Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Manipulation in the Media

So I started reading "The Death of Media" today and I have to say I am somewhat concerned with my lifestyle. Not that I conform to everything that is seen as "hip or trendy" but that I watch so much television I can't remember if I actually like something or just think I like it due to constantly being told whats cool. I have always known that television is designed to maximize profits as Schechter states but their goal to distract away from this realisation has truly gotten hold of me. It's like infomercials...we're told they are gimmicks that don't work and we all see the "results may vary" in size 8 font at the bottom of the screen but it doesn't change us from believing it.

I honestly never really considered manipulation and seduction to play such a large role commercially. Over the years I have avoided the radio because I don't like being told what songs I am meant to like..however I didn't even think that by watching television I still was being told whats popular, thus what I should be watching. And it's everywhere, I try to pride myself on not conforming to the fashions of today but it's not always easy to go shopping and not end up with something that's considered part of today's trends.

One other thing that actually I find kind of disturbing is how by reading books like this I feel like I'm discovering that I've been lied to for my whole life. I've always known that "TV markets culture" but never sat and thought about it. Then in class I hear about Facebook and how deceiving it is, and being told it's like being under surveillance...and you conform to who you "wish you were" not who you are. It makes me sick, and anxious. I went home and really contemplated deleting my account because I felt almost violated.

My issue is I trust anyone who in my opinion is smarter and knows more about subject than I do...I never feel like I know the truth though because so many people have so many opinions. I'm really intrested now about the manipulations and issues about mass media because I feel less isolated from what truly going on behind the curtain.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Down the Rabbit Hole

Hey there,
just wanted to write about a few thoughts I had following today's lecture/discussion

Watching the short clip from "Being John Malcovich" and our discussion of Inter-texuality, it really got my mind spiraling around the idea of how often I link one thing to another subconsciously. Like prof. Reilly said, it basically just happens because our brain links things to what we already know. When we started the clip and I saw the small door behind the filing cabinet, the first thing I thought of was "Alice in Wonderland" and how her adventure took her down the Rabbit hole to this little door at the end of a hallway, which like the character in "Being John Malcovich" she had a strong desire to go through. Then the door is opened and all you can see is this dark tunnel which looked identical to the Rabbit hole in "Alice" so that sparked my initial link. I then travelled from "Rabbit Hole" to "The Matrix" as Morpheus explains to Neo how going into the Matrix was going "down the rabbit hole". The Matrix in turn is based on a huge advancement in technology as the whole story is set in a computer like world, so that has a direct relevance in the sense that we are studying media.
I'm interested to know what Inter-textual thoughts or ideas struck other people after seeing this short piece of film.

I also wanted to add a quick indirect comment about the topic of discussion about Gay and Lesbian people not being allowed to donate organs...I never heard anything about this till today, and I wanted to agree with what Christine said in the sense that, why did no one get to vote for or debate this issue. Every year I see all this publicity for the yearly "Marijuana March" and people arguing to make pot legal. And the publicity for these events are everywhere, TV, Internet, Facebook, Newspaper... If THIS is what were taking our time to protest about, It makes me wonder where all the support is for the more important issues. Is there just less coverage on the things that are considered more important?