COPS and why you owe it your life

This could be the last blog post I write, at least for my class. This is the eleventh post under the category Pop Culture, which means I have officially written one blog a week for every week of this semester. Time seems to have flown by, and I’m not going to lie, a lot of shit has gone on in my life since I started this blog, but I think I might keep writing it just to see what happens. We’ll see.

I’m not really sure what to write about for the last post of the semester, which seems to be a problem a lot lately. I seriously have not seen anything interesting in my culture as of recent, at least not something I can relate to this blog by any stretch of the imagination. Here’s what I’m thinking, I’m going to turn on my TV and whatever channel comes on first, I will surf up three channels, and whatever is on, I will analyze the hell out of it… So here goes:

Alright well the channel I end up on if I do this honestly is a French so that really doesn’t work, so I’m skipping the French channels and only counting English ones, because I don’t speak French. I end up on CityTV, currently they’re playing an hour of Judge Judy. I haven’t watched this show in a long time, but I used to watch it from time to time… Mostly before the internet.

Currently on the show Judy is dealing with a man and wife. The man cheated on the wife and the wife is now suing the husband because he abandoned the wife and left the wife with a house that she cannot afford. Anyways that’s besides the point, what I’m thinking here is how the hell did shows, and shows like this, become popular? Why on Earth would anyone want their trial to be broadcasted to the entire world?

Well, from what I understand, they became popular in the late 80’s and early 90’s, which is I’ll mention again, before  the internet was what it is today. Court television is one of the original reality shows. People are being filmed in unscripted and entertaining settings.

Patrick Dempsey also had something to do with all this

Now I know I said I was going to analyze Judge Judy, but to be quite honest I can’t stand to watch these rednecks yell at each other over something most people can sort out for themselves in a  domestic setting. Which leads me to want to discuss something with a bit more class. That something being, what I consider, the REAL first reality show ever produced:

classy

I have an obsession with COPS, some would say it’s an addiction. My argument is that COPS is the original reality TV show, because it started in 1989, which was, as far as I can tell, before anything  like a reality TV show. Unless you count all of the 1950’s and 60’s candid camera shows, but I would argue that those were partially scripted, because they use real actors and actresses on those shows. Plus it’s my blog, and we all know it is by no means scholarly, so let’s just go with this ok?

COPS made TV real. Now whether you love reality TV or hate it, you have to admit that inspiring something that has given us so much over the last few decades is pretty impressive. And as for COPS, they’ve had 23 seasons, so they must be doing something right. Reality TV has shaped channels like MTV (which apparently used to have music associated with it’s channel?) and Much Music, TLC, the list goes on and on. But the point is that COPS is the reason teenagers and bored housewives have managed to survive as long as they have. COPS, and in turn all the other reality TV shows that sprouted from COPS, bridged the gap between the end of good MTV and the internet. I think we all need to give COPS a round of applause for saving countless lives, and that’s all I really have to say about that.

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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:

It’s The One That Makes You Poop II

For those of you who have not read the first part of this post, I suggest you do that before reading this one. It’s here.

Anywho, I’ve been doing some thinking and I like what we have so far in terms of the slogan. However I feel that we need to use both slogans, one for kids and the other for older people. We need to use the slogan “All Bran: It’s the one that makes you poop!” for kids, and then, because adults don’t generally like to think about poop we will be a little bit more discrete for them. Plus adults have been keeping All Bran in business for a long time now, so we should have no problem selling to old people more.

We have the slogans, now all we need is a picture that can fit with both, and also appeal to both audiences…

works for me

I feel that an image like this will make young people and the elderly alike laugh when they see it, plus combined with the slogans I feel it’s a sure fire winner. The only problem is that we don’t really want a picture of an old lady on our box of cereal. No one wants to stare at that while they’re eating. Plus that does not really stand out in the most competitive grocery aisle in the grocery store.

It's a multi-coloured marketing hell

We cannot compete with colourful cereals like Froot Loops with a picture of a surprised old lady, we’ll get blown out of the water. But have no fear, because I think I have an idea. Unfortunately it’s not all my idea, it’s originally something done by a small company called Doritos, ever heard of them?

they're kind of a big deal

No I’m not interested in making All Bran Nacho Cheesy flavoured, nor do I wish to make them triangular, what I’m interested in is the packaging Doritos use. I’m going to let you in on a little secret here readers, I work in a grocery store, I have been there way too long, I know that place like the back of my hand. I know what sells and what does not sell. Doritos sell. Look at the picture of the bag above, it does not even say what flavour of chip it is. And yet I can vividly remember having to fill those damn chips up every twenty minutes when they first came out. My suggestion is that we follow Dortios’s strategy and make the new All Bran a mystery.

an orange mystery

I say we just paint the box all orange and put the Kellogg’s logo on the top where it would usually be, and call it a day. Why orange you might ask? Well friend, for one it’s my favourite colour, and also it stands out. I think that if people just see a bright orange box in the cereal aisle with the trusted Kellogg’s logo on it they are going to get curious and buy it. We could even add in something like “look for it in orange” in really small letters on the advertisements with the old lady. This is, in my opinion, the best way we are going to be able to sell All Bran to adults and kids alike. Yes, eventually word will get out and everyone will know that the orange box is All Bran, but by then people will have already bought the cereal and we will be rolling in the money

Based on my Google image search, I now understand that only cats and naked people roll around in money...

So it looks like this is the end of our experience with marketing. Hopefully Kelloggs see’s this and offers me a job tomorrow, but I doubt it. Anyways as always here’s something to look at for a little bit…

if in twenty minutes you still haven't figured out what is happening here, don't bother just move on

VIDEO PROJECT

This is my video project for Pop Culture. My Friend Kevin is in Advertising and society and he is using this video for that class as well.

It’s the One That Makes You Poop

Alrighty, so I think I’ve talked enough about women for the time being, plus on Friday I am going to be posting a video all about women and their role in advertising, so if you haven’t got your fill up till now, hopefully that will do the trick. For this weeks post I am going to write about something different… I just have to think of something that relates to the course first. Give me a sec here…

…Well a lot of this course has to do with Marxism, which is interesting sometimes. And how the people (or person) who controls the mode of production also controls the way society functions, or our ideas and ideologies I suppose would be a better way of putting it.

Capitalism: Getting old men hot wives since 1817

So that’s one thing for sure, but then again that has been done before (by me and countless others) and I want something original to write about tonight. I’m trying to think of anything strange or interesting I’ve seen this week, unfortunately I really haven’t left the house much this week because of the weather. Que the internet! Research time!

Well I’ve been thinking a lot about advertisements and how, if given the opportunity, I would go about making one. Obviously the product would have a lot to do with the way the advertisement was created, but I am willing to do an experiment here if you (the reader) are willing to bear with me. Here’s what I propose, I am going to close my eyes and hit one letter on my key board into a Goggle search. The first product name that comes up from this Google search is the product that I am going to attempt to construct and AD for. So here goes; the letter is: “K”. There are a few products that I see here, one is Kellogg’s cereal, but that’s too easy, making cereal commercials literally consists of either misspelling the product name in a way that still makes it pronounced properly, but is in fact spelled wrong (I’m looking at you here Froot Loops), or  advertise to women about how this cereal will make them loose weight (Special K) what the hell is a pilate anyways?

I kid you not, this is the Google image result for pilates

So I suppose I could try and change the game a little and design a new advertisement for a Kellogg Cereal. I guess now it’s just a matter of finding a more specific cereal, there’s so many to choose. For this I am going to go to the official Kellogg website and pick one out of a list. Alright the first cereal on Kellogg’s product list is All Bran and Kellogg’s slogan for All Bran is “Feel lighter and more energetic”. Well that’s fine, I guess, except it’s a little boring. Which is why I suggest we spice it up a little. I think All Bran needs to be for more than  just for old people, because let’s be honest here as of now it’s main demographic is those who have experienced everything they want to experience in this lifetime and are looking for a simple and plain cereal whose name is spelled in good ol’ fashion English. Plus if it helps them move their bowels then that’s always a positive.

"A poop would be nice this afternoon, wouldn't you say so?"

I feel that with  the right touch Kellogg’s could sell this stuff to anyone, mid -life adults, students, teenagers, even kids if they did it right! I mean Wheaties used to sell to kids, and although I have never experienced the cereal, I know what it was comprised of, and it had none of the sugar or strange colours that the cereals of today have. What Wheaties had was a slogan (“Breakfast of Champions”) and household athletes that backed up that slogan.

they even spelled Wheat correctly

Wheaties sells to kids, so why can’t All Bran? I think they can. First we need to change the slogan. If we are going to try and market this for the young and the old I think we should just go right our and say it, say what everyone already knows, that’s right, you know what I’m talking about. “All Bran: it’s  the one that makes you poop!” I mean who doesn’t like a good bowel movement every now and again? I’m 20 years old and I still find it nice and relaxing, old people clearly already like All Bran for what it does to their bowels, and kids, well everyone knows kids like to poop. Or if using the word poop is too descriptive we could change it to “ALL BRAN: It’ll keep you regular”. Or something of that nature. For now I’m going to think about this a bit more and come back to it, it’s getting late and I still have other things to do. We will figure this out though, just give it some time here. For now watch this, it’s entertaining.

http://ted.com/talks/view/id/1063