Who holds the hot potato?

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Intro

 Reality Television shows have taken the world of entertainment by storm in recent years. In 2000 there was nearly 4 reality television shows, by 2010 there were more than 320 reality shows () which now account to 57% of all content that can be found on your TV screens (). These numbers have increased due to the popularity of this form of entertainment with the public but raise the argument of ethics and the impact these kinds of shows have on society. One reality show this essay will focus on is Geordie Shore as it high lights many issues society is faced with. Binge drinking, sexism, drunken fights and unhealthy attitudes towards sex are all ongoing themes throughout the series. By exploiting these issues and turning them into entertainment this could encourage an easily influenced audience to behave in the same way or to not take these matters seriously. Shows such as Geordie Shore rely heavily on over exaggerated stereotypes to add to the entertainment value however, this tactic of gaining a wider audience could be viewed as potentially harmful to our culture. The inflated negative representation of the northern stereotype is clearly evident through the cast, by showing them on drunken nights out behaving outrageously. In contrast to this is another very popular reality television show ‘Made in Chelsea’ which won a BAFTA from the people’s choice category. Made in Chelsea portrays the stereotype of a rich person living in the prestigious area of London. The cast of both shows are a world apart in their behaviours. This form of over stereotyping could lead to a divide in social classes and a distorted view in people’s ideologies. It has become very easy to blame the media for what it ‘inflicts’ upon its audience and the influence it may have on them yet does the responsibility solely lie there? This essay will be dissected into three points of views from three different angles of what make the show so popular, the producer, the participant and the audience… me.  

 

 

 

 

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The Velveteen Rabbit

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

“I suppose you are real?” said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive. But the Skin Horse only smiled.

“The Boy’s Uncle made me Real,” he said. “That was a great many years ago; but once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.” 

–Margery Williams

Review on Tom Eckersley exhibition

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The upper street gallery in LCC (London College of Communication) is a large empty space brought to life through the works and minds of talented creative people. Tom Eckersley, born on 30th September 1914, was a world famous graphic designer, most renowned for his very distinguishable poster design. This exhibition is a selection of 40 posters designed by Tom Eckersley ranging from the 1940s to the 1980s. It high lights the impact of his role on the design industry as well as the evolution of graphic design. LCC is the perfect location to pay tribute to Eckersley’s work as it was here where Tom Eckersley set up the UK’s first undergraduate course in graphic design back in the 1950s. 

 

When Tom Eckersley and his collaborator Eric Lombres first embarked on their careers as grahic designers their style of work suited the needs and criteria of the time. Mass marketing was yet to be developed meaning the poster was the only component in delivering a message to a mass audience. It was expensive to place poster in an authorised space meaning the message should be direct and memorable to those walking past. Eckersley’s posters are simple and functionable and within seconds it becomes clear what the message is trying to say. 

 

The exhibition itself seems to be a refection on his work as the space feels very clinical and understated. There is an evident beauty in the simplicity of Eckersley’s work however I also feel a lack of personality. Maybe this could be down to growing up in such a rapid and ever changing incline in regards to technology. On a daily basis we are bombarded with loud and colourful pieces of design work each trying to claim their own space in our daily lives. Advancements also allow for more complex designs which sadly may overshadow the work of a legendary graphic designer, to a younger mind that has become accustomed to all these factors. The space feels very empty and all the posters are the same size and hung at the same height on the wall creating a very regemented gallery like atmosphere. There is a small space leading off of the main exhibtion, of student work inspired by Tom Eckersly. With each poster competeing for space and attention it feels very overcrowded and much of the artwork is lost in a colourful blur of type and images.   Over all a contrast between the style of Eckersley’s work and the surrounding enviroment could have encouraged more people to come into the exhibition creating a hook for intrigued minds. 

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