Personally I cannot stand the Twilight series and the vampire craze that popular culture has been experiencing for the past 4 years. Specifically, the Twilight books and movies make me feel like I am reading the diary of a young teen girl who is infatuated by an “emo” boy. Boring! However, if I look at the film from the perspective of the target demographic, a teenage girl, I am able to see the appeal of the movie, as there are strong implications of sexuality and demonstrate the sense of millennial teenage angst about growing into one’s body.
We have definitely grown up in a culture where sex and sexual imagery is talked about and displayed everywhere. It seems like more and more that girls, boys, women, men, teenagers and adults are encouraged / are able to express themselves sexually with limited public backlash. However, I was surprised to see that in the first Twilight film that the protagonist is a girl, Bella, who seems to be very uncomfortable and not confident with her body and shies away from interactions in which attention is drawn to it. As McGeough suggests in her article “Twilight and Transformations of Flesh: Reading the Body in Contemporary Youth Culture,” Twilight embodies the paradox, that teens are exposed to sexualized images of female bodies in popular culture, while girls are urged to participate in the virginity movement, and it “offers the creative possibility of combing admission and acceptance of the desire for sexual pleasure with the resolve to remain chaste” (McGeough, 91). While Bella is extremely sexually attracted to the charming and handsome looks of the vampire Edward Cullen, the couple must restrain themselves from any type of sexual activity to prevent Bella (the millennial girl) from being hurt. Furthermore, I applaud the ability of the Twilight film in it’s ability to encourage millennial teens to be open and honest about the sexual desires as they grow up and travel through puberty, while also offering a moral message that describes the values of self-control and pureness.
Additionally, I want to admonish the Twilight film for being extremely poorly produced with horrific acting, and a very boring plot.
Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino is famous for his role on the reality hit MTV series “The Jersey Shore.” Reality TV stars have caught the attention of the Millennial generation, and for some reason we believe that these people that star and do wild things on reality TV are capable of doing anything. I believe a common misconception people have about reality TV stars is that they are invincible and are actually super talented, since they have made it to the “BIG TIME,” in that they were able to get famous on TV.
Here is an example of The Situation getting himself into a very awkward situation. This is actually painful to watch. First of all, watching a stand up comic blow it on stage is extremely uncomfortable and awkward, but when a person that is trying to do comedy is extremely arrogant and doesn’t realize how bad he is, the situation become even more painful. This segment is taken from a Comedy Central Roast of Donald Trump. Many comics and celebrities, including Snoop Dogg, Larry King, and Seth McFarland, are invited to “roast” Donald Trump, meaning that they tell mean and outrageous jokes about Donald Trump and the rest of the celebrity invites. I have no words to describe what happens to The Situation except for RFA!
As presented in the article “Religion Among the Millennials,” the Millennial generation does not hold religion to be as important in their lives as compared to older generations. This includes attending decreased attendance of religious ceremonies and praying, and a more “lenient” attitude toward their beliefs (especially Christianity). “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” portrays religions and religious morality in a Millennial fashion. While the “IT” couple, Jack and Grace, at the school are the individuals who are the most attractive, most popular, and most viewed in a sexual way, the couple is in fact extremely religious. There are few interesting themes that are exhibited in terms of how religion is portrayed in reference to this couple. First, it is ironic that Grace is the most sought after girl at the school, even though she has made a promise with her parents that she will not engage in pre-marital sex. Boys at the school are flirting with her left and right, and don’t regard her religious beliefs or even her boyfriend as a boundary. It shows how these teen Millennials don’t necessarily believe that other teens or people take their religion that seriously, and are usually more than willing to bend the rules. Second, the fact that Jack seriously doubts whether he can wait until he marries Grace to have sex. The statistics presented in the Pew Forum that demonstrate how Millennials don’t regard religion as important in their lives as much, is exhibited in Jack’s thoughts of doubt. Since I have not seen the show before, I can’t say whether or not Jack is able to hold his promise with Grace, but I’m pretty he’s going to have sex with another girl on the show, Adrian, that has already shown interest in pursuing / ruining Grace and Jack’s relationship. Third, in the way that Adrian and other characters on the show perceive the religious couple, it’s almost as if Jack and Grace are seen as being freakish, in that being so religious is seen as so old fashion and conservative. In this way, be religious is conveyed as being out of the norm, which parallels the Millennial statistics.
The morality of abortions is also brought to light in this episode. When Amy confesses to her friends that she is pregnant, one friend suggests that she has options in that she can get an abortion, while the other friend is completely horrified and disgusted at the idea of Amy getting an abortion. The topic of pro-life or pro-choice has obvious religious ties, and once again this parallels the Pew Forum statistics that Millennials are basically split on their decision whether they believe abortion should be legal. Furthermore, due to the sexualized nature of the teenage students, glorifying the religious couple and also perceiving them as weird, portrays religion in a Millennial manner.
- When you tell your partner that you love him/her, and she/he responds by saying, “Thank you. You are really nice to be around too.”
- Right before a couple is about to get married and have professed their everlasting love to one another, the husband (or wife) asks his wife (or husband) to sign a Pre-Nuptial agreement. There is nothing less romantic than a pre nup. “Soooo….um…just in case this doesn’t work out because you later decide to cheat on me with your yoga instructor, I want you to sign this pre-nup so at least I’ll get to keep what’s mine. But I love you so much!”
- Weird noises made in the bedroom. (Just sayin…)
- When your partner’s parents don’t approve or like you.
- Running into your ex on your first date with someone else, after recently breaking up with the ex.
- Forgetting your partners birthday.
Nicholas Sheltrown argues in his essay, “Harry Potter’s World as a Morality Tale of Technology and Media,” that J.K. Rowling “thoroughly, persistently, and consistently blurs the line between technology and magic, making it difficult for the reader to know where one ends and the other begins”(Sheltrown, 48). The argument that technology is expressive and instrumental in the revealing of identity in the wizarding world, as magic wands act as passports and status in society, draws a very intriguing parallel to how technology in our Millennial culture relates to our identity. We, as Millennials, have grown up in a society and culture where technology plays a fundamental role in our communication with others, how we do our work, and how we define ourselves. Similar to how a wizard’s status, ability, and identity would be extricated if his wand was lost or taken from him, we, as students, would be basically unable to participate in the today’s society if we were unable to use the Internet, cell phones, and other popular forms of technology; its almost as if we would fall of the map and fall behind all others who continue to use technology to their advantage. Just as wizards and witches identify themselves with wands and the sorting hat (magical technology), we identify ourselves in terms of what TV shows and websites we are fans of, and how we present ourselves on social media sites.
While readers and viewers of Harry Potter may be astonished with the “tech-magic,” referring to the technologies that only exist in the wizarding world, and “magic-tech,” referring to ordinary Muggle objects that have been magically modified, Sheltrown also points out how wizards and witches see our technology as fantastic and whimsical as well. As Arthur Clarke suggests, “Advanced technologies are indeed magical [as well].” So just as the magic technology in Harry Potter seems un-sensational to the characters in the wizarding world, basic Muggle technologies that are mundane to us, are unable to be grasped by wizards like Mr. Weasley. We have become so accustomed to new advancements in technology, that nothing is too astonishing for our imaginations anymore. While the Harry Potter world is perceived as whimsical and magical to the reader, JK Rowling still portrays the world as still being behind in simple technologies like electricity, email, the Internet, and cell phones. This functions to make Millennial readers realize how they take the most simple technologies for granted, and possibly shapes their perspective toward technology in a different way. We are shown how people used to develop and communicate in a world before Millennial technology, and conveys much our Millennial generation rely on technology for communication and the most simplest of tasks.
Sometimes irony can be awkward. Ms. South Carolina was unable to answer a question about education in America, because she herself did not seem to receive an education. This is the most outrageous response to this question…Ever! Do more South Carolina, do more.
It seems that nobody is alone anymore with the existence and popularity of social networks, forums, and fan discussion groups. No matter what the situation, people are able to connect and cope with others on the Web with similar interests and attitudes towards the world. Typically, people participate in theme or specific topic based discussions, like the fan discussion forum for a specific TV show or book series. Fans are encouraged to be interactive with the show by creating fan-fiction, fan art, and discuss the issues and themes that are presented. However, as Stein expresses in her article “‘Off topic: Oh my God, US terrorism!’: Roswell fans respond to 11 September,” the fans of the TV show Roswell are connecting at a level that is much deeper than what is usually virtually expected.
After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Millennials were looking to cope, talk about what they were feeling, and have questions answered. Communities all around the US came together in an effort to support each other through prayer and general comfort, and this included virtual communities. While some may find it inappropriate to be discussing the happenings of 9/11 on a TV discussion board that has very little to do with the situation, I believe it exhibits the Millennial generation’s desire to be open, honest, and communicate/ connect. Since all of these fans have such strong feelings about the morals and values projected in Roswell, which are tolerance, acceptance, and love, they are more willing to read and participate in this online community to find comfort. I think it’s pretty incredible how much we have come to rely and trust the online communities that we are part of. People seek guidance, comfort, and emotional support from those who they’ve never met and may be thousands of miles away, but they can connect via their passion for the value and morals conveyed by a TV show.
While some Roswell fans thought it inappropriate to be writing about politics, terrorism, and revenge on a television show forum, I believe that people’s engagement of creating memorial art that incorporated characters from the show, exhibits true passion and well-natured behavior that commemorates those lost in the 9/11 attacks, and offers a sense of much needed community at time of complete loss and confusion.