Troll Culture: The Celebrity Curse

We, society, are enthralled with the lifestyles of the rich and the famous. We need to know everything about them and we need to know it now. However this has led to a sense of entitlement when dealing with celebrities. People feel like they can say whatever they want. While some of it can be dealt with in a fun and humorous manner,

Most of it cannot. Particularly the level of hate perpetrated to female celebrities on the internet. The large majority of female based trolling is cruel and rife with misogyny.

Why is this?

The constant attention drawn to celebrities gives us a feeling of proximity to them. We feel like we know them. This lends itself to us, as more than a consumer, giving opinions that we feel are warranted. While negative opinion and public debate are fundamental in an internet culture,

Rape “jokes” are not. Physical violence threats are not.

When intelligent women, such as Lauren Mayberry, singer for the band CHVRCHES and singer Sky Ferreira need to pen op-ed pieces in hope that internet trolls will stop, we know that we have gone too far.

This in-sensuous level of internet trolling can have dire consequences.

The unfortunate death of Charlotte Dawson, a television personality who constantly dealt with internet trolling, highlighted the need for people to be more cautious and aware of themselves on the internet. It also sparked key debate on what can be done in an online environment to stop the constant abuse that celebrities, particularly female, are receiving.

They say any publicity is good publicity. Yet when this publicity stems from harassment and abuse it makes it hard to comprehend. While there is hope for a troll-less future, the doubt will not waver.

 

#OurABClicktivist.

260,043.

The Protect our ABC (#ourABC) campaign run by the GetUp! company has established this many signatories. Fuelled by the imminent cuts to the public broadcaster the mobilisation of this campaign has been predominately online. While this seems like a phenomenal amount of support, what does this number actually mean? Does it really represent the level of support for the campaign or is it just another example of an increasingly ‘Clicktivist’ society.

Clicktivism at its core is the use of social media to disseminate a message to a wide audience. The ease and pace of this transference makes it ideal for activist movements. The two most notable Clicktivist campaigns are Kony 2012 and Occupy Wall Street. Fronted by pseudo marketing companies these campaigns gained notoriety through a two layered approach, both online and physical. The question that this successful approach garners for the protect our ABC campaign is,

Can it create change without a physical presence? 

While the twitter hashtag shows that there is a certain level of physical activism, the level is nowhere near that of other successful campaigns. In fact it was dwarfed by the opportunistic demonstration shown by students on the television programme Q&A in regards to the deregulation of universities in Australia.

This display gained mass attention, particularly on social media and will continue to anchor this campaign. It will also continue to give this campaign a reference point, similar to a ‘make Kony famous’ or a ‘we are the 99%’ both catch cries of the aforementioned campaigns.

Time will tell through the Federal Budget whether this campaign was a success or not. However the plight of the clicktivist will continue. While online campaigning is now a necessity, it also seems an embodiment of this ideal is crucial to its success.

 

 

Copy, Transform, Combine. The Remix Culture and Music.

“I jump ‘em from other writers but I arrange ‘em my own way.”

Blind Willie McTell

Remix culture is embodied through music. It has origins in early blues music where the adoption of other musicians lyrics to your own melodic structure often occurred.  This ability to take from others to change and adapt for your own creative output has developed dramatically in the years following this. This prominence has occurred particularly since the turn of the century, as the ability to source music has grown with the web 2.0 revolution. Kirby Ferguson refers to this as the ability to “copy, transform and combine”.

This ability to copy, transform and combine has led to remixing becoming engrained in the musical culture of today. Almost every modern hit is disassembled and recreated to inspire new meaning from the original content.

This remix released last week has almost reached 1.5 million views. IN A WEEK. It would seem that the increasing popularity of EDM (electronic dance music) has spurned a new arc of remix music.

But, will this arc be sustained?

Lev Manovich believes that like many other cultures, remix will probably end, lose popularity or be adapted and transformed into something else entirely. He argues that if everything is a remix that eventually people will become tired of the “cultural object” nature of the music created. From here he believes that this discontent from the continued sampling of our cultural database will cause the birth of our next prominent culture.

However it seems farfetched that the world of remix, particularly in music could meet its demise so soon. The length of time it has taken to reach prominence would suggest a staying power particularly in youth culture.