Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Archive for January, 2017

They Live! Response

Posted by emilychildress329 on January 31, 2017

When watching the movie in class, it was nothing that I thought it was going to be. As I was watching the movie, I had no idea what was happening. In fact, I did not fully understand the movie until the near end. When the movie was over I sat down and thought about the reasoning behind the movie and I finally realized that the movie was actually eye opening.

I think even though the author kind of made a joke out of something that was completely blown out of proportion, I think that the author had a lot of meaning. People, especially authoritative figures have a way of trying to do what they think is best for us without our opinion and their are a few groups that are actually trying to save the world from authoritative figures that are doing the wrong. The message is portrayed by the fact that one person sees a reason to try to help the world from every day people that hold a higher power in our society. I never thought that a movie that made no sense to me at first, would actually get me to thinking about everything that is happening in our world.


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Spreadable Media 2.0

Posted by adusheck on January 31, 2017

While reading the second half of Why Media Spreads I could definitely see a reoccurring theme in the book as it continued to talk about customer service and how media has an effect on a company’s success, to further the similarity it even then goes to talk about fandoms which I mentioned in my last blog post. In this portion of the text it states that it doesn’t matter if the customer service is truly great as long as they use social media as an illusion for a quick fix because it makes people believe that a company truly cares about them regardless of if they really do or not. An example of this being if a customer is unsatisfied with their sandwich at Wendy’s they may tweet at the business’ account with an attachment of a photo stating their dissatisfaction. In response to this the company account may tweet I am so sorry or something of that nature, maybe even offer to fix the customers problem. When the customer shows the tweet to the local merchant that does not mean that they will necessarily do anything to fix the customers problem because most fast-food restaurants are franchises meaning that they are owned by individuals rather than a corporate company which allows them to have more unique and specific policies.
Not only did the book touch on customer service again but also fandoms. I thought this was interesting because I was unaware that Mad Men and Twitter were created at the same time and that Mad Men ultimately gained popularity by having the actors interact with one another on social media. I feel that this goes to show that people truly do like to feel that people who they look up to are similar to them even in the smallest ways such as actively participating on twitter to pass time.

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They Live!

Posted by mackenzie brown on January 31, 2017

The film They Live! was extremely eye opening to me overall. I got some different covers from the film because it was a little odd to me. It was obviously an older movie where they felt as if the world was becoming corrupt and this “cult” was trying to stop it. At first I thought that the people in the church were trying to do something bad and were planning something sketchy because of the way they acted. I think the glasses had some reality behind them because I think a lot of things in the world can be corrupt sometimes if you really think on it for a while. This movie was obviously very unrealistic but I think it was trying to say that certain people (the skeleton people seen through the glasses) are trying to take over and contribute to the corruption. The two main actors were the ones who stayed “Normal” so to speak throughout the movie because at the end they see people who were at the homeless shelter with them and they are now rich and following the corruption of the other people. The man in the TV station even says “it’s just easier to join them” and the main characters don’t agree and try to kill him. They obviously were the two of the few people left that were still normal. I think that there are many things that can be corrupt in society and media definitely has a huge influence on us. People are easily convinced through the media and it can be a good way to try and influence society.

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‘They Live’ response

Posted by connorfrederick12 on January 31, 2017


From ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper, to the aliens of unknown origin, They Live is a wild ride from beginning to end. I was particularly entertained with Nada’s timeless one liners from his rampage. But the film was trying to convey something more than just action and killing aliens.

The movie is based on the 1963 short story “Eight O’clock in the Morning” by Ray Nelson. The 1960s were a time of great change across the world, culturally and technologically. Presumably with some inspiration from George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, Nelson wrote about an alien race that was watching over and controlling humans in means that humans could not see with the naked eye. Basically brainwashing them though media like TV, magazines, storefronts, advertisements etc. A secret, underground group was trying to turn the tide against these creatures and basically wake up humanity back into ways of free thinking.

I was talking to one of my friends about the movie the other day because he is a huge Roddy Piper fan, and he said “They Live might as well be a documentary.” I was kinda taken back by the statement, more so because I was confused. But as I watched the film I really began to think, that is what has happened to society today. Not in a literal sense, but in a sense that humans follow media so closely and do it without thinking about it. The majority of humans are extremely gullible when it comes to marketing and advertisement, and that’s what this movie/short story is trying to convey to us. That media and the world around us that we as humans have created have let it, in a way, take control of us.

This idea was brought up in a short story from over 50 years ago, and it still applies to humanity today. Which may not be a good thing.


“I came here to kick ass and chew bubblegum… And I’m all out of bubblegum” – Nada

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How To Read This Book

Posted by kaufmansw on January 31, 2017

While reading the portion from Spreadable Media, “How to Read This Book” the part that stuck out the most to me the most was where it talked about how important it was for companies to consider the crowd they are selling to.  Companies that are most successful know who they’re selling to and how to market their product.  If a company can’t catch people’s interest then the company will flop.

One thing I really liked in reading “How to Read This Book” was how they talked about the wide range of sources they used in writing the book.  One thing to keep in mind while discussing a topic is that not everyone sees things the same way you do.  To ensure that you aren’t overlooking others, it’s often wise to formulate diverse groups of people when making decisions.  Bias is a thing we don’t often realize when we form opinions and make decisions.  There are many factors that can affect bias.  These could include our parents, friends, or where we’re from.  Unfortunately people have a tendency to think selfishly.  People will put their personal needs over what’s good for the group.  For example, when it came to this year’s elections, people would often vote for a candidate based on one issue instead of looking at the whole body of work and what would be best for the country.  On page xi, it states that the book will best serve those readers from the media industries who strive to listen to their audiences more deeply and to understand the “big picture,” rather than those looking for easy ways to “exploit” or “leverage” the people their company purports to serve.  Learning to embrace other opinions and values will only enhance world peace today.

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Jan 21 blog post “How to Read This Book”

Posted by mackenzie brown on January 31, 2017

“How To Read This Book” was really helpful in understanding the readings further. I liked how it explained what the book was trying to get across to the audience and how they want to see the “bigger picture” in the media and become more understanding. I think it is very important for media companies to keep in mind how their audiences feel because their audience is what keeps them going. Media is so popular and has a huge influence on our society so it needs to be in a positive way. This shows how “spreadable” the media really can be because we read about Twitter and blogs in Iran in “Twitter Revolutions?”. They got to use social media networks to express how they feel and made blogs as well. The protestors expressing their opinions on this subject really helped the government understand their concerns. This is actually a really clever way to protest because it is harmless and no violence is involved and we definitely need that in our society today because there is too much violence going on because of protests. People are definitely more prone to reporting things to the media rather than the news and paper. This generation is all about technology and media so it makes sense that we would report to the media. We use our smart phones for everything and the access to media and posting videos and pictures is so easy. Use too, people had to record and photograph things on a separate device then upload them to a computer then upload them to some source of media. So at that point it was easier to call in and report things. Now we have the internet, cameras and media all in one so it is easier to upload it to social media such as Twitter or Facebook straight from our smart phones. Once it is uploaded to a social media site it immediately spreads and goes “viral” so to speak so that people all over the world know what is going on. This is a perfect example of how the media is so spreadable.

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“How to Read This Book” and three other articles

Posted by emilymorgan98 on January 31, 2017

I really liked the “How to Read This Book” part of the reading. Not many scholar books have something like that; something that begins to explain the purpose of the book and how to sort through the information given as well as explains why the authors wrote what they wrote. I also liked how instead of just one person writing up this book there were three which helps gives different vantage points to different topics which will be cool!

Next I read Phillips article “In Defense of Memes”. It was a little bit hard to follow (thinking the example she used I’m not familiar with?) but overall I thought it was interesting. I had never thought about memes like that before. I just thought that one person saw something funny in a video and put a caption on it and it became viral to the point everyone was using it or saying it. It was cool to see another, more professional, point a view since I have never really questioned memes; either I liked them or I did not.

I became kind of shocked while reading Uricchio’s piece about “The History of Spreadable Media”. I never realized nor would I have ever thought that things such as coins, ceramic plates, or even religion to be examples of spreadable media! I also never realized the Europe tried to base their media off of programs we had after the war.

In Henry Jenkins article, “Twitter Revolutions”, there was once part that stuck out some and that was when he mentioned how people had a worse view of the war then what was really going on because of low quality videos coming from Facebook or YouTube. People tend to believe what they see and not look much deeper than they have too. People could post a picture or video of something that might look awful but in reality it is not that bad. That person wanted to show the worse of the event.

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History of Spreadable Media

Posted by emmaeled on January 31, 2017

I found the History of Spreadable Media essay to be extremely interesting in the ways that it explained religion, historical artifacts, and coins as media. Typically when I think of media I think news, or social media, or pictures and celebrities. I’ve never thought of media as a physical object that could be passed down or even an ideal to be worshiped. However, media is all of these things. Media is mass communications by any means and it vasts in its existence. I also never took the time to realize how media had to fight to get off the ground. From the beginning there were companies and people trying to hoard the ability to reach the masses and make money. For example the Motion Pictures Patent Company. It took years for alternatives and smaller media platforms to be able to break through them and gain the rights they deserved.

The section I found the most interesting in “How to Read This Book” was the section that brought up the tensions between all of the different views on who has the power, ownership, and handle on media. It raised questions on the lack or gain of citizen control, if new platforms of media are destabilizing businesses, and how the next medium will democratize communication. There are several opinions and views on the world of media I never considered. These questions and accusations are important to consider because media is prevalent in our lives. We don’t go a day, probably even 30 minutes, with out engaging in, or digesting, some sort of media. If media is only in the hands of big media companies that’s not good for the masses. You have to have freedom and alternative views and creations or you get one sided media and I’m pretty sure that’s how people get brainwashed in large quantities.

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Social Media Growth: I Need Snapchat to Complain

Posted by vene131 on January 31, 2017

Social media is a huge help for any form of activism. It can be used as a form of protest or at least to get the protest out there for other people to see. I mean, if we look at how huge protesting became in our country when the Angry Yam was officially elected we can see that. I remember that the next night someone posted a Facebook Live video for the protest that was outside PFT. And I think by doing something like that they got the message out there about what was going on, and there was definitely a larger turnout than if someone would have just told their friend and tried to get it around through word of mouth. The reason that throughout history we have used some form of spreadable media is because people have to have some way to express what they are feeling. Before it was on the radio, television, or even just writing into different outlets. Today that just takes the form of social media. This expansion of media overtime has allowed for more people to express themselves in ways that they could not before. Everyone has a story to tell and I think that is a major reason behind social media being so popular today. Storytelling is so ingrained into our culture that to have easy outlets for that would be hard to pass up. Personally, if I didn’t have a way to do my daily snapchat rants I don’t know how I would survive.

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“How to Read This Book” & the 3 Essays

Posted by taylorbelcher on January 31, 2017

First, I read the essay by Whitney Phillips titled, “In Defense of Memes.” I found it interesting that “the creation and transmission of memes” was compared to “the process of human reproduction” since I had never thought of it in that sense. Memes have definitely grown to popularity within the past few years, and I feel that they are a great way to spread media and information in an amusing yet educational way.

The first sentence in “The History of Spreadable Media” by William Uricchio really stood out to me because it’s unbelievably true- “Media has been evolving and spreading for as long as our species has been around to develop and transport them.” I was also surprised when it was mentioned that religion could be used to provide evidence of the media’s spreadable past because I hadn’t really thought about it. When I think about the history of it, I think about the current events at the time or how much has advanced or developed, but now I do agree because religion is vast and influential just like media.

“Twitter Revolutions?” by Henry Jenkins was most definitely interesting to read, especially because we can see that in our world today. Personally, I think it’s an effective way to get ideas and opinions out in the world for everyone to see. For example, the Women’s March that people were participating in just this past month, I had no idea that that was even happening until I saw it on Twitter. So many people had used that hashtag and retweeted things about it that it spread. This can be seen with lots of other things too in today’s society.

Lastly in the “How to Read This Book” section, I think it’s fascinating that the intended audience is for a variety of groups. Normally, we see where materials are written for one specific group. I also think that it’s beneficial that the authors are from “different vantage points” as well, and they address that they have strong feelings about the issues because I feel that makes their points and arguments stronger. Also, I firmly agree that culture plays a role in the changes that are made within the media and not just the “technologies that support it.” And I am looking forward to reading more of this book.

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