Racist frogs and the race for POTUS

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The meme I’ve chosen to write about this week concerns both political ideologies from seventy years ago and ideologies in the 21st century. Surprisingly however these ideologies have many common characteristics in policy and beliefs. It is the Pepe the frog meme. He was created by Matt Furie as part of his fictional series’ of comics called Boy’s Club. The controversy behind the meme refers to the claims spread by the Hilary Clinton’s campaign that Pepe the frog was a symbol of white supremacy. The claims from Clinton’s campaign resulted in several other news organisations covering the story.

The beginning of what still remains as one of the most ridiculous parts of the abysmal Presidential election held by the USA is said to be dated to July 22nd 2015 when a Malaysian artist Maldraw posted an image on the website known as 4chan to those familiar with the darker side of the internet. The photo in question depicted Pepe as a smug Donald Trump overlooking the US-Mexico border, with two stereotypically drawn mexicans with a less than ecstatic face about them. I can’t blame them, I wouldn’t be happy entering a country where Donald Trump is President either. As 4chan contains a devoted audience the image didn’t surface far until the Pepe/White Supremacist gained popularity again in October 2015 when Donald Trump retweeted a photo of himself depicted by Pepe standing at a podium as if he were about to make a speach.

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The hype upon the internet wasn’t really covered upon a broad scale until deep into the presidential election. On September 9th 2016 Hilary Clinton was quoted calling half of Trump supporters a “basket of deplorables”. In response to this Donald Trump jr. thought it’d be appropriate to photoshop the movie poster for “The Expendables” but replacing the faces of the actors with people associated with and including his father Donald Trump. One of those was indeed Pepe the frog because that is what this election has come to. The writing across the text was then changed to “The Deplorables”. 

Following this on September 11th NBC new’s station covered the “story” if that’s what you can call it. Within this Pepe was described as a “popular white nationalist symbol”. That same day several other news organisations covered the story including the Vanity Fair and CNN. Which both made similar remarks concerning Pepe and mentioning him as a “White Supremacist meme” and “white national symbol”. Then going whole circle, on the 12th of September Hilary Clinton’s presidential campaign blog posted an article titled “Donald Trump, Pepe the frog, and white supremacists: an explainer,” which also labeled Pepe as a “symbol associated with white supremacy”.

I believe that no single group or ideology has ownership of the meme. Through sensationalism of the story and the gravity of it, it was covered by so many news organisations. It altered the perception of the people and made them focus upon a minimalistic fact concering the election. Emails leaked by Wikileaks showed that the Economist publisher Lynn Rothschild had advised the Clinton campaign in 2015. That honestly set off triggers in my mind to doubt the whole situation when the name “Rothschild” is mentioned. I believe this story was picked up by the American media as part of a light story to play down a serious political issue, the vast difference in parties within a democratic state. How that is supposed to work I’m not sure. But, people will ingest this news and become bothered with it because of implicit beliefs.

Coco Rocks! But not in the illegal way..

During this week in my Media Studies tutorial we were given the task of tampering with “Candy Wrappers”. We would take a photo with our phone and then upload it to photoshop, where the magic would begin.

With free reign to design my own little logo for “COCO POPS”, with multiple possibilities for puns I was spoiled for choice. However, they all seemed too mundane for my liking. I wanted my design to be at least eye-catching to make up for my inexperience with photoshop.

Playing on the connotation for “COCO” and the A-Class drug Cocaine, I thought this would at least give it a humorous feel. With the innocence between the brand Kellogg’s and it’s popularity amongst children, the contrast in meaning of the original and updated text warrants a surprised reaction and added humour.

The origins for the sentence “I’m in love with the COCO” comes from a popular song in 2014 by O.T. Genasis. The whole theme of the song is based around O.T. confessing his love for the drug, Cocaine.

The mix of these two, once thought would never have been. The contrast between this chocolate bar maker, made for children and this famous phrase coined by a rapper seems implausible. For this reason I believed it would be a funny and interesting way to manipulate this wrapper using photoshop.

Privacy

Using social networking and social media sites are easy ways to chat online, make new friends and keep in touch. However, there are some risks with meeting people online if you don’t already know them or haven’t met them in person.d1d1f9f6c26e9fd560338de8bccaa6dc

Privacy is also needed in the ordinary conduct of human affairs, to facilitate social interchange. The degree of intimacy in a relationship is determined in part by how much personal information is revealed. What one tells one’s spouse is quite different from what one would discuss with one’s employer. Privacy is even more necessary as a safeguard of freedom in the relationships between individuals and groups.

Everyone needs some room to break social norms, to engage in small “permissible deviations” that help define a person’s individuality. People need to be able to think outrageous thoughts, make scandalous statements and pick their noses once in a while. They need to be able to behave in ways that are not dictated to them by the surrounding society. If every appearance, action, word and thought of theirs is captured and posted on a social network visible to the rest of the world, they lose that freedom to be themselves.

These are the reasons I decided upon to have a look at the settings on my social media accounts

Blog; Blog; Blog.

Hi there, in my first blog I’m going to address the fact that I know no other bloggers. Or am aware that the people (journalists) I do follow have blogs now and I’m going to tell you rivetingly  whether or not I like them.

The first blog I’m going to look at is the Daily Post. Recently a blog was uploaded from the page discussing the fashion industry. The author was Ben Huberman and he named the blog post “Outer Layers”. During the text he discusses the words and phrases used to describe new additional trends in the fashion world right now. He traces the origins of these words and the comedic despair is real with this blog post. It highlights some of the bigotry available in the fashion world as well as the irony in some of the words.

A word Huberman chooses to single out is the word “bespoke”, he addresses that yes this word is used these days to describe tailor made clothes. But he also mentions that the word is very apparent in the sociology of why we wear clothes. “What we wear speaks for us”. His unorthodox method of addressing subjects is what first attracted me to look at the page.Outer Layers is the page, you should have a look.

The next blog I’m going to dribble all over is by Dena Landon with the catchy title of I was Taught to Hate My Lesbian Neighbours. They Took Me In Anyway. Beside the mouthful of a title the other thing that caught my eye was the small blurb of this particular blog post. It was clear the author was an independent thinker, which I appreciated. She wasn’t homophobic and the fact that her family was and that she didn’t carry on any implicit biases from them was refreshing to know.

The final blog I’ll mention is from Mary Holden. It discusses public education and is amptly named And So It Begins. Within the blog Mary discusses her bout with anxiety and how it affected her beginning her blog. She also mentions the relationships between herself and teachers and how she felt there was some sort metaphorical gap preventing them of being capable of understanding how and why she is herself. Her anxiety is prevalent as the reason for her precautionary nature. The fact she was able to overcome this however is the reason I enjoyed the blog and took some sort of inspiration from Mary.