Corporate Censorship

No offense to Errin, but this class really pisses me off. Don't get me wrong; I love our discussions, and I really do learn something everyday. But I really am getting quite irritated with the way some things are in our country. It seems like more than ever before heads of major corporations are the only voices in our country. With the media conglomerations and corporate censorship by Wal-mart and others, we don't really ever get a say of what we want to consume.
I was always led to believe growing up that Nirvana and Kurt Cobain were about one thing: being true to themselves. I was shocked and extremely disappointed when I read that they actually changed the title of the song on the album from "Rape Me" to "Waif Me". What's that all about? First of all, what does the word "waif" mean anyway? Second, I thought Nirvana would be above all of that greedy corporate BS. I guess I was wrong.
Also growing up, I was led to believe that members of the rap group N.W.A. were legitimate
gangstas rapping about their tough upbringing on the streets of Compton. I was never a huge fan of their music, but I always felt if there was a rap artist or group who had street cred, it was the members of N.W.A. Turns out, none of them were gangbangers in L.A. Only Eazy-E actually ever stood on a street corner to sell crack. Ice Cube actually turned down an academic scholarship to Arizona State to remain with the group (I know, it's Arizona State, but still). Eazy-E contributed to George H.W. Bush's campaign before dying of AIDS. And Dr. Dre once severely beat up a female reporter in public. Yeah these guys were real hardcore gangbangers.
P. Diddy is even worse. Despite what he'd like you to think, Diddy was no ghetto kid. He had a middle-class upbringing, was a model for Baskin-Robbins and went to a private Catholic boys' school where he was reportedly scared to bring home any grade less than a B.
I guess the point I'm making is that even for people that are media literate, it's hard to decifer if what you're consuming is legitimate art or not. Is the artist being real or is he/she just a puppet for the corporations?
These two video clips illustrate a humorous take on how a corporation can censor an artist. This Is Spinal Tap is a mockumentary about a British rock band from the early 80s. If you haven't seen it, I highly suggest it as it is delightfully entertaining. But these two videos kinda show how big corporations like Wal-mart can have a say in what artists put out there. I must put a disclaimer out there that the clips have some minor language issues and (deep breath) Fran Drescher makes an appearance. Watch with caution.


Cool Hunting and the like...

The film we watched this week was very interesting to me. First off, it brought me back to the days when I watched TV programs like "The Tom Green Show" and "Jackass" religiously. It's interesting to me because back in those days I was in high school and watched MTV all the time. I watched TRL even though I couldn't (and still can't) stand Carson Daly. I'm ashamed to admit this, but I even watched "Undressed." That show was so naughty to me, and yet I could not help but watch it.
I never realized what a hold MTV had on my youth until now. I bought
right into its marketing ploy and sadly spent too much of my high school days fixated on its programming. Thankfully, I have freed myself from the grips of MTV's claws. I guess I just got fed up with reality TV for the most part. But that doesn't mean I am free from the media. I still need my daily fix of Sportscenter and Conan (June 1st can't come soon enough). And I certainly can't miss TV shows like 30 Rock and Flight of the Conchords. So I guess while my taste in entertainment has evolved, I suppose the media will always have some sort of hold on me, which is scary and sad.
I also resonated with the concept of "cool hunting" that was explained in the film. I remember when I was in junior high, and I first heard of the band "Sublime." I was singing the lyrics to "Santeria" in school one day when a friend of mine stopped me.
"You know 'Sublime?'" she said.
"Yeah, they're one of my favorite bands now," I r
She then went off on how she discovered them first, and now she was upset that the band was going mainstream. The band wouldn't be "cool" anymore.
That's how it was as a teenager for me. Something could be considered totally cool one day and lose all of its coolness the next. In high school my friends and I would wear trucker hats and aviator sunglasses because we thought it was really cool and retro. When I returned from my mission and saw that everyone was wearing them I couldn't wear them anymore. To me, it had lost its "cool factor" now that it had been discovered. It's pretty selfish. It's like something that is so precious to us that we don't wanna share, something that gives us identity. Then everyone else starts doing it, or the media exploits it, and it's not ours anymore.

P.S. Does anyone know where I can find "The Tom Green Show" on DVD? I guess my sense of humor hasn't evolved as much as I'd like to think it has.


The Spin Stops Here? Puh-leeze!

Our class has discussed some pretty controversial topics over the semester. We've talked about radical feminists and white-hating black people; two subjects that get me pretty frustrated. But for me, today's class was so maddening to me--specifically on two separate levels. I'm pissed off as a consumer and also as a journalism major.
The video clip about "The Investigators" got me thinking about what other news stories are out there that the media are keeping from us. Surely that wasn't an isolated case where a story was killed because advertising dollars were at stake or there was another conflict of interest. There could possibly be life-saving information out there for some of us, only the media has other ideas in store for us. They determine what we need or want and force feed us that crap. Then they keep information from us that might actually be useful or necessary.
The video clip also shows that there is really nothing I can do about it. As a journalism major, I've been taught that my only loyalties lie with
providing the truth for the public. Not with money. Not with people. Not with major corporations. That's good and all, and in a perfect world that would be the case. But I constantly see examples that tell me otherwise. I want to be an ethical journalist. I want to provide the truth. But how can I do that if I don't have a job as a journalist? People that are loyal to media corporations and their respective conflicts of interests are going to be the ones with the jobs while I wait in line for food at a soup kitchen.
The point was brought up in class about how there were certain laws in place back in the early 1900's to break up monopolies in the coal industry. Where are those laws now? Why can't we enforce those laws? Fox News seems to be the most common violator of the public's interest. But I would like to know what other news stations have compromised the public's interest for their own. No doubt there are many.

Like I said, it would be nice to be able to do something about it. But the media aren't going to change itself, and it doesn't seem like the government is interested in forcing the media to change.
So if any of you have any good ideas let me know. Meanwhile I'll try to get in contact with Rupert Murdoch to see if he'll lend us his support.