Julian Girard's blog- ETS block 2

The Political landscapedaily_show_dick_cheney1.jpg
Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are two of the most powerful people in our country. They have a political platform that allows them to tweak and share global news stories and updates to millions upon millions of loyal American viewers. Their shows on comedy central, The Daily Show and the Colbert Report, respectively, are focused around broadcasting the news from their perspective. Since this is all done from a comedic stand-point, Americans much prefer getting political updates from Stewart and Colbert than from twenty-four hour news coverage channels such as CNN, FOX news, or MSNBC. Stewart and Colbert have the respect of the nation, because they are relatable. Comedy makes them more human than your average CNN newscasters, so their voices ring stronger in our ears. “Because The Daily Show is not bound by the conventions of journalism – namely, the need to appear objective – it can say things that traditional journalists cannot or will not.” This is why comedy-based programs are able to get away with so much bashing on politics, and not only that, but the messages they send, even as jokes, are heard and often taken to heart.“Stewart's Daily Show, along with The Colbert Report, and traditional network programs such as NBC's Saturday Night Live, the Tonight Show, CBS's Late Night, and even The View, hold an ever increasing influence over political culture and public perceptions.” We like to think we are not so easily influenced by the programs we watch; at least when watching mainstream news programs, we are at least able to pick out what is politically biased or unnecessarily dramatic. When we watch our favorite comedy programs though, we let our guard down, and when we allow ourselves to laugh at political scenarios as played out by SNL, for example, we can more easily accept political bias, and more easily believe it. When we trust who is presenting the news, their personal opinions often become ours. Comedians are very easily trusted, especially in contrast with twenty-four hour newscasters.“It is extremely easy for people to tune out news and politics, if they so desire, and opt for purely entertainment programming. Many politicians have accepted this reality of our current media environment, reaching out to apolitical audiences by appearing as interview guests on entertainment talk shows – including late-night comedy programs.” It has become a sad reality in our society that people don’t have the patience to follow politics and world news if it is not presented in a highly entertaining fashion. Politicians realize that on late night comedy shows hold a lot of political power in our society, so guest-appearances on these shows have become an essential part of political campaigning efforts.This shift in political ideology has showed us that the best platform for news coverage and even political campaigning is through the integration of comedy into the presentation. When you are able to get people to laugh at your jokes, you will attain almost immediate respect and trust; this makes it easy for you to work in political opinions without coming off as inappropriate, annoying, or bias. Our culture is looking for politicians who they can trust, politicians who are relatable, who can take a joke. Any successful politician in the future will have to be quite friendly with Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert


Marty, Kaplan. "Marty Kaplan: The Real "'Daily Show' Effect"" Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post. 23 June 2006. Web. 31 May 2011. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marty-kaplan/the-real-daily-show-effec_b_23653.html>.

Nisbet, Mattew C. "Is America a Joke? Researcher Examines The Daily Show's Impact on Political Culture | Age of Engagement | Big Think." Big Think | Blogs, Articles and Videos from the World's Top Thinkers and Leaders. 15 Sept. 2010. Web. 19 May 2011. http://bigthink.com/ideas/24044.

Representations of Difference

One of the first issues addressed on the AffirmativeRacism-X.gifof representation of difference in our society is the issue of racial discrimination. The most common forms of racial discrimination in our society occur between Caucasian Americans and African-Americans. The ideology on the subject has been shifting for probably the past 60 years, since the first efforts in the civil rights movement. The general consensus of our society has always been that most discrimination has been aimed towards the blacks, and less has been towards the opposite. But this general consensus is ignorant. For a while now, the issue behind racism in our country hasn’t been over actual acts of racism, rather, racism represents the fear of being accused of racist acts. We see examples of this silent paranoia all around us: universities looking to become more diverse offer more scholarships to African-Americans, BET (Black Entertainment television), the “race-card”, confusion over usage of the word nigger, the election of President Obama being seen as an African-American triumph, while he is only half-black and was raised by a white family in a primarily white community. It’s not an issue of which side is more hostile and discriminatory; the issue is that we still even have “sides” at this point. Racism in America has shifted, so that its less a war of physical acts against members of different races, and it’s more of a cold-war; racist gestures are rarely made out in the open, yet there is a silent pressure upon us all to avoid the topic of race altogether. This paranoia is mostly one-sided; every derogatory statement made by a white individual can be potentially tagged as a racist statement, so white people are often more self-conscious of acts and statements that can be perceived as racist. Since racism is a word synonymous with white people, most racist acts by African Americans are dis-regarded. Blacks have always been seen as the “victims” in our society, and the victim is never accused; Blacks are free to act on a bitterness accrued over hundreds of years of horrible discrimination and segregation. This is because we allow African-Americans to associate themselves with their ancestors (who did in fact deal with racism and segregation); they force guilt on the white community for acts that weren't even done in this generation. The truth is, much of the modern generation has yet to see true acts of racism; it is unfair to let ourselves dwell on the past. We, the caucasan-americans, are not the same aggressors of fifty years ago, so we should not deal with the guilt. “This seed of bitterness was in fact racism. The reality of sin is that we become whatever we are wounded by.” During the days of the civil rights movement, Blacks developed a more distinct bitterness towards the white race, and it has lingered. “In our hypersensitive racially charged culture, everyone must be hyper sensitive to the hypersensitive. If it’s wrong to offend, the most easily offended become the dictators of morality.” Our paranoia of being accused of racism is dictated by the hypersensitivity of the “offended”. We can only end this racism when the “victims” can let go of their bitterness and change their identity from the “victims” of society to equals in society.


Brick, Neil. "Modern Racism and Its Psychosocial Effects on Society – including a Discussion about Bilingual Education." Bilingualeducationmass’s Weblog. 2 Oct. 2008. Web. 27 May 2011. <http://bilingualeducationmass.wordpress.com/category/modern-racism-and-its-psychosocial-effects-on-society-including-a-discussion-about-bilingual-education/>.

"Racism in America Today « What Is Truth – Now?" What Is Truth – Now? Web. 19 May 2011. http://whatistruthnow.wordpress.com/2011/01/19/racism-in-america-today/.


Gender-stereotyping: the school environment

In the human race, the differences between females and males are highly detailed. It seems that society has developed a rubric for the specific qualities, physical
attributes, and cultural etiquette for both genders. From the early days of childhood, we are groomed to follow these gender guidelines; girls are dressed in pink,
guys dressed in darker colors, girls are given dolls, guys are given trucks and guns, girls are put into dance class, guys play tee-ball and pee-wee league football, etc. At a young age, the differences between females and males are highly minute, yet society begins gearing us towards a “socially-accepted” identity during the first years, when it makes it the least sense to us. Some of the most extreme forms of gender separation and stereotyping are found in our education system.
“Researchers have indicated that as the child's understanding of gender develops, he will actively seek stereotypes of sex-appropriate behavior in daily interaction with others.” Both genders look for trends in interests among their sex; conformity to these interests is in our nature and few individuals enter fields of study and education that stray from our gender stereotypes. This is not to say that we are bound by these stereotypes, our culture is accepting enough to let every person choose their own path, but there must be some reason that people of the same sex choose similar fields of study. Is it nurture or nature? Are people of the same sex born with a certain brain anatomy that which leads to similar interests and personality traits? Or are we groomed towards these gender-separated fields of study from a young age? Perhaps a little of both; yes, men and women are biologically different from each other, but a lot of differences between the sexes are exacerbated by the constraints of our gender ideologies and stereotypes. Traditionally, men go into fields of study that relate to science and mathematics: “chemistry, physics, agricultural science, and technical subjects.”, while, “Higher female entry is seen in the humanities, business studies, craft subjects such as food and nutrition, clothing and textiles, home management”. For these stereotypes to change, we have to drive the evolution of a more modern ideology behind gender-balance in education. The past one-hundred years have been huge for efforts towards gender-equality, and as long as we notice what is wrong with our ideology on the subject, we will continue to change and make progress.





Connection to another student

“Despite having an African American president, racism, instead of slowly becoming extinct, has become more widespread than ever before. While it is true that as humans we will gravitate towards those who are similar to us, both physically and mentally, its still no excuse for the amount of intolerance that we experience today.”

unwritten rules we (society) come to as a whole. We all think certain ways, act certain ways, and word things certain ways in accordance and
agreement with certain ideological “rules” or boundaries. The irony is, we set these rules through and evolutionary-like system of changing
ideologies. Not too long ago, it was considered completely normal for a man to court a woman with a kiss on the hand; where did this ritual
come from? When we dissect the components it really makes no sense logically; what is a kiss to a hand but pressing lips to skin, how does
this imply attraction? Certainly there is no biological reason, for it is not instinctual, rather the result of human ideology. For whatever reason,
we create these “states’ of mind” and they become part of our instinctual thought-process. In the case of racism in America, the basic
ideology is that different races (constituted by varying skin colors, counties of origin, facial features, etc.) must have a silent, but present
hostility or hesitance towards each other. Racism is a human creation, and it’s a prominent societal ideology. We can never eliminate it; the
idea is comparable to eliminating a species branch on the evolutionary tree. Racism will continue to transform and take different forms and
severities. Just how the system of courtship has changed drastically in the past century and will continue to change, the ideology behind
racism and difference will never hold one definable idea.

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