Analyzing Our New President’s Political Campaign

Donald Trump, the new president of the United States, did not win the election simply by saying “Hey, I’m running for president, vote for me.” and then quitting. Millions of dollars and campaign techniques were behind the campaign that led Trump to victory. Usually we associate campaigns solely with propaganda, however, there is always a little bit of persuasion and propaganda behind any campaign.

Yes, propaganda is defiantly the prominent form that is apparent when it comes to any political campaign. However, we saw some persuasion taking place as well during the presidential election. For example, Trump recently stated that he will not be accepting a penny of the salary that goes along with being the president of the United States. If we analyze his campaign from the informational objective, we see a lot of propoganda showing itself. For example, he relied on name calling and used fallacious warrants. If we look at the motivational objective, the genre behind any campaign is generally a romantic type, simply because we only think of the president to be one person who runs the whole country (even though it is multiple people who are in office). The behavioral objective behind this successful campaign was defiantly for him to get every American to be on his side (obviously, this is not possible, but it is the desired outcome). The target audience has basically split into two polar opposite sides, the people who have reacted very negatively to his election and the people who are extremely happy he won.


Fandom Labor

In today’s day and age, we tend to think that we have nothing to do with the success of modern media. However, if we consider different TV shows, movies, music, etc., we are the reason behind all of the success. The term for this is fandom labor, meaning people who consume the media are basically responsible for the labor behind it.

Without fans, media would have nothing to aim to please; the audience (fans) are the people they look to keep interested in whatever it is they are producing. Although I wasn’t in class for the lecture, I did some reading online and that is where I got all of this information. A source I used was an article from the Transformative Works and Cultures web page. It explains that something as simple as watching TV can be considered labor for a consumer.

After looking up a bunch of information and reading other blogs, I find it interesting to consider the topic of fandom a type of labor. I never really thought of it that way, but I now understand why it is considered that.

Breaking News: the pair of jeans being advertised does not include the lifestyle shown in the commercial

We’ve all seen the commercials for clothing; everyone is friends, the girls are all “perfect”, the guys are jacked, and their lives seem suspiciously carefree. Whatever they are doing has nothing to do with the close they’re wearing. However, these commercials have shown great success at luring people in in today’s advertising world. Why is this? The desire to be the people in the commercial or do what the people are doing. Who doesn’t want to be a kick ass rebel who sits on the curb eating fries and not caring about anything? And we can’t forget about the free spirit who runs through a meadow while everyone else is working or in school.. Ah, priorities..

This is all explained by the Audience Commodity Theory. People don’t necessary want the product, they want the lifestyle that supposedly goes hand in hand with possessing the product. The use-value of jeans means absolutely nothing. Why put big pockets on girls jeans? Why even put real pockets on them at all? Right? Wrong. If we were actually concerned about the use-value of what we were wearing, women’s jeans would have pockets that can actually hold more than a stick of gum. Too bad we, as a society, are generally only concerned about the exchange-value of things. If I start to get specific, take the American Eagle Ad that I just looked up: AEO Denim Flex. It’s totally cool to be causing down a back road in the middle of nowhere with your bestie- I get that-, but what that has to do with flex denim is beyond me, and if we are so concerned with things being flexible, why don’t the girls in the ad put on loose sweatpants…?

We are all guilty of falling into the trap of letting ads use us as the product, but if you are aware of this you can start making wiser decisions on why you may by a product: for the use-value or the exchange-value.


Up Like Trump

It’s all over the news; Donald Trump this, Donald Trump that, Donald Trump just bought a foreign country. Love him or hate him, there’s no escaping the inevitable ‘Trumpster’. Although it may seem as though he’s on a different level then us (AKA, swimming in millions), his whole campaign basically focuses on making him seem like he’s one of us and for the people: “Make America Great Again”.  That being said, he’s a prominent opinion leader (at least to Republicans) in today’s presidential race (just as Hilary is prominent to Democrats, typically.)photo

As I said in a previous blog post, I’m not for either Hilary Clinton or Donald Trump. I just wanted to write about Donald specifically, because although he is an opinion leader in a way, he fails in certain areas because of the perspective he has on women, different races, and different social classes. I think his perspective really is out of line at times, especially when he begins to go on his rants during debates. He has no filter, which allows for any rude comment or opinion to seep through his judgmental mouth. According to an article entitled Donald Trump: The Leader who will take us forward, Donald will be a great leader who will “take us forward”. Wether or not this is the truth is unknown, but I guess we will see when the election results are shown.

Presidential Debate or SNL Skit?

I was scrolling through my private twitter feed the other day, and I came across a bunch of hilarious tweets bashing both candidates in the election. Some of them were memes that I probably shouldn’t mention on here, others were well thought out savage jokes. Obviously, I find these jokes pretty amusing or else why would I follow all of the pages that continuously tweet them? However, after watching the recap on the debate tonight, those jokes aren’t really jokes, it’s the cold, hard truth that whichever narcissistic candidate wins the debate, we’re stuck with.

The whole debate, along with all of the other ones, was each candidate bashing the other like high schoolers. Are these two people all that we have to offer for presidential candidates? It’s so scary to think that I have to pick one of these people in order for my vote to even make a minuscule difference. The talk on immigration, like always, was by far the most horrifying to listen to and watch. Even the facial expressions from each candidate are disgusting and immature. All it is is a screaming match, and I’m honestly praying that some third party rises up and gains a lot of popularity, because otherwise we are in major trouble.

The Scoop on Why We Tell Our Secrets Sooner Online Then Face to Face

The whole concept of why people disclose private information about themselves sooner online then face to face is an extremely interesting and surprising easy concept to grasp. Take, for example, information such as a potential rough past, past relations, sexuality, etc. Would you be more likely to tell a random person in a chat room about this, or a stranger you’re standing next to at the bus stop? Although some people may say neither, it’s been proven that a lot of times people actually pick the first one and admit to venting to random strangers just because the other people have no way of knowing who they really are. I mean, yes, most of the time this is true. However, depending on what network you’re using, there is always the slight chance that your identity will be revealed, but if you put yourself in the shoes of a person who really feels the need to vent and doesn’t want to disclose face to face to anyone, social media is definitely the best choice.

Disclosing information online has become the thing to do nowadays. Take all of the ‘anonymous’ social media sites and accounts that have sprung up in the past few years that let you post whatever it is your heart desires. YikYak, Tumblr, every discussion board from parenting to cheating on your spouse; it’s a never ending list and it’s all a free space for people to be as rude, sexual, funny, dramatic as they want- all anonymously. Believe it or not, there’s actually a science behind this. It all can be explained in the Social Penetration Theory, where people are more likely to disclose super private “secrets” at an alarming fast rate online compared to face to face. As explained in the article Why You Might Share More Intimately Online, people feel frightened to disclose right away to a person they just met, simply because there’s always the chance of rejection. Which makes complete sense. I wouldn’t feel comfortable telling a random stranger about my life story, would you? Chances are you answered that with a no, and if you said yes, congrats, you’re included in a minuscule part of the world’s population.

Artificial Intelligence: Should Social Bots Be Allowed In Social Relationships?

The topic of whether of not artificially intelligent social bots should be allowed into relationships is very widely debated. Some say yes, social bots are extremely useful when it comes to certain situations such as aiding in providing companionship or therapeutic services to people who are not too severely in need of help. Others argue that the idea of utilizing a fake person to help someone is totally wrong, simply because they are, in fact, artificial, and that’s totally unethical to allow people to depend on them for company or help in any way, shape, or form.

As for me, I think social bots are nothing less than awesome. I mean, yeah, I would be pretty pissed if I found out a person I had been romantically interested in or a ‘therapist’ who had been providing me help was a fake person, but if I knew ahead of time, what’s the  big deal? I personally wouldn’t waste my time talking to a bot online to form any type of relationship if I knew that is truly was a bot, but if someone wants to, more power to them. No, a therapist you find online is absolutely, in no way, a substitute for an actual real-life one if you truly need professional help, just as a fake robot-relationship is not going to be the same as a living, breathing companion. However, why not utilize the services bots are capable of providing? Just as Jan Rezab states in his article Why Social Media Chat Bots Are the Future of Communication, bots are useful for several reasons. A lot of these reasons businesses find themselves being compelled to, because they make costumer service and other varying tasks just that much easier. So, long story short, bots are not the enemy. How we use them and whether or not the real identity of the bot is revealed is definitely where ethics come into play.