My semester project is a blog where I talk about TV shows and the different things that they have to say about society, technology, the government, etc. A few of the blogs are related to my research paper and then the others are just shows that I’ve watched. I chose to do this as my project because I watch a lot of TV and I find myself talking to people and saying things like “well I think what they’re saying is…” so I decided to put it in a blog. Here’s the link: girlmeetstv.tumblr.com. I’ve been posting twice a week with usually two posts per show. There are shows that I’ve posted only one for and there are shows I’ve posted three for, but two is the average.
I’ve had a lot of fun doing the blog. I’m probably going to keep doing it after class is over but maybe change the format a little bit so that I won’t be talking just about specific shows but also themes I’ve noticed over different shows. I have about 16 people who follow the blog and there are more who read it, but don’t have a tumblr so they can’t follow me. I’ve had a few people tell me they enjoy the blog and it’s kind of nice to hear that people are enjoying it because I love doing the posts. If I continue to post after class, which I probably will, I hope that more people start to read it and suggest shows, comment on the posts, and other things like that so that the blog can become more interactive than me just telling people my opinion and them agreeing with it.
Here is the link to my semester project!
If you guys have any suggestions of shows or anything else, let me know.
I was thinking about the presentations from the other class and I was talking to my mom about the Matrix and all of the different things that we would have known if we did more than just watch the movies. I was trying to think of another example to write about and my sister reminded me about “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” “Buffy” started out as a movie that didn’t really do too well but then they developed it into a TV show that lasted seven seasons and included a spin off. There were also two video games that had tie ins to the show but you didn’t need to know things from the show to understand what was happening in the game. One of the games even had a unlockable comic book prequel to lend background information to the player. After the series ended the writer decided to keep the story going in comic book/animated series form. There are also spin offs from the show in comic book form that focus on other main characters instead of just Buffy. I don’ t know if I would call this a successful transmedia storytelling example, but it is an example of how one story can expand to different media outlets and reach different people.
I was thinking last night about our class an divergent voices while looking at my twitter and I noticed that I follow a few. The first one, which I still don’t understand why it took me so long to realize, is Chris Crocker. You might know him from his “Leave Britney Alone” YouTube video that was seen everywhere even on the news. Before this, Chris Crocker made many YouTube videos voicing his opinion on certain things that he found annoying or ridiculous. He did it in a comical way and sometimes with a wig and make up on. He got a pretty large following but then one day he made a video, the first he says that he wasn’t acting in, about how he loved Britney Spears and how people should leave her alone and stop criticizing her. Chris Crocker was hysterically crying and yelling at his audience during this video. After this, he was seen on the news, did interviews, and was seen on comedy central. He isn’t mainstream, yet. He is now recording music that may never be played on the radio but his EP raised quickly to the top three on the Electro charts on iTunes. He also has been tweeting that he is doing readings for a TV pilot. He went from doing what he calls “internet acting” to many people knowing his name. After posting his video, many people made videos copying or making fun of the “Leave Britney Alone” video.
Leave Britney Alone – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHmvkRoEowc
The other divergent voice I follow on Twitter is actually part of the mainstream, kind of. Johnny Weir is a figure skater that has won many competitions and has his own book and reality show on LOGO. What makes Johnny Weir a divergent voice is that he is looked down upon in the figure skating world by many people. He likes to speak his mind and doesn’t really filter himself or keep quiet on things that other skaters do. He complains about the federation that he skates for and complains about the rules, judging, etc. Johnny Weir also likes to blur gender lines, he doesn’t skate in a way that is masculine or feminine but a combination. His costumes also blur these lines. While these things hold him back in some ways, because the federation wants him to color in the lines so to speak, it has created a large fan base for him of people who like his rebelious ways. Some call him the Lady Gaga of figure skating. Here is an example of his costumes, this is one of the costumes that blurs the lines a little less than others.
The last divergent voice that I follow is the host of a show also on LOGO. This show is called RuPaul’s Drag Race. The show is a reality competition show about a group of drag queens hoping to win money and other prizes. This show is something that never would have happened years ago but now drag queens aren’t necessarily mainstream, yet. The channel LOGO, is a divergent voice in its own but they do play shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Daria that were once very mainstream. Although LOGO and all of it’s shows aren’t mainstream, yet, more and more people are starting to watch it or at least certain shows. I keep saying yet because it is possible that these voices and these shows will become more mainstream. Maybe it won’t be for a while but it is very likely that these people, shows, or channel will become part of the mainstream sooner or later.
My little brother, he’s 7, asked me today if he could have some friends over. I figured this would help distract him while I did my homework so I let him. I went to the kitchen to get something to eat and when I came back they were all playing their Nintendo DS. The DS has a feature that connects you to other people that are playing near you so you can interact with the other kids. This made me think of what we were talking about in class on Thursday. I don’t know about you but when I was 7 and asked for friends to come over or to go to their houses I didn’t go to sit there and play with video games and not talk to each other. My brother and his friends sat there for a while without even speaking just playing the game. The only time that they did speak was when they decided which game to play next. The technology that we have surrounded ourselves with has started to change the way we interact whether we realize it or not. The way we talk to people has changed and the way we act when others are around has too and with the example of my brother all I can say is that I don’t see it getting any better with younger generations. This is a picture of what I walked into from the kitchen (the middle one is my brother) :
Then I also started thinking about how this translates to my life now that I’m older. When I’m in the middle of a conversation with someone I usually am not texting, bbming, checking facebook/twitter, etc. but when I’m with someone that I spend a lot of time with I’ve noticed that it isn’t unusual for us to be on our phones. I have these two friends that were always at my house before we went to college and even now during breaks. During one of the breaks they both came over and we all caught up for a while and then we were just sitting there talking and without even realizing it we all took out our phones. My mother was the one that caught us and didn’t even tell us that we had done that until after she took a picture. Even though we hadn’t seen each other in a while it’s like we felt that if we weren’t answering people or checking facebook/twitter then we were going to miss something important which we all know isn’t true. This is our picture (me on the right) :
Britney Spears may recently be known for the breakdown she had not too long ago but there was a time when she was known for her music. When Britney first came out, all of the little girls wanted to be like her, knew all the words and dances to her songs, and dressed like her. As time went on she still had a huge following. She has her name and/or face on posters, perfume, clothing lines, etc. Even after her breakdown she is still an icon and has been able to make a come back. People still talk about the trouble she’s had in the past but many are excited to hear her new music and see her new videos. No matter how much negative information the media has given or will give about Britney, I don’t see her value as a brand fading just yet.
After reading the chapters in The Alternative Media Handbook I began to look for some alternative press examples online. A few popped up like www.villagevoice.com, http://www.zcommunications.org/zmag, and a few others. Then I found something that I found interesting called the Alternative Press Center. This site, http://www.altpress.org/index.php, is a non-profit collective dedicated to providing access to and increasing public awareness of the alternative press. Founded in 1969, it remains one of the oldest self-sustaining alternative media institutions in the United States. For more than a quarter of a century, the Alternative Press Index has been recognized as a leading guide to the alternative press in the United States and around the world. Alternative Press Index (API) is a bibliographic database of journal, newspaper, and magazine articles from over 300 international alternative, radical, and left periodicals. When you go to the section of the site called the online directory (http://www.altpress.org/mod/apc_directory/index.php) you are given a list of hundreds of alternative media. When you click on any of the periodicals you are shown information about each of them such as publisher, editor, contact information, price, a link to the periodical’s website, and other information. There are periodicals that touch on a lot of different subjects some very specific such as American Atheist and some that cover more than one subject such as Alternatives: Global, Local, Political.
this is a school talent show: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=te59HnqACfY
“my fork is too small”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnjqmV6Ucyc
people acting out “my spoon is too big”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCVAb1KBZMw
It’s interesting to see different people’s versions of this and how they can personalize it. The first two videos were done for a school talent show and a class. I like how they were able to take something they like, make it there own, and use it for school. It shows how we can really use what we like in school. The videos on youtube are mostly copying the “my spoon is too big” part of the original video. This is the most memorable part of the video, I like seeing all of the different variations.