In chapter 23, the books talks about how stars and celebrities can actually become a form of currency almost. They can be used to buy and sell products and ideas to the mass populace and they are definitely used that way in many cases. One can name any big A List celebrity and they have probably been used to sell a product, or to sell an idea or an image. This has become pretty popular with workout machines using famous boxers, fighters, and trainers to sell that product. I always think of those old commercials that had Chuck Norris working out with some blonde chick advertising some ridiculous fitness machine. The crazy thing though is that it really did work and continues to work for many other products and images.
The funny thing with stereotypes is that they go in many directions. There is not really one group of people or culture that does not have a stereotype. I feel that when I was growing up the only true way I learned to avoid stereotypes was to treat others the way I would like to be treated. I have been stereotyped in many situations and unfortunately I have done the same to others. THere has always been a strong stereotype to differentiate between white culture and really any other culture in the world, or according to the book, the savages. Even as a nation, the USA is heavily stereotyped by the rest of the world, but in turn we stereotype the rest of the world. Does that make it reasonable?
Some of the most intriguing parts of broadcasting history are the scandals surrounding quiz shows of the 50’s and 60’s. I always found a strong enjoyment in discussing both sides of the quiz show argument. Basically, the argument revolves around whether it is the government’s role to determine ethically what a quiz show is allowed to do. Fixed competitions and winners were a mainstay for those shows back in the day, and the government tried to do something about this scandal. The government thought that producers should’ve been held responsible for being unethical in terms of broadcasting to the public. They were deceiving the mass population by presenting a quiz show that was fixed and not really a quiz show at all. But is it really the responsibility of the broadcasters to be persecuted for making entertainment? It might seem like a resounding yes to some, but really think about both sides of the argument. Is it the government’s responsibility to determine what is ethical? Or, does the general population determine what is ethical?
I once researched the theory of catharsis when doing research regarding violence in the media and how it effected children. Basically, from my understanding catharsis states, that if you see someone fight on stage you are less likely to fight because you get an emotional release from watching that fight. Enter violent video games, movies, books, etc. Do you think this theory holds water?
I would definitely say that catharsis theory is valid. I feel that in my own life, I get a ‘release’ from playing video games, listening to music or watching movies. From my experience, I feel sort of an escape from doing those activities. I have never really felt like a violent person, or have ever had strong violent thoughts, and I have always taken an interest in media and entertainment, so I guess I could see a relation between the two.
In modern society, I believe that as much as our society likes to progress from the old ‘norms’ and ideals of yesterday, we tend to stick to the status quo. Sure, there has been a lot of change in government and culturally, our nation is much more free than it ever has. But it terms of film narratives, I think it is quite obvious that Hollywood is much more adept in promoting the status quo than releasing groundbreaking ideas. I think most films fit into old structures that were initially built up by the western genre and today, these same structures are still in use today. I think it would be ignorant to say that ALL films fit into structures these days, and surely there are definitely films that break away from the mainstream, but overall, I believe directors and producers will be much more content with recycling old material and ideas in films.
The book briefly mentions hegemony in religion, but I also noticed how this is the case in some of the republican presidential candidates. Mainly, I think Rick Santorum applies the hegemonic climate of christianity to his presidential campaign by using his faith to gather votes and delegates. Regardless of my faith, I feel the christian church rules out of the power of God, and I also think Santorum works off of this as well. The idea’s that birth control is bad, and that gay marriage is a sin, or wrong, directly correlate to how the church keeps its power over people. The church never threats will military force, but with the power God has over everything. People are afraid of God’s capabilities. I feel Rick Santorum has used those ideas as a cornerstone of his campaign as well.