With the destruction of the Maxima vehicle at the University of Albany, New York by students wielding beer and eggs during the pre-St. Patrick’s Day celebration says something about North American society. The fact that our society is de-sensitized by violence to the point of entertainment is a frightening thought. In this YouTube video, 2011 Kegs and Eggs riot and wrecked maxima, people are standing and watching criminal activity unfold while using their iphones to record and use later to upload to the internet. Entertainment by criminal activities is unacceptable behaviour. The “bystander effect” is a psychological term which may provide an explanation for this attitude and conduct. The diffusion of responsibility by each bystander assumes that another will take action and when this is not the case, then pluralistic ignorance may come into effect. This is when an individual looks around the group and because no one is doing anything to help, they assume that no one else perceives there to be an emergency. However, doing the right thing is more important than a tweet, Facebook comment, or YouTube video for entertainment. What if it were someone’s life at stake? Would society pull out an iphone and record it? Or do the right thing and take the steps to intervene or prevent the situation from happening?
Archive for March, 2011
This documentary centers on the individual known as Girl Talk. He comments on how people react to his music sampling and that rearranging these samples makes completely new music. The manifesto raises some interesting points; however, I do not agree with the statement “to build free societies you must limit the control of the past”. You must have limits or restrictions on the past to stop the resurrection of past injustices against individuals, humanity, and the world. As a teacher, if history is distorted then students learn nothing about social justice. For example, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, former President of the United States was felt around the world. In this picture, Lee Harvey Oswald, is seen as a rockstar rather than an alleged assassin.
Student viewing this picture would not learn the lesson of learning from past mistakes but rather would see this event as entertainment.
Girl Talk is an engineer who takes music samples of other artists and mashes them together. Girl Talk has technological skills and talents; however, he uses many and various other peoples’ art in order to make his mash. Why does Girl Talk not create his own music using the software resources available to him? Why does he not learn how to play a musical instrument? The remixer is an engineer with technical talents and skills while the artists’ talent comes inexplicably and without method from within. A remixer wants recognition for inspiration and creativity even though they do not want to go through the creative process. A remixer wants to turn the artist talents into a formula. They make excuses as a defense mechanism for not paying royalties to the artists and to justify their mashes. For example, Gene Simmons commented that he was making a distinction between charity and commerce in a recent interview on on YouTube.
Mr. Simmons referred to the “music business” and how a generation believes they should get their music and art for free. He also believes the chaotic world of post Napster hurts new artists as well as new fans of the music industry.
This is a complex issue which does not have a simple answer as promoted by Girl Talk and other presenters in the documentary.