So I don’t normally write ranty blog posts but over the last few weeks I’ve noticed a few trends which need to be stopped, now.
The first is cheesy music. Now those of you without your heads in the sand would’ve noticed that this week that a certain track by a Korean pop singer called PSY has been making waves in the music industry. Gangnam Style is a revolting mix of catchy foreign lyrics and infectious dance moves. The video to the song has received over 270 million views on YouTube since it was uploaded in July 2012 and features a vast array of women and a bizarre horse riding-esque dance move.
It’s not just PSY though, recently we’ve also had a track called Bom Bom by Sam and the Womp fly up the UK singles chart. I’m a little confused by what’s going on here. Is this the UK market rejecting the standard x-factor recycled pop we seem to be hearing every other week in favour of purchasing tracks like these? Or perhaps this is the internet saying to us that if you give it something cheesy and infectious enough it can rise you up to Rebecca Black style stardom? Either way this trend needs to stop.
Thankfully releases from The Script and Example blocked Gangnam Style from reaching the number one spot in the singles chart this week, but worryingly the Official Charts Company have said that ‘sales are showing no signs of slowing so PSY could still stand a chance of topping next week’s chart’. So here’s a little plea from me to the rest of the country. Please stop buying these singles, it’s not cool, and it’s not smart. We’ve got some fantasticly talented bands and artists out there at the moment. Take 10 minutes out of your day to listen to some Of Monsters and Men, Florence and the Machine or The XX and let’s just grow up a little yeah?
Embarrassing Nightclub Photos
As for the second trend that’s been grinding my gears recently it’s these embarrassing nightclub photo Facebook pages. Now the premise of these pages is pretty simple, they’re in constant search of people making an absolute tit of themselves in nightclub photos, once they find the images they’re re-published on the pages for the masses to see and to slag off.
One of the biggest pages in the sector goes by the name of Embarrassing Nightclub Photos Of The Week and currently has over 1.25 million Facebook users connected to it.
The image above is pretty typical of the site. Now we’ve all either thrown up in a club or known someone who has and had to look after them and it’s not pretty. Obviously some more responsible drinking would’ve prevented the situation, but nobody plans to end up like this. Unfortunately the girl pictured has ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time and subsequently the photo has ended up on the Embarrassing Nightclub Photos Facebook page.
That’s not the worst of it though. A quick look down the page unveils some revolting comments. One user comments, ‘i actually don’t know which part of the picture is worse… dodgy tan, silly lips or the drunk fatty????’ Another says ‘Wat a fukn embarasment! Leave her on the sidewalk wit the rest of the trash, wat happend to girls respectin themselves or is that a myth?’ Comments like these are replicated throughout the site and are generally derogatory with the few people who have the balls to stand up for the victims being shot down by the masses.
One comment which caught my eye and brings me nicely onto my next point was this one, ‘i like how the photographer could of took this picture so they are centered so you cannot see the girls on the floor but instead he chose to put them in.’ When you see the point that the user is trying to make you end up asking yourself just why did the photographer decide to frame the photo so that she was in the background? Photos like these don’t help anyone, they’re bad publicity for the nightclubs, they’re bad for the people in the photos and they’re bad for the nightclub photography trade in general.
One extreme case where this all got out of hand was with Radio 1Xtra DJ Tim Westwood’s parties at Proud2. It quickly became the norm for people to spew derogatory comments all over the photographs posted on Facebook of the events, and 9 times out of 10 the albums would end up getting removed by Facebook within 3 days because of the shocking content of the comments. As it drew to the point where people were avoiding the night because of the photos being posted management took the decision to ban photographers from the event. Westwood explained that he was fliering in the local Westfield shopping centre and ‘This girl said she wouldn’t come to the rave because she was too scared that her photograph would be taken and people would say some horrible things, so rest assured we are banning all photographers.’
I think what we’re seeing here in society is something I noticed whilst I was on the students’ union at Ravensbourne and had numerous conversations with students and management about, which is this almost breakdown of rights and responsibilities. Now as some of you know I’ve taken photos at a vast amount of events and I’ve taken some very compromising photos of people, but none of these end up online. As I explained earlier, photographs like these don’t help anybody so it’s the responsibility of the photographer and the promoter to make sure none of these get out into the public domain. This of course won’t prevent Joe Bloggs with his iPhone 5 from snapping and publishing these photos, but that does bring me nicely onto my second point here. The internet gives you the right to post whatever you like online, however people don’t seem to understand the consequences of doing so. All of these derogatory comments that we’ve seen will appear in search engines which won’t show the users in a good light for example to a potential employer. There’s also one person who’s often forgotten about, the poor girl or guy sitting at home who’s stumbled upon their photo on the site and is probably in tears. Just because you’re sitting behind a computer screen doesn’t mean that there won’t be consequences to your actions, and our current generation of youth don’t seem to be understanding that every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
I’m going to stop ranting now, but I’d love to hear your comments on these topics.