It’s been real

So this is it, my last post, for BCM110 anyway. The last time you’ll hear from or see me. Unless of course you have surveillance cameras in my room.

That was my ingeniously smooth segue into the topic for this post, surveillance. Nifty huh? Don’t laugh, it took a long time to come up with.

The last six weeks have really made me think about aspects of the media that had never crossed my mind before, and the task of having to use that information in my own way to construct this blog has really cemented the concepts into a day-to-day context. None more so than this weeks lecture on surveillance. I have spent the last week walking around and subtly keeping track of the number of cameras filming me. They’re in the region of too-many-to-count.

The issue of CCTV is a polarised one, with arguments on both sides. Governments cite CCTV as being a tool for the protection of the public, that reduces crime and makes people feel safer. If I relate this back to my post about media effects there is an overlap in that the two boys who murdered toddler James Bulger were caught on surveillance cameras. However the presence of these cameras did not prevent the crime from occurring, rather the images served as a tool of fear that the boy had been taken so easily.

Tabloid magazines, which I discussed in my most recent post, could be considered surveillance instruments in themselves, as they document all aspects of celebrities’ lives and do not seem to understand the concept of privacy.

All in all this assignment has been informative, and surprisingly fun, and continues to shape my views and opinions, and hopefully someday my role, in the media.

Adios! (That was a little practice for my Spanish class)

More, more more?

http://www.civilrightsmovement.co.uk/faq-uk-citizens-cctv-privacy-rights.html (article about surveillance in Britain)

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“Real-life” styles of the Rich and the Famous

I am going to make a not-so-bold guess that you, my valued reader, have been in a supermarket at some point. If you haven’t because you have enough money to employ someone to do it for you, I am slightly envious. If you have been in a supermarket you will probably have also seen the numerous tabloids on the impulse racks next to the register (so if you’re someone who leaves without paying you may not know what I’m talking about, no judgement).

This week in class we were asked to blog about a medium that presents real-life issues. I chose tabloids because the lives of celebrities are played out in front of us all like a soap-opera that’s on all the time and never ends. During my half-hour trip to Woolies over the weekend, I found out that Kim Kardashian is being called fat, Lindsay Lohan is in trouble with the law (again), Delta Goodrem and Seal are “in love”, a contestant off My Kitchen Rules “used” to be gay and Joel Madden and Nicole Richie are expecting twins, all without actually opening a magazine.

In the 5 minutes I was waiting in line I was presented with issues of eating disorders, sexuality struggles, and relationships.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no illusion that most of what is written in tabloids is a fabrication to sell more copies but it was still interesting to consider the fact that we vicariously face these things every day, through celebrities that we admire or dislike. There are whole websites dedicated to giving people a forum to voice their opinions on people they’ve never met, let alone know.

The only positive I can gauge from this type of media (because I’d like to become a proper journalist with morals and ethics) is that it does bring issues real people are facing to the forefront of the mediated sphere and allows people to discuss them in the less-embarrassing context of it being a “celebrity’s problem”.

More, more more?

http://womansday.ninemsn.com.au/ (Woman’s Day website)

http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/celebrities-why-are-some-people-obsessed-with-celebrities (article discussing obsession with celebrity)

A Picture Says A Thousand Words…So I Don’t Have To

I stumbled upon this image while I was procrastinating (something I do often and am very good at) and it really caught me off-guard. When you scroll down and can only see the upper-half of the image it looks like a run-of-the-mill redneck woman holding two guns up in glee. Seeing only the top half made me smirk at the idea of this stereotypical idiot American who thinks that the fact her country gives her the right to bear arms makes America better than the rest of the world. As I viewed the whole image however, the smirk on my face disappeared. This image, frankly, is unsettling.

The way it juxtaposes the innocence of an unborn baby with huge killing devices to some degree represents American culture in my opinion. Children are being exposed to guns before they’re even born, and being brought up believing that owning a gun is a basic human right. The woman looks very proud which leads the audience to wonder if she’s proud of the small human growing inside her, or of the guns in her hands, and the ghostly figure of a military man in the background who seems to be advancing on her makes the image even more disturbing in its connotations of America being a military state.

The viewer’s eye is instantly drawn to the woman’s purposely exposed stomach, and the vector lines lead us to look at the many guns on the wall, some of which appear to be aimed at the unborn child, which could be argued also represents the high rate of schoolyard shootings in America.

This image is obviously set up to be controversial and disturbing, but the connotations it represents are unfortunately all too real.Image

 

More, more more?

http://www.cherryplucker.com/2011/05/28/10-creepy-weird-and-unsettling-photos-from-hell/ (Blog I originally saw this image on)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/24/guns-children_n_2359661.html (Article about children and guns in America)

The Evil Clown Made Me Do It

I’ve loved horror for as long as I can remember. Something about the adrenaline rush, those loud and unexpected moments that push your heart against your ribcage and the relieved, nervous laughter when you find out it was just the cat jumping from one surface to the other. So the idea that violence and gore on the screen could affect a human being to the point where they commit macabre and evil acts in real life has always fascinated me.

My obsession with horror started with a smaller, much-younger version of myself staying up til all hours of the night reading R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps novels. I use the word ‘novel’ loosely. I would wait until my parents were in bed, grab a torch and hide under the covers reading about amusement parks that wouldn’t let you leave, summer camps hiding dark secrets and siblings getting replaced by robots. Eventually I would get myself into such a state that every sound in the house sounded like the living dummy, and he was coming to get me.

I did eventually develop my taste in literature (I promise) and now own over twenty different Stephen King books. But this isn’t about the written word.

When terrible things happen people naturally want someone to blame, and in quite a few cases violent movies are used as a scapegoat. Now I have seen everything from Hostel to Halloween, Saw to Psycho, and have thus far never commited murder, torture or the like. I haven’t kidnapped anyone and forced them to “…play a game” or used my telekinetic mind powers to torture the people at school who were mean to me. Yes I do have telekinesis, don’t tell anyone.

So I guess I should probably present some evidence and make myself seem more credible rather than just rattling off cute little anecdotes about Baby Becca who was afraid of the boogeyman.

In 1992 toddler James Bulger went missing and was later found dead. Murdered in such a gruesome fashion that the crime must have been committed by a crazy, disturbed person. When it was revealed the atrocity was committed by two 10-year old boys shocks and fear were sent through parents and the public alike. It’s hard to come to terms with the idea that children, innocent and pure, could be responsible for such a heinous crime, and during sentencing the Judge blamed the act on a horror movie, “Child’s Play 3”.

What the Judge failed to mention was the circumstances the killers had grown up in; domestic abuse, parental alcoholism, family dysfunction and neglect, as well as bullying were all present in both boy’s lives from a young age. By pure mathematics is it not safe to assume that 10 years of abuse and neglect had more of an impact on the people these children became and the crime they committed than an hour-and-a-half long horror movie? In my humble opinion, blaming a movie for the crimes of children is just a cop-out.

When Martin Bryant went on a killing spree in Port Arthur that left 35 dead and 23 wounded, the public was very quick to believe the reports of numerous horror movies and bestial pornography being found in his house. In reality there was nothing of the sort found. In fact Bryant’s favourite films were “Babe” and “The Lion King”. Rather than being inspired by violent films, Bryant was actually taking revenge on a community that had rejected him because he was developmentally challenged.

It’s almost midnight and the pear cider next to me is doing little to keep me awake, so I’ll end it here, with a quote from Ray in “Scary Movie”: “No! Watching TV shows doesn’t create psycho killers. Canceling TV shows does!” I have to agree with him, because I have never had such extreme homicidal thoughts as when Entourage was taken off the air.

More, more, more?

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/chucky-films-defended-1468498.html (article written soon after the James Bulger case denying horror movie responsibility)

http://www.top10films.co.uk/archives/7618 (Article about censorship of horror movies)

 

Oh hey dere

Welcome valued readers. You’ll notice there is no seat-belt sign above your head, but I would prefer if you stayed in your seat nonetheless. Please make sure all mobiles, laptops and tablets are switched on and displaying this page, and you may smoke if you want to, but I woudn’t recommend it, not great for your health.  

My name is Bec and I am in the first year of a five year degree in Communications and Media, and International Studies. During our time together I welcome you to comment, criticise and, if need be, swear at me, as we make our way through the wide world of the Media and its effect on the general population.

If at any time we experience turbulence, controversy or conflicting views, I ask that you remain seated and we will ride it out together. On behalf of me, myself and I, welcome to The Paper Route.