How To Succesfully Cheat if You’re A Celebrity

March 26th, 2010

In a time where technology can either really help you, or royally screw you over, you’ve got to cover your ass. Here are the three major do’s and don’ts in  a high-profile affair.

1. Never Leave a Voicemail on Your Lover’s Phone

Audio can be manipulated, enhanced, and easily shared as .wav, mp3, mp4, .wma files (among countless others). Don’t fall into this trap! If you must leave a voicemail, make is a nondescript as possible. Maybe even disguise your voice. For an example of what NOT to do, check out Tiger Woods’ Voicemail to his Mistress.

2. Keep Your Text Messages Clean

Text messages can easily be tracked and verified whether they came from a particular phone or not. “Sexting” as the practice is now called, is the act of texting someone with sexually graphic content or relating to a sexual nature. Text messages are in writing, which means that they are even more easily transferred. If you must text…do it from a friend’s phone. For an example of what NOT to do, check out Tiger Woods’ Texts to his OTHER Mistress.

3. Don’t Get Caught in a Picture

If you’re going to do something shady…do it indoors. No cameras, no video cameras, no camera-phones. They say a picture is worth a thousand words…guaranteed, every one of those words will be harsh once the public gets hold of them. So please, avoid the incriminating photos, or at the very least, make sure you’re always in poor lighting. For an example of what NOT to do, check out Hugh Grant’s mugshot with the prostitute he was caught with, when he cheated on Elizabeth Hurley.

There you have it, folks. Of course, I don’t condone cheating–ever. But if you’re a celebrity and you just HAVE to do it, spare us the headlines and keep your endeavors covert.

Technology and Long-Distance Dating

March 26th, 2010

The title of this class is “Media Technology and Cultural Change”; well, this spring break I’ve bared witness to how new technology and things like the internet have enabled long-distance relationships (which will coincidentally be my topic for a project in another class that I am currently taking). Just 20 years ago, letters and phone-calls were the primary modes of communication.  Letters would typically take 3-5 days to arrive depending on the person’s location and phone calls were usually limited to house phones–cell phones had yet to be owned on such a large scale.

The internet, which has platforms like iChat, AIM, MSN messenger, Skype, e-mail, etc., has allowed for people to communicate in a much easier, much more direct fashion, which in turn, gives long-distance relationships a higher chance of success. I was talking to my aunt the other day and she told me how the “love of her life” and she lived very far away from each other, communication was harder, and they would not be moving near each other any time soon. In time, they had both found other people and moved on, even though they still loved each other. It wasn’t until they got divorces and met up many years later that they were finally able to be together (15 years later).

However, I wondered, well…if they had had Skype, would distance have been as much of an issue if there was almost face-to-face contact everyday? It’s proven that the internet is a viable place to meet someone (Match.com, LavaLive, etc.), therefore it is not that far of a stretch to say that it is a great way to keep current long-distance relationships alive (for longer, at least). This is a perfect example of “cultural change.” With the internet, it is now easier to have a significant other in Denmark…England…Australia…wherever you want.

Mike Tyson and Pigeons!

March 16th, 2010

You know, just when you think people can’t get any more ridiculous…they do.  It was recently announced that Mike Tyson (yes, heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson) will be hosting a new show on Animal Planet about pigeon racing. I’m going to give you a few seconds to let that sink in…yes, pigeon racing (you know, birds…trying to out-fly each other, I guess?) Apparently, Tyson has raised pigeons all of his life and has created a team with them and now Animal Planet will be doing a show on it. The worst part? I’m kind of curious. Ya’ll should go ahead and check out the full story here. I guess this is geared more toward the “Media” part of “Media Technology” 🙂

Priceline Ad

March 13th, 2010

So, I got food poisoning last night and had to be in bed, so I had nothing to do but watch Hulu. I watched Years in Tibet and Mo’ Money (just because it sounded so ridiculous). The film follows 2 black men (starring brothers Damen and Marlon Wayans) in some sort of business scam, or what have you. You know the formula–bad neighborhood, drugs, big-bootied women, and the like. What struck me though, was the Priceline ad that was shown just seconds before the movie started.

“Priceline.com: No one deals like we do.” Normally, I wouldn’t think anything of that ad, but juxtaposed to the film that was being shown (in reference to content as well as target audience) the word “deals” suddenly took on a different meaning. Now, I rarely pull out the “race-card” but it just seemed interesting that an ad (one which I have never seen before) should use that particular wording before that particular film. Had the movie been, let’s say, Lord of the Rings, would the ad have read “Priceline.com: We’re the one.” What about if it had been Harry Potter, would the ad have read, “Priceline.com: Expect-o great things” (I can continue the nerdy references, but I’ll cap it here). Maybe it was all coincidence…but then again, maybe not. Ah, the subversiveness of advertising…let’s breathe it all in, shall we?

Priceline

Little Boys “Won’t” Watching Movies with “Princess” in the Title…?

March 11th, 2010

After Disney’s less-than-successful release of the “The Princess and the Frog,” they decided to change their approach for their next release–Rapunzel, which they have decided to re-name “Tangled” in order not to dissuade male children from wanting to watch it.

Honestly, it’s not the best argument…check out the article here.

Titanic 2: Jack is Back

March 10th, 2010

I promise this is worth every second of your time, haha.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vD4OnHCRd_4

For more awesomeness, check out my other (real) blog: www.DawsonDanger.com

Remixes…

March 10th, 2010

I really like the song “Build Me Up Buttercup” by The Foundations…it’s a bubbly, summery tune with catchy lyrics. A while back I heard a remix by a group called Rhymefest (featuring Ol’ Dirty Bastard) that uses the chorus off of that song as well as the melody, for their song “Build Me Up.” This is a perfect example of using pre-existing music/media to create something new while still retaining many elements of the original–same building blocks, different structure. Click on the links to view each video…

Preliminary Thoughts on Remix

March 6th, 2010

Lawrence Lessig‘s book, Remix, brings up a few very interesting points–particularly those pertaining to John Philip Sousa and his copyright struggles with the new machines that were emerging around his era (circa 1906). I am a little torn between Sousa’s argument–while it is true that fewer and fewer people seem to be able to play “real” instruments (while more and more become proficient at programs like “GarageBand” or as he spoke of, consumers of culture rather than producers), I don’t think that this necessarily means that there are fewer amateurs. As a matter of fact, I think technological developments have created a new kind of amateur. Technology like “auto-tune” has enabled many people who cannot even carry a tune become platinum recording artists (T-Pain, anyone?)

With sound engineering becoming better each day and new programs developing, a single person can create an entire orchestra symphony without ever leaving their couch. Is this a cop-out in some ways? Is it still “respectable” music? Who knows? Something is definitely lost in the fact that only one person made the said symphony–a series of pre-programmed loops with perhaps minor original alterations. It’s a tricky matter that I don’t necessarily have the answer to. However, it is extremely annoying to hear the same bits of music in so many popular songs.

Sean KINGston…the King of “Theft”

March 6th, 2010

Okay, so calling Sean Kingston the “King of Theft” may be a bit harsh but…it’s kind of true (and I can use several examples).  I’m currently making a playlist for my radio show tonight and after reading Jonathan Lethem’s “The Ecstasy of Influence” the topics of appropriation, influence, and duplication are on my mind.  Sean Kingston is a perfect example of an artist that has taken other music and molded it to make it “his own.”  However, rather that it being a cover, he simply takes the melody for these other songs and (kind of) adds his own words to them.

Two songs that immediately come to mind where he’s done this is his 2007 hit “Beautiful Girls” where the melody is almost entirely Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me.” A second song where Kingston does this is in his song, “Me Love” where the melody (and even some of the words) are actually Led Zeppelin‘s “D’yer Mak’er.” Again, this raises many issues. When it comes to music (as well as other forms of media) the lines are really blurred as to: what can be constituted as original work? I think it’s important to at least try to define and moderate in order to prevent blatant plagiarism (because in art, is there even such a thing? Replicating the Mona Lisa will not garner you any fame…it’s been done and everyone knows it’s been done).

It’s a slippery slope…and you can bet Sean Kingston and his producers are on it!

What I edited on Wikipedia…

March 6th, 2010

Okay, this may be a bit of a cop-out, but honestly it’s a substantial edit. Today for my “Internet Art” class I had to post on Wikipedia about one of the artists that we’ve been learning about. If you go click here you will see the wiki page for “Heath Bunting.” The ENTIRE section titled “King’s Cross Phone In” was done by yours truly. That’s three paragraphs chock-full of accurate and somewhat well-written info and referencing. I feel accomplished at the moment.