What does that even meme?





So this week in class, our focus has turned to memes.  Memes are pictures taken from one source which are used out of context, sometimes by adding text to them.  They are a very recent and widespread fad whose purpose is debated amongst laymen and intellectuals.  I believe that memes are a modern day evolution of fan-culture.  Memes allow for fans to use a specific instance of certain material to portray their own perspective or to create another.  This related to Ang’s reference to uses and gratifications theory in the sense that people use these instances in the exact ways they see fit.  Some people use them for comedy, some people use them for educational purposes, and some people use them so that they understand where they stand compared to the general populous.  Also through the mixing of texts and pictures, we see a more evident separation throughout responses.  Ang talked about how every message is the same until reception, where the user then puts their own understanding into works.  Memes are very much like that because although the picture may be the same, the perception allows for an infinite amount of possibilities post-reception.

The Memes i’ve selected are interesting to me because they take elements i’m familiar with and add comedic twists to them.  When I use memes it is for a comical standpoint as opposed to any other.  They also help me to express myself because they play on things i’ve either thought about or found interesting in the past.  The first one that shows spongebob bathing underwater with the caption of “fuck logic” is hilarious.  When I was younger and watched spongebob I would often think of the contradictions shown within the show and for that to be brought to light later on into my adulthood, it is very amusing.  It also shows me that other people have thought about it as well, and I am not alone.  The second meme I chose was of Carlton from Fresh Prince of Bel Air with the caption “Thug Life”.  We all know Thug Life is a phrase made popular from Tupac Shakur, who had it tattooed across his abdomen.  We also know that Carlton is one of the most spoiled, pampered, and prissy individuals to ever step foot on television.  This paradoxical caption makes me laugh every time I see it.  The last meme doesn’t use any famous television character but does manage to tickle my funny bone nonetheless.  In this meme we see a dog at the steering wheel of a car which immediately makes us think in our head, “why is that dog driving that car?”  After we read the caption, “No time to explain, get in the car”, we are transferred into a common scene we’ve witnessed in various types of media and at the same time we have our question somewhat answered.  We put ourselves into the scene and all of a sudden there is no need for further explanation from our canine friend.

I don’t really know how I can use a meme in my final project.  Although they are funny and entertaining they normally stand alone as its own form of entertainment.  I guess what we could do is have a meme of a surprised individual and use it instead of the actually surprised individuals in the video.  Although it will have the same effect and display the same emotion, I’d prefer to have the consistency throughout the video.

Below are the memes I’ve talked about in this post…..ENJOY!!!



You Know Who, Potter

The second half of our assignment this week began with watching a video.  The video was named, “We Are Wizards” and was discussed the ways in which Harry Potter and its creative properties have effected a great amount of people as well as helped change the way we view intellectual property.

First of all, the way we consume and reproduce media these days would have been unfathomable to 30 years ago.  We now have access to similar creative property in so many different forms that it becomes hard to tell what to consider authentic as opposed to controversial.  This is very evident with the case of Harry Potter regarding the expansion of media relating to the same material.

Second, I learned that Warner Brothers tries to balance the power between the fans and themselves.  It was probably an underestimated part of the video when they mentioned that Warner Brothers re-imagined this relationship.  If they were stubborn about it, it is possible that at the time, they could have sought out and won legal cases.  Their openness to do something like that was revolutionary.

As I mentioned before fans have gained the ability to reproduce media so effieciently that it has changed their culture as well.  Fans are no longer just spectators viewing a fantasy world through the personification of texts.  Instead they are full participants, emerging themselves into the worlds they imagine and making them more real every moment.  They have only recently been able to do it in such capacities that it is borderline overwhelming.  This is why Warner Brothers had such trouble trying to handle their fans at first too.

The craziest thing I learned while watching the video wasn’t very practical, but it opened my eyes to a broader view on creativity.  Creativity is POWER.  And people are very protective and proud of the things they create.  Even though we look at corporations as creative hoarder, we cease to realize that it is similar to human nature and we are willing to defend our creativity with force.  The real reason this is true is because there is an ongoing battle always, with creativity and ownership, both of which are a package deal in order for a creator to be be ultimately happy.

Anything but Common

So the end is nearing on our Do It Yourself Media class.  Final projects are starting to come together rapidly and every week we add more and more.  This week we learned about creative commons and how it protects the creativity of others as well how it helps the file sharing process online.  We were asked to use creative commons to find 3 pieces of media for potential use in our final project.  Out of the 3, one was supposed to be an image, another was a video, and the last was a song.

The image I chose to use was a computer monitor.  Toward the end of our video, there is a scene which will be strictly text displaying the “Geek Week” slogan in one way or another.  Also, because our video is based on the fact that the geek within our subject individual allows for him to complete his work on the computer, I think its perfect for the text screen to occur with a monitor in the background. Originally my plan was to fade phrases in and out, but if we use the image of the monitor then it would be better to have the words come up as if they were being typed right on the screen.   I got the picture from pixabay.com.

The Video I chose to use is from youtube and it is a news story regarding Rutger’s cancellation of a Girls Gone Wild event in New Brunswick.  Although at first glance this seems like the furthest thing from helpful, it is actually great for use in segmented moments.  At one point the news crew pans to a shot of an RU bus at a stop as students walk around and cars pass by.  This would be a perfect shot prior to coming into the dorm room where our video takes place.  By using this video we set up the environment for the viewer.

Finally the song I chose to use is called Urban and it is by the group Reno Project.  This song has a very Shaft-like funky feel to it that I think will be a perfect backdrop as the cool version of our subject tries to convince him to go out with his friends.  The song creates the cool mood and thus perfectly compliments what would be happening in the video.

I hope everyone who watches it appreciates the use of these media and is entertained at the same time.



Story Board Lord…not really though

When the final project was being described to us, my mind started to race and ideas were immediately shooting through my head.  That being said I pretty much took on the responsibility of handling the creative parts of the project.  When my group got together I had already had two ideas for the project and they both liked my idea.  When Aaron came to our group to discuss our ideas I was a little taken back that he wasn’t as happy with our product as we were.  He told us that it was his job to create those challenges for us and I respected that, but like any creative mind would tell you, its hard to take criticism for your creativity.  So I took his criticism positively and adapted my ideas to his suggestions.

Storyboarding was a brand new experience for me, but when I accepted the fact that a storyboard isn’t a collection of Picassos, I was better able to complete it.  Our storyboard and project is based on the authentic college experience of choosing between work and play.  It is something everyone goes through no matter what circle you run in.  We also wanted to emphasize the fact the a “geek” is hidden within every individual.  I wanted to expand upon that idea by also utilizing everyone’s innate “cool” side as well.  In our project we will have a normal everyday college student be faced with the decision to go out or stay in to complete work. We will see his thought process in two separate scenarios.  One in which his cool side talks to him and provides him with a particular outcome and another where he follows the advice of his geek side and sees separate results.  Our message is not that one side is better than the other, but that it is acceptable to listen to both.  Although in our project there will be greater gains coming from the geek side, we assure that the cool side has no negative reproductions.  Our goal isn’t to make you choose one side, but instead to understand both are an option.

I hope everyone appreciates our work so far and I know we will impress your with our final product!!

Google Doc Rock

So…this week we were presented the challenge of using Google documents to collaborate on our final project for the class.  This is technically not my first time using google docs, but it is the first time i’ve used it knowing the basics involved.  Last semester I had a class with a group project where the group chose its own forms of communication.  Now my group actually didn’t do too well with the communicative aspect of the project and we had trouble coming together to work on it. The person we originally appointed to lead the group began group work by collecting everyones Facebook information which led me to believe that was going to be our main form of communication.  All of a sudden I was receiving emails about a google document file which I was not familiar with.  When I followed the link it brought me to a blank document and more and more it got filled out.  The only problem was that no one was directing the document and I had no idea what was expected of me.  I tried writing in the comment section of the document but got no response in return.  Eventually I just added to the document myself without asking anyone else.

As you can see, this was a less then valuable google doc experience.  Luckily this time around we were able to accomplish the most important aspect of working on google documents and that is in-person communication.  We were able to communicate and delegate information and tasks for our project which we then could trust in our group members to upload it online.  The last of communication prior to working online was my previous group’s undoing and my current groups greatest triumph.  Google docs is a breeze with proper presentation so I’d advise you to do the same!

A Band, In a Garage, On a Computer, Making a Podcast

So I actually had a good time doing this weeks assignment.  I absolutely love music and anything that has to do with it, so when I heard we were using garageband  I was more than excited to see where it lead us.  Now I didn’t expect in anyway to become Dr. Dre over the course of 165 minutes, but I did expect to have my audio software abilities enhanced.

The assignment was simple and cut into three separate parts.  The first part involved uploading a single audio file into garageband and splitting it in a way that we could reposition the last section to where we originally split the file.  In other words we split the file around where the chorus began and instead of the song continuing into the 2nd verse it seamlessly lead into the third.  I thought I was having issues with the at first because I kept hearing a click between my split which I came to realize was actually an instrument in the song itself.  I really did enjoy this because I basically got to listen to music for an assignment.

My original song was a remix of Ice Cube’s classic “Today was a good day”.  The second portion of the assignment was to create a fade out of the original song and a fade in to a second song.  Now I am going to explain the second and third part of the assignment together because that is how I approached it for completion.  The third aspect of the assignment was to create a voice bed between the fade in and out where you introduced yourself and your podcast.  I decided that this was where I could best use my creativity.

I looked through my potential songs for my second podcast file and decided on using Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab”.  After creating the bed and the respective fades I added my audio.  I wanted my audio to not only introduce myself but link both songs together, so I did this the best way I knew how.  If you listen to the podcast i’ve posted you would hear me saying “My name is Nick, Thank you for listening to my Podcast and today was a good day until….” immediatley Amy Winehouse cuts in singing “They tried to make me go to Rehab”.

I liked the fact that my first song was able to transition into my second song with a little help and creativity.  I hope you appreciate it as much as I did and I hope to keep you entertained on my blog.

To end I will leave you with the infamous podcast i’ve been talking (or typing) so much about.  Enjoy!!