~~ xX Mass Media Effects Xx ~~

I grew up in a time when skateboarding was becoming mainstream, Jackass was hilarious and adding an X to the end of something meant it was infinitely better. So I was hugely influenced by The X Games. Or the extreme sports olympics.d31177n78wi

This effected my friend group heavily in middle school, because we wasted all of our allowances at overly priced skate shops buying the brands that the cool skaters wore.

It also effected us in the way that we got hurt. I broke quite a few bones growing up – my arms 3 times, my legs once, and a few fingers, toes and my nose once. This wasn’t because I was insanely dangerous with my actions, it was because I was an awful skateboarder. It takes a lot of athleticism to be a good skateboarder, and a lot more athleticism to be a graceful faller. I was pretty bad with everything that had to do with skateboarding, besides looking the part, so I spent much of my time in a cast, standing on the edge of a skatepark watching my friends.

This is a great example of mass media effects, because if it weren’t for the countless hours spent watching Dave Mirra, Tony Hawk and Bob Burnquist doing insane triple-mctwisty-flips-x then I would probably have focused more on traditional sports, or bought less ridiculous clothing during my middle school years – aka the blunder years.

Zip Zop Bibbity Bop Selective Exposure

While reading chapter 13 of the Com100 book I ran into a little snippet about The Cosby Show. Now I’m not going to delve into the fiasco that now surrounds Bill Cosby, but I will say that I am a huge fan of Bill Cosby. In my room, I have his record “I Started Out as a Child” hanging on my wall. And I also have his box collection of stand up. MV5BMzA3NDIwMjU3Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTcxODgyMQ@@._V1_SX214_AL_

So with that being said, I was very interested in the study done about Selective Exposure and its effects on different races while watching The Cosby Show. I grew up watching Full House and The Cosby Show on Nick @ Nite. This was during the late 90’s and early 2000’s though, so it was obviously past it’s cultural relevance. But since I watched these shows during a time, and in a very culturally diverse city, I had no idea that The Cosby Show dealt very heavily in race relations. I grew up without a real understanding of black issues as a child, and just thought it was a funny show about a black family.

I would say that homophobia and LGBTQ rights are at the forefront of American media and culture and a great example of this being tackled by the media is the show “Modern Family”, which is a show that openly discusses gay families, adoption and gay rights. How this all relates back to the book is a little bit of a stretch, but I’m going to try.

I grew up in a family that was very split about gay rights/homophobia. To not try and say one is more right than the other, because that is their opinions and not mine, we’ll call them Family A and Family B.

Family A is from Alaska, and is very religious – I don’t have much contact with them anymore, but their ages range from 22-60. Family B is from Michigan/Florida and I see them a lot more. The age range is very similar. But on this side, my family has 3 or 4 gay members. So as you could imagine, family gatherings are a bit awkward.

Once during a family reunion in 2012, we all sat down to watch some television between dinner and the next event on the schedule. Of course Modern Family was on, and as you could imagine, created a huge argument. One side, Family B saw it as a great, hilarious show that humanized gay families. While Family A saw it as an alienation of their traditional ways and thought it was vulgar.

It’s amazing how through selective exposure, my family, all related by blood saw something so different. Each side saw the show as something different, just like the different racial groups watched The Cosby Show.

(Once again I am having trouble uploading photos. I don’t know why this happens, I’ve tried multiple sizes, resolutions and file types. None seem to want to upload. I’ll try back to upload later.)

Nudity is a no-no for social change

Social change can be brought about through many forms of useful, deliberate and well planned rhetorical strategies.

One rhetorical strategy that every social change seems to try and use is “getting naked”. Now, I am not saying that it’s not a good use of getting noticed. Seeing people not wearing any/little to no clothing is a real eye catcher. It’s a good way to get an event talked about, making it a rhetorical event.

But I think it’s distracting, and I think it’s a negative form of rhetoric. It moves the focus away from a bunch of people protesting, or demonstrating for a cause to a bunch of people grabbing attention without getting their message across. I think nudity moves the “general purpose” of social change from information, or persuasion to entertainment. There are many blogs and articles that debate this type of rhetoric and it’s effectiveness to persuade/inform.

Banner_protesting_vehicle_emissions_at_the_World_Naked_Bike_Ride,_Auckland,_New_Zealand_-_20050217

Does being naked even relate to vehicle emissions?

While some may say that any press is good press, I argue that, while that may be true. Is it good press if your message is getting misconstrued or changed? Occupy Wall Streethad a large problem with this, not through nudity (although I imagine that happened), but through lack of cleanliness. The media changed them from a bunch of people dead set on informing and persuading the public, to a bunch of hippies camping out for fun.

An example that I’ve seen happen is during high school/college events where something is going wrong – recently the University of California educational system said they were going to raise tuition again. The students did not like that and began to protest. But of course, someone had the idea to strip down and paint something on their chest. It’s not a bad rhetorical strategy on paper, but sadly, the media spun their tactics and made them look like a bunch of drunk derelicts looking for attention.

“SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – University of California President Janet Napolitano remarked to a fellow regent that they “didn’t have to listen to this crap” as underwear-clad protesters denounced potential tuition hikes during a meeting Wednesday in San Francisco.”

Speaking in public

Glossophobia: the fear of public speaking.

Starting out a speech or a paper with a quote is such a cop out. But whatever, I’ll take the easy road on this one.

Personally, I love public speaking. I’m probably not so good at it, but I still enjoy the opportunity to do something that makes me nervous. I look up to good public speakers, I think its something that speaks dividends about their character.

But sometimes, that’s all it is. A character. Giving speeches is sort of like acting, for me at least it is. I have to mentally prepare myself to be a little more vibrant  in certain categories – loudness, clarity and confidence.

The persona I aim for on the stage is the “effortless goofball”, I want to be smooth on stage, but not so smooth that I seem like I’m bored or unapproachable. So to do this, I basically try to channel a mixture of characters from some of my favorite movies.

If I’m trying to be an educational goofball, someone who is smart, but not overly tackily brilliant I aim for a Robin Williams in “Good Morning, Vietnam” or Tom Hanks in “Big”.

If I’m going for a more inspirational speech, I go straight for the hard hitters – Al Pacino in “Any Given Sunday” and John Belucci in “Animal House“. Beautiful use of cursing and yelling.

While I never think I’ll get the opportunity to give a speech in a famous triple A Hollywood movie, I’ll sure be prepared if I have to.

(When trying to upload a photo, I am getting a technical error about WordPress doing an update at this time, will attempt to upload one at a later time. Just imagine that photo of John Belushi wearing his “COLLEGE” sweater.)

Miles the Medical Mystery

Healthy living and health in general is becoming more and more of a national issue that I think many American’s can’t avoid. Whether it be obesity, or some new hipster fad diet, health is on the horizon of the American mind.

I have been a very lucky person when it comes to health throughout my life. Never having any major medical problems besides a broken arm, or leg. I have no allergies and my eyes are 20/20, and I don’t have asthma, diabetes, or any other semi-common medical issue.

But that all changed my freshman year of college. One night I got sick, and I didn’t end up feeling better for about a year and half. It sounds crazy, but it was never fully diagnosed either. I now live with gasteroparesis and gastritis, and while those both sound like super bad awful diseases, for me, they aren’t. I live with them pretty well, and all it really means is that I am not the best at eating quickly, or eating spicy food. I do have some chronic stomach pain, but it’s still very manageable.

What I’m trying to say is that my consciousness of health went from basically downing a 50 piece chicken nugget all by my lonesome (and being quite proud), to having to be in doctor’s offices 4 times a month, and doing every test possible.

ketogenic-dietWhile sick, I was poked, prodded, scoped and dieted many different ways. All in hopes in figuring out what is wrong with me. I went on a keto diet, a gluten-free diet, an all fruit fast, a juice fast, a carb-free diet, a full carb diet, vegetarian diet, and a vegan diet. I avoided dairy, poultry, red meat, spicy food, and bread. And sadly, none of them worked fully, but luckily all of these crazy diets showed me what worked best. Although I am not the healthiest guy around by any means, I am just super happy that I have gained a lot of healthy weight back and that I feel pretty much normal.

not so natural leaders

Are leaders born or made?

Throughout my educational pursuits, I have had the opportunity to be in many clubs, groups, and leadership programs. Through these experiences I have gotten to watch many people become, or be leaders to these groups. And it always amazes me when people say “Oh, he’s a natural born leader”, it’s such an overused thing to say. And I guess it really sort of angers me because I don’t think leadership is an inherit gene, I think leadership is an opportunity.

I think some families are a little more “opportunistic” when it comes to leadership, but I don’t think that it’s a make-or-break type of deal.

My favorite types of stories in sports are when oddball leaders make their way to the top of the ranks to lead their team to a collective victory. Not because I like feel good stories, but because I love seeing people break past their attributed potential – the potential that others see in them.

Leadership is an intangible, almost magical, and indescribable trait that I think all people possess. some people may be better than others, but only in certain situations. A great example of the weight of leadership being moved from one person to another is from my own life. I grew up having a lot of opportunities to lead a group, or a team, and a lot of the times, my closest friends followed what I said. But in high school, a place where I was president of many clubs, one of my most quiet friends stepped up to the plate, and in a big way.

51hcaGbXXoL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_During my senior year of high school, I was the SGA and Student Body President, my friend was a part of these clubs, but held no positions of power, and really never seemed to want to. During this year, tragically, a freshman girl committed suicide in one of the bathrooms on campus. It was a tragic event, which brought a lot of grief to campus. I was at a loss, I worked my hardest with the administration to help in any way possible, but I had no real ideas. I was just following the instructions given to me from above. When my friend came up with an idea to have an Awareness Day. It was his idea, and a great one. And to make a long story short, he planned, coordinated and made the whole day happen. He led me through the process and led with a great authority when having to talk to large groups. I was in awe, proudand amazed all at once at the transformation I had seen.

He was never a natural born leader, but he sure stepped up to the plate that day. the event was so successful, that it has became an annual event.

Southern accent?

Watching sports is something that can bring people together from all around. Sports are a sort of universal language between people.

This past weekend, I watched sports with some non-Americans. A girl from the UK, a dude from Germany and then 3 Americans. Myself, being from Florida, a guy from Seattle and another from New Mexico. So you could say that we were a real geographical hodgepodge. Really covering a lot of area between our homelands.

While watching basketball, we got caught up on a word that none of us said the same. Now, I don’t remember the word that we got caught on, and I wish I did. But, the conversation that stemmed from there was actually really interesting one. We talked about our own accents, and what they say about us.

american-dialectsThe British girl was said that she had a very “posh” accent, a very upper-class way of talking. Or at least thats how it seemed to some lowly Americans with our hard R’s.

The German’s accent was described as harsh, “but not Third Reich harsh” (verbatim).

The other 2 Americans were said to have similar accents, very average American accents.

Now it was my turn, and I was expecting nothing more than an average American accent – but then they said it. They said I had a slight southern accent. Which really blew me away! I’m from a Gulf Coast tourist trap, where one half of the year, everyone is from the North East. So I was not expecting to get the southern card.

BizarroDay-edThen I read the “accent stereotype” section of our textbook and it really blew me away. So I started to do some research on all of the American Accents and their origins and such. Did you know that southern drawls are pegged to be slightly dimwitted, but thought to be nicer. And that big cities are pretty bad with English, sometimes more than the South?

 

Well, I was really taken aback by all of that. But see ya later, y’all. It’s time for some sweet tea and football. Roll tide