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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Music That Puts a Smile on Your Face

This past week has been a pretty stressful week. Luckily the week has ended on a positive, and what was a stressful situation can now fade away into a memory. To help myself celebrate I put a Fats Domino record on my turntable. Domino's music... I can't say enough about it. It is almost impossible for me to listen to him without a big smile on my face. It's just happy music, and puts me in a happy place.

To help everyone get into a happy place, I present Fats Domino.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

New Single from Yeasayer

Over the weekend I was listening to SiriusXMU. While I was going about my business, a song came on the air that stopped me dead in my tracks. (I love when a song is that powerful to do that to you.) The new single from Brooklyn band Yeasayer called: "Silly Me".

The best way I can describe this song is old school 1980s New Wave meets LCD Soundsystem. It's dance-able, hip, and catchy as all hell. I'm making a bold prediction that this could be the song of the summer.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Do We Over Use Ideas?

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I'm currently reading a wonderful collection of essays written by Christy Wampole entitled: "The Other Serious". The essays primarily focus on "big picture" ideas. Thus far, it has been a fascinating read, and I encourage everyone to check it out. One essay I would particularly like to focus on is entitled: "The Great American Irony Binge" Wampole explores whether or not American culture is over using irony. (Spoiler Alert: we are.)

According to Wampole the primary culprit for this over use of irony is social media and the Internet. I don't want to go too much more detail pertaining to her reasoning for this hypothesis because I think you should read the essay. But I will say that Wampole does an absolutely elegant job supporting her hypothesis. It's truly a captivating essay.

I read this essay two days ago, but I'm still thinking about it. A single idea keeps popping into my head, and that is if people read more, particular books, would this problem even exist? With digital media, anyone can have a blog, podcast, or video series. Which is great. It's democratizing the media. But with all of the positives, there is a drawback that society didn't take into account. Creating truly good media is hard. It takes years of training and practicing to understand how to organize thoughts, the acts of stories, and which is the best way to present said story/idea. Just because you can do something, doesn't necessarily mean that you should do. That's one of the benefits of the "professional" media. Not everyone is published, or broadcasted. Theoretically this portion of the media should be the best of the best. (This previous statement is always up for debate.) 

So how does all of this tie back into people reading more. Well, since we now have limitless creators, we tend to spend more time on the Internet. We as a society are always looking for new ideas, forms of entertainment, and what have you. The Internet is home to the aforementioned, unfortunately however, it is also home to complete chaos and negativity. Thoughts aren't always completely organized or thought out. There's also a general nastiness that exists online that unfortunately can be contagious for a few. And quite frankly, the Internet is home to information overload. An individual can't always process everything that is being thrown at them.

A printed book is different though. It is only home to a select amount of information. And yes some of that information can and is negativity, just like the Internet, but I feel that it's a little more self-contained. Ultimately I think that the knowledge you obtain from a traditional book is so much more long lasting than information that can be changed at the drop of a hat. Case in point, I'm still thinking about the ideas Wampole presented in her essay. I cannot remember the last time this has happened to me with Internet content.

I don't think that we should completely abandoned the Internet, or that everything on here is bad. But it may be a good idea that every once in awhile we diversify how we get our content. It doesn't always have to come from the Internet.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

I think we are seeing journalism beginning a transformation. Maybe the era of "non-opinion" based news journalism is gone. I hope it isn't because I am a firm believer that the news needs to be reported in a neutral way. However, the news commentary of a few comedians is becoming just as vital as the investigative journalism produced by Frontline, The New York Times, and The Washington Post.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart was the first. Then it was followed by The Colbert Report hosted by Stephen Colbert. And finally we have Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. (It's funny how all of these shows are interconnected too. Spin offs from the Daily Show)This past Sunday, Oliver delivered a program that meticulously dissects the "Trump White House" run. It's brilliant, and should be shown to everyone. It should be talked about in every journalism and communication class. It should be shown to anyone who will be voting in 2016.

Oliver perfectly showcases how to research a topic, base your reasoning on said research, and then presenting your findings in an incredibly entertaining manner. Simply put, it's brilliant. I wish I could be this good at my job, as Oliver is at doing his.