Tag Archives: culture

Kids With Guns (2)

After my article on school shootings, I immediately wanted to do more, although it was relatively hard work, just because it’s not so easy to find helpful information. But I really want to dig deeper into this and find out more, find similar threads and patterns and ways the media deals with this. So, today, three more examples, all from 2006.

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Music Box: Gang of Four’s “Entertainment!”

After Marie Antoinette I couldn’t help but wonder, why I haven’t written anything about Gang of Four’s Entertainment! before. This is one of my most influential albums that is so bold in deconstructing our society and goes beyond the “everything sucks” ideology of many punk albums. This is post-punk, of course, and while there are other political albums in music’s history, at least for me nothing achieves what this album achieves. It’s angry without being loud, it’s intelligent and challenges the listener because it doesn’t provide easy answers. It’s simply brilliant, lyrically and musically. If I ever need inspiration for change, for doing something, I put this one on and get going.

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Kids with Guns (1)

When I wrote about the Marysville School Shooting two weeks ago, I discovered this list on school shootings on Wikipedia and it fascinated me endlessly. I wasn’t sure why until I started doing research because I wanted to write more about this topic. It’s fascinating to see that while almost all of those incidents are reported in the news, it often isn’t more than the initial “someone has been shooting at a school” report, but rarely any follow-ups. So it’s very hard to learn what was behind those shootings, to read about motives or reactions. I guess that’s not surprising for our media that it is only interested in the shock value of such news and doesn’t dare to dig deeper. Still, there are some follow-up articles and as I realized I might get obsessed with this topic because I endlessly wanted to look up everything, I decided to turn this into a series, focus on a couple of incidents and come back to that long, long list again (and again).

You can read the full post here.

Go Play: Escaping, Assassinating, Warring

Go Play: Escaping, Assassinating, Warring

I realized I look at so many different things here, movies, music, books, comics, etc., I should include something else. Sure, I could also narrow my focus, but I’m not good at that, I want the big picture, all of it. So, today I want to look at video games. Why? Well, just like all the others, they are an essential part of our cultural canon, especially (but not exclusively) for younger people.  More than all the others, they engage you actively in an activity, thereby shaping your ideas and values in a different way than other mediums. I’m not saying they have a bigger impact, but it is a more unique impact than just consumer media. Anyway, I think video games have a different way of portraying and transporting cultural ideas. So, I thought I face them now. Here’s my plan: I look at the list of upcoming games (from Wikipedia, all the quotes are from there), pick some games and see what’s there to see.

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Looking for Easy Answers in the Marysville Pilchuck High School Shooting

I’m always fascinated (not in a positive way) by school shootings, not so much because of gun control issues (that’s a given, I guess), but because I can’t help but wonder how terrible living in our culture one must feel to decide to kill others. Especially young people. You can’t explain it away with psychological disorders or video games because it happens too often and the perpetrators are too different to allow simple categorization. All of them have one thing in common (and this includes people who have been doing this decades ago), they live in this society, in this culture. The 14-year-old boy who started shooting in the school cafeteria in Washington on Friday is no different. He is different from other shooters and I wonder if that’s a reason that this shooting is not as publicized in the media as others.

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Comics Are for Everyone: 2012 Edition – Occupying Jokers, Transgender Aliens and the Web of Life [2012 Week]

As I mentioned before, 2012 had a lot of comics in it and I read many of those. So I thought today I spent some time flipping through more than 1,000 issues to see what is noticeable in those comic books. What, you say that’s crazy? Too much? You’re right, actually. I’ll try to focus on which current events were portrayed in some of those comics and also look at some interesting messages regarding humanity. So, the usual.

It’s fascinating to see how 2011 creeps into the comics of 2012, which is the fastest comics can deal with current events.

Batgirl #5 (Gail Simone, Ardian Syaf)

Batgirl #5 (Gail Simone, Ardian Syaf)

Detective Comics #5 (Tony S. Daniel)

Detective Comics #5 (Tony S. Daniel)

You can read the full post here.

 

Battleship [2012 Week]

 

(spoilers ahead! – yes, you don’t want to know if the aliens win, do you?)

Battleship. Well, how to start? This is probably one of the most ridiculed movies before it came out and it is basically impossible to take it seriously. It’s a movie version of Battleship, so what could you possibly expect? The story is absurd, the filmmaking is almost irrelevant, there are some moments that could be seen as entertaining, but, come on, no one needed this movie. It’s not the worst; it’s just dumb and unnecessary. Oh, the plot? Aliens attack, battleships fight them back. Liam Neeson is just there for the paycheck, but not for the actual movie. What else do you need to know?

You can read the full post here.