Literary Review of the Political and Opinionated Media
Franke and Schiltz’s article is talking about how pop singers have gotten involved in politics via their songs and other events (Franke, U. & Schiltz, K. 2012). The article specifically looked at US and German “top ten hits” between 1960-2009. The article talked about the commonality of pop artists having charity concerts and anti-war protests. The article defines a term celebrity diplomacy basically embodying celebrities investment into politics through their careers. According to the article it also includes the idea of “pop musicians campaigning for debt relief for the poorest countries.” Isn’t this an example of white savior complex? If not, how come. This article reminded me of actresses involvements in politics as well, specifically Emma Watson and her involvement with the feminist movement through speeches and the #metoo movement. This article also reminded me of the Tchaikovsky based article about the meaning and stories found in music (Barbour, J. 2013).
This next article is similar to the last with regards to music and politics, but instead of pop music it focuses on punk (Dunn, K. 2008). Dunn talks about how punk is used to have a conversation globally as it uses visuals and provokes emotion. This article reminded me of a program that I work with called Arts and Music Police Partnership or AMPP. The purpose of this group is an art and music therapy group bringing teens together to make music and it is lead by police officer’s. They make their own punk rock band and the politics are drawn into it through the police. One question I have based on Dunn’s point is, what are some examples of how “punk has worked within and against the hegemony of capitalist telecommunication networks”?
The next article focuses on the Lonely Planet guidebook and how eco-tourism, humanitarianism, and colonial power play out through traveling, with the Lonely Planet guidebook trying to diminish these (Lisle, D. 2008). Lisle defines humanitarianism as “the fundamental message of humanitarianism is that we are all part of the same global society, and therefore have an ethical obligation to help one another should the need arise.” This relates to Franke and Schiltz’s article with the white savior complex (Franke, U. & Schiltz, K. 2012). Ultimately the idea of humanitarianism is very selfish because we are stating that the Western way is the right way and we are going to force our lifestyle on you to try and “help”.
A comment made by Lisle struck me which was how, “altruism throughout the centuries have always been framed by those in power.” This was really interesting because you think of altruistic behaviors as completely selfless, but ultimately it is the person in ‘power’ who is able to complete the altruistic act. One thing I was a little confused on was, what exactly is elegant power? The article also talked about eco-tourism especially with the Burma example of how traveling there is giving money toward the government and promoting negative treatment of people- is this correct? The article also mentioned the ethicality of the guidebook and how it broke that when it told people to travel to Burma after being explicitly told not to. Critically thinking here, I think the reason behind this was because LP wanted to be different.
This next article talks about shoe throwing and how “throwing objects works as an act of resistance” (Ibrahim, Y. 2009). One crucial point this article made was that culture really matters when interpreting the shoe throwing. One critical point I would like to make critiquing the other author’s is that none of them had talked about cultural differences or intersectionality when it comes to understanding pop culture, taking in visuals, “making meaning” of the visual, or audience interpretation (Pears, L. 2016). This article reminded me a lot of a class I took abroad called Intercultural Communication and Leadership because intercultural communication, the main focus was defined as creating a mutual understanding. The interpretation of shoe throwing, and other visuals for that matter are going to be different depending on one’s culture. Another interesting point this article brought up was the ideal that throwing shoes was a “freedom of expression” and therefore allowed I guess. Lastly, it talked about how throwing shoes was made into a video game which made me think back to other articles we have read about politics and video games. Does turning real events like shoe throwing into video games take away the meaning, importance, and seriousness of the event?
The next article focuses on Bollywood and the movie Slumdog Millionaire (O’Neill, P. 2013). The article was critiquing Slumdog Millionaire saying it gave a negative view of India. The article also states, “Bollywood films are mediating the lives of Indians abroad and offering them a sense of belonging.” This reminded me of the Otmazgin article with Japanese pop culture (Otmazgin, N. 2008). That article brings up the importance of having performers look like you, because it is more relatable. This article also brings to the point that because lots of films negatively portray other countries, it makes it seem like poor or “bad” people do not exist in the West. Another interesting point made was that in “American films almost never develop the character or ideas of the terrorist.”
The last article primarily focused on the issue of securitization when it comes to media, and visual images in general. The article talks about intervisual and intertextuality, where the intertextuality aspect is that there is text to go along with the picture. Overall the article is discussing that images cause this sort of securitization- but that ultimately it is the people and audience that turn it into this threat. That connects back to the Pear article where the audience is making the meaning (Pears, L. 2016).
Then the article goes into critically thinking if people are having a hard time interpreting a picture or visual and therefore maybe having text added to it would eliminate this problem. Do you all think that’s true though? Another point this article brings up is that words on their own really don’t have a meaning and that history puts a meaning to these words. “The word ‘security’ did not, for instance, come to signify the threats, dangers, and drama of ‘national security’ until after World War II.” When you are adding text to the image, does it take away the value and personalization?
The article also talks about why it is visual sources that run the risk of securitization more so than texts. One of the potential reasons being immediacy, meaning people can have an emotional reaction right away because it brings up feelings. The second is circulability meaning that it gets around fast, and the last is ambiguity which relates to the idea that it has different interpretations based on individuals and especially cultures, which ties back to the shoe throwing article (Ibrahim, Y. 2009).
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