Danielle’s Wealth of Information

It’s all in what you make of it

Money, Money, MONEH!

Economy manages the consumer. We are placed into a giant swimming pool of advertisements and marketing. There’s no way to ignore it or escape it. Its a tautology when it is said that our enconomy manages the consumer because the consumer manages the enconomy. Right now we aren’t spending money because our economy is bad, yet our ecomony is bad because we aren’t spending money. With all the advertisements around us telling us to spend, spend spend, and buy this and that, and that you NEED this to be normal, its hard to totally disconnect life with society’s intentions to produce more and spend more. We are manufactured. We are robots. In western society, we live to work, instead of working to live first. We work so we can spend lots of money on those brand name clothes and designer whatevers. Yet, we don’t know any different because it was how we were raised.

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Chunky Monkey

Hegemony is the act in which people embrace an idea that are in another person’s interest regardless of what we think might be in our best interests, usually this is an elite person sharing a universal idea, such as war to create freedom and demoncracy (Dr. Strangelove). Hegemony can often be associated with a generalized idea about something or someone. For example, when someone thinks of Canadians, they often refer to us a white, peace keeping people. People who don’t comply with hegemonic ideas are often seen as outsiders. For example, the media has painting this image that a woman must be super thin, fit, tanned, tall, and with minimal flaws. Women now have the pressure to comply with this media created ideal, and that if you dont fit in you can be categorized as “heavy” or “chunky” or like my mom say: “into the groceries”. However, there are ideas that are good to fit in with, such as the notion of private property. This is what structures our society and makes us a non-communist country.

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Its Part of Pop Culture

So my boyfriend is in advertising and has let me in on a little bit of a phenomenon in today’s culture. It’s called Helvetica and it’s everywhere. Helvetica is used in many different ways for many different reasons, and it always delivers. The trend started in the late 50s and has only grown since. What is Helvetica? Well you see it thousands of times a day probably; in brochures, on signs, on billboards, and on store-fronts. Yes, Helvetica is a font. A typeface. Which one? Well if you’ve taken a subway system or almost any public transit before you’ve seen it on the signs there. As seen here in New York City:
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Or if you’ve shopped at the very famous clothing chain American Apparel
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The point of all this is that our culture is easily penetrable. This font started in Switzerland and first spread throughout Europe, but is now ingrained into our cities, streets and brands here in North America. Why? Why can one font become so wide spread and known throughout the entire world, when there are literally hundreds of thousands of other fonts to choose from? Same reason Madonna can sell out shows all over the earth, popularity. Popular culture is an amazing machine. It can take something that is little known one day, and have teenage girls everywhere screaming and frenzying for it the next. Helvetica was created because of a design trend, because someone thought that sans serif typefaces were “in”. Just like a boy band or this Edward Cullen character.

To learn more about Helvetica, my boyfriend encourages you to watch the movie by the same name. Yes, a movie about a font. I don’t get it, but maybe you will.

It Counts!

Here’s an easy one. My Midterm assignment. Complies with a blog with an amateur video, scholarly sources, and analysis of pop culture.  Please make note that it came to my attention that I improperly named my video, it is a told story- not an untold one. Yet I bet most people who look at the video never take into consideration the consequences of posting things online, even though he never posted it he dealt with the consequences.

Intermingling of Cultures

A few hours later, and i still am sitting in the same spot. Are all these entries worth the 15 marks?(a repeatedlyasked question moving around in my brain). I mean really its only what 13 more entries to go…its already taken me 3 hours to write 3 entries. That’s another 13 hours. Wait, I did eat lunch , and watch some Phillip DeFranco show, and chat with my mom over MSN…so maybe I’mover exaggerating. In any event, Ive checked on my fellow classmates feeds, and of the 4 feeds that I subscribe to: 1 must have dropped out of this course, because they have nothing on their page, and still have the greeting post when you sign up, another one went crazy over board with posting and with posts with great length it exhausts me to even attempt to read any, another did the right number of blog entries and just did the requirements, and the last one only has 9 entries..that’sonly 4 more than me! So…the point of this analyzing other people’s blogs..is all this work for 15..ONLY 15 marks worth it?! Ive clearly pretty much given up on scholarly sources and have just wrote whats on my mind about the subject as well as examples of pop culture and what other people think. Its too exhausting to give scholarly sources for every idea because this is just POP CULTURE…it changes a lot  all the time. You want scholarly sources related to oh i don’tknow..what drug effects have on something..I’m totally game..but pop culture is people’s opinions, so…ah..I’m ranting because I’mfrustrated that my entries suck because I don’t think like the rest of the students and am having a very hard time to sit here and write about stuff that was said in class when its sunny and warm outside and I have a million and one other things I could be doing. Okay..Here’s entry number 6…this is getting painful. Your welcome.

High culture. Low culture.  High culture can be defined as a more prestigious , knowledgeable and held the highest in a society(mainly arts). Low culture can be defined as almost the opposite. It is for the less elite, the less knowledgeable and lower in society. Usually it is associated with popular culture(Wiki..i know not credible..).  However, I do believe this distinction is fading fast. I believe that the lines between high and low are slowing becoming a blur and blending together. I believe that now your your good little church go-er, pianist, and opera attendee can also find humour in watching the Grape Lady fall (video below) and be apart of today’s popular culture.  Or, maybe in a complex way think about how elite a cello player is to that of an electric guitar, yet I bet some where along the way the electric guitar originated from cello. So, then that amateur video with more than 57 million views on YouTube with the guy playing the guitar, he could be said to be apart of both high culture and low culture at the same time, no? His song is greatly complex and difficult to play which would count as high culture, and maybe he goes to church and opera, and maybe his family is really rich but he loves to play the electric guitar and post it on YouTube..maybe? Los Angelos Time seems to support the idea that “High Culture [is] Meet[ing] Low Culture”.   LA times says that “The great 21st century work seems to me to merge this promiscuous blend of pop styles with a rigor and discipline that comes from the old-school approach to serious art”.  Therefore, supportingthe intermingling of both high and low culture in today’s society.

*Link to the LA Times full article: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/arts/la-ca-shame27-2008jul27,0,1460307.story

 

My name is a Borat

The idea of sensibility, from the text “We gotta get out of here” only makes sense. This isn’t really a complex thought. If your apart of an “idea” or “group” in society the thoughts, beliefs and norms of that group/idea makes sense to you or else you wouldnt be part of it, now would you. So, it only makes sense that if you don’t share the same taste as those who are in the group, the group would be foreign to you and wouldn’t make sense. This concept is not only on a micro scale, such as the preppy’s, the jocks, the nerds, the emo kids, the popular kids, etc. in schools but also on a macro level. For example, someone who came form another country and didn’t know that in Canada you don’t have more than one wife but it was completely normal for them. This concept can be applied the the very popular, yet highly controversial movie “Borat”.  There are parts of the movie where he displays a perfect example of not understanding another culture or it being appauling some of the stuff he does when he takes things to literally. Yet, sometimes we find great humour in what he does because its so different from us.  So, take some hints from Borat and before you dive head first into a culture that is completely different form the one you surround yourself with, even if your thinking about test driving the leathered up and tattoo biker dude/chick, maybe do some research and ask yourself if it make sense for/to you.

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When Britney Kissed Madonna

As I sit here trying to debate my next topic of randomness to deconstruct, I have come to a realization that once you are taught for so long how to think, its almost frustrating to think about something another way. Let me explain this further. I am a health science student. I am constantly asking why things happen or what causes what. So, for me to try and deconstruct or explain or think “outside-the-box” is very hard to do, because somehow I always want to explain why or find out why or say this is what it is, its that simple. My brain is in a constant battle, and my health science nerdy side seems to always want to win.

The “star persona”. Hum. The “star persona” is someone who is more than just the person, but the ideas and marketing combined to make that person “sellable”. It is the ordinary combined with the extraordinary. They are made up of half meanings, or little clues ( Dancing in the Distraction Factory).  But, then, don’t we all have a star persona? I mean I would like to think that I don’t present myself to everyone the exact same way, and I leave little clues behind me to share a bit of my personality. I wear brand name clothing and I suppose that would be marketing not for myself but for the company written on my t-shirt so that maybe the chick who passed me on the sidewalk and thought to herself “Hey, I liked her Abercrombie and Fitch t-shirt. I want one. I will buy one. Tomorrow”.  And, I guess I would be making myself “sellable” in a sense that, I want people to buy into me and like me, and be my friend. I would like to think that maybe I am ordinary that I can look like everyone else, yet I am extraordinary in the things that I have accomplished or done that makes me stand out from the rest. Or maybe not. Maybe you need to be Madonna to have a “star persona” to make people want to read into what she’s “selling”, or to question what hear meaning to what she does is. Or maybe you need to be like the Beatles and be massively liked and popularized, yet be intensively studied. For goodness sakes, how good a “star persona” can you be when you have university courses opening up because you had such an impact on the world!  You can now do a masters degree in The Beatles. Don’t believe me, here read the article in the Macleans magazine: http://oncampus.macleans.ca/education/2009/03/04/university-launches-master%E2%80%99s-degree-in-the-beatles/

You know your a star when Britney wants to kiss Madonna.