Archive for the ‘Mainstream Media’ Category
Have y’all heard about the super tan mom? She’s been charged with allegedly taking her 5-year old daughter to the tanning salon. She is the current talk of the Internet because she is so tan.
Buzzfeed, the source of everything meme-worthy on the Internet, captured 40 pictures of the Tan Mom in this post. I guess they posted it so people could laugh at how brown and burnt she is. Stripped of all humanity, she becomes a character–until you get to picture 38:
Looking at this pic, you see a little girl looking at her mom with such loving eyes and a happy mom looking at her daughter. And while the outside world looks at this lady as a circus freak, I don’t think it’s my place to judge her obsession with tanning or this family’s relationship.
I’m not denying that she’s dangerously tan, but instead of judging her, we should, in fact, be using this moment to look inward, noticing that we all have our own little things we do to control our outer appearance. Some people starve themselves. Some people spend money they don’t have so they can present a better image of themselves. This lady likes to tan.
We’re all sick.
That’s kind of why I’m starting to hate how the Internet uses people. It makes us all feel like we are better people because we aren’t like this person. Everyone has a laugh, and then we all feel normal. What it actually does is keeps us from focusing on our own problems.
It reminds me of this quote from the Bible:
You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you’ll see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Why don’t we judge the magazine editors, the TV producers, or the actors and models who continually force feed us an idea of what pretty or happy looks like? They’re the twisted mothers who make us feel like we can never live up to a certain standard. It’s time to evolve.
Saw this interview with Moby on CurrentTV. It really struck me as true for all media, not just musicians. It’s something I need to keep in mind as I move forward creating content for people to enjoy. The quote is at about 21 minutes in, or you can just read my transcript of it
“For someone to give up an hour or two of their life to listen to the record I’ve made, they’re doing me a service. I think that the relationship between musician and audience at some point got turned on its head. Musicians started to feel as if the audience needed them. And the truth is I need an audience way more than the audience needs me. It’s my job to keep the audience interested. Not my job to keep radio interested. Not my job to keep the media interested. But those individuals who are willing to listen to my music interested.” –Moby
From 2000 to 2007 I lived without a television. Over the last two years, however, I’ve lived in houses that have included a TV. In my current house, the TV is the centerpiece of the living area. It’s wall sized and massive. Suffice to say, I watch a lot of TV now.
Shows I religiously watch include True Blood, Entourage, Real Housewives, Lost, SNL and a few others. Thanks to DVR, I can watch these shows whenever, but I still watch about 8 hours of TV a week. The story telling in these shows is good, so I don’t mind the hours lost. What bothers me, however, is the way that TV makes you feel like you have free will and opportunity, when you really don’t.
A lot of people never fulfill their personal goals. Or for those without entrepreneurial aspirations, they never get a chance to work in a place that satisfies them. They want to make changes in their lives, but it just never seems to happen. I have a strong feeling that TV pacifies their passions and keeps them from living their dreams.
Here’s how it works: I go home and click on Entourage. Vinnie Chase and the boys go live the Hollywood life. I feel like I’m a part of that life. I feel satisfied. I know that if I push myself, I might be able to have that as my life. BUT I DON’T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT!
It presents opportunities and possibilities to you, but it also leaves you satisfied. It’s the feeling of contentment coupled with the fake sense of choice that make TV so dangerous. Instead of doing things, we leave others to do them–in a fake or highly edited world.
I think I’m gonna start switching off the TV again. It doesn’t feed my head the things I need to move forward, and it takes 8 hours of my time a week.
What are your thoughts about Television? Does it kill dreams?
Andrew Sullivan posted this on his blog:
A reader writes:
Reading your blog over the past 30 something hours makes me realize why the MSM is really finished. I mean, this point has finally hit home.You are blogging real time events, with descriptions, evaluation, analysis, and eye witness accounts. You are gathering information from a myriad of sources and putting it out there for a cohesive message.CNN, NY Times, et al are merely running an article about “thousands” of protesters. Its a canned message from just a few stale sources.The revolution is definitely on in Iran. And its on in American journalism too.
The mainstream media filters and pushes messages. The news talks down to you. There’s no insight. There are no local stories. It’s a loud speaker squawking at you. It’s a business that has lost the ability to tell a story. It doesn’t care about you.
The Washington Post had a great article discussing Michelle Obama’s reluctant ascent to fashion icon status. A good discussion of celebrity and public canonization, it talks about her ardent defenders and how they actually stifle any discussion of reality.
To me, public perception creates a new identity in addition to that which actually exists–the identity of the “celebrity” vs the person herself. But how does the celebrity mitigate these differences with the doting public? Does she play up their image, or realizing she can’t be what they want, does she shut herself off?
In her closing paragraph, the author of the piece, Robin Givhan, asks similar questions:
Being an icon is not for the faint of heart. How unnerving it must be to know that your actions have disappointed some stranger. How odd to have anonymous citizens rising up in your defense over something that has caused you no upset. And even more frustrating: How do you show your gratitude or tell your defenders to back off?
Sad that we have a whole industry devoted to telling us how celebrities are just like us. By so doing, they actually perpetuate the public myth.
I’ve been reading a lot about how Obama’s presidency will not just challenge the political landscape, but will also shift the way society (aka TV) views the black family.
[During the inauguration] Obama didn’t shout at his wife, Michelle, to shut up. The first lady didn’t roll her eyes and tell Obama to act like a man. No laugh track kicked in, no one danced, and no police sirens wailed in the background.
“They are not here to entertain us,” says Young, a New York Press columnist. “Michelle Obama is not sitting around with her girlfriends saying, ‘My man ain’t no good.’ You’re not seeing this over -sexualized, crazy black family that, every time a Marvin Gaye song comes on, someone stands up and says, ‘Oh girl, that’s my jam.’”
America has often viewed the black family through the prism of its pathologies: single-family homes, absentee fathers, out of wedlock children, they say. Or they’ve turned to the black family for comic relief in television shows such as “Good Times” in the ’70s or today’s “House of Payne.”
But a black first family changes that script, some say. A global audience will now be fed images of a highly educated, loving and photogenic black family living in the White House for the next four years — and it can’t be taken off the air like “The Cosby Show.”
Black families on TV or in movies were never anything like my friends’ or my mom’s friends’ families. That’s why it’s great that, instead of the stereotypes, the Obamas allow whites and blacks to see an image of a strong, intelligent black man who is completely loving of his equally strong and intelligent wife. But this new image of family, to me, also goes beyond race to show that any man can be sensitive, intimate and romantic with his partner and still be strong.
What other stereotypes do the Obamas break? Do you think Hollywood will catch up?
As the AP moves to change its pricing structure in 2009, several newspapers are dropping the hundred-year old wire service. Some say the change in pricing constitutes a new contract. Other’s are giving their two year notice.