defeating the modern day bread and circus.
the importance of media literacy
Day after day the average American is bombarded by advertisements, political editorials, celebrity gossip and all kinds of opposing messages and opinions. Scattered throughout this mess are facts between them lay a maze of differing interpretations and too many lies to count. Amid this chaos, how is someone to develop an informed opinion. This is where media literacy becomes paramount in the modern world. Media literacy is the knowledge of how to determine the reliability and potential biases of a source of information and using it accordingly. Those who are media literate can protect themselves from misinformation and propaganda. They can keep themselves from being swindled by false advertising and avoid being drawn into a mob mentality by inflammatory rhetoric. As technology advances and traditional sources of information such as news papers and encyclopedias recede and as news broadcasters are swayed by advertisers and value entertainment value over factual correctness education on media literacy is crucial for members of the millennial generation to succeed in this ever-changing world. Without it people will become as misinformed, misguided, and ignorant as a herd of cattle each following those in front of them and pushed forward by those behind straight to the slaughter. It is vital that we educate ourselves lest we plunge ourselves back into the dark ages and burn some modern day equivalent to the library of Alexandria. We mustn't be pacified by the modern day bread and circus called media.
Technology And The Wealth Gap
The internet was originally conceived as an advanced communications system for the United States military. Since its inception, the internet has become one of the most effective and popular ways of sending and receiving information and is increasingly becoming the dominant medium for commerce over long distances. And in recent years the internet has been cast in a pivotal role within many people's social lives. In the form of websites such as Face Book, Instagram, and countless other websites the internet has surpassed its utilitarian role as a means for commerce and communication and has evolved to be a pastime and a way to make friends. However, to access this highly advanced twenty first century descendent of a twentieth century military experiment users must pay a premium to an internet service provider.
One's ability to pay this premium can serve as a rather disturbing omen concerning their economic future. Those unable to pay can find themselves excluded from the world's largest source of information and one of the leading mediums for commerce. This leaves those of a Low socioeconomic status unable to move up in society and their children at a disadvantage in most public school systems such as Gwinnett County that is transitioning homework assignments and testing to an online format(Ex: MyEclass, Schoology) while delivering information via cell phone. To a poor or even lower middle class can be an insurmountable obstacle to a high Grade Point Average along with scholarships and admission into higher end. With this in mind it is no wonder the gap between the wealthy and the rest of society continues to grow at a staggering rate.Such a rate that the internet could become a billionaire's play ground, a millionaire's upward mobility, a bitter sweet and barley accessible distraction to what is left of the middle, and to the starving poor and decreasingly educated majority a painful cautionary tale about how the road to hell is paved with good intentions. This is the inevitable fate of the world economy unless drastic measures are taken. Measures that corrupt politicians will continue to filibuster in exchange for campaign donations from those who would find themselves at the top of this social ladder and whose children will continue the decent back into the feudal system
Super Bowl Ads
Audi R8 Commander commercial
The Audi r8 super bowl commercial boasts that the experience of driving the vehicle is as powerful as lift off in a space shuttle. The commercial begins by showing a depressed and retired astronaut who misses his days in space; he is approached by a man who immediately puts him behind the wheel of an Audi r8 and allows him to drive it at far less than legal speeds while images of Neil Armstrong's lunar mission when the phrase "glad you chose the moon Mr. president" is uttered as the commercial ends the slogan " choosing the moon brings out the best in all of us, the new 202 mph Audi r8' is displayed in white letters. This comparison is used in order to compare making the Audi r8 reach 202 mph to space travel. This commercial seems to be aimed at wealthy individuals who enjoy the idea of piloting an extremely fast vehicle.
The proles are us: the striking similarities between the impoverished masses in George Orwell's 1884 and the many american voters
The above passage contains many parallels to our society today. Many Americans today seem to have been pacified by the immense amount of distractions available to them and fail to follow issues that affect them with the same bated interest which they might devote to a major sporting event or a Tv series. These individuals devote far too little time to doing the research necessary to form opinions based in fact and instead devote a half hour in the evening to watch a news program that selectively covers information supports a particular political agenda and fills in the gaps with speculation and catchy, simplistic, slogans. Others may watch a morning show that's primary focus is entertainment news and consumer advise. As a result, most of the population finds itself voting for a party rather than choosing a candidate based on their track record or proposed policies or focusing on social issues while ignoring fiscal issues or vice versa. However, the proles are not entirely to blame; politicians seldom discuss their policies in depth and when they do the details are often simplified by the media, depicted through a biased lens, or limited to a five second sound byte. This is true on the federal level; state and local governments barley receive any attention from local news and in turn are ignored by most people. Probably, the greatest piece of evidence that most citizens are proles and complacent to issues that affect them, is that even those that follow politics focus on the actions of the federal government while allowing the local governments who's actions directly affect them on a daily basis to act without oversight as many the elected officials within them run unopposed year after year. As a result of all the above facts the most powerful force in the united states has lied dormant since the nineteen sixties when this nation forced it's government act in unison with its will. But just like the proles in Nineteen Eighty Four this ignorant, preoccupied, and comfortable allows itself to live under tyranny rather than realize its own potential.
trump as a lipmus
The Dachau Liberation reprisals occurred April, 29
th1945 shortly after the 7
thdivision liberated the Nazi concentration camp known as Dachau, a place where thousands were killed or executed. Many of which were discovered to the dismay of allied forces entering the camp, lying in thirty different box cars each filled with victims piled is if they were merely some form of biological waste, the stench of death so overpowering that many allied soldiers became faint and were driven to tears; at that very moment the reprisals began. T
he guards had already been rounded up as prisoners of war with a browning fifty caliber machine gun pointed at them to prevent an escape and manned by a young sergeant who maddened by all the horror of the camp and the acts entered a state of horror devastation and rage words cannot fully describe as he fired without orders into the unarmed crowd until he was kicked away from the weapon in tears by his superior. At least two groups of captured guards were fired on in this manner by two separate people. Thirty Nazi guards were reportedly killed but some speculate it could have been several times that. Later German citizens were forced to bury the approximately nine thousand dead found at the camp. This controversial moment perfectly encapsulates the experience of those who saw firsthand the extent of the Nazis brutality, how hardened veterans were driven to the brink of madness by an event that only brings an initial jolt of emotion to the students that study it.
"Dachau Liberated." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web.
12 May 2016.
The past six entries have been assigned over the course of four months in my senior language arts class and while my beliefs, for the most part, have not changed my understanding of the issues they span and my ability to communicate them has vastly improved. While reading my first entry I was surprised to find a variety of errors in punctuation and grammar (at one point I even ended a question with a period), along with a general lack of organization in comparison to later entries. Furthermore, the claims made within this initial entry seemed very general and did not include any examples to substantiate those claims. Over all, this does indicate a far more vast improvement than what I had expected to observe. This improvement can largely be attributed to a variety of practice assignments as well as my teachers’ willingness to proof read and provide advice on my writing. Of course, none of this is to say that I initially was an ineffective writer so much as to say that my writing ability has markedly matured over the course of this semester.
taming a fickle beast
Social media has, in recent years, become the most unpredictable factor in society. It has riled some populations into civil unrest and has pacified others to the point pure complacency. This fickle beast unveils the truth and spreads misinformation in the nick of time. Unfortunately, this beast has developed and grown so fast that society is still grappling with how to tame it. Amid the chaos, some have rejected social media, overlooking its merits and being left in a bygone era as the rest move forward. Meanwhile, others have so readily and hastily embraced the beast that they forgot the danger involved becoming absorbed in their electronics and neglecting that which surrounds them. Clearly, it is vital that we as a society take the middle road; we must use social media as a tool rather than a drug. After all social media was designed, like most inventions, to improve our lives; we mustn’t allow it to become our lives. Use technology in moderation and turn it off when you’re done, then enjoy the corporal world that surrounds us. by doing this, you tame the beast