Moral Panic at the Disco

Subcultures are a place to identify and belong. But what happens when your subculture finds itself painted with a taboo brush. Moral Panic is how the media educates those outside of a subculture about the subculture. However this leads to a miscommunication and a distorted portrayal of the subculture itself.

If we take one subculture in particular, you can start to understand how the medias use of Moral Panic can warp the publics perception. Emo subculture has perhaps suffered from this skewing of perception the most. Emo is synonymous with self harm and suicided. However it has lost its original meaning.

Emo began in the 1980s, it is a style of rock music. The lyrics are often dark thoughts or expressive. Emotional music. A diluted version or punk and goth, yet still a major subculture. Emos identified themselves with dark colours. Mostly black clothing, with black hair. Men and Women would don black makeup. All of this a physical representation of the music.

In the early 2000s Emo resurged and became somewhat mainstream. Bands such as Green Day, My Chemical Romance and Blink 185 were on the charts yet still represented the mo sub culture. So when Emo became mainstream, it also became subject to moral panic in the media.

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This Moral Panic created is due to the stereotypes of self harm. The lyrics of many emo songs can be seen as dark. Which has lead to the stereotype that if you are a emo, you are depressed. Hannah Bond, a 13 year old fan of My Chemical Romance committed suicided in 2008 leading many to blame her music as an influence. Hannah’s mother was quoted by many news sites as saying

“There are [emo] websites that show pink teddies hanging themselves. She called emo a fashion and I thought it was normal. Hannah was a normal girl. She had loads of friends. She could be a bit moody but I thought it was just because she was a teenager.”

http://www.digitalspy.com/music/news/a95516/emo-blamed-for-teen-girls-suicide/

Suddenly this music genre encourages and glamourise suicide and self harm.

In Ireland Central Bank is a known hangout for Emos. A shared space where likeminded people can form a community.

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What is to be said about how Moral Panic can influence a subculture. By creating a narrative that Emos are self harming and committing suicided, now the subculture is tainted. Suddenly you are judged and a cause for concern based on your music tastes. Would this have been the case if the media didn’t create a panic? Stereotyping the many based on the few can be detrimental to a subculture.

Finished Script

After the brainstorming session with the group, I set off to write the script for Charlotte.

The scenes take place in the following order

  • The Day of the Tiles
  • The Meeting of the Estate Generals
  • The Fall of Bastilles
  • The March on Versailles
  • The Fall of King Louis

We wanted to give depth to Charlottes character, to create a well rounded character. However we didn’t want Charlotte to take away from the over arching historical narrative. I gave hints to her character throughout the narrative.

Charlottes narration of the first scene is almost hesitant. She doesn’t have an anger or a desire for change. Its a classic case of ‘wrong place wrong time’. She accidentally spearheads a violent rebellion. This is not done intentionally, she was simply observing.

This continues in scene two. However, scene two is where her narration changes. Now she actively engages with the french people. When she sees how passionately the third estate fights for the voice to be heard, Charlotte seems to be finding her own voice.

Bastilles is a pivotal turning point for Charlotte. This is when she actively pursues an attack and participates. At first she observes, but soon she seems to want to get into the action. The end of this scene is key, as we see Charlotte pick up a sword. A symbol of her desire to fight.

Versailles is where Charlotte is one of the angry mob. It appears that she is 100% part of the revolution. However I didn’t want her character to simply change her ideals in a split second. So there is a point where Charlotte looks at Maire Antoinette and notices her beauty. This hesitance shows that perhaps Charlotte doesn’t want to fight, maybe she just wants a better life, like the woman before her. This leads to her realisation that she has to fight in order to better herself.

The final scene is a collection of historical facts and Charlottes own past. We learn more about her character, and her relationship with her father. This is in contrast to the execution of King Louis, the father of France. A bitter sweet scene that wraps up Charlottes story yet still leaves you thinking that she continues to fight.

 

 

The full script can be read here: Script Charlotte

Rip! My thoughts on the music industry

We watched a documentary called RIP! It was about music copyright and what it means in todays society.

Free music has been around for years. I used to stack books beside the radio so I could rest my phone against the speaker to record one song. I remember using Limewire. I suppose it was the equivalent of Napster at the time. Downloading music for free seems like a fantastic idea. Music in its essence is an art. A creative piece that should appeal to people on an emotional level.
So what happens when it becomes an industry?

I struggle with this controversial topic. Free music to be kept, edited, used is right. But making money from your hard work in the music industry is right. Suing people for using your music is wrong. But stealing others work and claiming it as your own is wrong.
I go back and forth about the moral and ethical implications nearly on a daily bases.
I download music, just like I did with Limewire, but don’t pay the artists. Then I sympathise with artists who feel their work is being distributed without their permission.

It is a struggle that constantly plays on my mind when I source my music.

In recent months I have switched to services such as Spotify and Apple Music. Brilliant! Problem solved.  I pay a small amount, €7 to €10, and listen to as much music as I want. I get my music, artists get their money.
But recent allegations show this method is problematic in itself. Artists get paid very little for each stream of their song. While this may seem like a petty problem for successful artists, the new young artists get very little reward for their work.

I don’t see myself thrown in jail for downloading the new Adele album. But I don’t think illegal downloading will ever be stopped. Streaming services was the first move to curb illegal distribution. But in a society of file sharing at the click of button, music will always be available to the masses. Whatever the moral cost.

It’s my life…

What do I want in life?

A question I have avoided for many months, even years. I’m currently in a bubble, when I am asked what I am doing with my life ‘College’ suffices as an answer. No further questions, no judgement. ‘College’ is the perfect snooze button for life.

In recent years I have realised that no profession is below me. To look at a bathroom cleaner  or someone in McDonalds and think ‘I can do better’ is a horrible thing to think. These people make their money providing a service you refuse to do. Because of what? Pride? I think, once you are doing something with your life and it is fulfilling and productive, then you’re doing something right.
Ideally I would like to work in public relations. While I am in creative media, the thoughts of working in graphic design or film terrify me. But working in public relations, while still creative, it is more secure. Helping people and their companies build their image appeals to me. Working through a problem and seeing the effects appeals to me. I want to work. Sitting around all day and watching tv is fine for a day off but after that, I get antsy.
So I can see myself being productive.

I’ve always needed a plan. A plan for my day, my week. My life. But lately I have started to realise that no matter how much you plan, nothing ever goes to plan. But thats ok. Sometimes the reality can be a disappointment to your expectations. Sometimes the reality or the change of plan is something better. I planned to go to college in dublin. Live at home and get my degree from DCU. Now I love living away from home and I’m getting a better degree here then the one in DCU. Everything happens for a reason so my hopes for the future may change. All I know is once Im happy doing what I do, my life will be ok.

Hashtag Politics

While the world is busy jeering and gawking at the presidential candidates in the United States, Ireland is about to embark on its own General Election.

My constituency is North Dublin Bay, which provides a vast range of candidates from every party. There are five seats available and nineteen candidates.  Some candidates seek reelection; Richard Burton (FG), Sean Haughey (FF). Where as some candidates are once again asking for your vote; Stephanie Regan(FG), Deirdre Heney (FF).

Avril Power is one of five independent candidates running for a seat. By using SmartVote.ie I was able to further understand Powers views on specific issues. For example we are both in agreement that  ‘Abortion should be permitted in cases of rape, incest or when the baby is unlikely to survive outside the womb’.

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Her activity on social media seems to be more than other candidates. Her eleven thousand Twitter followers far exceeds that of other candidates in her constituency (Sean Haughey’s 1,397 and Richard Brutons 7, 381). Averils official Facebook Page has 4, 034 likes. She does not seem to be on Instagram or Snapchat.

(Numbers recorded on of February 7th 2016)

Her offical twitter account comes with a description;

Senator, Dog Lover and Whitecollar Boxer. Retweets are not an endorsement.

Her account is full of retweets that show various events, issues she has been involved in. It is unclear if this is Power herself retweeting or an employee, however it is extremely active. However both her Facebook and Twitter show her engaging in conversation with anyone who has a question or comment. Her Facebook promises a response ‘usually within an hour’ So in this sense, she is using Social Media as a instantaneous communication platform with her constituents.

Averil

While the majority of conversation on Twitter is positive, there are some negative points about Powers Posters around her constituency. Many of her poster were below the legal height or had littered local streets. However Power engages in conversations, which looks to be an attempt to curb this negativity.

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I will be interest to follow Averils Social Media presence over the next three weeks and through the General Election.

Back in College

Now that we are back in college, its time to get back to group work.

Our major script is due in three weeks, so we have began planning our individual parts.

As the script has to be written in one voice, I have asked my team to each send me their contributions and I will edit the major document together so it reads as one author.

Patrick will put together graphic such as character concepts and storyboards. As well as his role in the animation of Charlotte.

Niall will be working on our exhibition plans and props to be used in the installation. As well as this he will sketching ideas for our user interface.

Jordan will prepare our audio script as well as our programming walk through.

Together we hope to make a comprehensive script that can be easily read.

Warning: Information Overload

Today we watched a Google talk about Information Overload, given by Daniel Levitin.

He talks about three big ideas to do with Information overloads. Multitasking, Brain Extenders and Decision making.

He begins by talking about how Multitasking is a myth. That what we call multitasking is actually sequential tasking. That our brain is shifting its attention back and forth between different tasks and we perceive that as doing all these tasks at once. When really our attention is fractionated.
I have always had a problem with multitasking. My brain becomes overwhelmed by the movie on the tv while I’m trying to read an article. I have been calling these things a distraction, I am glad someone believes its just my brain fractionating its attention span.
He believes that multitasking is an illusion. It does not make us more productive, if anything I believe it makes us less attentive.

Levitin spoke about decision making and the ability to make decisions. Taking regular breaks aids in our brains ability to think. Going for walks to ‘clear your head’  is actually phycological. Being out in nature and taking a break from work, people tend to come up with their best ideas then.

When speaking about overtime, he talks about how productive our overtime is. So 20 hours of overtime could only be 7 hours of productive working time. This is interesting for time management in college. When working on a project, I tend to spend longer hours instead of shorter productive bursts.

Brain extenders are something I struggle with in my own life. Remember to bring a book to class, takes up brain power. So lately I have been leaving stuff I need for the next day on my desk beside my bag. This process is known as externalise, like note taking. This frees up space in my mind. The ultimate brain extender is the technology in our lives, your phone. I feel we are too reliant on Google. We don’t learn off information because we can look it up again and again whenever and where ever. However once we search one thing, a massive amount of information is thrown at us. It is up to us to be selective about the information we receive.

I found his point about Information Literacy particularly interesting. That in todays world, it is not about getting the information, its about knowing if it is the right information and how to use the information. In school we had to learn ‘off by heart’ now, Levity suggest it should be more about what to do with the information you receive.

So in a time where we are bombarded by information, I don’t think we need to shy away or turn off. But more so be active in the sorting process of this information so you can be selective. Take a break from your work and free your mind. If you are able to do this, you won’t be as stress and your brain won’t be as stress