Friday, June 11, 2010

essay 3

Gina Thomas
ENN 191- Arts, Politics and Protest
Essay #3
Everyone loves a catchy song, with rhymes and a heart felt beat. The music makes you want to move, and the lyrics stick to your mind like chewing gum stuck to the bottom of your sneaker. That's a powerful song and they come around every once in a while, some artist are lucky enough to have one great hit that everyone loves but is soon forgotten. While some artist make history and their music lives forever and become classics. Having sold 11 #1 Billboard albums its hard to not know of Jay-Z .His music is heard world wide and he is loved world wide, he has a massive amount of fans who respect and honor him. When Jay-Z releases a song it becomes an instant sensation. Other musicians such as rockers and rappers criticize him in their music, but they come and go like seasons one thing remains constant is that Jay-Z never fades! What is it about this rapper that has the worlds attention? Perhaps its his lyrics or even his swag but one thing is for certain everyone is listening to what Jay-Z has to say. In the song "What we talking about" in the album Blueprint:3 Jay-Z mixes politics with hip-hop music. This happened to be a successful mix of popular culture and politics as we saw historical change in America. Jay-Z raps about many things that affect him such as the diamonds on his wrist and the cars in his garage. But he also raps about important things that effect him and the world around him such as politics. Although not a politician himself Jay Z seems to have a connection to politics.
In the 2008 US presidential election musicians such as Jay-Z really took an interest in politics. Hip-Hop and Authority such as police and the government are usually in opposite sides of the fence. This could be because of the abuse given to the people who weren't in power especially those of oppressed communities such as homosexuals and African American. Jay z and Barack Obama have race in common. I believe thats their greatest similarity. Precisely because of the color of their skin is the reason this nation has a dark history. These two men are of African- American decent. As we know America has had Black slaves for many years and although it was abolished it doesn't change the fact it occurred to this super power nation.
I can definitely see how one another can benefit from each other. Jay Z is a very successful man. His music is known world wide and has been for many years. Obama on the other hand takes a strong stand towards progress and change. So if you mix this main stream respected artist and add in a up and coming politician with a charming personality and charisma its a double hitter!
Obama's biggest opposers were the members of the Republican Party. A lot of people who supported Obama through out the election suffered a lot of repression and abuse. One man was in a Sarah Palin (REP)rally and was kicked behind the leg for supporting Obama.
"Oh, you think that's funny?!" the large bearded man said. His face as turning red. "Yeah, that's real funny…" he said. And then he kicked the back of my leg, buckling my right knee and sending me sprawling onto the ground. But all this supporter was doing was practicing his First Amendment. But within that same rally people in a near by dorm room blasted hip-hop music to show their support for Obama. Hip-hop opened the door for many of this countries youth to politics. People who wouldn't normally follow politics all of sudden did and it was because politics was on every channel on t.v including the music channels. "Barack Obama was the clear choice among youth voters in the Democratic primaries. He garnered support from 60 percent of young voters."- CIRCLE (The Center for Information & Research on Civil Learning & Engagement) Jay-Z as well as many other main stream artist that supported Barack Obama with their, t-shirts, their interviews and their songs seem to be quite satisfied with the result of the election. They delivered the message and got great positive responses from people all over the country. For the presidents inauguration many well known music artist were present and performed some of the attendees were; Beyonce,Mary J Blige, Bono, Garth Brooks, Sheryl Crow, Josh Groban, Shakira and Bruce Springsteen to name a few. This inauguration was a real big celebration. I remember rushing home to watch it on t.v. it was such a big deal I would even compare it to the Grammys. Todays biggest artist were going to be there with the US newest president. The whole world was watching. "It has been a long debated question whether Barack Obama is more of a politician or a celebrity."- Maggie Liu.
The fact that so many iconic people took interest in the elections of 2008 really showed a shift in the results of the voters. There were actors who wore Obama t-shirts in everyday lives but of course paparazzi got a hold and it became popular. Everyone including myself wore an Obama shirt. Our favorite summer jams spoke about Barack Obama, songs with titles such as " My President is Black"- Young Jeezy. We had P. Diddy being televised supporting Obama with shirts that said Vote or Die. P. Diddy also got many celebrities to go and register themselves to vote. This campaign was as much political as it was mainstream popular cultured. Celebrities were so much apart of the elections that there were many commercials broadcasted encouraging the common people to go out and get registered. So when we see all the celebrities we love doing something we are finally able to do, we went ahead and did it. I think that was one of the reasons having such a main stream support from musicians and actors helped out Barack Obama. Some people didn't always agree with this form of political campaign. "Art has clearly failed historically as means to bring imagination and creativity to movements of social change."- John Jordan
Art and politics haven't always gone hand in hand. Art at times refutes politics and it used as way to make a statement against the government.Art and politics don't always coincide but in the latest election we saw how it was possible to mix the both and have social change. Not only social change but a historical change in one of the worlds greatest super powered nations the United States of America.
I think that if art and music didn't get involved as heavily as it did with the presidential election the results might have varied drastically. In previous elections the youth wasn't as involved as they were in more recent presidential elections. I believe this is because politics aren't that appealing to the youth as a whole. But once you bring in something that is appealing such as main stream culture, music , fashion things that catch the attention of the youth and incorporate that with politics then politics become a focus of interest of the youth. Barack Obama is the 44th President of the United States, he is also the first African- American president. I think thats a huge accomplishment.

Abouhalkah, ael T. "Reid's stinging racist comments on Obama." MIDWEST VOICES JAN 1 0 2010: 1. Web. 11 Jun 2010. .

Jay Z, . "MUSIC LYRICS." AZ LYRICS. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Jun 2010. .

Jordan, John, "The Art of Necessity the subversive imagination of the Anti-Road protest and reclaim the streets."Cultural Resistance Reader. 2002. Stephen Duncombe.(p.348)

LUI, MAGGIE. "Opinion: Obama: Politician or Celebrity?." THE TECH NOV 4 2008: 1. Web. 11 Jun 2010. .

Shaheem, Reid. "T.I., Fall Out Boy, Jay-Z And Others Keep The Love Coming For President- Elect Obama ." MTV News Nov 6 2008: n. pag. Web. 11 Jun 2010. .

Thursday, May 20, 2010

change of essay 3

Oh im so upset! BlogSpot really sucks it wont publish what i say and on top of that i have to retype it because it doesn't say it
in a nutshell i've change my mind about my topic for essay 3
i want to write about the Vietnam war. i have choosen a song by a spanish group called
Los Guaraguaos - the name of the song is No basta Rezar which means Prayer is not enough.
I want a piece of writting about the chemical warfare i keep seeing things a bout when i GOOGLE.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Blog on Essay #3

I've decided I'm going to write my final paper on the woman's liberation movement.
The piece of art I'm going to use will be a song written by Nina Simon but performed by Lisa Hannigan. The piece of literature I will use is an essay written by Virginia Wolf called A woman's place. Which is found in the cultural resistance reader.

I picked this topic because I'm closely effected by this movement, mostly because i myself am a female. And I happen to really love this cover of the song so it wont be as painful to listen to it 10000 times.

5 pointz

5 Pointz was interesting. I feel its a way to express oneself but perhaps not everyone did it for the reason. Graffiti i agree is a form of art but it is also a form of corruption. It effects everyone who See's it. But it also effects the people who's property is being drawn on. 5 Pointz happens to be one of the few areas where you can express your individual and political view on things. But not all graffiti is done with the same desecration. I see graffiti being a way to flip the bird to those who oppress as well. Once you've written on someones's wall that wall is marked. and its marked with your name your design its marked by you. But it can also be interpeted as two wrongs not making a right. Depends where you stand and what walk of life you come from.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Essay #2

<3 Puerto Rico yo nunca dejare de amarte <3

The fight for equality seems to be a never ending one. People from all corners of the world have fought for change. In the late 60s and early 70s in America and around the world the fight for equality was in full effect. Historical events happened in this time such as the assignation of Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the age of 39. American President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act which prohibited discrimination for public amenities. All while the U S of A was at war with Vietnam.
The effects of this time were felt world-wide, in the rural areas as well as the urban areas of many counties. In the heavy populated NYC there was a lot of action and protest going on around late 60s and early 70s. There was a movement going developing amongst the Latino community; Puerto Ricans to be exact. There was a group of nationalist called the Young Lords originally from Chicago, but who’s influence spread to New York City were there was a large group of Puerto Rican and Latino population.
The Young Lords fought against key issues affecting the members of their society. Key issues such as Street Cleaning – when the Young Lords asked the members of their community what was the one thing they’re having trouble with, most would answer that the their neighborhood streets weren’t being cleaned. The Young Lords took it upon themselves to clean the streets and started somewhat of a movement and ended up blocking out streets with city garbage until the city recognized there was a situation. They also were concerned with Health Care and Education. The Young Lords made a 13 point platform which included
“12. We believe armed self- defense and armed struggle are the only means to liberation.”
“We are opposed to violence—the violence of hungry children, illiterate adults, diseased old people, and the violence of poverty and profit We have asked, petitioned, gone to courts, demonstrated peacefully, and voted for politicians full of empty promises. But we still aint’ free. The time has come to defend the lives of our people against repression and for revolutionary war against the businessman, politician, and police. When a government oppresses out people, we have the right to abolish it and create a new one. “Young Lords Party 13- Point Program and Platform.
This is a strong point to make. They seem to be speaking very clearly about how they feel is the consequence of all the oppression. The backlash to the oppression these people have faced. They are doing two things here, they are making a declaration that they don’t like the way the government is doing its job so they are going to abolish it, and create a new one. And at the same time they are informing the people the oppressed people that there’s this group who isn’t afraid to speak its mind and right for everyone’s right. The Young Lords helped make way for this new cultural resistance and renaissance amongst Latinos and especially Puerto Ricans. Music and poetry were also a very important part of this movement.
Poet and member of the Young Lords political party read his poem “Puerto Rican Obituary” in a rally. In his poem he is telling the stereotypical story of Puerto Ricans in American. He uses common names such as “ Juan, Miguel, Milagros, Olga and Manuel” to drive the point home. His point seems to be that we are the oppressed, and we seem to be doing nothing about it just letting days go by. But Pietri goes with great details to explain what exactly is going on amongst the Puerto Rican and Latino community at the time;
“Juan died waiting for his number to hit- Miguel died waiting for the welfare check to come and go and come again- Milagros died waiting for her ten children to grow up and work so she could quit working.”- Puerto Rican Obituary by Pedro Pietri.
He is speaking to the common people who share the same situations whether they are economical, family, education. He states how he feels these ordinary people put their right hand over their heart to pledge their allegiance to a country who hates them. I believe that’s where he drives the point home where these ordinary people need to stop being so ordinary and realize what’s going on. They are becoming nothing more then what this country wants from them; which is to have little to no upward mobility as a whole. The people need to “turn off the television and tune into their own imaginations” accept they are beautiful and come from a beautiful place and stop believing otherwise.
These two forms of Manifestos although very different, are very much the same. They speak to the people who they written for. They have simple and clear language. The points are clear and it is known what they want. They also show where the people of the community have flawed and these manifestos are a wakeup call to get moving up on a revolution.

Monday, April 19, 2010

beginning of my final paper

Having "Cabeza caliente" (hot Heads) as parents isn't always a bad thing!

Growing up I would listen to Spanish revolutionary music, while all my friends listened to main stream music. My parents explained to me in great details as a child, and i remember the meanings of these songs. Here are some songs I grew up listening to, and music that really helped shape Latin America when there was much bloodshed!

Los Guaraguao
Ramon Leonardo (Dominican)
Mercedes Sosa( Argentinean)
Facundo Cabral (Argentinean)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

few thoughs on essay 2

The fight for equality seems to be a never sending one. The battle to end injustice seems ever long. Power is in the able to chose. Voting gives you that ability, that power. By voting you’re agreeing that the person running can serve your best interest. But who do you vote for when no one “has your back”? No one is looking to serve your best interests? You make your own political party and run.

The Black Panther Party Platform ’96 was a political party that served the interest and looked out for the well being of primarily of the black community. The Black Panthers logo is a black panther. I believe that is a perfect logo for such a new and strong political party. The Black Panther in the logo to be represents strength, in the form of a large black cat. It’s very artistic because it’s so catchy, whenever a person who is aware of political movements see a black panther I believe a connect can be made of the political party.