Black Friday Crushes Christmas

Another Holiday shopping year is upon us and it is only a couple of weeks from Black Friday and everyone is up in arms. Stores are opening up early, often cutting into people’s Thanksgiving to have a few people save a couple of bucks for their holiday shopping list. Black Friday is the epitome of greed and consumerism. There is nothing that anyone needs that much to risk not only their sanity but their lives on one of the busiest shopping days of the year (and actually the busiest shopping day is still Christmas Eve).

Black Friday concept was created around the 1960s to comment on the traffic and people that would be out after Thanksgiving because there was no point in having to go back to work for most jobs for only one day. The idea of pushing the holiday shopping season to begin on Black Friday took several years to form and created the concept of pushing retailers and stores into profit after the slow year.

Nowadays Black Friday is a stupid reason for people to act crazy. Employees are overworked and they are beginning to fight back. Some of Walmart’s employees are fed up with being under-treated with little to no benefits and are stating that they are going on strike and are encouraging other employees to not show up to work. Walmart’s Corporate offices are sending out press releases trying to calm the media stating that it is a select few. But is it really fair to keep a store open 24 hours on a day that is considered for family and spending time with people you love and then expecting the employees to deal with rude customers at 8pm when their door busters begin and people begin ripping everything apart.

Consumerism needs to be toned down so we can find the true meaning of Christmas once again.

#media log#mass comm#black friday#shopping#popular culture#holidays#christmas

Viral videos also tend to capture the heart of the internet. Especially around this time of year, 12-year-old Nicole Westbrook who use to live in South County (Oakville, MO) has been dubbed the new Rebecca Black.

"It’s Thanksgiving is produced and written by the same producer, Patrice Wilson, the created Rebecca Black’s "Friday" video and being considered one of the worst videos every created. The production company Ark Music Factory has been trying to make a successful viral video since the first initial success of "Friday" with a variety of pre-teen girls singing about various things. Though the video that captured many people’s eyes was the "It’s Thanksgiving" video just in time for the holidays.

The video consists of traditional Thanksgiving food items and a confusing song about being thankful. It really doesn’t make a lot of sense, especially when Westbrook because to rap into a Turkey leg like a microphone. The video has been viewed over 12 million times.

Why would the parents agree to something and spend all this money on their daughter. Much like Rebecca Black who was only 13 when her “Friday” video hit the internet. She was made fun of and sent mean messages by anonymous people on the internet. The backlash paid off because even though it was a terrible song it gained millions of views and even received the attention of Katy Perry (who Rebecca Black was featured in Perry’s music video “Last Friday Night (TGIF)”) and Lady Gaga. So what is the point of spending years of training on singing and music lessons with a manager and talent agent when you can spend a couple of thousand dollars and become an instant YouTube success.

It is unfortunate that the parents of these children think it is okay to exploit their young pre-teen daughters for this kind of media attention. I think throughout this whole ordeal it is the parents to blame for wanting their children to be famous, by humiliating your child how does a parent really think that is good for them? I am sure that the more these videos pop up, the less popular they will become. A viral video mainly happens because it is unique and different from the bloated mess that is often found on YouTube, the copies of copies can only capture the Internet’s attention span for only so long.

(Source: mtv.com)

#media log#mass comm#nicole westbrook#youtube#viral video#rebecca black#it's thanksgiving#popular culture

It Doesn’t Get Better

Dan Savage seems like an overall really great guy, an openly gay man that has started a campaign for others in the LGBTQ community to know that “It Gets Better" after time and to not let bullies bother you. Sure it sounds great, but how much more of a passive anti-bullying campaign can there be? There is no urgency to create legislation or make rules in schools, it is just to let kids that don’t have the same sexual identity as majority of people that is socially acceptable to just lie back and take it because it will change one day.

The “It Gets Better” campaign is a great PR stunt for celebrities and elected officials to get behind as well, because of the passive nature of this campaign it leaves limited need of urgency. Recently, I was reading who Dan Savage’s character really was versus who the media portrays him to be.

Dan Savage tends to be very anti-sexual identity refusing to recognize transgender or bisexuality as a sexual orientation or identity the people feel they belong too. He is also sexist against lesbians in many of his conversations and talks he has given to teens across the nation. The idea of “It Gets Better” (for some people) it solely based on the fact that if you are a white, attractive, gay man it will eventually get better for you. Because at the meeting places for the LBGTQ community these type of people get noticed more and can fit a place inside the ever expanding LBGTQ, but this is rarely true for someone that finds themselves transgender, cross dresser, bisexual, or simply questioning. These people are not as accepted because society has not accepted all different types of sexual orientation or sexual identity as they have with homosexuals (which in the United States is very little for either). When someone fits in the “strange or different” category they no longer are worthy of society and sit on the fringe of it.

This is unfortunate because of the campaign’s popularity, there has been little steam to create more legislation or anti-bullying laws because you are just told to deal with it. Though this is not the case, just like with Amanda Todd more teens are committing suicide for coming out of the closet. Our nation has become so intolerant to anyone that is different outside the norm that hostility is commonplace among many schools. Teens and children have to repress their feelings for months and even years before they feel comfortable coming out to their family and friends.Telling kids to just “suck it up” is not, and should never be an appropriate solution to school bullying that has ravaged and ruined so many lives.

Time would be better spent devoting to other anti-bullying or pro LBGTQ rights campaign that have not received the media attention that they deserve and who need to expose Dan Savage for the foe he really is.

#mass comm#media log#dan savage#lgbtq#lgbtq rights#bullying

Hurricane Sandy: The Aftermath

The destruction of the Hurricane Sandy is quite apparent as it blew through the North Eastern coast around Halloween. Many people living in the destructed areas are still without water or any means of transportation, some are trapped in their apartments, hotels, or with family out of the way. Sandy dislocated many people right before the holidays which is devastating. Few lives were lost most likely because the use of social networking and the immediacy the affected areas took to protecting the people. By mandating an evacuation and shutting down major public transportation like subways possibly saved lots of people’s lives in massive states like New York and New Jersey.

Social Networking played a massive role in this natural disaster, that helped locate thousands of people around the city that hasn’t been seen before. Social Networking sites like foursquare were able to track areas affected by wireless check-ins before and after the hurricane. Thousands of people migrated north in Long Island, New York to remove themselves from the affected areas.

Twitter also has a continuous role, with the hashtag system one person is able to monitor and track certain tags and locate people that might not have cell service in an affected area and might need help. This person tracking the system then can call 911 or the fire department to give those people the needed relief.

A massive area of the Northeastern United States was affected and donations and help would be appreciate to help fund the massive rebuild and recovery effort underway.

#media log#mass comm#weather#hurricane sandy

Wreck-It Ralph: Enjoyable for Everyone

Disney has once again created a story that allows all generations to enjoy it on a multifaceted level. Wreck-it Ralph is the story of a villain in a video game that feels as though he is under appreciated and decides to hop to other video games to find fun and a different life. Without Ralph in his own video game it is being threatened to shut down, but Ralph isn’t worried because he is having fun elsewhere. He meets a cast of characters that make he realize he is important in more ways than one.

I think that Wreck-it Ralph does so well because it incorporates lots of video game references that all generations can enjoy. The story line is strong to keep children and parents alike entertained.

This got me to wonder, how do the great animation studios able to create something that all ages can enjoy. No one goes to a Disney or Pixar movie expecting to be disappointed because the storyline relates to everyone on a personal level, it is more than just the top shelf of jokes that brings the viewer in but all the little nuances and touches that allows anyone to experience something and have feeling and emotion. Simple concepts become great story lines and Wreck-it Ralph was able to fully capture the nostalgia of arcade games and still finding yourself amongst your friends.

Well done once again Disney, they are definitely the best at allowing anyone to suspend their disbelief for about an hour and a half.

#mass comm#media log#video games#film#popular culture#disney#animation