Television: the new parent for our children.

Bar graph illustrating the increase in the number of televisions per household from 1975 to 2010. In 1970, almost all households had one television. In 2010, a strong majority of households have 3 or more televisions.

(photo compliments of marketingprofs.com)

While lounging on the beach at Ocean City, MD, a woman vacationing with her family mentioned she had been on the beach every day while her husband and two sons spent the time inside the water-front hotel room on the boardwalk (a premium location) playing video games and sleeping.

Anyone else find that odd?

You pay for a room for a week in a city with dozens upon dozens of awesome outdoor activities, and the family stays inside, absorbed in screens?

On a similar note, does anyone find it the slightest bit odd that living/family rooms are designed around the television?

What happened?

How do we remove negative black stereotypes from movies and television? Dr. Mark Sullivan reveals two small victories that helped black people in the media.

This is the fourth of a five-part interview about the racist media portrayals of African Americans. Dr. Mark Sullivan, an adjunct professor at Towson University, teaches a class called Mass Media and Society.

The previous segment ended with Sullivan saying, “In successful shows that the producers, the networks, so far and so forth are never going to change [media depictions of African Americans] as long as they remain successful. And they’re going to continue to be perpetuated.”

I asked Sullivan what it would take to change that, and he tells two stories two small victories that assisted African Americans in media.

The best quotes:

Television is evil and it’s rotting your brain

back of kid's head as he faces a large snowy television screen taking up the whole photo

(photo compliments of civin.org)

I stand firm for a movement against screen-run lives. Technology is taking over my life.

In my goals, I noted that “tv=evil.” Let’s extend that to all screens: phones, video games, computers, tablets, iPods. (Yes, I understand the irony of blogging this information.)

Reasons to war against excessive media use:

  • You sleep best when it’s dark, don’t you? Who needs to mess with an already erratic sleep schedule by staring at a bright light after sunset?
  • Ever noticed that when someone’s eyes are glued to a screen, it’s challenging to call them into the real world? It’s annoying and rude. Let’s not be those people. Two more reasons

Racism is over now that America elected a Black president. Right? Mark Sullivan discusses the effects of Obama’s election.

This is the third part of a five-part series. Dr. Mark Sullivan, an adjunct professor at Towson University who teaches a class called Mass Media and Society, delves into the issue of the negative black stereotypes that are reinforced, and the impact of their media portrayals.

This segment comments on whether President Obama’s election has allowed more racism in America, how much “Black blood” a person has to have to be “Black enough,” how far we’ve come and how far we have yet to go in the fight against racism, and that the current depictions of Black people in media are reinforced by their success.

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The best quotes:

Women are objects.

close up of woman's chest wearing a dress with a deep-v cut to her navel. lots of breast showing.

This woman is oiled up and barely covered on the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine.

The objectification of women? Media and men catch the blame for this one.

Media

The last time I walked down a magazine aisle, the magazines edited by and targeted for females had scantily-clad, made-up and exposed women on their covers. And they are the most successfully sold.

Do media present us with images that we adopt, or do media present us with images that we demand and reinforce? Do we expect a company to tank to avoid objectifying women?

Men

Plus, men are always blamed. It’s always men that objectify women. Walk around. Women are hanging all out there. You think people (not just horny men) aren’t going to look?

Women are responsible for objectifying themselves.

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Lupe Fiasco’s “Words I Never Said” from Lasers declares a powerful message about America

In honor of Lupe Fiasco‘s release of Lasers tomorrow, Mar 8, this Music Monday post is dedicated to Lupe‘s most recent release from the album, “Words I Never Said.”

This track and “The Show Goes On” have a direct message about the indecency and corruption in American culture. And I’m putting it nicely. Just listen to the track “Words I Never Said.”

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Lupe’s previous albums (Food & LiquorThe Cool) used sophisticated literary devices to speak to the issues that inner city culture and Black youth face. Both albums feature songs that are extended metaphors, the entire album, The Cool, is an extended metaphor, and Lupe personifies abstractions like The Cool, The Streets, and The Game to further reveal traits of the Black struggle. In The Coolest, he says, “Streets got my heart, game got my soul.”

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Is there a lack of black role models? Mark Sullivan discusses Oprah, athletes and role models in media.

This is the second part of a five-part interview analyzing the negative portrayal of African Americans in the media with Dr. Mark Sullivan, an adjunct professor at Towson University.

My second question while interviewing Sullivan, a professor of Mass Media and Society, was regarding positive black role models in the media. Is there a shortage? Why? And what about Oprah’s fame versus criticism for helping other countries and neglecting the inner cities of America?

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The best quotes:

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