Wednesday, January 29, 2020
The Simpsons Essay He bought the rights to Winnie the Pooh and made millions from selling merchandise, which has completely changed the way in which people think of Winnie the Pooh who originally didnt wear any clothing, let alone a red top. In reality Walt Disney was not the man that the majority think he was; he took advantage of others ideas and made millions from them. Even now when Walt Disney is mentioned people think of the theme parks and merchandise rather than the films, which he has made. The creators of The Simpsons disliked this and there is clearly a satirical theme when Bart and Lisa visit the Itchy and Scratchy Theme Park, which turns out to be a complete letdown just like most people find the Walt Disney Theme Parks to be when they get the chance to visit. There has been a huge progression from the first Mickey Mouse cartoons which were quite obviously hand-drawn, with jumpy animation to the now free flowing characters which can be seen today. Recent Disney motion pictures dont look like drawings, changing the reality, which was created at the beginning of Walts career. The Simpsons is the complete opposite of this, going right back to the basics of animation, creating non humanistic forms and deliberately showing them as cartoons, not as what could be perceived as a photograph. There is obviously no attempt to make the characters 3 Dimensional and also not much attempt to humanise them as they have yellow bodies and Marges blue hair which is clearly not realistic as its almost the same size as her body and stays up above her head. Also the colours used in The Simpsons are very lurid whereas those in Disney films are a complete opposite. Matt Groening and the other creators have taken Walt Disneys idea to a new level, widening the target audience from children to people of any age or culture. As the cartoon has grown in popularity different characters have been introduced, creating diversity and thus increasing the number of viewers to millions. I think that one of the reasons the programme has become so popular is due to the fact that The Simpsons still has morals within it, the good always triumph over the evil and the characters always doing the right thing, no matter what the consequences. The content of The Simpsons reflects the breadth of this audience by showing characters of diverse nationalities, differing religions and very different overall characters. From Apu to Flanders, Homer to Mr Burns, every person in society is represented in some way by a character in The Simpsons. Although The Simpsons is a grotesque exaggeration of humanity, with all the characters being yellow, the characters personalities being exaggerated so much and the differences so obvious, it is still very affective. Lisa is the perfect child while her brother Bart is portrayed almost as a devil. Homer goes out during most of the cartoons, choosing to spend his time getting drunk rather than spending time with his children while his wife, Marge spends all her time trying to keep the family together and stop everything falling apart around her. The creators of The Simpsons in my opinion had one main aim, to show Americans everything that they are without directly saying thats what they were doing. In this way every American laughs at all the different characters without realising that in fact they are somewhat like the character that is being ridiculed. Every different character represents a different aspect of American society. Homer represents couch potato culture, he believes everything that the media tells him and is completely gullible. He represents every American who spends their lives rooted to the TV. Mr Burns represents the business community and corporate America, he represents every businessperson in America who lives solely to make money and fulfil their greed. Barney represents unemployment and the huge percentage of the population in America who are unemployed or part of blue collar America. He represents all the people who work hard for their living, manual labourers etc who have no hope of finding a new job but have lots of unfulfilled potential. They are capable of so much more than anyone gives them credit for but they cant do anything to prove themselves. Flanders represents evangelical America, the Religious Rights movement and people who close their eyes to the real world only to leave them with what they want to believe. Their lives and beliefs are restricted. The Simpsons has a very diverse appeal, as anyone who watches it can relate to at least one of the characters. Originally The Simpsons was created to be viewed by an American audience but due to its popularity it has grown to become a global product. The aspects of Walt Disneys marketing, which the creators originally ridiculed such as the Disney memorabilia that have come from all the animations, have now become products of The Simpsons. In the A Star is Burns episode alone there are over 20 references to films and American TV programmes, they include Seinfeld, The Guns of Navarone, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Ben Hur and many more. To me this shows that the makers of The Simpsons try to incorporate the real world into their cartoon. Even darker sides to American culture such as the mob mentality are represented. Also literary culture is represented, in this specific episode by the title A Star is Burns, a pun of the Hollywood musical A Star is Born. As well as all of this The Simpsons makes many references to itself, the sort of in jokes that people will only understand if they have seen the programme before, an example of this is Barts money making schemes and Kent Brockman and his films. There are many different types of humour represented in The Simpsons. The most popular is satire; in the episode A Star is Burns there are many examples of this. The film awards system is portrayed as corrupted when Mr Burns is shown bribing most of the judges of the film contest, the Im only on the board because Im sleeping with the secretary, comment to me represents how corrupted the industry actually is. Another type of humour is bathos that is shown in the scene when Homer says to Marge that yes, their visitor is intellectual but does he know the Oscar Meier Wiener song? The build up to the end of the sentence creates a very effective anticlimax. Incongruity is used in The Simpsons when there is a comment made about Eudora Welty, who was a Mississippian author known for her angelic ways. In this episode she is portrayed as a crude belching woman. Also when Barney, the alcoholic is shown at a girls guide meeting. Irony is used regularly in The Simpsons, an example of this is when Bart is watching TV and a program combining The Flintstones and The Jetsons comes on. He comments on how pointless the program would be when in fact that is what The Simpsons is based on. Hyperbole is shown when a tumbleweed passes through the house after Homers Scooby Doo joke. Trivialisation is represented when Marge writes what she is saying to Homer in the letter that she is writing and when Homer asks if his family are Jewish, then stuffs his face with pork. There is lots of vulgarity in The Simpsons, the constant belching of Homer and Barney and Bart showing a picture of his bottom to a room filled with people are good examples of this. Slapstick is also a very key part of The Simpsons, as shown in the film Man with Football. Black humour is represented with the rapping rabbis and when McBain says : Now, my Woody Allen impression: Im a neurotic nerd who likes to sleep with little girls. The biggest pun in this episode is the title A Star is Burns and the title of Barneys film Pukahontas. Overall The Simpsons has overcome all its expectations, unlike most other TV programmes it incorporates all aspects of life, including every different nationality and culture. Although it sometimes pokes fun at different people and their beliefs or what they do, it is always done in enough of a light hearted way for the creators to not only get away with it but to highlight the aspects which are problematic and sometimes cause there to be changes. I think that The Simpsons will continue to be one of the most popular cartoons of at least the next decade. Its popularity is well deserved, it has taken a lot of hard work and dedication to make and everyone involved should be proud of what they have done. It has highlighted all the problems in American society and made them realise exactly what is wrong within it, every episode of The Simpsons has a hidden meaning, even if only a few people understand what they are saying, at least the creators feel confident enough to try and tell the world exactly what they think about it.
Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Muzak Ã .a true storyÃ So there I was last year, walking through the supermarket on an afternoon like any other, trying to get everything I needed: Ã picking over the vegetables, as out of a murky fog, I realized that my foot was tapping out a sonorous beat, apparently out of my concentration. What's more amazing, I now see, is that the lazy rhythm from my foot matches a melody which has been ringing behind my thoughts as I decided what kind of onions to buy&emdash;also without me being fully aware of it. All of a sudden, a minor physical revulsion causes me to set down my basket on the produce, my body trying to exorcise this foreign invasion. What is this thing? And that tune! It sounds like a watered-down version of Eric Clapton's acoustic "Layla", terribly deflated and played by a bunch of sixty-year-old orchestra players&emdash;I am still not too sure. But it will not seem to go awayÃ .the soothing sounds turn malicious as they bounce off the walls of the nutrition center, the meat department, housewares. Everyone I see is milling around like before, are they hearing what fills my ears? Is that same insidious song playi ng with their minds? Now that I focus on the music rambling from the loudspeaker in the ceiling, it appears as if they are all part of a silent movie&emdash;acting against a separate, unrelated soundtrack. When I first started exploring background music, I came to realize that the issue involves much more than those whiny songs wafting from crappy mono speakers in department stores. It stretches far beyond these simple associations, significantly affecting the changing workplace and worker control, as well as the site of consumption and consumer control. Muzak is now a tool widely used around the world&emdash;liked by most people, revered by some, and detested by others. That's Muzak, not 'muzak' It is important to understand here that Muzak is not just another term for background (or, annoying) music; it should not be confused with the numerous impostors which play in elevators and the like. It is the name of an American corporation and its sophisticated business programming . As one of its brochures explains succinctly, "The raw material of Muzak is music." And why is music unable to achieve the same results as their product? Because music is art, but Muzak it science. And when you employ the science of Muzak: in an office, workers tend to get more done, more efficiently, and felt happier.
Sunday, January 12, 2020
How does Duffy present the theme of time in Ã¢â¬ËThe Captain of the 1964 Top of the Form Team'? In the poem, Ã¢â¬ËThe Captain of the 1964 Top of the Form Team' by Carol Ann Duffy, many themes are frequently explored, time is a huge theme presented throughout, there are many relations and connections to time and how it changes people, affects our behaviour etc, this theme if explored by Duffy using a variety of techniques including structure, language, dramatic techniques and imagery used. Firstly time is explored in detail by the structure of the poem. The title of the poem gives us the insight that the poem is stuck in time, due to the date. Shows it must be about past tense or reminiscing. This maybe makes the poem more meaningful and personal. The poem is written in the first person as it is the Ã¢â¬Å"Captain that is speaking to someone. The 4 stanzas in the poem all of various lengths show the structure of the poem is disjointed suggesting that this is his trail of thought and his mind all over the place, maybe trying to understand and relive the past. This is done using pauses and short sentences, the short sentences may also show that the narrator is becoming very excited and erratic, almost childlike that he remembers so much and is excited to tell his story. There is no rhythm to the poem again showing that he hasnÃ¢â¬â¢t had time to collect his ideas together, almost in a rush trying to reveal all the information and just blabbing it all out without thinking, the use of no rhythm affects the poem as it makes it seem more playful, if a rhythm had been used it may seem more formal. Language is also important to show the theme of time. The poem is in an informal tone, showing a more chatty/conversation which seems more childlike and friendly. (Ã¢â¬Å"Oh pretty women were in the Top Ten that monthÃ¢â¬ ). The use of the informal chat shows he feels bubbly and happy perhaps showing that this is a happier stage in his life, and he prefers talking about the past than the present. Duffy has used a lot of past tense verbs e. g. Ã¢â¬Å"pulledÃ¢â¬ , Ã¢â¬Å"smiledÃ¢â¬ , this also shows that the story is about the past and how he keeps reminiscing over and over about the things he did. The choice of persona distances the poem from Duffy and gives her the opportunity to view the issues from a more objective perspective. However the tone of the poem isnÃ¢â¬â¢t dull it is very jumpy, highlighting the narratorÃ¢â¬â¢s energy, optimism and pride in himself. Duffy demonstrates this by using adjectives like Ã¢â¬ËfizzingÃ¢â¬â¢, Ã¢â¬ËwhoopedÃ¢â¬â¢ and Ã¢â¬Ëblew like MickÃ¢â¬â¢, she also shows his confidence by using self-assured phases like Ã¢â¬ËNo snagsÃ¢â¬â¢, Ã¢â¬ËCome onÃ¢â¬â¢, Ã¢â¬ËI smiledÃ¢â¬â¢. Dramatic techniques are also used frequently through DuffyÃ¢â¬â¢s poem to help exaggerate the theme of time. She uses music to set the scene in the first stanza,' Do Wah Diddy Diddy, Baby Love, Oh Pretty Woman' emphasizing on the widespread impact of pop music. There is a sense of a boy, cramming information, I can give you the B-side of the Supremes one. Hang on. Come See About Me? Overall the feeling is one of optimism. I think the use of the music and songs is to give the childhood and fun feeling, the use of the old pop music shows he is reminiscing on old times and not focusing on the present, the fact he is singing shows he isnÃ¢â¬â¢t afraid to express himself, seeming quite happy and chirpy, the poem would se em more controlled and restricted making us question whether he actually enjoyed his past. The use of these dramatic techniques make the narrator seems he has no care in the world also draws on his freedom. Imagery helps us even more see the theme of the time in the poem. In the third stanza we are presented with the image of a proud mother Ã¢â¬Å"My mother kept my mascot Gonk on the TV set for a year. Ã¢â¬ There is also an emphasis of British context through the use of road names up Ã¢â¬ËChurchill RoadÃ¢â¬â¢ and Ã¢â¬Ëup Nelson Drive'. In the second stanza the speaker describes going down a hill on his bike Ã¢â¬Å"I sped down Dyke Hill, no hands, famous, learningÃ¢â¬ the use of this gives the image of freedom and how children speed away on their bikes without any care in the world. This could also relate to time, like him speeding away on his bike, time seems to be going so fast, flashing before his eyes.
Saturday, January 4, 2020