The divide between high culture and popular culture

In the humanities, several debates have emerged focusing entirely on how people define and accept the different representations and subsets of culture in contemporary living. As a manifestation of the human intellectual achievements, a culture is expressed through different art forms, movements, economic systems, and even products for public consumption.

 

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However, the main focus of these discussions is addressed on the great divide between high culture and popular culture.  This idea springs from the concept that although high culture represents the best that has been thought and written in the world, it is on its way to extinction. In fact, many believe that it is already “lost” because of the emergence of the more recent popular culture.

 

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In definition, high culture resides on the lifestyle, literature, attitudes, and activities that set the refined elites and members of the ruling class apart from the generic, mass society. One particular example is how the privileged can enjoy specific forms of art like the opera while such access to this Renaissance art form is not available to the general public.  However, the sudden emergence of the popular culture has disrupted this reality, replacing the once dominant position of high culture with something that can be shared by the masses of the society—the pop culture.

 

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Popular culture encourages totally different consumption patterns, and believe in a more general type of literature and lifestyle. In fact, it lacks the sophistication of the high culture. Nonetheless, this humility makes it more attractive to the general public. One perfect example is the popularity of fast food chains over epicurean fine dining.

 

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The influence of the wide dissimilarities between these subcultures and how one is more favored than the other have effects that are not limited to the humanities and its philosophical debates but also to the society as a whole. Just like how ideas change histories, these positions can also affect social policies and contribute to the shaping of cultural institutions.

REPOST: How immigration gave rise to American pop culture

Immigration seemed to have accelerated the ubiquity of popular culture in America. New and diverse cultures gave way to dynamic communities and helped push boundaries in areas such as music, film, television, sports, and fashion. Here is an interesting article from Learn Liberty about this subject matter:

 

 

Looking back over the second half of the 20th century, among the observations one can make about American society is that our artistic and entertainment assumptions were increasingly dominated by pop culture as the decades passed. From the grand division of culture into high and low that solidified toward the end of the 1800s, the winner one hundred years later seems unquestionably to have been pop.

 

Pop culture as we know it began with the age of industrialization, which for America means the years after the Civil War. Two driving forces allowed popular culture to flourish: one from the supply side and the other from the demand side, both of which were made possible by the free and unregulated society of 19th-century America.

 

On the supply side, making possible the constant influx of new entertainment that constitutes pop culture were Industrial Age advances in communication and mass production. The sudden ubiquity of dime novels, Horatio Alger stories, nickelodeon parlors (early movie theaters), and professional baseball all depended on new means of technology and communication and the free market in which they emerged.

 

In terms of demand, these same years also saw the first massive immigration to the United States from Eastern and Southern Europe. Most immigrants then spoke a language other than English and brought cultural traditions and customs that set them apart from the bulk of those who were already here. How to transform this increasingly diverse population into a unified American people was not in the least bit clear.

 

Continue reading HERE.

These are the other ways your favorite movies earn outside the box office

The quintessential gauge of measuring a film’s success has always been its box office performance. And indeed, many production houses earn the bulk of their income from screening their masterpieces in theatres all over the world. In 2016, the film industry collectively made a total of $38 billion globally, which is purely based on theatrical earnings. However, there are many other ways that films can actually bag additional income even when their run in cinemas has already ended. In fact, those that have underperformed during their initial release may still be able to recoup their production expenditure through other means.

 

 

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  1. Home video. A few weeks or months after a movie’s theatrical release, its home video version is made available in retail stores. DVDs, Blu-rays, and digital downloads are the second most important sources of income for film producers. The most profitable of which have amassed more than $100 million in home video sales, almost covering the whole film production budget itself. In addition, many films that did not perform well in cinemas have actually become profitable when their home video versions were released and eventually become cult classics.

 

 

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  1. TV and streaming services. Many analysts predict that the home video industry will soon die down and the rapid decline in DVD and Blu-ray sales in the past few years can well vouch for this claim. The deterioration is most attributed to the rise of streaming sites like Netflix as well as the growing demand for a TV broadcast. Film producers earn from this set-up through licensing agreements, wherein the streaming site or TV network pays the producers a specific fee for the rights to show their film on such platforms. They may also buy the film altogether. The system is most especially vibrant in Internet-based video-on-demand sites, where customers can conveniently watch their favorite film whenever and wherever they want. For indie film producers, this is a sure way to earn guaranteed profits.

 

 

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  1. Merchandizing. The likes of Star Wars, The Avengers, Harry Potter, and Toy Story are already gigantic blockbusters themselves, and yet they can still find many other ways to create more cash from their existing fan base, building a media franchise in the process. Such popular films can have other incarnations outside the big screen; these include t-shirts, video games, books, theme parks, and of course, toys. Children’s toys make up an industry worth about $22 billion, and the bulk of the sales has been driven or inspired by movie characters.

 

 

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  1. Brand partnerships. It is common for films to have sponsors, especially when they involve popular actors. Product placements within the movie or during the marketing stage can significantly help producers offset expenditure, thereby increasing their chances of generating profits. In some cases, it is these sponsors that actually shoulder the production budget.

Breezing through the day: The wonders of coffee naps

When talking about breakfasts and staying awake, coffee is definitely a staple. Some people just can’t greet the day with a smile unless they have their hot brew. Throughout the morning, it will provide them with the energy and spunk that they need.

 

However, things get a little sluggish once lunchtime arrives. The fatigue builds up and drowsiness kicks in by 1 PM. The workday is far from over, so they reach for another mug. That way, they’ll be able to finish all their tasks within the deadline. However, there is a way to improve performance even further. Just combine it with one of the greatest activities known to mankind, napping.

 

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One of the things that napping and coffee have in common is that they help the person feel alert and motivated to do what they need to do. Combine the two and a powerful tool emerges. Researchers were able to see a positive correlation between concentration and coffee naps. It seems that they were more effective as compared to just drinking coffee or just taking a nap.

 

People only truly feel the effect of coffee after a half an hour has passed because it stays in the stomach for approximately 20 to 30 minutes before being absorbed by the small intestine. During that window, the hardworking employee or student should take a nap. Upon waking up, they will feel refreshed from the nap and energized from the coffee. Breezing through the tasks which were scheduled for the day just becomes so much easier.

 

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Coffee is not just popular; it is ubiquitous. It is a multi-billion dollar industry that employs millions and delights several millions more. Latin America leads the world by total production, while the likes of Starbucks and McDonald’s (through McCafe) serve the bulk of espressos to tables. It is a major export commodity and a common financial item in many investment deals or even portfolios. Rich, aromatic, and potentially healthy, coffee is both an enjoyable power drink and a viable business.

 

The comeback of the 90s: Fashion trends which are here to stay

The 90s was a very significant period in the timeline of the world for it represented a sort of transition. It was then when people became more and more interested in technology, information, and the Internet. It was also a time when the youth became more assertive and started exploring new boundaries, which prompted an increase in creative rebellion. It showed in what they wore.

 

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In the 90s, grunge and minimalism were very in. With the passing of the decade, just like with any other time, the tastes of the people inevitably began to change. However nearly 20 years later, some trends from that time are starting to resurface.

 

One seemingly popular relic from the past comes in the form of crop tops and chokers. This movement was probably initiated when the likes of big stars such as Rihanna, Kendall Jenner, and Gigi Hadid were spotted wearing these pieces albeit combined with a modern touch.

 

Denim is usually used for jeans, but jackets and even dresses made out of it are popping out one right after the other. After the 90s, hoop earrings looked very tacky, it seems that people are starting to develop a taste for it once more. On the hair and makeup side of things, dark berry lips and braided accents are becoming more and more common as well.

 

 

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However, the key to sporting 90s fashion pieces is not to copy them in their entirety from their origin. They need to be reworked and reintegrated into today’s culture. Combined with the feeling of having fun and enjoying one’s youth, the 90s trendsetter is already good to go.

 

The fashion industry is a huge business, but it is also something that requires constant innovation and updates. As per report, the global apparel market is valued at more than US$3 trillion dollars and accounts for 2 percent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). While not as lucrative as the oil industry or tech businesses, it is big enough to attract capitalists and serves as a good component to any one’s investment portfolio.

From temples to karst islands: Backpacking in Southeast Asia

Travel is an age-old leisure activity that is enjoyed by all ages and all walks of life. With budget airlines proliferating like a viral video, vacationers have been given a much wider selection for their travel destinations. The so-called ‘backpackers’ are among the most active in this segment of the travel industry. With nothing but their clothes on their back (and perhaps a laptop and an action cam), they set off to new horizons for extended periods of time. Among these adventurers’ travel choices, South-East Asia is a marvelous region to explore.

 

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Southeast Asia, as the name implies, is a region south-east of Mainland Asia (dominated by China), north of Australia, in the western Pacific. It is split between two sub-regions: Indochina and maritime Southeast Asia. Those directly connected to the continental mainland include Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia. Island countries and archipelagos include Indonesia, Singapore, East Timor, and the Philippines. All of these countries are situated in the tropics, which means that it is sunny all throughout the year with high temperatures and humidity. However, there are some countries such as Cambodia, Indonesia, and Laos which have microclimates. So before going to those areas, it’s best to do some research first regarding the best timing for visiting.

 

When backpacking in Southeast Asia, trying out the street food culture is a must. The region has plenty to offer and strong regional cultures means that one will never run out of unique food choices. It is home to some the world’s tastiest cuisines, and luckily the really good ones are delicacies which one can get for cheap. Night markets are especially great for going on a street food binge because they sell their food at amazingly low prices. Even in the tiny but ultra-modern Singapore, food trips are world-class.

 

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With thousands of karst islands, towering mountains, and crystal blue waters, the region is also a great destination to understand Mother Nature more deeply. In the Philippines, for example, some of the most amazing beaches and islands are still devoid of mass tourism. In Indonesia, ancient temples blend harmoniously with the verdant volcanic mountains.

 

For party lovers, Bangkok, Vang Vieng, and Sihanoukville have high-octane nightlife scenes. Thrill seekers can also enjoy sports and outdoor activities in Cebu (canyoneering), Tubbataha (scuba diving), Temburong (jungle safari), Lido Lakes (skydiving), Luang Prabang (off-road motorbike tours), and Mui Ne (kitesurfing).

 

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Lastly, one should never forget to learn from the locals. Backpacking in Southeast Asia, apart from being extremely fun, is also highly educational. The high degree of diversity in the region means that one will always be able to learn something new every day.

How Serendipity Boosted Twitter’s Revenues

A phenomenon occurred in Twitter recently.  The company broke all past records in terms of number of tweets. The hashtag #AlDubEBTamangPanahon raked in 41 million tweets on October 25, 2015, smashing the previous record of 35.6 million tweets set by the World Cup match of Germany versus Brazil in 2014. This sensation also grabbed the attention of BBC, CNN and Buzzfeed.  What makes it all the more interesting is that it originates from the unlikeliest of places.

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Eat Bulaga, a noon time show that has been running on Philippine TV since 1979, was mainly viewed by an older generation of baby boomers. Recently the show shot through the stratosphere – to be followed by Filipino millennials and centenarians alike and cutting across all social classes.  Amazingly, it was all made possible, however unwittingly, by a 23-year old newbie actor and a 20-year old lipsynching girl.

It was this unlikely couple dubbed as Aldub that also sent Twitter soaring to new hashtag heights.

How did it happen exactly?

Maine Mendoza was a pretty girl who enjoyed making herself look ugly over social media.  More for her pure love of silliness than for any monetary consideration, she would post Dubsmash videos of herself.  One day, Maine got the shock of her life when she saw one of her Youtube videos getting more than a million likes.  She went viral from then on and got the title of “Dubsmash Queen.”

Enter Eat Bulaga.  It was quick to take a chance on Maine Mendoza who then had a hundred thousand followers on Youtube and around a million followers each on Twitter and Facebook.  It asked her to guest in one of its TV segments.  She was to accompany three of Eat Bulaga’s tough, macho characters who daily braved different municipalities across the country.  Usually, if it wasn’t a trip to some of the more undeveloped suburban corners, it would entail walking through some inner cities and ghettos where they would find a lucky winner whom they’d shower with a load full of cash and goods (a table spread of food, home appliances, a truck of cement, paint, jewelry etc.).

It was just supposed to be an ordinary entertainment gig.  Maine would probably just stay for a couple of episodes as most guests do.  But by a stroke of luck, the unexpected happened.

Eat Bulaga was airing live with a split screen setup.  Alden Richards, a young, handsome actor who also hosted Eat Bulaga’s studio-based segments, was in the TV studio and featured on one half of the split screen.  The other half of the split screen featured Maine who was out in the field.

There was Maine, doing one of her ridiculous Dubsmash acts out on the street, when the camera panned and zoomed in on Alden.  Maine’s eyes widened for an instant as she saw him watching her from the studio.  She had never personally met Alden before yet she seemed affected by the fact that he was watching her.  Alden’s expression seemed to be one of hidden delight, as if he was bewitched and amused at how such a nice and pretty girl could act so indescribably ridiculous.   As for Maine, she looked like her heart skipped a beat when she realized that the cute guy was looking at her. Both actors were caught off guard.

The feelings and facial expressions captured by the cameraman in that instant were priceless – genuine and unintended by the actors themselves.  There was no script or act involved, just a fleeting moment witnessed by the TV audience and a chance to speculate on what was left unsaid.

Watch that moment here:

Eat Bulaga, wanting to boost its ratings, skillfully grabbed the fish by its tail. It used that split screen moment to build a new love team that brought the whole country into a feverish infatuation. What could have been a split second of amusement gone into obscurity was instead preserved, featured and capitalized, translating into multiple millions of revenues not only for the show itself, but for the actors and the products they now endorse.

Just a few weeks into Aldub’s media fame, McDonald’s (Philippines) decided to invest in the Aldub duo and feature them in an ad.  Some sources now claim that McDonald’s has had a 470% increase in revenues attributable to that ad alone.  A cellphone manufacturer also reported that it quickly sold out its inventory and has had to put buyers on a queue when it got Maine Mendoza as endorser.  Advertisers are now getting on the bandwagon -Tide, Downy, Philippine Airlines, Coca Cola –  confident that the Aldub duo will give them similar hefty gains on their investment.

Serendipity, old fashioned romance and semi-reality TV – funneled through Maine’s social media following and compounded by Eat Bulaga’s old media power, then marketed to a nation of hopeless romantics who like to talk a lot and who are spread across the world as OFWs.  Turns out it was the recipe media marketing dreams are made of – a recipe that translates into multiple millions in revenues.  Some say Aldub’s marketing power is already nearing that of Manny Pacquiao’s.

As for Eat Bulaga, it has reinvented itself.  It now operates outside the bounds of the usual television show.  Every day, their audience would comment on social media about the last episode that aired.  Eat Bulaga would monitor and run with those comments to come up with the next TV episode the following day.  It became a sort of interactive TV where the actors can almost instantly play out the fantasies of their audience.

The question now is, how can others use what Eat Bulaga and Twitter discovered to gain viral media success?  Can you take the same ingredients and apply it to your own product or platform?  Can you replicate serendipity?  If not, is there a substitute?  As social, TV, radio and print media evolve and meld over the internet and the airwaves, the one who discovers and invests in the perfect recipe is destined for unimaginable marketing and financial success.

 

Six Tips To Make Your Investment Flourish

I know that you are probably excited in venturing to this kind of option to make more money. But before you get too excited, I would like to give you some tips on how you could actually succeed in this area. Unfortunately, not everyone who put their money into something they think is worth it were able to succeed from it, nor even to get them back. It would be a bad day for any investor to find out the money they risked shelling out ended up to nothing that they didn’t even at least had it breakeven.

I don’t want that to happen to you, so I’m here to guide you through this process with five easy tips that will pave the way for your success, as you become an official investor.

 

  1. The first thing that you need is a good broker. Go for the one who has the passion for this job and someone well experienced. If you must, go research about their background when it comes to their experience in the job. Investing is already risky; you can lower the risk by surrounding yourself with the right people who would handle it with you.
  2. Creating a good and realistic plan for your investment is a must. It doesn’t have to be something huge because it might set your expectation way too much, but it is only wise to create some pointers that will give you a vision on your investment. You must also make sure that you’re up to some long-term plan, which is also something that would work on the security of your investment.
  3. When it comes to picking the right companies or business to put your money in, I would have to say to only go for the established ones. The returns on these companies are higher than the usual since they have been doing business for so long. Gaining profit from these type of companies could make you gain huge profits. But that is not their only advantage, you can be sure that these companies won’t run from you after you gave them your money.
  4. In line with tip #2, it is a must that you go for a long-term plan. In fact, this is among the basic principles when you’re planning to enter the world of investing. You have to make it a point that the company you will invest in has a good track record when it comes to the flow of money.
  5. Always be ready. No one can really tell when the stocks are going to go down and when will your investment could be ruined. However, you can always be smart enough to go for stable stocks, so you won’t have to deal with being bankrupt in the end.
  6. And finally, only put your money in something that you know so well. In other words, only invest in something that you have a passion for. Never experiment in investing, especially if it is your first time. It will only make your risk higher.

If you stick to these tips I have for you, investing would be easy for you. Follow these carefully and you are on your way to success, head to LOM to invest now