Unproductive Revisited

Unproductive is a comedy-drama web series, which takes place in Brooklyn College, which is the college that I go to. The show’s creator was Professor Brian Dunphy. The show centers on students from the Television and Radio department. For each season, they have characters, both old and new, working on a radio show. The characters of Unproductive would often argue with each other, crack jokes, and try to resolve whatever issues they’re dealing with. The web series has lasted for four seasons now and will continue on with its fifth season.

When I got into watching this web series, I didn’t start with first two seasons. In fact, I started with the third season. When I started my first class in Television and Radio, I knew nothing of Unproductive until I was required to watch it. Though with a title like Unproductive, I could tell what the characters would be like. I watched the entire third season and I got completely hooked. I really like the show and the characters that are in it. Two of my friends from Kingsborough Community College appeared on the show. Stacy Brooke played an extra during the third season and Jonathan Dingle-El played a major character in the fourth season.

The third season of Unproductive begins with Roxy Midnight talking live on her own radio show. She is vulgar, rude, sarcastic, and a little condescending. She was particularly mean towards Kelly, who was the host of her own cooking radio show. My first impression of her is that she is a terrible person. But I was too quick to judge her character. In George Rodman’s Mass Media in a Changing World, Roxy would be characterized as a shock jock. Most shock jocks say terrible things that could spark up some controversy. For example, Danny Baker has known for saying things that are awful, which is what lead to him being fired five times. But that is not the case for Roxy.

During her show, she mainly talks about her distaste for today’s society and encourages everyone to follow their own path and never let anything weigh them down. Roxy hardly listens to anyone who works at her show, even Austin, who was the producer and a very close friend of hers. Austin mainly just bleeps out the curse words Roxy says on her show. Austin is also expecting a child with his girlfriend, Claire. Austin is trying his best to keep Roxy from doing anything that could cause some criticism, especially since Roxy only has three more shows to do before she and Austin graduate.

I kind of understand what Austin was trying to do. He does care about Roxy and she is going to the godmother of his child. Austin also spends his days at the radio station listening to Dylan, who is the comic relief. Dylan tries to pitch new ideas that could help improve Roxy’s show but is coldly rebuffed by Austin. Dylan spends most of his time chatting with Emily. Emily is, by far, my most favorite character on the show. I like her a lot because she is the kind of character I can relate to. I was very much like her a while back. I was timid, shy and nervous. And, like Emily, I have friends who supported me and pushed to be my best. Emily mainly just wants to help Roxy improve on her show. Roxy wanted what’s best for Emily. She wanted Emily to stop being a silent bystander and to speak up for herself.

Roxy wanted to do the next show about transgender rights. Austin agrees but only if she agrees to co-host with Michael McGarry, who is the captain of KMC’s basketball team. Although she was hesitant at first, Roxy agreed to do it. Later, Austin’s long time friend, Alex, offered him a new position as a radio producer assistant at 98 FM. Alex visited the station to observe Roxy co-hosting with Michael.

Austin then asked Alex, who is married and raising a baby himself, what it is like to be a parent. Alex compared parenting to the movie Armageddon. He said that a baby is like an asteroid that will destroy everything on an extinction-level. He’s basically saying that Austin will have a miserable life raising his baby. I started not liking Alex from the moment he said that because that’s not what Austin wants to hear before he becomes a father. And who compares a cute baby to a life-threatening event? As Emily stated herself, children are a gift from God.  After that scene, Alex became my second least favorite character.

When Roxy heard the news that Austin was offered a new job at the 98 FM, she became very angry and frustrated. But she manages to cool herself and prepares to co-host with Michael. My first impression of Michael McGarry is that he’s nice, funny and charming. Things appeared to be going well for Roxy co-hosting with Michael. Later, they received a call from a woman named Valerie who accuses Michael of drugging and taking an advantage of her during a celebration party. She reported this to Coach Crestwood and the administration, but they didn’t listen to her, so she decided to expose Michael during the radio show so everyone can hear.

Michael denies the accusation, but Emily found Valerie in a classroom and messaged Roxy, confirming that Valerie was telling the truth. Roxy then punches Michael to the ground. This was my second favorite scene from the third season. I will say, as obviously fake punches go, it wasn’t that bad. In an article from The Excelsior, Professor Brian Dunphy, the show’s creator, explains that they planned the sexual assault part of the third season before Harvey Weinstein and many others were exposed and even before the Me Too movement, which kind of surprises me because I thought they were influenced by it.

After the incident, Roxy was prohibited from continuing on with her show before she graduates, Austin lost his new position, and worst of all, the administration refuses to remove Michael from the basketball team. Roxy is so angry that administration cares more about the basketball championship than a woman’s life. Austin, angry and frustrated with Roxy, accuses her of being selfish and reckless. Roxy explains that she did it not do it for herself but for all the women who suffered at the hands of men like Michael. Austin confronts her not for punching Michael but rather for not thinking about the consequences of her actions. The conversation ended with the two of them refusing to speak with each other.

Meanwhile, Dylan and Emily try to cope with both the idea of not doing Roxy’s show anymore, and the administration’s inaction towards Michael’s assault on Valerie. Then, they find out that KMC community is forming a justice group to defend Roxy’s actions. They later appeared as guests on Kelly’s cooking show. Emily gives a really powerful speech and then she asked everyone at the school to join a justice rally.

This was my favorite from the entire third season because this is the moment when Emily finally developed the courage to say what needed to be heard. A lot people attend at the rally and Roxy felt so incredibly honored. Dylan and Valerie decided to do new radio show with Emily as its host. Roxy appears as guest despite be forbidden from hosting radio show. Both Roxy and Emily discussed that they wanted the administration to do something about Michael McGarry and not let him go unpunished and let everyone at the school know that they’re not alone and that with their help, they could fight injustice. Eventually, the administration agreed to remove Michael from the basketball team. In the end, Roxy and Austin apologized to each other and reconciled.

The fourth season of Unproductive begins with Emily preparing to host her new show. She is no longer the silent bystander as she was in previous season but she is still every bit as nervous as she was before. Valerie, who is now the producer of her show, supports her. Kelly and Dylan also supported her. Dylan role in this season is not as big as it was in the last season but his personality hasn’t changed. Roxy and Austin are no longer in the show as they graduated in the previous season. Roxy appeared in a very short cameo in the fourth episode.

The new characters introduced in this season are Trent and Winona. Trent, who was portrayed by my friend Jonathan Dingle-El, becomes the new captain of KMC basketball, replacing Michael McCarty. I think the scene that first introduced Trent was little odd. I find the whole idea that Trent was reading a newspaper while sitting in the hallway and then hides his face as Valerie walks by to be a little weird. Trent later became Valerie’s sparring partner and love interest. The scenes of Valerie and Trent forming a bond and eventually falling in love were the highlights of this season for me.

Later, everyone in the school finds out that Michael McCarty has plead not guilty for his assault on Valerie, which is not surprising. Cowards who commit sexual assault rarely plead guilty. When Valerie finds out that Trent is in fact the new basketball captain, the he’s essentially Michael’s successor, she was hesitant to trust him. But eventually, Valerie was able place her trust in Trent and the two later form a relationship.

Emily finds out that her show has been unfavorably received by a lot of listeners and that Valerie and Kelly have been keeping this secret from her. Angry and frustrated, Emily decides to quit her own show. After that, Valerie and Kelly find out that despite the negative comments that show has received, a lot of people want to know Emily’s whereabouts and are practically begging her to come back. One of her fans was even having thoughts of suicide. Upon hearing this, Emily decides to return to the show. Valerie then advises Emily to just be herself and to stop pretending to be someone else. In the end, Emily has gained an unexpected love interest, which I thought was weird because it happens to be her classmate with whom she barely talks.

After re-watching the third and fourth seasons of Unproductive, I can honestly say my opinion hasn’t changed. Both seasons were great, but the third season is still my favorite, because it delivers a really powerful message to the victims of sexual violence or any kind of violence. And I really love the character of Roxy Midnight. Although she is rude and reckless, she fights for what she believes is right. She also demonstrates that no one should get away with hurting people, even if he is a star player or a famous celebrity. And of course, Emily is still my favorite character. I hope get to see more of her in the next season of Unproductive.

References:

Rodman, George (2004). Mass Media in Changing World (4th Edition). Brooklyn College of CUNY

https://aidannoyes.home.blog/2019/03/31/unproductive-season-3-4/

Advertisements

Se7en

Seven begins with detective William Somerset being partnered with newcomer David Mills. Mills just moved into the city with his wife, Tracy, who is pregnant. Mills is impatient and arrogant, but he takes his job seriously. Somerset was planning to retire in a week. Somerset and Mills investigate a crime scene. They find a morbidly obese man who appeared to have died eating until his stomach ruptured. They examined the body and they believe that man was forced to excessively eat by another man. At the crime scene, they also found the “gluttony” written in grease. On the next day, a defense attorney was found dead in his office after a pound of flesh was taken from his body. They also found the word “greed” written in blood. They begin to realize that the murders are inspired by the seven deadly sins. The obese man represents gluttony and the attorney represents greed. They begin to expect five more murders to come. The photographs found in the crime scenes indicate that the murders were planned beforehand. Somerset decides help solve this case and catch this killer before he retires. With the clues they gathered from crime scenes, they were able to find suspect. When they go to his apartment, they found another victim, a drug addict who represents sloth. Somerset and Mills then begin to use library records to identify and locate a John Doe. When they arrived at his apartment, Doe was able to escape. They investigate his apartment and it turns out John Doe was the photographer they’ve encountered before. After that, they found another victim, a prostitute who represents lust. Doe forced a man to kill her by raping her with a bladed strap-on. On the next day, they investigate another victim, a model with a disfigured face who represents pride. Then, all of sudden, Doe turns himself in. He was covered in blood, indicating he has killed another. He offers to lead them to final two victims, confess to his crimes, and plead guilty. Doe lead the detective to a deserted area, and then they received a delivery box. Inside the box was the severed head of Mill’s pregnant wife, Tracy. Doe then explains to Mills that he himself represents envy and his wife died as a result of it. Somerset explains to Mills that Doe wants Mills to kill him and represent the final sin; wrath. But Mills, devastated by his wife’s death, gives in to a wrathful state and shoots Doe, completing his work. In the end, Mills was taken into custody and Somerset offers to stick around. I really enjoy watching this movie. It was creepy and disturbing but really interesting. I like watching movies or television shows that involve detective work. I think it was so well written and story is very organized. The acting performances was also really good, especially Kevin Spacey, even though I can’t stand him after his sexual misconduct allegations in 2017. The music score by Howard Shore was amazing. I am a huge fan of his work on the music of Lord of the Rings. If I had to pick a favorite scene, it would be the sloth victim scene. I always like to be scared and the jump scare in this scene really caught me by surprise.

Radio Talk and Spotlight

Talk Radio takes place in Dallas, Texas. The film centers on Barry Champlain, who is a Jewish radio personality in his own show, Night Talk. Barry’s show is very popular in Texas. Barry is a very complex character. He is shown to very funny and very smart. However, he is also rude, condescending, and sarcastic. Whenever he receives a call from someone, he has a habit of using his sharp wit to outsmart them and then cut them off whenever they try to say something to defend themselves. Barry has lot of listeners, but not all them are big fans of him. Some of his listeners appreciate him for his personality and there are those who despise him for his view of the world. He does receive calls from various hate groups, including anti-Semitic groups. They call to insult his Jewish heritage. Barry receives life-threatening messages from his hateful listeners. But despite these threats, Barry doesn’t get intimidated. Barry is a perfect example of a shock jock. In George Rodman’s Mass Media in a Changing World, shock jocks are radio personalities who derive humor and ratings from tasteless comments. They often use tactics such as vulgarity, racism, sexism, and cynicism. And that’s exactly what Barry does in his show and it’s also why it’s so successful. But Barry wasn’t always like this. During a flashback sequence, he started off as suits salesman. Barry’s personality was also quite different. He was rather amiable and easy to get along with. But then, he was offered to appear as a guest during a radio show. He used his sense of humor and intelligence and quickly became recognized in the radio business. But as he grew more attached to radio, his personality started to change. He became more arrogant and conceited, and his marriage with his wife, Ellen, began to fall apart. Barry behaves like a shock jock not only to his callers, but also to his co-workers, his producer who is also his girlfriend, and even his boss. When Night Talk was offered a chance to go nationwide, everyone tries to tell Barry to behave himself, but he never truly listens to them. Then on the next day, Barry suffers a nervous breakdown and screams at his listeners. That unwittingly grants his show a highly rated segment. Barry’s boss informed him that they will go national. At the end of the film, Barry was shot to death by one his haters. I find this film to be very interesting. It definitely shows us how the radio business works. I also find the character of Barry to very intriguing. As a mentioned before, he is a complex character. Most people like complex characters. Despite all of his negative traits, he is shown to have a caring and concerning side. He tries to talk a caller out of raping a woman. Even though he may behave and talk like a terrible person, I believe that Barry has a moral compass.

Spotlight takes place in Boston, in 2001. Marty Baron urges a team of journalists from the Boston Globe named “Spotlight” to investigate the allegation of the Catholic Church starting with the sexual misconduct of John Geoghan. They received skepticism from their families, friends, and allies since they were essentially planning on suing the Catholic Church. They reached out to Mitchell Garabedian, a lawyer who believed that Cardinal Law knew that Geoghan was sexually abusing children and did nothing about it. One by one, they interviewed several survivors of sexual abuse. They’ve met Phil Saviano, who is the head of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).  Throughout their research, they counted up to 87 priests who have been accused and then re-assigned to different parishes. Later, Mike Rezendes learns from Garabedian that there were documents available publicly that could help the Spotlight team to write down their story and expose Cardinal Law’s inaction towards these allegations. Rezebdes suggested that hey run the story now or the evidence could be taken from them but Walter Robinson, the editor, wanted a story that takes down not only Cardinal Law but also the entire system as well. Towards the end, the Spotlight team was able to publish their story. They received numerous of calls from victims of abusive priests. Cardinal Law was finally exposed and resigned and relocated to Rome. 249 priests were publicly accused of sexual abuse within the Boston Archdiocese. The film ends with a huge list of places where abuse scandals have been uncovered in various places around the world. Back in 2015, my father suggested that we see this movie in theaters, I can tell you, it was worth it. Spotlight is amazing film. It won an Academy Award for Best Picture for good reason. It sends a really powerful message to the victims of sexual abuse and their abusers. It also demonstrates how journalism and newspapers can have a great impact on society as well. I liked all the characters but if I had to choose a favorite, I would pick Mike Rezendes because Mike, like most members of the Spotlight team, was devoted to exposing the Catholic Church and to giving the abused victims the justice they deserve. Comparing Mike from Spotlight and Barry from Talk Radio would be very difficult because they are completely different characters with different personalities. But if there is one thing they have in common, it would be that they’re both optimistic about their work and they are both determined to continue with their careers. And more importantly, their story is received nationally, whether by radio or newspaper, voice or print.

References:

Rodman, George (2004). Mass Media in Changing World (4th Edition). Brooklyn College of CUNY

Net neutrality in the News

Net neutrality is the idea that all internet service providers (ISP) must provide access to all content and application at the same speed regardless of the source, without discriminating or blocking the content. This concept was highly respected by everyone around the world. Many websites and companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Netflix benefitted because of net neutrality. But yet there are those who are against this idea. In 2017, the Federal Communication Commission sought to dismantle this concept. If the FCC gets it’s way, this idea which helps provide free access to the internet will cease to exist.

Net neutrality is supported by most people and even by major technology companies. Most of them believe they wouldn’t prosper if it weren’t for this concept. In Last Week with John Oliver, John Oliver describes net neutrality as “boring” but he understands why net neutrality is so important because many smaller companies come into existence because of free access to the internet. Facebook, for instance, started off small and grew remarkably. It even managed to best its rival MYSpace. And that’s in part because Facebook had free access to the internet and was able become the most popular and successful social network in the world. John Oliver’s video influenced many people to support net neutrality and write negative internet comments about the FCC. Even the Obama administration recognized the importance of net neutrality, which is why they enforced new rules, which protect net neutrality from the FCC. But unfortunately, not all problems go away easily. The Trump administration appointed Ajit Pai as the new head of FCC and they repealed the Obama-era rules that protect net neutrality. John Oliver did another show about net neutrality facing the same problem in 2017 during the Trump-era.

A YouTube video by Vox explains that certain ISPs like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T greatly opposed the concept of net neutrality because they can’t charge the users extra for getting data on their phones or computers. Now since the FCC repealed the net neutrality rules, they can. But without net neutrality, new ISPs may be blocked, or slowed down, or be charged as a result. Another YouTube video by the BBC, shows an example of what will happen when there is no net neutrality. In 2014, Netflix’s streaming speed was beginning to drop and only by agreeing to pay Comcast more money, they were able to solve the problem. But it also means that subscribers to Netflix would have to pay more. I think both of these videos definitely help explain why net neutrality is important. But I think video from Vox gives us a clear and more detailed explanation of net neutrality, while the BBC version is much harder to follow.

In an article on Motherboard, it explains how the head of FCC; Ajit Pai has failed to prove the positive outcome he promised with the removal of net neutrality. He made false promises that new jobs would be made and broadband access would be boosted. He kept saying these words multiple times and that’s what they are; just words. In fact, many different companies are struggling to improve on their investments. For example, both Verizon’s and AT&T’s investments are expected to decrease in 2019.

At first, I didn’t know anything about net neutrality or how important it is. But after watching these videos and reading these articles, I now know exactly what it is and how significant it is. I say that net neutrality is an important protection for the public interest. Many people have prospered because of it. I do hope that somehow the net neutrality rules will be restored.

References:

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/gyab5m/its-now-clear-none-of-the-supposed-benefits-of-killing-net-neutrality-are-real

Unproductive: Season 3 & 4

After watching the third and fourth season of the web series Unproductive, I must say I was really intrigued. I really enjoyed watching both of the seasons. The show is about different groups of students working on a Brooklyn College radio show. In each season, they work on the show, they argue a lot, dealt with issues as the series progress, and in the end, the students resolve the issues and everything returned to normal. The show was well written. The character development was compelling. The acting performances were excellent. I also liked the fact that it was shot at Brooklyn College.

The third season of Unproductive tells the story of Roxy Midnight, a student who hosts her own radio show. She mainly talks about the negativity of the world and encourages people to fight for their own freedom. In George Rodman’s Mass Media in a Changing World, Roxy would be described as a shock jock, which is a “radio personality who derives humor and ratings from lewd and tasteless comments”. Austin, who was the producer of the show and Roxy closest friend, does his best to make sure Roxy doesn’t do anything too controversial. Dylan, who is the comic relief, tries to pitch new ideas for the show but no one takes him seriously. Emily, who is often very quiet and too shy to say what she wants to say. Roxy encourages Emily to step up and have to the courage to say what needs to be said. One day, Roxy agreed to co-host with Michael McGarry, who was a KMC basketball player. During the show, they received a call from Valerie, who accuses Michael of drugging and forcing himself on her during a party. Upon hearing this shocking revelation, Roxy, without hesitation, punches Michael to the ground. After that, Roxy was suspended and forbidden to continue on with her show. While under investigation, Michael was not removed from the basketball team. Roxy and Austin had a bitter falling out. Roxy defended herself by saying that men who commit sexual assault should not be allowed to get away with it. Austin berates her for not thinking about the consequences of her actions. In the end, it all worked out for everyone. Many students rise in revolt against the administration for refusing to remove Michael. Roxy received the recognition and respect she deserves after what she did to Michael, Austin reconciles with Roxy, Dylan became the new producer, Emily became the host for the new show, and more importantly Michael was removed from the basketball team following the revelation of his assault on Valerie.

I really enjoyed this season, even more so than the fourth season. I think that this season sends a powerful message to the victims of sexual violence. With the exception of Michael and Alex, I really liked all the characters in the show. I think that the character of Roxy was very well developed. Although Roxy may appear to be vulgar and a little reckless, she is an amazing character. She is proud, strong, passionate, and loyal to a fault. But my favorite character of the show is definitely Emily. Emily is the kind of character I can relate to. Like me, she was a little timid, shy and quiet. My favorite moment from the show is when Emily has finally developed the courage to speak on the show and stopped being the silent bystander. Emily has saved the show and convinces the administration to remove Michael from the basketball team. In the fifth episode of the third season, a friend of mine named Stacy Brooke, appeared briefly as extra. She was cheering for Roxy when she entered into the room full of supporters. Her line was “Justice for Roxy!”.

During the fourth season of Unproductive, much has changed. Emily is now the host of new radio show and Valerie is the new producer. Although Emily is now much more brave and more determined than she was in the previous season, she’s the same nervous person she was before. But she still has Valerie, Dylan and Kelly to support her. Valerie developed a romantic interest in Trent, who was offered the position of captain in the basketball team. Later, Valerie found out that Kelly had been deleting negative comments about Emily’s show in order to spare Emily the criticism. But Emily eventually found about the comments and how people truly feel about her show and she decided to quit. In the end, Emily finds out from Valerie and Kelly that when she left her show, many people were begging her to come back and even one was having suicidal thoughts. In response, Emily decides to return to her show, but this time, she is following Roxy’s advice, she going to be herself and not another person. As I stated before, liked the third season better than the fourth season, but I still enjoyed watching this season. Emily is still my favorite character. I liked how they give Valerie a much larger role than she had in the previous season. My favorite moment from the fourth season is when Valerie become romantically linked with Trent. Trent was portrayed by Jonathan Dingle-El, who is friend of mine. I met Jonathan at Kingsborough Community College. Now we both go to Brooklyn College, which is where they shoot Unproductive.

References:

Rodman, George (2004). Mass Media in Changing World (4th Edition). Brooklyn College of CUNY

Vincent and Mark: Rebels with a Cause

Gattaca takes place in a so-called “not-too-distant future”. It tells a story about a man named Vincent Freeman, who wishes to travel in space and see the stars. But unfortunately, due to his poor health and genes, he cannot hope to accomplish his life-long dream. In the film, humanity has developed a new form of discrimination: genetic discrimination. It is mentioned in the film that genetic discrimination is illegal, but it doesn’t look that way. People who are conceived from genetic selection are known as “valids”, while those who are conceived naturally, with a high probability of getting a few genetic disorders are known as “invalids”. The film’s main protagonist, Vincent Freeman, who was conceived naturally and born with a couple of medical disorders, including a 99% probability of a heart disorder and a life expectancy of 30.2 years. But despite his status in life, he manages to achieve his life long dream at the very end of the film. During his youth, Vincent manages to beat his younger brother, Anton, in a game of chicken. Anton, who was conceived from genetic selection, was believed to be genetically superior to Vincent in many ways, but yet he was outsmarted and beaten by his supposedly weaker brother. Since then, Vincent believes that despite being an invalid, he was destined to do great things. He’s taken an interest in space and wanted to leave the planet so he can see the stars. However, due to being an invalid, he would never get the opportunity to travel in space. For years, Vincent worked as a janitor at Gattaca, the space flight program. One day, he was given a chance to pose as a valid. He collaborated with Jerome Morrow, a crippled former professional swimmer. Using Jerome’s hair, blood and urine samples, Vincent was able to conceal is identity and pose as Jerome Marrow. He was able to seek employment at Gattaca. He was assigned as navigator on a space mission to one of Saturn’s moons, Titan. Then, all of sudden, the mission director was brutally murdered. Vincent was on the verge of being exposed but he manages to escape the investigation. At the end of the film, Vincent finally achieved what he wanted to for so long. Despite being born with hearts problems and genetic disorders, he managed to beat the odds. He got on board the spaceship and was launched into space for the first time.

Pump up the Volume takes place in Phoenix, Arizona. It tells a story about a high school student named Mark Hunter. Mark is an anti-social outsider. He argues with his parents a lot, he doesn’t have any friends, he doesn’t have a girlfriend, and he appears to hate everyone and everything. But he appears to hate his own school most of all. In secret, Mark runs his pirate radio station every night. He goes by the name “Hard Harry” or ”Happy Harry Hard-On”. He puts on popular songs and mainly expresses his displeasure for the American society. He also goes into detail about how awful his own school is and how corrupt the staff are. Mark’s fellow students tune in to hear what he has to say. They have no idea who Hard Harry really is. Mark uses a harmonizer to make his voice sound different. Little does he know, Mark radio station has become very popular among the other students, even one the teachers. Later, Mark’s radio station starts to cause so much trouble in the community that the FCC is called in to investigate. Mark fells that his own radio station is causing more harm than good, and he is tempted to stop but his fellow students, especially the girl who would later become his love interest, encourage him to continue with his radio show. Towards the end of the film, the school’s principle was finally exposed for expelling students with below average grades, whom she refers to as “problem students”. As a result, she was fired. In the end, Mark and Nora were caught by the FCC and arrested. But as they were taken away, many students were cheering for him and encouraging him to never give up. As the film fades black, numerous voices from different radio stations are heard all around the world, heavily hinting that Mark has inspired many people after the incident. I’ve spent my free hours watching these two movies in one day and let me tell you, it was worth it. I really like both of the films. Gattaca was really interesting. I like how it shows that a person can reach to the top of the world or even go to space despite his or her genetic status. Vincent has definitely beaten the odds. My favorite moment from the movie is when Vincent beat his brother Anton in the game of chicken for the first time. But I think that Pump up the Volume was best of both films. I really enjoyed this one most of all. I like how it shows that even one person, a loner, can make a difference to an entire community and inspire so many others. My favorite moment in the movie is when Mark played the song “Scenario” by the Beastie Boys. He’s played many great songs through out the film but this one is rare because the song was so controversial, they couldn’t include it on their first album Licensed to Ill. My second favorite part of the movie is how Mark used a Superman to Clark Kent persona. As Hard Harry, he shows his real face and expresses how he truly feels about the world. But as Mark he puts on glasses and he looks totally different. Most people find the idea of Superman wearing glasses to conceal his identity to be very weird and silly, but this shows that in a way, it kind of works. The one thing I found interesting about the film is that it shows media can have a great impact on society. In George Rodman’s Mass Media in a Changing World, it shows several theories that explain and predict behavior. The film uses a few of these theories. One example is powerful-effects theory, which predicts that media will have a swift and potent influence. Mark’s radio station inspires and influences everyone by the end of the film. Another example is the cultivation theory, which is a theory that media can shape how people view of the world. In the film, Mark changes the perception of people’s view of the world and their own community. The protagonists of both of these films are similar. While their paths are completely different, both Vincent and Mark were looked down on by society. But that didn’t stop them from achieving what they want to achieve.

Rodman, George (2004). Mass Media in Changing World (4th Edition). Brooklyn College of CUNY

Superman or Clark Kent?

I didn’t think very highly on journalists when I was young, mostly because I don’t read newspapers. I mostly read from books, magazines, or articles from the Internet, but never a newspaper. I did remember using newspapers as part of a requirement to look for an article for a high school project. Back then, I never understood why people would read from these piles of messy paper. It’s been a while since I held a newspaper but I remember what is it was like holding one those things. Sometimes newspapers can be very difficult to hold and the print can be too small to read. I never really cared about newspapers but my father and grandfather did. My grandfather, Tom Noyes, whom I never met, because he passed away before I was born, worked at the Washington Star, also known as the Evening Star, in Washington, DC. I do remember back in the old days when my father would read a newspaper, but these days, not so much. That’s because the newspapers industry today is not doing as well as they once did. These days when people want to look for articles to read, they usually look for them on the Internet.

Although newspapers industry is not as popular as it used to be, journalism has never died out. Journalists around the United States, both past and present, dedicate their time and effort to uncover truth that they feel the American people deserve to know. In a 2006 documentary, Woodward and Bernstein: Lighting the Fire, which details the infamous Watergate scandal in 1972, two famous American investigative journalists of The Washington Post Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, worked day and night uncover the truth, which eventually lead to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. In the beginning of the scandal, many people were a bit skeptical of the reporting of Woodward and Bernstein. Both of them were young and inexperienced. Most people didn’t believe that their investigative work would come to fruition. But despite the obstacles and the skepticism, Woodard and Bernstein persevered. In 1974, the Watergate scandal came to a historic conclusion. Woodward and Bernstein have changed the course of journalism. President Richard Nixon had to resign from the Oval Office for the fear of being impeached. To this very day, Woodward and Bernstein continue to be an inspiration for generations of journalists. Woodward and Bernstein wrote a book called All the President’s Men, which details their investigation of the Watergate scandal. Their book was later adapted into a very highly acclaimed film, starring Robert Redford as Woodward and Dustin Hoffman as Bernstein.

In the documentary, Jonathan Alter, a senior editor from Newsweek, mentions that if the Watergate scandal had occurred today, things would have turn out very differently. He said that the careers of both Woodward and Bernstein would have been ruined, they both could end up in jail, the scandal would never be exposed and Nixon would remain President. This is both shocking and scary because it’s probably true. Many journalists do what they do and they believe that their own investigations will reach out to the people without doubts or consequences. But sometimes the people who are being investigated can attempt to ruin the career of the journalists investigating them. Gary Webb, who was very an investigative journalist at the San Jose Mercury News, began an investigation that exposed the US government covert plan to fund a covert war in Central America by smuggling cocaine into the United States. When he newspaper published the report of his investigation, which he hoped would help expose the US government involvement in the plan, it backfired and Gary Webb’s career as a journalist was over.

In Last Week with John Oliver, John Oliver discusses journalists being hailed as heroes in certain films like All the President’s Men and Spotlight. Oliver explains that reason why Spotlight became a very powerful and important film because it features an issue we have today, the newspaper industry is slowly declining. With the exception of The New York Times and The Washington Post, most newspaper companies are not doing so well. Oliver also showed us that websites and television news rely on newspapers to do much of their work. Even John Oliver himself uses local newspapers for his shows. One time, Oliver did a piece on a state lottery by Harry Esteve from The Oregonian. In the end, Oliver showed us a funny spoof of Spotlight called Stoplight, which shows us of what will happen if journalism and newspaper industries are not properly funded.

In the past, before the Watergate scandal, most journalists don’t get the recognition or admiration they do today. Most journalists do what they do because they believe it’s the right thing to do. They don’t do it for money or fame, but because it’s right. Whenever they see someone or something as a threat to our society, good journalists dedicate their time and effort to take them down. Superman, a well known comic book superhero, under the persona of Clark Kent, decides to become a journalist because be believes that as a journalist he could take down corrupt business men and politicians like Lex Luthor without putting on his superhero suit and using his powers. I believe that journalism have brought us more good than harm to our society. But now, with all that’s happening, we may need a Clark Kent more than Superman.

References: