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Latest Topics

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The Mystery Behind The Influence of Instagram And The Popular Culture Industry?

Analyze how Instagram influences humans and the popular culture industry. Has this fueled our addiction to the fan-based product industry through the impact of social media? For example, Selena Gomez is one of the most popular Instagram influencers in the music industry today. She has over 400 million followers on Instagram and Facebook. She has worked with many major brands such as Adidas NEO, Pantene, and Coca-Cola. Artists and Influencers brand their products differently today on social media than when television was popular. Platforms like Instagram have produced more fake branding and advertisement than ever; compared to TV in the past, social media seems to have sponsored fan-based products on an enormous scale, and many artists/influencers have "sold out" to consumer franchising. Product placement is highly prevalent in today’s world. Although social media is excellent for connecting people and selling products, it is controlled by executives who make decisions on product placement, creating a culture of consumption and distraction with no end. What can we do to save humanity from consuming fan-based products, and how are social media influencers like Instagram over-promoting consumption for society? – Richard

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    The Influence of Social Media Marketing on Artists

    Analyze how artists and entrepreneurs use social Media Marketing. How have platforms like Facebook and Instagram transformed the way artists communicate and market their products. How can the art world benefit from social media, and what are the disadvantages of doing business online?

    • It's a fascinating subject. As provided, I believe it is quite broad. It should be more explicit and concrete, taking into account relevant case studies. Finally, it may be beneficial to specify why such an examination is required. – Samer Darwich 7 months ago
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    • You need to be more specific. Pick 2 or 3 examples of social media marketing that used a good creative campaign and how this was received by the audience. And maybe 2 or 3 examples of bad campaigns that, despite aiming to be trendsetters as well as using creative innovation, received a backlash for not being able to read the room and be sensible. – Dani CouCou 7 months ago
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    • I would also look at the added responsibility that social media marketing lays on artists. Artists are now often both full-time artists and marketers, which can wear them thin if they don't have the opportunity to outsource. – dallykay 6 months ago
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    • Artists are likely to be "kidnapped" by the audience, because if they do not cater to the audience's own work will not be taken seriously. – Bruce 2 weeks ago
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    9

    Has destigmatizing suicide gone too far?

    Nowadays, suicide carries less stigma than ever before, both in fiction and in real life. In many respects this is a good thing, as it means that people who experience suicidal ideation no longer have to feel like they are morally deficient. However, it seems as though some works of media have gone too far in the other direction, portraying suicide either as something glamorous or as an inevitable consequence of mental distress. A key example of this can be seen in the novel and Netflix series "13 Reasons Why," both of which seem to portray suicide as a weapon that can be used to get back at someone. Some modern Biblical commentators have even gone so far as to argue that Sarah, the holy matriarch, might have been suicidal based on little to no evidence. What are some ways in which creators can portray suicide more respectfully? Is it possible to point out the harm that suicidal ideation does without making people feel guilty or ashamed for being depressed?

    • This is such an interesting topic. It's so complicated to try to portray suicide in a respectful and non-stigmatized manner. I'm really interested to see what you come up with. – gracesamath 10 months ago
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    • There are some interesting discussions on Youtube about this, and euthanasia laws (specifically ones designed about relieving extreme mental distress) could be worth mentioning as well. The Living Well with Schizophrenia youtube channel has a great discussion about this. I've also seen discussions about 13 reasons why by psychologists who point out ways that Hannah's experience of suicide isn't a good representation (because she gives up on getting help or doesn't try enough to get help). – Jordan 10 months ago
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    • This definitely intrigues me, i'm excited to see what you continue to write about it! – OpalReads01 9 months ago
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    • You should write this! I tend to avoid things related to suicide, but the premise of your topic is sound. – derBruderspielt 9 months ago
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    • I like this topic and I would be highly interested to read something related to mental health and suicide. What "13 Reasons Why" did well is that it showed how Hannah's suicide devastatingly impacted the lives of her peers and parents and I think it can help suicidal people realize what the consequences of suicide are and why in most cases it is a wrong choice. What I didn't like about this show starting from season 2 though is that it makes everyone seem like a victim while they can make better and more responsibile choices. This kind of character representation can make teenagers adopt a victim mentality and that's what is happening nowadays among teens and even young adults sadly. – M.C. Cherif 9 months ago
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    • This is such a relevant topic. I think it would be interesting to make a case about Euphoria, which is even more popular and timely than 13 Reasons Why now, and is controversial for its graphic content and effect on young viewers. – katherine 9 months ago
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    • This is something I've wondered about before. So many YA novels are using suicide as a way to write an emotional, yet empty story. It's the black and white or one take move for YA novels nowadays; the equivalent of Oscar-bait. – rileybelle 8 months ago
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    • This is interesting because you're right, suicide seems to be used as just another element to add tragedy to a story. However suicide rates are still increasing and using suicide/ideation as a plot device does give struggling people a character to relate to. But what is the right way to portray someone suffering from that extreme depression and loneliness? – zreddig 8 months ago
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    • It would be so cool to follow it with questions like, is it really an issue of destigmatization of suicide? Or the capitalist society's way of profiting from a pervasive issue through TV shows? – carolynjoan 8 months ago
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    4

    The Portrayal of Catfishing Within Popular Media

    The act of catfishing — pretending to be someone else online to lure someone into a false relationship — has become a somewhat common occurrence. This also means that this behaviour has started appearing in more entertainment media. This, then, begs the question. How is the act of catfishing portrayed in media?

    An analysis of this topic could start with the TV show Catfish, which depicts the act as cruel whilst simultaneously often showing sympathy to those who participate in catfishing depending upon their individual circumstances.

    Through looking at other examples — either fictional or non-fictional — try to determine whether popular culture depicts this as a severe violation, a minor problem, or somewhere in between.

    If possible, make a comment about what this says about societal values.

    Note: I have placed this in the Arts category, but it could potentially sit in the other media forms (like TV or Film) if they are most discussed.

    • I think adding an element about how there are movies where all someone does is take off a characters glasses and they are hot (She’s All That) is also a form of cat fishing happening. Or even a mistaken identity like in Eurotrip. There are a lot of instincts in movies or shows where people get tricked into think one thing about a character and finding out different. This will be cool to read/write. – mynameisarianna 10 months ago
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    • I think this is a really great topic, especially with the Tinder Swindler on Netflix becoming so popular. A slightly different form but the same principle. – BrennaDempsey 10 months ago
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    • The recent Netflix movie LoveHard tries to tackle both characters who have catfished and their attempting to convince others it is wrong, but in the end the main charactes still end up together...so what does that all mean? – derBruderspielt 9 months ago
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    • While the television show "90 Day Fiance" definitely has its racist, xenophobic moments and is not necessarily focusing on "catfishing", I think it also opens up the interesting dynamic of long distance relationships and its tendency to encourage hiding the truth. Often, both people are "catfishing" in some way, either by hiding appearance, intention, information. The show is really ambiguous in regards to who you should feel sympathetic towards. In the MTV show Catfish, usually the viewer is positioned to feel sympathetic with the person being catfished (of course, the presenters are quite balanced and often give the catfish an opportunity to be heard out). In many of the relationships that involve lying or covering the truth in 90 Day Fiance, it is a bit more ambiguous and often both parties have hidden something. – aidenmagro 8 months ago
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    The History of Chinese Painting

    The Artifice is a magazine about visual arts so it would be interesting to read an article about how art in China has been evolving since ancient times. The author is invited to focus on the history of painting in this specific cultural context and make it into a story that helps the reader explore different times through the lens of Chiense painters. Using a chronological order would be helpful to follow and making the tone narrative instead of informative would also be more engaging. As an oil painter, I would be intrigued to read something related to the origins of this particular painting type.

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      Has Pop Music Simplified Over Time?

      In numerous studies, people are finding that pop music is homogenizing, both harmonically, stylistically, and even in vocal variety (i.e. very similar sounding artists being appreciated). Some claim that pop music is being "dumbed down" by becoming harmonically and melodically simplified. While pop music nowadays may be more harmonically and melodically simple, are there other factors that make it more complex/varied? Should we judge music based on these factors, or should we appreciate other aspects of the genre? What are those factors that we should appreciate?

      • A big factor is how formulaic a lot of the music is. Everyone wants to climb to the top via popularity and they do so by following the mainstream and taking the place of those who came before them by doing the same act. Many musicians don't even write their own songs, they just perform what their companies give them. It's a struggle between capitalism and the rise of the artist. – LaRose 7 years ago
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      • I'm not sure this topic fits into any of the current categories. According to the guidelines, music is not currently a category, but might be in the near future. Once this comes to pass, I would give this topic a second look. – BoomBap 7 years ago
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      • This topic is difficult because there is so many factors that can play a role. While I'm of the opinion that music (and all mainstream art including visual media, animation, film, literature, and theater) is being dumbed down. The reason people are noticing how similar music is becoming is also due to them being more familiar and experienced with it. While many artist are often criticized for "copying" other artist work. The reality is many artist are "inspired" by other artist. You can see this with bands like Wolfmother, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Cage the Elephant who were inspired by late 60's rock bands and tried to imitate them. You can honestly pick any era for music (or games, movies, and theater) and start noticing how redundant trends pop up due to the success of others. If you go back to the early 2000's there was a point where every artist was using auto tune and even further back you had the gangster rap era where everyone was trying to prove how "tough" they where. Also more recently Invincible has become incredibly popular due to its Amazon series and many people have praised it for its subversion of mainstream comic-books, but to me that is not the case. As, many of the more "shocking" elements have been done before by other comic-book series, such as the supposed paragon of good actually being corrupt. And is simply using his positive image to take over the world. Graphic violence has always been apart of comics and super hero's having sexual relations and having it be portrayed in full detail in the pages has also occurred. But the general press is talking up these elements, which to me shows how unfamiliar they are with the subject matter. "Btw I do think Invincible both the comic and Amazon series are worth looking at but not for the reason's I listed above." While I'm sure some musicians are simply following trends, I don't think all of them are. You also have to take in account how producers can act as gate keepers to the success and how popular some artist become, as they may choose to publish one artist over another due to them being similar to another successful arts. – Blackcat130 2 years ago
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      • I agree with some of the points previously mentioned. A particular aspect of music that can be argued is the notion of why exactly is pop music in its current state? Popular music in a sense can be argued is rap music due to the popularity of the genre. Moreover, pop music is an amalgamation of various genres blended together and can be seen in the ways in which EDM influences the beats of songs or how low-fi beats borrowed from ambient R&B. – jgabriel97 1 year ago
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      • To an extent, I do agree. I think, however, it's about encouraging people to have variety in their listening repertoire. It's ok to listen to something with simple harmonies and melodies, just like it's ok to eat fast food once in a while. I think people should be encouraged to keep an open mind and have a lush pallet of genres in their playlist and also appreciate how many genres, whether classical, jazz, pop, rock, drill or whatever it may be overlap and have more in common than we often give credit for. – JRAsquith 1 year ago
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      The Appeal of Reaction Videos

      In a reaction video, someone watches something – a music video, a movie, a TV episode, a meme compilation, etc. – and records their reaction. This genre was popularized for the mainstream by YouTube channels like The Fine Bros., but there are many, many other channels that do it. Videos like "Real Doctor Reacts to Medical Dramas," "Real Lawyer Reacts to Crime in Movies," and "Vocal Coach Reacts to Music Video" have the advantage of being educational.
      What is it about this genre that we find so appealing? Is it just the relatability of people feeling the same feelings we have? Do we feel a connection to these people, across time and space?

      • Good topic, one I often wonder about myself. It would be especially interesting to note the difference in modern reaction videos towards reaction videos from the early days of YouTube, back when it still had a reply function; plenty of content creators made their name on just reacting to others. Yet in the modern day, people seem to be more interested in watching professionals or experts' take on certain videos, as made popular by channels like Legal Eagle or the Conde Nast family. Ever since those videos started becoming more popular, you don't really see the regular reaction videos anymore. If anything, you see people trying to emulate the new style with connections that are often flimsy (ex. "Person Who Lives In NYC Reacts To Seinfeld"). Did the audience realize they can do better? What could be the next 'phase' of the reaction videos' evolution? – semroolvink 2 years ago
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      • I think part of the allure is that we as humans want to see others amused and entertained. – J.D. Jankowski 2 years ago
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      • Reaction videos represent one's opinion or how many ever people are reviewing it and their individual opinions. We may agree or disagree but there is always space to know how others think about certain things especially if any of your favorite videos are being reviewed. – Sujayweaves 2 years ago
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      2

      The Unpopularity of the Ebook

      Ebooks, despite being easier to access, quicker to arrive, sometimes cheaper, and easier to store than physical books, have never managed to outsell physical books. In fact, they do not even come close. Explore the possible reasons why this might be the case: material nature of print, satisfaction of flipping a page, ability to show books off, an examination of the differences between platforms (Kobo, Kindle, etc.), e-platforms (Kindle app, Google Play Store, etc.), and file types viability (epub, pdf, etc.), and the aesthetic/artistic parts of the physical book.

      Article about ebook sales: (link) you prefer reading an,print on paper still wins.&text=“The book lover loves to,the rest of the world.

      • Good start. Can you supplement with some statistics on the sale of print books vs. ebooks? – Stephanie M. 2 years ago
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      • Perhaps another point of discussion could be the artistic elements of books. The different kinds of binding, the cover art, etc. – Samantha Leersen 2 years ago
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      • I know that a study had been done, where reading comprehension on computer devices was lower when compared to physical books. Perhaps people are aware of this issue intuitively on some level. Just a thought. – J.D. Jankowski 2 years ago
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      • You might also want to explore some benefits ebooks have over printed books, to flesh out the argument. For one thing, they allow readers to choose fonts, font sizes, line spacing, margins, etc. Readers can even opt for the text-to-speech function (when available). These choices provide a flexible format that can be more accessible to readers, especially those who cannot read traditional printed books – Mya 2 years ago
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      • Perhaps one could, as you've already indicated, analyze the physical nature of completing a book. Dog-eared pages, bent spines, handwritten notes along the margins, etc., all contribute to the 'reading' of a novel. Can the ebook hope to replicate or replace this physical relationship between reader and text? Additionally, what is the impact of looking at a screen? The screen might appear as paper, but the reader always knows they are viewing something electronic. Does this change the way a reader might read a text? For instance, word-finding tools are immediately present within a ebook, whereas one must actively search for something specific within a physical text. Is the presence of tools something that helps the reader in their understanding, or does it hinder progression by allowing readers to read 'easier'? – hooooogs 2 years ago
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      • This "unpopularity" is a matter of perspective, personal choice, and advancement and comfortability with technology. – T. Palomino 3 months ago
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