Tag Archives: Concept

The best time to deactivate your Facebook account is now

 

unnamed

Perhaps, over the years, American society has found a disconnect with being connected. This goes beyond the scope of the human and technology relationship, especially when plugging in disconnects us more and more from reality. We have created avatars of ourselves on platforms that get paid to have us there. Our pictures and our likes and our posts and our art are free advertisements, and you should get paid for what you do, really, and you should hold those that profit off of your media accountable.

The lens of what we see through our eyes is a special and unique one, true to us. Our voice through an instant platforms give us a sense of being, a sense of place in a connected world. Our art shared and receiving likes gives us a sense of importance. Our lens of focus is enacted and descrying those interactions. One, a sense, that like wine, gathers new notes and qualities throughout the years. We see things as we like to see them. The media we post about ourselves does not actually reflect who we are but who we want to become.

And that is the assumption, that the platform is pure and innocent–something that we can create ourselves as we imagine ourselves on. We see pictures and posts and ideas and politics and these change our minds assumed unobscured. All of these ideas are brought to us through and unnatural lens, a lens paid for by lobbyists, or political parties, or foreign governments, or massive corporations. If Facebook is where you get your news, then your news is skewed by the aforementioned; your idea is formed through the lens of capitalism, of marketing to your demographic.

This is all a bit scary when we realize objective observation is a made up idea of which you cannot understand beyond the thoughts in your head, this relates to Facebook. Especially then, in that framework, language is rooted in history making it not your unique idea: your words on not your words. (You don’t think in made up languages; perhaps you think in English, Spanish, or German) Further, take recently, Facebook announced they were paid by Russia to place ads on their platform; therefore, everything is touched by everything and related. Had this transaction been carried out by a politician it would have been a deplorable offense. Because we are part of it, through social media, we are accountable and involved. Accomplice. The CEO of Facebook admitted this, the idea of taking money to place ads. Said “we” would work harder at vetting these messages. That is all of us and our words.

Furthermore, if the message of these real advertisements is out there with “fake news” how is one to get beyond that? We are fake people living in a fake world. The toilet paper you buy, because of the advertisement you witnessed on Facebook, reinforces the reality of the “fake news” story, making it present real in a skewed lens. It may seem like a fallacy but the shampoo you bought is real, the ad you saw for that product was real, making the news story you saw exist in that same genre: in a realistic hue. Or visa versa, the political ad you saw on Facebook was fake but the news was actually real. How much research did you put into finding out the truth of both? At least you know the shampoo works. I say, share that headline, it’s from CNN.

The lens we think in is through social media, like language, it is not our own, and that media is owned by someone else, by a capitalistic entity. Our language, art, media, comments and posts are dictated by a media that sets you within a certain category, living within a framework designed and restricted by others. Go outside of this category allotment and face banishment, hatred, expulsion, and unsavory marks at your character, image, or likeness. Stay within it and you become homogeneous, enjoyed by others, there is a sense of worth, community. But is that worth real or contrived? Is that worth valuable when you realize you are a pawn for marketers, and a company which may have swung an election, may have profited off of your existence?

If you want to move beyond this compromised platform, now is the time to unplug, deactivate as I have. End your Facebook account for the idea that you are outside of the box. I feel a bit outside of that square because I did it. The story of my deactivation: Facebook had a class-action lawsuit against them (Fraley vs. Facebook) because they used my likeness without my permission, and the likeness of 150,000 unaware others. I, well we, became an ironic advertisement we knew nothing about. I struggled with the deactivation, had to download all my photos again but eventually I succeeded. I feel much better not being in something presumed innocent but exists as something entirely different, while totally accepted as the former.

Facebook presents as simple, transparent, honest, easy, thoughtful, and benevolent. Many media outlets use Facebook, push accounts and stories. Newspapers have Facebook pages, we get stories from Facebook; a summer back Facebook Live started a social media movement. Those movements are latent effects, the manifest effect is the profits. What you might not understand is that visibility is lucrative to companies. These entities are making money off of ads–ads which might be bought by foreign governments, to trick you to buy something or to carry on with some contemporary idea. They want you to see it through their lens, the lens that profits for them, the lens of distraction and complacence.

Social media, in theory, may be a great idea, we are brought closer to places, people, and things we love, we get information immediately, we are privy to every detail. Or we are privy to the details entities allow us to see. That is so easy. So easy, why change? Well, when the platform crashes and everything you own on that platform is compromised–which is nothing, you will have nothing to show for it. Someone else will: their loss. That is why the time is now to deactivate and live your life free of the lens you forces upon yourself. Free to say and think what you mean outside of the capitalistic realm presented. Imagine not needing a CEO to align you with your thoughts. Plug into your new-old platform: real-life.

***
Thank you for reading, remember to donate to my cause. My cause is writing and sharing my personal opinions and ideas, these are my own. Hit the donate button, and if you enjoy what you have read, please share my works on social media (ironic, I understand). TS_

Advertisements

Crime Alerts at the University of Minnesota: Enabling Crime?

At times I wonder why the University of Minnesota even tells us anything at all about crimes. Is it a scare-tactic to be vague with details, not giving crucial information to the general public/student body, while allowing those to speculate, while criminals run at large? Is it to show they (campus police and administration) are on it… they have an idea of what is going on—control, perhaps? How useful are these “crime alert” emails? What purpose do they serve?

Recently, because of issues with defining distinct aspects of an individual’s appearance, make-up, within crime reports: assumed generalizations, problematic language, suggested stereotypes, and the political correctness of the University etc., the student body no longer has access to pertinent and informative accounts/descriptions of suspects who commit crimes on victims at gunpoint, near or around campus.

Not only is the act of ambiguity within these emails confusing, it, perhaps, enables more crime. Perchance, if a criminal were under the impression that said criminal’s description were forbidden from being released to the general public/student body, then why would that criminal be apprehensive about committing the same crime again? It appears to me that if there are no repercussions to committing a crime, why would a criminal not do it again? Sharing the identity, description, appearance of a suspect is imperative to creating a safe community, and particularly a safe and informed campus.

To be straightforward, if a person commits a crime, the gender, sex, attire, and physical appearance witnessed, of that person, comes into play as that person’s identity. That unique identity, make-up, appearance, description, and those characteristics of a person, do not have the right to be protected or withheld from the general public by the administration, specifically for the safety of the law abiding citizen. If I walk outside, my identity is visible—I am visibly unique as an individual, as most. A victim should have the right to be able to use and share that information to help identify a suspect, while informing others of this information.

These aimless emails, “crime alerts”, do nothing to create community awareness, they only act as vague warnings to those who venture out into society, while shielding actual criminals. Perhaps “crime alerts” should say: be afraid, stay inside, and fear the unknown. Have people not seen No Country for Old Men? In the film protagonists are searching for a suspect, an amateur sheriff suggest they radio a description of the suspect, the wise sheriff counters by suggesting, “Well, what are we searching at… looking for a man who has recently drunk milk?” The wise sheriff does this as he takes a sip from a glass of milk. At least give some form of description, or these emails serve no purpose whatsoever.

One thing I have learned at the University of Minnesota is that if you want to write something, anything, have a purpose for writing, declare an idea/concept, and make an attempt to prove that idea/concept. My idea/concept is that these alerts/reports are essentially useless, unless they give detailed descriptions of the perpetrator.

Moreover, the student body receives emails of this type evermore frequently (especially in the warm months), with little to no detail of the culprit. I say, let someone else write these emails, someone with more imagination, if you want to keep them vague. Perhaps have a sketch artist come in, draw a cartoon, I don’t know. I say, give me the opportunity to write the email. Every email would be the same, non-descriptive and useless, and go something like this: A human being robbed another human being. I thought you should know. Try to be safe out there.

Here is an example, unedited, of the emails the University of Minnesota student body receives when a crime occurs:

Crime Alert: Twin Cities Campus
“On Wednesday, April 15 at approximately 12:25 a.m., a robbery occurred off campus near the intersection of 27th Avenue SE and Talmage Avenue SE. The incident occurred in close proximity to the Como Student Community Cooperative. One of the two victims is a University of Minnesota student. The second victim is not affiliated with the University.

The victims were talking outside one of their vehicles when two suspects approached, threatened them with a gun, and demanded their valuables. The suspects took the victims’ wallet, cell phone and purse. The cell phone was later recovered after the suspects threw it into a nearby yard. Neither victim was injured.

The suspects fled to a car waiting on Talmage Avenue with a third suspect in the driver’s seat and the vehicle drove away westbound on Como Avenue. Detailed suspect descriptions are not available at this time.

Minneapolis Police are investigating this off-campus crime. Anyone with information is asked to call the Minneapolis Police Tip Line at 612-692-8477 and reference case number MP-15-132388.”

Boys Don’t Cry, and then People Die

Boys Don't Cry Poster

Boys Don’t Cry Poster

Boys Don’t Cry carries from start to finish with an emphasis on light, perspective, violence, and deception. One thing to note especially about Boys Don’t Cry is the beginning and ending are the same: the audience is given a car on a dark highway, traveling to anywhere, driven by a female character. The lights are out of focus and what is dark surrounds. This set-up and finish could be symbolism of the protagonist Teena “Brandon” Brandon. Hilary Swank, who pulls off a Justin Bieber/young Matt Damon in this film, is astonishingly believable as a soon-to-be F to M gendered person. She moves in the night, in the shadows, sans good light, and those around her can’t really pin-point her basis, or what she actually is. Her foundation is out of focus. Peirce captures this incredibly well, and that is what makes this movie so gripping, its honesty. The audience does not know what is coming next… That is honest. Life is not scripted, anything can happen. It could be physical violence, romantic sexual expression, or a drunken domestic outburst centered round the most sacred part of the house, a living room. The beauty of Boys Don’t Cry is the reality it mimics, the unknown- and not knowing.

Sexuality within the film focuses on “Brandon” trying to find love, find himself/herself, while moving around just trying to exist, survive. He deceives all those around him by not being straightforward about his situation; he is not a man. Brandon comes into a precarious situation by way of alcohol and drugs, and probably chance. The audience is taken in, first-hand, as Brandon is. He build relationships and is pitted against what would seem “normal” or “average” antagonists, against an ambivalent character. Brandon tries to be macho in respect to Lana’s ex-lover, felon, Brandon tries to win the heart of Lana. Role reversals within Boys Don’t Cry seem shocking; Brandon is raped (as a woman), Lana is intrigued that Brandon is actually female, and the drunken mother. I think the message within the film is that there is a duality to each situation. It is not so much about labels, blame, or deception (everyone is to blame within Boys Don’t Cry), but rather how it makes you feel, and for what purpose. That is the most important bit.

Lana and Brandon seemed in love, as opposed to Lana and her ex-lover, total drunk loser. There was a peace in the atmosphere when Lana was with Brandon that took her out of the “Hell” which was her living situation. And that all came to a violent end.

Kimberly Peirce’s directing utilizes fast cuts and manipulated lighting, not to mention the set, makeup, and overall appeal of the environment which is being imagined. It appears to me that most of the scenes take place at night or in the dark, or in sorted establishments. This filter affects one’s perception of reality, characters who appear in the dark, are not as they appear during the day. Fast cuts emphasize the fast pace of the movie, there exists this whirlwind love affair which is bound to become disastrous and volatile. Swank’s general presence gave me an uneasy feeling; I wonder, if one can be so convincingly conjured that no one is to know the difference, who around us is real? And what is “real”? Does it matter as much as the feeling that individual gives off? This not knowing of what is “real” creates the tension that eventually leads to the climactic ending.

The culmination of the film was shocking; people got shot, in the head. The interesting thing is the passing of the torch at the end. We have another character touched so much by Brandon’s ambition, concepts, and love that she embarks on what was to be his journey. The dangers of deception, manipulation, and drunken violence transcend intent (as good as it may have been), hence why Brandon was eventually killed. Boys Don’t Cry is a powerful film with a poignant and tragic message; people are still concerned with labels and other peoples’ sexual preferences, so much so that they will carry out violent acts in retaliation.

The New English Ideology; Derrida and Post-Structuralism