Wednesday, February 27, 2013


I have been struggling with identifying a topic that has a fresh impact on media that most people consume today. As a result, I have three luke-warm proposals I'd like to pose for peer pondering:

#1 If You Can't Beat Them, Be Them:

Network programming has traditionally carried the banner of decency for television watcherss around the U.S. Recently, violence, sex, and profanity---traditionally seen in cable television---have been showing-up with higher frequency in prime-time programming. These provocative shifts are paired with more subtle changes like shorter season length and longer running time, for network shows that mimic--or are increasingly similar to--cable television shows. Is there a demand for violence, sex, etc. on network television? Is it attempt to cash in on the "Golden Age" of cable television? Or is it just a ploy to draw an increasingly unplugged audience away from Netflix, Hulu, etc.?

#2 Big Reach, Little Town:

Digital music is accepted amongst  the media moguls. It has even start turning a profit rather than costing execs. the millions they spend in piracy settlements. But while the industry becomes enamored with internet-savvy consumers, how do the up-and-comers, the not-yet-famous bands, utilize digital media kick music out of the garage and into customers/listeners buds? Has it been beneficial? Have they abandoned physical media altogether? Specifically, how have Kalamazoo bands--and other Michigan-based acts--utilized technology in the post-CD era?

#3 That One Guy, Made-it-Big:

Nathan K. is a name known well enough around the Kalamazoo bar scene--but his band Stepdad is know better around the U.S. than anywhere around here. How has this Michigan-born artist gone from the basement scene of Kalamazoo to national touring act, and what does it mean for other artists in an area qualified as one of the most musically metropolitan in Michigan?

I'd love comments, critique, etc. on the ideas above. I have more contacts for the ones below, but there seems to be more promise and nuance in the top proposal. That being said, they may very-well all need a thorough run through the garbage disposal to find some nutritional substance among them.  

1 comment:

  1. I think any of these ideas are potentially viable, Zac, but right now you've framed them more as straight features than as pieces of cultural criticism. Can you turn the rhetorical questions into arguments? Your third idea is the most concrete at this point, though I'm not yet certain what you want to say about this bad--and what that ultimately says about the culture at large, music culture, or Kalamazoo music culture in particular. As for the other ideas, I'd like to see you start with the specific things you'll use to make your argument and then widen it into the larger issue at hand. Please resubmit by Friday.