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Full Time Job: Christianity

28 Oct

In the second episode of Friday Night Lights we meet a young Christian believer named Lyla. Lyla is the girl in high school that every one wanted to be. She’s beautiful, friendly, smart, and she had faith when nobody else did. We first see her expressing her beliefs whenever she is praying with her boyfriend who just got paralyzed during his football game. By praying, she is proclaiming that Jesus is her Lord and Savior. Once her and her boyfriend of the time broke up, Lyla seemed to “get off track”. She wasn’t making the decisions she was before, she wasn’t praying, and she simply wasn’t living a life for Christ.  Later on in the series, Lyla meets a new man named Jason who is sold out for Christ. Lyla starts dating Jason because of the spiritual leader that he is. Jason and Lyla were in a relationship for one common reason and that was to grow closer to Christ. We start seeeing Lyla’s heart and Jason’s heart transfrom and the audeince can see that they are both getting more involved with serving Christ. In fact, Lyla starts doing evangelism on her school campus in order to reach out to other people and share the gospel. In Lyla’s role, we can see her as the “hypocritical” Christian for a time period of her life. This image was discussed in our reading by Todd Rendleman. Lyla is a “hypocritical Christian” because there is a time period where she goes through turning her back on Christ. Although Christians aren’t called to be perfect, Christians are supposed to humble themselves before the Lord and walk with Him in every area of their lives. It is evident that Lyla was running away from God in this time period. She wasn’t reading her Bible, going to church, or praying. Lyla was going through a spiritual drought. She was running away from her Creator, she was choosing not to serve Him, and she was seeking wordly things for pleasure instead of the one who truly fulfills our hearts. Lyla started drinking, having sex, and doing things that are of this world instead of God’s word. To many viewers, especially those who don’t know the story of Christ, she could be viewed as a hypocrite. Ultimately, she ended up feeling empty without God in her life and you realize the joy that comes back to her once she starts pursuing Christ again.


A Black Hockey Player?

16 Oct

Black-ish is a comedy show that just came out on ABC. Black-ish is centered on Andre Johnson, a black advertising executive, who has risen into the mostly white middle classes, only to witness that his children are losing sight of their African-American identity. I particularly analyzed Andre Johnson’s character. I have plenty to speak about just from the first episode. Andre Johnson starts off the show by introducing his as a well-off black man. He talks about his job, success, family, and how all the white people probably look at him like he’s some sort of freak of nature. There is an assumption being made that by nature, all black people are poor in society. Throughout the show, Anderson is dealing with the fact that his family isn’t “black enough”. His son wants to play hockey instead of basketball. His son also wants to be Jewish. All of these ideas are unacceptable to Andre. His wife called him out for being overdramatic and he ignore her opinion. He makes the comment that she’s a mixed woman so she technically isn’t black. He’s stating that she can’t possibly understand what he’s going through with his son. This show most definitely portrays stereotypes. If a white person were to say that black people were lower class citizens by default and aren’t allowed to expand out of their culture, they wouldn’t be able to finish their sentence. However, this show is saying that because he’s black, he can make those comments without being racist. Whenever the family interact with other white people in the first episode, they purposely made the interactions awkward. There was awkward tension made because the directors are trying to create a regressive project. They want to take on a new ideology of blackness since blackness has lost its historical and cultural roots. In a sense, the media is represented African-American’s in a negative way. The show is actually breaking the norm. All of the main characters are African American is very rare. This family is doing “just fine” financially and very well groomed. According to our readings, these characteristics are rarely represented on TV through African Americans. Black-ish acknowledges how far our society has come in believing what being black is. It also asks whether white people have grown too comfortable with the idea that racism is just a thing of our past. Andre Johnson’s perspective is most visible and I must say that I relate to him most of the time. Our society has put so much hype on what it means to represent the color of our skin and we all tend to buy into that idea.

Battle’s Battle

7 Oct

“Criminal Minds” revolves around an elite team of FBI profilers who examine and crack the cases of the country’s most twisted crimes. The Behavioral Analysis Unit’s is the team full of top notch special agents who each have their own role in each case. Their expertise allows them to pinpoint different predators and identify issues which eventually results in them stopping and preventing crimes.  I watched a few episodes to try to examine what the show was implying about a categorical race. What did I notice? I noticed that every “unsub” was white male. I thought this was very interesting because it goes against what media typically portrays. According to our TV Exposure and Race-Based Policy Reasoning, people are more likely to view African Americans to be guilty and more deserving in of punishment than Whites. Based on media patterns, African American tend to be the ones that are committing crimes. However, based on statistics, most serial killers are white. Let’s talk about Deputy Jason Clark Battle. Battle was a very handsome white man who did military service for four years, worked in law enforcement, and has a BA in Administration in Justice. He found work as a Deputy Sheriff and didn’t feel as it was enough. Jason Battle battled with hero syndrome and became a serial killer. The hero syndrome is a phenomenon affecting people who seek heroism or recognition, usually by creating a desperate situation which they can resolve. It is usually a general yearning for self- worth or it has been linked to previously failed heroism. The feeling of superiority and inferiority could reinforce hegemonic ideas of racial and cultural ideas. White transcultural superiority, according to “Themes in Whiteness in Bulletproof Monk, Kill Bill, and The Last Samurai”, is constantly being reinscribed. There is an ideology that says that white people tend to feel more superior to other races. I got to asking myself, is the hero syndrome more likely to occur within the white race? With this being said, Criminal Minds stories and what actually happens in the real world do parallel. 

Product of the South

24 Sep

Blog after blog I continue to write about Friday Night Lights. Friday Night Lights is a show that most people reading this could relate to. In the small town of Dillon, Texas, faith, family, and football acts as the glue. Each character faces many issues that we Americans struggle with today: family, values, school funding, racism, drugs, and lack of economic opportunities. According to my uncle who was the assistant director of this show, the characters in this show were allowed to change their lines if they didn’t feel like it was true to their character. This show is truly relatable to all because it is “real people” and “real situations.” Tim Riggins characters’ class position was very visible. He has no concrete home because neither of his parents are in his life. Throughout the duration of the show, he lives with his brother, his coach, and friends. At the end of season 5, he starts to live in a trailer that’s located on some property of an older woman he just met. Although he is a star on the football field, he is known as the one who never shows up for class because he was too busy drinking beer the night before. Most of the time, he was drinking by himself in the bed of his truck. According to “Consuming “Trash”: Representations of Poor Whites in U.S. Popular Culture”, people stereotypically classified white trash people as trailer park residents, neglected children, alcoholics, truck drivers, and perpetrators of violence. Like all racist attributions, these traits are extremely negative and are socially undesirable. Geographically, Riggins character was fitting of a “white trash” role because he was a product of the South. During the Civil War era, Southern elites and Northern whites used the term “white trash” as justification for keeping power out of the hands of poor whites. Even as a freshmen in college, Riggins returned home and put up the books after receiving a football scholarship. He does this only to return to Dillon, Texas and to drink beer. This could be an example of class change failure. He had the opportunity to become educated and be “successful” but he would have rather stayed in his comfort zone. The popular constructed ideology of “white trash” and Tim Riggins character paralleled perfectly.



15 Sep

titled Pilot. I chose to analyze the character of Tim Riggins. Tim Riggins is a high school teenage at Dillon High School in Dillon, Texas. He is motherless, his father has a drinking and drug problem, and he lives with his older brother. Like most high school male athletes, he faces pressure of doing well in school and performing on the field. Dillon High School is preparing for their first football game. In the small town of Texas, football is the only thing other than God to keep them going. The town is all excited to see their first performance under their new head coach, Eric Taylor. In the beginning of the episode, Riggins is being interviewed by the local news at the beginning of practice. It is evident that Riggins shows up hung over at football practice. He opens up in the interview saying, “I just like to hurt people, just put them down. My name is Tim Riggins and I play fullback.” Physically and emotionally Riggins “nails the masculine manly-man.” He has long shaggy hair, an incredible jaw line, and piercing eyes that could keep any woman wondering. He appears to be dangerous, confident, and a womanizer. According to the reading of “Judging a Movie by Its Character”, the videos we have explored, and our class discussions, these are the stereotypes of masculinities. He is attractive to the opposite sex, he is physically built, self-assured, dangerous, and he seeks opportunities. He also has a super aggressive nature which we see not only on the football field but throughout his daily activities. His aggressive nature could relate to the male always having the “dominant” role. Due to hegemonic fabrications, Tim Riggins has many qualities of masculinities because they are culturally constructed identities that create a story of what it means to be masculine.riggins

Blog #1 by Caitlin Ogletree

3 Sep


The relationship between mass media and our perceived reality is something that we must daily recognize. Mass media tends to embed ideologies in our minds which can alter our beliefs and values if we don’t look into it in a deeper manner. After reading The Message Between the Lions I thought a lot about definition of communication. The article states that “communication is a symbolic process whereby reality is produced, maintained, repaired and transformed.” (Carey, 1989, 23). Media, a purveyor of ideology, continuously shapes thoughts and the way many of us act now a days. Mass media has the ability to exploit many ideologies which can be a good thing or a bad thing. According to the definition of communication, it is clear that we all interpret things differently. Therefore, you can view things negatively or positively in the mass media. Let’s talk about the controversy Lion King brought to many viewers. Many viewers believed that the movie Lion King brought many racist ideologies to the table. Below, we see the Shadowlands. The Shadowlands were a place where the hyenas lived. The hyenas are the characters who destroy all of the “colored” in the Pride Lands.  Some argue that the Shadowlands symbolize the ghetto. Perhaps the people that viewed Lion King as a racist film have experienced racism in an emotional matter first hand. In the article that was written by Kinefuchi & Orbe, African American students referred to a film they watched as their “reality.” They did a study on Crash and were able to identify themselves with the characters who were African American. In both of these movies, the white-dominant culture ends up on top. The ideology of white supremacy is all around. I think it is so important to look deep into every piece of mass media. I always question myself after films as to what I think the producer was really trying to get across. Then I think deeper into the film as to how it agrees with my morals and values and how it goes against them. Every form of mass media holds power in purveying ideologies and I think it’s crucial that we understand that. lionking

                     Scene in the Lion King that shows the Shadowland’s being watched over by rulers.