Oh, I know my sources.

After reading the prompt, I realized that I don’t typically have only one source that I use when doing research on a certain topic. I typically have several mainly to keep the information I find varied and to keep the information in check and balance with what is accurate and usable and not.

One of the main sources I use, if I need to find a quote from someone credible regarding whatever topic is The New York Times. Their website has always proved worthy when I was in need of a good, qualified quote.  Their authors are typically educated individuals who have knowledge regarding their topics and who express their opinions well. Although sometimes the authors may be biased, that bias actually provides a great opportunity to read someones opinion about a topic and gain a better understanding from one perspective in order to question the topic further and pursue finding information about the opposing side of a subject matter. Another reason why I find the New York Times website a good website is because it is a well known and credible.  Whether people agree with what authors write or not, the website maintains a reputation that inherently gives it its credibility. Also, if I’m unsure about an author, I’m able to type in their name into Google and typically I’m able to find plenty of information about their credentials, degrees they may have attained, what companies they’ve worked for as published writers, and so on. I usually use The New York Times when ever I have a research project, which isn’t very often, but it has been consistently a great tool. When reading an article from The New York Times, I check its credibility by checking the date, when the article was updated, if at all, check the author’s credibility and usually I’ll try to find a couple other articles about the same topic, say if it were concerning an event that happened, I’ll try to find other articles that refer to the same event and compare and contrast the details and perspectives.

Another source that I’ll use is CNN.com. I’ll basically use the same method approach to analyzing CNN that I do for The New York Times when using this source. Also, as sort of a side note, I use the college’s research tools often as well. Usually as a starting ground for gaining other sources that I may be able to look into. The reason why I do that is because it is a college resource. That automatically, to me anyway, deems a source credible because a college is using it. I do of course still check everything for comforts sake, but I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a college resource being faulty.
I think it is important to have several baseline sources to use. Being able to find information, and credible information for that matter is crucial, not only for college students, but just to be a well informed individual that doesn’t just soak up the crap they are handed verbally or visually.


Love Marks

Marketing is an incredibly powerful yet annoying substance in our society.  I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how advertisements are everywhere we look. They are basically impossible to escape. All we can do is tune them out. Which brings me to a point I’d like to mention that was brought up in the documentary, The Persuaders. Several times in the film they bring up the point that begs the question, are these marketing and advertisement styles, angles, and methods working?  In order to “break though the clutter” advertisement companies have to create new and interesting ways to catch the consumer’s attention, via though emotion or rarely, logic. I’d like to say that I don’t believe any new advertisements maintain a sense of individuality. It all seems like clutter to me, yet when I delve deeper into observing products that I consume or use daily I have to ask myself, why did I choose one product over another? What specifically am I gaining from a certain product that I couldn’t obtain through its competitor? Really, the answer is simply loyalty beyond reason to a brand or product.

I wish I could say that I don’t take part in the nonsensical realm of consumerism, or being a sheep, in a society that promotes such activity so actively, but I do.  For example, there are a couple brands I find myself attached to Enjoi, a skateboarding brand, or Taylor, a guitar brand I’m not necessarily attached to any of these products because I believe they will enlighten me as an individual that believes any of these products are manufactured to promote love, family values, individuality, which in and of itself is hilarious because there is no such thing for a mass produced product because how can a person be individualized if millions of other people are wearing the same shirt? I find myself simply admiring the logo of Enjoi. It is a panda, one of my favorite animals, and they tend to have funny or catchy phrases/pictures on their T-shirts, skateboards, hats, jackets, etc. 

I can consider this something of a lovemark because I like being identified with a brand that incorporates humor and skateboarding, two things I love. My attachment to Enjoi therefore doesn’t lack loyalty without reason, because I do have reason, but at the end of it all I question whether or not my reasons are even good.

With Taylor guitars, my attachment to them is simple. They are good quality instruments and although I have yet to see mass advertisement for them, my loyalty to them is shown with my appreciation for their excellent craftsmanship. Being able to say that I will some day own a Taylor guitar provides a sense of satisfaction, that as a musician, I wouldn’t be able to obtain through saying I own an Ibanez. It is the recognition gained by others who are familiar with the quality of Taylor guitars that makes that satisfaction valid. Other musicians will get a certain impression about another musician that has a Taylor and knows how to use it well. It implies experience and ability.

With both of these pictures, I think the advertisers are expressing the values I personally look for, well. With the Enjoi photograph, the humorous caption is there, and so is a guy skateboarding. That’s something I think looks cool and interesting and would be happy to wear if it was a shirt or jacket, and would love to have on the bottom of my deck.

The picture of the Taylor guitar just screams elegance. It is sleek and powerful. The detail along the rim of the body of the guitar and the detail put into the fret board is pleasant to look at, and seeing the Taylor logo to the right lets the viewer know that it is top quality playing material. This just makes me want to go jam with a brand new Taylor just to hear its mellow but crisp tone.

At any rate, these are my love marks.

Sub-Genres Ruin Music

In my adventure to find a worthy persuasive article, I stumbled upon an editorial titled, “Sub-Genres Ruin Music”, written by Craig Roxburgh, an author associated with the website Mind Equals Blown. (http://mindequalsblown.net/editorials/sub-genres-ruin-music)

In his article, Roxburgh makes the argument that sub-genres of music inherently ruin music and the way people classify genres. His thesis can be identified in the statement, “The answer is that this wide range of genres is in fact destroying music, or rather, destroying musical creativity.” He continues on to explain how bands essentially create new names for sub-genres to classify themselves rather than attempt to create a new sound that legitimately sets them apart from other bands or genres. To Roxburgh, this causes an unnecessary surge of ridiculous sub-genres that could evidently be classified as a broader genre.
The evidence that Roxburgh provides rests in his explanation that many sub-genres are useful ways to classify different sounding bands, but he suggests that it goes too far when bands have, “mashed together a bunch of genres to create some obnoxious sound that you couldn’t find a name before and the decided to create one yourself.” He goes on to make this remark that I found rather entertaining, “Hey, maybe you threw in an orchestra, a noise flute and some gases just so that you could call yourself electronic-orchestral-neo-post-metalcore. (If you could read that without cringing then you have a high tolerance towards pretentious hipsters.)”. Lastly, he states, “The division that genres create results in conflict among music lovers… Sub-genres create an unnecessary division within a genre that already has a tough time gaining recognition.”
Aside from Roxburgh’s explanation, he lists a multitude of genres he considers valid, and others that he believes strays away from appropriate classification. Some of the examples of genres that he feels are over the top are listed as “post-metal, doom metal, acid metal, sludge metal, orchestral metal, nintendocore, math metal, indie metal, pagan metal and so on.” To verify the sub-genres listed, I decided to Google lists of music sub-genres. Under almost every main genre I found lists of sub-genres that coincide with Roxburgh’s list, as well as others. For the sake of entertainment, I found this other article listing the top ten most ridiculous sub-genre names in electronic music. The list consists of Splittercore, Illbient, Hardbag, Yorkshire Bleeps and Bass, Full-On Darkpsy, Orchestral Uplifting, Cybergrind, Complextro, and Clownstep. (http://www.mtviggy.com/lists/beyond-donk-top-10-most-ridiculous-sub-genre-names-in-electronic-music/) Also, if you just look up List of Rock Genres in Wikipedia, an unbelievable amount of genres and sub-genres will pop up. Here is a link to the webpage. See for yourself. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rock_genres)

After reading Roxburg’s argument, verifying the validity of his argument, and analyzing the structure of his article, I’ve come to the conclusion that it was a well reasoned through and thought out piece. He made a statement pertaining to his opinion, was capable of explaining why he feels the way he does, had enough evidence to support his argument, and was effective with his words to convince the reader to at least consider the ridiculous amount of sub-genres as detrimental if anything other than simply agreeing with him.