Assignment Part 4

Part A

The way the user control digital tools and platforms to critically think about our contemporary digital environment is by challenging dominant ideologies that elites have created to be called the ‘norm’. Each video from McIntosh’s piece on “A history of Subversive remix video before Youtube”, demonstrate approaches artists would take to remix different media pieces to creating a message. What I found interesting are what each artist was challenging in our society today. A lot of the videos showed artists critiquing political norms that revolved around war and terrorism, capitalism and the reputation of a political leader. Other artists focused on gender norms and the roles of men and women in society that revolves around both heterosexuality and homosexuality. Artists also critique ethnic backgrounds that are believed to be the minority, while the ‘white’ are seen as the supreme to all beings.

There were two examples that I felt the artists really challenged the dominant ideologies in how society is today. “The Iraq Campaign 1991: A Television History” (excerpt) by Phil Patiris (1991) exploited how the United States are shown in the Iraq War campaign. The use of oil throughout the video demonstrates the USA is there just to retrieve oil for their people. The clips demonstrated that oil is a life or death resource for countries that get themselves involved in oil. The use of Star Trek clips portrays people dying f just from the natural causes of the resources. People also die trying to preserve it for their own country and try to keep it away from the USA. The end showed a family having a good family represent the typical American family in 1991 that are living in peace knowing that the USA will always be protected and do not have to live in fear and violence, while other countries around the world suffer because they are not the USA.

The second video “Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps” by Killa (2005) is an alternative perspective of the relationship between Captain Kirk and Spock on Star Trek. The artist portrayed this relationship to show a more romantic to not only target to subgroup that enjoy watching Star Trek, but to critique on the heterosexual portrayal that society is used to in shows and to promote homosexuality from gays and lesbians. It would be wrong if these two characters were seen as homosexuals for people in society when the showed aired, so developing a message that actors on screen can be portrayed as homosexuals and are accepted in society is the message the artist was promoting. The use of the song ‘perhaps perhaps perhaps’ demonstrates what would it be like if they did have that type of romance in a television show and what lengths would these characters show their affection.

One of the ways emerging/ social media tools can help critique older tools and platforms is to have clips from older media platforms within a subversive video. Throughout many of the videos that McIntosh showed are television clips from CNN, FOX, ABC because these media conglomerates are controlling the message to the public. Their view on society is always political and never about what is best for the people, rather what is best for the country. When you see these remix videos, they subdue issues that should be concerning to people and focus on issues that is created by politics to get the media talking.

These videos are hard to determine any change in dominant norms in society because these subversive videos are innocent. They do not really cause a threat to making changes to ideologies we are accustomed to, but they provide awareness of them. Also these videos are perspectives made by one person, and many individuals in society might not agree to the message they are sending and will tune them out. Youtube can provide to raising awareness of issue we have not heard of, but does not necessary critique about what the real issue is. For example, the KONY2012 video became a viral hit and created that awareness, but the cause was limited by the actual message of the video. Although Youtube can raise awareness of our way of what we participate in, how can you define participation in the digital environment?

Part B The Six Youtube clips

Part B

Video 1

99 Problems (Explicit Political Remix)

This video has explicit language that should not be repeated, but it does provide an interesting perspective about politics in the United States and on President Barack Obama. The reason this video supports Part A because it challenges our politics are now seen today. The United States has never had a black president and that is a different direction for the country. It does not always have to be having a white president for the US. It shows that you do not need a platform such as Youtube to change our perspective on politics.

The platform did not entirely critique how politics is seen, but raises awareness about what people can do about it. Although this is a positive outlook on ethnicity in the United States, there is negative discrimination Obama faces in the video. He will always be tied to the black population as how it is depicted as ‘gangster’ like. Although I might not think that way, it will still be part of how that community is shown.

Video 2

Read my lips Gaddafi and Berlusconi- by Johan Soderberg (2011)

A comical subversive video remix that shows Gaddafi and Berlusconi singing ‘Should I stay or should I go now’ by The Clash. Although it’s short, it gets to the point of how these politicians are. I am not that familiar with Berlusconi, but I am familiar with Gaddafi because he was shown all the time on CNN and what he did to his people. This one is different to me because it does not focus on US politics entirely since this was a Libyan politician and was later assassinated. The media made it believe that it was targeting the US because they would always use the term ‘terrorist’ in describing people in the Middle East and how the US would be affected. The video also pokes fun at the relationship Gaddafi and Berlusconi had and the amount of terror they did to their people. It critiques how people saw them, not by the actions that they did. I do not know what either people did, but they are characterized as bad because CNN said they were. I do not know their motives to what they do in their country, but it obviously is not seen as the norm according to CNN.

Video 3

State of the Union- by Bryan Boyce

The use of George W. Bush as the sun and Teletubbies to portray our world is rather strange, but it shows what our world was like when Bush was president. The video showed what Bush was to people a greedy self-centred president who really loved his oil. The use of his rays destroying the world showed how people thought of him and how his impact has changed the way people have lived. The way the artist showed George W. Bush might be painful to watch because he blew up rabbits, but that is what this artist thought he essentially did during his presidency. There was never a time where he wanted to protect our environment from harmful effects of drilling oil from our Earth. The fact that the sun was originally a baby and having George W. Bush as the sun could say that many saw people George W. Bush as a baby too.

Video 4

Everything is a remix: the matrix

The video shows the portrayal of the movie The Matrix and throughout the many clips, it somehow has a way to tie into clips from various movies that have already happened. On paper it looks pretty accurate that many clips from the Matrix are recreated from various clips, but my intent is to focus on politics in general. The message trying to be sent here is that although we hear politicians making a great speech and providing promises to their people, politicians before them have made that same promise, and most of the time it never works out. Rather than using recycled images to something new, people should try to be more innovative in how they participate. A quote by Stewart Stern says “any film is at the same time an expression of a writer and it’s an offering to an audience to create their own film” (Kreisinger, E., 2012). When you see film that does not show this, you get what The Matrix had. Although we never recognized these similarities between The Matrix to other films, that is the same with politics today.

Video 5

Mickey Mouse Discovers the Government Cartoon Conspiracy against Glenn Beck

Who doesn’t love Mickey Mouse honestly? In this clip we see Mickey and Pluto hearing the radio about the news of cartoons being part of a conspiracy and how they are governmentally funded. Although this was a remix, it made it seem as though Mickey was in a state of panic by what was heard on the radio. Glenn Beck, the person who spoke on the radio praised the artist who created this remixed video. “That remixed response- which built on my video to further the conversation- was ultimately much more a badge of honor me” (henryjenkins.org, 2010). It seems as though people are creating these videos because they voicing their opinion.

Henry Jenkins (2010) writes “ from my point of view it seems clear that vidding is not only an integral part of remix history but vidding practice can also teach political remixers an enormous amount on a wide range of practices and techniques” (henryjenkins.org, 2010). Although this was a short video clip and does not challenge any dominant ideologies, it does provide artists a different perspective on politics.

Video 6

State of the Union (2014 Political Remix video)

The video challenges what Obama has done while he has been president. Based on how the artist remixed the words to make it seems as though his presidency so far has been bad. Many people have questioned the decisions he have made such as Obamacare. I am not sure if that will exist when his term is over, but it’s a tossup on what they will do with it.

Other issues have arisen since his presidency. Jenkins (2010) writes “ political remix video can be a blunt tool that uses ridicule as a way to expose hypocrisy, illuminate tropes, and talk back to power- but it is a little larder to use the form in more subtle ways” (henryjenkins.org, 2010). Essentially the message is Obama screwed over the country. This opinion might not be agreed with by everyone, it’s an opinion and everyone is allowed to have one.

Reference
Jenkins, H. (2010) DIY Video 2010: Political Remix (Part three). Confessionsof an Aca-fan. The official
weblog of Henry Jenkins. November 10th, 2010. Retrieved July 6th, 2014 from http://henryjenkins.org/2010/11/diy_video_2010_political_remix_1.html
Kreisinger, E. (2012) Subversive & Political Remix Videos. Spotlight:EliseKreisinger, Pop Culture
Pirate. Retrieved July 5th, 2014 from http://politicalremix.tumblr.com/

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