Sunday, March 27, 2011

Hip Hop Talking Points 7: Hip-Hop and the Corporate Function of Colonization


      In Jared Bell's "Hip Hop and the Corporate Function of Colonization, the main argument is that the corporate center of what is distributed is controlling how hip hop is getting out there.  "These developments can only be understood in the context of a continuing process of subjugation in which media play a primary role in suppressing dissent."  This is basically explaining that media plays a major role in suppressing the other.  Those that are on the outside of pop culture are ignored.
     The first thing he mentioned was the increasing of postal for magazines.  He also mentions the charging of per song royalty fees.  This was the only piece that I wasn't quite sure how it led to control.  Independent radio stations would pay more for songs but independent artists that are not signed might benefit from having a way for them to get some royalties.  I know a lot of record companies are doing things like this because they are dealing with illegal downloading. 
    It then talks about censorship with Interscope and Young Buck. I was curious about other artists on Interscope Records.  From wikipedia: (
Looking at this list which also includes Eminem and 50 Cent many of those artists have gotten away with much worse stuff.  There is a lot of anti female and anti gay lyrics in those songs.  Fuck The Police may have been a polically driven song.  Even Lady Gaga is on this label. I can't really picture someone telling her not to record a song because it has lyrics dealing with being transexual or gay. It is interesting to think that the record label is controlling what can be put out there and what can't.  Different artists are associated with different thinks.  Maybe Eminem and 50 cent have been told no, or maybe they are just making the sales.  How does money figure into this?
   Also I thought of the company I work for Walmart.  Walmart is known for censoring music before it is sold on the shelves.  It is not just hip hop but heavy metal and rock acts like Green Day that fall victim to that.  I am not a big listener of hip hop but I know that a lot of it is poetry and the lyrics mean something.  I can't help thinking about the 1960's when the protest movement was going on.  Was anyone censoring Bob Dylan or other musicians at that time. Hip Hop is the almost the modern day equivelant to that.  It is the way that teenagers relate to the world outside and learn to question authority.  Questioning the authority, in this case corporate America, is something that people do not what to do.  If we have seen in Egypt and other places in the middle East, it is the way that social change and growth happens. 
Points to share:  Does Hip Hop relate to other movements in earlier decades?
   Is it a money issue or a media control issue?
  Is there any other ways that corporate media controls the content we hear and see?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Talking Points Blog 6: Glee


Glee is a show about a group of misfits that join together in a glee club.  I am a big fan of the show and watch it regularly so it tough to check myself out of the ‘fan’ part and analyze it.  I connect this show to Grinner’s article that showed the SCWAMP ideology.  It does enforce a lot of the pieces but challenges them.  A majority of the characters are straight, but Kurt is a prominent gay character.  He is fairly stereotypical and likes designer clothes.  He deals directly with a bullying situation in the episodes we saw.  One of the interesting things is that it deals seriously with Kurt’s situation but the females get a different treatment.  Santana’s character has experimented with Brittany but it is not really a focus, until two weeks ago, but I won’t spoil it.   Also we have yet to see Rachel’s two gay dads.  That could be an interesting dynamic but it is almost ignored. Straightness is still seen as the norm.
                The characters don’t really talk about religion in these particular episodes.  It is assumed to be Christian though as the wedding is a traditional wedding.  There is an episode in which religion is dealt with and explored, but even there Christianity seems to be the norm.  Surprisingly two of the main characters Rachel and Puck are Jewish.
                Whiteness is also enforced as most of the characters are white.  There is one African American character and a few of other minorities.  This I wonder if it is realistic to the setting.  Lima, Ohio seems to be a small town that may not have much diversity.  Mercedes is an interesting character as she seems to have the big voice and diva attitude that is sometimes attributed to an African American female in pop culture.  While being a diverse character she is still portraying a stereotype.
                There is a boy in a wheelchair that deals with a lot of hardships surrounding his wheelchair.  This is dealt with a bit more in the focus in other episodes, but he is portrayed as someone who always needs help.  I do think that this is one of the few portrayals of a disabled person in a television show.  I compare this to Jimmy in Degrassi.  Although he is now known as Drake, he was a teenager who got shot and paralyzed and spent the rest of his high school life in a wheel chair.  He deals with changing his dreams in a different light. 
                Also all the characters are American but I think that is realistic as it takes place in America.  Santana is Latina so it would be interesting to see more of her and others heritages.  Much of the music they choose is American or British groups that made it big in America. In the music they can display the American dominant ideology.
                Lastly maleness is dominant.  Kurt being feminine is seen as a weakness.  The male leads dominate in their relationships.  The cheerleaders are dumbed down.  Even Tina falls into this.  Rachel is the lead female and is constantly shown as confident and determined and sometimes a bit cocky.  Still she falls in love with Finn and almost loses that piece of her.  Mercedes is a strong female character and is a little insecure but confident. 
                Glee is a show that I enjoy watching and it is interesting to think of it enforcing these ideas.  I still think that it is showing a lot of differences and displaying them in a unique way but it is showing the dominant ideology.  One of my favorite things of the show is the music, but even that can show the dominant ideology.
Questions to share:  Is there any comparisons you can make between Glee and Degrassi, in how characters are portrayed?
                                       Is there a way to accurately portray differen

Monday, March 7, 2011

My Media Autobiography by Melissa Martin

Here is my media blog.  I have never used a movie making program before. I used Camtasia Studios.  Here we go.