Tag Archives: Culture

Couch-Potatoes 2 GateKeepers: You!

FULL TITLE: From Couch-Potatoes to Gatekeepers: A Necessity for the Digital Age

 

Who remembers this?

Who remembers this?

We, the people, are not used to being gatekeepers, being responsible for the information we are fed over the media. To be a gatekeeper is to be a deep reader, a critical thinker, a rookie-researcher; someone who compares information sources to verify the truth. This gatekeeper never accepts news on the face of it. He or she is aware of the political-economy of the media, perhaps not in that exact lingo, but in an uncanny and uncouth manner that informs his/her interpretation of the news. We are not accustomed to being this person, the 24/7 gatekeeper; but the digital information age calls for it.

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Intellectual Property & Blogging

Full Title: Intellectual Property and Blogging – a Note of Warning to Bloggers

D.M.Junkie Original Photographer 2011

Recently, I attended a speaking engagement on ‘The Central Role of Intellectual Property in the Global Media Industries’.The guest speaker was a top media IP (Intellectual Properties) lawyer. He spoke in depth about how people ignorantly or deliberately infringe on creative people’s rights, the different types of rights that exist and the available defences against those rights (outside of which the penalties range from huge fines to heavens-help-you-get-out).

As I was intent on taking something away with me from this talk, I posed the question below to the speaker:

Q:

As a blogger, am I liable to infringement when I get pictures off a website to use on my blog (that is none commercial by the way). I do include photo credits and even ping-backs (inserting links) to the site I get the picture from. Am I still liable? Continue reading

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Arts & Culture 101

I hope you had a great weekend. 

I did too. The highlight of the weekend for me, was seeing the movie Johnny English with my good friend. The ‘light’ however quickly faded, when Johnny (Rowan Atkinson) also popularly known as Mr. Bean, referred to his side-kick (a dark-skinned guy), Agent Tucker (Daniel Kaluuya), as someone good enough to “carry his bags” on his ‘mission impossible’. In the movie, you see Johnny continuously discounting the guy’s intelligence and his warnings about who the enemy was. By the time Johnny finally realizes his side-kick had been right all along, he says to him, “MY country needs me, and it Needs you too.” 

As a communication scholar, I am trained to read meanings from not what has been said, but what is left ‘unsaid’. It was not established in the movie whether or not Tucker was British. The meaning I decoded (perceived meaning) was that he wasn’t. Those scenes reminded me of my studies on Frantz Fanon.Fanon’s essay, Black Skin, White Masks (1952) is very appropriate to my discussion here. 

Check out the following quotes below:

“There is a fact: White men consider themselves superior to black men. // There is another fact: Black men want to prove to white men, at all costs, the richness of their thought, the equal value of their intellect. // How doe we extricate ourselves?” (10).


“I believe that the fact of the juxtaposition of the white and black races has created a massive psychoexistential complex. I hope by analyzing it to destroy it. . . .


All the while I was enjoying analysing this media text, my friend felt I was missing out of the fun of Johnny’s comic actions. I did have a good laugh though, and I still love Rowan Atkinson – it’s not my fault I picked on those scenes. It’s just how I am wired. I analyse every media text I come across sub-consciously, it is how I make sense of my world. I do not mean this is right or wrong – it is what it is, an analysis.

***

In other news, I had a class today on Cultural Theory and had so much fun. At my table alone were 5 students from 5 different countries (I inclusive). The countries represented were Italy, Spain, Hong Kong, Britain and Nigeria. It was a very active class, and we discussed this topic:

THE “NEGATIVE TRADITION”: THE ARTS & CULTURE AS A SOURCE OF CORRUPTION AND DISTRACTION

We started from dear old Plato (I thought I had escaped this philosopher, but he clearly has an academic thing for me, lol). The class got really interesting when we started discussing whether or not the State (government) should be allowed to censor the release of Art Forms for the sake of vulnerable citizens.

Other questions we discussed were: 

Can arts and culture really be considered harmful to the society?

Does the responsibility for what types of cultural forms get consumed rest always with the individual?

For instance, a boy watches Child’s Play (horror movie) and murders a toddler, who’s responsible – the content, content creator or the consumer?

Just like with all academic and philosophical discussions, there is no absolutely right or wrong answer. The tutor mentioned that we all say the answer is “somewhere in-between”, but that middle-ground is usually so messy and foggy we can’t actually explain it explicitly. Our job in essays is to argue for or against, backed with theories and precedents – i’m looking forward to doing that.

Gimme a teeny-weeny glimpse into your weekend too, and have yourself a fab week ahead. 


Tomexy

P.S. 




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