The Korean Wave

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Since the early 1990s, a new star of global popular culture has emerged from the unlikeliest of places, South Korea. While traditionally it has been countries like Japan, Britain and the United States that have exported their popular culture, Korea has risen to be the front runner of Asia if not the world. The surge of popularity for South Korean music, television and style began in the 1990s with the production of many well-packaged and effectively marketed K-dramas and K-pop music. Korean popular media was quick to be embraced by other Asian countries gaining massive followings in China and other south and southeastern Asian countries. While the talent is due their share of credit, it would be wrong to ignore the massive role social media and social networking sites have played in t boom that became known as the Korean wave, sites such as YouTube became the ideal platform for K-pop to flourish.

While Korean television, film and style have all risen in popularity, it is certainly Koran pop music that has truly become a worldwide success. K-pop music is characterized by its strong audiovisual elements and although described as pop, touches on and draws upon a myriad of music genres from rock, hip-hop, jazz and any number of styles. K-pop has managed to gain a footing with western audiences due to the incorporation of foreign sounds and even English phrases with lyrics, with artists such as PSY managing to make it massive with foreign audiences. Despite a number of acts making it popular overseas, K-pops recruiting and training style for up and coming artists has garnered some criticism. Record labels are known to hold massive auditions where they sign young artists into binding contracts that has them live with other artists in a controlled environment where they spend many hours a day learning elements of music, dance and foreign languages. These labels are often known to have a considerable amount of control over the groups that are created with influence over what the sound like, what they sing and even what they are called. This corporate influence over the music is what perhaps has acted as the biggest hurdle in winning over western audiences who tend to place a significant value on the authenticity and personal expression in music.

Super-Junior
Super Junior

That is not to say the K-pop has not thoroughly conquered the Asian market, in particular the massively popular group ‘Super Junior’, formed in 2005, have been names the top selling K-pop artist for years in a row. Consisting of thirteen members at their peak, ‘Super Junior’ has managed to rack up an impressive collection of accolades including thirteen awards at the Mnet Asian music awards, “Best Fandom” and “Best International Artist” at the Teen choice awards as well as possessing a massive and dedicated fan base.

While there is certainly still room to grown with Western audiences, K-Pop and South Korean popular media has become an incredible global phenomenon that continues to wow audiences from all walks of life.

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Becoming Cosmopolitan

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Cosmopolitanism is the ideology that we all belong to a single human community based upon a shared morality, we are all citizens of the world. While many modern day people may think that this simply means a cosmopolitan person is well travelled, this is only a small fragment of what it means to be cosmopolitan.

The concept describes a far deeper connection to and between cultures than merely travel can afford, rather it is an exercise of empathy, to be cliché, placing oneself in another’s shoes. This is not to say that travel cannot help achieve this but cosmopolitanism demands a sense of responsibility and acceptance that many people reserve only for their own cultures. A truly cosmopolitan person places the same value upon another’s culture as much as their own, neither is wholly better or worse than the other, engaging within that person a sense of responsibility to all peoples.

The key to becoming a cosmopolitan person is to immerse oneself in different cultures, to experience the world as they do, not just as a tourist; this is perhaps easier said than done. While limited time frames overseas or a less than abundant supply of international friends and family to immerse yourself with can make understanding a culture difficult, there is unique option that seemingly caters perfectly to the cosmopolitan traveler in training.

Volunteering abroad is an excellent way to gain insight to other cultures as most place a significant focus on cultural immersion. As a volunteer, you are exposed to culture like no one else, taking in the responsibilities of your host nation and actively contributing to building that culture up. Most organizations that develop volunteering projects place a great emphasis on the cultural experience and mostly house volunteers with a host family so that volunteers can truly live not as a tourist but as a citizen. This kind of close involvement with others not only provides world experience but also fosters relationships and interconnectedness with other cultures.

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Volunteer Building project

Due to the nature of volunteering, you are often privy to the people and places that are in the greatest need of empathetic visitors who genuinely want to help. Typical projects involve caring for orphans and the elderly, teaching children, building schools, and providing medical care for those not as fortunate. Surrounded by such hardship it would certainly not be wrong or rare for a person to feel a sense of responsibility to do something to help.

While there are certainly no quick ways to become a cosmopolitan person, I would clearly argue that spending time as a volunteer is a good way to start the journey, cultivating an environment of acceptance, valuing of other cultures as well as a sense of responsibility to everyone, regardless of their culture or nation.

Reference List:

There’s No Ethnoscaping Change

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The concept of globalization is one that encompasses such a myriad of factors and influencers that it is quite difficult to describe it in a single piece. In order to circumvent this today I will be discussing only one dimension of global cultural flows, and perhaps the one that can be best understood in today’s political climate.

Ethnoscape describes the global movement of people, something that is occurring at every second of every day, whether it’s the immigration of foreign workers, tourists, refugees and even exiles. Ethnoscape presents the global community as fluid with a constant movement of people and culture rather than rigid and clearly defined sets of people in their nation states. While it would be false to say we do not separate cultures, it can be argued that the integration of and adoption of outside cultures is a trend that is growing and becoming more accepted. Nations such as Australia and the United States are examples of countries built by immigrants, with vast portions of their populations being either first or second generation, bringing with them their own cultures and traditions. That is not to say that these countries do not fight the movements of people every step of the way, immigration has and will likely always remain a major political issue, a fact that perhaps slows progression towards true multiculturalism.

There are a number of fears that crop up in the face of immigration, namely the stealing of jobs and the welfare burden immigrants, especially illegal ones place upon a nation, however recently, it is a fear of violence and terrorism that has fuelled anti-immigration sentiments. While I’m sure everyone is sick of hearing about Donald Trump he really is the perfect example to demonstrate the West’s resistance to the movement of peoples and foreign culture, so please forgive me.

Since his Presidential campaign, President Trump has pushed for the isolation of the United States from two cultures in particular, one being the Muslim community and the other being Americas biggest source of immigrant workers, Mexico. While in the past the threat of no jobs and their burden on welfare were the biggest talking points in the immigration debate, Trump chose a different line of reasoning and it is the same for both these groups despite their differences, fear, plain and simple. Trump has been quoted calling Mexican immigrants murderers and rapists, and equating any Muslim immigrant to the next ‘Boston Bomber’, this kind of rhetoric is aimed to foster a climate of fear and hatred that has allowed a civilized nation to take extreme steps to protect itself from that fear, a travel ban and a gigantic wall.

While these extreme and insane measures have been put in place it is worth noting that the US is still part of the global village, and while the Nation has gone to great lengths to halt the flow of people and culture it has surely failed. The travel ban has been blocked and the wall still isn’t up, showing you cant ‘ethnoscape’ the power of globalization.

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The Rise of the Cyber Celebrity

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Original Photo Source 

The Internet Age has given rise to the “Cyber Celebrity”, every day people who have hit it big with online audiences. These people range from Facebook personas such as Gemma Sullivan who attract fans for her lets say entertaining everyday behavior, to full time video bloggers such as Charlie Schneider a personal favorite of mine. Schneider posts daily videos where he discuss’ popular television programs as well as movies and books. I personally regularly view his Game of Thrones videos where he has become so successful he gives away multiple Amazon Gift vouchers every week as a promotional give away. While not considered a “real” celebrity, Schneider’s YouTube channel “Emergency Awesome” has 1,277,018 subscribes with his videos regularly reaching upwards of a million views. I think that makes him a celebrity, if only a micro one.

Citizen Journalism and Policing the Police

There has been a unprecedented number of incidences of police brutality in America in recent years. Until recently, the police and law enforcement could operate with for all intensive purposes, with total impunity; this was before the rise of the smart phone. Now every innocent bystander might as well be a news crew. The Eric Garner case is just one of many examples of a bystander capturing police misconduct of a serious nature on film, creating the first effective method of policing the law itself. While this kind of footage makes it far easier to convict law enforcement personnel, very few of these kinds of cases ever get convictions, showing how far the warped justice system still has to come in America.

Annotated Bibliography Part Two

  • Source 6:
  • http://kit-harington.tumblr.com
  • nobody’s perfect. 2016. nobody’s perfect. [ONLINE] Available at: http://kit-harington.tumblr.com. [Accessed 20 April 2016].
  • This Tumblr based blog was one that was linked into the Game of Thrones Daily site, which I previously viewed. This blog is a image based site mostly fed by reposts and providing only small quotes or comments beneath the images. The site does not add any information or fuel discussion in anyway, a feature I would encourage on my own blog. This blog also posts images from a number of different television shows with no categories or titles of any kind to allow easy maneuverability between programs. This site provided little form me to take away for my own project and will rather serve a prime example of what to avoid.

 

  • Source 7:
  • http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/the-12-dos-and-donts-of-writing-a-blog
  • How to Write a Blog: The 12 Dos and Don’ts of Writing a Blog. 2016. How to Write a Blog: The 12 Dos and Don’ts of Writing a Blog. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/the-12-dos-and-donts-of-writing-a-blog. [Accessed 20 April 2016].
  • This page differed from the other sources I had previously viewed in that it was not game of thrones related but rather an informative piece on good blog writing practices. I found the article to be an invaluable resource in honing my skills as a blogger, it provided helpful little tips such as start slow, respond to comments and avoid long paragraphs. The article itself was written by an accomplished blogger who linked a number of his own blogs making this a source from an authority on the topic. I believe this article has the capacity to allow me to refine my blog into a professional looking piece of work.
  • Source 8:
  • http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/how-to-write-blog-post-simple-formula-ht
  • How to Write a Blog Post: A Simple Formula + 5 Free Blog Post Templates. 2016. How to Write a Blog Post: A Simple Formula + 5 Free Blog Post Templates. [ONLINE] Available at: http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/how-to-write-blog-post-simple-formula-ht. [Accessed 21 April 2016].
  • Contrary to the previous ‘How to write a blog” site I visited, this site tackles blogging from a marketing point of view rather than entertainment. At first this seemed useless but the site did give me very useful tips on how to increase my daily visits to my blog. The site also provided blog templates in addition to its five simple steps it provided on the upkeep of a successful blog. I believe that while this source seemed irrelevant at first it give a more standardized look at how to make a popular blog regardless of the topic it covers.
  • Source 9:
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rm7-feOHjg
  • Game Of Thrones Season 6 – 9 Biggest Rumours – YouTube. 2016. Game Of Thrones Season 6 – 9 Biggest Rumours – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rm7-feOHjg. [Accessed 22 April 2016].
  • This source stood out to me for two reasons. My initial response to the video was that it was fairly dry in the way it was presented and really lacked any excitement to keep the audience engaged. The presenter simply talked at the audience with only a few still images included in the clip. This source was a good example of how a YouTube video has the potential to be a low point of a blog if it is not done right. Despite this, the video substantiated its game of thrones rumors with facts about casting choices and actor sightings which really highlighted for me the importance such facts to back up my claims rather than dealing solely with my own speculation.
  • Source 10:
  • http://www.makinggameofthrones.com
  • Game Of Thrones Season 6 – 9 Biggest Rumours – YouTube. 2016. Game Of Thrones Season 6 – 9 Biggest Rumours – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rm7-feOHjg. [Accessed 22 April 2016].
  • The final source I viewed as a part of my annotated bibliography was the official Game of Thrones blog produced by HBO. As the official blog for the television program the site contained a lot of extremely reliable information about the show, however as they clearly do not want to give away future plot points, it is void of any rumor type articles rather focusing on news such as release dates and behind the scenes videos. The feature I found most impressive about this page was the inclusion of Game of Thrones quizzes for fans to do. The idea of including mini games or quizzes had not previously occurred to me and I found it to be a very clever device to keep audiences entertained while viewing the blog.

Annotated Bibliography Part One

  • Source 1:
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KASrT1CSB5c
  • Game Of Thrones Season 6 Episode 1 – Davos vs Olly Teaser Breakdown – YouTube. 2016. Game Of Thrones Season 6 Episode 1 – Davos vs Olly Teaser Breakdown – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KASrT1CSB5c. [Accessed 18 April 2016].
  • First of all I have to say I have been a big fan of the Emergency Awesome YouTube Chanel for a while especially the Game of thrones videos. This was my first stop when considering the Game of Thrones rumor blog idea as the channel has quite a following and I have personally really enjoyed his videos. The best aspect of the videos are the comments section as after viewing some of the comments it became clear that Game of Thrones is a topic that people are very willing to discuss in a fairly civil manner online.
  • Source 2:

–   http://winteriscoming.net/2016/04/15/small-council-reactions-to-the-         second-       trailer-for-game-of-thrones-season-6/

  • Small Council: Reactions to the new Game of Thrones trailer. 2016. Small Council: Reactions to the new Game of Thrones trailer. [ONLINE] Available at: http://winteriscoming.net/2016/04/15/small-council-reactions-to-the-second-trailer-for-game-of-thrones-season-6/. [Accessed 19 April 2016].
  • The Winter is Coming blog came across as a very professionally done website. The lay out was clear and easy to use and will be a very helpful basic template for me to follow when devising the layout of my own blog. Most importantly I believe was the way that the blog integrated a number of different platforms into the site allowing users to easily follow ‘WIC’ on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Tumblr, as well as linking to a mobile app and Game of Thrones forums. The integration of many platforms as displayed on this site is something I will aspire to achieve with my digital artefact.
  • Source 3:
  • https://www.facebook.com/GoThronies/
  • . 2016. . [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.facebook.com/GoThronies/. [Accessed 19 April 2016].
  • The most interesting thing about this source is it is the first Facebook page I have explored. The main affordance of using Facebook instead of a more traditional blog format is the sharing potential it provides, my posts and videos could easily be shared by followers allowing for a faster growth in followers and audience reach. The main drawback I noticed with the Game of Thronies page was that using Facebook as a platform severely limits the ability to customize the blog layout and appearance. This source has highlighted the benefits of Facebook but the design limitations have swayed me to use a more traditional blog and link a Facebook page as additional content.
  • Source 4:
  • http://watchersonthewall.com
  • Watchers on the Wall | A Game of Thrones Community for Breaking News, Casting, and Commentary |. 2016. Watchers on the Wall | A Game of Thrones Community for Breaking News, Casting, and Commentary |. [ONLINE] Available at: http://watchersonthewall.com. [Accessed 20 April 2016].
  • This blog has a number of interesting features that make this source a unique research opportunity. This blog integrated a huge number of other platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Google Plus, Pinterest, tumblr and email making its audience reach massive. The blog is set up in an easy to use way however this particular site covers a much wider range of Game of Thrones content than I would realistically be able to cover, including casting news, commentary and other breaking news stories. I on the other hand will just cover fan rumors and speculation.
  • Source 5:
  • http://www.gameofthronesdaily.com
  • Game of Thrones Daily. 2016. Game of Thrones Daily. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.gameofthronesdaily.com. [Accessed 20 April 2016].
  • This source for me was everything I wanted to avoid when producing my own site. The layout is disjointed with very few clear headings/categories of any kind rather just a number of gifs that don’t link to anything. In addition I noticed a number of typos leading me to believe this site would not be a good template to follow if I wanted to produce a professional and logically ordered blog. Finally, the actual articles available to read on this site were third party blogs on platforms such as Tumblr, which is contrary to how I intend to fill my blog, as I will do my own articles.

Bombs Away, Remixing the Internet

Bombs away is a Australian EDM duo formed in Perth. The group consists of brothers Sketch (Matthew Ronald John Coleman) and Tommy Shades (Thomas Edward Hart Coleman) who were born on the Gold Coast but made the move to Perth in early adulthood. The brothers have had a string of hits, most notably their 2010 single “Big Booty Bitches” which kicked off a massive national tour. More interestingly, the duo regularly remixes viral videos such as the ‘Damn Daniel’ clip that blew up at the start of the year. These remixes have however landed the boys in some trouble after a remix of Donald Trump saying he loves China went viral and resulted in the Republican front runner to threaten legal action if the clip was not removed. It would seem the Donald isn’t a big fan of trap.

Game of Thrones everywhere I look

Game of Thrones is everywhere; I think you would literally have to trek through to the center of the Amazon before you could find people who haven’t heard of it. The franchise is spread across a myriad of platforms ranging from print media to console games to figurines. Beyond being an effort to increase the profits made from merchandising, these additional media forms in many cases serve to enhance the story beyond that which the show and books have. The Westoros history Novellas, comics and even the games all develop the lore and background of the universe of Game of Thrones in a way that a single linear form of story telling ever could. Take a look at all the stuff you can be filling your time with between episodes below!

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Mass Production and the end of individuality

 

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Is it still possible to be an individual in the world today? I mean we can try to be, we can spend hours walking around stores looking for that shirt that just has you written all over, but at the end of the day, that shirt is one of thousands if not millions exactly like it. Mass production has made it extremely difficult for anyone to truly be unique, in the grand scheme of things we have very little choice in what we buy, the options have been pre determined for us and we just pick the one we like the most and its not just clothes, it includes our phones, cars, computers, shoes and nearly everything else. That’s the trade off we accept, access and cost at the price of individuality.