. 

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4kids Entertainment SUCKS!

Posted by iamchipcore on April 28, 2013

I recall in class when we spoke about anime and how Japanese culture is reflected in these programs when they reach a western audience.

In class I pointed out the notorious 4kids Entertainment: an entertainment company that capitalized upon adapting foreign animation to a Western audience. Above all the most controversial practice of the company was localization of foreign animation…more specifically removal of ALL traces of Japanese culture.

One of the most common examples of this process was in an early episode of the popular animation Pokemon. In one episode, the main characters are seen eating rice balls (a snack commonly found in your basic Japanese restaurant) however instead of referring to these things as riceballs, a supporting character, Brock proclaims: “THESE DONUTS ARE GREAT! JELLY FILLED ARE MY FAVORITE! NOTHING BEATS A JELLY FILLED DONUT!” while as children these edits were hardly noticeable as adults they became much more apparent.

Later seasons began to air and the edits became much more apparent. During the fifth season of Pokemon one edit became EXTREMELY noticeable in a scene where the protagonist Ash trips over a large riceball…to which 4kids superimposed a hero sub sandwich in the American version.

Edits became much more apparent as years went by, although as children we would never notice. However in 2005 the popular pirate themed anime One Piece became a property of 4kids Entertainment. Their dub….atrocious, each episode was filled with blatant edits and horrible script writing and numerous episodes skipped. The public outcry was great and ultimately led to the sale of the property to Funimation along with Pokemon to Nintendo’s new Pokemon USA company.

In my opinion, unless the content is offensive no edits should be made, children should be allowed to learn about other cultures and should NEVER be sheltered from them.


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How do you feel when you see SPOILER ALERT?

Posted by 90210code on April 28, 2013

Spoilers. Our discussion in class got me thinking about them. What would we do without them in popular culture? As consumers of popular culture, we are constantly on the hunt for whatever we can get our hands on. It could be an excerpt from a “Harry Potter” book in the series, a clip from Beyonce’s upcoming album, or even if we can view just a minute from an upcoming movie trailer. 

This leads me to the teaser trailer for one of the most anticipated movies of 2013, “The Hunger Games” Catching Fire.” The two and a half minute teaser trailer debuted at the 2013 MTV Movie Awards. People all over the world wanted to tune in just see the likes of Katniss Everdeen and the whole cast of characters in this movie. This movie doesn’t premiere until mid-November, so fans will just have to keep pressing refresh on that trailer until a remixed trailer premieres.

Why can’t we, as fans, stand the wait? Why can’t there be an air of mystery and suspense when it comes to spoilers of photos, dialogue, costumes, etc? Are we ruining our own experience by wanting to see too much too soon? I believe so. I am the first to admit that I can’t wait until dessert after dinner and sometimes want it before. But the anticipation makes it that much sweeter. Why can’t we just take what we can get instead of constantly being on the hunt for the spoiler? It might make the experience that much more enjoyable. 

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My Testimony

Posted by mathiusbryant on April 28, 2013

Hola fellow classmates! My last post for this class is a personal. Now I am sure we all know about the fighting over land in the middle east between Israel and the Muslims. But I am here to tell you that God gave that land to the Jews. Now the reason why I called this post “My Testimony” is because I want to tell everyone what God has done for me. He has provided me a peace in my heart that I have been searching for my entire life. I believe his word is true and I stand firm in it. Now any atheist or agnostic want to use scientific theory and different kinds of “religion” to tell everyone why God is fake and Jesus wasn’t the son of man. But let me tell you my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, he will prove all of that wrong when he returns to earth. So be ready cause he is coming back soon. He is all over me! He is on the right, on the left, in front, in back, over me, under me, and he’s keeping me alive. Praise him!

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