Monday, February 2, 2009

Media Influence

I never saw a gangsta till Mtv showed me one. Well, I’m still not sure Dr. Dre and Snoop were really gangsters, but they said they were and what do I know? Maybe I was too young to notice but before this time I never saw any kind of graffiti, except on TV. That changed when someone sprayed COL POSSEY on the wall of my middle school. Shortly thereafter I remember being the only one at a party wearing pants that didn’t sag. It wasn’t my usual crew but still, I was the ONLY guy who didn’t sag. Soon thereafter my school posted rules banning bandanas, Raiders logoed gear, and baseball hats. I remember friends being upset by the ban. Thanks to that time in my life I still know how to throw up a Cryp or Blood sign. A kid I played football against lost his football scholarship and went to prison because he shot someone at a concert. The paper said it was “gang related”.
Did I mention I grew up in Sandy Utah, 99.875% white? It was, and probably still is, one of the most stable neighborhoods anywhere.

My wife never thought college was an option. She didn’t know anyone who had ever been. Well, her teachers I suppose, but they are different. No one in the family had ever been, neither had anyone in the families of any of her friends. It was never talked about, never encouraged, a simple non-issue, as if it didn’t exist. College was for white people, rich white people.

Then she saw the TV show, “A Different World”. She loved it. It had black people in college. All sorts of black people: rich “bougie” ones, nerdy ones, jocks, from the hood poor ones, everyone. It made college look cool, fun, and accessible. She decided she was going and talked to a councilor at school. Going and asking is how she found out about Georgia’s “Hope” scholarship which provides ANY student who graduates with a B average, a full tuition scholarship to any state school. She received her Bachelors with honors.

Does media have an influence?


Jake said...

Get back in bed! Only crazy people like me should be up before 6am. I think media has an influence for sure. Not only in the characters and the acts they perform, but also in how much time is spent viewing or listening to media of any kind. A lot more influential than I used to think it was when I was growing up....I just didn't realize it then.

Jenna said...

I definitely think that media is powerful in influencing our actions. When we go to YSA dances, the problem dances are the fast dances - everyone's watched dancing on TV & learned how to move & groove. When we need to lighten things up, we turn on the slow music. I think I recall the total opposite when I was younger.

Corbie said...

I was at the same school for the middle school events you speak of and I definitely agree - the media has a powerful influence. I also think the media has a responsibility to the public to use this influence for good (though, unfortunately, they rarely do).

Spammon said...

I like to think about just recently when the media said that rice was running scarce and we will soon be out of rice! What happened next? Costco was sold out of rice. They would only allow you to buy 1 bag at a time. In fact, you couldn't find rice anywhere.

Months later, we realize there is more rice in the world than there are sands in the sea. Thanks morons.

Corbie said...

You're welcome, Spammon.

uglyblackjohn said...

But could you tell the wanna' be gangster from the real gangta'?
Neither can the police.
This is often where otherwise good kids get caught in a mess.
Networks like BET have done more harm than good.

LMAO at Jenna's comment.
(But what's a YSA dance? Are those the dances at the Stake center?)

nathalia said...

And your wife is one smart cookie!