I Found A Mirror And Myself In It

Looking back at my blog posts, I find myself learning from past experiences.

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considering the past few weeks and the plethora of topics I’ve covered in my posts, I find some to be more to my liking than others.
find my post, ‘All Hands On Deck‘ to be one of my more better posts. Not only was I motivated and energetic at the time, there seemed to be a lot of information that I incidentally enjoyed reading and discovering. I realise now that having a deep interest in the topic makes it easier to research and ultimately delve into and explain to others.
By far, my favourite post would have to be ‘Mixing Media‘ again it revolves around a topic I have a genuine interest in and wanted to learn more about but the tone of the post is much more relaxed. I love the idea of a remix culture and wanted to share my interests with an audience. There seems to be no better motivation.
Finally, The post ‘Sharing Is Caring, Or Is It‘ is a nice explanation of media conglometry and it’s effects. The images and video used illustrate my point well and I feel I managed to link the post to useful sources.

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Unfortunately not all my endeavours were as fruitful as planned. Trying to produce a post on on-line identity in ‘It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s An On-line Identity‘ was admittedly a bit of a struggle, simply because I hadn’t given much thought to on-line identities before and I actively avoided any trolling done by me or anyone else. I found a little depressing. Nevertheless I still learned things I didn’t previously know when researching the topic.
I believe with a bit of base knowledge on feminism and cyber-bullying I am more inclined to be aware of issues in this area

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I hope my readers learned a thing or two through this blog, after all, I did aim to introduce new ideas to others while exploring my own ideas and discovering new ones.
Also through reading other blog posts, I was introduced to ideas and perspectives on ideologies I already own.
‘Politics, I Get It’ is a post I found to be educational to myself when researching it. I hadn’t previously realised how many points of entry to politics there really are.

How I felt finalising ‘Mixing Media’

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s An On-line Identity

Who are you when you’re online?

It can be hard to find out but when someone does you may find a very dark side of the internet.

“There Are No Girls On The Internet” -Misogynists of The Web

A phrase that is often affiliated with the phrase “tits or GTFO (get the f*ck out)“. Both are perfect examples of the ideal that the internet is for men and pornstars. Video games are generally aimed at stereotypical males and hence a a large portion of online gamers are male.

Male:Female gamer ratio

Previously this statistic was also quite relevant to the rest of the internet and that has started a mainly male on-line society. Nowadays the ratio is a little more even. Some would argue that it’s completely over turned.
http://boingboing.net/2007/04/15/female-internet-user.html

If You’ve Got Nothing Nice To Say, Don’t Say Anything At All

Cyber-bullying and ‘trolling’ is when a group or individual over the internet harass someone else because of their sexuality, ethnicity, beliefs or in some cases for no apparent reason. People believe their presence on the internet is entirely anonymous, and it can be, but most of the time; comments, likes, e-mails, etc. can be traced back to their origin. This believed anonymity shows people at their darkest, generating death/ sexual abuse threats and other hateful material because they believe they are ‘policing’ or ‘punishing’ the target.

Hate mail can come in the form of threats of violence and/or sexual acts, as edited images or videos, or questionable statements

A popular example of how the internet can get so up in arms and violent over a female presence is the case of Boxxy. Boxxy is a personality played by Catherine Wayne. Her energetic vlogs shot to popularity on reddit and 4chan causing a ‘war’ between haters and fans. Boxxy recieved violent and sexual threats and was forced to leave the internet for a period of time in fear of her own safety.

Feminists Are Feared For A Reason

A feminist is someone who supports femininity. This can range from believing feminism is superior to masculinity to simply wanting equality between the two. Feminists are often attacked en mas on the internet possibly because they threaten what misogynist males believe to be their male sanctuary.

It would seem like there is an insurmountable amount of hatred on the web and this may be true but the web is so vast it would be foolish to think that there isn’t sunshine and happiness online. Unfortunately it would appear that vanquishing the hatred found so commonly on-line isn’t as easy as we would like it to be. Retaliating to trolling is only feeding the trolls and ignoring them is allowing them to continue to rampage. I ask why is there such a need for anonymity? While trollers may not always care about hiding their identities, less anonymity may make it easier to police those conducting the threats because after all, cyber bullying, sexism and racism IS actually illegal.

Politics, I Get It

Duh, What Even Is Politics?

A well known stereotype is that modern youth do not relate to politics, are not educated in politics or do not care. Sure there may be SOME youth that don’t ‘care’ about politics but it is wrong to say that youth are not educated or relate themselves to politics. I found, that, to understand where these stereotypes and claims come from, we need to consider advances in technology, changes in behaviour between generations and the way the world is now, socially.

Traditionally, the general public interacted with politics by simply being aware and voting when necessary but in today’s age of advanced communication, information is being spread ‘out of control’ to the point where “being aware” is complicated and just voting is almost the minimal one could to interact with political matters. Youth today don’t want to be tied down to one group and due to the generation gap, older people see this as not wanting to be a part of the political society.

Nothing is secret anymore and picking a side just isn’t working

How Do You Politics?

Youth appear to be at the forefront of modern activism

Activism seems to be something talked about in politics with frequency and passion. Activism is “the policy or action of using vigorous campaigning to bring about political or social change“. It’s a way to express your opinion or stand up for a cause, directly, without the hassle of dodgy politicians or without putting all the power into the hands of a party that you agree with on one point but not on another. It’s also utilised to bring about social change in nations where the vox populi have no power.

A big name in the activism world is Anonymous. Anonymous is a group of hackers that use the internet to attack sites that belong to organisations that they deem to be treating people unfairly. Characterised by Guy Fawkes masks, members of anonymous are not known and so the organisation cannot be taken down easily but they have often been branded criminals because of the ‘violent’ nature of their ‘attacks‘.

Anonymous slogan:
We are Anonymous
We are Legion
We do not forgive
We do not forget

In the wake of the passage of the 2011 immigration enforcement bill Arizona SB 1070 Anonymous hackers and affiliates hacked Brazilian government websites and leaked personal information of police officers in the Arizona state department as well as used credit card details of the police officers to make donation contributions to various relevant causes. Acts like this are examples of how youth (among others) are standing for their opinions while walking the thin line of illegality, hence they are easily criminalised.

Just Try To Colour Within The Lines

Personally I find the whole ‘activism’ thing a little too much on the extreme side but hey, too each their own. Another form of political involvement is just raising awareness or expressing your view on a topic in the public sphere. For example, I support marriage equality and gay and lesbian rights. I don’t march in large scale protests but I like to watch parades such as The Mardi Gras. I don’t ‘attack’ those who disagree with me but I do sign petitions and raise awareness. I don’t follow a specific politician or political group but I, just like many other youths are aware of political issues and do make legitimate contributions to society politically.

Mixing Media

Write it, cut it, paste it, save it,
Load it, check it, quick – rewrite it…

And that is how you affect society, sort of.

Remixes, Break It Down

The Oxford Dictionary defines remixing as to; “produce a different version of a musical recording by altering the balance of the separate tracks”. What’s produced is also known as a remix. Considering the freedom and easy access properties of the internet, the rise of remixes and a subsequent remix culture isn’t particularly strange. While this refers to music, almost any form of media can be ‘remixed’ into a different version or even form.
Remixs aren’t just confined to the internet though, they are a fundamental part of the hip hop and techno music industries.

Daft Punk. A big name in the techno music industry. Well known for their easily remixed tracks

Remixing can have several purposes; to allow a song to be played on the radio, to change the genre of the song or for artistic purposes. These all involve the changing of meaning and this ‘changing of meaning’ changes the connotations of a piece of media.

Lay It Out For Me

Given the rising popularity of remixes and the concept that an idea behind a piece of media can be manipulated by remixing it. This shows itself as an interesting contribution to the public sphere.

A mashup of Barack Obama and Trayvon Martin

This controversial image is mix of President Obama and Trayvon Martin, a youth who was shot while wearing a hoodie. It was suggested that he was wrongly suspected because of the negative stigma around ‘hoodlum’ culture. This image raised talks on the topic of racism and stereotypes in the wake of the incident and is often used with relation to Obama’s words on the matter;

“I can only imagine what these parents are going through, and when I think about this boy, I think about my own kids, and I think every parent in America should be able to understand why we investigate every aspect of this — federal state and local — and figure out how this tragedy happened”- Barack Obama, 2012

Musical remixes of presidential debates and speeches are also often used to satire politics in a way that allows an idea to be broadcast to a wider audience.

On the surface these videos seem to be humorous, crude and somewhat clever, but on a deeper level all three videos are examples of how a remix can be used to emphasise particular aspects of people (In this case, presidential candidates). Issues, whether they are unknown or well in the public eye can be brought up or have a new view cast onto it by generating the idea in a remix.

” The remix features Barack Obama rapping a modified version of Jay Z’s “99 Problems.” The revised lyrics cover subjects ranging from Occupy Wall Street, escalating energy costs, bank bailouts, “Fast and Furious,” Obama’s birth certificate, and the use of predator drones.” Diran Lyons (On ’99 Problems (Explicit Political Remix) ORIGINAL UPLOAD’) 2012

Drop It Like It’s Illegal

While remix culture does have it’s ups and has the amazing ability of spreading an idea or view at will, it also has it’s downs and imperfections. A question I asked myself; If a piece of media is made of other pieces of media made by other producers, who owns it? Who has control of it? Does it depreciate or add to the original works? I can’t answer these questions and apparently neither can others: There are laws to protect producers of original works and laws that protect parodies and remixes but there are clashes, loopholes and questionable properties of each law.

Consider this reaction video by Dan Bull, a youtuber that created “REPUBLICAN RAP BATTLE – Dan Bull” as seen previously in this post. In this video, Dan discusses his incident with copyright laws on Youtube. He raises the point that rap music relies heavily on the use of other people’s works and that laws that criminalise the use of other people’s works are tearing holes into remix culture. Curiously enough this video can also be considered a remix, using other images, sounds and videos to create a new piece while expressing ideas and ideologies to raise awareness of remix culture’s weaknesses.