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Posts Tagged ‘USA’

Little Moments of Freedom, Fireworks & Spontaneous Song

In 21st Century Culture, FOR YOUR CONSIDERSTION, I Can Sing!, Millennial Generation, NEW! on July 5, 2011 at 5:11 AM

Surprised, I See The 4th Of July Fireworks From My New York City Balcony from Gidget Widget on Vimeo.

I was late for the party uptown. I looked at the clock. I knew it. I’d miss the fireworks… again. Then, BOOM! I ran to my window to look out and to my surprise a perfect view. So, after battling with the door leading out onto our balcony, I stood watching them, a perfect view. I had my phone in my hand. I turned on the video record and then, for no reason, I started to belt out the “Star Spangled Banner.”

A piece of life captured in its moment. Perhaps, little things like this, go unnoticed. Yet, all together they add up. Each of us experience these pockets of moments, insignificant to many, but special for those who share them.

Celebrating Independence allowing for freedom to experience life, here’s a July 4th record by a young woman in New York City, USA.

Confessions Of A Multimedia Spinster

In 21st Century Culture, FOR YOUR CONSIDERSTION, Millennial Generation, NEWS AND COMMENTARY on June 18, 2011 at 9:49 PM
Saturday, June 18, 2011
 
NEW YORK CITY

It begins with only a whisper. Like a single spark igniting a firestorm. Holding Strategic Business Contingency meetings among their executive management has proven ineffective. What they thought was a new platform full of promising financial opportunity has indeed generated additional revenue streams, but their focus has been and remains OFF of the “little guy.” All it takes is the smallest catalyst to trigger a chain reaction the news media and corporate conglomerates fear the most.

Executives rely upon a traditional business operations model to work for this new platform: Managers overseeing Editors overseeing their roster of Independent Contractors, Work-For-Hire (the legal term is Work-MADE-For-Hire, but it’s now losing that very important word, ‘MADE’) and Temporary Staff responsible for generating the designated content for the product. These “little guys” are working under the same parameters they always have. For example, writers are contracted to produce content for the company under the same auspices as the writers working for Marvel or DC Comics in 1980. They get their paycheck and whatever intellectual content they generate is no longer theirs, but owned indefinitely by the company. Even if an employee creates a character or product that becomes a multi-billion dollar franchise, she has no right to financial compensation beyond her Work-MADE-For-Hire contract. Why do you think Jack Kirby’s family has been in a legal battle with the Marvel Empire for a share in the billions of dollars the company makes from Kirby’s creative genius?

High above the New York City street traffic, the corporate executives meet to discuss their Strategic Business Contingency plans, again. This time, they’ll have to face a double-edged sword. Or else risk exposing the sweat shops of their information entertainment divisions.

Employees hired to generate content for these growing Multimedia and Digital platforms are neither compensated, nor feel obligated, nor have reason to maintain Confidentiality as they did before. Non-Disclosure Agreements used to keep company policies and internal operations away from public scrutiny. But when hundreds of people are treated as expendable and with the nubile, job-seeking youth always in supply, the question for these media mega-giants will be how to save face when their former employees wise up and use the anonymity of multimedia platforms to air the dirty laundry.

What is the first corporate media giant you think of when you hear that a “former employee reveals how he was told to lie in his coverage, writing for ______ ?”

If you said, “News Corporation or FOX News,” then I am afraid you are too easily swayed by the media propaganda.

I am referring, actually, to this article about AOL: An AOL Content Slave Speaks Out

This will not be the last testimonial from a person who has been a writer or producer behind the “news” that millions of people consume every day. AOL and News Corporation are furthermore, not the only companies who operate under similar moral/ethical ambiguities as detailed apropos of this article. The truth is, THEY ALL OPERATE THIS WAY. In fact, it’s getting worse due to the online start-ups. The Huffington Post, for example, was a brand built and made profitable by the “little guys,” who in this specific case, were generating content for FREE and received little to no compensation or credit when Arianna Huffington sold it to AOL.

When I say the decline in journalism today has reached a breaking point, I mean it. It’s no longer publish or perish. It’s Spin. Whoever can spin the best story gets the most hits. The better the Spin Doctor, the more valuable you are to the corporate executives sitting in their Strategic Planning meeting.

Understand, what you read as news is really just spin doctored information produced with the intent to out-spin its rival multimedia platforms. Expecting journalism to be what it used to be remains more than ever before, an exercise in futility.

“Don’t believe what you read in the papers.”

It’s all propaganda. It’s all a telephone game. Wake up and smell the coffee–it stinks!

Recognize how the media itself is spinning out of control. We’re all caught in the Spin together. If the audience does not stop consuming what these media giants are producing, then they will suck us all straight down with their spin-doctored “news.” Do we want to end up back into the Dark Ages?

I’ve said it before and I will say it again. I will keep saying it until more people begin to realize it’s not a conspiracy theory, it’s a mysterious new dynamic in our reality:

There is a new species in the habitat and it’s not biological. It’s viral.

DEVELOPING…

Copyright 2011 by Kimberly Cox, All Rights Reserved

No Shit, Sherlock: Another Boomer Thinks Millennials Suck

In 21st Century Culture, FOR YOUR CONSIDERSTION, Millennial Generation, NEWS AND COMMENTARY on April 5, 2011 at 6:49 PM

New York City

April 5, 2011

Here we go…AGAIN.

This time, we’re getting it from HuffPo and a Mr. Michael Kaiser, whose affiliation with The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., makes him a powerful proponent for the arts. Unfortunately for our nation’s capitol, his personal feelings about the Millennial Generation make him a powerful proponent for pulling the funding from young artistic endeavors. Who’s going to want to finance a generation of drooling, ambivalent, self-entitled, adolescent Peter Pans, who have never, according to Mr. Kaiser, been exposed to “high art?”

I think we owe a debt of gratitude to Liz Maestri for responding to Kaiser. She gives him a run for his money and I encourage you to read her post today, entitled Join Michael Kaiser In The Fight For Youth

And of course, I had to respond to her excellent post. All of us need to champion another voice rising up against this regurgitated argument. Kaiser’s position is offensive not only because of what he says about Millennials, but also, because his talking points have no evidence to support them as anything but pure conjecture.

Can I get a round of applause, here? Will fellow ladies and gentlemen of the Bacchae, please stand up? Make some noise, hail Dionysus and antagonize this Pentheus out of his walled city to play….

SNAP! You are awesome. Thank you for writing a brilliant testimony. Excellent use of the classical method for deconstructing the reputed position, I might add. Ad hominem rhetorical redundancy, meet the Millennials! (And they say we’re all too dense to appreciate the arts.)

Very articulate, passionate and cogent response to this Kaiser’s HuffPo article, one I fear to fully read myself. Having a personal investment in the fight for my generation, it feels damn good to see someone else standing up against the senile and redundant rhetoric.

I’ve been actively refuting the Millennial stereotype since I saw the front page of January 2005’s TIME Magazine and read its “TWIXTERS,” Opinion/Editorial. The ripple effect of this Lev Grossman piece has been astounding. Six years later, reading about our (as in Millennials) ‘cultural-sociological evolution’ in the mainstream media has been torturous for folks like us but like candy for the elder generations, primarily Boomers. Even more frustrating, they loathe any Millennial who dares to write an article defending the stereo-type. I’ve tried. The effect is a wonder to observe. How seething with rage and sadly disenchanted people seemed, as made evident in the responses. Why such anger? Why the disenchantment? Why is it our fault?

The position being argued, despite all the circumstantial evidence and statistical analysis, remains offensively weak. In almost every article written, the same three errors in judgement appear. Unfortunately, people like Grossman and Kaiser forget what it was like to be 25 or 34. That is their first mistake.

The second mistake is the most egregious because its hypocrisy augurs a kind of transfered neurosis. Their own experience of transitioning from an adolescent to an adult is not a qualifier for negating the promise of youth, the character of a generation. On the contrary, it is a qualifier for an empathy that every generation begs of their elders. “I’m sorry, I thought the whole James Dean, Juvenile Delinquency, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Hippie Movement, and stuff, was younger generations rebelling against the elders who misunderstood them?”

The third mistake is one I cannot believe they keep making because it is so damn obvious: Technology. We are in the middle of a technological revolution that is rapidly changing our culture, our society, our environment, ourselves, but it’s not like it is the first time in human history this has happened (Guttenberg’s Printing Press? The Industrial Revolution?)

And if you look at our history, who has benefited most from these changes? The Arts. Every time a new technology is introduced, the elders quake in fear, predicting the death of one artistic form or another. Then, the artistic medium, apropos of imminent doom, proves how they underestimated the arts, yet again. We are better at adapting and surviving than given credit for.

Simple logical deduction reveals how our generation is facing an unprecedented and yet-to-be defined set of obstacles appropriate to this world we all share.  Um, is it just me or is this NOT rocket science?

#HeadDesk

It is not going away and is only getting worse. Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing such a powerful post. We need more people, more voices making noise in the face of this nonsense. MTVN’s and Reality Show’s depiction of American Youth/Millennials are far from the reality of who we are. Sadly, Kaiser is neither the first, nor the last in a long line of misguided, agist, tired old Pentheites. But keep in mind, they do not win their fight  against Dionysus and the Bacchae. For the same reasons Euripides’ play is still being adapted and staged today, the moral of the story has relevancy thousands of years after it was written. Some folks just never learn. I say, we take THEM to school.

(Does this Kaiser have ANY kids? Seriously, because if not, he’s insulting his own generation more than ours at times. My parents want their money back from all the productions they took us to at The Kennedy Center. That’s 30 years of patronage, times 5 seats per production, adding up to quite a hefty sum.)

Ring-Around-A-Rosie, Lay Me Down To Sleep

In Daily Musings, FOR YOUR CONSIDERSTION, HAUNTED, poetry on February 16, 2011 at 10:02 PM

#FLASHVERSE 02:26

Ring a-round a-rosie

Pocket full of posies

Ashes

Ashes

We all

fall

DOWN

Now I lay me down to sleep

I pray the Lord my soul to keep

If I should die before I wake

I pray the Lord my soul to take

God Bless Mommy, and Daddy, Grama and Grampa….

There was a turtle by the name of Bert

Bert the turtle was very alert;
When danger threatened, he never got hurt
He knew just what to do…

He’d duck!

[gasp]

And cover!

Duck!

[gasp]

AND COVER!

He did what we all must learn to do

You

And You

And You

A N D   Y O U !

[bang, gasp]

Duck, and cover!


Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o’clock in the morning.

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

Not with a bang but a…

~

~

So is the equal poise of this fell war.

Compilation by Kimberly Cox, © 2011

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No Shit, Sherlock: Darwin, Tech and Cylons

In 21st Century Culture, FOR YOUR CONSIDERSTION, NEW!, NEWS AND COMMENTARY, Uncategorized on February 3, 2011 at 6:24 AM

COMPUTERS AND TECHNOLOGY: Think It Won’t Change Your Brain? Think Again.

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“We are exposing our brains to an environment and asking them to do things we weren’t necessarily evolved to do,” he said. “We know already there are consequences.” –Adam Gazzly, Neuroscientist, University of California, San Francisco

From June 2010, Article by Matt Richter for The New York Times

And at first they were concerned about the lack of Classical Education.

More precisely, failure to adhere to the Trivium: Grammar, Logic, Rhetoric.

Skipping the Grammar and Logic foundations, curriculums began jumping into the last stage, Rhetoric. “This is why so many elementary texts insist on asking six-year-olds how they feel about what they’re learning, long before they’ve properly had a chance to learn it,” Susan Wise Bauer writes in her book, The Well Educated Mind. Explaining how the Trivium secures a student with a firm foundation of understanding, she makes a compelling argument apropos of how and why education has adhered to this structure since the Renaissance. The building blocks necessary for the mechanics to process information and apply knowledge are critical, she explains, and leaping to the last stage has affected our culture. “This mental short-cut has become a habit for adults, who are ready to give their opinions long before they’ve had a chance to understand the topic under study. (Listen to any call-in radio show.)ª”

Thus, many adults growing up in the late 20th Century think Logic is something said by Vulcans and Grammar is the difference between a verb and an adjective.

Dorothy L. Sayers, a British mystery writer, gave a speech at Oxford in 1947 proposing a return to the classical education and provocatively questioned how the loss of the classical “tools of learning,” manifests [ Full Text may be found here ] :

Has it ever struck you as odd, or unfortunate, that today, when the proportion of literacy is higher than it has ever been, people have become susceptible to the influence of advertisement and mass propaganda to an extent hitherto unheard of and unimagined? …Have you ever, in listening to a debate among adult and presumably responsible people, been fretted by the extraordinary inability of the average debater to speak to the question, or to meet and refute the arguments of speakers on the other side?  …And when you think of this, and think that most of our public affairs are settled by debates and committees, have you ever felt a sinking of the heart? …Is not the great defect of our education today–a defect traceable through all the disquieting symptoms of trouble I have mentioned–that although we often succeed in teach pupils “subjects,” we fail lamentably on the whole in teaching them HOW to think: they learn everything except the art of learning.

Within half a century of this speech, prolific Classical Scholars like Victor Davis Hanson refudiated the entire world of Academia by declining to accept tenure, substantiating his reasons most notably in the 2001 book written with fellow classicist John Heath, Who Killed Homer? The Demise Of Classical Education And The Recovery Of Greek Wisdom. Modern education systems had squeezed out the Classics to the extent where few Universities and Colleges offered undergraduate programs in the Classics. The world of Philology had grown into an elitist collective, reputing any new scholarship instead of properly refuting the compelling arguments made by the scarce, rising Classicists.

Meanwhile, Cable News spawned FNC, MSNBC, CNBC (et al,) and something called “THE INTERNET,” was evolving rapidly. By the time the Millennium came and the Y2K Scare was over, public phone booths had turned into urinals and 1-800 Numbers became www.ifyouaredepressedthengetfreepillsthatwillmakeyouhappy.com

Fill in the blanks between 1989 and 2010 with whatever historical event you believe is relevant, we’re still here today and we’re still facing The Law of Unintended Consequences.

If you are unfamiliar with the term, then I suggest you google it. (Please, if you use Wikipedia as a primary reference, find at least two secondary sources to substantiate what you learn there. If you do not see the point in doing this, stop reading now and reply to that SMS Message with, “IDK FML!”)

To summarize, the introduction of moveable type in the west represented by the Gutenberg Bible triggered a ripple effect across several centuries. Including (among other things) the Scientific Revolution, The Christian Reformation and an Agrarian Revolution which immediately resulted in the Industrial Revolution: The Law Of Unintended Consequences reveals how technology changes the human environment.

Students of Military History will note how the relationship between technology and tactics in the theater of war remain out of sync. Advanced weaponry rarely meets with an adaptation in military tactics and strategy, thus resulting in enormous casualties.

And at first they were worried about kids watching too much television instead of reading books.


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