It is alarming to realize the reality of our Homeland Security and Border Patrol officers. Personally it is offensive to hear of news like these in the radio. To think that the rights of born americans, naturalized, or residents, are just shattered the second they look different than the common belief of what an American looks like is not unexpected but plain wrong.
The United States has one of the most diverse cultures in the world and this makes the concept of, “what does an American look like,” an impossible thing to grasp. If the United States has people from all over the world like Ireland, France, Italy, India, Pakistan, Russia, Uruguay, Panama, Cuba, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic, then who decides how an American looks like.
An American should look like the documents they are able to provide. If they are in the country in legal terms, they should be able to be free and enjoy all the same rights as other’s who look like “Americans” and might not even be legal. It is an ignorant belief to think that because you look like you are from somewhere around the world where going to the United States would be a step up, that you are either an illegal immigrant or on a partial visa.
I remember being in high school and having my teacher tell me that what makes a person from a specific country is not where you were born, or how you look like, but nationalistic ideas. It has to do with the idea of where you think you belong and what country you are willing to fight for. If people have to go through the very extensive process of being naturalized, swearing that they would give their lives for the American people and the greater nation, and getting their citizenship, then with what right does the border patrol think they can just stop me because I look different to what the ideal American.
I am Dominican and the amount of jokes that I hear from fellow students about how my visa will expire soon or how all I want in life is a green card, is just appalling. What no one cares to ask is if I am American, how could I be American, right? Well I was born in Manhattan, New York. I lived illegally in the Dominican Republic for sixteen years until my parents actually did the paperwork to double my nationality and I am now back in New York for school. I am both American and Dominican and no one would have ever known.
Please read this before watching the video. So on the topic of culture jamming, I thought I would share the go-to video to make me laugh every time. And this happened to be a TED Talks video. Now, TED Talks are educational conferences held all around the world. When someone has “ideas worth spreading,” a TED Talk is a simple way to reach a large audience with your ideas/research/anything. Official TED Talks are conducted by the TED Conferences company, but they often give out licenses for other organizations to host a TED event known as a TEDx. The video above happens to be Drexel University’s TEDx.
And under a different genre, TED may use the content of each speaker under a creative commons license that each speaker has to agree to.
So Mr. Sam Hyde (a youtube comedian) doesn’t necessarily like TED Talks. He’s been quoted saying that they are too self-congratulatory. Others have criticized TEDs as an elitist group, often referring to restricting attendance to these events with high ticket prices or the case of one guest being uninvited after they had quit a prestigious firm. All in all, Sam Hyde wanted to mock the organization and subvert this mainstream cultural institution. If you’ve seen any other TED Talks, you may know that some are very serious and fact-driven and some just boring. But Hyde made it on stage, apparently by lying about his history (just listen to his introduction). I’ve shown this video to some that didn’t think it was so funny; cringe-worthy yes, but not funny. I think it’s important to understand what is expected of TED talks to see the humor that is Sam Hyde jamming the system. But please, enjoy.
I almost took Bob’s advice and turned my volume down for this section because I can be incredibly squeamish but I kept it up and was horrified by what I heard. There is so much about this story that disgusts me. First, the preliminary searches of the woman started off graphic and showed absolutely nothing. It was bad enough what they did to the woman at the border, but to then force her to go through an entire medical examination essentially in public baffles me. Not only was she subject to this abuse from the officers and medical examiner, it was with the door wide open and other officers standing by. If all of the preliminary searches and x-ray’s do not show anything, why must the woman sit through hours more or abuse? There was no evidence in the first place that she had anything other than the dog signaling her out, which could have been due to another factor. I understand that border searches must be thorough but to submit an innocent woman to sexual abuse, which this absolutely was, and then force her to pay is disgusting. I was appalled when I heard that she was given the bill for something she had never agreed to in the first place. The officers used the hospital bill to force her into signing their consent form in order to avoid any issues with the law, which they would absolutely face if people really knew what was going on at the border. As appalled as I am, I wish I was more surprised. Sexual assault is so incredibly common it is terrifying and I am not surprised that it was done in this manner and that they choose to ignore the fact that it is sexual assault. It truly disgusts me that this woman was subject to such awful treatment and abuse by those who vowed to keep her safe.
The Shedding Light on the DHS segment of on the media this week was very interesting. A man who lives in Texas was charged a few times for not being corporative when questioned about where he was a citizen of. One issue with this was that he was stopped very far away from the boarder. He is fighting with congress for justice since many people are being abused by boarder control when crossing the boarder. He claims that everyone should be treated with respect when crossing. No matter if you’re from Canada or Mexico, people want to do their job to make sure that there are no illegal residents, but there is no reason to treat them with disrespect. A few yeas ago there were issues in Arizona with people being stopped and questioned based on their race, their physical appearance, if they are a citizen of the US or not. It was not safe for people to drive since they would experience police brutality also. El Paso is a safe city in Texas and people just want their respect. I think that the police and DHS should have respect for people and not try to bend the rules. Just because this man was far away from the boarder doesn’t mean he was trying to sneak inside from Mexico. DHS should reevaluate their decisions when questioning people, especially since we have the right to due process.
As a loyal Netflix user, a movie enthusiast, and a potential law student merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable seems a little problematic to me. This merger could affect us on two different levels; as suggested on “On The Media,” “Combining the country’s two largest triple play companies… could do more than reach deeper into our wallets, it could shape how many of us experience the flow of ideas.” The deal will leave millions of users with no other choices stay in the hands of Comcast. The Antitrust Laws passed by the congress “proscribe unlawful mergers and business practices” (FTC). According to the Federal Trade Commission “some mergers change market dynamics in ways that can lead to higher prices, fewer or lower-quality goods or services, or less innovation.” These are the things that the host of “On The Media” and Susan Crawford, professor of law at Harvard University, find troublesome. The idea behind the free and open market is to provide the users with more choices and more competition for the providers which is opposite to what seems to be happening with the Comcast and Timer Warner merger. According to the show, the company can potentially exercise it’s powers ad resources to challenge their competitors. The merger seems to be violating the Antitrust Laws; it is now upon the court to decide how millions of Netflix users watch “House of Cards.”
For this paper you should do the following things:
- Pick an issue or topic related in some way to anything we’ve talked about so far in class, especially something you don’t feel is covered sufficiently by mainstream media. I strongly encourage you to go through the blog so far and look at the class’s posts for ideas.
- Explore through extensive research how this topic is covered through both mainstream and non-mainstream convergent media, making sure to thoroughly cover as many of the media forms as possible, i.e., print, audio, video, digital, and as many combinations thereof you can find.
- Draw some conclusions about media coverage of your topic, especially in the realm of class discussions and readings. Can it only be represented by divergent voices? Do you see it as part of the mainstream?
- Document all of your sources, including all links, in MLA format.
- Turn in your final draft in Print (paper) form, but have a digital copy prepared for possible archiving (I’ll explain this further in class).
This assignment should be approximately 14-16 double-spaced pages, or 3,500-4,000 words.
Monday, 3/24 – Have your research topic approved by me
Thursday, 3/24 – Have a working bibliography prepared for class
Thursday, 4/10 & 4/17 – In-class presentation and discussion of your work so far – you should be well into writing your paper by this time
Thursday, 5/1 – PAPERS DUE
I recently read a post on Buzzed.com called “25 Brand Slogans That Are Way More Accurate” where Cliff Dickens, a graphic designer, rewrote slogans to represent what the public really thinks about these brands. Here is the link, and the following are ones that I found to be the most clever.
About a week ago there was a pop up shop that opened up in Los Feliz, California. The title of the shop was “Dumb Starbucks Coffee”. This shop included the same exact logo Starbucks used and mimicked the interior of the stores. The menus even had some of Starbuck’s signature drinks labeled as “Dumb Iced Coffee & Teas” and “Dumb Frappachinos”.
Nathan Fielder is one of the people behind this joke. Sources say he is using it for a Comedy Central skit. Starbucks claimed to understand the humorous jokes but said that Nathan and Comedy Central cannot use their name since it is a trademark. ‘Dumb Starbuck’s’ says they are allowed to use their name because they are making a parody of it. This is an perfect example of Culture Jamming.
I found that the section called “Cable Barons” in this week’s On the Media podcast to be particularly interesting. This section is about combining two major companies by merging Time Warner Cable and Comcast. The fear of the public is that this will highly impact our TV and Internet bills as well as begin to effect our experiences and flow of ideas and much more. This section featured a guest speaker by the name of Susan Crawford who is currently specializing in studying the telecom industry and its relationship with powerhouse monopolies. Her perspective of this situation is obviously “grim”, as stated. She shared that this combination will have a major negative impact on our society’s programming. This is because this combination will completely destroy the hope that any competitors could come in and keep up with these monopolies. The main reason is due to costs. She explained that current content providers such as Comcast are already only paying 1/3 or 1/2 of what new and upcoming providers would pay for programming. To make matters worse when companies like Comcast begin to bulk up with Time Warner they will now pay even less which will completely demolish competition making this merge of companies a monopoly superpower. Not only will this merge effect competition and narrow the viewer’s options, it will also affect current programming already out there, such as Netflix. Comcast will greatly affect Netflix’s communication through very narrow gateways by making the viewing of shows very shabby and scratchy, which will then cause people to have to pay even more in order to upgrade to obtain a better and clearer viewing. In my opinion, this is just another way for our society to make money off its citizens. This situation is again a reflection of our society’s “business-oriented” obsession. It is evident that nothing these days will ever come for free and it is disappointing to see that our society’s only real focus is how to squeeze another penny out of any given situation, such as Netflix in this case. If monopolies such as Comcast or Time Warner’s continue to proceed without competition I fear that our costs will continue to rise and with that our public will slowly deteriorate their perspectives. If our programming is only being distributed through one network then our information, ideas and perspectives will quickly begin to skew in only one direction, which further gives the “superiors” of our society control over not only our viewing but also our thoughts. Lastly, state laws are another barrier on cable barons which also prevent alternative sources of programming from launching and being successful. It seems that it will take determination and leadership to persevere and change these laws and beat these monopolies, similar to the original struggling our society faced when electricity was originally launched.
What seems to be about a cigarette is actually a physical addiction in comparison with a mental addiction – technology/the iPhone. This is an aspect of culture jamming as someone has taken an already made Apple picture [a person with headphones] and turned what was suppose to be an iPhone into a cigarette, claiming they are as [negatively] addicted to their phone as one, say, is to a cigarette. I like this ad because I feel the same and constantly exaggerate my hate toward addictions to technology and all of the obsessive phone applications, etc. I love the sarcastic line, “iDOEVERYTHING so that human interaction is no longer necessary. And if iCan’t… there’s an app for that.” People will do just about anything to avoid real-life/normal social interaction now, interpersonal experiences, face-to-face… It’s mind blowing to think that this is what our world has come to, a fear of being human. This ad blew my mind, I agree with it one hundred percent, I wish I could say I made it. This is absolutely culture jamming, for Apple’s advertisement has been made completely subvert; it is negative AND sarcastic/humorous.