Sunday, August 11, 2013

Culture Can Be Bought and Most of the Time Is


When you hear this word, you think of something sacred and unique to a specific people.

Not so much.

Like the title proclaims, culture is bought and in more ways than one.

Nothing is sacred from a corporation trying to make a quick buck on it.

Corporations have throughout history, with the help of advertisers or people willing to advocate their products and the ideals attached to them, changed culture to benefit themselves monetarily.

The evidence is looking at the town you stay in; how many small town businesses are around you?

Places that showcase some of the town's culture and history? They're sometimes referred to as the Mom and Pop stores and at times known for how well the owners know their customers, the town's history, and some keepsakes of the town it keeps in their stores.

Does Multi-national McDonald's or Wal-mart share any of these traits?

I mean, most, if not all, of Wal-Mart's products are produced in China, giving them a leg up on the thrift shop down the street that will eventually close in a few weeks.

It's not just discount shopping, you can see it in how products influence people.

In America, you are what you buy; it's as simple as that, and what you own gauges your importance on a scale.
So, we can infer that there is a business of buying culture. You can't really buy a product and then suddenly be a cultured, well-respected individual, but in America, you get pretty close to it when you buy something.

If I were to have a cheap phone that only called and texted right beside someone who had an android or windows phone that did a million or more things, they would feel superior to me in how they kept up with the latest things in our consumer culture and maybe how technological savvy they are compared to me although they might not know how to navigate the whole phone; others would feel like they were superior too (this is kind of an extreme example, but it fits a purpose).

Instead of gauging how important or cultured, or smart someone is through what they buy, why not talk to them and judge from their words and how well they speak. After all, that is the best way.

A product is really a hollow object, sometimes with no real value depending on how cheaply it was made.

Even if it was a luxury good that rightfully cost a lot of money, like a sports car, is the person who owns the car really all that cool and suave? It could be an elderly guy behind the wheel who usually stays in his house other than those cool drives in the sports car. Is that cool and suave?

Consumer culture subverts the true meaning of things. It's almost always an illusion.

What is American Culture? It seems to steadily be morphing into consumer culture or pop culture, even though pop culture (knowledge of what is trending with our tastes in music and clothes) circles around consumer culture (think of how many celebrities promote products to their kid fans and kids buy them because it will make them as cool as Justin Bieber or someone). How do you feel about corporations defining what is to be appreciated in culture, like cool clothes, cool this and that, because only cool people are popular.

I thought America was once a land about what you did for a living and how that profession helped people; now you simply get the job to buy the life-defining things.

How Today's Whack Rappers (and 'Artists') Succeed in the Mainstream

Do you know how you can succeed in the mainstream music industry today and horribly suck?


But, you have to do so successfully.

How do you do that, you say? It's a little thing called Failing Successfully.

I underlined it because I made it a term.

A lot of artists are doing it, they just haven't put a name to it.

I mean, people know it by regularly assessing that you need no real talent whatsoever to be a singer or rapper, or anything to do with the entertainment business; except maybe modeling since you do need certain assets.

This comes from a pretty simple process: lower peoples' expectations enough on a gradual basis and soon you can flood the radio with garbage, something that record companies are really taking advantage of because it costs very little the more you can produce a cheap beat and put a crappy or semi-decent voice (doesn't matter) through auto-tune. That dreaded short cut to perfect, almost robotic voices that haven't the slightest human distinction to them.

And that's what record companies do: Get someone to write a catchy beat and hook, no matter how annoying, especially if its one of those dance songs, and you're in business.

Also, it would work better if the person behind the songs are physically appealing and who have this magnetism about them  because of their wacky personalities or willingness to take risks (But its kind of their jobs to take risks to attract attention, for example crazy outfits or filter-less conversations for shock value) and have them on the tracks described above.

There are many examples, but I won't point out any lest you guys come at me with pitchforks over your favorite celebs.

I just wish music wasn't on a continuous loop of the same thing: boys, parties, women.
This music is good once in a while, but not all the time.
I want to hear some instruments, deep emotions about other sides of life than love (more like lust) and partying.

Show business is show business- a flawed illusion of perfection.


Saturday, August 10, 2013

My High-Fructose Corn Syrup Experiment

Hey, guys.

Just wanted to tell you of a sort of experiment I've been doing for a couple of weeks now, and I had some interesting results from it, though its an experiment I've done off and on again for a maybe a few months to a year now if I take into consideration the times in my life I've consumed a moderate portion of high-fructose corn syrup or when I didn't have much of the substance in my diet.

It's not too accurate and scientific, but mostly how its effected me and how it might effect you.

Anyway, I am a person who doesn't eat a lot of sweets, now more than ever.

My teeth always hurts after eating sweets or they're just too sugary to eat without my mouth and stomach feeling poisoned by a sweet death, so I don't come across high concentrations of corn syrup if I can help it, although its in a lot of food these days.

Look at two different labels for two different products and it is most likely contained in both, like for a example a can of chicken noodle soup and a jar of Grape Jelly/Pepsi soda (two things that I've actually witnessed).

But I used to eat a lot more sweets as a teenager than I do now, which wasn't all that long ago.

I weighed about 145-147 pounds then.

As I got older and start learning more about food and healthier choices, I cut back a lot on sugary drinks and the few candies and sweets that I ate (gummy worms, oreos, pop tarts, etc.).

I am 138 pounds last I checked, and this is with no difference in exercise since I still do the same thing I did in the past; walking and running with my dog and walking to nearby places or some with a little distance instead of using my car.

I actually ate a few sugary snacks today just to see how it would taste to me, the high-fructose syrup pretty prevalent in it evidenced by the label containing corn syrup and high-fructose corn syrup on the same line, and it was disgusting.

I didn't know how it truly tasted until I took a break from it and tried it again; It was only 2 cookies and a Hawaiian punch drink.

It was awful; the taste was so bland except for a slight sweetness and tang that seemed completely weighed down by the thick juice.

Crazy, huh?

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Rantings of a Broke College Kid & Some College Myths

It saddens me to say this about my elders, but those in the older generation don't know what they're talking about when they say young college kids completely lack motivation.

I am so tired of hearing it that I dedicate this rant to them (not all) and any other individual who believes the following myths....

"Well, if you get a part-time job, you won't have to take out so many loans."

Or..."you studied in debt with that useless major."

Let's examine these common reprimands of the youth.

Myth 1-
"Well, if you get a part-time job, you won't have to take out so many loans" excuse.

A part-time job is NOT going to be very helpful in paying for college.

That 7 or 8 dollars an hour can probably pay for a few cheap books, but that's it.

(It's even harder to get a job with the whole 'un-paid internship' mentality dominating campuses so that you can forfeit that part-time job money for even more valuable experience later down the line with the internship..).

There is no wonder students have to take out so many loans with tuition rates steadily increasing as financial aid is provided to more and more students, though in amounts that don't keep up with inflation and tuition and the school feels the need to hike up cause the access students have to it...arrrgh! The complicated process is hard to explain to say the least. Why not uncomplicate it?

Myth 2- "You studied in debt with that useless major" and therefore deserve what you get.

Then stop telling students and even kids that that they CAN BE WHATEVER THEY WANT. Or my favorite, AS LONG AS YOU GO TO COLLEGE, EVERYTHING WILL WORK ITSELF OUT AT THE END.

If you really think about it, not everyone can be an engineer, a nurse, doctor, or lawyer; the coveted and most desirable degrees that supposedly guarantee you a job after graduation.

Notice that it's not many professions up there.

With many different degrees, there can be more diversity in the labor market; a robust economy with many new ideas on how to do a variety of things.

I understand that some degrees are hard to apply to the real world, but I believe if someone has a plan with that useless degree, they can interpret it pretty successfully themselves.

Not everyone has to get a degree that an employer will want. We need more people going into business for themselves, which is another rant for another day on why its unnecessarily difficult to start a business today; But I will say this- Anyone who wants to start a business that is cost-effective, the internet would be a good start.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand.

I'm tired of older people saying we're lazy and that's why some of us don't even make it to graduation.

It's the system. Blame the difficult system we are now living in.

If there were more students who didn't have to worry about their finances while going to college, they would be free to take as many classes as they want instead of only taking 2 or three to save money and also have time for a part-time job so they don't have to take out so many loans for that semester. This is all evidenced by my peers and friends; my own experience.

It's not fair that young people cannot enjoy themselves while they're studying something they love to do at college. And I don't mean the other myth that I always hear, the myth saying we party all time and go around sexing each other: This mainly applies to those who had an easy transition to college in the area of their finances and can afford to party all the time.

I'm not saying that the system is all to blame. Sometimes there are students who slack, but that's only because so many students who aren't ready or don't particularly know what they're doing, are pushed into college by counselors and parents, not given any other options or choices like technical/trade schools or apprenticeships. Again, this has a little to do with the system we're surrounded around too.