Cartoons — Can we learn stuff?

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This week we it’s all about cartoons, I do want to start off by saying that I definitely enjoy watching The Simpsons,  this television series of  the hilariously entertaining depiction of an average middle class family definitely hones in on many political and controversial issues and spins them into a comical and casual occurrence.  I believe that this is one of the longest standing successes in American television. I remember that my mother prohibited me from watching these, “wildly rude and inappropriate” cartoons, yelled to me in Spanish of course. Even as a kid I still found them entertaining. I would chuckle and laugh at rude jokes and scenarios that I could relate to, I remember that I would sneak over to a friend’s house or watch them when my mother wasn’t looking.


The episode that I choose to watch is from The Simpson’s, episode “My Fare Lady” season 26, episode 14. In this episode Homer once again manages to wiggle himself out of his responsibilities by burying himself in a pitcher of beer, leaving Marge with a very detailed driving list of destinations and chores that needed to get done in an orderly fashion for the kids. This depicts some aspects of contemporary culture since we are a multi-tasking society we get caught up in having to constantly reschedule, squeeze in, and run last minute errands. As stated in the article, “The Function of Fiction: The Heuristic Value of Homer” by Jennifer McMahan, “Because [fiction promotes simulation] it forces of individual to shed her conventional orientation and try it on another, Feagin contends that simulation “enriches and deepens one’s understanding of the representation situation and makes one better able to deal with a situation the bears similarity to it.”  We are constantly on the move and this episode made me realize how hard it is to do it all and how stressful this could be and how constantly being on the move can actually deprive an individual from enjoying the important things in life, especially when you are doing it alone and others rely on you. After analyzing this episode it really resounded with my experiences as a child and my mother taking on both the mother and father role for my siblings. Now I can truly understand why I am able to relate to these cartoons.

McMahan states that, “We learn from fiction not only because it offers accurate representations of individuals and promotes feedings for those individuals but also because it promotes identification.” Ultimately it seems like fiction is a useful medium for us to express truths and harsh realities in a comical and accepting way. We are able to use fiction to view different perspectives, experiences, and beliefs.


Breaking Bad Analysis

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Breaking Bad is an amazing television show that kept millions of viewers on the edge of their seats for all five seasons. Walter White and Jesse Pinkman saturated the show with deception, manipulation, violence, and crime the biggest crime, says Samuel Chambers, is that Walter White was a bad teacher. In “Walter White is a Bad Teacher: Pedagogy, Partage, and Politics in Season 4 of Breaking Bad” Samuel Chambers brings to life the underlying pedagogy in the Breaking Bad television series with help from the french philosopher Jacques Ranciere . The relationship between Walter and Jesse was one of dominance against Jesse. As mentioned in the article, Ranciere is able to challenge the Walter’s teachings as well as the process he takes to teaching and relate them to a system of inequality of intelligence and knowledge between the teacher Walter and his student, Jesse. Throughout this series Walter relies on the belief that he is inherently more intelligent than Jesse. As Jacques Raciere’s puts it, “pedagogical theory can be called radical, in the sense of cutting at the root, because it challenges traditional pedagogy at its very heart: namely, explanation.”
This process is what Ranciere refers to as thee “explicative order” in the “Walter White is a Bad Teacher: Pedagogy, Partage, and Politics in Season 4 of Breaking Bad” article where Walter takes on the role of schoolmaster and the student is unequal when in comparison. This superior thinking is what ultimately leads Walter into failing as a teacher. Chamber then poses the question, “Who is a better teacher to Jesse: Gus or Mr. White”? The cruel, terrorizing, cold-blooded killer, drug kingpin Gus Fring or the egocentric, shameless, greedy meth-cooking fugitive, Walter White? Chamber explains that, “only a bad teacher tries to establish mastery by way of assertion of superior intelligence.” Chamber states that a good teacher is the one who chooses to inspire and emancipate their students, emitting a sense of equality while a poor teacher on the other hand will constrain a student by belittling and refusing to recognize a student’s accomplishments and progress, the tough love approach.
Chamber believes that Gus proved to be the better teacher to Jesse by introducing positive reinforcement and emancipation, he explains that “We can therefore see two requirements for an emancipatory teaching: first, the teacher her[him]self must already be emancipated, must recognize the radical equality of intelligence’s; and second, the teacher must refuse to stultify the student through explication and instead grant to the student the assumption of the equality of intelligence.” In reality could we really expect much more from Walter? He himself considers himself to be failure due to the decisions that were made straight out of college, so is it really a surprise that he turned out to be a failure as a teacher as well?
I do not believe that it is fair to analyze Water to that extent, before Walter was able to take Jesse under his wing Jesse was traveling down a path that was likely to end badly. I don’t think Walter when compared to Gus, was the worse of the two evils. I do believe that the main reason why Mr. White is a school teacher turned meth cook is because he considered himself a failure. However, I do not believe that her was a complete failure as a teacher. Walter was able to educate Jesse and actually teach him how to create the popular blue product that was in high demand. Considering how poorly Walter thought about himself I believe that he was able to educate Jesse to the best of his ability, this is why I don’t consider him a complete failure.

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Pirate Radio Extra Credit


Pirate Radio is a comic movie that takes place in the middle off the coast of Britain. Pirate radio is an illegal and unregulated radio transmission that took place around 1966, which is stated in the movie as the Greatest era for British Rock and Roll; the ear of The Beatles, The Stones and The Who among many more. The idea of popular culture and government intervention really came to life to me in this movie.
In this movie it is stated that the government would only allow for rock and roll to be played for less than an hour a day, the government would refer to the DJ’s of Pirate Radio and its listeners as drug takers, law breakers, and bottom bashing fornicators, even though Pirate Radio wasn’t breaking any laws the government was adamant about finding a way to close them down. As stated in “This American Life’s 100th Podcast” Radio has been able to bring audiences together through music and content discussed. However, I feel that radio stations have lost the freedom to speak freely. Times have changed very little and we are monitored and regulated on what we can say on air and even what we can play. Because of this I still believe that the future of radio does not look too bright, If people aren’t getting the music and content that they want from radio, they will start looking for it in other places.
Pirate Radio even tried to keep the government happy by watching what they shared on the air, this reminds me to what Ira Glass stated in “This American Life’s 100th podcast”, “the false intimacy of radio, that feeling that we get together every week, you and me. I mean, literally, that’s what it feels like. It feels like you and me. You and me, even though we don’t know each other at all.” This very sense of intimacy is what we are missing now. There is a divide in radio where language and content is regulated, where the only thing that is heard is what is allowed.


Act one — the story of radio as gleaned from the podcast.

This American Life’s 100th podcast displayed the individuality of radio. With radio the audience gets to experience a unique connection the presenter. As stated with Ira Glass, “the false intimacy of radio, that feeling that we get together every week, you and me. I mean, literally, that’s what it feels like. It feels like you and me. You and me, even though we don’t know each other at all.”


I think that there is definitely something positive to be said about radio. Having the freedom to listen to someone speak about issues that directly affect you and hear different perspectives, even call in to make your opinion known, this is what radio should be. However times have changed and we are monitored and regulated on what we can say on air and even what we can play. As stated in the, This American Life’s 100th anniversary podcast radio has definitely experienced changes throughout the years but it has brought people together for years. Radio has been able to bring audiences together through music and content discussed.

Act two — the story of radio in your own life and experience.

Growing up as a first generation Mexican American it was difficult to find a “niche” where I could feel comfortable. It wasn’t only about finding a niche but also being able to find one where both the music and the people were able to relate to my culture and life experiences. I was fortunate enough to find this niche in radio. Growing up in Los Angeles there were a lot of individuals that were living through the same struggles and difficulties as I was. I was able to find a comic side to my experiences and I was able to relate to profound lyrics and understand alternative perspectives.


As I was growing up I listened to the radio every day I remember I would wake up in the morning and listen to the morning line up. I would feel inspired and motivated, honestly sometimes like a rebel with a cause. The music that I would listen to would consist of a large combination of music but I find that I largely relate to the 90’s rap and Hip-Hop genres. I could relate to being commonly misunderstood and disrespected as many of the lyrics stated. I do feel like radio has changed across the years. I felt like the music played before stood up for something and now it seems like everything, even commentary is regulated to an extreme. I remember that it wasn’t uncommon to hear arguments and disagreements on radio about current events and perspectives. Now I feel like I could flip through 6 radio stations and hear the same 3 or 4 songs playing over and over, like a broken record. I can attest that this week’s line up consists of: “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars and Mark Ronsin, “Love Me Like You Do” by Ellie Goulding, and “Sugar” Maroon 5. (-_-) I miss the days where music was based on current events that impacted lives.

Act three — the future of radio in society, as you see it.

I unfortunately do not see such a bright future in the radio industry. As stated in the New York Times article, the radio listening audience in many areas increased drastically in the time after hurricane Sandy, but this is largely due to the fact that in many areas, power was out for days, which in turn limited access to televisions and computers; in other words radio was the last resort for information for many individuals. Even Pandora, as popular as it is having hardships and proves this. Pandora have lacked profit, as stated in the Forbes article, “Pandora, in fact, has never been profitable, with more than $105 million in losses over the five fiscal years ending January of 2012,”



This week’s reading, “Don’t Stop Believing” by Deidre Pike there were some interesting questions about popular music and the necessary means to become success in the American music industry that were brought up. In this reading there are three main questions that were asked in regards to popular media, are: is the media honest, independent, and productive?


I was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles. My mother is from Mexico, and yes she crossed the Mexican border illegally. This is why I chose Molotov as my artist for this week’s assignment. Molotov is a controversial Mexican music band that formed during the early 1990’s. Motolov is very often considered a source of controversy, their music focuses on issues such as racism, immigration, and marginalization in the U.S. Boarder. Motolov is a band that I can relate to, I can relate to their lyrics because of the struggles that my family and I went through they are able to vocalize our experiences in a very effective matter. The band has had some struggles with the use of their vocabulary. As shown in the video below, there has been uproar by some of the community because of some of their songs. Just like many other artists, I appreciate much of their work but do’nt necessary agree with all of it.

In reguards to their music, Motolav is definitely an honest band. Motolav is straight forward and they don’t try to hide the real issues that we face in society. For this very reason they are constantly getting in trouble, but they stand proud and true to the meanings in their lyrics. Motolav dives into the center of an issue, just like one of their more popular songs states Gimme tha Power, “Hay que arrancar el problema de raíz y cambiar el gobierno de nuestro país” this roughly translate to, “We have to tear out the problem by the roots and change the government of our country.” No sugar coating necessary. This also leads to the band being independent. I remember hearing them on the news and stating that they had to sell their music themselves for some time since some stores refused to sell their controversial covers or songs in store. It seems like someone always has a problem with the band but none the less they have a loyal following.

Motolav is a very productive band. The public is always looking for someone to voice their concerns and stand up for what is right, and Motolav does just that. They are definitely not like other artist who speak about love, just like stated from another one of their songs, Frijolero, “Now I wish I had a dime for every single time I’ve gotten stared down for being in the wrong side of town and a rich man I’d be.” Their truth has allowed them to get a lot of support from people all around the world.