Posts Tagged ‘media’

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By @anarchyroll

For as much money as the X Men movie franchise has netted over the last two decades, one would think they would have a better reputation and wouldn’t be in need of saving. But that is exactly where the franchise found itself heading into Logan this past spring.

Logan recently had its home release, coming out on Blu Ray, digital download, etc. I saw it in the theater and absolutely loved it from the opening blood bath, to the bloodier climax, to the era ending book end as the credits rolled.

The movie got lots of press and lots of positive reviews that were both well-earned in my opinion. One thing that I didn’t see get much coverage was the fact that the movie was not a take on the Old Man Logan graphic novel but was rather a classic “What If” or alternate version/universe comic book. My personal favorite series of alternate universe comic books were the Marvel vs DC crossover comics from the mid 90s.

Logan was a critical and commercial smash hit. Something the X Men franchise desperately needed. One has to wonder if the movie’s success will bring about more alternate universe comic book movies going forward. What other franchise(s) could benefit from abandoning their current story arc/ timeline and making a stand a lone film with the same characters but in a completely different story arc?

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Doing this would immediately eliminate the need to constantly remake origin story movies as has been seen ad nauseum in the Superman, Spiderman, Batman, and X Men movie franchises. That alone makes this concept worth moving forward on. It would certainly draw in more fans that are often scarred away from seeing comic book movies over the dread of having to sit through yet another origin story.

Alternate universe films would spice things up and could resurrect dead franchises. The Fantastic Four immediately comes to mind. Why not just abandon another reboot and just make a film where they are in space dealing with Galactus? A dormant franchise like Blade could benefit from this as well. Whether Wesley Snipes returns or the role is recast, forget retelling the birth of Blade, just drop the audience into Blade doing work. Put the origin story in the trailer or as a mini film on YouTube and let the movie be balls to the wall from open to close.

More comic book movies can be made using alternate universes, just like is done with comic books. How many timeline versions of Batman, Captain America, The Avengers, and Green Lantern are currently in circulation? Alternate universes would allow stand alone Iron Man, Cyborg, Hulk, Green Lantern, X Men, etc movies to be made while Avengers and Justice League movies are being made. Why does only one actor/actress have to play Tony Stark or Diana Prince?

Would this over saturate the market? I ask you, how many comic book movies actually come out each year? Compared to horror movies, rom coms, and CGI animated kids movies?

Fox has essentially started moving forward on this concept over the past three years. Days of Futures Past and Old Man Logan are two of the better alternate universe comic book series’ in history. Marvel is balancing standalone franchises with each individual member of The Avengers between each super film. Tying the individual films into the overall Marvel Cinematic Universe story arc is both an entertaining and financially successful archetype.

With the financial backing of Disney, and such a vast amount of profit earned, Marvel can financially and creatively afford to take the risk of releasing alternate universe movies concurrently. DC might have to wait a few years to reestablish their credibility with the movie going public. Though the wild success of Wonder Woman might allow them to start earlier if they want.

Something tells me this is inevitable with the way the entertainment/ media industry is evolving. Netflix and The CW having their own comic book worlds of secondary characters is likely just a long-term test for the A listers to have; high budget super hero, slow burn narrative, action adventure, television shows in the spirit of Game of Thrones.

The tipping/saturation point for comic book movies and tv shows has not come close to being reached. The numbers don’t lie. People wont go see any comic book movie if it is poorly made and receives more reviews. However, one need only look at the highest grossing movies for each year over the past decade to see that there is a vast, loyal, paying audience for comic book movies. Having comic book characters played by different actors and actresses in alternate universes, made and released concurrently is the next logical step for the genre.

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By @anarchyroll

What is journalism? What does it mean to be a journalist in 2016?

What is journalism in the era of media conglomeration? Has media conglomeration turned journalism as it was known in the 20th century into public relations for the 1%?

Is journalism;

  • What we see on local evening news? Sensationalized reporting of gun violence amongst those on the low-end of the economic ladder between sports, traffic, and weather.
  • What we read in newspapers and magazines between the advertisements, crossword
  • What we see on national news and cable news? Human interest pieces, celebrity gossip, and opinions given about politics, sports, and Hollywood all looped and edited to elicit emotion rather than thought or discourse.

Is journalism meant to report facts and information that affects large numbers of people based on the political, economic, and/or environmental the information will impact? Or is it just people writing/broadcasting what newspaper owners and trending topics dictate?

Journalism is about facts and information. It’s about exposing injustice to the public. It is about shining the light of truth into the dark corners of conspiracy and deceit.

Just because a small group of billionaires has bought all major news outlets (media conglomeration), doesn’t mean they have bought the facts and information that qualifies as news. Just because political parties receive large donations and cater to these media conglomerates, doesn’t mean they are immune from the facts and information they wish to keep secret from being reported to the public.

As was shown in the DNC Leaks, MSNBC was in direct contact with the Democratic National Committee about what to say and what not to say about Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. If MSNBC is a news station, and they are conspiring to turn the news into specifically crafted public relations, do they not deserve to have this conspiracy reported on? Is that not a news story?

When the news is owned by the people the news used to report on, so they don’t get reported on anymore, then the nature of gathering facts and information as well as reporting them must change. If the 1% would divest all holdings in all news reporting outlets, and all journalism was once again independently financed, what purpose would Wikileaks serve?

In a post print media conglomerate landscape, hactivism has evolved into journalism.

How much content have credible news outlets turned the DNC Leaks into? How many articles, pictures, videos, sound bites, polls, tweets, vines, snaps, and stories have been created because of what Wikileaks has done? The only ones who seem to think it’s wrong, are the people who have been exposed and their allies.

Mainstream media using the information provided by Wikileaks makes them complacent which makes what Wikileaks does with their hacking no longer any different from what a beat reporter did with their pen, paper, and access to newswires in the 20th century. Ten years ago Wikileaks may have been an underground, illegal, immoral, criminal, hacking networks of deviants, anarchists, and outsiders. In 2016, they are just another credible source alongside the Associated Press and Reuters. In 2016, Wikileaks is journalism.

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by @anarchyroll
10/16/2014

Have you noticed how there are now four major 24 hour sports networks? ESPN, FOX Sports 1, NBC Sports Network, CBS Sports Network.

There are more than four total. Each of the above listed networks have at least one secondary sports network, in the case of ESPN there’s at least three or four more as poked fun at in the movie Dodgeball.

America sure likes its sports. I know I do. I was raised to be a sports fan, and played competitive sports for ten years of my life. I watch/listen to PTI on ESPN every morning while I am making/eating my breakfast. Watching Chicago professional team sports has been the vast majority of bonding time with  my father for most of my life.

Professional sports these days, are used as a tremendous escape and distraction from the issues of our individual lives and the world at large. I watch pro wrestling for the same reason most people watch football. The main difference, less concussions and drugs, hahaha just kidding the brains of the athletes in both sports have been turned to jelly and dust for our amusement and money.

The latter, the money, is why there are now four major 24 hour sports “news” networks. Obviously nothing that happens in sports is actually news. We might lie to ourselves and each other that it is, but it’s not. The only news that comes out of sports is when taxpayer money is used to build stadiums instead of schools, bridges, or fund education programs. Or when an athlete gets arrested or dies. Those stories often only get reported if violence/blood are involved. If it bleeds it leads after all. Sports are often the lead topic in local newscasts these days. They’re upbeat and entertaining. Sports are meant to entertain. Just like pro wrestling, “real” sports have no dignity or integrity to them, it is all about making money through entertainment.

24 hour sports networks play up smack talk, rivalries, and personal feuds between athletes the same way that pro wrestling promoters, announcers, and managers do. ESPN and FSN are farmed out hype machines, WWE just does all their hyping in-house. The major professional sports leagues provide the content, the networks provide the hype. Highlighting the highlights, spotlighting the star players, dissecting referee decisions, and most importantly promoting upcoming contests.

The biggest job of these networks; is to make children’s games played by men seem more important than politics, environment issues, or economic policy.

The major sports leagues in recent years have all starting broadcasting their own 24 hour networks for their individual league and minor league(s). The NFL Network said it best when they launched; “where football season never ends.” That is the exact purpose AND the exact problem with 24 hour sports networks. The distraction and escapism never ends.

Hard working people deserve a break and an escape via entertainment. They earn it by giving their bodies and/or minds for the bulk of their adult lives, often in the service of other people’s dreams. From movies to concerts to soap operas to hiking to video games to traveling to television; there are many ways to escape reality for a little while to rest and recover one’s body, mind, and spirit.

The problem with professional sports and professional sports networks in America; is the astonishing rate at which time, attention, and money are being siphoned from communities, cultures, and societies in the name of never-ending, passive, spectator based escapism. Playing sports after work is one thing. It is physical exercise and creates real bonds between real people. Watching sports all weekend, every weekend while eating unhealthy foods and consuming large quantities of alcohol while sitting down…Noticed how the leagues and networks are sponsored by fast food companies, soda makers, and liquor distillers? How much advertising for those products are consumers exposed to each game/highlight show?

What would American society and culture look like if the time, attention, resources, and money that are spent on professional sports spectating went to economic inequality, environment concerns, infrastructure development, and/or civics? Everyone who works for a living deserves a break. Part of being an adult is that at some point, playtime is over and it’s time to do the unpleasant work of bettering not just our life but the world we live in. I am as guilty as anyone of trying to stretch my childhood into adulthood. Judging by the ratings and profits of the professional sports leagues, I can see that I’m not the only one.

 

 

 

mm@C4logo2by @anarchyroll
9/23/2014

Every year that passes, it seems a larger and larger percentage of the population is looking to avoid talking on the phone as much as possible. The explosive popularity of text messages a decade ago was apparently just the beginning. Services like Grub Hub and Uber have become darlings of the sharing economy based on the ability of their service to purchase goods and services via a smart phone without having to speak or even type to any direct person.

Enter Tinder, which takes the zero direct communication paradigm of securing goods and services to the dating/romance aspect of the human experience for those affluent enough to afford a smart phone and data package. You know you’re talking to an old person if they don’t know what Tinder is and/or don’t understand how to use it. Is it real? Is it a game? Yes and kinda are the answers to those questions.

Some excellent pieces on Tinder have been written recently covering Tinder’s effects on marriages and on how the service reveals the hidden nature of mate selection in the modern world.

What is Tinder? It is truly the first online dating service made for the smart phone app era of technology users/consumers. Tinder technically has a website which is just an ad/reminder to download the application. If you have a smart phone and are single, there is no reason to not utilize Tinder, unless you don’t have a Facebook account. A Facebook account is necessary to set up a Tinder profile. This is where the service carved its niche. Tinder farms the aspects of matching out to Facebook. People are matched based on Facebook likes (music, movies, tv shows, fan pages, etc) and/or mutual friends. People can be matched without these commonalities, Facebook is used as a defacto identity verification service.

What is Tinder’s value?

The shallow joke is easy, instant access to a one night stand. Tinder has made its name on facilitating hook ups. The New York Times has written multiple articles on Tinder writing under the assumption the app is strictly or at least predominately THE hook up dating app. Naturally the college kids love them some Tinder.

But in all seriousness, Tinder provides great value to single people. How? It provides instant evidence you are not alone. Whether young or old, in a city or suburb, Tinder will pull up dozens of single people near you. Tinder is empirical proof that there are indeed plenty of fish in the sea.

Tinder is not just for young people who are considering classically or stereotypically attractive. The hook up only aspect of the app has already been faded for almost a full year. Asking if people hook up using Tinder is like asking if the one night stand still exists. Consenting adults will do whatever consenting adults want to do when they are single and attracted to someone they have recently met and have begun spending time with.

Tinder’s purpose is to show you have options. That even in far off suburbs there are lots of single people around you and in cities there are even more. People who don’t like the bar/club scene have a free option of meeting people at their fingertips. People who don’t use gyms, grocery stores, yoga studios, and college campuses at meet markets have a free option to meet people they know are single and have been independently verified to be interested in them. Tinder’s value is in removing the question in one’s head “I wonder if he/she is interested in me or not”. If they’re not, nothing happens, if they are, you’re matched up and you both receive notifications on your phones.

It seems more and more people are becoming increasingly afraid of direct communication and rejection. Tinder kills both of those birds with one app. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to try to pay off a zoo employee to let me take a selfie with a tiger.

 

 

 

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by @anarchyroll
7/3/2014

Social network sounds so much more appealing than electronic social emotional psychological experiment platform.

It was recently revealed that in 2012, Facebook manipulated the news feeds of just under 700,000 users, in order to measure the effects the news feed changes, on the mood(s) of the user(s).

The exact number of users who were unknowingly experimented on is 689,003. The exact amount of time was one week. Facebook showed less (than) positive posts from both friends and publication providers. Facebook did not get the consent of the users to do this experiment.

Facebook has both apologized, and offered no apologies for conducting this unauthorized psychological experiment.

Me personally, I find something like this to be disgusting and despicable. This is also a great learning lesson on a variety of levels. Let’s focus on how the results of the experiment show what social conditioning is.

Social conditioning is how we learn to think, perceive, and act through the media (movies, television, music, magazines, newspapers, social media websites/platforms, etc).

Facebook proved to themselves and to the world that social conditioning is a very real, very applicable, very effective social-emotional concept. Social conditioning shapes all of us, myself very much included. Facebook itself can be considered one big social conditioning machine.

It was also learned in the experiment that emotions are contagious. That people can in mass be manipulated to feel happier or sadder. What are the implications of this? What other large companies have performed experiments like this in the past? In the present?

I’m not going to bring this article down the conspiracy theory rabbit hole. There are simply questions worth asking of ourselves internally as well as the external world around us. How much of what we think and feel is rooted in our own personal identity, integrity, character, and principles? How much of our identity, values, and consent has been manufactured?

Think about it. Be aware of it.

What is “it”? It in this case would be the non material aspects of what makes you up as a person. Your thoughts, feelings, and so on. Do you think, perceive, and act based on what you internally believe? Or are you being so manipulated by the world around you that you have no identity that isn’t a corporate brand or group think produced? No one is above being asked that question, especially not yours truly.

Think about it. Be aware of it.

 

by @anarchyroll
August 25th, 2013

According to a variety of reports last week, 21st Century Fox bought 5% of VICE for $70 million.  21st Century FOX formerly known as News Corp, values the company at $1.4 billion. In the era of decaying and dissolving journalism, that is quite an accomplishment for an entertainment entity built on a foundation of gonzo journalism. Shane Smith, the co founder and CEO of VICE is very enthusiastic about the deal. His quote, which appeared in each source used for this article is, “We get to make all the content we want? With the best platforms in the world? Grow our brand exponentially? Become the next global media brand? And all the while own the vast majority of the company and vote 95% of the board? Where-do-we-fucking-sign?!”

 
VICE has certainly earned the benefit of the doubt that they will not change their style. They have held a virtual media stranglehold on the early adopter and hipster segments of the 18-34 year old demographic for the better part of a decade. I am a huge fan of VICE, and full discretion, hope to one day write and report for them in the spirit of what Tim Pool  has been doing over the past three years. However, as much as VICE has earned the benefit of the doubt that they won’t be manipulated by FOX, Rupert Murdoch has that much more earned the benefit of the doubt that he will try and succeed in manipulating them. One need only consult the documentary film Outfoxed to see the slow burn narrative Murdoch may use to influence the way VICE presents its content.

 
When a person signs a deal with the devil, it is always front loaded with benefits. $70 million upfront, barely a sliver of minority ownership given away, and a metaphoric key ring into the media markets of India, Italy, and Germany. VICE seems to have gotten one by “the man” and “the system” by being able to fund their anti establishment style of journalism and media content production. But there is no such thing as something for nothing, and if something seems too good to be true, it is. VICE now has a portfolio of minority owners, all of whom are or have corporate interests. A global talent agency (WME), a global marketing group (WPP), a bank (Raine), and now 21st Century FOX. VICE also habitually uses sponsorship money from Vitamin Water (Coca Cola), Toshiba, Intel, and General Electric. The terms rebel and anti have a permanent restraining order from corporate money and influence companies like that provide, yet VICE keeps getting deeper in with the biggest and most money thirsty.

 
I believe VICE has positive intentions and that they know what they are doing. I also know that they are the type of entity that welcomes devil’s advocate questions and scrutiny. They are yet to report this story on their own website. I have checked their website repeatedly each day since this story broke and one would only know about this deal because they check other news websites; why is that? 25% of VICE is now owned by international corporations that couldn’t give two fucks about journalism or fact based reporting; what is their specific influence on VICE’s content? Rupert Murdoch has bled his conservative (modern day US Republican party) agenda into all of his media enterprises; when does he try to do this with VICE? Has VICE considered Murdoch could use his influence on their other sponsors and minority owners to do this? Where does VICE selling itself a la carte to the highest bidder end? How is VICE the one media entity that doesn’t allow its content to be watered down and have its balls cut off by high level corporate cash synergy?

 
I am a fan and a friend of VICE. A bucket list goal of mine is to be a reporter for them. I’m not writing this article with my nose turned up, with a sarcastic tone, or a sense of moral superiority. I am passionate about truth and knowledge/information dissemination. The story of FOX buying into VICE is clouded in translucency rather than transparency. VICE has yet to report it. The only non entertainment, online news entity to report this story, was the original reporters at the Financial Times. Something stinks about this deal and the people and reporters my generation would turn to investigate it further, are the very people excepting $70 million from Rupert Murdoch.