Talk Nerdy To Me.

When was it that people stopped teasing Nerds? My guess is that it was around the same time they started to realise that the people they were making fun of might one day be their boss.

Popular culture and television, previously typecasting nerds as social outcasts, now portray and encourage people to embrace their inner nerd. My favourite TV show right now, New Girl, sells the image of ‘quirky nerd’ perfectly with stereotypically nerdy outfits and habits being glamorized in typical Hollywood flare. The lead character, Jess, whose unconventional social behaviour (such as randomly bursting into song) gets her into some tricky situations, is influencing the way audiences view geeks/nerds. The shows tagline you ask? “Simply Adorkable”. Clever!

Something that I’ve been noticing heaps lately is that nerds are influencing the way people dress. Personally, I’m not really a fan of the ‘preppy’ look but its really taking the world by storm! More and more boys are following the Chuck Bass trend, ‘top-buttoning’ their increasingly patterned shirts and girls like Rachel Berry opting for old skool cardigans paired with pleated skirts.

Something that I take away from these trends in television and fashion (just two of many nerd-influenced areas) is that the nerd is now a symbol of success and often wealth.

I’ve come to a bit of a conclusion about why it is that people are suddenly imitating and embracing nerd culture. People ♥ $. Nerds have $. That’s it.

Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerburg. All nerds who have used technology in one-way or another to make the moolah! These guys, leading by example, show the public that if you aren’t a nerd, you better become one quick!

Twilight = Transmedia Narrative.

I often find myself being publicly judged or mentally overlooked for admitting that I am a fan of twilight…haters gun’ hate, I say!

My fandom started during the spring of 2008 when I was dragged to see the film by a group of friends. 90 minutes after being completely oblivious to the dark world of vampires that had the world in a craze, I was completely hooked. I raced through each of the books and even invested in a snuggly twilight blanky (which I still find handy to have around).

Twilight, four years on, is still a growing enterprise, with millions of people being exposed to the phenomenon in one way or another. Whether it be the books,  movies, soundtracks, parodies or via the ridiculous ‘New Moon’ Board game (another piece of merchandise I slightly ashamedly own), the Twilight saga has sunk its fangs into nearly every country worldwide.

In addition to using an array of media to convey its message, Twilight is an example of transmedia narrative as each of the various channels provides slightly different information that accumulates to form a holistic audience understanding.

I feel like the Twilight saga isn’t taken as seriously as the conventionally accepted transmedia narratives like The Matrix and Star Wars (probably due to the twihard fan base consisting of crazed 13 year old girls). However, a huge world of publicity and money has resulted from the multiple channels of entry provided by the Twilight franchise.

– Orcadia

Jumping the gun!

Whenever humans experience something new and foreign, they have the tendency to jump the gun…Like ‘Googling’ the medical possibilities for a spot on your arm, only to find that you’ll be dead within 3 days. Well it’s the same for climate change – We have one 40-degree day and suddenly it’s the Armageddon!

Climate change has been a relevant circulating issue since the mid 20th Century. It was fairly agreed upon by scientists until the 1970s that the earth was gradually getter warmer. The reason for their sudden change of mind came from a cold snap thought to have been caused by “a sudden inflow of cold water from the arctic”.

Anyway, my point here is not the cold snap, or what scientists think about it. Here, I am trying to show that the public (who are massively influenced by the media) comes up with often outrageous and hasty conclusions to explain every trend in weather patterns.

Now, I might be tackling this issue from a skeptic’s point of view, but I find the medias constant flux of ideas and spin largely futile. The media simply fuel issues by publicizing them with spin, giving the audience a one sided perspective of an issue that may be extremely trivial and irrelevant.

This cover from Time Magazines 1974 issue demonstrates the public concern of an impending ice age.

Conversely, a mere 30 years on, the same magazine stresses the imminent threat of global warming.

So, with the same sources being confused about the message they’re sending out…how are we meant to cope? The media has clearly always influenced the ideas and responses of the public, using their broadcasting power to send their message to the ends of the earth. Using spin and emphasis techniques, which are both seen in the above Time covers, the public are left dazed and utterly convinced by what the media feeds them. In the 1970s it was an Ice-age, now its Global Warming. Can we ever just sit back and see that the weather can change every once in a while?

– Orcadia

Who cares?!

The public’s view of Global Warming is highly influenced by what the media feed them. It’s obvious that recent generations have been raised in a culture of growing environmental awareness. Some researchers suggest that whilst increased knowledge of the human impact on the environment, many of us are becoming tired of hearing about it.

“LETS GO GREEN TO GET OUR GLOBE CLEAN!” “REUSE, REDUCE, RECYCLE” “GIVE A HOOT, DON’T POLLUTE” “DON’T LET THE WATER RUN IN THE SINK, OUR LIFE’S ON THE BRINK!”

Is it any wonder, with slogans like this bombarding us daily, that we’re getting just a little bit tired of hearing about it?

A survey conducted by Readers Digest has suggested that,

“The colour green is now instantly recognised as eco-friendly, but media saturation has caused the message to lose potency and gain what he describes as green fatigue”.

The public is progressively ignoring these enviro-messages and opting to dismiss the feelings of guilt that arises from using the incorrect bin. It seems that people were once spurred on by feeling personally responsible for the state of the earth but now simply ignore those feelings.

Personally, I think the growing hipster/indie population may be to blame. Initially they were probably most likely to encourage increased action to save our withering environment. However, like most of the things they love, Climate Change became too mainstream and so they had to move on… just a thought! 😉

The same report by Readers Digest indicates how we are ignoring the little voice inside our heads,

Despite living in one of the driest environments in the world the survey found just 31 per cent of respondents feel bad about showering for more than four minutes and 85 per cent regularly take long showers.”

Its interesting to think then, whether the media’s encouragement for us to do good by mother earth will eventually backfire and result in a lack of interest from the public.

– Orcadia