The Impacts of Conglomerates within the Media Industries:

Image result for conglomeratesThe media industry is a large one, filled with many people and organisations running the business and project output. A large bulk of our media is released by conglomerate companies. Basically conglomerates are when groups of other smaller companies are bought, managed, and do business with one, or more, larger companies. An Avengers team of businesses if you will.

Image result for fourth estateSome examples include 20th Century Fox as they run Fox News; along with National Geographic and Sky. Or other examples being Sony. In the sense that they have a film division, (Sony Pictures) with an animation studio (Sony Animation) and parts of the company that work on their Play Station consoles.  As a result, many other well-known companies have been known to be bought by conglomerates. Such as Lucas Films and Marvel Studios being brought by Disney; with many of their properties being now owned by Disney, i.e. the Star Wars franchise, and the numerous characters from Marvel comics. Which has benefited both companies greatly, after those properties were bought, tons of money was then poured into projects such The Avengers and Star Wars the Force Awakens; which had tremendous returns from the box office as a result; with both of them reaching the billion dollar mark. So of course, the point of becoming part of a conglomerate is the profit returns; while being given plenty of exposure through adverting, and even merchandise. Case and point being Sony and the Play Station 4 console. As Sony markets a game that’ll be published on their console, alongside the studio that the game developer is working alongside with. Some developers like Naughty Dog Studios have been known to be backed by Sony for the development of games such as The Last of Us.Image result for sale As for merchandise, this would include DVDs, T-shirts and anything sold under the brand name; such the Harry Potter World attraction, which is owned by Warner Brothers. So the exposure, resources and money given to support does benefit the creators involved, guaranteeing larger returns in profit, usually. But does this make things better for the audiences?

media-owned-six-corporationsThat’s debatable for a few reasons. For one thing, they are limited in terms of choices they have in terms of entertainment. To the point that over 90% of the US media is controlled by six different conglomerates; after being controlled by 50 companies in the 80s. General Electric, News Corp, Disney, Viacom, Time Warner and CBS. All of them produce forms of media such as movies, TV shows etc; as well as license other companies to produce merchandise of said brand. This being done through the smaller companies that they own/ partnered with. The reason why big budget block busters like Batman, Harry Potter and Marvel’s Cinematic Universe get the most advertisement on film news sites and cinema screens, is because the studios pump loads of money into the production, while pumping more money into the advertisement in order to get more people in cinema seats; increasing the box office result. While the idea of producing a million dollar earning blockbuster and spitting the enormous profit with the third parties assisting, it creates problems for the rest of the industry. Image result for media business menWhy? Because it’s leading small budget productions and their creators having to find lesser known companies to distribute or create a project, because if they can’t get work with the big leagues, then they’re on their own; just ask some no name band starting in their mum’s basement, to maybe getting heard by some big name music executive. That is until they get turned down because to conglomerates, niche audiences are aren’t worth the smaller returns.

In an age where anyone could afford an advanced guitar app or Adobe After Effects, it’s still hard to get hard noticed when you’re a nobody drowned out by the adverts of the brands people know and trust. Thankfully platforms like Netflix and even You Tube have produced many breakout hits on their streaming services. Image result for crowd fundingAnd many film directors, performers and video game developers have used crowd funding sites such as Kick Starter to catapult those creators to success using donations from the public. With games like Mighty No 9 using Kick Starter to fund the game, earning 3 million dollars from online donors; before becoming an example of why crowd funding is looked down by some. But that’s a whole other can of worms for another time. An example of a project crowd funding to then gain success, would be Kung Fury. A parody of 80s action films that started as a crowd funded project meant for You Tube; until gain such a positive response it’s now being hosted on Netflix. Either way, in a world where someone like Justin Bieber can go from a teenager recorded on a crappy camcorder, to a teenager selling out stadium size concerts; many of those creators can get to eventually play with the big leagues after getting more notice and praise through word of mouth. Marc Webb went from directing indie romantic comedies such as 500 Days of Summer, to then direct The Amazing Spider-Man and its sequel with Sony Pictures.

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From the fictional side of the media, to what is meant to be the factual real world events side. When it comes to the news, the main stream news shows and channels end up getting the wider attention; and given the conglomerates they’re partnered with, more resources. With majority of news coming from channels and sites like ABC, NBC, BBC etc. And News Corp owns some of the top newspapers in the UK, North America and Australia. The Sun, The Times and the Wall Street Times being examples. While many outlets have criticized for producing biased news reports, due to reflecting the believes of the higher-ups in the attempt of gaining the attention of those who share similar world views. Sky and Fox news have been accused of having a pro conservative agenda, like the company’s owner Rupert Murdoch. And in the past two years, other left-wing outlets have recently been accused of being biased against the Trump campaign. The reason for any agenda is that it comes back to money, as Anup Shah explains:

“Often, many media institutions survive on advertising fees, which can lead to the media outlet being influenced by various corporate interests. Other times, the ownership interests may affect what is and is not covered. Stories can end up being biased or omitted so as not to offend advertisers or owners.” Shah. A, Media Conglomerates, Mergers, Concentration of Ownership, Global Issues, 2009.

Image result for left wing right wingWith limited options often promoting left-wing articles to appeal to younger audiences repeating back what the government wants the world to know; this has opened the door to the fifth estate. Which is defined as news and opinions outside the main stream news sources. This lead to multiple sites like AMC news, Breitbate.com, Wiki Leaks and many others gaining traction in online hits from updates on the latest Hollywood block buster or news on the politics and world events for example. Not only did this produce more voices in the discussion, but more viewpoints. In a media landscape filled with a majority of left-wing new sources, right-wing publications such as Info Wars have gained millions of views during the 2016 present election alone. Hence why said publications are blamed and shamed for the election of president Donald Trump.

So do conglomerates mean a good thing or a bad thing for the viewers of the world media? At this point it’s hard to tell. On the one hand it gives exposure and resources to multiple talents with in the industry, while also being a struggle to the smaller names and new comers in all form of the media industry. Not to mention how getting your name out involves: either the struggle with the tough, but limited choices. Or find the smaller but unknown people to help get your feet of the ground.  In other words, for consumers who receive products, as well as the ones hoping to contribute in the industry, it’s a double edge sword.

Thank you for your time.

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Rebooting Hollywood Or The Effects of Hollywood’s Obsession with Remakes:

Image result for hollywood out of ideasAnyone that has been keeping track with mainstream movie news, will know that there is a new version of an already existing franchise or film being released every other month. I even surveyed multiple people, and 84% were aware of this.

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See it here

This brings up discussions of whether Hollywood are out of ideas, and are relying on the safe path of familiarity to fill the producer’s wallets. At the same time, it brings up interest in the relaunch of said popular brand, whether it’d be from the already existing fan base, or the newcomers who have only just heard about the brand. Regardless the modern movie industry has fallen into the habit of relaunching an already popular film or brand; with numerous remakes of popular films already in the works. In March this year, cinema goers had the choice of Kong: Skull Island (the third King Kong reboot) a remake of Beauty and the Beast by Disney, or the live action version of Ghost in the Shell. So what’s the harm? Well before we ask that, we need to know the other important question, what’s the reason for this?

Image result for movie franchisesWell firstly there’s the obvious reason of money. And said money being made through different means, mainly franchises. With a lot of projects being made to set up multiple sequels to be produced, after said film is released and hopefully makes a splash at the box office. Due to the success of Marvel Cinematic Universe by Disney – with the Avengers sealing that franchise’s success back in 2012 – many studios from Warner Brothers, Fox Studios and Sony Pictures have been trying to launch their own attempts of cinematic universe like franchises with multiple sequels and giving multiple characters’ spin offs and cross overs; with properties such Spider-man, X-Men, DC Comics and Ghostbusters being planned and already put in action, all of which are released with further projects in the pipe line. Hence why many of the remakes/ reboots released are of well-known properties that are loved by their fans, and have already been financially successful in the past. Because as the old saying goes: if works once, it’ll work again and again. Image result for spidermanSpider-Man is a good example of this, as Peter Parker is on this second reboot at Marvel Studios. Since 2002 Sony Pictures had made millions on the Spider-Man trilogy with Toby Maguire as the star, with his final putting earning a worldwide gross of $890 million. However due to numerous disagreements with director Sam Rami, the studio and Maguire himself; the franchise had ended, with Sony starting the franchise again with a new crew and cast in The Amazing Spider-Man in 2012 which earned around $262 million. You can see why Disney was keen to make deals with Sony for the character rights, the sequel under performed; making Disney’s version (as seen in Captain America Civil War) the third big screen version of Spider-Man. With Sony planning to produce a spin-off for Venom, a popular characters from the comics.

Hell this works for sequels as well, if there are two things Hollywood loves most, is money and familiarity. Hence why a lot of films that make bank at the box office earn sequels, whether they need/ require them or not. Why? Because the predecessor established an audience that gave the their money to see it in theatres, and buy the DVDs. So the logic goes: is that said audience will spend more money on a continuation of something they enjoyed once before. Anyone who knows about the workings of studios, will know that they’ll not put anything in production, unless they know it’ll get asses in seats. But with sequels, BOOM! Audience already established, so put this shit on our release schedule and give the team all our money!

Image result for merchandising spaceballsHowever, there is one other source of money from a big budget reboot of an established brand, merchandising. With the studios making deals with manufactures to make products to generate hype for said rebooted brand. If someone loves a film to the point that they have a shelf solely for the merchandise, then a new version will get said person to by the new products. Whether it’d be: t-shirts, special edition DVDs with hours of bonus features, dress up items, and action figures with almost perfect likenesses to the character they’re meant to portray. Companies such as Hasbro, Mattel, Neca, Lego and Side Show Collectibles have profited heavily on this. As Mark Litwak said on the matter of movie merchandising, it’s a second form of advertisement:

If McDonalds agrees to distribute millions of Roger Rabbit cups to its customers, and spend additional millions of dollars to advertise the promotion, the movie benefits from increased audience awareness. For distributors, promotional campaigns are often the most alluring aspect of a product placement deal”. Litwak M, 2013 ‘Movie Merchandising’.

And his not wrong about the allure of merchandising, especially when aiming to audiences of families, children included; with it also aiming towards adult collectors. With successful franchises such as Star Wars –with products by Kenner and Hasbro – making over $37 billion over the last 40 years before the release of The Force Awakens, the push for merchandising in shops and geek events such as Comic Con makes more sense. Especially when a CNBC article by Javier E. David says that the Comic Con event in San Diego brings in $700 million during the three days of the events.

So while yes, the established geek market is the key market to hit, as many of them will be aware of the relaunched franchise; there is still more demographics to reach. The first is young people, mainly because they would be having the most disposable income, and would be more keen to see a big popcorn blockbuster than a slower drama piece. Image result for remakesI say this as films such as Total Recall, Robocop and Poltergeist were well-respected films with hard R ratings (or 15 in the UK) only to be rebooted as PG-13 (12A in the UK) that meaning anyone around that age range could pay to see the film. The second audience to aim for, being everyone else. Because if a franchise is going to be re-established to the worldwide public, the more audiences viewing the better. It draws attention to something they might not have been aware of beforehand, and if they’re a fan of something in a similar genre; then they may like this. And I do mean the world wide public, going back to Robocop and Total Recall, by the US box office both of them under performed. As both of them struggled to make more than $60 million in the US. When it comes to the world wide audiences: Robocop (2014) made $139 million, while Total recall made $184 million. And these are only two examples in a recurring trend, as Robert Schovo says in his video ‘Too Many Hollywood Reboots? Here’s why’; countries like China only take a small amount of English-speaking films to put them in wide release across the country, and as Robert says:

“They’re (cinema distributors) going to go with something that doesn’t get lost in translation. If you ever wondered why the Fast and the Furious movies are so huge – it’s because: men drive car fast, works in any language.” Schovo R, 2016. ‘Too Many Hollywood Reboots? Here’s why’!

Hence why so many examples like this are big expensive action films with explosion filled, exciting, money shots for the trailers; instead of some deep heart-felt rom-com. While (insert franchise here) maybe new to someone else, even if they’ve heard good things about the original from a guy who knows a guy, who knows a guy’s cousin whose seen it. Which also explains the remakes of multiple foreign films such as Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Ring.

Now, we need to ask the important question; what is the effect of Hollywood and the movie industry? Well for one thing the is that there are loads of remakes of well-known films still being produced, with sources stating that between 107 and 116 remakes are in various stages of production by various studios. Screenshot (12).pngWhich shocked the participants in my survey, as 80% were unaware of this. But also Hollywood has fallen into the habit of making films in order to kick starter a franchise using popular characters, in the attempts of building a cinematic universe with sequels, spin offs and crossovers in the vain of making the same money Marvel did with the Avengers. Regardless of the quality of the output, studios will pour money into blockbusters with massive special effects, using recognizable characters. Which will be seen all other the place in terms advertisement: i.e. movie screens, movie news and the internet etc.

But does it work for the studios? Yes, and no. Image result for box officeI mean it has worked for Marvel’s Cinematic Universe due positive word of mouth, and even Warner Brothers’ DC franchise has managed to turn a profit due to successful marketing campaigns. But for the rest of the market, I can be a hit or miss venture. Because all the money in the world being spent on trailers and action figures can’t prevent a film sinking due to one crucial element that can grantee a film success in the world of fandoms and the internet, positive word of mouth. Whether it’d be from the critics on sites such as Rotten Tomatoes, and the responses from audiences. The 2016 reboot of Ghostbusters is a good example, while the film rated well in terms of critical reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, when it came the audience scores, it was rated the lowest rated film within the franchise. I bring this up as the film failed at the box-office only making $128 million at the US box office on a budget of $145 million, with the film failing to break even. And what’s not helping is that smaller productions are given less attention due to being released days or so after a highly anticipated/ advertised film has hit theatres.

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Source: Box Office Mojo

For example, a Will Smith drama from 2015 called: Concussion; only made a total amount of $48 million, in a world where movies are expected to make double their profits, that’s bad enough. But do you know what has released a week before: Star Wars the Force Awakens. That being said, the Indie/ Independent side of the film industry has gained large amounts of attention and influence. With events such as the Sun Dance film festival giving multiple indie productions more attention. Films like Drive and Troll Hunter being good examples of films starting at similar events and earning cult followings in the process. Even directors such as Quentin Tarantino and Paul Thomas Anderson being directors that started on their own and working their way to fame with their own ideas or ones that haven’t been tried yet. With the former having two of his films (Inglorious Bastards and J’Dango Unchained) being nominated for best pictures at the Oscars. This brings a balance between what is being released in cinemas; especially when films like Room and Whiplash end up topping the box office charts when given the attention.

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So is this good or bad? Honestly it’s both, as despite it being 50/50 on the quality of the output on the Hollywood reboot craze; it will get new people into franchises they probably wouldn’t have known/ cared about. And of course, actors, writers, producers, manufactures, etc. will have money to put food on the table. Even if we the audiences, will have to put up with the repetition.

Thank you for your time.

Trump V Clinton: The Shinest of Two Turds

Yes, I'm finally talking about the US election, a subject I have never given any thought about, until this blog post. For many reasons, as I mainly wanted this to be a more light-hearted page, and I honestly never really had much new shit to bring to a dinner table so crowed not even the after dinner mind can find big enough gap. But the result of the votes is in early November, and I'm writing this in late October, so until more jokes about Trump's actions as president are mad, I only have this small amount of time to hope on the mess of a band wagon. Now, before I begin I must state that I do not support either candidate, the title makes it clear enough, I'm just here to strike the iron of the campaigns while they're still above room temperature. So let us begin, by beating a dead horse.

Image result for trumpTrump:

Ah Donald Trump, what can be said about the man who hasn't been said by every other news commentator, political figure, celebrity and every loud mouth millennial online. At this point his been given every insult imaginable: an idiot, racist, despite gaining votes from celebrities such as Denis Rodman and Azelia Banks, sexist, and there's even the "Trump is literally Hitler" meme. Yeah great use of literally by the way. And given how the man has switched positions more times than a quick fire porn shoot, insulted and bashed women such as Rosie O'Donnell for her weight, with the attitude of a college frat boy; some of these claims are at least rooted in reality. So for those who already calling the man's potential ascend to The White House the end times, his leaked " grab her the pussy" tape was their "I told you so" moment. As were the allegations of multiple female contestants, who coincidentally have gone public in support for Hilary Clinton by the way, from The Appearance saying they were sexual harassed by Trump.

Which was kinda refreshing, as a lot of news coverage around the man was centred around his infamous border wall, since he made his policy's clear to the public. I'm not kidding, ask any old bum of the street to list a policy of Donald's, the first answer will definitely be about the Mexicans. Which given his lack of information about the building materials and time to do so, that aren't vague estimates that won't cost several arms and a leg for the average tax payer; and yet some how expects Mexico to split the bill.Suddenly everything make sense. Except for why people would support the man after that point, when members of the Republican Party (his party) have been sceptical for the man. He's lucky that his cuts on taxes, and increases of payments from richer tax payers are keeping the supporters. However, whatever your thoughts on his policies are, it's the man's presence that's attaching the voters and keeping them there.
I'm mean the man is bold and confident speaker, whose pretty much a middle finger to political correctness; which would be welcome in the age of SJW cry bullies. But that's it; his giving his supporters what they want to hear, with enough stage presence to keep the attention of the media. It's not secret a lot of the right-wing supports of America consider issues such as immigration and many other issues as what's wrong with the country. And a man who tells those people who he'll do what they want would seem appealing. Screenshot (146).pngParticularly when said person is a rich businessman with a net worth larger than Boris Johnson's belt length, that is financing his own campaign, so no issues with him selling out to corporate interest; all the while bluntly bashing the competition, in his usual proud of himself big shot persona. Using plain, emotive language to appeal to with the frustrated supporters.  Like a politician, his telling his supporters what they want to hear. I could say more, but I'm running low on time, so here's an interesting post on the subject if you're interested.

As happy as I would be to have world leader brave enough to tell the politically correct morons of the world to go suck a fat one; specially when Clinton is known for wanting to decreasethe wage gap, and giving her support to Black Lives Matter.A move for equality so backwards, it's one step away from letting Chris Brown and Bill Cosby run a women's abuse shelter. The point still stands that Trump is way over his head, and is driven solely on his ego, in order to win the election. Now his unprofessional nature is bad enough, especially with the more recent things said about him. And yet there are still people who disagree with the guy, but are planning to vote for him, solely out of spite due to the competition. And given said other candidate, you can't blame them.

Image result for hillary clintonClinton: 

If Trump is seen as the American version of Jay from The Inbertweeners…I mean the adult, American version of Jay from The Inbertweeners; then let me present the female Frank Underwood. Even if she acts like more of a professional than Trump, that won't stop her policy's being one of the numerous reasons people are against her. Putting aside the shady private shit of the deleted emails, there's the no fly zone she's planning to set up, while her campaign is funded by defence industries; coincidence? So yes, she plans to make Syria a no fly zone, which would at an estimate take around a thousand US troops, setting of conflicts with both Syria and Russia, the latter being a country with way more man power and nuclear weapons than the US, without adding to the country's trillion-dollar debt as it would start a war in the process….somehow. And people say Trumps border wall is going to be a waste of cash. But given how she voted for the war in Iraq…and then said she didn't, not surprising in hindsight.

What's worse is that she plans to do this despite every political figure attached to the debate from Obama, to Bernie Saunders and Trump himself saying that this was a bad idea. To the never Trump people, you now have something to think about. And we get the two true reasons she's disliked by many voters: she flips positions, and is a crook. I've already mentioned her two positions on Iraq, and the no fly zone that, by her admission, would lead to many deaths. But there are other agendas she's changed for her means. Such as: abortion, and gay marriage. With any criticism being deflected by saying "due to new information, I now know this". Say what you want about Trump, but at least his policy's stayed somewhat consistent. This coming from a woman who said every politician needs a public image, as well as a private one, in a meeting with Goldman Sachs.

And now we get into the Wiki Leaks shit. Not just the deleted emails she accidentally deleted, after accidentally sending classified information on an unregistered account…thirty thousand times. There's the child rapist she helped in court, clearing his charges despite knowing he was guilty. And how she blackmailed and bullied the women her husband had sex with during his time at The White House. Nice one miss feminist president. Her corporate interest falls somewhere between The Sheriff of Nottingham and Mr Krabs from Spongebob Square Pants. Till the point that Wiki Leaks have exposed her campaign of rigging her way to winning the Democrat Nomination. If you're confused about how Bernie Saunders, the Democrat with the larger supporter numbers than Clinton, got turned down due to lack of votes from Democrat supporters. Well that was mostly due to the reduced number of polling stations in states that over overwhelmingly supported Bernie Saunders.

Yeah. Hillary Clinton, got away with rigging the system in her favour, while the main stream media aids her in her goal to able the people calling her out as conspiracy theorist. And of course she did this to Trump. She was the woman who labelled his supporters as hateful and violet after all. With the cases of Trump enforced violent outburst, has now been revealed to be caused by members of the democrats. She's taking the creationist approach to research; if you can't find any proof of your claims, make your own.  Am i watching real life politics or an episode of House Cards?

So these are the candidates America has to choose from. A blow hard egotist that knows what his audience wants; or a candidate so unpopular she has bend reality to suit her needs, and hope the main stream media is too high on the anit-Trump wagon to even notice. Good luck America you're going to need it.

Thank you for your time.

 

Think It Through #5: The Olympics triggered Twitter

Welcome to the fifth installment of ‘Think It Through’, the series where I poke holes in the logic of things that don’t seem to run on any logic.

So the Rio Olympics were a thing a few days ago, and now that the dust is settled (well at least by the time I finish writing this thing) and people have celebrated the achievements of the winning athletes. But alas not everything can be so happy; especially when the social justice babies start emerging from their Tumblur blogs looking for something to do. And in their never-ending quest to bully anyone more relevant than them; they decide to go after the voice of Dory from Finding Nemo.

I guess they were that keen to disprove the notion that anyone that isn’t white, straight or born with a dick is public enemy number one and only, while everyone else is excused from consequences….its just the women they do it to. So for those not in the know, Jamaican athlete Usian Bolt competed, with a photo of him grinning at the camera as he completed the race. And like the Internet usually does. It photoshopped the image into various memes for the shakes of a joke. Well Ellen DeGeneres also took to Photoshop with her own image.

Now you see that image here above the sentence? Right tell me what is wrong with that picture? If you said nothing you’re correct. However we live in the world of individuals that more trigger happy than Yosemite Sam on Red Bull and crack. Because she was accused of racism, due to the picture’sconnections (if only the quotation marks could get bigger than the site will allow) to slavery. I mean look at this image here to the right. As the mouth breathers on Twitter compared a photo of Ellen saying that: being given a piggy back ride by Usian Bolt is faster than taking her own car (which is probably true) to slave masters using their slaves as furniture. WHAT?! Screenshot (7).jpgSee this is why the Olympics need a game for furthest distance away from the point; because if these people were in US team, they would be taking home the gold from now till the end of time and beyond.

Unless Ellen also edited herself being pulled by a kart tied around Bolt’s waist, while whipping him with one hand, and holding a poll with a water melon attached via some string. Then you have lost me on how this is racist. Those two from the 1800s keep being brought. Yes that happened a long time ago. But as far as Google is aware, this is the exception and not the norm. And yet they keep popping up as a means of quit by association; because god forbid people move on from their countries past. Unless she’s maceing the guy while she’s dressed in a police uniform, the only racism is in your own head, that is if you believe in the crap that is more of a stretch than a fat lady’s g-string. As if the argument that political correctness is to comedy, what cancer is to the human lungs; needed anymore proof.

And the best thing of all, is that Ellen finally commented about the c(n)onterversy by saying this: Screenshot (8).png

And good for her to basically say: “I’m not racist, and your morons are taking this out of context”. – Ellen DeGeneres, in an ideal world. Because if the Social Justice morons have told us anything, it’s that context and apologies are more meaningless than their credibility as a movement. I mean these are the same people who praised the Ghostbusters reboot of promoting girl power, before calling the trailer racist for not having the black woman not be a scientist…last time I tak about the Ghostbusters reboot i swear.

So can everyone please stop trying to associate things that aren’t racist…with racism? Please, because most of the time in this day and age, it’s not there. So how about we start using the word racist when discussing actual hate attacks and acts based on nationality and skin colour; before the it starts becoming a synonym for something other than its proper definition, given the people who’ll throw the word around like water.

Thank you for your time.

Think It Through #4 : Snap Chat Attention Seekers 

Welcome to the four installment of ‘Think It Through’, the series where I poke holes in the logic of things that don’t seem to run on any logic.

And boy does today’s topic make little sense.

Image result for snap chat logoI like the app Snap Chat. It’s fine app where you can chat with friends, show people what’s happening in your life, show what you had to eat at that time of the day, as well as send dick pics from the comfort of your bed; I don’t partake in said actions, shut up, but I don’t judge either. Now this isn’t really about the app, it’s about a certain type of person you’ll see using it. And believe it or not, it’s not the dick pic people, I don’t really take issue with those people….”insert your own joke here”; I said rolling my eyes in the process. But back on point, this habit I’ve seen often with people I’m friends with on the app; and it really get on my nerves, and it makes me want to punch the person who made me feel this way.

So let’s set the scene, and I’m sure it’s familiar to some people; so here we go: I lay down on my bed to relax. To which I then hear the Snap Chat notification sound. So I grab my phone, load the app, and I see I have a snap sent directly to me from a mate. So I open it, only to find a random selfie of the person who messaged me saying something about the image in the caption. Which leaves me confused as this never mentioned me, or was I involved in anyway; but whatever I move on. Only to go to the stories feature of the app, I tap on that same mate’s story; only to find that exact image in their story.

What the hell is this?! What was the point of sending that image directly to my messages, if you’re also going to add it to the feature that literally shares it with everyone whose friends with you on the app? That is such an attention whore thing to do. And why go to the trouble of finding my name on the app’s message feature, when you have the feature I just described earlier, because you feared I wouldn’t notice you? Is the response from your friends worth the extra time?

Snap Chat stories have a list feature that shows who saw your story after it’s been published. So despite that, I know people who are actually willing to send an image to the entirety of their friends list in order for them to see their image. Why? Listen, the app does allow users to view people’s stories multiple times after being first opened, so if you want us to see it again; for some reason, we’ll decide to do that, or we’ll screen shot the damn thing if you want to see it more than once. But given some of stuff I see from those people, not likely.

To said people, if made a forty word Facebook status about…something, you pick the topic, it’s you’re imagination that’s setting the scenario. Anyway, if you spent the time reading that, only to find that exact block of text in you’re message notifications (without mentioning or referencing you by the way) would your first response by something about asking me what the point was? Exactly, yes it would. So if that scenario sounded stupid to you, well a change in platform doesn’t make you less of an idiot!

That’s annoying enough, but do realize the effect that’ll have on everyone else. Not only will they see you as a dick for doing that, but your name in the notifications will be taken less seriously. Because with you, Snap Chat has turned to relevance roulette. Because when the app say you sent me a message; I no longer think about what important news that person wants to tell me, but rather if the image is going to be the sandwich he had for lunch that day. Thanks for not only wasting precious seconds of my life, but also a minute of yours.

Think it through!

Thank you for your time.

Think It Through #3 : Red Heads.

Welcome to the third installment of Think It Through, the series where I poke holes in the logic of things that don’t seem to run on any logic.

A while ago I wrote about my experiences as someone who is autistic; with one of my habits relating to the disorder was seeing things such as phrases as literal or often not see the alternate meaning. So this could be a case of me taking things way too seriously than i probably should do. So make your mind up about whether this is an interesting question, or the ramblings of an idiot with bad social skills.

Anyway, I’m sure we’re all aware of people with ginger hair, or as they’re more commonly known, as ‘red heads’. But here’s the thing, their hair isn’t red. As you can clearly see, this example is a bright orange, making this a woman with ginger hair. There go not a red-head. I mean yes you can get hair dye to make your hair actually red; but this isn’t the same thing.

 

Before you start typing “You know you could’ve looked this up yourself on internet.com, right?” And i did look it up on the most trust worthy site i could think of…Wikipedia. After reading through the page, this is what defined the colour of a red-headed person.

“Red hair varies from a deep burgundy through burnt orange to bright copper. “

So even though the page admitted that the colour is more orange, and the term exist because it’s shades lighter than the colour red. And this commonly used when describing the hair colour of ginger.Screenshot (151).png As Grade A Under A pointed out in his video about animal names, humans with ginger hair are identified as red heads, in the same why these animals are labeled: the Red Fox, Red Panda and Red Squirrel; even though those animals are clearly orange. Oh and don’t even get me started on how the Red Panda isn’t even a god damn panda.

RED's.jpgSo given how this seems to be the way of naming things with orange or ginger hair, then shouldn’t we be calling the fruit we call oranges as reds? Instead of using “oranges” when describing the fruit, say “reds”. There are farmers who pick reds from trees, you can celebrate Christmas with a Terry’s Chocolate Red, and start the day with a nice glass of red juice. See what I mean? Now i don’t want you to actually do that for everyday life; this was just an example of how flawed this naming system is.

Blonde hair.jpgSo if ginger haired people are labeled as red heads, why are blonde people labeled as yellow heads? Think about, blonde is a similar looking colour compared to yellow. And as someone who has experience with painting, i have used yellow as a colour in order to make yellow. So if ginger hair can be labeled as red due to the colours being similar shades, no matter the side of the colour spectrum; then why doesn’t blonde or even brunette fall under the same way of thinking?

In fact I looked the actual meaning of the term “brunette” and the first thing that came up was “brown hair” on Wikipedia again. Well in that case do we need a separate word to describe an already named colour. Just say the person has brown hair, simple. But like i said in the beginning; i tend to take things way too literally. And plus i don’t really stay connected with the fashion world, hair design and hair beauty being such an example. Either way someone is making things way to complicated for the other.

In conclusion, I feel the term “red-head” is unnecessary when we already have a more fitting and more accurate way of describing their hair colour. That would be ginger. Either way, i want to hear your opinions in the comments. Oh and hair dresses and other people who use the term, really think about the colour you’re describing, and think it through.

Thank you for your time.

 

Think It Through #2 : Fired Over Social Networking?

Welcome to the second installment of Think It Through, the series where I poke holes in the logic of things that don’t seem to run on any logic.

In this digital age pretty much everyone is connected to at least one social messaging service; whether it’d be: Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or WhatsApp. And they’re used to message each others, share pictures of places they’ve been to, share something they found online that made them smile, to see what your friend or favorite celebrity are up to, or express what ever thought you had that day. Despite the jokes people make about badly spelled tweets, pointless status’ and whatever trash ends up on Twitter and Instagram, this  sort of stuff is actually listened to; and if you post the wrong thing you can find yourself at a short end of a very blunt beating stick.

I think anyone who has, is or will be looking for work may already know what I’m talking about. When a boss is thinking about accepting an application for a job at their company; most bosses will look up the person’s name online to find their social networking sites; and any other dirt they can find. Too many pics of you partying on night outs with your friends; well the boss doesn’t want someone who may come in hung over every Monday. And admittedly i have to address some flaws with that argument. Yes i get the need for a reliable employee; but while you can read a profile you can’t read people. Sure they say they won’t be getting drunk on work nights; but everyone goes out some nights to parties, wedding receptions, new year parties etc. And as much they try, they’ll end up drunk on the night, sleep through their alarm clock and be late for work. I get the point and those chain of events are irresponsible, but the pictures someone post is ill relevant because of how much of a gamble it is.

Plus, some can still post tons of drunken photos of themselves online, and still not go out drinking regularly; in the same way someone else could go out drinking every night and not tell the internet about. Not exactly Mr Holmes in terms of deduction skills were we boss?

Statuses and Tweets are important to be careful of as well, for two reasons; content and presentation. An employer will want someone to represent their company or a department with in it. By presentation i mean basic spelling and grammar. Most companies nowadays also have their own accounts on Facebook and Twitter, with employees often having their own accounts on websites such as Linkedin.co.uk. Most jobs will workers write reports for the head of their department, letters and emails to other companies in order to do business with. And speaking from experience in order for said employee to do this they’ll need good spelling skills, correct punctuation, basic understanding of sentence structure. Because chances are, if your soon to be employer sees that you regularly post badly written statuses with spelling with the coherency of a tin of alphabeti spaghetti; you’ll remain on the unemployment line.

http://swf.tubechop.com/tubechop.swf?vurl=n7TsxhtfBNM&start=109&end=178&cid=7056813 SOURCE: Scumbags of the Internet #2 – ADoseofBuckley.

I understand a company wanting a smart, well written and intelligent staff member when communicating with others; what i don’t support is the content being a reason to get someone canned from a job. We live in a world of many different believes and i don’t like the idea of someone saying “you said this, so we don’t want you here”. Most of the time said post are unrelated to the company. The views of a worker don’t effect the profits or anything with a company. Most people like to come home in order to get away from their job; and policing their views just adds to the stereotype of bosses being nasty bullies who treat their employees like dirt. To all business owners of the world: whatever bigoted or moronic things said by your employee doesn’t sink your company image. If said inappropriate comments aren’t being put on your company website, your customers aren’t being insulted, or said actions aren’t done in your name; you have nothing to worry about; let your workers live the days where they can breathe how they choose.

An example would be from February in 2015 in which a teenage girl named Cella (No article i could find didn’t say her last name) as she posted a tweet saying

“Ew i start this fucking job tomorrow”.

Naturally expressing the views of most people, that they have to get up for work; and part-time jobs for teenagers aren’t exactly making fat stacks yo. Her boss Robert Walpe found that tweet and responded:

“No you don’t start that FA (Fucking Ass) job today! I just fired you! Good luck with your no money, no job life”!

That is flat rude on so many levels; behavior wise, and that’s putting aside the language police on display. She couldn’t represent the company as she hadn’t started her job yet; nor did she mention it in the post. This shows how Robert abusing his power of head of staff, by censoring criticism. Again, this was done outside her work time.Unless she’s reviewing the company on a site like Yelp; Robert has nothing to worry about, in terms the reputation of his business.

That was a tweet that wasn’t representative of the business Cella worked at; this example was. On the 6th October 2015 Goldsmith University’s Diversity officer Bahar Mustafa was arrested in England for hate speech.

She was punished for using the hashtag #killallwhitemen in multiple tweets on her twitter page (yes i do see the irony, why do you ask?) SOURCE: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/bahar-mustafa-charged-with-sending-malicious-message-after-tweeting-kill-all-white-men-a6683241.html This incident is only the straw that broke the camel’s back; as she was already notorious on the internet. She was well-known for having segregated classes and assemblies, where white, straight, men weren’t allowed to attend. Not just that but she also stated as a rule that women are the only people who were allowed to speak first due to society not giving them chances to impact the world around them. All of which was explained in a speech where she states that

“Therefore women of colour and minority genders cannot be racist or sexist because we do not stand to benefit from such a system.” B Mustafa – 2015.

And yet if a white man said she would cry racist, not seeing the irony.  The most ironic thing about that speech is this: If women can’t be classed as racist and are above laws such as hate crime, wouldn’t that make her have the benefit of a power structure? Also this speech is spoken by a white woman, while a young black woman holds her microphone.

Since then she has been fired from her job and was arrested in England for the #killallwhitemen tweets. Ironic given how she was the negative stereotype of a feminist. You know the: “that’s sexist, that’s racist! Ban this now!” The type that purpose language police for no reason other than being PC.
I call this ironic because this is the sort of law people like her and her supporters fight to in act, only this time with a feminist at the short end of the law; and not anyone who disagrees with their views….i mean a racist bigot.

I agree that it was right for the university to fire her; i do feel her imprisonment wasn’t the right decision, given the draconian hate speech laws in England. You may call me a hypocrite for what i said in paragraph two; but here’s the difference between Bahar and Cella. All of what i said about Bahar’s comments and such; those were the ways she ran her job, as the woman who is meant to help relationships of students of different races and genders. That speech i linked was at the university, she admits to segregating her classes; all of which she admits online. Imagine yourself as a white male student looking to imply at Goldsmith; imagine you read about how class mates of your gender were forbidden to speak because of their gender, imagine hearing how a member of the student union opening supports segregation and other such acts on campus; all with the university allowing her to work there. I’m guess if you were in that situation, I’m guessing you’d like to take business else where. I’m in the position of: the internet shouldn’t factor into someone’s job, unless it’s done in the name of the company or on their grounds, in a way that makes them look bad. Much like Bahar did to the name of Goldsmith.

For famous people like celebrities, spokes people, politicians, web celebrities, people in high-profile companies etc; it’s a different story. When you’re in the public consciousness, no duh you’re going to have more people keeping an eye on you if have Twitter or Instagram. Not just for updates in their career and new products to sell; but rather if you say something incredibly stupid you are bound to get the back lash on high scale; and yes depending on the point it can and well affect your job. Such as Adam Orth, a former Creative Director for Microsoft. Those not in the know when the Xbox One console was announced, it was said to have DRM restrictions. It’s a long complicated story but basically the publisher of a game would be monitoring the play through viva having the game constantly connected to the internet. This received a huge backlash, as this ruined the launch of games like Sim City (2014) and Diablo 3 due to the servers needed not working well enough or at all; sometime later Adam sent this tweet.
This didn’t help Microsoft; as they fired him due to the hate he got over this. While that was stupid, i do believe firing him was a bit extreme. I believe he should have made an apology to the audience and the companies higher-ups. Hence why people shouldn’t be fired for something they said on Facebook. If someone’s going to post something stupid, then surely their responses by everyone who sees it is going to be punishment enough; having you be mocked by friends and whoever else. I feel that a person caught in a situation should make an apology, face any backlash, and then earn their respect back.

At the end of the day, I feel that someone’s internet comments should be the last thing anyone should be fired for. Because unless it’s being done on company time, or aimed towards customers or business clients; it’s just a case of paranoia of consumer back lash or a quick way of taking the back lash of the boss and company, which is usually why this is done. So either this practice needs to stopped; or all employers should link their personal social network pages to their company’s website to let their customers judge their views on the world. Either I what to hear your thoughts on the matter.

Think It Through employers.

Thank you for your time.

Think It Through #1 : Silent Letters

Have you ever seen something that doesn’t make sense to you, something that seems really questionable, and yet everyone else is excepting it?  Well this is the subject of this blog; or rather future blogs. As I’ve decided to open up a new segment on this blog called Think It Through, or T.I.T for short. Stop laughing! Through this segment, i shall be looking over things in the world that flat out make no sense and poke holes in their logic, all in a comedic (i hope) way. So let’s begin.

So i’m sure at some point in your life you’ve had difficulties spelling words. Very common mistake, right? Sure you have, I’ve certainly had my moments. And the one thing i find the most pointless thing i find about spelling, is silent letters. Seriously they’re like the flower vases someone pleases around the house to make the room look nicer. If a letter is gong to be featured, why would you not prononce…. oh sorry “pronounce” it? Trust me there’s more examples to come. In any case the whole process of not saying a featured word, it’s like buying a game for a video game console you don’t own, nor intend to buy.

A good example is Wednesday. If you look at the word, it looks like it should be said as Wed-nes-day. But no as we all know, it’s pronounced as Wens-day; do you see how pointless the D and second E are? Another example is plumber; you would think with the included B, you’d say it as “Plum-ber”. But no, the B is silent, meaning it pronounced plumber. Because for some reason the person who created them words; or the person who created the concept of silent letters, thinks that it makes their words look all fancy  and stuff. Oh how can we not forget about the K when it’s silent; because K is a repeat offender in all this. Take the word knight for example, when the royalty member that created the  role an knight to protect the kingdom, did they not realize that an extra letter to the name doesn’t show the higher class over the people they ruled over; the armor and clothes did that job.

It’s the same issue with knee. When the doctor that mapped out and researched all of the medical research on the knee area of the leg, did that person write knee as we do today or did he or someone else convince them do do it in an attempt to impress their piers in the medical world? You discovered how the human leg works, surely that should’ve given you enough praise for your research. Am i the only one who noticed that K is automatically silent when next to the letter N? Think about it: knight, kneel, knee and knowledge. All of them start with a silent K and are then followed by N. Apparently N is the playground bully, while K is the wimpy kid who keeps quite in order to not be tossed in to the nearest dumpster.

And while were on the subject, how many times does P get picked on by many different letters? Look at this: Pneumonia, Pterodactyl, and Psychology. Unlike K where there’s a clear pattern. P’s use of being silent is just random, especially when being next to letters like N, T and S. All three of those words start with different sounds, and a silent P. How bad is P social skills? Or maybe P has a crush on all three of those letters and is just to shy to admit it. I never knew letters could identify with the Mormon church.

And then you have cases of letters replacing other letters, despite the sound of the word’s starting point. Urge is an example of this. Given the “er” sound in the beginning, i thought it was spelled “erge”; sounds reasonable right? But as you saw earlier, it is spelled with a silent U at the beginning; because reasons. Going back to P again, i already explained it’s often used as a silent letter. But that doesn’t explain why putting it and the letter H together, makes an “fuh” sound. Ph=F. No sense has been made here. It appears that when the two letters come together, they fade away into nothing and become silent; and yet during this process, they then merge together and start to do a Megazord style transformation that results in them becoming the letter F…some how. Case and point: Phil, photograph and phrase. All three could be be replaced with the letter F at the start, i mean they already sound they do start with F. Why are these two letters pretending to be something they’re not?

In conclusion, silent letters are the bow ties of the English alphabet: in the sense that it’s used in the attempt to make a word look smarter than it is. Secondly, we need to improve whatever issues the letter K and N have going on between each other. Thirdly if P and H were people, they would be in jail for multiple accounts of identity theft. And finally, silent letters are something the creator of the concept should’ve looked back on; and decided to think it through. As i child gramma…sorry “grammar” and the English subject was difficult enough, and all of this wasn’t helping. In the words of Homer Simpson. “You can’t change the rules in the middle of the game!” Again people, think it through.

Thank you for your time.

My experiences with autism

After recently going to London to watch the play ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ (try saying ten times fast) I was planning to write a review of it, like I did with The Light Princess a while back. However given the subject of the play, I decided to write about my experiences as someone who is on the autism spectrum. Because after seeing the play, it really did make me do quite a lot of thinking, in terms how I’ve coped in the world, compared to others like me. Note that autism affects people in different ways, some cases being worst or better than others. This isn’t the be all end all on the subject. This is just my experiences, along with  an analysis of the story, showing how the story represents autism and other conditions from the point of view of someone with said condition.

But first and quick catch up to those who haven’t seen the play. Based on the book by Mark Haddon, the play (I’ll keep calling it given how long the title is) follows a teenage boy named Christopher Boone, a fifteen year old character with Aspergers Syndrome. After finding the dog of his neighbor dead in the garden, he investigates and searches for the person who did killed the dog named Wellington. During this process he uncovers some dark truths about his family and his parents. That’s about as much I can say before giving the whole story away; also I need to mention how the majority of his inner thoughts are told from a journal he writes in, with it narrated by his teaching assistant named Siobhan. Caught up is what you are.

Now then I bring up my own autism experiences in relation to Christopher, because well I see parts of myself in him, for better or for worst. For one thing during the first act he explains how he struggles with understanding metaphors, people’s facial expressions such as raised eyebrows and how his pretty much is a logical and literal thinker. I admit that I have a straight forward way of thinking, always trying to find the most sense out of, well anything I look at or experience. Example, for a while I spelled the word ‘urge’ with a ‘er’ at the beginning due to the sound that’s used to pronounce them. That always made sense to me until someone corrected me. As a child understanding new things was certainly a challenge from time to time. Whether it’d be a subject at school, an event or a task I was asked to do. Which was why I had tutors to help me through primary and even my first years at high school; like Christopher does. This is quite common for people with similar cases.

Then there is his social skills, or lack there of. And this was the point in the show where I started to relate to the character. Throughout the play Christopher is shy when talking to many different people, he barely looks at people when talking (especially strangers) , along with how he likes spend time on his own. As a child in pre-school, I often failed to look at people when they talked to me, at least according to my mum. In any case I also attended speech therapy during those years, which has certainly helped, and I even still keep in contact with the woman I had the meetings with. This links to another trait of developing with autism as a baby, lack of response to parents. However there some traits I still have; anyone who knows me knows that I’m quite and I keep to myself. While I can interact with people, I never usually know what to say to them, I often feel uncomfortable when speaking because i don’t know what to say when stating a lot of the time. Plus I often mess up what I’m saying when talking, due to my nerves kicking in, so that doesn’t help.

Which is why I loved doing drama at high school, the whole point was that we had express our emotions and lines clearly and confidently, so this has helped me quite a bit in my life. But also when it comes to drama clubs and the such, pretty much everyone try’s to make each other laugh during activities like improvisation and the such. And I have to admit in those activities it did make me more willing to say or do something and not look like a damn fool, no matter how clever or how stupid.

That said while i like interacting and seeing people, i often feel the most comfortable on my own; no judgment, no distractions, just me and whatever thing that kept me busy. Christopher is most of the time alone during his monologues, with the exceptions of Siobhan reading his journal to the audience with him addressing her every so often. And during multiple scenes of the first act, his seen setting up a model train set on the floor; with multiple letters from his mother explaining how he loved playing with the train set. And as a young kid i did often prefer the comfort of playing with action figures rather than meeting the other kids….well depending on who i was set to meet that day. And i can say i still have the same habit, only with my phone and my Ipad, because well it’s less stressful situation.

Then we get to the second act where to make a long story short; Christopher goes to meet his mother by taking a train and then the London Underground by himself. Part of the scene can be viewed here, sorry about the quality. Notice how the beginning was loud, busy and flat-out chaotic? Depending on the persons condition, some people with Autism, Aspergers and the such do tend to be effected by loud and crowded situations, due to them often being more sensitive; in what is usually called “Sensory Sensitivity”.  Some cases being more painful for the person than others, with sounds often mashing together into one big mess. Which is the point of that scene, using the busy day-to-day life of the Underground as a way showing part of his condition. With the people, adverts, tannoy systems and the loud techno track showing how it affects Christopher. And while I’ve never broken down like Christopher and many other people like him; I will admit when it comes to events like parties and the such, i do like a little get away from the noise when i want some peace and quite, and i usually have the urge to leave and go home during the later hours….depending on how the rest of the day went. And I’m often hopeless when doing something new without assistance.

Do you see what I’m getting across with drawing connections between Christopher Boone and myself? Many people would identify with a fictional character or real life person; whether they want to be like them, have things in common with them or see bits of themselves in that character. This is a similar case with me, I connected with Christopher as i experienced and shown similar traits in my life; and given how it’s done in a respectful way, it makes me all the more conformable connecting with a like able character like him and feel for him during the story. And that’s why the play works in terms of the issues it addresses. It’s done in a respectful way that gives anyone watching a clear understanding of what life’s like for him, without over explaining, exaggerating or simplifying it. With the staging and incredible effects helping to show what goes on in the characters head. And the all around great performances from the actors, showing how Christopher acts in his life, but how people around him react to his condition; especially his parents.

I do recommend seeing the play. Great story, great acting, amazing effects, and you may even learn a thing or two. I certainly did.

Thank you for your time.