Posts Tagged ‘ society ’

Yalda T. Uhls: So You Want To Be A Star?

February 11, 2012

“This is America, where everyone has the right to life, love and the pursuit of fame.” — Ryan Seacrest, American Idol, 2010 In the new millennium, people face messages highlighting the significance of fame everywhere they look. Not only in reality television shows such as “Keeping up with the Kardashians” and “American Idol”, but also in popular fictional TV shows, even those targeted to children. After watching some of these shows with my then 9-year-old daughter, I grumbled about the drastic change in “values.” Worried that I was becoming one of those predictable adults who lament that things were much better in the past, I decided to test my hypothesis. This study, co-authored with Dr. Patricia Greenfield at the UCLA campus of the Children’s Digital Media Center@LA, was published in Cyberpsychology last summer. We found that in 2007, fame was the number one value communicated to preteens on popular TV . In every other year, fame ranked towards the bottom of a list of 16 values, coming in at number 15 or 16. Interestingly enough, community feeling (to be part of a group) ranked number 11 in 2007, while in every other year it came in at number one or number two. In research just published in Developmental Psychology , we next examined whether tweens were picking up on these messages. We wondered if the synergy between the fame-oriented content of popular TV shows and the opportunity to post online videos and status updates for “friends” and strangers created the perfect storm for a desire for fame. In our discussions, we asked preteens what they wanted in their future. Their number one choice? Fame. “My friends and I are making a YouTube Channel… Our goal is to try and get a million subscribers.” The above quote came from an 11-year-old boy who wasn’t interested in showcasing a talent — his only interest seemed to be in getting a huge number of YouTube subscribers. Given that these digital media invite you to broadcast yourself, share your life, and then hope for attention that is counted by number of views, likes, or comments, can you blame him? These days, it’s easy to see the phenomenal success of teenagers who achieved fame, such as Justin Bieber, or infamy, such as Rebecca Black. Kids, already focused on popularity and status, crave the virtual audience that they see bring so much attention to others. And the inexperience to think that fame comes easily, without a connection to talent or hard work. “First, I’m gonna take it seriously, play, um, travel basketball, and, um, I’m going (to) college for one year, see if I’m really good, and, I wanna be on a really bad team, so, I can be like the star.” Anyone else see a flaw in this sixth grade boy’s logic? Of course, these kids will get older and realize fame is not that simple to achieve. But what will they have given up in the meantime? This same boy later told us he didn’t care about school. Psychological research has shown that a focus on extrinsic rewards, outside of oneself, can reduce achievement motivation. Fame may be the ultimate extrinsic reward. In the 21st century, TV content socializes children more than at any other point in its history. Even though children today have a myriad of media choices, they still watch television an average of 4 1/2 hours a day. If the messages kids see on TV are about young people achieving great success and renown, it’s only natural for kids to start wanting this for themselves. Moreover with the rapid growth of digital media, children can now showcase themselves to an audience beyond their immediate community, using the tools at their fingertips to enact fame. Nevertheless, the pursuit of fame is embedded in the fabric of our society, in America — every person, no matter where they come from, is supposed to have the opportunity to become successful and achieve to their fullest extent. This is one of the strengths of our society, as long as it is connected to hard work, talent and persistence. So, rather than throw up one’s hands and say “kids today,” parents can actively work towards helping children comprehend and navigate the messages embedded in television and social media. First, model for your children hard work, effort and persistence. Teach them through your actions that success only comes from those who try, try and try again. Second, watch shows with kids and narrate your values; you can even watch reality TV that demonstrate the incredibly difficult work and talent contestants must perform in order to impress the judges (e.g. Project Runway comes to mind). And third, engage your children in some kind of community service or group activities. Even though many of our kids spend more time with media than they do with us (the latest estimates are nearly 8 hours a day), always remember that parents are still the most important influence in their lives. PHOTOS: A history of the top-rated shows for tweens. Go here to see the original: Yalda T. Uhls: So You Want To Be A Star?

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Kings Burned by Flames in Shootout

January 20, 2012
Kings Burned by Flames in Shootout

As the Kings started their just completed road trip with a Sutter Brothers showdown, they started their four-game home stand with a rematch. While the first matchup was a 4-1 victory for the Kings up in the wasteland of Calgary last week, the rematch was less than inspiring as the Kings lost 2-1 in a shootout. more › Here is the original post: Kings Burned by Flames in Shootout

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Geraldo TalkRadio KABC Los Angeles

January 20, 2012
Geraldo TalkRadio KABC Los Angeles

Geraldo Rivera is launching a talk radio show in Los Angeles with a politically moderate tone on KABC-AM 790 from 10am to Noon weekdays, debuting January 30th. Geraldo agreed with the Cumulus Media philosophy of a more balanced news perspective than is currently offered on conservative talk radio, so the 68-year-old television news legend signed a radio deal worthy of his award-winning journalism career. “Talk radio is setting the agenda politically, and that agenda is extremely partisan. It’s carving up the country, it has a strong racial undertone, and I don’t think that’s good for anybody,” Rivera declared.

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Los Angeles Porn Condom Law

January 19, 2012
Los Angeles Porn Condom Law

Porn movie actors must wear condoms to film in Los Angeles, according to the L.A. City Council which voted 9-1 to outlaw bareback porn production in the Porn Capitol of the World . Porn industry companies argue that nobody wants to pay for adult films to look at condoms, so bareback film producers are threatening to leave the San Fernando Valley and turn family-friendly Ventura County into the new porn capitol. What angers the adult film industry most of all are the random government inspections for condom usage now mandated by the Los Angeles City Council’s decision. “This is government overreach,” declared Diane Duke of the Free Speech Coalition . “It’s not about performer health and safety; it’s about government regulating what happens between consenting adults.” Porn filmmakers insist that condoms are not necessary because the erotic film industry requires that bareback porn actors test for sexually transmitted diseases each month when they are working. Others feel differently, however. “It’s a great day for the performers and safer sex in our society,” said AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein. “This is the first legislative body to take up the issue and the near-unanimous support is very gratifying.” There is also a push to get similar legislation passed for all of Los Angeles County, as well as San Francisco County, for all productions of gay porn, straight porn, lesbian porn and group porn. The new L.A. ordinance would deny film permits to porn producers who do not comply with the new condom law.

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Pet of the Week: McKenzie the kitty

December 31, 2011
Pet of the Week: McKenzie the kitty

McKenzie is looking for a new home for the New Year. She’s a four-month-old gray domestic shorthair kitten. She loves attention and is very inquisitive. McKenzie is available for adoption at the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA. more › Read more: Pet of the Week: McKenzie the kitty

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FOX News Blondes WAR!

December 2, 2011
FOX News Blondes WAR!

FOX News has stuffed so many busty blondes into their New York television studios that they’re turning the Big Apple into California.

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Elton John: Stopping the AIDS Epidemic in Its Tracks

December 1, 2011

World AIDS Day is a time for us to consider the state of the epidemic and the challenges we must overcome to achieve a world without AIDS. It’s a time to reflect on the fact that we ALL have a roll to play in ending this disease. And one of the most important ways we can stop AIDS in its tracks is simply by fighting stigma and homophobia. This World AIDS Day nearly coincides with the 20th anniversary of the death of my dear friend, Freddie Mercury. If Freddie were alive today he would feel very much as I do. He’d be astonished by how far we’ve come in treating and preventing HIV/AIDS since the frightening and tragic early days of the epidemic. But he’d also be saddened and dismayed to see that rampant stigma and homophobia continue to drive this disease. The devastating impact of discrimination against gay people and people living with HIV are clearly reflected in the alarming incidence of HIV/AIDS in the gay community. In American cities, as many as one out of every five gay and bisexual men is HIV-positive, and half of those infected are unaware they have the disease. Indeed, HIV prevalence in our community is on par with some of the hardest hit regions of the developing world. Also, new HIV infections are actually on the rise among gay and bisexual men — the only risk group in America for which this is the case. Clearly, we must do more, MUCH more, to reduce the incidence of HIV among gay and bisexual men, and that work has to begin within our community. In the early days of the AIDS epidemic, we rose up with our straight allies, claimed for ourselves equal rights and equal value as human beings, and demanded solutions for a health crisis that affected not just the gay community but every population across the globe. And it WORKED! HIV rates among gay men declined dramatically by the late 1980s, and we can be justifiably proud of our efforts then. But today’s statistics show that we have stalled in our drive against this disease. We’ve dropped our guard and become complacent, and in that void, AIDS is thriving in our community once again. Today, on World AIDS Day 2011, I’m ringing the alarm bell. We must WAKE UP! There are three immediate challenges before us, and we have to address them NOW! First, we must help our young people to combat the many negative messages our society still flings at gay people. We have to teach gay men to love and accept themselves, to value and protect their health and the health of others, and to join the campaign for our equal rights as human beings. We cannot be silent or invisible. The old slogan “Silence = Death” is every bit as relevant today as it was in the 1980s. Homophobia can be neutralized by familiarity and experience and compassion. Stigma can be eradicated by courage and pride and unity. We can begin to end AIDS when we empower ourselves. Second, we must take responsibility for our own health and well-being. We must get tested and retested. Too many of us do not know our HIV status, and that MUST change. Third, we must not let our federal and state governments balance their budgets by cutting crucial funding for HIV prevention, treatment, and research. Reducing or eliminating HIV programming today will cost us much MORE money down the road. That’s because these investments pay for themselves in terms of infections prevented, health preserved, and lives saved. Earlier this year, the National Institutes of Health released a groundbreaking study demonstrating conclusively that people living with HIV who receive effective antiretroviral treatments are 96 percent LESS likely to pass the disease to their sexual partners. In other words, HIV treatment IS prevention. Therefore, we should be INCREASING funding for HIV treatment programs, not implementing cuts, as many states are doing today. We have all of the tools we need to stop this epidemic in its tracks. Working together, I believe my little son Zachary and his generation can live to see a future without AIDS. But to get there, we have serious work to do. We must fight stigma, homophobia, and apathy. We must learn to love and value our lives and our health. We must be honest in our own relationships. We must get serious about the risky behaviors that have become commonplace once again in our community, and the negative messages that encourage this behavior. We must acknowledge the dangerous substances that are known drivers of infection. We must demand health funding. But more than anything, we must educate and mobilize young people to join the fight not only AGAINST the AIDS epidemic, but also FOR health and acceptance and love. On this World AIDS Day, let us spread messages of tolerance and compassion that are so critical to ending AIDS. Sir Elton John is the Founder of the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF). EJAF supports innovative HIV prevention programs, efforts to eliminate stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS, and direct care and support services for people living with HIV/AIDS. Since 1992, EJAF has raised over $220 million in support of projects in 55 countries around the world. Learn more at www.ejaf.org . Original post: Elton John: Stopping the AIDS Epidemic in Its Tracks

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"California" Tom Ugly

November 26, 2011
"California" Tom Ugly

“California” is a 2011 song about California by the electronic rock music artist Tom Ugly from Sydney, Australia. With a sound which many compare to Radiohead and Beck , Tom Ugly, 20, provides a rather straight-forward marijuana-laced vision of the Golden State in “California.” (This blog hears a few echoes of INXS in the ambiance of this rhythmic booty-shaker, incidentally.) “California, I never said I like it better California, although it’s true I like the weather California, the sun floats upon you like a feather California, and everything around you is hella stella La, La, La, La, La, La Land I want to go to California.” These are among the tamest lyrics in a song that dances on the ‘parental advisory’ line. “California” comes from the perspective of one who dreams of someday going to California but, in the meantime, meets someone who promises to take him on another kind of “trip.” The song is obviously geared toward the members of Generation Y , many of whom instantly think “pot” at the mere mention of the Golden State today. Considered a new anthem among cannabis circles, “California” by Tom Ugly is one of the edgiest songs about California to ever accompany twisting-one-up and toking. TOM UGLY

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U.S. Flag Illegal in California

November 14, 2011
U.S. Flag Illegal in California

The U.S. Flag is one step closer to being illegal in California, as a California judge sides with school officials who sent students home for displaying U.S. flags on Cinco de Mayo . Chief U.S. District Judge James Ware of San Francisco dismissed a case against Live Oaks High School administrators, saying the Morgan Hill, California school did not violate the students’ 1st and 14th Amendment rights when officials sent them home for their American patriotism. Outrage and backlash are resulting from the federal judge’s ruling. When four students wore U.S. Flag T-shirts to school on Cinco de Mayo, they were met with profanities and threats of violence on “a holiday for Mexico, not the United States.” One such student was approached by a Mexican student who shoved a Mexican flag at him, yelling in Spanish.

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Williams battling cancer

November 6, 2011

Singer Andy Williams attends The Society of Singers 17th Annual ELLA Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on May 19, 2008 in Beverly Hills, California. Originally posted here: Williams battling cancer

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Raw Police Video