“Toughguise” Response

Once again, I would like to comment on the quality of the title. Good punny stuff. 
This time around, the doc we watched focused on men, and the pressures/preconceived notions they combat every morning. After sipping a hot cup ‘o joe, tightening their ties, and shining their shoes, men are confronted with the reality that if they do not mask their emotions and put on a hard, logic-only exterior, they will be relegated to menial, piddling careers. 
Unfortunately, as a male who is thoroughly in touch with his feminine side, I believe the idea of men having to struggle to fill a “man’s” role is hogwash, and that it all stems from an inability to show weakness. While I do agree that more often than not this weakness has been ingrained in the offending masculine entity since toddlerdom, I feel that any person who rationally confronts the idea that men must be men in the traditional sense will see that this is not only irrational, but counterproductive to being a true worldly dude. One must accept weakness. Only then may one grow from it. 

At any rate, focusing more on the documentary, I do think this issue is magnified in certain ethnic groups through the lens of their cultural heritage. American society, largely free and first world, has long ascended past hunter/gatherer needs, and the typical male/female roles. However, many countries have not, and the echoes of these traditional archetypes can still be seen, and often cause problems in our society. 

In summation, while I do acknowledge that gender roles for men are often very limiting, though men maintain a large part of power in our society, I believe that our society also allows plenty of freedom to overcome and embrace the “feminine” side of manhood, and therefore, males who cannot acknowledge emotion and intimacy are living in the past. I hate men. I am men.

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Sexism Documentary-Miss Understood

First off, I’d like to say that I’ve always enjoyed the above play on words. Ms. Behaved, Ms. Leading etc.. That is all.
This documentary was useful to me, as a white male viewer, because it forced me to look at women as a marginalized group. Though I consider myself to be as impartial and unbiased toward race and sex as one can be, I forget that there are somethings that are out of my hands as far as fairness goes, and some people are getting the proverbial shaft, regardless of how I am treating them. I feel that racism often overshadows sexism from a publicity standpoint, and generally, women are marginalized in an altogether different, often more oppressive way, as it’s something men of all races can agree upon. There are many races, but only two (arguably) genders. 

The image that sticks with me the most is one of Hillary Clinton delivering a stump speech, only to be interrupted by a trifling curmudgeon holding a sign/chanting “Iron my shirt”. At its most base interpretation, this showed me that no matter the position and level of authority, men can use gender to undermine women. Also, the audio clips of the myriad pundits downright verbally abusing women of power, more often than not to further their own agendas was quite eye opening. Glenn Beck would never call Herman Cain an “N-word”, but he had no trouble or repercussions in labeling Hillary or Pelosi (don’t remember which) a bitch. Verifiable proof that sexism has not been acknowledged nearly as much as racism. 
In the true spirit of Standpoint Theory, I am now slightly more capable of examining the world from the eyes of women. I have only Miss Understood to thank. Thanks, darling. You were edited silkily smooth, and I couldn’t take my eyes off of you the entire time. You’re a real doll. Toots.

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Axe Commercial

Axe Commercial

 

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Music, Women, and Everything In Between….

I first watched MTV in 1999, and have never been the same. On one level, I am grateful, for I was truly naive beforehand, and it provided an ever so marginally watered-down look into the future of media: sex, violence, and any envelope-pushing vessel for shock/entertainment value. I was nine, and tuned in just in time for “Spring Break”, arguably MTV’s most lurid season, showcasing nothing but scantily clad teens being wild, with intermittent music videos of slightly older, more developed women being wild. As someone who had never been exposed to this lifestyle, or sex in general, it was quite shocking, and also undeniably intriguing. On the other hand, I really wish I hadn’t seen anything like this until much later.
I kept the remote control close at hand, and if I heard my parents coming I changed it. It was like a drug, and was undoubtedly more than any child my age (8) should have had access to. Now, I am completely desensitized, but the memory of a buxom woman wearing a white bikini at some beach in Florida will never leave me. It is a part of me, just as the memory of the first time (and only[parents weren’t the strictest]) I was chastised for watching it was. I was watching TRL, a slightly more family friendly show that showcased the top music videos per request of “fans”. Fiona Apple’s “Criminal” was playing, which featured her in very suggestive garb, and had her cavorting in far too sensual of a manner for my mind to handle. I had already been “broken in” at this point, but when my mom saw me watching it, she was shocked, and made me turn it off. The shame of it still resides with me as well, though I have seen much worse.

These are my first conscious memories of the objectification of women in media, music videos especially, and I can say that I did not have a thought to spare for the negative implications of their visual promiscuity. I was on the other end, and while I now realize that what is being done to them is not good for them, or any part of society, I really was too caught up in what they were doing to me (both on the obvious sexual level, and more importantly on the developmental psychological level) to care.

The damage has been done to me, and while I wish it were not so extensive, damage to others in the form of what they consume/are bombarded with, and what people are convinced is normal is now all that matters. So, ultimately, my point is that objectification of women is terrible for women first and foremost, but also has very large societal implications that affect how everyone interacts, and even develop. 

Sex sells. It is a fact. It is also a fact that shooting someone can be deadly. We are being pelted with sex bullets. 24/7. And as the envelope for selling sex is pushed further, the ammunition becomes more deadly, and the battlegrounds for the ones holding the guns becomes more dangerous. What will it take to end our sex war? 
I know what it takes to end a real global war. A nuke. I couldn’t define a sexual nuclear explosion… Yet. But I know it’s probably coming. And I am afraid, as my mental battleground still bears the craters and bulletholes that Cash Money Millionaires’ “Back That A$$ Up” left on me as a 9-year-old. My only hope is to hide in Kim Kardashian’s bunker.

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It has become appallingly…

It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.
-Albert Einstein

         I have mixed feelings about EmSense. As far as ethics go, I believe the way they go about gathering their data is ethical. They rely upon volunteers, and eventually compensate them for their time. What may or may not be ethical is how the data they gather will shape advertising in the future. If this technology continues to develop, it could become too “mentally incisive”, to the point where viewers are being manipulated. This is how advertising has always worked, but in the end, the consumer always has had a choice. Someday, research in this field may be able to bypass our ability to make that choice, and that is worrisome.
I would not volunteer, and I feel that 95% of people who have seen A Clockwork Orange would decline as well. I am not summarily opposed to the idea, in fact I find it quite intriguing. Ultimately though, the process of donning a piece of equipment that can read my thoughts seems too intrusive and physically/emotionally uncomfortable.
       I agree that this technology can and should be put to better use, but I don’t blame the creators. It is their intellectual property and may use it however they like. The article did mention that they have over 40 patents on the technology, which is slightly worrisome; I can’t be sure, but it doesn’t seem like they will be too willing to share their technology with people that would want to put it to better use. If true, they really will become supervillain-esque, and I will publicly condemn them before the eyes of God and Mitt Romney. 
In summation, I give the company props for broadening technological horizons, but I worry that they may be too concerned with the private/monetary uses of their creation, and not the humanitarian aspects. 
We’ve gotta watch Big Brother too!
      

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This post will …

This post will likely be Pt. 2 of my me-diatribe, as the PBS documentary provided oodles more examples of how culture is being corroded by ceaseless tides of media. 
I’ll start with a key argument provided by advocates of omnipresent tech: it helps us by allowing more people to communicate and share ideas.
Aside from the general loss of quality when comparing face to face with online interaction, the argument could be made that this ability to share ideas has gone too far. For example, take the kid who killed himself. Sure, he may have had self esteem issues, but he wasn’t a bad looking guy, and given a few years, likely would have ascended beyond his angst. However, using the internet’s unlimited scope, he found a “friend” who discussed and actively encouraged suicide, ultimately leading the child to take his life. Without internet, this wouldn’t have been possible, and positive, real life interaction likely would have steered the poor lad clear of his troubles.
Another example would be the ease of access to information on how to create weapons (homemade bombs etc.). There are far more examples to the contrary, but the fact remains that the internet’s scope is too large, or not guarded enough. 

I personally have not instigated a suicide online, but have abused it’s anonymity many times over the years. One example hearkens back all the way to 8th grade, when I created a fake AOL screen name and posed as an obsessive girl while chatting with one of my friends. He knew this girl in real life, and after an hour or two of insinuations and blunt statements, he was thoroughly convinced it was her, and was not amused. This was not fair to him, or the girl whose reputation I hijacked, and I am ashamed of it. 
Later on  in highschool, I, along with a few friends, created an account on chubbychasers.com, where overweight homosexuals, or “or bears”, go to find a tiny counterpart. We posed as an attractive young lad, taking risque pictures from a random source on the internet, and got quite a response. It was fun to reply to these people, but also disturbing, and had we wanted, we easily could have gotten someone to come across the country in hopes of hooking up. I considered this briefly, and am glad that I didn’t follow through. Things could have gone up in flames very quickly. 
In summation, the anonymity and breadth of content that the ‘net provides, while not inherently bad, is a veritable playground for negative ideas and deeds to take place, and can prove deadly. Thus, people need to seriously consider what they’re doing, and what could happen as a result of their actions. BE RESPONSIBLELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

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A Day Without Media Is Like a Tyler Perry Movie Without Madea

It is impossible. It isn’t impossible, but without a conscious effort, it is impossible. The relatively unconscious shift towards dependence on media of all mediums is something I have been very conscious of, and yet have still fallen headlong into. Honestly, I did not seriously attempt to go a day without media. My main justification was that I “needed” to check on “pressing” assignments on GAView, and monitor the progress of my intramural frisbee team. Even if this were truly necessary, I would have no justification for the hours I spent “feeding” on Facebook, watching TV, and mindlessly trawling Youtube in search of… something. Gratification? It was not found.
The fact of the matter is, media, phone and internet especially, have become alarmingly ingrained into our social psyche, to the point of dependence, in a very short amount of time.
What scares me most is that personally, I don’t remember what I was doing with myself before these things were around. I, and a large part of America, and the world, have forgotten how to live. We have replaced real interactions and activities with half-cocked, piddling back-and-forth’s designed to sate us from our sofas. We are all cattle, sucking from the trough of slop that is byte-size technology, and I believe we are already feeling the effects, whether we know it or not.
One look at Honey Boo Boo, one measure of Dubstep, and one hundred thirty something characters would be enough to horrify the cast of the original American Pie (aka people from ’99).
That is my macro-degenerative-media diatribe, written from my computer. As part of the herd, I will attempt to wean myself from “slop”, and head for greener pastures.
Mark Zuckerberg is the antichrist??

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