Sunday, March 8, 2015

Blog Post 6: Totalitarian Governments

Mussolini described the fascist state of Italy as, "All within the state, none outside the state, none against the state", and that concept is what drives totalitarian governments today. It is a drive for absolute power and authority. Broadly speaking, it can be characterized with a strong central rule, whether it is a dictator, group of individuals, etc., that attempts to control all aspects of individuals. While under totalitarian rule, a state has a breakdown of most social institutions, and often times the government seizes absolute control of the economy. Large scale violence is acceptable, and justified, under totalitarian rule in order to enforce commitment to the state and its goals. They are possible still today because of fear, and the removal of hope. If the citizens have been stripped of all hope and individuality, it becomes easier and easier to control them. 

In the Hunger Games, the capitol is the absolute power in Panem. They control the economy by designating what each district must provide. Districts are more or less isolated and have duties to fulfill. Anyone who speaks against the Capitol, or encourages against them, is immediately targeted. The Games themselves, the taking of the youth, the publication and endorsement of slaughtering, is done to remind the citizens that the Capitol is in charge and the districts cannot do anything to stop this event. Eventually there is a revolution, as there is in many totalitarian states, but the fact that it took so long for it to happen should not surprise anyone. Deprivation of hope makes for an easy society to control.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

In-Class Blog Post

Visually engaging blogs seem to be the ones that receive the highest number of positive reviews. Using a dynamic background isn't necessarily the solution, better usage of images, gifs, and video clips only boost the reception of blogs. Personally, I believe this is where my blog falls short. Content is only one portion of what makes a blog good. It was also suggested that breaking longer entries into multiple paragraphs and modeling a more journalistic style will help engage viewers longer. Manipulation of text, like I do helps some, but I think the next step to improving my blog is to incorporate images and other media more ofter and give the blog blog and overall make-over. After all, appearances do matter, correct?

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Blog Post 5: Text and Television's Influence on Society

Text and media have the one of the highest powers to influence society. In times of crisis, news stations can make reports promoting good news rather than focus on negative things to help stabilize society. By the same measure, they have the power to report only negativity and remove hope from citizens. Recent events in Ferguson and LA can help me prove this point. When the rioting and protesting in Ferguson was occurring, media and telecasting played a big role. In the 90's during the LA riots, news stations broadcasted almost all of the fires being started, beatings occurring, and looting happening. This led to outrage and backlash across the county. A few months ago in Ferguson, there was much more footage of the aftermath and restoration of the city rather than all the bad happening. Although most of the same things happened, much less was reported and there was a lot less civil unrest.

In the Hunger Games, the publicity the games receive is for further oppression of the districts foremost, and entertainment for the people second. In The Condemned, the main purpose is entertainment, to get more views than the Super Bowl. The concept of the game is almost identical to that of the Hunger Games. The rules were manipulated and led to advantages for McStarley. Breckel is similar to the game maker, and his fate is the same, death.