Sunday, 12 October 2014

Autumnal close-ups

This is all taken from my photography work at school, but I thought I'd share it here because it's a lot different to my normal style. Overall I'm pretty proud of the effect... Our tasks this month have been related to Autumn (which makes me a very happy bunny because everyone knows that it is definitely the best season) but instead of going for a typical bright, candy-corn colour palette I thought it would be interesting to have a darker look. I think it turned out creating an interesting effect.

This week's song is Froot by Marina and the Diamonds aka OHMYGODSHERELEASEDANOTHERSONGFINALLYiMSOINLOVEIMGONNACRY. Or, you know, something along those lines...

See you next week,
Flo x

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Parental Advisory >> why we should be worried about the censorship of music videos

((*Note on weekly rota at the end of this post))

This blog is rarely the home to serious posts, in the end I want it to be a largely positive space full of creativity and general fluff. On the other hand, I have the privilege of having a platform on which to share my opinions which (hopefully) some people will see. The point of these posts is not to dictate what your opinion should be, or if your morals are wrong- instead I want them to make people think, and reflect; most of all to realise that they can have opinions and viewpoints of their own.

So something that has recently been in the news is David Cameron's announcement that, for three months, starting in October, there is to be a voluntary pilot of a ratings system for music videos. He has stated that the reason for these changes is to prevent the internet from becoming 'some sort of lawless space'. The British board of Film Classification will be responsible for these ratings- which will be 12, 15 , or 18, depending on content- in a manner similar to films themselves. The aim of this change is to help parents protect their children from graphic and/ or sexual content.

Helping parents to control what their children view in itself is a pretty good idea, however I have a variety of reasons for disagreeing with what this campaign is doing. In general, I disagree with censorship, especially of the internet. One of the beautiful things about the internet is the ability it gives users across the world to communicate, and in some places/ situations, is the only space where they can share opinions and rally together to bring change. It gives an outlet where news stories can be reported, which probably wouldn't make it into mainstream media, or if they did, briefly, with a heavy bias. Take the recent events in Ferguson for example. The only way I heard about the early occurrences there was via tumblr- whilst the first mentions I heard of it on BBC news were a couple of days later. At this point I want to mention this amazing ad campaign by Reporters Without Borders, which is a very powerful visual representation of what censorship does (also it's incredibly witty and makes me giggle).

It may seem like I'm going off on a bit of  a tangent here, but I want to show the full picture of what censorship means, in order to illustrate why I have the opinion I do of the idea suggested. But it's not just that, it's the fact that it would be impossible to put a blanket restriction on all music videos with any references to things that could be taken as risque or controversial. Different people have different standards for what is and isn't acceptable. What about videos that deal with topics of religion? Or war? Would people under the age of 15 not be allowed to see that viewpoint? It's all too easy to say that the influence music and general pop-culture has had is bad- things are a lot less conservative than they were 30 years ago. But is this even that awful? Our generation is one of the most open-minded and progressive- rights for LGBT people are being fought for, in a much more mainstream sense than before; racism, even in it's smallest forms, is being recognized and changed. Now that young people are getting more and more of their information from the internet instead of their parents, politics is being changed.

Secondly, there is a world of difference between Blurred Lines and Anaconda... Let me explain, Blurred Lines itself was criticised for the lyrics being rather creepy at best, downright 'rapey' at worst. But the video was disliked because of a rather different thing- it contained a naked breast- I know right?!!? An actual boob!!! !!controversy!! The matter of different standards for male and female nudity warrants it's own ranty post but all I shall say for now is: the problem here wasn't that fact a female chest was uncovered (at least it shouldn't have been), but the fact so in an exploitative way. Here, in a male artist's music video, which he would be profiting from.  On the other hand Anaconda by Nicki Minaj- another video that has come under fire recently. Okay, I can see why guardians may not want there 7 year old child to watch this, it's not exactly family friendly. However, as opposed to Robin Thicke's exploitation, this is assertive- Nicki Minaj is owning her own sexuality which she shouldn't be shamed for. You can't put it all on the same level. Like it or not, children are going to be exposed to sex one way or other, and if it's going to be from mainstream media, it should be in a healthier context. Yes I just called a Nicki Minaj video a healthy context to learn about sexuality. Where is this even going?

Finally: in the end, it's an individual's responsibility to protect their children- if they want to protect them, they should feel free to- but parent's should be the ones wrapping their children in cotton wool not the whole darn world. Put protections on your browser, if you want to, don't let them watch MTV, discuss drugs and sex with them. Just, for crying out loud, stop whinging about something you're not doing anything to prevent yourself.

This reads terribly, and for that I apoligise, when typing fast and in the heat of the moment, I struggle to put my thoughts together in a cohesive manner. Some of my facts may be off, if so feel free to correct me.

(*About post scheduling: Immediately after starting my schedule I have gone off for two weeks, I know I know. To make things easier, and to make scheduling for the guest post fit I've decided to skip over the topics of the two missed posts this rotation. When it restarts you shall be getting them, do not stress. I hope this isn't terribly annoying!)

My first post of October, so this is obviously the only appropriate song choice. Duh.

See you around,
Flo x