Saturday, February 28, 2015

your probably sick of hearing about it, but heres my broney post

Bronies. Kim Kardashian said she was going to break the internet, but if there was something that could break the internet it would be the Bronies when season 5 finally arrives. Bronies are an interesting sub-culture for several reasons. The Internet is a buzz with all things Pony and it will stay like that if the Bronies have anything to do with it.
For those who don't know, Bronies are a group formed around the fandom for the latest reboot of the cartoon series “My little Pony: Friendship is Magic”. To begin with I will tell you about my first experience with this show and Bronies. I am part of internet sub-culture and as I said the internet is alive with Bronies. It started as a huge fad and I am not the type who jumps on bandwagons, in fact I avoid them like the plague. So I avoided the craze figuring it would be gone soon, it wasn't. Finally a website I do frequent, the fail-blog network, got a new section dedicated to Bronies. This made me decided to check this site and see all the ways the show was being made fun of so I would have a working knowledge of the show and an actual reason to not like this stupid bandwagon fad show. The site was not about knocking the show, like most Brony content it is very positive. This is when I decided that I had to actually watch an episode, I may avoid bandwagons but I do not hate something for no reason. I went out of my way to watch one episode and wasn't oppose to it. Then I realized getting ready for classes in the morning that the show was on every day while I was up, so I saw another, and another, long story short, I still don't consider myself a Brony but I have seen every episode and own merchandise. I have found in my time as a fan that many started out this same way. But before becoming a fan there were other opinions of the show that I became familiar with too.
To clarify one thing, I am not a freak in the community for being a grown male, many Bronies are grown males and females, average age over 20. Of course young girls are also fans but much merchandise is now being marketed to the goldmines of nerds with their own money to spend. The fact that a show about colorful ponies being appealing to men has been polarizing in the media, and framed in different ways it can be seen very differently. One good way to see how big culture is right now that there are currently 2 different documentaries on Netflix dedicate to analyzing the culture and its effect on society. This being the case many are going to cover it in different ways. Negative coverage of the show can be seen on just about any major news provider, particularly the more conservative ones. The issues discussed as to why the culture is bad is wide. It turns out that Ponies is particularly adored amongst the gay community, there for some have framed that as meaning that the show is causing the spread of gayness. An especially  destructive frame which is almost the implicit reaction is that if a grown man is watching a show and dressing in cloths meant for little girls then the must have an unnatural attraction to little girls. These points of view, in my opinion, must come from people very insecure in their masculinity or who are scared of change. This is because they frame the issue in a very small way only used to push people towards following their own view on it.
If the Bronies could frame the show and their sub-culture the way they wanted it would be much more inclusive of what the show is about. The show is about friendship, and all the good things that we learn from having friends that love us. I don’t know about you but I don’t think that message is just for kids.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Stop trrying to convert me Soccer fans

I would like to say that I am a football fan, and I can get a little crazy about it. Mostly though I just get crazy around game time and when someone wants to talk smack. It’s a fun community to be a part of and an interesting culture to belong to. But like I said my interest is mostly in the game and experience. It is surprisingly therapeutic to indulge in that kind of mania every now and then. But I was just standing in line at campus coffee shop the other day and because I was wearing a Broncos shirt the guy behind me decided to strike up a conversation. figuring I was a sport guy he had to try to sell me on soccer right then and there because apparently the CSU woman's soccer team has a game in a few days, (or something like that, the pamphlet he gave me didn't make it with me out the door). I normally don’t care too much about people pushing their interest on me but this was especially annoying for two reasons. One: I have a few soccer fans friends who do this all the time, and two; last year was the world cup and no soccer fan I know has yet to shut up about it. one says that this year is THE year soccer is going to catch on in the US, just like he said  LAST year was the year soccer was going to catch one, and every previous year the  whole time I've known him. Last year was because it was the world cup and this year because it’s the year after the world cup and soccer fans think all the coverage it got is going to bring in all the fans. Here’s the thing, most Americans don’t care about the world cup, it’s just that there is little else we are allowed to care about when it’s going on.
There is a concept people should know about, a concept that the media dictates what we see as being important in our daily lives. Many studies have been done about how media affects us and how we see the world. It’s not just about the information we get on a specific issue affecting how we see that specific issue, it’s about how the trends in the news affect how individuals see the world. Local news has an overwhelming abundance of violent crime stories despite how little violent crime there is in proportion to actual crime. local news just have to compete for ratings so they focus attention grabbing stories and as a many think the communities they live in are much more dangerous than they really are. This is the reason why around World cup time it seems that the US actually enjoys soccer. When half of what one sees on TV or social media is related to soccer it becomes hard to talk about much else. I am obviously not a soccer fan and yet last year I too ended up in conversations about soccer almost daily. The trends in TV and news don’t go unnoticed, and people have a desire to keep up with current events. Thus even those with no interest jump on the band wagon so they have something to talk about around the water cooler and don’t get left behind
I really don’t have a problem with people who live by current events. I also have no problem with soccer fans in general. I am not saying it won’t ever catch on, this year or whenever, but even if it does I’m not a trend guy nor do I think I’ll ever be a fan. But please for the love of god stop reading into isolate incidents of interest as proof of actual trends. And please stop trying to sell me on soccer.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The racially blind and the new age of patroitism

I have an issue I’d like to discuss with regard to a situation which once happened and now is happening to me again. It has to do with a cultural trend which has finally gained a name more recently but has been around much longer. It is an issue with those who see themselves as racially blind.
I see the origins of this trend, at least in my life time, started after 9-11, (I know, I'm sick of referencing 9-11 for every social trend of my generation too, but here we are), and it is centered around people’s ability to speak openly against specific races and not have fear of backlash. Early on it was just against races seen as connected to evil groups who had hurt us whether they were part of it or not. However social pressure soon gave rise a new form of patriotism that included notions against anyone who was not what people saw as American. In my experience, being of Mexican descent, it was weird to have people who knew of my background carry a conversation with me and feel it was OK to speak so openly against Mexicans right to my face as long as the always made sure to put "illegal" before it every time,(which they frequently forgot to). Even if the issues they spoke of did not actually relate specifically to illegals or to illegals at all they felt confident denouncing Mexicans because they were a patriot and had their countries interests at heart.
 In recent years this has gained a name and a new face, people who feel it is OK to speak against specific races and it somehow doesn't make them racists simply because if accused of being racist they can dismiss the allegation by declaring that they voted for Obama. The notion that we have move into a post racial society where everyone should become blind to issues of color is an idea that has gained a following. However I have seen it used more often by people who have prejudice as a free pass to let that prejudice out. I say this out of experience and from a stand point of multiple levels of frustration with a situation. In a previous place I worked my crew got a new manager, and in one of the first conversations with the whole crew we had together the issue of race came up and he openly, adamantly declared that he believed it was right for police to hassle blacks and Mexicans more because they were the ones always doing something wrong. Him being my boss I decided to take less direct action against him and tried to prove him wrong and change his mind. In the process of this he managed to get fired the only other person of Mexican descent on the crew other than me. He did not just have a belief that there were social trends which were true and should be handled, he was a nearly openly racist but he hid it behind this colorblind ideology. Luckily I stayed above his wrath long enough for him to be found out as a scumbag and pressured out of the job. Now I face a situation with a new boss I have who sees himself as so non-racist that he jokes about race freely and doesn’t see it as a problem, even if the way he does it really is kind of racist. My issue is once again trying to decide on whether or not to act on this issue and how.  I made a mistake previously about whether someone just had some misled beliefs or if they were a racist and someone paid for it when I could have prevented it.
The colorblind trend is a weird issue to deal with as so many members of this group think they are on the right side of the issue, but some like Tim wise would say that acting like race is no longer an issue creates more issues.