Friday, October 28, 2016

Cross Media / Transmedia Narratives

In my case study on memes about Clinton's stance on Syrian refugees, I have seen the blurring and bridging cross media / transmedia narratives about religion enacted. For example, in the Austin Powers meme, the meme draws the idea of an ignorant, overzealous villain from Dr. Evil. A movie is an offline idea so there fore bringing it online and adding religious political context is blurring the offline and online. The Justin Beiber meme is an example of bridging the offline and the online. The online pop cultural media discourse about Justin Beiber's hair cut, which even acquired its own hashtag, is separate from the offline discourse about Clinton's interactions with Syria but bridged in this meme. The Justin Beiber meme uses a sarcastic, pointed tone of humor in order to make light of the priority of online discourse. This shows the participatory nature of online memes by allowing the consumer of memes to also be a producer of memes. By becoming a producer of memes, one can change the dialogue in the online forum. This meme functions as a wake up call to those focused on pop culture online rather than, what the producer views as more important, religious politics.

blurring - communicated online is not being communicated off line at all

bridging - distinct yet linked

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Religious Identity

My case study focuses on Islam. Specifically, those Muslims in the Middle East. Gathering information from these four memes, key beliefs of Islam include ones that don't promote democracy, and promotes terrorism and rape. The crescent of Islam is identified in the top meme.  The traditional dress of long robes and head coverings is identified in the third meme. The religious identity of those associated with Islam as depicted in this collection of memes is one that is hostile, perverse and violent. The Muslim treatment of women and support of terrorist violence is described in these memes using blunt terms. Rape victims being imprisoned is backwards and cruel. Stoning women is barbaric and sexist. Terrorists are a global menace and feared all over the world. These simple terms make the religion seem strict and extremely critical. Similar to the picture that is painted of Islam in the video game "Under Seige", where a shooter avenges the massacre in a mosque by shooting everything in sight, putting these violent ideals into the political light gives Islam a very harsh identity.

Hillary Clinton's Donations from Interesting Islamic Sources

With this meme selection, I hope to explore the media’s portrayal of Clinton’s interactions with Islam. This specific collection of meme’s will focus on the Syrian refugee crisis and Clinton’s use of campaign donations from various Islamic groups. The creation of countless meme’s on this issue express an array of highly opinionated views. These meme’s create a discourse which questions Clinton’s authenticity. This issue of the Syrian civil war is one which is extremely pressing and only continues to become more urgent. This functions to only make the meme’s more outspoken and accusatory. As seen in the meme on the top, even her logo is brought into question for relation to the pressing issue. In addition to claims made about Clinton, the meme’s also make claims about Islam. This is seen in the meme on the bottom with the use of the term “foreign terrorists”. This term is certainly not neutral in the description of religious extremists. Through more meme’s like these, I hope to discuss the ways in which media shapes the conversation about Clinton’s interaction with Islam.