The television show, The Magicians, follows a group of adults with magical powers unknown to the mainstream world in which they have always lived. The cover art for this show depicts a female lying horizontally in the air, almost as if she had been thrown into this position by a strong force. This woman is dressed in an extremely short skirt and shirt. The woman’s outfit and positioning gives this image a slightly sexual undertone, regardless from the fact that the show is not very sexual in its nature. Another reason this coverart does not make much sense, is the fact that the main character of the show is not this female, or any female at all, rather the storyline follow, primarily, a male magician. It seems to be that the placement of the woman in this image, while inconsistent with the context of the television show, was not done accidentally. Beauty and sex are two of the most coveted things in society today. By creating cover art for a product, in this case a television show, that depicts one of these two things, the creators can ensure some sort of traffic surrounding their product. The woman on the cover of this TV show advertisement may have very little to do with the show, but as long as people like the aesthetic presented and click on the photography, then the creators goal is reached.
Possibly the nation’s most followed satirical new source, The Onion, a large producer of faux-news with a humorous twist. Whether this news is politically based or a small article on a funny photo found online, the paper does well to add sarcastic, hard-hitting commentary to its pieces. This piece in particular labeled, “Cryptic New Laundry Room Rule Hints At Tale Of Bizarre Infraction”, proceeds a photo of a sign above a laundry machine that states, “Dryers are for clothes ONLY”. This sign clearly leaves the viewer wondering what someone had put in the dryer to warrant such a notice.
What strikes me about the articles posted on The Onion website, this article specifically, is the diction used in the titles. The author avoids the word ‘a’ at three separate times in the title of this news report. Initially, while reading the title the first time I noticed the absence of small words that would have made the title less choppy, resembling more of a fluid sentence. My second immediate thought was that this sentence structure exactly mimicked that of an article one might find on CNN.com, BBC.com or Fox News. While I have always noticed the sentence structure of the articles on this sight was aimed at mimicking larger, legitimate news sources, I had never realized the level of detail that the authors used while composing these articles. Even something as simple as leaving out a one letter word, completely changes not only the tone of the title, but gives it a more legitimate sound, only adding to the humorous aspect of the sight as a whole.
“No thank you
They call me after dark, I don’t want no part
My habits, they hold me like a grudge
I promise I won’t budge…
But I’m weak, and what’s wrong with that?
Boy, oh boy I love it when I fall for that
I’m weak, and what’s wrong with that?”
The Band AJR which stands for Alex, Jack and Ryan, is musical group composed of three New York City Raised brothers. Their song I am referencing to here, called “Weak” references the various activities that a young man in the group often falls victim too, once night falls and his judgement weakens. The words, “They call me after dark”, compliment the words earlier in the song “One kiss, bad for me”, leading the listener to the conclusion that one of these formidable acts that he takes part in after dark is of a sexual nature. The regrettable tone of the song and this man’s action, without any reason as to why he is regretting these decisions struck me. The demonizing lense with which we, a larger western culture, use to look at sex in general, completely infiltrates many aspects of our lives with absolutely no explanation. Even the most socially accepted, topical form of sex, that between a man and a woman in a consenting marriage, is not considered an approachable topic of conversation in most forums. This leaves me wondering why such different stigmas regarding sexual relations are prevalent in different cultures. Is it America’s deeply rooted puritanical values? Or the fact that sex is a commodity and the rules of capitalism disallow for the an excess of a commodity if you want to keep it valued and high priced? And finally, is it possible to alter an entire culture’s perception of, possibly, one of the most ingrained, human pieces of us all?
This week I chose to analyze the Music video for the song “Waka Waka” by Shakira. To give this video context, it was created in anticipation for the 2010 FIFA world cup. The music video depicts a Colombian Shakira singing about that make Africa, Africa. Shakira’s light hair and complexion in the video contrast greatly from her four, extremely dark-skinned female backup dancers. These dancers, while holding a much smaller part in the video than Shakira are all depicted to be of African descent and shown to be practicing dances and clothing styles from various African countries. This contrast struck me as odd. The women in the video who represents African culture as much as I do, an Italian/Irish girl from Connecticut, is the one with the largest role in advertising the country’s culture in preparation for the World Cup. This cultural inconsistency highlighted, to me, the subconscious racism still present in society.
“Omega step, Alpha step, Sigma step, Delta step…They say “Oh you
graduated? ” No, I decided I was finished
Chasing y’all dreams and what you’ve got planned
Now I spit it so hot, you got tanned
Back to school and I hate it there, I hate it there
Everything I want, I gotta wait a year, I wait a year
This nigga graduated at the top of our class
I went to Cheesecake, he was a motherfucking waiter there” – Kanye West,
The song “School Spirit” by Kanye West, a piece outlining the generic aspects of college, i.e. Greek life, along with the inescapable question many students find themselves pondering, being, “is this worth it?”. West juxtaposes the monotony of the commonplace collegiate aspects a student may experience in while living in college with the deeper, more introspective questions many students also experience. The chant line, repetitive tone of “Omega step, Alpha step, Sigma step, Delta step”, to me, symbolizes the unoriginal mantra of the surface level of college life, in this situation, greek life. The more diverse beat and lyrics come into play in the song when West begins to take a deeper look under the surface of college life, signifying a shift in content and subject matter.