Music on Democracy

By Rachel Jones

I believe that music previously played a larger role on democracy more than it does today. The 1950s – 1970s was the beginning and end to the golden era of Rock which was arguably one of the most influential and controversial times for the music genre. Rock was a reflection of social and cultural change. People were angry and they expressed that in song. New Wave and Punk music brought awareness to topics like suicide, depression and violence. All of these things played a significant role in the shaping of our country during that time and were undoubtedly apart of democracy in regards to social and cultural change but also had some influence on politics as well.

I don’t feel that current music still embodies the empowerment and movement that it used to. Pop music is just that, a popular catchy tune that people listen to for some time then forget about. The kind of music that hasn’t been forgotten over the decades is the music that inspired movements and change. Despite the fast popularity then decline in interest of these sounds, new media platforms have increased profits for producers and since songs are put together so quickly without the same dedication, more songs can be created in a short amount of time contributing to the rise in pop music profit.

†Quora put together a really interesting article that talks more about mass produced artists and how new media has increased the profits of producers. The article shows statistical information and breaks down how they make profit on different streaming sights like iTunes, YouTube, or Spotify. You can check out the article here.

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Music Used to have heart. Ben LeVine

Ben LeVine

Music in our democracy is used to portray a message, as well as to give us a source of entertainment. Personally, I could not live without music. The music industry also gives people jobs, and with those jobs they are able to contribute back to society. Modern contemporary music is very different from the music that promoted social justice and anti war rhetoric. Non of that good stuff has rubbed off onto modern music.Music used to pay a social role. When the public was getting silenced in the 60s and 70s, music was a way for the people to speak freely. Music now is unfortunately bland and trashy. No message is being portrayed in any kind of music across all genre. Some examples of this modern day garbage include but are not limited to Cardi B, Nikki Miniaj , Drake, Rick Ross and finally Blueface. All these artist ( if you can call them that are the farthest thing away from the artist in the civil rights era who made a difference. Now, I am not hating on modern music entirely. There are some amazing songs out there that promote world peace or other global issues. There is a song by K’NAN called waving flag. It is about the oppression in Somalia and expresses the aspirations for the people of Somalia and how they strive for freedom. There is also a song that is not so modern ( early 1990s) that is by Tupac. Called changes. This song depicts what it is like to be a young black man in Los Angeles in the early 90s. I feel that this song is very relevant in our society now.

Real Life Magic by Ashley Johnson

Music has served a lot of purposes for people all around the world. It helps get a point across, or shares a story, or praises the Lord, or tell you to put your hands up. People call it a passion. Some individuals make a living from it. I’m positive music has benefited everyone in one form or another.

Music is a way people can express themselves. That can range from how people are dealing with their emotions after a certain event or addressing the political climate. We have had lots of songs that are written with the intention of making people feel someway about a certain subject. For example, War by Edwin Starr was written in protest to the Vietnam war and it topped the charts in the United States. Another example is We Are the World, which was a charity single recorded by the United Support of Artists for Africa in 1985. This song featured artists like Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Willie Nelson, and 32 other artists. One of the more modern songs written about a world issue is Earth by Lil Dicky. Like We Are the World, this song features many well-known artists. It was written to promote climate change.

Music can be an escape. It is there when no one else knows how you’re feeling. It is there when you want to cheer up. It is there when you’re stuck in traffic. We listen to artists that we like the sound of, or lyrics we relate to. If you are in the pop music category, the pressure is real to release top hit after top hit. But most of these artists just want to share their creations with the world and have people enjoy it!

Music Has a New Role

By: Megan Miles

Music is understood by everyone no matter where you’re from. There is no doubt that music is a good source of entertainment, it helps to cheer everyone up, to calm people down, or played in parties and ceremonies to entertain guests. It also links us to our culture and tradition like the folk songs sung by great artists like Gurdas Mann, his lyrics contain many things that still linger in our culture. Music is capable of connecting people to one another. When people go to a musical concert, they are with those people who share their musical tastes and together and they feel the emotions that the music evokes. However, there seems to be a dark side to accepting fame, what are producers and record labels not being transparent about? Today’s music industry has evolved and limits creativity, taken scouts always seem to be hunting down the next star. What begins as an honest attempt to bring talent out of the woodwork, becomes a frenzy of handwork and no play. In 2017, former K-Pop star Henry Prince Mak was subjected to 24-hour work days, zero compensation, plastic surgery and suffering relationships due to the grueling nature of his record label’s contract. Stardom is no easy feat, even for American artists, it is fascinating to see how many artists have songs about feeling like robots or puppets on strings like they’re being controlled. Kesha, a well-known popstar, released her first album since 2012 and her lawsuit against Sony Music producer Dr. Luke, who she says abused her and won’t release her from her contract. The industry is so entangled with keeping up appearances that no one really seems to know about the inner workings of the industry. 

Socialization in Film

By Sidnee Short

Movies contribute to our socialization in many ways. New movies are coming out constantly, and just about everyone watches hundreds if not thousands of movies in their lifetime. Just like of types of mass media, movies usually show women as beautiful objects for powerful men to use and look at (Princess movies, MCU franchise, Star Wars). This has been going on since the beginning of show business, and it has very much influenced the way society views the difference between women and men. Just like the movie“This film is not yet rated” said, violence in movies is deemed less controversial than sexual acts in a movie. This has contributed so much to our socialization because most people believe that sexual acts, which are a part of everyone’s lives at some point, are more controversial to see in film than pointing a gun at someone, because of the rating shown on the movie. All of this shows just how important representation is in films. More women and people of color need to be at the helm of the film industry, and they need to be shown as powerful figures and equals when they are on screen in order to truly change the social norm. There needs to be more equality in the industry, but they don’t have to depict reality in my opinion. The whole reason people watch movies is to escape reality. If you’re watching the Avengers or Monsters INC., they’re obviously not the best depiction of everyday life. But, that’s the whole point of watching a movie. The plot points of movies can be far from reality, but they just need to make sure that the people they portray in the films are not just your average “beautiful” man or woman. 

Women on Film

By Rachel Jones

Every year we see movies that hit the box office and take off in sales. People are there opening night waiting in line to see the next greatest movie so they can talk to all of their friend who also saw the movie about how great it was. It’s great that movies are such a significant part of our cultural but sometimes they can be very detrimental or humiliating to minorities. This is something that truly shapes our movies and is amplified on screen with crude humor or lack of character representation.

Representation in film is important and in recent years has gotten better. Filmmakers and their audiences have recognized the importance of diversity and accurate representation. As a society, if we want to abolish the mistreatment and misunderstanding of these minorities then they need to be represented fairly and accurately. This is the responsibility of the filmmaker.

A great example of a movie franchise that started doing this is The Walt Disney Company especially with their Marvel movies. Black Panther was a game changer and was done very tastefully. Truly though, The Walt Disney Company has been doing this for years with their animated films like Mulan, Aladdin, The Princess and The Frog, and Moana. I believe they do this though because they understand their audience is global and they know how important it is to be accurate in their depictions of different nationalities.

You can find out more about how Disney has been eliminating gender stereotypes and changing roles in the movie industry in this article done by PAX: Gender Stereotypes and Roles Changing in Disney MoviesA great example of a movie franchise that started doing this is The Walt Disney Company especially with their Marvel movies. Black Panther was a game changer and was done very tastefully. Truly though, The Walt Disney Company has been doing this for years with their animated films like Mulan, Aladdin, The Princess and The Frog, and Moana. I believe they do this though because they understand their audience is global and they know how important it is to be accurate in their depictions of different nationalities.

You can find out more about how Disney has been eliminating there stereotypes in the movie industry in this article done by PAX: Gender Stereotypes and Roles Changing in Disney Movies.

Why Movies are so Powerful

By Remington Brown

Every movie affects our society in different ways. Many historical movies or documentaries teach us about our or others history and culture. It gives us a history lesson and a glimpse on what it would be like to live in that era. Even movies that are fictional still depicts what it would be like to live in that generation. Another way movies contribute to our society is by teaching us about different themes or lessons. Some movies teach us about sacrifices, ambition, friendship, justice or transformation. Movies don’t just contribute to our society about teaching us new things, but they also contribute to our society by helping the economy increase. It doesn’t only give people jobs on the production side, but it also gives people jobs on the distribution side. Companies don’t just produce movies, but they also make merchandise such as posters, action figures and collectibles. Representation also matters in films if it is depicted correctly. Representation is important because it gives minorities role models which are important because they influence our actions and gives us motivation to strive in life. For example, the movie “Wonder Woman” gave young women a person to look up to because she was able to stand up to herself against men and fight for what was right. Katniss Everdeen from “The Hunger Games” series was another representation for the female population. She was also an amazing role model because she stood up and did what is right. Filmmakers don’t always need to have a responsibility to accurately depict reality depending on the genre. For example, a comedy movie or a Sci-fi movie does not need to depict reality because it can create its own reality. Filmmakers have a responsibility to accurately depict reality if it is a documentary or something that want to normally portray our culture or our history. The point of fictional stories is to escape the rules of our reality, so they can be changed within reason in order to fit the universe created by the author.