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How Adolescence is Portrayed in the Media

Adolescence has become a term used by the media to mean ‘a phase the young undesirable members of society go through’; this has led to the true meaning of the word becoming confused or even replaced in everyday conversation. This new media-generated definition has helped in giving teenagers/adolescents a bad image and reputation but just how far from the truth actually is the media? Are modern adolescents really the rebellious, anti-social teens they are portrayed to be or is it just biased, over exaggeration of the media in order to sell a good story and scare the public? First it would best to start from the beginning and find the true definition of adolescence.

Adolescence comes from the Latin term adolescentia meaning ‘to grow up’ and so it should really be used to mean the phase in which children begin to mature and develop into their adult phase (either manhood or womanhood for boys and girls respectively). It is throughout this period that the youth goes through a complex period of social, psychological and biological change (usually described as puberty), they developed a tendency to shun previous parental influence in order to seek out guidance from their peer groups as a way to express themselves as mature adults and as an opportunity to learn about things their parents would condemn (drugs, pornography, alcohol .etc). This change of the location of influence creates confusion in what is right and wrong so adolescents become unaware that what others perceive as anti-social behaviour is actually not acceptable, although there is much debate around this subject.

The media at present (especially in the news) has used this teenage confusion between right and wrong as a way of generating public fear and selling a good story to the general public at the expense of the majority of adolescents who have nothing to do with the rising number (if the statistical information is anything to go by) of anti-social teenagers. The media will often report adolescents has being obsessed with or addicted pornography making claims that up to one in four regularly use the internet to view such material, they will also make claims about adolescents using other forms of modern gadgetry and technology to enhance their anti-social ways; examples including using mobiles for ‘happy slapping’, MP3 players as a enticement for mugging and playstations (or x-boxes and other game consoles) as teachers for violence. There is very little positive media portrayal of adolescence within the media and most of it seems to emerge around the time of exam results when the media focuses on the few who manage to excel at school and achieve good grades, however this is soon replaced by reports of exams getting easier and claims that young people are getting ‘dumber’ as the years go on; this year the news has recently reported on university students having to be given lessons on how to right essays due to the lack of literary skills. These negative articles in the news over cloud the sparse pockets of positive portrayal that adolescents truly deserve as it is really only a minority that cause the anti-social behaviour the media is so keen to use.
It is not only in the news, which is aimed at an adult audience, that uses a negative portrayal but also artists in the music scene aimed at the adolescent audience will also use a negative view of adolescents throughout their material as a way to sell their material. The group My Chemical Romance during their song ‘Teenagers’ show adolescents as aggressive and intimidating members of society with the lyrics “Teenagers scare the living shit outta me”. The solo artist Lily Allen also uses less subtle lyrics to get across that adolescents are anti-social in a number of tracks; in the song ‘LDN’ she sings about life in inner city London and uses the lyrics “When a kid came along to offer a hand but before she had time to accept it, hits ‘er o’er the head. Doesn’t care if she’s dead cos he’s got all ‘er jewellery an’ wallet”; suggesting that mugging is a serious issue with inner city adolescents (again if the statistical data and media is anything to go by then there is a rising problem of youth crime including mugging). In another track, Alfie, Lily Allen suggests that adolescent boys have a problem with drug abuse since the song contains the lyrics “My little brother’s in his bedroom smoking weed” and within the same verse “’He can’t be bothered cos he’s high on THC”. In the second verse she moves off the idea of drug abusing adolescents to follow a new path of what is still negative portrayal. She claims that adolescents are lazy, graffiti-artists with the lines “I can’t just sit back and watch you waste your life away”, “Get off your lazy arse” and “Surely there’s some walls out there that you can go and spray”.

So the media as a whole uses adolescence as a dumping ground for bad behavioural issues such as pornography, drug abuse, vandalism, mugging .etc as a way to improve profit and sales despite the statistical evidence that in reality it is actually only a small minority of the adolescent population that is truly responsible for all this anti-social behaviour that seems to sell so well thanks to a bit of over exaggeration and impressive vocabulary by the media. This over exaggeration of the negative has led to the majority of hard-working, honest and well behaved adolescents becoming labelled and shunned in modern society, which may hinder a healthy social development since they will be treated as social outcasts by the adult and younger population highly limiting the opportunity for social interaction and moral guidance. If this is the case then this could encourage adolescents to be anti-social members of society due the fact that they are receiving no moral guidance or social opportunity creating moral confusion and a generation of people only able to communicate with and copy the behaviour of the adolescent population.

Reference:
BBC news 24 podcasts, downloaded from http://www.bbc.co.uk
Daily Star (various issues)
Daily Star Sunday (various issues)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/adolescent
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/6336509.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6070378.stm
Lily Allen, Alright Still, Regal records
My Chemical Romance, The Black Parade, Reprise records
News of the world (various issues)
The Sun (various issues)

Further reading:
Elizabeth A. Goodburn & David A. Ross, A Picture of Health: A Review & Annotated Bibliography of the Health of Young People in Developing Countries”, published by World Health Organization & UNICEF
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/6302209.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/6209308.stm
http://www.etr.org/recapp/theroies/adolescentdevelopment/developmenttheories.htm

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How Ideas Sometimes go Astray.

What do you called a blind deer?

No idea.

Sorry to start off with that terrible pun but thought I’d try and inject a little light humour to start off the entry with, seemed a good idea at the time. And that is just it. ‘Seemed like a good idea at the time’ it is these workings of mind which can often lead to somewhat unsatisfactory or undesired consequences.

The French Revolution for example. An idea of socio-political reform designed to help level the playing field between the French aristocracy and the peasant classes beneath who suffered in poverty compared to their counterparts who dined on the finest of foods, quenched their thirst on exquisite wines and lived lavishly in sheer luxury.

Yet this well intended idea of introducing a greater sense of equality ended up being a bloody era in France’s history as Madame La Guillotine was drafted in to remove the heads of the aristocracy.

This triggered the French aristocracy to have the idea of fleeing France, in fear of their lives, and seeking refuge in Britain. Meanwhile British aristocrats were appalled by the revolution and had the idea of helping French aristocrats get out of their homeland and set up over in Britain.

Thus an idea designed to bring about equality, ended up triggering ideas between two nations which brought about a sense of fraternity between two nations famed for sense of hostility against each another. Funny how one idea to promote equality between one nations people actually ended up bringing about an improvment in diplomatic relations between two nations full of hatred…an consequence unforseen and unitended by the initial idea of the French Revolution.

So I leave you with this question. Was it worth the assasination of the French aristocrats via the guillotine in order to bring about this positive movement in diplomatic relations? Or would have been better off to allow the bourgeisie to grind the French peasent classes underfoot and allow Anglo-French relations to reamin hostile?

Merry Christmas One and All

A real traditional Christmas with freshly fallen snow,
and all the old-time customs that set the heart aglow.
That’s what this blessing wishes you,
a day that you’ll remember.
One to keep alive the festive cheer,
until it’s next December.

I hope you all keep watching over the next 12 months where I hope to be bringing you more dialogues with Zhi-Guan, some medieval philosophy, a look into Freud’s theory of the psyche and its ethical implecations, some work on Kierkegaard and an extended piece of ethics based upon whether we can consider all modern ethical theores to be based either on Aristotle or Nietzsche.

What Makes a Hero?

I have just started reading the manga series Naruto (my book review can be found on Facebook and I may post it up here aswell if there is a call for it.) and one of the things which intrigues me is the character of Naruto. He does not appear to be your standard, run-of-the-mill hero. Lazy, mischeavious, reckless, undisciplined even obnoxious and arrogant at times he hardly shows any of the sterotypical virtues of a hero; such as courage, wisdom or temperance, He even lets his emotions overrule his mind voiding logic at times of crisis. How then can we be expected to accept that such a character is in fact our hero?

Well in my opinion it is exactly this which makes Naruto all the more interesting as a character and draws me in, As you gain a desire to find out just how it is he comes to  achieve this status of hero. Also Naruto emits a definate message to the audience: ‘A hero is nobody special. A hero can be anybody…even me or you. He/She need not be some multi-millionaire gadget loving citizen such as Batman, or someone blessed by superhuman capabilites such as Superman. Instead Naturo is a down to earth, realistic person just like anyone you’re likely to find in the street next time you venture out to catch your morning bus to work, and this appeals to our psyche drawing us into Naruto’s world in some sub-conscious hope that we may find a nugget of insight as to how we can turn ourselves into heroes, or in Neitzsche’s words an ubermencshce.

So it would seem being a hero is not something thrust upon you by fate, coincidence or some other external factor we have no such control over. Instead heroship is something we must aim to achieve via working towards a series of virtues, overcoming our shortcomings in the progress. Similar in a sense to how Aristotle proposes we are to achieve eudaimonia, Perhaps then there is a link between heroship and eudaimonia? In which case only the hero can truly be happy…

Exchange of Letters Between Man & God

Dear God, our almighty lord and creator.

Although we are far from you omniscient wisdom please answer us these few questions.

We pray for peace.

We beg of for happiness.

We grovel humbly at your feet for compassion.

Yet all we get given is war, famine, plague and pestilence.

Far be it from us to question your actions your almighty grace,

But please tell us what have we done to deserve such a fate?

Your loyal followers, for now and forever.

The peoples of Earth.

Dear mortals of the planet you call Earth
It has come to my attention that some of you are beginning to wonder why I have let terrible things happen to you, well the answer if quite simple.

After I created you those many moons ago I turned my back for a few moments whilst I made the final perfections to the rest of creation.

What did I find when I came back?

You had murdered my only son, poisoned my seas,

Torn down my forests,

Blocked out the sun with vile smog

And hunted my other creations to extinction.

And you still have to ask what you have done to cause me to let such tragedies strike you down?
Yours Sincerely
God

Christmas Message 2011

Merry Christmas to you all out there in cyberspace, hope your celebrations in honour of the birth of Jesus Christ, son of God, saviour of mankind, son of David, son of man, the Messiah et cetera.

This year however I wish to draw your attention to the birthday of one other person, a key thinker in progressing scientific progress during the Enlightenment period. That someone is Sir Isaac Newton.

Yes Sir Isaac Newton, born 25th December 1642, a renowed alchemist, physicist, mathematician, astronomer, philosopher and theologian. His birthday goes overlooked on this day so this year I have taken it upon myself to remind people of his work and how influential it has been within the sciences over the centuries following his death in 1727.

  • Credited with the discovery of gravity
  • Devised the law of universal gravitation F=G [[m1×m2]/r²]
  • Devised the three laws of motion:
  1. the velocity of a body remains constant unless the body is acted upon by an external force
  2. the acceleration of a body is directly proportional to the force applied and directly inproportional to the mass F=ma
  3. for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction
  • Demonstrated the constancy between Kepler’s laws of planatary motion and the laws of gravitation, thus adding the finishing touches to heliocentrism
  • Constructed the first reflecting telescope
  • Developed the theory of spectral light radiation via observations done with prisms
  • Devised one of the thermodynamic laws

 \frac{d Q}{d t} = h \cdot A( T_{\text{env}}- T(t)) = - h \cdot A \Delta T(t)\quad

  • Alongside Gottfried Leibniz devised differential calculus, integral calculus and infinitesimal calculus

So once again I wish you all a merry christmas. But when you think of Jesus asleep in his manger on this day please spare a moment for Sir Isaac and his apple.

Magentic Personalities?

Greetings fans of wisdom and those who question the reign of doxa. I was enjoying a meal at the chinese resturant the other day, I shall spare you the details of the meal itself as it is irrelevant, however when it came to the end I had a fortune cookie which inside contained the message “You possses a magnetic personality”. Now this got me thinking, just what exactly is meant by a magnetic personality? If something is magnetic it emits a field which either attracts or repels objects made from iron, nickel or cobalt and also deflects forms of energy found within the electromagnetic specturm (microwaves, radiowaves, infra-red, visible light, ultra-violet, x-rays and gamma rays).

 

So if I have a magnetic personality as the fortune cookie ensures me I do then either I can attract or repel people, or bend energy. Since I have no dominion over energy as I have yet to bend light to make myself invisible or bend ultra-violet to stop myself from catching sunburn I guess it means the former rather than the latter.

 

Right then so my personality allows me to attract or repel others…now correct me if I’m wrong but doesn’t every type of peronsality have the potential to attract and repel others? So everyone has a magnetic peronsality in which case it becomes meaningless to say I have a magnetic personality as it means the same as I have a personality. The fact that it is magnetic is bound within the very properties of a personality making the term magnetic personality tautologous.  Sorry cookie as much as I enjoy your little nuggets of insight on this occasion I believe you have failed to enlighten…unless you intended me to question your very statement to discover this hidden truth within.

 

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all you out there in cyberspace, may your

stockings be full and the festive holidays go well 🙂

 

For fans of yugioh or yugioh the abrdiged series out there here is a festive message from the Ishtar family:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqBJxU9IbhM

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