ImperatorSage

ImperatorSage

Passionate about animation and writing. Also interested in ancient history, mythology and technology.Avatar by Irina Nordsol (https://www.artstation.com/nordsol)

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Latest Articles

Latest Topics

4

Celebrity Worship

People admiring celebrities isn’t a new notion. History is filled with accounts of people idolizing certain individuals, whether for their physical looks, social status, special abilities, etc. This idolization can and has propped celebrities up on pedestals, creating this idea that celebrities are above others. Hollywood and other entertainment industries are the most prominent examples of this, and the internet has only further perpetuated this.

Celebrity worship has been seen with Jennifer Lawrence, Will Smith, Leonardo Di Caprio, and more recently, Keanu Reeves. Despite upholding celebrities to a high status, people often project certain qualities on these people and then tear them down as soon as their images of said celebrities are broken.

Why do you think people display such attitudes towards celebrities? With the internet being used as an outlet for toxic behavior, how do you think this could change, if at all?

  • One of the common signs of the fall of Empire is the creation and then adoration of celebrities. Perhaps one of the earliest examples can be found in Ancient Rome, with its panem et circenses shows for the masses. Gladiators, Charioteers and similar gained almost mythical status, with some earning vast fortunes and their sweat being collected and regarded as an aphrodisiac! Rome also glorified chefs...and we are seeing exactly the same today. For anyone interested in taking this topic suggestion, I'd recommend 'Four Horsemen' (2012), which covers this subject (amongst others). It's available to view on You Tube. – Amyus 1 year ago
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  • Ooh, this is a good topic! I want to add that one of the biggest changes we're seeing now is that the open-source nature of the Internet allows just about anyone who really wants to to become a celebrity. For instance, thanks to YouTube you can make home videos of yourself and (at least in theory) gain fame and fortune, which just perpetuates the celebrity culture (including its more toxic aspects) even further. – Debs 1 year ago
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  • This is a very interesting topic. An aspect of celebrity worship I have always found odd is the whole 'they're just like us' viewpoint and how that becomes a reason to praise them more. It's almost as if there's some sort of erasure of their pre-celebrity past so when the glamorous actress admits she loves eating McDonalds or the buff action hero is afraid of spiders it fuels this worship even though its quite banal. It's almost like normalcy becomes novelty. – JTVersus 1 year ago
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  • I think the reason why they admire such celebrities is because they can relate to them in some way. People who idolize strangers often have this notion of them being a perfect person and maybe not even a human ( in my opinion) putting them on this imaginary pedestal. However with social media and the internet it is a lot easier for these celebrities to mess up and get chastised. This could change the narrative in the future among other things. – 1sharmaaja1 1 year ago
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Credit Where Credit Is Due: Artists' Edition

It’s widely accepted that people who create or find something, whether a painting, a computer, a car, a book, a scientific discovery, etc. should receive credit for it. Yet in the online world, this seems to only go so far for artists, specifically illustrators and animators.

The internet and social media sites are rife with people posting art without crediting the artists. Many try justifying this by stating that "people can look up the art themselves" or they’re giving the artists "exposure." None of these hold water, as it’s been proven that most people do not go out of their way to search the artists. Exposure doesn’t mean anything if people don’t know who the artist is, let alone care enough to find them. It also certainly doesn’t mean anything to the landlords whom artists must pay their rents to.

If a scientist published an academic paper online, and say, a college student plagiarized it and tried to pass it off as their own, I doubt many would oppose that student being punished and ridiculed for doing so. Yet if an artist protests a person for reposting their art without crediting them, that artist is labeled as "sensitive" or "greedy".

I find this double standard to tie into inherent laziness in internet users, but also a possible broader sense of people not seeing art, particularly illustration, as a legitimate profession. There are millions of artists all over the world who make a living off their art; the foundation of Hollywood is based on this (as well as nepotism and debatably cyclical abuse, but that’s another discussion) yet trying to enter an art industry can be met with mockery. Many people only see the final product, and not the hours and hours of work that go into artistry, whether it’s music, animation, painting, sculpting, or illustration. They assume it’s effortless and that artists only do it as a hobby, not for income.

Why do you think this societal stigma is so prevalent, especially in this era where digital media is so widespread and exposes more people to more artforms than ever before? What about art carries such certain connotations that separate it from other fields and professions? How do you think this could change?

  • I love this topic! Art is so easy to plagiarise without credit given the prevalence of social media and the ease of reposting or screenshotting the work of others. Art, to an extent, is also easier to copy and claim as your own when compared to a scientific discovery or mathematical theory. Not only can the work of the original artist be claimed, another artist can replicate the work, or create something similar - which is where it gets even more tricky. How do we know if they were inspired by the original work? Had they seen it before? It is impossible to know. – Cassidy 1 year ago
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Perception of Animation in the U.S

Despite its innovations and endless creativity, animation has and continues to be dismissed by general audiences as only suitable for children in the U.S. While there are many historical and industry reasons for this, animation has proven itself to be a legitimate medium just as any other, whether in the U.S, France, Japan, and through other platforms such as Newgrounds and YouTube.

Companies such as Netflix and Sony Pictures have shown to be investing heavily in animation and trying to globalize productions and creative voices in the medium, with Spider-Verse being the most recent example. Even Japan has recently been recruiting more foreigner animators, and South Korea and China are starting to prop up their own animation industries.

On the other side, you have Disney live-action remakes/retellings which may be perpetuating the notion that animation is inferior to live action. General audiences, especially adults, can often be insecure about watching cartoons, and seeing them as live action seems to deliver the idea that realism makes these stories more mature.

How do you think animation will be perceived in the future in the U.S? Do you believe the perception will even change at all? If so or not, how?

  • It's an interesting topic, but I'm not sure I agree that cartoons aren't seen as legitimate forms of adult entertainment. For instance, it seems like many people nowadays recognize that anime can be for all ages, not just for children. And it seems like you also see more and more Western cartoons out there that contain jokes and plotlines intended as much for adults as for kids (Adventure Time and Regular Show come to mind here). Can you come up with specific examples of people looking down on cartoons because they think they're for kids, or is it just your conjecture that people do this? – Debs 1 year ago
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  • As stated by Debs ^, I would also argue that many American cartoons cater to (and are sometimes even written directly for) adult audiences. I would look specifically at cartoons such as Warner Bros Bugs Bunny cartoons, as well as modern shows like Spongebob Squarepants or The Simpsons. In some cases, these series' go beyond mere adult themes or jokes; they are written with direct adult messages. There is, I think, growing demand for animated entertainment among adult audiences. Perhaps the question to explore should be - what audiences or demographics tend to embrace animation the most in the United States? What can we point to as possible reasons for any discrepancies found? – jkillpack 1 year ago
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  • I suppose I should've been more specific and stated 2D animation instead. Animation as a whole has been embraced, but in the general zeitgeist, most of that admiration is directed at feature animation from Disney, Pixar, Dreamworks, and Illumination. Animation done outside these studios doesn't receive as much attention and can be actively dismissed due to not being tied to the Big Four.For example, while Into the Spider Verse made its budget back, it didn't do as well as it could've. While a lot of this can be attributed to competition from Aquaman (2018), there are many anecdotes that have described general audiences being put off by Spider-Verse's animation, which doesn't adhere to the standard, smooth animation people are used to from Disney and Pixar. These also add that people dismissed Spider Verse because they didn't want to watch a cartoon.Many people lament the absence of 2D animation in cinema, but general audiences seem to believe it as being reserved only for TV/streaming. I completely agree that U/S animation has catered to other demographics, but many of these shows also seem to be overt in their adult targeting through vulgarity, nudity, violence, etc. just to prove it. I also believe you'll be hard-pressed to find the average adult on the street who would openly admit to enjoying animation, particularly if it's 2D and not from Disney or Pixar. – ImperatorSage 1 year ago
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Online Animation Communities

The Internet is rife with communities encompassing various topics and mediums, ranging from niche comic-book properties to history buffs. Animation has spawned different communities within the realms of anime, western animation, online independent animation, etc. The most known, or vocal at least, seem to be on Newgrounds and YouTube, in which the latter consists of YouTubers reviewing cartoons. What are the aspects of these communities who dedicate themselves to discussing cartoons? What types of people are involved, and how do they view and treat the subject matter they name themselves after?

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    Latest Comments

    ImperatorSage

    Can’t speak about the matrix commentary, but I’m not sure I agree about critics not having authority just because some may not be creators themselves. You don’t need to have made something to criticize it, and I even made this point in my article. I do think it’s important to at least be informed on what’s being critiqued though, as it can allow for the reviewer to better understand any intentions and how the work was made.

    The Lack of Nuance in Media Criticism
    ImperatorSage

    I agree with everything you said except for a critic being “objective”. A critic is supposed to articulate their personal thoughts on something; what they’re providing is their subjective perspective on it. Saying they must avoid personal taste getting in the way contradicts the fact that they’re a human being with likes/dislikes. The closest way to a critic being “objective” is whether they’re sincere with their criticism, but unfortunately, this idea that art can be “objectively bad/good” has taken over online discourse.

    The Lack of Nuance in Media Criticism
    ImperatorSage

    I highly recommend watching Lindsay Ellis’s new videos, the work she and her collaborators put in is amazing to me. She’s articulate, humorous, the editing is exceptional, and overall always provides interesting perspective on how I view media. There isn’t a single video from hers where I walk away not learning something new or at least thinking about a piece of work differently.

    The Lack of Nuance in Media Criticism
    ImperatorSage

    Agreed. The opinion itself can be positively or negatively received depending on how it’s presented. People who are snobbish with their opinions will receive pushback and interfere with engagement.

    I know most of the critics I follow have their own unique ways of explaining their thoughts in well-rounded ways that make me understand the topic and why they felt the way they did. I also cite YMS again, as a lot of the criticism targeted at him pertains to his cynical tone. It’s simply his way of expressing himself, and I don’t care for it, but I’m nowhere near as put off by it as some others are.

    The Lack of Nuance in Media Criticism
    ImperatorSage

    I feel most general audiences of entertainment don’t. I think it depends on the person. But do you care?

    The Lack of Nuance in Media Criticism
    ImperatorSage

    I’ve only watched a little of Nostalgia Critic, his videos aren’t for me. As for Nostalgia Chick, I prefer her new YT channel that she created to move away from NC. She just goes by her name Lindsay Ellis, and makes fantastic videos analyzing entertainment media.

    The Lack of Nuance in Media Criticism
    ImperatorSage

    Thanks, glad you liked it!

    The Lack of Nuance in Media Criticism
    ImperatorSage

    Thanks, glad you liked it!

    The Lack of Nuance in Media Criticism