MS 190: Authorship is the course website for the Fall 2006 Media Studies senior seminar at Pomona College in Claremont, California.
So I heard this quote last night, and it reminded me of gwen's thesis (or at the very least, her thesis proposal, which dealt with the difference between activist rock in the sixties and the lame stuff we're left with today):
"Rock isn't dangerous anymore. The revolutionaries have long since packed their bags and moved uptown, creating a void left to be filled with derivative, tired out music, faux-angst, and lip gloss. Hollywood has officially invaded rock, and Hollywood ain't dangerous."
Where did I hear this, you might wonder? C'mon, I'm in MS 190... where ELSE would I have heard it but YouTube?
youtube has made the last week bearable and livable for me. it has definitely become a part of my repertoire of sites i always check when i go online (e-mail, facebook, myspace, wikipedia, nytimes, and now youtube). i think it's cool that it's sort of become like a reference source. for instance, if someone makes a crazy appearance on a tv show, youtube it. you can catch up on stuff in your own pace.
the newest thing i like about is how people in video classes are putting their stuff up (like some folks in this class). it's a cool space to show your work because on one hand there's the potential that lots of people can see it. on the otherhand, it's not an intimidating place because there are so many videos that range from being almost professional to just being home videos. i would feel less self conscious to post my stuff on youtube because i can comfortably fall within that huge range. also, there's the anonymous nature of it. in my video classes, i would always dread critiques (even though in the end i did enjoy them). they were nervewracking because i'm putting myself on the line, everyone knows me, my past work, and i'm seeing people as they watch my work, as they critique my stuff. on youtube, though similar dialogues can happen, there's a distance, that for me, makes it more comforting.
Last week, Iran joined the ranks of awful countries that block YouTube. It makes me kind of mad. Iran isn't a very good country, it turns out. I don't mind that they're trying to build a nuke that could kill me and everyone I hold dear, but YouTube is serious business, and I can't respect any nation that prevents her citizens from using it. They also block tons of blogs and basically any website that speaks ill of the current regime. How awful.
The thing is, Iran is a vibrant, youthful country that would benefit from a little more open dialog. I mean, last week Chad imposed some hard-core censorship, but they only did it to stem the massive bloodshed that's spilling into their country from Sudan. But Iran doesn't have those concerns. It's really a pretty stable place. Go figure.
So we already outed lonelygirl15. We know she's a fraud. Nevertheless, she haunts us to this day. Go to YouTube, and half of the most popular videos refer to her work. Google lonelygirl15, and you get over a million hits.
Anyway, she's spawned this awesome cultural phenomenon that's just getting more and more creative. Some of this stuff is just brilliant. It's really cool that YouTube creates a context in which this sort of thing can happen. Stars pop up overnight. Nobodies do funny things and are recognized for it. Check out some lonelygirl15-inspired videos. I highly recommend lonelyterrorist15:
I'm not sure if this is something everyone already knows about, but YouTube and MySpace are in trouble with copyright laws. They rank 2nd and 3rd for the most videos shown per day (next to Yahoo (?)), and many of the videos posted by users who don't have the rights to do so. YouTube is throwing cash to Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group in order to avoid a lawsuit, and MySpace has some deal with Snocap I'm sure could be better described by our class MySpace expert (sorry I'm bad with names, no sarcasm intended). As we've seen with the South Park videos, YouTube is working on technology to keep users from posting copyrighted material.
Remarkably, my classes have crossed over. Finally!!! I'm in 3 econ classes right now so it's a pretty rare occasion (i.e. this is the only time it's happened. Ever. I'm nothing short of amazed.) We talked in class about what media executives' biggest worries should be right now -- the falling cost of producing and distributing digital media (e.g. YouTube) or piracy. According to Hal Varian, who Wikipedia calls "a central academic in the economics of information technology and the information economy," piracy is not nearly as big of a problem for media execs as cheaper technology.
Did I really never post THIS when we were talking about video games??! I couldn't have missed such an opportunity to share joy. I don't really remember anything anymore.
Take a break and watch it. The sound is off and it drives me nuts, but it's pretty much the best thing since He-Man said HEY! WHAT'S GOIN ON!
Lately I've been loving Regina Spektor's songs and music videos (I recommend "Fidelity," "Samson," "Us," and "On the Radio" for starters), but I noticed some controversy on YouTube surrounding her work, and I thought it might be worth mentioning here.
As you'll see if you click on the link, the video shows Regina as a teacher in an elementary school music classroom. Sounds innocent enough, right? But if you dig through the 90+ comments that have been left on the page, you'll see that lots of people aren't too happy with the fact that Regina is white and all the schoolchildren are black. Some people called it "colonialist," implying that Regina sees herself as the "white woman who takes it upon herself to educate the black children." One person left the comment, "Sooooooo racist." Other people say that there should have been children of ALL races in the video (even though that strikes me as a little too "It's a Small World After All"... if that phrase can be used as an adjective... oh well, you get what I mean). I have to admit that it did strike me as a little odd at first, but I figured that Regina seems a little too sensitive and poetic to be a crazy colonialist. I really doubt that she intended for the video to cause any kind of controversy. Nevertheless, people have read it as problematic, which says a lot about how race is perceived in popular media.
I totally forgot about how much I love this video. It's old, but absolutly amazing. It's a good thing to watch if you are (like me) dying with all your finalswork.
And while you're watching it, you can ponder how it's illegal (both the 4 Non-Blondes song AND the He-Man footage) and think about how the author "queered up" He-man.
This video is the reason I think copyright laws should be abolished, because the world would be a little less bright without this brilliant star.
Hey folks. Awhile ago there was a video that was banned on YouTube. It was the music video for the Staten-Island based MC, NY Oil, for his song "Y'all Should get lynched". The song and music video criticizes mainstream rappers who have "sold out". The video takes images of these artists, like 50 Cent, Foxy Brown, (and later condoleezza rice) etc. and juxtapose them with old "coon" and sambo imagery, as well as photos of lynched black men. I was curious what other people thought of this.
Here's a link to view the video: http://www.unkut.com/2006/10/lynched-video-banned-by-youtube/.
I have mixed feelings myself. On one hand, I agree with what his criticisms are, however I'm not sure if I agree with how he goes about it. Lynching is a very powerfully violent image to provoke. Also, there's a section of the song where he talks about women, and how they're disrespecting themselves by shaking their asses. He has a line that says (to an extent cuz i'm doing it by memory) "with your tits popping out...bitch ass hos get pimped, not treated special", and then that is followed by clips from a porn where a black woman is being raped by a white men. It felt like he was saying that women who choose to dress or act a certain way, deserve the assaultive treatment they get. in the end, he reproduces a lot of the misogynist and homophobic aspects of mainstream rap, though he challenges an essentialized notion of blackness, he does so by creating another.