Final Project

For my social issue, I decided to campaign for a mock documentary about how people cope with their own mortality entitled, Expiration Date: A Documentary on Death.

Expiration Date is a documentary series dedicated to answering the question: how do humans deal with their own mortality? in this collection, we do a deep dive into the lives of those who know when, and how they are going to die. These include: young adults with terminal illnesses, elderly hospice patients, and inmates on death row. Our aim is to find out what people go through, so we may create content that might help those going through similar hardships feel as though they are not alone. 

I started off by making a few posters, cuz what decent movie doesn’t have a rad poster?

This one’s my favorite

I created a few social media pages, which can be found via these links: Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter

I also made a GoFundme page to help fund the series.

Lastly I made a website to house everything in one space

I enjoyed this class a lot more than I thought I would and am gratful for everything I have learned

-Alexander signing off

Unplugged or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Quit Social Media

We are in an age of revolutionary social connectivity. At no other point in history could one person be connected so completely with so many others than right now.

If Kim Kardashian West wanted to inform her millions of followers, at 3am, that she couldn’t sleep, she could, and they would all hear her and respond. In fact she did, on October 6th, 2019. Incredibly, This seemingly vanilla tweet has garnered 20,000 likes and over 350 comments to date. I only know this because I am one of her many followers that liked that tweet.

I was up late scrolling through my feed, saw the post, and decided that this asinine message to the world was right up my alley content wise. So, without thinking about it, I pressed the like button, then a wave of ennui welled up in me. What the hell was I doing?

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What was I really getting out of this?  Kim wouldn’t know me from Adam, so we don’t have much in the way of connection. My handful of followers outside of my real life friends were not likely to care about my like, and even they would only make fun of me for it.

The same could be said for a majority of my social media activity. I don’t post much, and my consumption has little impact on my life besides killing time. Would it matter if I just deleted it all, and would anyone notice if I disappeared from the virtual community? I aimed to find out.

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I resolved to delete, or at least attempt to delete, the vast majority of my social media. The only outlets I would keep, are what I needed for school or work.

Once that was done, I would avoid communicating with anyone via virtual means. This included pms over websites, as well as text messages and phone calls. I was gonna get unplugged!

The first challenge came when I realized the sheer magnitude of social media that I was involved with. I had a lot of garbage to take out it seemed.

There were the obvious sites such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. But what exactly was the criteria for a resource to be considered social media?

The definition that I chose to go with, since “what is social media” seems to be a matter of some debate, was a part of the Oxford dictionary’s definition of social networking “dedicated websites and applications to interact with other users, or to find people”.

As such, the total number of mediums I attempted to purge was 38, covering 47 accounts, With 41 successful deletions.

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Youtube @Me

I was unable to do away with several accounts for some pretty frustrating reasons. For example, according to every resource I could find It is impossible to delete a Youtube account without also deleting your Google account . This is because your profile, and thus your Youtube, is created automatically when you create an account for any google service, so the two are one in the same.

Meaning that the Gmail I needed to keep for work and school came with a lot of baggage. Namely a video service, a music service, a GPS, a web browser, a data storage system, and lastly, the email that I actually needed the account for.

Outside of this, and a few other exceptions, I was completely unplugged. I was feeling good… for a short while at least.

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It only took an hour after I  had finished deleting everything for the first wave of text messages to come in. My friends had just tried to message me on Discord, and found that my account was no longer there.

They were very worried. I have had issues with depression in the past and they had come to the conclusion that I was trying to push those close to me away as a means of dissociating.

My best friend, Bobby, even thought that I may be preparing to kill myself, and was cautioning that if I didn’t respond soon, that he would be contacting 911 to conduct a welness check on me.

I was touched.

I was also terrified.

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I, of course, had to tell them what I was doing for their sake’s, even if I was breaking a rule. My friends understood, but still berated me for making them worry. They truly saw my going offline as a pretty big deal; and why shouldn’t they?

We primarily communicate with one another via discord. I’d like to think that we’d still be friends if I was completely offline, but I don’t think I’d be able to make the hour long trip to their places on a regular basis. If it weren’t for Discord, we would have drifted apart years ago.

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I received various other messages from friends and family checking in to make sure I was okay. Some family members thought that I was attempting to go off grid, or do a social cleanse. A sort of cocoon into a butterfly thing, where I delete all my social media and make new ones .My sister even thought that I was trying to cut her out of my life. Which of course is ridiculous.

I feel that this reaction in particular is indicative of newer generations attitudes of social media and digitally assisted communication. We see it as a requirement to participate in society, when really it’s not.

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Outside of not being able to talk with my friends and family as much as I wanted, the social media free life was rather nice.

I was able to focus on my hobbies more, talked with those around me more frequently, an even started going outside every once in a while.

In fact, I don’t think I will be returning to a majority of the sites I left, there doesn’t seem to be a need to.

Sure, I won’t be as up to date on current events or memes, but I find that stuff is getting less and less important to me as I age.

Maybe I’ll find something a bit more worthwhile to do with my time. God knows I’m not going to follow Kim K.’s Twitter anymore.

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Kim after I unfollowed

Dr. T’s Hip Hop Talk

Photo by Brizeth Silva

Students and faculty alike were enlightened last Wednesday, on the impact that hip hop has on Latinx culture.

Professor Tinajero gave a lecture on the subject as part of the UNT Dallas speaker series. In the presentation, he challenged the archaic views that modern academia has on traditional rhetoric.

According to him “the hip hop discourse of Latinx community is directly connected to the complex identity of this ethnic group.”

Photo by Chadrick Giddens

He asserted this point by giving three examples of rhetoric, and asked the crowd if they could understand what was being said in each.

The first was a Shakespearean sonnet, written in old English. About seven people raised their hands when prompted.

The second was an academic paper, very dry stuff. About six people raised their hands after Tinajero read an excerpt.

Lastly, he played the Snow Tha Product music video “Bilingue“. Only three people understood the entirety of the video.

The professor argued that this rap song should be viewed in the same light as the other examples stating “there’s value there, and it challenges traditional notions of what rhetoric is.”

Photo by Chadrick Giddens

“another reason it’s important to study Latino hip-hop is because it highlights what I call a multi consciousness of Latinx people”

Here, Tinajero was referring to the cultural theory posited by W.B. Du Bois. Where minority groups have to view themselves as both a member of a society, in this case Americans. As well as members of a culturally divergent group, in this case Latinx.

He uses artist Chingo bling as an example. Referencing his controversial billboard campaign where he placed multiple signs promoting his album They Can’t Deport us All. This sentiment is unique among South and Central American immigrants within the United States, and the Professor thought it an apt rhetorical display of multi consciousness.

Photo by Chadrick Giddens

In short, Tinajero feels the field focuses too strongly on classic sources such as Aristotle or Plato and places too little stock in modern examples. He goes on to point out that, as a minority group, the Latinx people struggle to find common ground with traditionally Anglo paradigms. If scholars were to put more effort into studying culturally appropriate rhetoric, in this case Latinx hip hop, they may be able to open up a more productive dialogue and gain a better understanding of this ethnic groups means of discourse.

Photo by Chadrick Giddens

After the lecture, there was a live performance by LowBrow Collective, as well as a Mexican buffet. Many found the Latin jazz styling to their liking, and complimented the group on the show.

Video by Makeya Mallard

Democritisism of democratization

I’m here to talk about the democratization of knowledge? what’s that you ask? Like you don’t already know fellow student of TECM 2300.

Honestly if you won’t take the initiative to find the knowledge for yourself, I guess I will have to tell you. The democratization of knowledge is the acquisition and spread of knowledge amongst the common people.

See, I even added a handy dandy hyperlink to the Wikipedia page that defines the democratization of knowledge. So you can learn about the subject from a 100% reputable source

What’s that? Wikipedia is not 100% reputable? Hogwash! just because anyone with an internet connection can log onto the website at any time to edit an article with whatever information they please without the requirement to back their information with a citation, doesn’t mean that a website is disreputable!

Look they even have a citation page at the bottom created by some of their more diligent editors

Lets just take a look at these citations, I’m sure they are 100% above board. Completely beyond reproach! Look, there’s the article we read in class among these

Let’s just give this a look see

Hm? wait a minute… who’s the author of this piece?

The completely unbiased co-founder of Wikipedia of course

Ah… one really shouldn’t cite oneself. Though the Irony is somewhat titillating

Look, I’m not saying that democratization of knowledge is a bad thing. I’d much rather it be around than not. I just think that we shouldn’t take everything we read on the internet at face value. Even seemingly reputable sites can just be a vicious cycle of information. This sort of thing happens all the time without over site. People will always claim to know best without bias, but that’s impossible unless you are a robot. And no one is a robot, I’ve checked! You shouldn’t even listen to me when it comes to democratization of knowledge to be honest. I haven’t spelled “democratization” correct once while writing this article; and that seems like a pretty important bit of criteria for someone to be considered an authority on any subject.

Basically, don’t trust anyone, it’ll just bite you in the ass. You can trust me on that.

Hangover Part Tattwo

Get it? Cuz the article is about the controversy between the artist that designed mike Tyson’s tattoo in the film “The Hangover Part 2”! and “two” is a homophone of “too”! Meaning they sound similar! But they ARE DIFFERENT WORDS! do you get it? ahhh… you got it…

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“Art”, I suppose

This is the tattoo in question. For those of you who have not had the privilege of seeing this speech impeded behemoth sock the jaw off of various, now retired, pro boxers. Also, for those of you who do not know of the controversy sparked by this tattoo, I will give you the run down. Basically S. Victor Whitmill, Tyson’s tattoo artist, claims that Warner Brothers entertainment stole his artistic property when they supposedly “copied” the tattoo onto the very talented Ed Helms’ face during the filming of Part 2.

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This sexy SOB (tattoo right)

Now I like me some tattoos, and I found this legal dispute to be within my top five litigations involving botched sequels of beloved franchise’s. So you know old lucky will do his best to serve up his half baked ideas as best he can.

For starters, I 100% agree that ANYONE copying art created by someone else, and attempting to pass it off as their own, should die of a particularly nasty bout of cholera. Artists work hard as hell and shouldn’t have to put up with some ass hat tracing their work like a damn kindergartner. They should be applauded for putting in the time it takes to make a decent piece, and the difficulties that go with working on it. This is particularly true for tattooers, as their canvases tend to bleed and bitch unlike in other art forms. They also have to put up with an unfair stigma that they are not real artists simply because they work on human skin. Ya boy has mad respect for those in the tattoo game.

However, That shit on Ed Helms’ face is not a tattoo. It is some black and red makeup made to look like a tattoo. The difference there in being, that the medium changed, and you can’t call it a forgery within the bounds of copyright if the work is done with a different material than the original. For example, If I were to draw the most perfect recreation of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” in sidewalk chalk on the back of a Target receipt. No one is going to claim that I was willfully trying to pass myself off as a mad one eared painter. Moreover, no one in the movie ever tried to pass that shit on Ed Helms’ face off as their original work, it is frequently referred to as the “Mike Tyson Tattoo”.

Even with all of this aside, according to copyright law, a person can only sue another person or entity if they have registered their work with the copyright office within 5 years of it’s creation. Whitmill did not do this, because he was an idiot.

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Cool guy Warner Brothers is not petty

Warner Brothers did not get charged with infringment by any criminal court and could have fought the Whitmill tooth and nail for all he had. Instead they through him a bone and settled the matter in civil court without a trial. I doubt they needed anymore bad press with the movie they made getting the WORST reviews possible.

So yeah, this just goes to show that people will sue for anything and we as a species are all greedy little apes who want to take everyone else’s bananas.

The Hot Help

Do you believe that married couples need to avoid hiring an attractive home helper (nanny, yard worker, pool cleaner, maid, etc.)?

Not only do I think couples should NOT avoid attractive “home helpers”, I believe they should actively seek out hot people to have under their employ. I will go through each job and explain my reasoning for why one should find an attractive person to fill the role over someone more plain.

Wow Ms.Karen, my newly developed hormonal based emotions are going crazy right now!
  • Nannies: Its a hot topic in psychology, the ever lasting controversy that people are attracted to their parents. This is also true for our nannies, who many view as tertiary parental figures. More over if one were to hire their nanny during a child’s formative years (during puberty), that may escalate the situation to the point where they are full on in love with the nanny! Regardless, I want my child to be attracted to people that I myself would find “hot”. This ensures that I don’t have ugly grandchildren.
Man, I bet he can hold that thing up for a loooong time.
  • Yard Workers: Muscles. Are. Hot. It’s a simple truth. I want my yard worker to have big bulging biceps that won’t quit! If he were to be a wimpy little thing, the boy may not be able to complete the laborious tasks I’d set before him. If he were to be a pudgy little porker, then the poor thing may collapse from heat stroke in the Texas heat due to all that extra weight he’s carrying around. No, I want my yard worker to be a picture of physical health and a monument to muscle. This is mainly so he can perform his manual labor more efficiently, but also so that my wife can have something nice to look at while I ogle the nanny.
“If I get one more beached whale comment…”
  • Pool cleaner: No one wants to see an uggo in a speedo.
Seriously is this still the standard in maid uniform?
  • Maid: Though I cannot speak from experience, the maid is a very common trope when couples decide they want to “role play” in the bedroom. Now, in order to keep this fantasy accurate, you’d need to hire a maid at least as attractive as your wife. Otherwise, all you’d think of when fooling around with costumes would be the image of Hilda McUnibrow unclogging the toilet for you. Hire a Sexy maid for your marriage.

At the end of the day there’s a chance that your partner may cheat on you. They will do this no matter what, because it’s not that they find any particular person more appealing, it’s that they find any one who is NOT YOU appealing. This is a problem with the marriage, not anyone outside of it. And one should not hold their partner hostage when making decisions because they think they may cheat. You should not assume your partner will be unfaithful! Trust them the way you want them to trust you, and forget your insecurities. You may just hire a better home helper that way.

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