Thursday, June 01, 2006

Final Project

Current Study Summary

My current study was intended to compare my previous study concerning XBOX 360 box cover art along with the content of each game as well as an informal phone study I conducted that acquired information from nine different gamer's (AKA my friends/family/acquaintances) and assessed their gaming habits and preferances. After concluding my study I found that the information gathered in my previous study still holds true after the release of two additional titles. As far as the new aspects of the study, I found that there are nearly an equal number of video games with content I defined as "violent" as there were "non-violent" games. With the final portion of this new study, I gathered that on average there are more male gamers than female, (or that at least I personally know more male gamers than female) that the average playing time per week was around or more than fifteen hours and that the genre of preferance was diversely varied, although I should also note, that while I marked which genre the gamer preferred most, no one that I interviewed stated that they did not enjoy any one genre, except my cousin Haley who only plays Mario and Tetris.

Previous Study Summary

The comparative study I used was the study I created for my shadow project. It concluded that there are more depictions of men than women on the video game box art, that this was due primarily because of the high number of men's related sports games for the XBOX 360, that men were more likely to be depicted in an active position on the box (due also in part of the many sports related games), but that unlike box art for the last generation of consoles there were significantly less number of people, in particular women, that were dressed in "scantily-clad" clothing (still only three games).

Literary Foundation for the Study

"Media Effect Research: A Basic Overview"
"Sex in Consumer Culture"
XBOX 360 List of Games

Corpus and Method

In the first part of my new study I classified each game for the XBOX 360 into one of two categories: Violent and Non-Violent. I defined "violent" as any game in which the majority of the content or primary theme involved with the game was inclined to an aggressive or destructive manner. This includes games that use weapons to destroy/incapacitate your enemy (Perfect Dark Zero/Elder Scrolls III: Oblivion), games that are focused on the destruction of property (Burnout Revenge/Full Auto) or games that fell into the "fighting" genre (Dead or Alive 4/Fight Night Round 3). "Non-violent" games on the other hand included every game that did not focus the majority of the games content on aggressive or destructive behavior, although the game might have had some minor, underlying violent content (i.e. full contact sports games). To further explain what I have described as "minor violence", it would include games from the racing genre in which crashing or destroying the other racers was not part of the game's mechanics, but crashing your vehicle was still possible and very plausible or as I stated earlier, games that featured quasi-violent game mechanics such as full contact sporting games.

For the other half of my new study, I aquired basic gaming information from nine different gamers. First, the average amount of time they spend weekly playing video games. And then, which of the six (seven if you include cross genre or non-categorizable games) genres of video games do they prefer playing the most often.

Findings

There have been two additional games released since my last study on the XBOX 360, these games were "Hitman:Bloodmoney" and "MotoGP '06". The hitman game displayed a fully clothed man in a passive stance, (only thing that could be described as active was the fact that he was holding a chord intended to strangle/asphyxiate a unseen person) while the new motorcycle game featured the back of a rider on top of a motorcyle in an active position, however the biker was wearing a full body racing suit and helmet making gender impossible to decipher and he/she was riding away from the perverbial camera and was looking over his/her shoulder.

In the second portion of my study, out of the now thirty-five video games for the XBOX 360, nineteen of these games were classified as having "violent" content, where as sixteen of the games had no more than very minor violent content and were therefore categorized as "non-violent".

In the final portion of my study, I conducted a phone survey with nine different regular video game players to assess their gaming habits and preferences. I concluded from this portion of the study that there were seven men surveyed and only two women, that two of the gamers only play video games no more than an average of five hours a week, four gamers played no more than fifteen hours a week and five of the games played more or around fifteen hours a week. As far as the gamers preference to a particular genre of video game, two preferred first person shooters (Halo), one preferred sports (NFL 2K6), one preferred puzzles (Tetris), one preferred platformers (Mario), one preferred action/adventure (Legend of Zelda), one preferred racing (Burnout Revenge) and one preferred the last category I established, that of the cross-genre game or unclassifiable genre game (Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas).

Conclussion

After finishing this newest study, I have made multiple conclussions. Firstly, of the two new games released on the console, both featured one person that was not scantily clad, one in a passive position, the other in an active and while one of the people on the box art was male, the other's gender was not discernable given the outfit the biker was wearing.

Concerning the ammount of violent content of the total number of games for the console, fifty-four percent were of a violent nature while fourty-five percent were of a non-violent nature.

Lastly, I found out from the gamers I phoned, seventy-seven percent were male, twenty-two percent were female. Twenty-two percent played five to ten hours a week, fourty-four percent played ten to fifteen hours a week and fifty-five percent played around or more than fifteen hours a week.

Now onto some of my thoughts on the outcome of my study as it relates to video game violence. In the chapter conserning video games in the textbook, "Media Effects Research: A Basic Overview" the final consensus of the author was that yes violence is prevelant in video games as it is in all other media, as well as the fact that it appears to have some affect on a person's short-term aggressive tendencies, though the author points out its relatively nominal effect compared to other media, "...that this effect is smaller than the effect of violent television on aggression". My favorite quote from the chapter was this, "Human behavior is complicated and caused by hundreds of factors, only some of which we know about." I think that this is a important note to point out, that while video games (like all media) can have adverse affects on people, it is only one in hundreds (perhaps thousands or more) factors that influence who we are as people and that playing violent video games doesn't neccissarily make a person violent.

In conclussion, I have described how violent video games still exist and more than likely (hopefully) will always exist in some form or another in all human made media. Is this because humans are innately violent and need a means in which to vent/channel/focus those violent behaviors or does violence in the media spawn such behaviors? The answer to these questions I doubt will ever be confirmed in any study, but I think that it could accurately be stated that while video games (like all media) serve as a channel of our aggressive tendencies, they also have a plausible effect on the level of aggression that we manifest.

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Stephan Colbert, My Personal Hero as Well as a Look at Spike Lee's satirical Comedy/Tragedy, "Bamboozeled"

Cranky Old Man - Are you kidding me Brett?! He's French! You can't trust those namby pamby crosaint eating, Germany surrendering, beret wearers!
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OK this is my last post other than my final project and it might be a little "fluffy", but I must profess my love for all that is Colbert. For purposes of the class however I need to relate it (all be it loosely) to something dealing with race, gender or sexuality. OK give me a minute, this could take a while....

OK got it, there's one word that comes to mind when I think of Stephan Colbert, satire, or more specifically anti-satire, (which I define as satire that constantly professes that is anything but satire, good stuff huh?) and personally as a writer, I find satire not only to be the greatest achievement of comedic writing in the history of the written word, but also to be the best and most effective way to address a serious issue and still manage to maintain a lighter tone and style at times. Plus, there's a sense of healing or of the catharsis concerning humor, it can get somber issues into the public eye and can facilitate discussion to things that would otherwise not be talked about on a wider scale.

During class today we watched the Spike Lee satirical, comedic-tragedy, "Bamboozeled". After viewing the movie in class I left with the following thoughts. Firstly, that some people don't recognize satire when they see it, even though the film begins with the main character breaking the theatrical "fourth wall" in order to tell us the audience that, "hey guess what, this movie is intended to be satirical." I guess I find it a bit ironic that like in the movie, a person or character's intentions (Lee/Delicroux) at times don't reflect the end result of their actions.

That aside, I feel that it is an effective satire, utilizing hyperbolic themes and stereotypical characters to convey the overrall message is at the heart of the satire and Spike Lee produced a wonderful example of satire as it, in the movie's case, deals with the complex and difficult issue of modern day race relations and the responsibility of every person to confront and attempt to destroy racism (which is a very lofty goal).

Other great modern sources of satire would include one of my personal favorite's, Mike Judge's animated opus and all around masterpiece, "King of the Hill". If you haven't watched this satirical look at the oddities of the "average" American community (in particular Texas) then shame on you, go watch it now or I will no longer think highly of you.

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This is a picture of some of Stephan's "merchandise", but since the websites birth all of the "merchandise" has always been mysteriously out of stock. Personally, I think this is just another one of his many askewed jokes he plays with the public.

Thoughts on, "The Flaming Heart: Why Should Gays be Denied the Pleasures of Catholic Guilt?"

Today I read an article in the Ft. Worth Weekly by Jimmy Fowler that displayed the above title. In it he describes how the catholic experience is like for a "out in the open" homosexual man.

In the article he describes what brought him to catholicism as well as why he would wish to associate himself with a seemingly anti-gay organisation (I'd say religion, but calling it an organisation creates more conflict hahahahaha <---that was diabolical laughter by the way).

He also uses the article to describe his first crush, Jesus. Growing up he was exposed over and over to the cliched, white with blue eyes Jesus, (personally I think Jesus was black, or at least displayed a middle-eastern appearance and find it laughable when people actually think he was white with blue eyes) along with the flowing white robe.

The entirity of the article seems to be parodic in nature, poking fun at the conflicting nature of the faith and the people who practice it. My favorite statement from the article was, "In order to exist comfortably as a thinking (I think there was a lot of textual emphasis on the word "thinking") Catholic, you have to appreciate irony, paradox, and contradiction."

The majority of the article however deals with why he would choose this religion above all others as a homosexual man. He concluded this portion of the article by saying that one doesn't need to prescribe to every tenet of a faith in order to associate with it.

By the way, if anyone reading this is Catholic you should know that I have nothing but the uptmost respect or umm, rather tolerance of your religious views, you should just note that personally I find pretty much everything I experience in life to be humourous for one asinine reason or another, so you'll just have to forgive me and if you're a Christian, I think you pretty much have too right?

Also after reading this article I walked away with oddly enough, a higher appreciation and fascination for Catholicism, its paradoxes, mysticism, ceremony, iconology, ect., ect., ect.

Oh and the author also referenced Stephan Colbert and I love anything relating to the man who is arguably the greatest satirists in American society today. In fact I think I might do my next post about something he's done. :)

Latinos and Stereotyping

Cranky Old Man - I remember ot' many years ago, back when I was what in the war! Good times, good times! Where am I?
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Latinos, like pretty much all social/ethnic/racial groups, have been stereotyped in the mass media, particurally TV and Film.

From the video we have been regurally watching throughout class, it showed how the depiction of latinos in these two mediums have change and evolved over the years. From watching the video, I mentally concluded that there is a sort of eb and flow to the types of stereotypes presented to the mass-audience. At TV/Film's origin, latinos were depicted in a very negative light, as containing one dimensional stereotypical behaviors such as bieng amoral, abusive, drunken, lazy as well as giving the audience a sense that they are all together worthless human biengs.

As TV/Film evolved a bit though, these stereotypes deminished somewhat, while leaving more positive representations of latinos.

However, like I wrote earlier in this post, there is a eb and flow to stereotyping and over the past few decades the more negative stereotypes of not only latinos, but all social/ethnic/racial groups has resurfaced somewhat. But as is the case with modern racism, it just tends to be more covert and subtle.

Clips of Homosexuality

Today in class we saw a short film that was essentially a montage of different scenes in TV/Film depicting homosexual (both gays and lesbians) characters interacting with one another and to be completely honest, I didn't really see much, if any negative stereotyping in them (if there was it was to subtle for my meager mind to comprehend).

Of all the clips, the most stereotypical depiction of homosexuality came from the clip of "Soap", starring Billy Crystal. In the shown scene, Crystal is in the hospital with his lover. Crystal is shown as deminutive, holding himself in a slightly feminine way, every once in a while displaying the "limp wrist" cliche.

But within the context of the clip it seemed strangely appropriate. He was in a hospital, a place many find to be scary and his gay lover is telling him that he is going to enter into a loveless marriage for career reasons. Did I mention that I think that Crystal's in the hospital for a sex change operation? Anyway, with all of these things hovering over the character's perverbial head, you can't blame him for acting deminutive and withdrawn. To me it seemed more of a product of the character's cirumstances, not his natural manarisms.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A Look at the Asian-American Character of Stephanie in "Sideways"

Today in class we watched two scenes from the movie "Sideways", which is about the world of the Californian wine afiecianado (did I spell that right, probably not but who cares, not me that's for sure).

Now in the first scene, Stephanie, who like the other main female character, works at one of the many wine tasting shops throughout California's "Grape Country". In class she was described in this scene as the stereotypical "Lotus Blossom" character, the passive, demiuative woman who is only in the scene to serve men. I think this is BS for a multitude of reasons, here are a couple. First,

Personally I find these arguments to be pure coincidence and that these old film stereotypes are bieng imbedded to this modern character due to anally over done analysis (no offense, well, maybe just a little).

MSN's 10 Love Movies

Cranky Old Man - The only good romance movie was Casablanca! That was back when we knew how to make a good romance, cause he ends up ditching the broad and walks off into the sunset to begin a "beautiful relationship" with the police chief! There's nothing more romantic than the love we men share with each other! Exuse me, there seems to be something in my eyes!
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I read this article in MSN's homepage about the best love movies (other than Casablanca) in cinematic history. They were:

Say Anything
Pretty Woman
When Harry Met Sally
The African Queen
Jerry Maguire
The Graduate
My Fair Lady
Four Weddings and a Funeral
The Little Mermaid

and of course

Sixteen Candles

Now during the article the author describes why it would have been better without the cliched "And they all lived happily ever after" endings and I more or less agreed with the author in every case. The author insinuates how we as audience members feel it neccissary to have this sort of ending even though if we were to suspend our disbelief for just a moment we would realize just how unlikely and totally asinine these sort of endings are.

My favorite of the movies on this list was The Little Mermaid. Now we discussed in class the Hans Christian Anderson version of the tale, something that the author as well points out ends less than happily and yet in American film it seems to become less and less likely for any other ending than the supposidely "happy" one to occur. Within the article I really enjoyed how he stated that with the mermaids happy ending living with prince charming at his seaside castle, that eventually he and the other inhabitants of the castle would end up eating all of her old friends. That's ironic, right?

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

"Crash" Review and Analysis

Cranky Old Man - Crash was about as subtle as the imprints those wallstreet jerks made when they threw themselves out of their windows and onto the street and the gore splattered all over my car! What? Too soon? OK I got a risque joke about Lincoln's assassination if you'd rather hear that? Don't you get it? I'm older than dust itself damnit!
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Crash is a film about racism, stereotypes, stereotyping and race relations. I found the film to be all together overt and unabashed when approaching these themes/topics as well as a bit over the top and unrelenting in the deliverance of them. However, the overall effectiveness at evoking mixed as well as passionate emotions was top notch.

The movie featured an ensemble cast of varied ethnicities and gender so as to give the viewer a more varied perspective of modern race relations in America. All of the character's seemed to fit into one of two different categories, those characters that fit into their given stereotype while at the same time professing that they don't or bringing into question the reasoning behind why certain stereotypes that they exhibit apply to them and the other major type of character I noticed was the person that doesn't really or no longer embodies their given stereotype and yet the other characters of the movie (or us as the audience) assumes that they do until we are shown otherwise.

Another interesting point I gathered from the film was this, every racist character in the movie had reasons and methodology for their hatred of other races/ethnicities and though it might have been a subtextual characteristic, parental reinforcement/teaching of racism was never shown.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Shadow Project

Current Study Summary

My study was intended to compare the findings of the previous study located within our textbook of the content of video game box art with the content of box art with the current generation of video games, namely Microsoft's newest gaming console, the XBOX 360. The previous study used a selection of the seventy-four highest selling games for the last generation's three consoles, the XBOX, PS2 and Game Cube. I intend to compare this to the new generation, but since only the XBOX 360 has been released so far, my study included every game that has been published for that console as of this date, which is thirty-three games. After concluding my study I found that men still far outweigh women in terms of depiction on the covers of video games. However, unlike the last study I attempted to discern why that was, other than the fact that four out of five people that play video games or associate themselves with the gaming community are male and thus marketers would wish to appeal to a male demographic more than a female. After concluding my own study, I also found that only three out of the thirty-three video games released so far had depictions of humans in scantily clad clothing, these were Dead or Alive 4, Rumble Roses XX and Top Spin 2 (the woman on the cover is wearing a tennis skirt and the man is wearing shorts). Finally I found that men still are shown dominantly in an active role on the cover, whereas women are shown in slightly more passive roles.

Previous Study Summary

The comparative study I used is table 4.1 on page sixty of our text book. It concluded that there were nearly two times as many covers depicting men over those with women. Also, it stated that there were more than twice as many depictions of women that were considered partially nude or wearing sexually revealing clothing than their male counterparts out of a little less than half of the total video game box art that were studied that contained content of a partially nude or sexually revealing nature.

Literary Foundation for the Study

"Sex in Consumer Culture" and the content of games.teamxbox.com/index/xbox-360/

Corpus and Method

In creating my study I used fourteen categories of classifying the content of the box art for all XBOX 360 games released as of today, March 24th. The fourteen categories of classification were: depictions of only men on the cover, depictions of only women, depictions of both men and women, non-human creatures, vehicles or symbols on the box cover, covers containing people in scantily clad clothing, depictions of scantily clad women, depictions of scantily clad men, depictions of men in action, depictions of women in action, depictions of passive men, depictions of passive women, male only covers that are associated with professional men's sports and covers depicting both men and women in the context of professional sports. Some of the categories of my study are self-explainitory, like depictions of only men or women on the cover, but now I will detail the more ambiguous ones. Non-humans refers to any creature that appears on the cover, regardless of gender, the best and only example of this is the box art to the "King Kong" video game. Vehicles or Symbols describes any use of symbols that are associated with the particular game series that are used to establish recognition to the fanbase, this category is also defined by the use of cars, planes, boats, tanks, ect. displayed on the box cover in order to market the game to the public. I was using two different types of categories for characters wearing risque clothing, partial nudity and scantily clad, but since I ended up defining both as any character wearing clothing that exposes a majority of the chest, stomach and/or the upper thigh regions of the human body I decided to remove "partially nude" and leave only the "scantily clad" category. I created the "Male only covers associated with professional men's sports" category to show a relation to the number of men only covers and how it relates to the fact that the game is about a particular sport in which women do not have a dominant or even any participation with, i.e. the NFL, NHL, NBA, ect. There was one video game for the 360 that featured both men and women participating in a sporting event, this was Top Spin 2, a tennis game that features both male and female athletes competing against one another. The final set of categories for my study are used to define either the active or passive appearance the character on the box art displays for both men and women. All thirty-three of the 360's games fell into one or more of these fourteen categories I have now defined.

Findings

After viewing the thirty-three games that have been released for Microsoft's XBOX 360 as of May 24th, I have concluded that after decoding the thirty-three games for the 360 that the number of men depicted on video game covers was still higher than women, men were still depicted as bieng more active than women, but the percentage of scantily clad characters has decreased thus far in the life of Microsoft's newest console. Statistically, fourty-five percent of the box covers depicted men, ten percent women, seven percent both men and women, two percent were non-human (King Kong) and thirty-five percent of the covers showed either a vehicle or a symbol related to the game franchise. There were more tallies on my notes concerning these categories than there were total games because of the fact that some box covers fell into multiple categories. As it relates to characters wearing scantily clad clothing, out of thirty-three games, only nine percent presented characters that were scantily clad, out of that percentage, one hundred percent displayed women in scantily clad clothing, while only thirty-three percent displayed men (there was no box cover that depicted only men in scantily clad clothing, only men alongside women in scantily clad clothing). Also, of the percentage of men depicted on video game covers, thirty percent of the video games were based upon professional men's sports and therefore was not possible to depict woman on the cover. Finally, out of the men and women depicted as being either active or passive, fifty-two percent of men were depicted as active compared to only twelve percent of women, whereas twelve percent of men were depicted as passive and sixteen percent of the women shown on box art were decoded as being passive.

Conclussion

After finishing my study, I have concluded that compared to the previous box art study, my study shows that while men still largely dominate the covers of video games, this is due mainly because of the high number of men's sports games released so far for the XBOX 360 in which it would be completely asinine to display a female character on the cover. My study also shows that the ammount of scantily clad characters appearing on video game box art for the 360's lineup as of March 24th, seven months after the 360's initial November 2005 release, has drastically decreased. Finally my study shows that men still are portrayed as bieng more active than women in which out of the seven women depicted on box art, three were decoded as active while four were decoded as bieng passive.

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Here are the tally point notes I took when viewing the box art of all thirty-three of the XBOX 360's titles released so far.

Video Games and Their Representation of Women and Minorities

Cranky Old Man - Video games! People that play those things ain't nothing but brain dead, satan worshiping, raggamuffins! Dungeons and Dragons? More like Demons and, um... Demons!
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I love video games, they are very fun, I fun video games. Hahaha, me smart.

Seriously though, I don't want to prove that old fogey's point so I need to make one for myself.

Therefore, I intend to describe modern videogame's culture and roles for women and minorities in a clear and concise manner.

First off, the videogame culture and industry is a burgeoning entity and as far as the industry aspect goes, it has surpassed film in terms of selling power and is closely encroaching on the pornographic industry (I'll be so proud when we surpass the porno industry).

As far as the videogame culture is conserned, it is made up of predominately white males age 15-25, but that's not to say there isn't a fairly large portion of minorities and women in the culture that is videogames.

But I think that because most (not all) gamers are adolescent white males, it is no wonder why most videogames developed today are marketed to these testosterone driven teens. This isn't to say that all games are single-mindedly produced to sale to adolesent white males, but most games do keep them in mind when producing them.

As far as the representation of women and minorities goes, videogames are just like every single other mass-media that has been introduced to a society, their are both realistic depictions alongside cliches/stereotypes and like all other mediums, there is a constant eb and flow to the majority of one type of representation over the other.

Currently in the life of the entity known as the videogame, we are starting to see a move to more realistic representations of women and minorities. And while even today, realistic and positive depictions of female characters in videogames is nominal compared to some other mediums, I honestly think that videogame developers realize this as well as the fact that a good portion of the gaming community is bieng made up of women and that future games will more accurately reflect this change in the community.

P.S. - Videogames rule!

Current Roles of Female Sportscasters

Cranky Old Man - I'm sorry, but it just ain't a real sport unless I see a bunch of muscle-clad men jump all over each other and really just smack the hell out of each other, if you know what I mean!
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There is one prevalent aspect of American culture which unfortunately still today does not contain many roles for women, that of men's sports. For most men's sports, it is not allowed to have women praticipate in the actual event, which leaves the ammount of roles a woman can have in male oriented sporting events very low. A woman can yell from the stands, be a back-flipping chearleader or in some rare cases, report from the field.

But even today the field of sportscasting is very male centric and it seems to be very difficult for women to "fit in" as sportscasters. This is changing however since women are taking on a more noticable role of reporting the events of a game as sportscasters, this however has been met with some dubious feelings as some male sportscasters have gone so far as to say things like, "I'm not sexist, but I just don't think wemon have a place on the field."

Hopefully the future will create even more oppurtunities for wemon in "men's" sports, but this will not come without a continual struggle for equality.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Advertisements and its Production of the Youth Culture

Cranky Old Man - What's wrong with you! A cranky old man can't even take a nap anymore without you young punks poking us with sticks and calling the mortician!
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Today we watched most of the video, "Merchants of Cool", a documentary concerning youth culture and advertising/marketing's strong influences on it. By the end of the documentary, I concluded that there is a type of circular logic in the creation of modern youth culture. I think this because at the end of the film, it pointed out that for the most part, the youth of today tend to model their culture with the mass media, mass market, which in turn attempts to discover new youth sub-cultures that it can exploit and market to the youth, which in turn seem to be influenced somewhat to other marketed culture that has been fed to the youth for a few generations now. This endless cycle of give and take from the youth and mass media/marketing seems to create a youth sub-culture with no discernable origin, only the cycle of endlessly recycled fads and trends that are repackaged and resold to each new generation of the youth of this world.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Race, Gender and Magazines

Today I'd like to discuss how magazines present images of men and women of all races. First of all, I think that generally, women are displayed more in magazines in which the major demographic is male and are also shown more often than men in magazines in which the major demographic is female. Conclussion, men are naturally more ugly and women are not.

Although this standard of beauty and especially the emphasis on beauty toward women does seem to create a society that almost requires women to maintain a certain level of beauty above their male counterparts. Also on the other side of this perverbial coin, it seems that within this culture, stereotypically it is more acceptable for a man to be more unattractive than a woman and still manage to be successful. Even though this standard is more of less overt to most people and while the majority in this society would acknowledge the double standard's existence, I would argue that few are compelled to see the double standard changed. Personally, I wish there were less ugly men myself.

P.S. I think the old cranky man might be dead, he's lying still and it doesn't look like he's breathing. Oh well.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Media Coverage Concerning POWs

Cranky Old Man - I remember when tooth paste was called mouth candy, cause back then we didn't have your namby pamby candy bars with their individual wrappers! Bah! If we had candy back then, we'd have to wrap it ourselves and we would have enjoyed it too! Ya no good, peace loving beatnicks!
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Now that that is finished, I'd like to discuss the topic of media coverage over Jessica Lynch, Shoshanna Johnson and male POWs and how they were reported on by the media. So why was Lynch, a young, attractive, white female transformed into a war hero for her injuries and temporary POW status when similar actions happened to a black woman named Shoshanna Jonson or for that matter, any of the other soldiers wiether they be male or female who have been injured and captured by the enemy? I think that the media had emphasised and elevated the story of Jessica Lynch over other soldiers, like Shoshanna Jonson, who were also injured and taken as POWs for a period of time for a few reasons.

The first reason I have to give is that in this political and military quagmire known as "Operation Iraqi Freedom" it has become necissary to create heroes of the public in order for them to rally behind. Honestly I think the media's over-coverage of this war hero has more than likely been propagated by the military/government and was used as a distractionary tactic from the actual war, which really shows the ineptitude of the modern mass media to run the story without thinking about why this particular narrative was created.

Furthermore, I think that race and gender were propably not the central issue, given that Lynch was released before Jonson and that the military/government was grasping at anything they could spin in a positive direction and Lynch just happened to be the first person they say. That, of course, is my positive, yet cynical response to the situation.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Those Darn Kids with there Ipods and Blogs!

Cranky Old Man - In my day we knew how to work! Didn't waste all our time with these e-nets and interwebs! So stop doing new things damnit! And learn to push a wooden hoop down a dirt road with a stick!
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Sorry, but there's a crazy old man over my shoulder and he keeps telling me what to write, but please, just try to ignore him. Please....

As far as the first day of class went, I walked away with the following observations:

1. Media literacy isn't just knowing how to decipher what is being said in the media, but also what isn't being said.
2. Baudrillard is a very intelligent man, but is difficult to comprehend at times, due to his use of oxymorons and circular logic.
3. Stereotypes are funny, but only at certain times and especially when there not about me.