Monthly Archives: January 2018

Radical Change

Without a doubt, technology has permenantly altered the way we live our life. Modern technology, like laptops, iPhones, TV, and the Internet, is an essential part of our personal and professional lives. It never really ocurred to me before, but the very first thing I do when I wake up is check my phone to browse texts, emails, and pictures. My eyes are still blurry — I can’t even really see what I’m looking at — but if I didn’t check my phone first thing, I feel off, maybe even incomplete.

When my family and I travel to West Virginia (which we do a lot, like very nearly every weekend, it’s ridiculous), there is very poor satellite connection. My aunt’s house doesn’t even have wifi (I literally die), so it’s very difficult to check the things I normally do. I find that a couple hours into the ride back, I have two feeble bars of connection, just enough to load my email and YouTube and Instagram, etc. And it’s as if the world exploded and came back to life in two short days. There are new videos and new posts, breaking news articles, internet-breaking photos, and I feel at once isolated and connected again. So much happened when I wasn’t there! But here it is, all of my friend’s posts of cheesy pizza and the latest Kim K diet, and Donald Trump’s million dollar refrigerator.

But why are these mundane and silly updates so important to me? They don’t mean much, and really have no direct effect on my life. I think we’ve become entirely dependent on technology and the social media connectedness that ensued. It’s like going through withdraws. When I consider the way I live now, an actual robot take-over isn’t entirely out of the question. Modern day is defined by its technology — and without it, we would be completely lost, our position in this world out of whack. Technology is more than just a convenience — it’s a necessity. And it’s a need that we have forced on oursleves, no matter how innocent it may have appeared in the beginning.

 

The future is now. Ex Macina ftw

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Why Has Our Aesthetic Changed?

I often find myself having mixed feelings about today’s pop music. Sometimes when I turn on the radio, I’m rocking out to Adele’s latest hit, or shakin’ my hips to Shakira, but other times as I drive to class I’m so over every station that I end up turning the music off. At times it just seems like everything sounds the same, and it’s only when something really unique happens (I’m thinking Melanie Martinez, though she isn’t really on the radio which is super sad) that my interest is peaked again. My poor car is a 1997 Honda, and it doesn’t even have a CD player (OMG) but it does have a cassette player. It’s kind of funny because, especially during the summer time, I find myself more and more putting in my mom’s old cassettes (why¬†did she keep those?) and listening and singing along to The Beach Boys, Rick James, and Otis Redding. There’s something about these artists that are so much more timeless and exciting to listen to than today’s Top Twenty. But why? Why do I keep classics from the 60s, 70s, 80s on my YouTube playlist, but often rotate out more recent songs?

For myself, part of the reason is how ‘groovy’ something is. It may be fun to sing along to Adele’s apparent emotional strife, but there is nothing else to do. Songs today aren’t that fun. Unlike James Brown (actual bae) I can’t dance to Adele. Maybe it’s the retro aesthetic vibes that are inseparable from listening to the oldies, but for some reason, it’s always more fun to rock out with my friends to a catchy, groovy, happy oldie than it is any of the squeaky clean pop music of today. I mean, America is pretty much the most diverse place out there — we have a lot of opinions and a lot of different aesthetics, it doesn’t really make sense to me that as a collective, we would prefer to simplify and conform to one way of creating pop songs. We’ve removed a lot of the individuality and specialness that Americans are so proud of and encourage in others. There is definitely pressure on Millennials to be more and more perfect — more perfect grades, more successful careers, a more beautiful body, a more ideal life. Perhaps this pressure has forced it’s way into music as well. With the goal of creating more perfect music, editors and publishers have actually taken away some of pop music’s value.

 

The BAE

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