Assignment for Wed 4/15

FYI, we will try to Zoom 2:30p-3ish next Wed for those interested in checking in and hanging via video and “real time.” ;). Anyway, onward…


  1. I’ve provided/posted my own feedback for everyone who turned in an Essay 1, which can be easily accessed by clicking “Essay 1 Feedback” to the right ( –> ) and clicking on the post with your name in it.  It is my hope that others will post their feedback as well given that this is a required part of the course, necessary to pass.
  2. I want you to send me a draft of your Essay 2. Work on this if you need to; e-mail me if you need help. If you haven’t yet sent me a draft of Essay 1, send that too!
  3. Writing Prompt: Making Connections Between Texts & Media.  One of the most important skills for college writing that I want us to practice in Essay 2 is identifying points of connection between different things we read, listen to, and watch—and writing about those connections.  To that end, I want you to look at readings 10, 12, and 13 (available here) and then do the following

A) Write out the basic info for each text: author name, title, and publication info (if available).

B) Make a list of anything these three texts have in common.  Take your time and be creative: think broadly and widely and obviously at first and then try to get more specific.  See if you can write out 4-5 points of connection in your list.

C) (Re-)watch the Drake music video referred to in reading #13.  In paragraph form, tell me about how you see the visuals of this video (the fashion, the backgrounds, the action, etc.) as connecting to the idea of “normcore” in reading #10.  Is this video “normcore”?  Why or why not?

11 thoughts on “Assignment for Wed 4/15”

  1. A) 10.
    A.”Youth Mode: A Report On Freedom” is written by K-Hole, a trend forecasting group founded by Greg Fong, Sean Monahan, Emily Segal, Chris Sherron and Dena Yago. Published in October 2013.

    The reading “The Anxieties of Big Data”, is written and published by Kate Crawford on August 9, 2017.

    This short excerpt does not have a visible title nor does it state when and whom it was published by.

    B) -The idea that being able to blend or “pass” in society is a privilege.
    -The anxiety that no new terrain is always a catalyst for change.
    -For some people, being seen as normal is the scariest thing since they would have to “return to their boring suburban roots.”
    -Act basic or mainstream for too long and you become extra conspicuous.

    C) Drake’s hotline bling video consisted of a lot of bright colors as well as females with big butts. Drake is seen wearing popular designer brands including Moncler, Stone Island, and even his own clothing line. All these combined visuals is something that the viewers are very used to seeing in most music videos. Beautiful women and expensive physical material keeps the viewers attention by being distracted by something other than music. This video can be seen as normcore due to how in a few scenes he had on bland colored sweatpants as well as a plain cardigan. Even though the clothes may appear as ‘normal’ clothing, once you look at the price they aren’t.

    1. Thanks for the reponse, Denis–and for pointing out that I totally messed up on file #13—we’ll have to re-read that one for the next assignment!

      Regarding Prompt B: I definitely think you’re onto a point of connection between the three texts with your first point. If and when you revise this, can you explain in more detail how you see this point manifesting in each of the three texts—by K-Hole, Crawford, and Caraminica?

      Great points about Drake and normcore in Prompt C. If and when you revise, I want you to try to write this entirely in present tense—this is the convention for writing about literature, art, and film. Because such texts continue to be “alive” whenever we view/read them, we treat them as such by speaking of them in the present tense.

  2. A)
    11~”Youth Mode: A Report On Freedom” was written by K-Hole, known as a trend forecasting group which was created by Greg Fong, Dena Yago, Chris Sherron, Sean Monahan, and Emily Segal. This was published in October 2013.

    12~“The Anxieties of Big Data” was written and published by Kate Crawford on August 9, 2017.

    13~For this text the title as well as the author and date published was unidentifiable.

    ~focus on public behavior and social norms
    ~societies ideas on acceptable visual genres
    ~”Everyone knows it,but nobody talks about it.” we all are aware our generational ways of living but we don’t talk about it enough

    “Hotline Bling””, a song by Drake, starts off with a bunch of women talking in an office setting for a few seconds in the background while the song begins showing Drake in his colorful setting. As the video progresses throughout the video unidentified women dance in the colorful background. Although Drake’s video is mainly in a stationary setting only showing flashing colors and stairs he does change his outfits often. This video can be connected to the idea of Normcore because in most music videos, a lot of artist are “dripped out” in flashy jewelry, fancy cars, and big houses, while Drakes video kept it simple. Although Drake did wear designer clothing he wore them ‘normal’ enough to not be looked at as flashy but seen as everyday wear.

    1. Alia,
      Great sleuthing in Part A–and apologies about my error with regard to file #13. We will look at that again this coming week.

      If and when you revise, can you say a bit more about what is being said in these three texts about “public behavior and social norms”—what are K-Hole and Crawford noticing about the ways social norms/trends began changing around the time that social media and “big data” were really begin to take off? How might we see such trends manifesting in Drake’s work with becoming meme-able in “Hotline Bling” and elsewhere?

      Excellent work in part C—just watch out for slipping into past tense in your final sentence; the rest of this is fabulously descriptive.

  3. A.)
    “Youth Mode: A report on freedom” by K-Hole published in October 2013
    “The anxieties of Big Data” by Kate Crawford and published May 30 2014
    “Drake: Rapper, Actor, Meme” by Jon Carmanica published October 23, 2015

    -Freedom from generational idea of what is “normal”
    -New technology and how it impacts a generation
    -Being different is the new normal
    -Internet playing a huge role in social norms

    C.) In the music video “Hotline Bling” a song by Drake the visuals in the song are interesting as the video starts off with beautiful women sitting in a call center. It then pans out to drake in a color changing cube that later turned into a huge meme. He is also seen wearing his name brand OVO. I don’t believe this video is “normcore”. Normcore would be defined as “normal” clothes not expensive sweaters, and jackets. The women in the video could be considered dressed normal as they appear in a regular basic pink shirt and jeans.

  4. A)
    10- K. Hole “Youth Mode: A Report on Freedom”, published in Oct 2015
    12- Crawford “The Anxieties of Big Data”, published August 9, 2017
    13- Caraminica “Drake: Rapper, Action, Meme”

    The idea that being different is normal in today’s society
    How internet creates Social Norms
    Anxieties that stem from the pressure of being “Normal” in today’s generation.
    Society has standards that pressure people into changing themselves to fit society’s version of normal.

    Drake’s music video “Hotline Bling” starts off with women with “perfect” bodies seducing men over the phone. Going from there it shows him dancing around in a very drippy outfit with flashy colorful lights in the background. While he is dancing around the video then focuses on the silhouette of women in very thick bodies dancing around in a very sexy way. This video can relate to the idea of normcore because of the drippy but simple outfit Drake had on and the matching outfits that the women had on in the beginning of the video. His outfit is drippy, it’s not flashy. Drippy is more related to the idea of expensive not necessarily being something that catches the eye but flashy more relates to something eye catching. The women are all wearing the same outfit and they are not all naked or glittered up. Normcore more so relates to things that are expensive but look normal to the eye so it’s not so eye-catching. Drake’s video is partially normcore because the video graphics, such as the flashing lights and the women dancing are not normcore.

  5. A) ☜(゚ヮ゚☜)
    10. K-Hole; “Youth Mode: A Report On Freedom”; published October 2013
    12. Kate Crawford; “The Anxieties of Big Data”; published May 2014
    13. Jon Caramanica; “Drake: Rapper, Actor, Meme”; published October 2015

    B) The three texts…
    – seem to be sociological pieces.
    – focus mainly on millenials.
    – describe and analyze cultural trends that have developed during the past 10 years or so.
    – speak about how the shift in societal inclination has altered how the media interacts with and panders to its diverse audience.

    C) I think that the Drake music video is normcore. The wardrobe, set design, and choreography all seemed to be blank and uninspired, and I think that was the whole idea. Rapper music videos are usually extravagant and over the top in all aspects, and this video is severely contradictory to that “norm.” I feel like instead of pushing a specific vibe, they conjured up an almost default music video that was open to interpretation and therefore capable of appealing to a much more diverse audience. As though anyone who watches it could project their own ideas onto it. Almost every aspect of the video could be accurately described as “normal.” And because of that, it fits in instead of standing out.

  6. A)
    10. K-Hole, “Youth Mode: A Report On Freedom”, published 2013
    12. Kate Crawford, “The Anxieties of Big Data”, published May 2014
    13. Jon Caramanica, “Drake: Rapper, Actor, Meme”, published October 2015

    -Being normal is considered a bad thing and you should have to stand out in a public setting.
    -Millennials fear to be “normal” and want to be perceived as different or in other words, unique
    -A sociological writing that study the cultural trends that have developed over the past century and internet playing a huge role in social norms today.

    In the song “Hotline Bling” by Drake, the video opens up with several attractive women in an office setting, sex-chatting through a hotline phone service with men. For the majority of the video, Drake is seemingly enjoying himself and dancing to his own song and vibing.
    I think that this song is not necessarily normcore because drake didn’t opt out for the “cliche music video” popular in mainstream media. In today’s music industry, most rappers are usually excessive and over the top with their budgets, and I don’t think “Hotline Bling” is a good representation of that norm per se; more like opposites.
    In relation to the fashion and background setting of the video: it gave me empty vibes. I noticed that the wardrobe, set design, and choreography was minimalistic and had very little effort put into but maybe that was the concept that drake wanted to convey to his audience.

  7. A)
    10. “Youth Mode: A Report on Freedom” by K- Hole, published in October 2013
    12. “The Anxieties Of Big Data” by Kate Crawford, published on August 9, 2017
    13. Caramanica “Drake: Rapper, Action, Meme” published on October 23, 2015

    How social norms are formed through the internet.
    2. Being different is the new norm.
    3. Changes that have come over time.
    4. sometimes people are pressured to change themselves because of society.

    C) Drake’s video song starts off in an office where attractive girls are sex-chatting over the phone. Drake dancing and behind him are these bright color light matching with his dance moves and he is wearing these designer’s brand clothing. Women are dancing in a seductive way. This video can relate to the idea of Normcore because there are a lot of outfits and that the women and the men are wearing outfits that are very expensive but it looks normal when we look at it. That’s how it can relate to Normcore because Normcore is is when things are expensive but it looks normal.

  8. A) 10.“Youth Mode: A Report on Freedom” by K-Hole and published 2013
    12.“The Anxieties of Big Data” by Kate Crawford and published May 30,2014
    13.“Drake:Rapper,Actor,Meme” by Jon Carmanica and published October 2015

    -People can be pressured into changing their character or their appearance in order for them to stand out since it is the new “norm”.
    – The media plays a huge role in society’s new “norm” standards.
    -The change in cultural trends throughout each generation affected the change in society “norms” overtime.

    C)In the music video called “Hotline Bling” by Drake it starts off with pretty girls in a workspace picking up phone calls for a phone line. Then the setting transitions to a bright-colored blank spaced environment. Although he is wearing his own name brand it would not be considered “normcore” because he is dressed in basic clothes and is not wearing anything that is flashy. Also all of the women are wearing casual clothes and are all dressed the same.

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