It lives! And so do I!
I just wanted everyone to know that I will soon be editing for Electric Feast and working on producing new content for the site as well! NEW THINGS! ADVENTURES! UPDATES YEARS LATER!
It lives! And so do I!
So OL3 Media just published my Scott Pilgrim article. Go Look at it!
Check it out yo!
Note: The Following was originally done for a class on Spies in Popular Culture at Bowling Green State University. The paper, can also be found at Sean Ahern’s Profile at Academia.edu.
The January 1961 issue of Mad Magazine would introduce a new section to the humor periodical entitled the Joke and Dagger Dept. to present the work of artist Antonio Prohias. A Cuban political cartoonist in exile after the rise of Fidel Castro, Prohias would move to New York and approach the magazine with a pair of characters that saw the world in black and white- two characters that hated the others ideas so much that they would work to kill, maim, or steal from each other at every possible chance (Evanier, 149). Spy vs. Spy would become a staple of the magazine in the coming decades with Prohias creating outlandish scenarios for the two characters to outwit and outsmart each other on a regular basis. While interactions of the black and white spy in the Spy vs. Spy comic is filled with physical humor directed at a young teen crowd, the former political newspaper cartoonist’s use of pantomime alongside a world colored in black and white helped to create a comment on the spying practices of the Cold War and parody the mysterious and often intriguing life of a spy. Using the works of Teodora Carabas and Kristin L. Matthews on the subject of Mad magazine and Spy vs. Spy, I argue the strip , while not directly political, presents a comment by Prohias and the publishers of Mad magazine during the Cold War on the black and white nature of our society in a time where shades of grey dominate. I will also the work of Stuart Hall’s “Encoding/Decoding” as a basis to how to look at the spies now in a post-Cold War setting as a satire comic drawn by Peter Kuper and the changing image of spies in culture.
So…OL3 Media wants me to finish an academic essay on Scott Pilgrim for them. You can only assume what I looked like when I checked my email this morning and saw that they wanted 2,000 words by May 15.
Here’s my idea in its unadulterated form:
The 2010 release of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Edgar Wright’s adaptation of the popular Scott Pilgrim series created by Bryan Lee O’Malley, introduced a worldwide audience to the adventures of Scott Pilgrim as he fights for the affection of Ramona Flowers via her Seven Evil Exes. Both O’Mally’s original comic book series and Wright’s big screen adaptation rely heavily on the application of video game narratives and aesthetics to push the storyline forward. As Scott defeats each of the members of The League of Evil Exes, he collects the bonus coins left behind in their defeat and moves onto the next level of his relationship with Ramona in hopes of finally saving his princess from the final Evil Ex (and final boss)- Gideon Gordon Graves. The application of familiar video game narratives to the story, classic video game characters and titles for band names, and “8-bit” styling in both the comic and movie appropriates hip, geek culture for a mainstream audience. Using Dick Hebdige’s theories on Subcultures, I will look at the use of “geek chic” as a new storytelling tool that brings subcultural ideas and images to the forefront of summer movie events like Scott Pilgrim.
Started writing to see what I could come up with the other day- God willing, this makes sense (Visuals Help Too I Hear)
During an interview on the Tom Snyder Show in June of 1981, Snyder asked the members of the punk band The Clash why they preferred to be called a “news giving” group rather than a rock and roll group. While Strummer and company played to the audience, giving short and sometimes snarky responses (“too many songs have been written love- subjects covered”), their performance of “The Magnificent 7,” with its references to the workday doldrums, day time television, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels explained to listeners what Headon and Jones said in the interview: “We’re just saying life is boring…[Jones] so we’re trying to make it interesting.”
Viewing The Clash as a “news giving” punk rock band that inundated their lyrics, music videos and live performances with communication metaphors, we can see an image a new form of punk rock- less about cynic anger and “anarchistic” ideas, but rather about telling the audience to “know your rights.” In discussing The Clash as a “news giving” band rather than a “news making” band, I plan to look at the band’s use of communication metaphors to broaden the range of the punk rock formula while informing a large mass of people about inconsistencies of the world around them. In relation to the music of The Clash, I will use the ideas of mass communication theorists such as Marshall McLuhan and Neil Postman and their ideas on information and new mass media outlets. While written in a pre-internet, pre-punk rock world, the works of both authors pertain to my investigation into the music of The Clash. McLuhan’s ideas on mass communication, in particular, the “global village” and the fast-paced movement of information across boarders around the world can be seen in multiple Clash songs and album artwork as The Clash music styling’s related back to the anger of suburban English punks as much as suburban white youths in America and the Sandinistas in Nicaragua.
Alongside the works of McLuhan and Postman, I plan on applying “Encoding and Decoding” by Stuart Hall and Subcutlures by Dick Hebdige to my analysis of The Clash and the use of mass communication in new and subversive ways using examples ranging from the music video for “Radio Clash” to the addition of Morse code to the end of “London Calling.” The uses of communication imagery in the work of The Clash presents a new outlook from the world of underground music that changes what it means to be a popular band- creating a new layer to popular music, and punk rock, in the process.
So fun stuff right? Comment below if you love it and if you hate it, eff ya haters.
Thesis- The Clash used communication metaphors and incorporated innovative ways of disseminating information to the masses to become a “news giving group” rather than a “news making group”
“Its the best years of your life they want to steal…and they will”
This is how they get you to go go J-School. Anderson Cooper just rocks it. That good looking bastard.
Ladies. You’re welcome.