Monday, May 7, 2012


The Internet is probably one of the best sources of information out there for people. You can find nearly everything online. Everything from reviews on books and movies to watch your favorite show and listening to music. The Internet has everything you will need on it. Besides it being a good source of information, you can shop on it. Some people view it as a bad thing because a lot of people like to spend their time online playing games or messing around on social networks like Facebook but there are so many things online that it is both good and bad. In Popular Cultures, we watched a video done by Steven Johnson about how popular culture is affecting us. He believes that the popular culture today like those in games, things on the internet, and shows on TV are not 'dumbing us down'. What he means is that many people see popular culture has been making people more dumb. Johnson believes that this is untrue. He gives a very good point when talking about how his seven year old nephew and Johnson were playing Sim City and trying to figure out why one part of the Sim City was more run down then the other parts of the Sim City. His nephew pointed out that Johnson needed to lower money rates in that part of the city. Johnson starts to think about how popular culture is making us smarter and more knowledgeable when face with a real life problem.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


News comes in all shapes and forms. Starting from the printing press to today's internet, people always wanted to know what was going on in the current culture. It's too bad that some people who work for the media have a way of pushing their ideas into a certain subject or giving us useless details about a crime or a sporting event. They also seem to have a way with repeating themselves over and over again. The only time I ever wish the news is when I want to know what the weather is doing. Most of the time, I learn what is going on though Facebook, Word of Mouth, or a news website. I don't read the newspaper because the articles are long at times and are boring. If I do read the paper, I most always end up reading an article that caught my interest or the horticulture articles because I want to learn a better way with keeping plants or working in a garden. There are many other ways to get news other then the internet, TV, or newspaper. Some people like to listen to the radio and hear the news that way. I guess this is a good way to hear what is going on when you're always on the go. These are all good forms of news and it depends on the age group and where they either read or hear it from.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Inconceivable! Cow!

In Popular Cultures class today, we discuss how the movies Star Wars has change filming and we discuss how movies like Star Wars had an impact on today's movies. Movies like Harry Potter, Twister, and the Titanic are just to name a few. Even if I did not see when the movie the Princess Bride did not first came out, I saw it when I was like six or something like that and for some reason, I remember being afraid of the giant rats and some short guy always yelling Incovceivable. I probably remember the movie Twister better because it has been my favorite movie since I first saw it when my dad bought it home. I recall wearing out the tape and the VCR because we watch it so much. Ever since then, whenever it rain or storm, I always had to watch Twister and scare myself. My family and I would always laugh about how we would turn on that movie whenever it was storming and talk about how some of the movie was film in Iowa. This was one of the very few movies that I would have to say that my dad and I would enjoy together. This movie has always good memories surrounding it. One being that one of my cousins whom I use to babysit for give my husband and I, the tape in a Victoria Secret bag on our wedding day and it is funny that we still have it.  So when I'm ask what my favorite movie is, I probably would always say Twister.
The movie Twister had some enjoyable jokes in it. I always thought it was funny how the two main characters were always at each other's throats but slowly fell back in love with each other as they chase (or being chase by) a tornado. At the time, that the movie Twister come out, there was another movie called Tornado that wasn't as popular as Twister. I had seen bites and pieces of it but had not enjoy it as much as I had with the movie Twister. Tornado was a little more bloody then I care for. I do not care for bloody and horror like films. I know that a lot of people like horror films but I can not stand them because of the bloodshed or because of how the horror in the movies do not make sense to me. Why do you want to scare yourselves is probably what I'm always asking when I hear of a new horror movie coming out.

With the movie Twister, many people from my generation had become interested in how the weather and maybe even the technology use in that movie work. There are several people I know who go out in the bad weather and chase after tornados. These types of people who do this have told me that Twister was a good way to get interested in that type of work. Whenever I got together with friends and if it is a stormy looking day like today, I will always watch the movie Twister. So tonight is a good night for my all time favorite movie and time to watch the cows fly, and maybe if there is time, I'll watch Westley take on Andre the giant or go up against giant rats and shieking eels to protect Buttercup. 'As you wish.'

Monday, April 16, 2012

Reality TV

Reality TV. Other then watching bits and pieces of some random reality show, there is not much that I know about it. Once in a while, I get interested into it just because I saw the first show of the new season and am very curious about it. Many of those shows use original people instead of professional actors. Other shows only feature professional actors or musicians. Those original people who are involved in the random reality show may act out, goal oriented, or the people are push to their limits. Some reality TV take place in exotic locations or places while others take place in a large city, designing and making clothes or performing in talent reality shows like Dancing with the Stars or American Idol. Another type of reality show is the everyday life or shows that involve some kind of a dating game.
Chuck Klosterman says in his book that Americans are 'without even trying, American TV watchers have developed an amazingly, sophisticated view of postmoderism, even if they would never use the word postmodern.' Postmodernism means to view a social and cultural reality is a human conversation. It refers to an art moment and characteristics are selective use of earlier style elements that opposite social or psychological depth, blurring between pop culture and sophisticated culture.  
When it comes to reality TV, I don't know much about it since I don't watch too much of it, but when I do I do see things like at times that people who are not famous can be very dramatic and do act out at times. It is always interesting to watch when those same people are force to take on a new challenge and interesting to see what their reaction to this new challenge. Sometimes they like it, sometimes they do not.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Rap or Country

Rap or country? That was our main focus this week in Popular Cultures class where we discuss how very different those two genres of music are. After reading Chuck Klosterman's Toby Over Moby and Brent Staples' short article on How Hip-Hop Music Lost Its Way and Betrayed Its Fans, I thought about how those two genres are so different from one another. Let's start with rap music. First off, and in my point of view, I personally don't like rap music and only have heard bits and pieces of it while changing the radio station in my car. I don't understand what the rappers are trying to say in that music and I know that I don't know much about Eminem or who is who in the whole rapping music community. Much of the time when I do find that I'm listening to it, willfully or not, I find that it gives me a headache because I'm trying to catch what is being said. To me, rap music is not music at all. To me, it's just someone screaming about drugs, racing, or who is killing off who. In How Hip-Hop Music Lost Its Way and Betrayed Its Fans, Brent Staples writes that much of the rap music today is encouraging rappers to say something in their music which will provoke rappers and/or real world gangs to do drugs or take part in an all out gang war that will end in one or more deaths. Whether this is true or not, I don't know. I don't care for rap music or listen to it but know people who do and do enjoy it. I am unsure if it causes violence among rappers or anyone else so if you enjoy it, that's fine. Music is music and rap music is just that.

Now country on the other hand, I do enjoy. I can't say that I'm a huge fan of Taylor Swift, Toby Keith, or Reba, but I know that I do enjoy Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, and Brad Paisley. I have been enjoy county music probably ever since my mom first turn on the car radio. It was probably the only thing we ever listen to while in the car and I later find that I got a bit tired of it whenever I was with her and wanted to listen to something else but I soon discover the use of old personal hand held CD players and had a wonderful little collection of pop CDs like the Backstreet Boys, a few Now CDs, and Britney Spears' very first CD (when she was still a levelheaded kind of girl and not the airhead that she is today). Of course, my little collection of CDs grow over the years. I enjoyed the stories that are being told in country music. Country music almost always has some kind of story, sad or happy, silly or serious, love or hate. So between rap or country music, I think I would pick country music over rap.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Music and Games

Who doesn't like music or games? Who listens to music while playing games? I know that I do. Maybe it is because music helps me focus or come up with new ideas and games just give me something to focus on or work at overcoming a new challenge. Some games help on improving certain skills like driving a car or figuring out a certain problem. Games can basicly teach us new and developing skills that we could use in later life. I look forward to nearly every Sunday to play a card game called Hand and Foot with my parents and husband. I know that Hand and Foot isn't a very common game like War or some kind of video game but for some reason we end up enjoying ourselves, even if we are not winning. Video games are something that I know very little about. I do enjoy the Wii games that involve movement like Just Dance or the Wii Sports. Those are the only ones that I really take the time to play.
Games like the Sims or Farmville are very popular. Sims allow you to create a lifestyle that you wanted and live it out while Farmville shows what it is like to live on a farm and go about taking care of animals or crops by allowing them time to grow on the game. Many games, either online, video, board game, or a game of cards will allow us to enact with other people. People can get together for a board, card, or Video game just for fun while online gamers can chat with friends and other players while playing a favorite game.
Music seems to add something to video games by playing dark music when the game takes a turn in the dark direction or playing happy music when you beat a certain level and move on to the next challenge. Music in real life has an impact on everything and everyone. People are always listening to it on their way to work or school in their car or listening to it on their Ipod while at the gym or taking a walk. There are so many videos on Youtube where people go and mash up different types of music or videos, making them very interesting to watch. A lot of these type of videos are illegal to do.
Many are deleted off of Youtube due to copyright or some other reason. Other times, the mash up videos are seen as few advertisment that makes viewers go onto Itunes and download a very similiar piece of music because they heard it on Youtube first. Both games and music have a long history of keeping people entertained for many reasons. We are seen as a Bootleg Culture when it comes to music or TV. We like to mix together new ideas like putting a popular pop song to a favorite show. We will take a certain show and change the audio to it, making a mash up. Again, those are illegal but people still do them and for some reason it is helping the music and movie industries.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Violence and Masculinity

As I sit here and watch my husband play his new video game 'Batman: Arkham City, I can't help but notice all of the violence that is taking place in it. I have to laugh some about how much of it can related to what we are learning in Popular Cultures about how men are taught to be seen as those tough guys. In a way, I'm marching it up against my hubby, the game, and how every time he can't beat a super villian like Mr. Freeze or the Joker, he just keeps on trying kind of like how men should 'never give up'. Now I really don't see my hubby as a tough guy, more like a big soft teddy bear, but he may say differently.
So what is the deal with men and violence? Why do men like things that go boom at the end of every movie? Here is a simple and yet a somewhat stupid answer, they just do. Men want to be seen as tough people and not as 'girls'. Men like to walk around, appearing tough and like to be in control of things. What we really need to think about is how women can be violent as well but it doesn't cause a reaction as much as it would with men.
I'll use another example towards my thoughts on that. A few years ago, I work at a local HyVee in the not so great part of town, when two young black women had an all out catfight over some guy in the parking lot in my line. That being my second week of just starting there, I was a little shock about how those two women behaved and was a little rattled by it all. I have never seen anything like that before, having come from a small town and never really knowing what life in the big city was like. Since then, I have quit that job after two years of working there and not really happy with it, I ended up getting married and moving. 

Anyway, men and violence. They are taught to behave like tough guys and even see women as the 'weaker sex' though beating women down, either though words or hitting them. I believe that this is both true and untrue. At a young age, boys are taught to act like tough guys. This could lead to violence in schools and school shootings like the most recent one in Ohio. Many of the shootings always had a male student or at times, there were male teachers who would cause the violence.