Media: What It Means to Me

By: Ryan May


Media could take any form really, its simplest form being any type of method of translation to be put onto a medium, like binary code into a computer, paint on a canvas, or magnetic fluctuation on an analog recording. Media today, however, has an entirely different and more complex meaning: anything that portrays a message to society. From popular media, such as news and radio stations or social networking sites, to underground media, like random songs from an unknown band, I see media as anything that attempts to portray a meaning to an audience. Media can be a beneficiary, spreading awareness of issues like the need for blood donation, the need to end sax trafficking, or the necessity of preventing the using of child soldiers. It allows the connection of people who had long forgotten each other, providing the means for resurgence of old friendships. Media also, however, influences the masses, whether that’s for the greater good or not. Many people blindly follow their favorite news stations or other types of media, strictly enforcing their code of beliefs and not reading or listening to any other source that says anything different. Sadly, this has created a wave of highly opinionated, vastly uneducated people who view issues through a self-limited window. People are being told what to think by people who put their pants on one leg at a time too, yet they follow them blindly accepting whatever they say to be the irrefutable truth. Media to me is a plague on society that restricts free thought.

Commercial Precis

In Jaguar’s commercial “British Villains ‘Rendezvous’” (2014), the company ties together their car and those who drive it as being the suave, “bad boy” type. Jaguar develops this idea by hiring multiple British actors who have been known to play suave villains or anti-heroes to make cameos in the commercial driving the car. These cameos were put into the commercial in order to relate the reputation the actors had accumulated through their roles in movies to the car they were selling, portraying the idea that anyone who drives the car will become like the actors. Jaguar addresses their target demographic, older, wealthy males who can afford the car and appeal to the smooth-talking businessman type, with a tone of superiority, suggesting that those who drive Jaguar are more powerful and intelligent.

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Does Violence Cause Violence?

With an ever increasingly violent world, many leading scientists are blaming violence.

Many believe violent video games are causing a spike in shootings and violence among the youth, but a study just released by Scientists Conducting Science shows a more direct correlation between violence seen and violence occurring. Robert Zinghoffer, of Scientists Conducting Science, was shown saying “There certainly does seem to be a relationship between how much violence is occurring and how much violence we’re seeing. Violent video games are nothing compared to the statistics we have backing the idea that violence has been causing the violence.” Riots in the street started in downtown Chicago when a peaceful protest against the newly released study turned violent after members in the protest became too angry from other citizens mocking them.

History Rewritten

In 1986, while Ronald Reagan held the political office of the President of the United States of America, a scandal that would become known as the Iran-Contra Affair was released and made known to the public. Reagan held a close desire to help the Contras of Nicaragua fight the Cuban-backed Sandinistas, but lacked the funding to do this due to the glorious Democratic leaders in Congress. In order to achieve his goal, Reagan betrayed the trust given to him by the people. He sold weapons and arms to Iran while it was at war with Iraq in order to save several of his spies that were held hostage and diverted the funds gained from these secret trades to the Contras. Though Reagan vehemently denied his evil doing, investigation followed and Reagan, along with many of his conspirators such as Oliver North, were impeached and/or fired and fled from the country. Many scandals similar to Iran-Contra soon followed, and the entire Republican Party was put to shame, with its approval rating dropping to below 1%. Distrust of the corrupt Republican Party caused the people to elect Democratic presidents repeatedly, which soon transformed it’s ideology into our glorious government today. Essentially, the creation of our beautiful and excellently run country began with Reagan and all other Republicans getting caught red-handed with their corrupt and dishonest ways.

After Reagan and his followers fled, our future leader and then military hero Supreme Leader Byrd led the task force in charge of hunting the villains down. Only two days later, Supreme Leader Byrd himself captured Reagan and soon after all Reagans followers as well. Reagan and his followers were then put on trial, found guilty, and sentenced to death for their betrayal of America. After the downfall of the Republican Party, Democrats continually took office, and only 13 years after the scandal, Supreme Leader Byrd took office and established his perfect and everlasting leadership. Byrd realized the threat of the terrorists Reagan had supported in Iran, and began his glorious purge of the entire Middle East as well as all countries that threatened the security of our nation.

Reason for Change: Reagan's politics went entirely against the new party philosophies, and so it was essential to incriminate and shame him to ensure he would have no followers.

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Reaction to 1984

In the ending to Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984, Winston Smith has become entirely brainwashed into loving Big Brother. This ending has been criticized as anti-climactic or too dark, but I believe it is the perfect ending to the novel. 1984 serves as a warning: a warning telling people to not allow their governments to grow too strong. Had Orwell rewritten the ending to where Smith overcomes Big Brother the warning would be null, and the message of the book would immediately change to the lesson that everything is okay in the end. Orwell wanted to show that—should governments become too powerful—everything would not end up okay. The government in 1984 had grown far too powerful and had become an unstoppable machine with no clear end in sight, and that’s just how the people thought they liked it. Aside from the ending, 1984 proves itself decade after decade to be relevant and a fantastic read to any socially and/or politically minded individual.

My Reflection on Media Literacy

There’s always the ever so important first question to be asked when walking away from a class: what did I learn? Well, in the case of media literacy, it’s hard to say. One walks away with a feeling of accomplishment, but in retrospection, there sadly wasn’t much. I’m now completely fluent in the using of hashtags and twitter-speak, but I don’t have a twitter so we’ll see how that knowledge comes into my life later. I also now have to ability to create online flyers on websites such as Smore, something I doubt I’ll ever use again, but nonetheless I know how to do it. I can now also create videos on Windows Live Movie Maker, and yet I see no further purpose for it. I simply had hoped for more literature, or at least the reading of literature that hadn’t already been covered by half the class in other classes previously. For future classes, I’d recommend reading two other things that aren’t 1984 or Macbeth, as many in the class had already read it. It was different from other Language Arts classes in that we didn’t exactly cover Language Arts until roughly half way through the semester. If the primary goal of this response is to see how to make the class better, then I would say to just revert back to British Literature. So the question now is what do I think of the course? Well I’ll answer that question with another question: Why are we teaching kids who grew up on and using technology how to use basic, rudimentary software? Why are we even teaching them about social networks in general? Media literacy proves pointless when majority of the class comes in being more than substantially literate in the media covered.