Internet heroes and the brilliantly brilliant work they so brilliantly do.

Remember Kony 2012? Of course you do, how could anybody forget the biggest Internet campaign to ever happen which turned out to be an overhyped flash in the pan that essentially acheived nothing.

Well, actually not nothing. It gave an undying sense of self-satisfaction to everyone who was saintly enough to ‘like’ the page, making them feel like they’ve truly made a difference in the world. It was the biggest load of bullshit I’ve ever seen. Every sucker with internet connection became a preacher for the horrible Child Soldier issue in Africa. What makes it worse is that Kony was already in hiding from UN forces; so all this attention was focused in a completely pointless direction. People were asking me “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO STOP KONY?!?!1!/1/1!?1?one!/1″

Hmm. I guess I did nothing. But what have you done? You’ve pressed one button and then assumed you were the god-sent solution to every problem in the world. In response:

“Thanks so much (insert stereotypically Western name here)!!! Your ‘like’ on Facebook actually brought my mother back to life, made the dictator warlords who abducted me and forced me to kill hundred of innocent civilians see the error in their ways, AND given me enough food, water and shelter to live another day in this hellhole!!!” – said no Child Soldier ever.

Sorry, that was a bit bitter and rude. But the Internet has undeniably injected a sense of ego in everyone; whether it be the ego to write whatever the hell you want on a blog (exhibit: this post) or the ego to feel informed about the issues we’ll never solve on the other sides of the world. This isn’t particularly always a negative thing, but an interesting observation. There’s an infinite amount of easily accessible information on the internet. With Kony 2012, the more naive of the viewers found the viral 30 minute video and after watching it, felt that they were completely informed about the issue and gained undeniably truthful information they could then preach to other people for the self-satisfaction of feeling ‘aware’ and ‘concerned.’ However, much of the controversy around the video was the irrelevant, outdated and over simplified information it presented that may have been detrimental to the cause. Did Invisible Children make it just because they had the technological means to and saw it as a way to cash in? Or were they exploiting the White Savior Complex which has also increased with the immediacy of the internet? These days, we can do anything online. Shopping, banking, communicating, bookings, research etc. So why can’t we end world hunger while we’re flicking between Facebook and ASOS? Privileged middle-upper class teens in the Western World are susceptible internet audiences who will believe a lot of what they read and react in whatever way will make them feel better about themselves. Therefore, when Kony 2012 rolled around, this 13-17 year old bracket became morally outraged after their online 30 minute history lesson (not learning from more reliable traditional news sources) and sprung into internet action, helping the video become the most viral video of all time.

“There’s this idea of rescuing the helpless African which goes back to 19th century missionary complex.” – Tavia Nyong’o, associate professor of performance studies at New York University told Colorlines. The ‘missionary’ idea has just absorbed and developed in response to growing new media; to the point that teenagers behind their computer feel they have the superiority and ‘sympathy’ to attempt to save Africa behind their computer screens.

With all due respect, a lot of people did donate to Invisible Children or buy products such as T-shirts, mugs, bracelets etc. To the point that the organisation’s revenue doubled the year the video came out. But, according to financial reports, 81.48 per cent on “media, mobilisation, protection and recovery” (Source here). In other words, international events, tours and more campaigns was where your T-shirt money went. In other words, it didn’t do anything.

Dr Tanya Lyons said on this article from The Punch“They’re not heroes for clicking on a link. They’re just lazy. And giving money won’t help.”

Bye. ~rant over~

Mileys Cyrus is insane. But..

Miley Cyrus’s ridiculously sexual and embarrassing VMA performance has become the biggest thing across the Internet since planking. Yes, I think her performance was obnoxious, clearly desperate for attention and completely inappropriate for even a porno. But did everybody forget that Robin Thicke’s “summer smash hit” is a track that essentially promotes rape? And that disrespecting women is a common theme in music and the media these days, to the point that tabloids completely scrutinise every single thing powerful women do and completely ignore the men?

I honestly believe that female celebrities are the easiest targets for the media. Too skinny, too fat, too promiscuous, too much of a diva.. The list goes on.

So, with good reason, mileys been scrutinised for her performance. But calling a whore, a stupid slut and other sexually derogatory terms is a bit inappropriate seeing as Robin Thicke gets away with blatantly promoting rape and being so derogatory to women that his film clip was removed from YouTube. And still in rap music today, women are seen as sexual objects (which is certainly reflected in performances and videos) and the general sexism of the media and music industry.

Miley went crazy. but the fact that her sexual performance was apparently so shocking is ridiculous. Why can’t she jump on the sexually inappropriate band wagon that so many male artists have meticulously fashioned?

Stress and all the demons that come with it

Stress is such a common thing in humans that it’s medically recognised as a symptom and cause of many illnesses and ailments from pimples to pneumonia. Why is it that it’s so in our nature to stress?

There’s an infinite number of reasons that vary from person to person. I honestly believe that the 21st century is home to an anxious and busy population. One reason for this is the increase in rapidly fast communication technologies that all of a sudden turn a 9-5 work day into a 24 hour one. Emails, your phone and the internet don’t close after the cleaners leave, they follow us from the minute we leave the office, school or uni to the minute we get back the next day.
Personal relationships have much greater expectations; “why didn’t you call me today?” “Why did you take an hour to reply to my text?” – all of this meaning it’s virtually impossible to switch off.

I’m not saying technology is the only reason the western world is generally full of a bunch of work crazy stress heads, but it’s one of them. Communication is so immediate that we can no longer be completely alone. The network follows us everywhere.

I’ve never met someone who has never been stressed out (understandably) but for those who find themselves constantly stressing about everything (such as yours truly), the affirmation I tell myself everyday is “treasure yourself, don’t pressure yourself.”

In other words, I’m constantly reminding myself that I’m a living, breathing, feeling human, not a work robot completely void of emotions and social needs whose sole purpose in life is to finish essays and reading logs.

Unlecture/symposium numbah 5

If a tree falls in the forrest…..
The old cliche that is so relevant in so many situations.

If I post a blog to the web, but nobody reads it… Does it exist?

Adrian’s interesting answer to this was: just because nobody’s in the rehearsal studio with us while we are dancing or buying and analysing our paintings isn’t an excuse to not paint or dance.

Definitely an inspiring thought.

Is Print Dead? Funnily enough, I posted on this a while ago. How far will digital technologies go to completely eradicate and replace the book? Adrian stated that people will always choose the digital versions of massive textbooks over the heavy real life versions. But to be honest, every time I have a reading to do for class (which is about 2 readings per class per week), I print them off. Because nothing beats a good ol’ pen and highlighter to really absorb the information. I really can’t read a long paper off a computer screen and expect myself to get any of it. Secondly, I read a lot of fiction books. I’d much prefer the feel of a paperback book in my hands than the cold feel of an iPad when I’m killing time on an aeroplane.

But, I am just one person with one opinion. I bet a vast majority of people would prefer everything digital. Who knows what the future of print will hold?

~ getting ma Vine on ~

I’ve never actually used Vine before, but then I remembered that you have to post them on your blog as part of the blog audit form. So I downloaded the app and started wondering what mundane part of my day I could mash up into a 6 second video that loops for eternity. Surprisingly, I had made two within 45 minutes and was starting to see the world through Vine goggles; “what 6 second video can I make this into?”

Thanks to Jennifer’s post about embedding, I am now a fully fledged Vine -> blog machine.