Friday, May 16, 2008

The Cost of Young Pop Fame... is it worth it?

What happens to the majority of young pop stars? After watching Where Are They Now: 80’s Young Pop Stars, it dawn on me that for the majority of the time, the young stars rarely turn out normal. The young pop stars go crazy… stay out late, drink, get into bars/clubs under the age of 21, use drugs, drive drunk, and have family problems to the sky. One must ask, is young fame worth the statistic consequences that follow? Let’s look at a new issue that has crossed the entertainment industry. Miley Cyrus and her recent pictures taken for Vanity Fair, she is naked but has a bed sheets wrapped around her. Even though she is getting older and is the new princess of pop teens, she is still a young girl who has younger fans that look up to her. This was not wise choice for her to do. However, she is not the first young teen Disney pop star to do something like this. Inside Disney’s World there is a stream of overexposed stars from their younger days, Christina Aguilera, Lindsay Lohan Britney Spears, and Vanessa Hudgens. Why did they suddenly turn from the perfect idol to an overexposed sultry star. They end up losing their young fan base and respect. Is Disney holding their princess to close to the castle and not allowing them to breach out with out having consequences? There needs to be a happy medium between the teens turning adults without them going crazy.

Bye-bye, Montel

So, yesterday when I was working out I noticed on one of the TVs that Montel Williams, the talk show host, is finally retiring. He was actually one of the talk show hosts that I could actually stand. His material wasn't trashy, like the infamous Jerry Springer show, and he talked about issues alot of people can relate to. Not only that, but he got to know his guests as if they weren't just an episode, and he dedicated his life to making miracles happen. I know Oprah does this on her show, but she's a different story. So, I was watching Montel's last show before his grand finale, and it was actually really touching. Their "most memorable" guests who was on the show yesterday was Joey. When Joey was 13 he was diagnosed as HIV positive. Doctors told him he only have a few years to live. Still alive after doctor's told him he'd be dead, Joey appeared on the show again. Next, the doctors told him he only had 48 hours to live. Once again a survivor, Joey appeared on the show once again, sharing his touching story. Then, when Joey 17, doctors told him he had 5 years to live. And again, he survived through their promise. Joey appeared on the show and shared his inspirational story of being diagnosed HIV positive at the age of 13, hearing how he should've been dead four times over, and how he's staying strong today. It's not too often you get a talk show these days that share real life issues with people and try to get a message out there.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


The climax to JMC 262 we discussed the evolution of how people have become more interactive with the Internet.  How it has become a participatory culture where we are not just consuming media, but actively producing our own media for others. 

Because of this new trend in media, with the use of the web, regular people have become famous through their own omissions or through others.  Either way people are becoming be deals through sources like YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, or through their own websites.  People like Perez Hilton, we became famous by just reporting on the activities of famous people through the web, or LonelyGirl15's producers/writers and actress now have been offered to create a movie and have been give acting jobs through the brief, but popular stunt.  These are some of the more famous people who have become famous because of what they have done over the web and have gone on to fame and possibly fortune.  Other people to a little lesser extent like the Star Wars Kid or the My New Hair Cut Guy have also have become famous over through the web and outlets like YouTube and have become celebrates.

So, to extend the wordage that Bravo has come up with for their A-List Awards is Ceweberty.  They mention Perez Hilton, Oboma Girl, and Tron Guy, but just like celebrities ceweberties should be recognized.  Maybe, certain people that continues to produce popular little blogs or videos could be A-List Ceweberties and one that only have done one thing could be called One Hit Websters.  Whatever we call these people, just like Time Magazine recognizing us as their people of the year because we have become more apart of our media we, as a society, should recognize not just the fact that these people entertain us, but that they have some sort of statues within the public realm because of their production.

YouTube's Most Viewed

Have you ever been browsing around YouTube and you stumble across a video that has an insane amount of views?  Well I did recently so I decided to look at the page with the videos that have the most views all time.  What's nice about the "most viewed" page is that the site breaks it down into categories, so you can search for the most viewed videos in comedy, sports, politics, music, and education, among many others.  The conclusion I came to is people are definitely getting their music fix from this website.  Maybe it's the fact that the government is actually starting to crack down on illegal file sharing or maybe it's just because it's so easy to look up music and videos for free.  Out of the top 10 most viewed videos of all time on YouTube, 7 are music videos, with Avril Lavigne's "Girlfriend" coming in at number 1 for music videos with 83.5 million views.  That is a TON of views.  A new feature YouTube has added recently is being able to see how many other members are viewing the video at the same time as you.  I clicked on the Rihanna music video "Don't Stop The Music", which has 54 million views, and there was 11 other YouTube members watching the video at the same exact time I was.  This goes to show just how powerful this technology is.  It's truly amazing how many people are using this website to share videos.  YouTube is the catalyst for the term "internet celebrity", and I imagine there are only more to come.  By now, you are probably wondering what the most viewed video of all time on the site is, regardless of category.  I was quite surprised myself to find out that this one was at the top.  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you "The Evolution of Dance", with an amazing 85 MILLION VIEWS.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Being that this is the last blog post for the semester, I thought that it would be the best time to post something ridiculous. I get at least one youtube link a week from friends and I usually watch it for 3 seconds and if it disinterests me then I continue on with my day. BUT, this one here that I’m showing you is completely different. The video is of a little boy at his preschool graduation where apparently they do a choral production of sorts. The sister, who posted the video, puts this disclaimer following the link: “Ok everyone, he is NOT on crack, he does NOT have ADD or Autism (as far as we know) he is just a crazy little boy with a lot of energy. Yes he is my brother but my HALF brother mind you.”

If you watched the video without reading this…you might have mixed feelings on whether to laugh or not, but with my experience in babysitting, I know that normal, healthy boys act like this so I had no problem laughing. Or sharing it. I showed my mom this video and she died laughing for the first 20 seconds. I don’t think she knew whether or not it was right to laugh either until I told her the background of it. Then halfway through she shouts “it’s those videogames I tell ya!” This harmless comment of hers shines light on how parents view the media when it applies to children, whether she knew it or not. Of course my mom knows that 3-year-old boys are hyper and she could be satisfied with that being the answer of why this kid is going crazy. But it also was an example that sometimes when the adult culture doesn’t understand something in a younger culture, they blame it on the media.

Number 10

I think anyway.
I owe one more blog and I don't have anything prepared so I'll wing it to fill the requirements.
I've enjoyed this blog exercise for a number of reasons most of which I talked about in class. I've enjoyed reading the other blogs too. I get to know gen-X's (is that the right label?) habits through them and find that interesting. I am also able to gauge the writing skills of modern day college students. Granted it's a small sample but valuable and interesting none the less.
The class has forced to see this new media in a more open-minded frame of mind. I still suspect there is more time being wasted online than actual accomplishments but the potential is there. I guess it's like anything else, the disciplined users get more out of it, the slackers play. I've spent more time on a computer this semester than the rest of my life put together and that's talking about a chunk of time ( I have t-shirts older than some of my classmates). It's good though cause it will be a valuable tool in any endeavor I choose to undertake. Now if I can figure out how to make a living with it. I'll keep you posted!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Loss of Magic in Hollywood

In one of my other JMC classes we have to do a family identity narrative on what makes you well you. As I was working on my project, I had E on in the background. They were play the inside story of the Kardashians. For those of you who don’t know the Kardashians have their own thirty minutes show on E, called Keeping up with the Kardashians. It’s a new form of the Brady Bunch for our generation. Two parents get married both with four kids each. On the other hand, I had no idea both parents were married two times before and the third was a charm. If people in daily life or “normal” people did this we would be looked down upon. However, celebrities propose in a week get married in three months and end in divorce in a year. It seems to me that even though Hollywood is based on magic and romance, they lack it in their real life.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Summer Blockbusters

This past weekend kicked off the start of summer blockbusters.  Iron Man has reportedly open weekend racked in $104 million dollars.  This is one of the largest opening weekends ever.  This summer is exciting again with some greatly anticipated movies coming out.  Everything from a little robot from Pixar to Heath Ledgers dark portrayal of the Joker in The Dark Knight.  It will become interesting over the course of the next couple months on how consumers will react to the rising prices of gas and other commodities in relations to gas prices.  Will the movie business benefit from this because people are less likely to travel because of the rising of gas prices and the the price to just travel.  Or, will it hurt the movie business because people will become more stingy on how and where they spend their money?  Some analysts also bring up the fact that because there are so many movie coming out that are targeting young men, especially teens and preteens, like The Incredible Hulk, Dark Knight, Hell Boy II, The X Files, etc... plus the release of video games like the new Grand The Auto that there will not be enough money to go around and that will really hurt sales.  However, these seems to be the case every summer where there is a plethora of entertainment options that target all different demographics across the board, but yet we still see movies continue to set records and rack in millions of dollars.  So, I say that this summer because less people and especially families will be traveling during holidays and just in general over the course of the summer that we will see a great increase in ticket sales from possible great movies like The Dark Knight and the New Indiana Jones movie to lesser movies like Meet Dave or College. 

Aging in the Media

I was watching The Golden Girls this morning and it got me to thinking about the importance of having different age groups (particularly seniors) in the media. Someone once said on a messageboard I visited, "when I was young, I wasn't watching the characters my age, I was watching the older characters (est. age range here is probably mid 30s and up)." I think there is some truth to that for myself as well. As kids and teens, I think we identify with characters that are similar in age to ourselves, but we tend to look up to older characters. I know that as I age, I'd like some of the characters or people I see in the media to age with me too. That being said, I thought I'd name off a few things I've seen that portray older age groups.

TV Show: The Golden Girls (1985)
Golden Girls is a sitcom from the 80s that revolves around four older divorced/widowed women. The actors on the show have great chemistry. There's the sarcastic divorcee (Dorothy) and her hilarious mother (Sophia), the cheery and slightly idiotic Rose, and the promiscuous Blanche who has a new man in almost every episode. I think the show is successful because the characters aren't treated like "kindly grandmas," but as adults.

Video Game: Metal Gear Solid 4 (2008)
This is the upcoming installment to the Metal Gear Solid games, a series that favors stealth over direct combat. All of the Metal Gear games revolve around the character of Solid Snake. Video games tend to stick to younger characters, and they often don't age from game to game. It's great to see a game series that's not afraid to break the mold. In Metal Gear Solid 4, the main character, Snake, as well as other returning characters will look visibly older. I believe Snake's age also slightly impacts his stamina, making for some interesting gameplay.

Film: Cocoon (1985)
Cocoon is a sci-fi film about a group of older people who discover that they don't have to age or die after making contact with aliens. (I'm seeing a strange pattern with the 80s here). Like Golden Girls, the film's characters act like adults and aren't treated as simply grandparents, although that aspect does figure in for some of the characters.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

so i'm an avid procrastinator and also very much interested in games, and that seems like a statement that can describe most college students. one of my favorite places to go to procrastinate (other than facebook of course) is, which basically is a site of free games. you have to get a login which takes about five minutes, but then you can play all sorts of games for free for a long long time (i've been going at it for about 5 years or so)
my favorite thing to play is checkers, because although checkers grows extremely monotonous and boring if you are playing with the same person over and over again, playing against random people online maintains my interest level because everyone has different tendencies and strategies. There are a bunch of other old fashioned type card games which most of my friends are not dorky enough to play with me, like cribbage and euchre. pretty much the only thing missing is scrabble.

Frontpage Milwaukee

For my last blog I thought what the heck...I'll talk about UWM's own online newspaper, because I think it really deserves some credit. is a really unique site that features OUR voices and everything from reviews, opinionated issues, hard news stories, sports, pop culture, investigative pieces, blogs, and even different forms of media such as blogtalkradio and Panthercasts. 
I don't think our students are giving this site the readership it deserves because there is so much great work involved and such a variety too. And I'm not saying this just because I write for it, there's proof! Frontpage has won 5 regional awards from the Society of Professional Journalists this year, which is not an easy thing to do. 
A lot of the credit has to go to Jessica McBride for creating and running Frontpage, but also to the students, who I think set a great example for our school through their work. 
If you haven't check it out, or maybe haven't visited it more than once or twice, you really should! You can learn a lot- in some ways, isn't student media a fun way to get away from mainstream media? Just because we're students does not mean we can't produce some great things.
On a side note, I write for the advice column He Said, She Said which I think is original because it features strong opinions from both a male and a female perspective. If you ever feel like submitting a question (because we could always use a new one) please do! And of course, you don't have to give your name. Here's the email:
Have a great summer guys and good luck with finals! 

Monday, May 05, 2008

Sunday media consumption

Just heard some good radio I'd like to recommend. The show is This American Life. The episode is called, "What I Learned From Television." Four people present four takes on the ways our lives are affected/infected by TV. They are smart, humorous rants on the subject matter of our class. While it's worth the investment of the hour of time for the general public it's especially pertinant for us in an area of our chosen (?) field of expertise (journalism minors never mind, go back to you-tube). Also, it looks like an interesting episode of On the Media coming up. I'll give a listen and keep you posted. For now I have a CD of my favorite music I burned back in '04 with "my kazza" or something like that. Cheryl Crow starts the hits, Spirit in the Sky, Shaggy, The Allman Bros. and Jessica, some old blues guy with an original version of a song Led Zepplin made famous ... baaaaaaaby... I even got Iggy. Iggy Pop that is. Some old freak from back in the day and his version of "Wild One" and on and on. Seventeen songs on this one. Here comes Lou Reed, I went for a motorcycle ride with him back in the late '80's, he's singing "The Dirty Blvd." Hey, if anyone wants a copy of this CD they'll be available in the lobby after the show. The blog show. On this little TV screen made for movement and visuals. Words get static. Neil Postman, in his 1985 book "Amusing Ourselves to Death," says the technology dictates its bias and the TV screen is biased toward action and images, "the TV screen does not lend itself to typographic discourse." But I digress. Back to the CD. There's some INXS and Annie Lennox and her crew. It even have Blue Cheer doing "Summertime Blues." There's "Euro-trash Girl" by I don't know who. I have the local favorites the Bo Deans and their rendition of a Patsy Cline tune. I'm tellin' ya the hits just keep rollin'. Speaking of rolling I have to break out the lawn mower (the push kind like you see in antique stores, a handle, wheels and a blade). It's almost summer!
Oh, On the Media show was worth a listen. The content included somewhat objective coverage of stories on polygamy, Rupert Murdoch and The Wall Street Journal, internet innovation and utilization and a piece about Grand Theft Auto 4 and the mindset of players of videa games in general. Oh, and a story story about the anniversary of the first acid trip.
All that, plus Weekend Morning Edition, pretty much sums up my Sunday media consumption. Thanks for listening and we'll see you next week!

Funny Facebook parody

Since we're getting into the discussion of Facebook tomorrow, I thought it'd be appropriate to write my blog on the website that acts as the new nicotine. Yes, it seems as though it's become that addictive. So, I did my usual and "Googled" the topic. What I found was pretty funny actually; a parody of Facebook in the form of an eHarmony commercial. I could not stop laughing as I watched it. It's funny, because watching the parody you realize that what they're saying is so true. Facebook gives its members the choice of posting their relationship status on their profile; I won't lie I happen to be guilty of this. Choices include: in a relationship, complicated, married, single, engaged, or in an open relationship. The parody also pokes fun at, well, "poking". Yes, that's right, Facebook invented a way to give creepers the ability to poke their prey. Now, you can not only "poke" your friends, but by adding the one of million Facebook applications, you can also hug, tickle, kiss, wave, high five, and even karate chop them. Lastly, the parody makes fun of the "Looking for" section of a person's Facebook profile. Not only can you advertise your relationship, but you can also tell people whether you are looking for: random play, whatever you can get, friendship, dating, a relationship, or just joined to network. Anyways, take a look at the video. It'll give you a good laugh.

Saturday, May 03, 2008


I am still in shock at the latest dispute of YouTube. A group of girls invite a "friend" over to their house, only to videotape her getting her ass kicked. Something about an argument at school, or the girl "talking shit" to the group of girls is what led to this. I'm not exactly sure, but I think he might even have something to do with the girl causing problems involving one of the girl's boyfriends. Whatever it was, I was disgusted when I heard that these girls planned to post themselves, beating the girl unrecognizable, on YouTube. What kind of people are these girls? Who could actually do this to someone and not feel ashamed of themselves? The girls went to court, and I guess showed no remorse, as they laughed throughout the entire trial. It's people like this that make me really confused. I just don't understand how people can be okay with being that person. That person who could care less about anyone but themselves, beat a girl so badly that her own father can't even recognize her face, and want to post their material on a website for all the world to see. Well, I hope these girls get used to the prison wardrobe and non-luxirous food, because if they're not put in prison, well...that's where they belong.

Friday, May 02, 2008

YouTube...The New MySpace?

I was browsing YouTube eariler this week and discovered something I hadn't seen before...YouTube channels. I came across this by performing a search for "Britney Spears," and the first result that popped up was Britney's "Official" YouTube channel. Curious to see what I would find, I clicked on the link. Britney's page looked ironically similar to the layout of a MySpace page. On her channel you can watch videos, comment on her page, send a message, view her friends list, and more...just like MySpace. According to Wikipedia, only members of YouTube can join these artist channels, similar to MySpace's "members only" ideals. I searched for other artists including Radiohead, Christina Aguilera, and even Bret Michaels; they also have YouTube channels dedicated entirely to their music and supplementary videos.

When, if ever, will YouTube take over MySpace and Facebook? It seems to be becoming increasingly popular, and offers options that other online societies do not.I may be behind the trend on YouTube as I only visit the since maybe once a week, but these music channels are new to me. Does anyone know when these channels were introduced?

Here's an interesting tutorial about how to "Pimp Out" your YouTube channel:

David Blaine

Last night I read and watched David Blaine beat the world record for holding his breath under water. He is best known for being a magician but recently has been doing many stunts such as being buried alive for a week in a see-through coffin, spending more than a month suspended above the River Thames in London and was encased in a block of ice for 63 hours. He broke the record on the Oprah Winfrey show Wednesday by 32 seconds with representatives from the Guinness book of world records in the crowd. The previous record was 16 minutes and 32 seconds, set Feb. 10, 2008 by Switzerland's Peter Colat. Blaine did train extensively for the stunt, but no matter what holding your breath for 17 minutes and four seconds under water is really pushing the knowledge of the human body’s limits. His next stunt is going to attempt at staying awake longer then any recorded human at over 11 ½ days.

Deadliest Catch

By far, my favorite show on television right now is "Deadliest Catch" on the Discovery Channel. I really am not the type of person to sit down and follow a show over a season, but this is the only one that I do follow religiously. The show runs at 8pm on Tuesday on the Discovery Channel. The show is about crab fishing off the coast of Alaska. This season, the cameras are following about five ships around on their voyage on the frigid Bering Sea. Thinking about it, the show really seems boring but the editors and how the show is presented makes it very impressive to watch. The narrator of the show is Mike Rowe, the Discovery Channel voice basically. He has his own show on the network called "Dirty Jobs."

The show documents the crews as they prepare for the king crab season and ends with the oppie season. The weather and the conditions of the sea look terrible at times. Rain, snow, wind, big waves, and cold temperatures add a great sense of danger that the crew has to endure for the couple weeks at sea. The show is not just about catching crab and making money. I would say the main plot of the series is to show the relationships of the crew members. The crab fishing is kinda like background stuff that is constantly going on. The camera crew is usually stationed up by the captain and two cameras that wander around on the deck.

This may seem "boring" but I do suggest giving the show a watch. The editing process is really damn good and it tells a pretty good story out of something that might seem like nothing. Once again, 8pm on Tuesday, Discovery channel.

Free Trade Agreement on importing U.S beef

South Korea president has declared to accept its beef market to U.S beef imports. It is a huge issue for Korean because of mad cow disease. People say the president was forced to make this agreement, and I think it can be very dangerous to people in Korea. Beef that is produced in Korea is extremely expensive. Somepeople say the price is unreasonable. This is another reason why people are so concerned about importing U.S beef because there will be a high chance for people to approach to mad cow disease.
Not everyone has a chance to get the disease, but there is a dangerous possibility of eating mad cow diseased beef. U.S beef will be imported at a lower price, and there is a high chance of lower class people getting closer a step to getting the disease. The thing is that there is no vaccine for mad cow diseased beef; you just simply die from it. Of course it is a HUGE issue now, and I don't know if it is good for economy , but the president seems to not caring for the nation. They are so many people protesting against opening the market to U.S beef imports. I definitely see their ideas, but it is just so disappointing that the agreement has already made. They just don't know what to about it. Maybe not eating any beef might be the solution.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

What If The Internet Disappeared...

The creators of South Park have always be real intuitive to what is happening in our political and pop cultures.  Matt Stone and Trey Parker have not played favorites and everything and everyone will be parodied and made fun of in someway or another.  They have taken on issues of how Bush have handled the war on terror, to mocking The Simpsons, to continuously making fun of Hollywood's "elite" or whatever pop princes is most convenient.  So, nothing is really a surprise anymore on when they attack some topic.  You know when they do so, it will be done in a humorous matter, which I personally look forward to every week.
About three weeks ago an episode aired that brought up the idea and reality of how our society has become so reliant on the Internet.  The episode shows how people of South Park and through out the United States freak out when they can't chat with one another, read blogs, get news, and look at porn.  Even the news stations did not report the news because they didn't know where they could or would get their facts or stories from because the Internet was down.  The in the Kyle resolves the problem by unplugging the plugging the large entity which represents the Internet.  However, watching the episode makes your think about the fact our society has become very reliant on the Internet to not just look up useless things, but to communicate with one another and find news about what is going on in the world.  We talk about how the Internet have changed the way we look at media and revive media, but at what cost? 

IF you would like to watch this episode go to click on season 12 and the episode is called "over logged."

Not Again!

This morning when I woke up there was this talk show on I forgot the name though. I think it was Mark and somebody else Morning Show. Anyway they were talking about this thirteen year old boy who was being bullied at school. So the boy had put together a plan to kill these two guys that were bothering him. He had made the plan with two of his buddies at school. The plan was to first of all killed the two bullies, then shoot in the cafeteria, and then kill themselves. I honestly couldn't believe this, they said had they went through with the plan it would have been like another Columbine. The little boy did go to jail. When he went to court he said that he had went to an adult in the school and the adult said he would take care of it. Evidently he didn't handle his buisness like he said he would. In my mind I'm thinking if the boy would have killed someone as he planned to do whose fault would it have been. I think the bullies and the adult who the boy told about the situation would have been just as wrong as the kids who did the shooting. That's just my opinion. What do you think?

Steve & Barry's Low Prices

Looking for an affordable and stylish place to shop, check out Steve & Barry's. You may have shopped or seen the store Steve & Barry's but never gone in, now is the time. Steve & Barry's is known for selling licensed collegiate designs, most prices are lower than the campus bookstores. Recently, Steve & Barry's has begun to to sell stylish celebrity inspired pieces at prices that are lower than those at Old Navy, H&M or Forever 21 and even undercutting Wal-Mart. You may have walked into this place and thought it looked like a barn or a warehouse, but its not. There are 264 stores across the country, we even have one in Milwaukee at Southridge Mall.

The stores nationwide offer clothing from top stars/designers, Sex and the City's Sarah Jessica Parker, former Nickelodeon star Amanda Bynes, NY Knicks point guard StephonMarbury with their latest collection of Eleven from tennis star Venus Williams. You can find clothing that cost less than $10 for all occasions. You may be thinking this is too good to be true, but its not. You can't beat the price of affordable fashion that looks good and is sure to set you apart from the next person.