There is one really good show that I love to watch. And for me, that is a big thing to say; television doesn’t really have much substance these days. But when Modern Family came out it really made an effort to start questioning and challenging our ideologies and the way we view society. Everyone has their own interpretation of what a family is and how it should be look like. However, the families depicted are ones that are not necessarily your usual type. The older gentleman and the new foreign wife who is considerably much younger than him, the middle class family with 3 children, the middle child to appears to be the smartest of the 3 and eldest and youngest that are not so bright. And then the notably gay couple with an adopted child. All 3 families challenge the ideas and ideologies of what a family should be. I think that show is very well done and shows the diversity of people and families. But like any program that has aspects of challenging the society norm, there have been controversies in regards to same-sex marriage and the roles of genders. The obvious ones are Cameron and Mitchell, the gay couple. In the first season, the show follows their struggle to introduce their adopted baby daughter to the family. Also showing a sub-story with Mitchell and his relationship with his father Jay in terms of his sexuality. As much as the program has tried its best to show the relationship, there has also been criticism from the LGBT community, saying that it wasn’t a true representation of what a gay couple is. The series developed for a long time before the couple were shown to be affectionate towards each other until finally there was a “kissing” scene.
More criticism is shown through the roles of men and woman in the show. Although ironically enough, the show is called MODERN family, none of the 2 mothers and Cameron, who is depicted as the feminine one of the gay couple have jobs in the show. They are all depicted as stay at home mothers. Some people say that this is not a true representation of modern society and that it pigeon holes woman. Another argument is stereotyping the intellectuality of men and woman. In the family with Clair and Phil, the wife Clair is not very good with electronics and cannot use the television remote or anything electronic. This is the same for the eldest child Hayley. Where Luke, the youngest and supposed ‘dumbest’ of the 3, can easily use electronics because he is a boy. Another example would be Gloria and Jay. Gloria, a very attractive woman married to a man old enough to be her father, is portrayed as a strong woman who doesn’t work and is supported by her husband giving the impression that she is a gold digger, and that she married an older man for his money.
Modern Family and its attempt to breakdown the walls of traditional families can also be argued that it has tried to very lightly. It has not really succeeded in showing what an evolved family could be, but rather it shows a more traditional and almost backward ideology of men, women and families masquerading as comedy and entertainment.
The end of year brings forth a new technology, The Google Glass. This new technology will mean a revolutionary change to the way engage with people and the environment around us. Google have gone to great extents and lengths to design something that would make our lives easier. A product that is is hands free and virtually be connected to the world with a single command. This new technology, if succesful, could potentially mean an end to a lot of technologies today such as the phone.
As the phone is attached to our bodies, it has become almost an extension of us; we no longer seek to ask questions. We have the answers at the touch of a screen. This has significantly changed the way we interact. But the idea of the google glass goes one step further, to completely having access to the internet wherever we go. This has bought up a lot of questions regarding privacy. It does not raise any new privacy breaches in fact it just enhances the ones we currently have. Some of the features include facial recognition and icons that appear above people’s heads and also the ability to take video and snap shots from your point of view. This is could be a concern that anyone can record you and then post in the internet without your consent. Bluetooth may also be a risk, people can hack into your files and see and view photos that are stored in your data. Another feature is that it also includes a GPS. This has ist advantages as it will provide navigation wherever you are, however this may also prompt people to wear it while driving. As the product is made to function with the displays in the lenses it may interfere with the concentration of the driver.
Despite this, one of the benefits to these glasses as explain in this article, it could be used for people with dementia and people suffering from memory loss.
It has been a long time since I have sat down and watched television. I remember as a child watching television for hours. Maybe it was innocence and wanting to know more about the world, or simply, television was a lot more entertaining. Over the last few years the television for me has somewhat become an artifact, gathering dust in the corner of my house. The lack of interest I have in the programs and its content has been much for evident for me as I would rather read a book. However, a growing trend of reality tv shows has come about.
To think that major corporations are the ones who are responsible for the media, but not necessarily this; they control the way we view the media and thus the world. Setting ideologies and creating new versions or distorted realities, almost like a dystopian world.
I believe that the media is very much responsible in shaping the way that children see them themselves. Sexualization of children is big in today’s society but has been around for a long time in even children’s tv shows. A great example of this is sexual messages in Disney films. One of the shows that stands out for me is Toddlers and Tiaras where the contestants are competing in a pageant. These girls (and boys) are from the ages of 0-12. This show has had many controversies surrounding the sexualization of children and how, most astonishingly, the parents support it.
I think its important for us as a society to understand how media shapes us and how it affects the way children view themselves. It’s important to know who controls the media and what their motives are to choose such programmes to air on television.
The Honey Boo Boo trailer.
VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED.
After this years 2013 Mardi Gras, there circulated a video that showed a young man by the name of Jamie being thrown to the ground by police. This video became viral in just a few days and it was the main focus of media for a week. enquiries were made after this video depicted the police using unnecessary force and mistreating the young man. The footage that was captured by a bystander showed a very disoriented teenager with blood on the floor and crying from obvious shock. He seemed to be intoxicated with alcohol and also seemed a lot smaller in size than the police officer that was involved. Needless to say, this sparked outrage in the GLBT community as they were shocked to have witnessed such treatment by the police at an event where they felt they should have been protected. As the investigations went on, Jamie appeared on news channels such as Current Affair and Today Tonight. In both of these videos he said that he respected the police as they are there to protect but that he felt he was “treated like a piece of meat”. This video clearly shows the harsh actions that were taken by police. However, the video was shot half way though the incident in which viewers must understand that it must be viewed in context. As a result of this, there were many angry people and petitions were made to remove the police officers in question from their position.
On the day of the rally on Oxford street against police brutality, new video emerged captured by another bystander showing Jamie resisting the police, kicking and punching them. This part of the incident was shot before the first video which became viral. This is important evidence as it places Jamie in a different light. No longer does he seem helpless. The video shows him fighting the officers before they got aggressive. before I watched this video, I did have sympathy for Jamie. I did not feel it was necessary to use such extreme force, but I also didn’t think that police would handcuff someone in public without any reason. Some people felt that this was a homophobic act, but in reality, it could have happened at any major event. What I find most interesting is that the first video made headlines and it was very much the centre of media for a week. The video was seen by million of viewers, and as Jamie comments in the Current Affair interview, he unwillingly became famous overnight. However, the video showing him punching and kicking the officers is not that well-known. I believe it may be because the video was weeks after the incident and after the hype had died down, or alternatively because the ‘entertainment’ value of the video was not as great as the first.
I had never experienced so much forced advertising about food until I went to the USA. There I was sitting in my hotel room watching another instalment of Jerry Springer, as you do, until suddenly the fist commercial came on and I had to jump to the remote to turn thing down. The commercial was significantly louder than the program and the images are were exaggerated: “FOOD! FOOD! GREASY FAST FOOD! CHEAP FOOD! MORE FOOD! DID I MENTION FOOD?! FOOD!” Ok i get it you want me to die of a heart attack. But seriously, then the next commercial was followed by another food ad, just as obnoxious and loud as the first which then ironically enough, was followed by some weight loss ad. I find these 2 things rather confusing and I always thought it was so strange to put the 2 commercials adjacent to each other.
A lot of people say that fast food and its commercials are probably the directs links to obesity. I don’t always agree with this, however I do believe that it may be an advocate for obesity. I still strongly believe that people make their own choices, but with the media making these commercial so enticing for the viewers, I don’t only think that the images that are on the ads are the only way that it entices. For example, I remember going to McDonald’s when I was younger and always getting the happy meal. This was so because of the toy that was given. And every week i would go to collect the toy with my meal so by the end I had the whole collection of that months promotion. Had there been no toy, I may not have had the same interest. Now, putting this same entice, and substituting the toy for the ‘value’ of the meal is now into context for me as a University student. As the stereotype goes, university students are the not the richest of all social groups so, cheap, quick and easy are sweet melodies to our ears. Such is the same for families on the go. Society today, for the most part and not all families, have time to even prepare a home meal. Fast food is the obvious choice. Quick and simple. But have you noticed the ads for fast food? The burgers look amazing and bigger than in real life, presentation is immaculate and most importantly its good value for its price. When was the last time you saw and advertisement for the most expensive meal on the a fast food chains menu? The fact is, most people do not want to see a commercial for an expensive item on the menu, they want good value for money. Advertisement companies know this. I believe tapping into this mindset of good value for money is a great marketing strategy and I believe It’s weak spot for consumers. So commercial are not only visually enticing but also, gives us the impression that we are getting our monies worth.
But then comes the flip side – Biggest Loser. A a television show depicting some of the most obese people on television for everyone to see. It’s almost ridiculing. I feel this is contradictory: the television which feeds us, pun intended, commercial after commercial about cheap value for money fast food, is the same television that then showcases these people as social pariahs, not being able to lead a ‘normal’ life. The society that provides and pushes us with images of food, is the same society that ridicules and rejects people for over consuming. I find this utterly hypocritical. But what is most shocking, is that media does not take some responsibility for it, instead they go to the end of the problem and make the issue the main focus of their problem.
I do believe in choice and I do believe that we control ultimately what we put into our bodies, but I also believe that media has strategically adapted to our culture and to the way we live by subconsciously sending messages to us. Furthermore, slim celebrities gone ‘fat’ also seems to be the centre of entertainment.
But in saying this, as much as it pushes all these advertisements, the Biggest Loser for example, is a good show depicting our social norms. In fact media plays a big part in ideologies, that we as society create almost a war between our thoughts which I believe creates confusion within ourselves: If you’re fat, you are not attractive. If you’re skinny you are anorexic. If you’re too happy, you’re weird. If you’re sad, you’re an emo. If you dress in black, you’re also an emo/goth. If you are confident, you’re arrogant. If you’re too pretty, you’re dumb. If you’re dumb, you’re blond or pretty etc. Media does not give us a middle ground. It doesn’t provide us with the stability to know what we grow into is going to be socially accepted. We take risks or we follow a trend, sometimes it is detrimental to our wellbeing.
The video below is a song that came out through the “emo” period. When this song became viral it did offend people. It was meant to be as a joke. I took as a joke even though I would have socially being pigeon-holed into the “emo” circle.