Archive for March, 2011

Communications students and why we need to get over Facebook…

As I write this I am sitting in my research methods class “listening”  to student presentations on what people learned about doing a research question.

I use the term "listening" very loosely

I can’t help but notice however that almost every group so far (and we’re about a third of the way through the presentations) has done some sort of Facebook study. Which is cool, I understand that. Facebook has become a huge part of the world, especially the western world, but come on! Social networking such as Facebook has become the hip new awesome thing to do, but do we really need to continually study every aspect of it? TV is still on isn’t  it? People are still making commercials and advertisements aren’t they? We still possess the ability to call or text one another don’t we? SO THEN WHY THE HELL ARE WE ONLY INTERESTED IN FACEBOOK ALL OF A SUDDEN?!?!?!

yes, yes I do, EVERYONE DOES YOU FOOL!

I am not proposing that communication courses should stop allowing students to do projects about Facebook, however maybe we should start to limit the amount of projects allowed to be related to Facebook. Honestly it’s getting way out of hand.

Another problem I have is with the fact that Facebook is not the only form of social networking out there. I dont’ know if anyone reading this has ever heard of Twitter? Or tumblr? Or just by being on my WordPress site you’ve obviously found at least one other social networking site… THIS ONE!

I would like to apologize to to anyone reading this because it literally is nothing more than a rant, there is no proof or research that has been done in writing this, it’s purely me expressing myself. My opinion is worthless, but this is my blog so I’m putting it out there anyways.

case and point

Now I am not just ranting about this because I am tired and frustrated with having to listen to countless presentations about Facebook. I am also writing this because if we do not look at other forms of media, Facebook is going to take over the entire department. We are going to make Facebook the new communication studies and literally everything else will become an old study. I don’t know if anyone else feels the same way but the majority of people running the ads in todays world are evil, and there’s all those people who say Mark Zuckerburg is also evil. So maybe we should keep an eye on the media in whole, rather than just the media related to Facebook.

But that’s just me, that’s just my opinion, and this is where it ends, because if i go on any further I won’t be making any sense at all because:

I'm just rattled

Define “culture”?

So it’s getting to the end of the semester… And I still have three posts to write in order to meet the minimum requirements for the course (you know what they say, “go big or go home right?). As I predicted, and to an extent feared, I have run out of things to write about. I seem to constantly be running out of things to write about, and I have recently had a HUGE change in my life (one not for the better) and I am therefore finding it even more difficult to write a post. So please bear with me on this one, and I’m warning you if you’re not feeling patient, this could be a really long read for you.

Like I mean really really long...

Anyways I guess because this is a blog meant to talk about popular culture, I can pretty much talk about anything. Because there really is no definition of what makes something popular. I mean there are people in the world who have probably never heard the romantic fairy tales of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, and I would consider that to be pop culture. However among those circles of people (the ones who have not heard of  Brad Pitt) their definition of  what is popular could be something completely different.

long pointy poles? Those are popular right?

I think the term that needs to be focused on when attempting to define pop culture is “culture”. Culture is the term that defines what is popular. I suppose for this blog  the culture I will be examining is one of the cultures I belong to, and that culture is the university student blogging culture.

we do some pretty strange things ourselves...

I think it’s becoming pretty obvious that student bloggers are becoming more and more popular by the second. I mean people who write blogs like mine are a dime a dozen; literally everyone in my pop culture class has to have one. which means that there are roughly 75 other students writing eleven blogs this semester that are about the exact same subject as mine, and that’s just one class at one University in one small city. Imagine the number of student bloggers on the planet, it’s phenomenal.

elephant big

I have decided, literally while writing that last rant, that it is maybe time to examine the different forms of blogging. Because I am someone who likes to try and keep his options open, I decided the best way to do this would be to start another blog on another website. the only problem is that there are hundreds of websites devoted to letting just about anyone express themselves for free. therefore to keep things simple, and because I didn’t feel like signing up and giving my personal information to every blogging site on the internet I decided I will only start one other blog. Now it is only a matter of figuring out which site is the right site for me? I’m going to go ahead and type “free blogs” into a Google search and we’ll see what happens.

Ta-Daaa! it's a giant "t"

So I guess Tumblr it is then. If you would care to see the content of my brand new tumblr blog feel free to visit it here. Essentially the first thing I noticed about tumblr that really makes it different from WordPress is it’s user friendliness. WordPress is like a PC, if you read the instructions and take time to actually figure it out it will work very well and produce fantastic and very professional content. Tumblr however is more like a Mac, you simply sit back and let it do the work for you. It is a lot like Facebook in the way it has a newsfeed that shows you what your friends, or followers, are posting. And the way it allows you to post anything with just the click of a button really gives it an edge on the more complicated version WordPress has. I mean if you go back and read some of the pages I wrote (thinking that pages and posts were the same thing) last semester you’ll see that there are no pictures, only links. This is because I had no idea how to use the Worpress software to do the things I wanted to do such as post pictures and embed videos.

Pictured: Confused nerd on a computer from 1998. Not pictured: Me

Tumblr allows it’s users an ease of use like no other, and it allows users to create a proper profile where they can really be themselves easily. However WordPress allows users a sense of professionalism. I find that when I write these blogs I write them because I know that strangers (yes you) are going to read them. Worpress for me is not a social thing, where as tumblr appears to be more interested in the social abilities of the internet. This is not to say I wouldn’t appreciate comments on the blog, I really am interested in what the few people reading this thing actually think of it. But all I’m saying is WordPress really does not seem to encourage socializing as much as tumblr.

For those of you who thought I was above the whole cat caption meme... you thought wrong

So seriously, I know people are in fact reading these posts because I can see the view count on my dashboard. Leave a comment or something, just so I know what you think. And for now I’ll leave you with this:

yep, it's a picture of a chicken, generally reserved for toddlers to practice colouring. Print it out, colour it and send it to me, chances are if you're bored enough to read this entire blog you've probably got enough time on your hands to practice staying in the lines...

If I had a Million Dollars…

Alright well I am really running out of things to talk about here. Last class Strangelove was M.I.A. Apparently he’s gone to Amsterdam for a conference or something. We watched a documentary about Canadian popular culture. Apparently “cheemo” was a popular made up word for a few weeks in the 70’s. Learning this really made me laugh, but it also answered one of my life-long questions.

Where did they think of the name for this company?

Perogies are made by a company called Cheemo, I noticed this the other day while working with  them at my job as a grocery clerk. I thought the word had an interesting ring to it, I just didn’t realize where it came from. I now however, understand that it is apparently a word Canadians made up to try and shape their identity. The term can also be applied to people who are emotional (or emo as the kids are saying  these days) who wears Lonsdale clothing.

Thanks to the movie, which I just realized I haven’t given the name of yet, it’s called “Souvenir of Canada” for those of you itching to know.  The movie really opened my  eyes up to a number of things that I had no idea were Canadian before. I decided I would do a little research of my own to see what else was Canadian in this world, what I came up with is pretty fantastic.
Anti-Gravity suits were invented by a team lead by Wilbur Franks, which seems pretty impressive if you ask me, especially considering they did it in 1941, which if I remember correctly, was during WWII. Seems like a pretty crucial time to have the right suit for the job.

"Meh, piece of cake..."

Another invention I came across was the garbage bag. Harry Wasylvk and Larry Hansen, who must have had an awesome friendship, based of course on the fact that their names rhyme, invented the green garbage bags we use today. They invented then in 1950, up  until the 1950’s the Mafia was forced to roll their victims up in rugs, but thanks to sheer Canadian brilliance they no longer had to waste valuable rugs and carpeting.

I can only assume this is the thanking the two men recieved

The last and final invention I was surprised to see on the list of inventions is the snowblower! No I’m just kidding, that one seemed pretty obvious, however the television camera does not. I’ll be the first to admit that I prefer American TV to Canadian TV, however it makes me proud to know that without a Canadian inventor the Americans, and everyone else for that matter, would not have what could be called the biggest invention of the 20th century.

thanks Canada

So that is it. I saw a lot more Canadian inventions I was impressed with, but I do not know how long this writers block is going to last, so just in case I have to do a second installment I think I’ll end this one right here. But in true blog fashion here is a Canadian video to watch for a bit to keep yourself amused. Never ever forget how awesome these guys were: