Did Chappelle cross the line, or does society need to consider where the line is drawn?

David Chappelle is hilarious. I really enjoyed both of his comedy specials because they were so refreshing! I personally believe that America is way too sensitive and just liked Chappelle said “how did we get so sensitive?” The topics he discussed are considered to be very sensitive ones like the rape allegations of Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and Louis C.K. He also talks about transgenders and politics which are two more really sensitive topics right now. He brings comedy to these topics and lightens them up which is what America needs. I didn’t find any of his jokes offensive, just honest. He was telling his truth and his point of view on particular topics which is his first amendment right. If you don’t agree with him and find what he says repulsing then don’t watch it. I think people get confused sometimes. Comedians aren’t politicians. They make a living being politically incorrect because it’s funny. They are up on that stage to make jokes, not raise awareness about issues going on the country.

In the article “Kevin Spacey Deserves to be Scorned. But Can I Still Watch House of Cards?” written by Hannah Parkinson dives into a very complex question: Can we still enjoy art, music, movies, tv shows, etc. if the creator or star is morally a bad person. I find myself saying yes. Yes we can still enjoy things even if the creator of that thing is a bad person. I never liked House of Cards, but there are so many people out there in the world that really enjoy the show and I don’t think they should feel guilty for still liking it, or wanting to continue to watch it when it does come back, if it does come back. Chappelle makes a joke saying that if only the allegations about Kevin Spacey had waited another six months then everyone would know how House of Cards ended. I thought this joke was funny because it sucks being so involved with a show and then it just abruptly ending without any closure. Don’t get me wrong, the allegations are awful, but people can’t just turn their emotions and likes and dislikes on and off like a switch.

The one thing I did find to be cringe worthy was him trying to say he knows what these women have been through and what they’re going through because of slavery. There is a lot wrong with this. He’s not a slave and never was a slave. He’s an intelligent, wealthy, funny black man living a free life in America. He knows what slavery was like because of stories that have been told, but we all know these stories. Being a slave was awful! They were beaten, raped, separated from their families, sold off like donkeys, killed, etc. Being a slave is way worse in comparison of being rapped, not saying being raped is not a horrible act, it’s just incomparable to the idea of slavery. He says he understands the fear these women have been through because he’s a black man living in America. I disagree with this completely. It’s unfortunate that there is still racism in this country, but being a woman and having to be on guard all of the time because some men don’t know how to keep it in their pants is very different. I agree with Jamie Loftus when she says that it was a very weak comparison.

The Zinoman article is interesting because he says that Chappelles jokes are risky, but it’s nothing that we haven’t seen before. For example, Zinoman talks about the joke Chappelle made about if Brad Pitt had done the same thing as Weinstein then the girls wouldn’t have had a problem with it, but it’s not that different than what Chris Rock said in one of his shows in the 90’s. He also recognized that not everything Chappelle says is a joke. Sometime he would get serious and say serious statements to get people to think. He warns women that fear is not the answer because once fear is gone then those actions take a turn for the worse. He is stating an opinion. If people decide to listen to it then great and if not then cool. He’s a comedian and says what is on his mind even if people don’t agree with him.

 

What Causes a Fandom?

Fandoms are all around us. The two most popular ones that come to the top of my head are Star Wars and Harry Potter. I actually don’t think there are any greater fandoms than these two. I’m sure why these particular movies have created such a culture within themselves because I personally haven’t seen them in a very long time because I didn’t like them. However, I’m not a huge science fiction fan. Whenever I tell people I’m not a fan of either of these franchises I always get a surprised gasp and wide eyes starring back at me. Out of everyone I have met my best friend is the only other person I know why also isn’t a big fan of either.

After watching Stranger Things, The Black Mirror (the USS Callister), and The End of the F****** World I can see why these shows would create such a fandom. Stranger Things has already created quite the fan base because it has been out for a little while now. I remember when it first came out and every one super excited about it and no one was let down. It’s set in the 80’s which makes it more retro and interesting to the modern audience. I know I found it more interesting because of that feature. I wasn’t a huge fan of the show, but again, not a fan of science fiction. After reading Dee Lockett”s article, I was extremely shocked! I had no idea that people get so caught up in the characters and actually harass them even if they’re children. I knew this happened with celebrities as themselves, but not the other way around. In the beginning of the article Lockett gives the example of fans not being able to separate Eleven and Mike from their real selves and were harassing them because they wanted to see a  romance bloom between them like it did between their characters.

Black Mirror was really interesting. I’ve never seen an episode of the series, but knew it was pretty popular and that it was about technology. IT was a really interesting episode because to me having that kind of technology doesn’t seem that far away. I’m not sure if it would be accessible to the public right away, but I could see the rich having it. I could especially see the wealthy taking people’s DNA and putting them in their own game to control. It’s easy to see why a fandom would begin because this episode in particular id very familiar to Star Trek which is another show that has a fandom that rivals with the Star Wars fandom. I also think a lot of people could relate to Daily. He’s treated very poorly in the real world, so he creates a game where he is in control and is able to have copies from people in the real world to control. He gets power hungry and even though at first it seems like the crew loves him he’s actually really mean. Jenna Scherer talks about how this is not a shocking story line and it’s one that quite often acquires a fandom.

The End of the F****** World is actually a really good show! I really enjoyed it even though I still yet have to finish it. I thought it was interesting how the story was from both perspectives. I really Alyssa because she was so different than how females usually act in the media. She was just very blunt and acted so sure of everything even though she hardly ever was. James was also interesting because he wanted to kill someone then he did and found out that he wasn’t a psychopath because he didn’t enjoy it. I wonder if he would have if he hadn’t met Alyssa because she’s the reason he started to feel things. I’m not sure if the show is big enough to create such a big fan base of crazy fans. I haven’t even heard of it until this class. I’m sure there are some crazy fans out there that might try to follow James footsteps and plan out a murder, but it’s also a long shot.

All three of these shows were very interesting. Some were better than others, but I can see how Stranger Things and The Black Mirror could create crazy fandoms. As for myself, I wouldn’t say I’m involved in any fandoms. I enjoy certain shows, but I don’t have posters on my walls, or go to events specified for people who love that specific show. I think it’s so crazy that people get so involved and invested in shows and with characters that they dedicate their lives to it!

Netflix and Cultures

Most network television doesn’t show accurate representations of how many different cultures live. Netflix has decided to take on that challenge with a few different shows: Dear White People, On My Block and Luke Cage. Within these shows we can see three environments in which multiculturalism is an occurring issue. Dear White People takes place on a college campus and was the one that I found to be the most relatable. On My Block takes place in a poor neighbourhood in Los Angeles which has always been a problem that society hasn’t seemed to figure out how to fix yet. Luke Cage  takes place in a predominantly black neighbourhood which has also been an occurring problem in America because it seems like we are still segregated.

 

Dear White People was very interesting to me. I’ve never even heard of a black face party until this show and they make it seem like they are a very common occurrence among college campuses. They probably do happen at some universities which I agree is extremely racist and shouldn’t happen, but I don’t think they happen as often as the show would like people to believe. I also thought it was interesting how they made white look in this show. There definitely is a strong presence of white folks in this show, but they portray them as being dumb racists except for the main characters boyfriend. Some colleges are predominately white just like CSU, but I don’t see a lot of racism happening on our campus. The most racist thing that  I can think of that happened here was the incident of the campus police being called on two Native American students during a tour and that was awful, but it made such big news because it is so uncommon here. I also didn’t really like how she was talking about Halloween and trying to tell people what costumes are and aren’t acceptable by saying that for white people only the first 43 presidents are okay to dress up as. I disagree with that statement, but that’s a much different conversation. I think this show reinforces certain stereotypes and challenges others. For example, it challenges the stereotype that black men can be educated, dress nicely, and speak properly with Troy’s character. It also reinforces the stereotype that most black people are against white people right now.

 

On My Block  was my favorite out of all three shows. It was more entertaining to watch. I thought it was insane that when the gunshots started going off at the graduation party they were running away, but having a good time trying to guess what kind of gun it was because they were so familiar with the sound of the shots that were fired. I think this show reinforces stereotypes of these particular neighborhoods. Usually poor neighbourhoods like this one are infested with gangs and can be dangerous. For example, Cesar said that he had smashed Ruby because his brother who had just gotten out of prison was trying to get at her and he wanted to protect her by claiming her. I found cesar to be the most compelling character in this show because he’s such a nice guy when his brother isn’t around, but then acts tough when he is around because he’s scared of him. His brother seems to be top dog of the neighbourhood and whatever he says goes which makes people respect and fear him. I just felt sad that he felt like he had to act a certain way around his brother out of fear of him. The only problem I could really empathize with was with Caesar lying about sleeping with Ruby because in high school rumors spread and people like to say that they have slept with people they haven’t and it can really hurt people.

 

Luke Cage was a decent show. I found it to be a little boring. One thing I did notice is that there weren’t many white people if any. One stereotype that was strongly reinforced within this show is the barber shop. It’s a major stereotype that black men go to barber shops and gossip. Is it true? I don’t know, but it most certainly is portrayed to be true in many different movies and t.v. shows. I kind of hope it’s a true stereotype because everytime I see a scene like this they are always having a good time and if that’s how it is in real life then that’s great! According to Nico Lang the show has gotten a lot of positive reviews, but that it’s getting some backlash for not having any white people in it. I don’t see a problem with this and I’m not too sure why others do. There are lots of shows/ movies that only portray one black person if any at all, so I don’t see a problem with having a show that doesn’t show any white people. It’s also located in a neighbourhood that is stereotypically black in real life, so it would make sense why white people aren’t shown.
Overall the shows were really good and I feel like they are much needed. The media needs more representation of multicultural people and environments. However, I do feel like they take it a little too far like in Dear White People. We need accurate representations of how the world is and not exaggerated ones.

Anyone Can be a TV Star

Reality TV. You either love it and can’t get enough of it, or you hate it and will never watch it. I personally don’t mind it; however, I am picky with which shows I will watch. For example, I hate the Bachelor. Even though it’s “reality TV” it’s all fake and scripted, which most of them are, but the Bachelor is just too much. I love House Hunters, 100% Hotter, The Challenge, The Real World, Say Yes to the Dress, etc. Say Yes to the Dress is probably one of my favorite because I love all things wedding. The Atlanta show is more scripted than the New York one, but it’s charming and delightful. The New York one seems more real because of the interviews they do with the consultants. They’ll be holding five dresses in their hands in the middle of the walk way with other consultants rushing behind them talking to the producer about how the appointment is going. I think a lot of people don’t like reality TV because it is so fake even though it’s trying to portray as authentic television. Others love it because of it’s trashiness and craziness. It’s usually classified as a ‘guilty pleasure.”

I watched the first episode of Nailed It! and Queer EYE. I didn’t know what these shows were, but I enjoyed them. I enjoyed Nailed It! a little bit better than Queer Eye because it was a baking show with a twist. I don’t usually like plain baking shows because I find them a bit boring, but it was interesting how they took normal people and made them compete by trying to recreate cake masterpieces. It was more relatabale because I know I wouldn’t have done any better than those people at creating that blue wedding cake. I also like the competition aspect of it. It makes it more exciting and suspenseful. Queer Eye was good because it was about renovations and changing spaces into a better version of themselves, but I found it to be boring. It was really easy for me to get distracted while watching it. It’s something that I would only put on as background noise  while doing something else. It’s definitely in a different sub-genre of reality TV then Nailed It! is. Baking reality shows are there own little genre because there are so many of them, but the same could be said about Queer Eye. There’s even a whole network dedicated towards house improvements.

I think the show Queer Eye is another stepping stone. Society has certain ideas of what each gender should and shouldn’t be doing and showing the fabulous five take on a more feminine task will hopefully help break those ideologies. These five men in the first episode of season one meet a man named Tom who needs a makeover. The fabulous five work with him to “dust off the ghosts of relationships past” and to fix his house up. They also help boost his self esteem by  complimenting him, listening to him, helping him find what does and does not work for him, telling him to stop calling himself ugly, etc. I’m not sure if Tom will stick to his new “life” because I’ve seen a lot of shows where a person gets help and gets a makeover and plays along in front of the cameras, but a few months later are back to their old selves, but still use SOME tips they were given.

Nailed It! was definitely a much better show in my opinion. It does give off the same vibes of other baking shows, but instead of taking professional bakers who own their own bakeries they have everyday people baking and competing against each other. Another unique aspect of this show is that they don’t have any creative freedom. They are asked to recreate a bakery masterpiece to the best of their abilities, which honestly doesn’t turn out to be amazing, but I don’t judge because I couldn’t do any better. I think by having normal people on this show makes it more relatable and fun to watch. I think this show is either a hit or miss. I can see how some people would find it super boring and would hate it, but I can also see how people could be addicted to it.

Who’s Telling the Truth?

I want to start this post by saying I love documentaries. I think they are so fascinating and I love how they are about true topics and events that are either happening or that have had happened. Evil Genius on Netflix is definitely one of my favorite docu-series now.  There were just so many parts to the pizza bombing that it became a little confusing, but absolutely incredible. Icarus was also very interesting because it was about athletes taking supplements to enhance their athletic ability. I found this one to be interesting because I love sports and physical activity and I just can’t believe that there are drugs out in the world that help people become better athletes, but I’ve always wondered why it was worth it because they have so many side affects!

I think it’s great that Netflix has documentaries and not just entertaining TV shows and movies. Documentaries are refreshing. It’s refreshing to watch something educational instead of just scary, silly, or sad all of the time. According to the chapter in our text book titled “Netflix and the Documentary Boom” written by Sudeep Sharma, Netflix is allowed to pick and choose which documentaries they will have within their choices of entertainment. They choose documentaries that will be favorable with the viewers, so Netflix will still gain profit from them. I don’t see anything wrong with that because Netflix is a business and they need to make certain decisions to make sure that they will still gain profits and stay in business. Sharma also believes that Netflix has allowed a wider audience to gain access to documentaries and I believe that is true. On their own they don’t so that well because there isn’t a lot of advertisement for them. The only way people use to find them were through school, work, word of mouth, a chance pop up on Facebook, etc. Netflix allows people to browse their materials with ease and has a whole genre dedicated to documentaries which is so easy to find and access.

I chose to watch Bryan Folgers’s Icarus for this post because it seemed the most interesting to me. It’s about athletes taking supplements to enhance their athleticism, but more specifically Russians athletes. Russia has always been scrutinized because they would win so many awards and titles, but only because they would cheat. Most of their athletes would dope up giving them and unnatural advantage over everyone else. I think it’s crazy people inject themselves with needles filled with enhancing drugs. Bryan had to inject himself in the butt with two or three needles and he started to freak out a little bit because he started bleeding  lot. I wouldn’t say this was one of my favorite documentaries to watch because it was a little hard to pay attention to it. It would get a little boring sometimes. I found it to be a traditional documentaries. It followed one guy trying to find the truth/more information, there was dramatic music played throughout the whole thing, excerpts of clips that had nothing to do with the story, etc. I did think it brought a greater awareness to the program that knew about the doping and just how serious and intense the doping was. I didn’t know too much about the doping in Russia other than they were always being accused and being threatened of not being able to compete in certain events such as the Olympics.

Evil Genius was amazing. It was a 4 part series instead of just an hour long documentary which is the more traditional style, but after watching Evil Genius I can understand why it was 4 parts. Everything was so crazy and there were so many parts and details to all of it that there was no way it would have fit into an hour long documentary. I noticed that in the Evil Genius it was more of a story. Trey was the producer and narrator and presented the documentary as a story which I though made it entertaining. I also really liked how they included real images, videos, confessions, interviews, news clips, etc into the series because it made it more authentic and real. I found myself to be very interested in the story. I didn’t realize that it was only a 4 part series and found myself to be excited to continue watching after the first 4 episodes. To be honest I was a little dissapointed that it was only 4 parts because I wanted more. Marge was so interesting to me! I can’t believe she got away with so much and that no one could piece together the deaths of all these men in her life! She still claimed that she wasn’t involved and she also tried to blame Bill for the death of her boyfriend who was threatening to spill the beans about the bombing.  I also found it interesting that Bill claimed he wasn’t involved in the pizza bombing even with his last breath. They said they did it to prove they were smarter than everyone and to some extent they were right. It took the police years to fit all of the pieces together, but eventually they did. I still want to know why they made the bomb real and who decided to make it real. I also want to know whose idea it was to make it real. It’s just such a crazy story that I became emotionally invested in because 1) I was a pizza delivery driver for sometime, 2) I love mysteries and puzzles, and 3) it was so elaborate.

I agree with Sharma that documentaries are a better use of time than watching Wedding  Crashers, or some other dumb movie/TV show because they are educational. They allow people to learn about things that they may not even heard of. It’s also a breath of fresh air because you don’t have to decide what is fake and what is real. With that being said, I do think it is also beneficial to watch other things as well because sometimes people just need a break from real life. It’s fun to engage in another world and life through the use of a screen and not be thinking about what deadlines you have to meet or what bills you have to pay for an hour and a half. I also find it therapeutic for me because even though I have my own problems I can watch a movie about someone with way worse problems and then I feel better about my own problems.

Different Types of Worlds

I love Netflix and binge watching shows! It’s one of my favorite activities because it’s relaxing and you get sucked into another world. I’m really picky about which world I allow myself to get involved with. I’m not a fan of science fiction at all. It doesn’t fascinate me and I find it to be boring and not very happy. Westerns are a little better. They have a sense of history to them that I like and realness, but it depends on how slow and gory the western is. I love comedies, but not stupid comedies and I love horror movies. Put the two of them together and you’ve got a winner. Genres are ways we classify movies and shows because they all have their own themes and story lines to them which are also classified as codes within the genres.

Godless does represent the western genre because it has all the same elements: guns, horses, cowboys, prostitutes, small town, dirt and dust. Lost in Space also really catapulted the essence of a science fiction. It had advanced robots and outer space. How does something get more science fiction than that? According to Jeff Spry, it was inspired by the 60’s show Space Family Robinson. I am not a fan of either of these genres. I hate science fiction and the first episode if Lost in Space just affirmed it for me. Westerns are a little better. I still find them to be a bit boring, but Godless was pretty entertaining and interesting. I think Godless breaks genre conventions because some will argue that it should be classified as a “feminist western,” according to Rolling Stone magazine. The creator for the show that it’s not a feminist western because he’s as man, but the show shows women having more power and rights than many other westerns do. There is even a whole town that is being run by women because they’re aren’t any men.

In the first episode I think Santa Clarita Diet leans more towards comedy.It has a goofy sense to it with all the vomit that she throws up and how the husband reacts to certain things. The horror aspect of it doesn’t really come into play until she ate Gary at the the end of the episode. I think the two genres are both complimentary and contradicting.  For a person, such as myself, who doesn’t really like gory horror movies I think the comedy aspect of the show helps because it makes it watchable and interesting. However, it’s also contradicting because they’re isn’t really anything funny about someone murdering people to eat them. The most humorous part of the movie was towards the end when the husband comes home to talk to her about what had happened at the bar. He comes in the house and yells for her saying that they needed to talk “because last night was bullshit.” The way he said was hilarious. The most horrifying part was when Gary was threatening to rape her basically, so she ate hi fingers. It’s gruesome for sure. Overall I give the show a 10/10.