Tag Archives: Blog Post 3 – The Analytic Post

Why The (2017) “The Mummy” Is A Shell of An Adventure

#BLOG 3

INTRO

The review produced by Screenrant tries hard to give “The Mummy” movie a bone but ends up killing it even faster. The honest truth of the matter, “The Mummy” tries to be something it’s not and doesn’t even do that well. Giving the audience five reasons why the movie was bad and why it was good.

  1. A Disappointingly Small Scale:

Oddly enough for a movie called The Mummy, the story spends very little time in Egypt, or anywhere comparable, and, instead, sets the majority of its action sequences somewhere around Surrey, England. Which doesn’t really spell rip-roaring adventure to most people.

Even when the movie reaches the streets of London for its third act, the sets and locations feel quite limited, and the color palette is remarkably grey and monotonous.

Response: The movie shouldn’t have been set in England in the first place. At least with the last Mummy movie with Branden Frasier, it was based in China with a Chinese mummy. It makes total sense and at no point are you confused. Was the Dragon Emperor a good film like its predecessors? Sort of, but not quite.However, The Dragon Emperor has many redeeming qualities that make it a worthwhile watch.

  1. Isn’t: Tom Cruise Has Still Got It

There are few movie actors left in the business who have the star power of Tom Cruise and, at age 54, he still brought some much-needed charm to The Mummy.

Not only could Cruise sell moments of tension and action, but his all-around enthusiasm for the process energizes the wearier aspects of the movie in a way that few actors possibly could have.

Response: I’ll be honest, I don’t really know much about Tom Cruise, and that’s OK. Although I did like him in “Interview with a Vampire”. He was very mysterious in his villainy. Although in this movie, he’s just not the guy for the role or anybody for that matter.

  1. Generic Screenwriting

Despite some very talented screenwriters working on the project, The Mummy fails to stand out from the blockbuster crowd and this is mostly its own fault.

The popular MacGuffin of a magic rock is introduced almost immediately in the movie and a predictable course of events feels secondary to the movie’s desire to flesh out a fictional universe that audiences will never actually get to see.

Response: The plot was flat; you don’t need to beat around the bush. This director completely misses the essence and fun of the other films. Branden Frasier, along with the rest of its cast, added too much flavor to the franchise just for it to taste bland.

  1. Stunts

Tom Cruise’s dedication to stuntwork on his own movies is well documented and The Mummy is no different. Having the lead actor actually get inside as many of the action shots as they can brings a lot to a movie and it helps this one feel like more of a romp.

Though a lack of originality holds it back, The Mummy is a movie that’s always trying to be entertaining in an almost slapstick kind of way and the physicality of the action adds a lot of personality to the comedy.

Response: “The Mummy” Franchise is not Mission Impossible, a James Bond movie, a spy movie, Jason Born, or Taken. It’s literally a fantasy adventure, and that’s all it ever was.

  1. Tasteless Updates to the Story

For a movie presenting so many distinct time periods and cultural icons, you’d think The Mummy would present at least one of them in a satisfying way.

Aside from sidelining Egypt, and needlessly adding medieval English history to the mix, the movie makes the particularly tasteless choice to set its opening action sequence in modern-day Iraq with a force that is, while stereotypically faceless and nameless, essentially ISIS.

Response: Making more vibrant environments would have helped the film.

  1. A Combined Monster Universe Isn’t a Bad Idea

While The Mummy often fails to frame it in an appealing way, the central idea of the movie isn’t a bad one. Universal alone had been doing monster team-ups and crossovers for just shy of three-quarters of a century before the movie came out.

The movie’s idea to unify everything through what would almost certainly be its Nick Fury figure, Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde and a S.H.I.E.L.D.-like organization with its own potential to spin-off and become evil, there are some entertaining promises made. Even if they’re only just that.

Response: Creating a creature feature universe from other monster franchises wasn’t a terrible concept. What was a terrible concept was using “The Mummy” as its basis to debut. The titles below are all the movies that would have been in theaters if Warner Bros. hadn’t ditched the project. I think Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde could have been a smash hit!

  • The Dark Universe Begins – and Ends. Universal Pictures. …
  • Van Helsing. Universal Pictures. …
  • Johnny Depp’s Invisible Man. Universal Pictures. …
  • Phantom of the Opera and Hunchback. Universal Pictures. …
  • Dwayne Johnson’s The Wolfman. …
  • Creature from the Black Lagoon. …
  • The Bride of Frankenstein.
  1. It Borrows Very Heavily from Much Better Things

Arguing over how original the story really is is something that you could do with every version of The Mummy, from the original in 1932 to everything that it’s inspired since. But the 2017 version chooses much more poorly with extra cultural references and they often end up contradicting the tone of the movie.

The Mummy wants to be a horror movie in an atmospheric kind of way rather than by showing anything overtly horrific or grotesque but it also wants to be an Indiana Jones movie, which, of course, balanced its joyful qualities with more graphic imagery. It’s overwhelming visual similarities to the Uncharted series of video games (which were, themselves, already heavily inspired by The Mummy movies) also feels like an aesthetically-confused choice.

Response: Sure….I suppose

  1. It Brings Horror To a Non-Horror Audience

Not everyone watches movies in the same way and people don’t always have the same access to movies. The Mummy goes for as wide an audience as it can because it wants to reach the most amount of people and make the most amount of money, yes, but it actually succeeds in bringing classical horror aspects to audiences who ordinarily wouldn’t get to see them.

Aside from Cruise’s name bringing his own kind of audience, The Mummy was a financial hit in China, a country famous for its stringent censorship laws surrounding, amongst several other things, the horror genre and the supernatural.

Response: If you want horror elements but not a horror movie, go watch Pan’s Labrinth.

  1. It Puts the Cart Before the Horse

So much of what makes people remember the 2017 version of The Mummy as a bad movie is that it set itself such an unnecessarily high bar for success.

Audiences were definitely holding it up to, at least, the first two Stephen Sommers Mummy movies but the gigantic budget and shared universe were both its own choice yet both feel wasted. They transform it into something that audiences actively root against rather than for.

Response: Were they trying to give this movie a chance? The response says it all regarding the film successs.

  1. A Pervading Sense of Humor

Stories of production troubles on The Mummy are easy to believe but, no matter how things really went down, what the cast and crew were able to pull out of the movie is a light tone and some comedic chemistry from its actors.

Cruise is a big star with a knack for making sure his movies are driven by him but not all about him. He creates entertaining dynamics with a wide variety of talented actors that he’s paired with and allows what’s best about them to really shine in the movie, even if it isn’t for every long.

Response: Tom Cruise added nothing to this movie, nor did the humor.

Conclusion

After tentatively rewatching the (2017) “The Mummy” I realized the movie is empty. The characters have no volume, the anti-protagonist is wildly underutilized, comedic conversations are out of place, and the tone of the movie is too dark (the color of the film). The movie is not fun, and it comes off more as a chore for the audience to get through. Ultimately, I was surprised at a few points throughout the movie and bored at the same time.

Shhh. My Phone and I are Trying to Sleep!

You’ve heard it all before. Blue light can keep you from sleeping, social media is distracting, everyone needs to unplug for true rest. Articles like this one from Sleep Foundation encourage complete cutoff, providing tips for a technology free bedroom. But is that the only way? I’m not going to even begin to say all of the points here about blue light and distractions and stimulation are unfounded, science would prove me wrong. But technology is so very customizable, powerful and ever evolving. It seems only fitting that some of that tech, on smartphones specifically, would be put toward helping people get a good night’s rest. Granted, I have a bias here. I am a frequent user of the Muse S, a headband designed to track brain waves and body movements for sleep and meditation tracking overtime, and I love it dearly. I also had technology forcibly taken from me in an abusive situation, and so when I first resisted this idea, I thought it was simply dear old trauma, deciding to turn me obstinate once again in the face of scientific evidence. But it seems I’m not the only one who thinks the baby shouldn’t be thrown out with the bathwater, here.

This article from PC Mag outlines some ways technology can neatly interface with the evening hours including sleep tracking, meditation, white noise and light/temperature control. It also highlights the fact that such devices can be used to obtain and maintain a sleep schedule, something incredibly difficult for many, and aid in comfort the whole night through, for every sleep cycle. Granted, some of these can be set to work independently, without prompting, but I’d argue that its still technology, still the interconnected world treading, however lightly, in the peaceful, sacred space of bedroom.

If you’re thinking about price, you’d probably be right to. Some of these devices, like Muse, can be expensive, but I found the headband, as well as these sleep headphones by the wonderfully named Acoustic Sheep, on eBay at a fraction of their normal price. If you don’t want something external, there are a plethora of apps, too many to name, on Google Play and iOS, designed to help you drift off and remain aware of the quality of your nights, serving up everything a user could possibly want between them. So why, I ask, is there this stigma around technology in bed not keeping up with what software and hardware can do? Why do we continue to paint mobile devices as an enemy to peace when they are fully equipped with tools to help us rest and recharge? Perhaps I’m looking at this with too narrow a lens, not seeing something important. But I’m not doubting the efficacy of the facts that the interconnected world can be a hindrance, and nor for that matter is the very article I’ve sited to prove it can be a force for good. I just don’t think it’s the enemy people would make it out to be, and that amidst important awareness of how it can hurt, we need to remember how it can help, as well.

All of this said, not everything is going to work for every person. Some find tea helpful before sleep, while others don’t find it does anything or don’t like the taste. I can’t stand white noise, instead preferring natural sounds or an audiobook if I’m going to listen to something, and I wouldn’t be able to sleep at all without any tech nearby. There are as many ways to get comfortable and relax as there are stars in the sky, and not all of those are going to involve fancy devices or even the common smartphone. That’s ok. But its also ok, in my opinion, to bring as many things into bed with you as you need to feel sleepy and at peace, no matter how many apps or devices that means. So whatever your bedtime routine, I hope these words have ruffled no bedspreads, and that all readers find cozy comforts when laying down tonight. Me, I’ll cross a few wires in hopes for sweet dreams.

Prison Gerrymandering, it’s worse than it sounds

Prison Gerrymandering is a big issue for almost every state in our country that runs and operates a large-scale prison. Our census policy is meant to count the residents in a district every ten years so we can allocate resources and funding to areas proportionate to their population. The problem with prison gerrymandering is that it distorts these figures by counting the inmates from the local prison. One might speculate as to why that is an issue since it’s true, that they are physically located in that space, and by definition, they do technically reside in the prison. However, prison is not where they actually live, prisoners do not vote, and they aren’t using the roads or any community resources since everything is provided for them within the prison. 

The way we count the prison census data as it is skews the figures in such a way that we are taking resources away from larger demographic areas that could benefit from the extra funding. Furthermore, there are concerns about the use of mass incarceration such as the fact that 38% of all prisoners are African American, whereas they are roughly only 12% of the overall population. Prison gerrymandering poses an even bigger issue once we consider the fact that these are resources being taken away from minorities that have already been disproportionately affected by predetermined social constructs and power structures. As stated on the prisonersofthecensus.org website “prison gerrymandering may have arisen by accident, but the reluctance of state and federal governments to eliminate it is rooted in the systematic disenfranchisement of Black and Brown communities.” 

When considering the problem with prison gerrymandering it comes across to me as another issue that encapsulates our need for prison reform overall. As I mentioned previously the practice started out as an earnest mistake but received pushback when they realized this mistake had resources attached to it. Much like Ronald Reagan’s war on drugs, it seems to be a lot of politicians just want to take the easy way out. That being said, seeing traditionally red states like Montana join in the effort to end this practice gives me hope for the 2030 census. 

https://www.prisonersofthecensus.org/

Negative impacts of social media

This article goes through how social media negatively impacts your creativity. As someone that uses social media a ton, I have to disagree with many of the perspectives. I don’t think that social media’s impact on creativity is as bad as this author makes it out to be. 

Technology

Ben believes that technology reduces creative thinking; daydreaming, concentration, attention, and patience. I think these concerns are fine but I often see people forget to point out that this is only due to how much someone may spend using technology and the wrong tkinds of technology. This is also due to how someone might be using it, we don’t have these same concerns for people that spend time on technology coding, in school or reading. This is a very specific narrative for people that use social media apps. 

Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat 

Ben argues that spending so much time navigating through these apps keeps us from doing useful things like reading, exercising and socializing. I agree if you aren’t doing any of those things but during the pandemic we saw that social media is actually a tool to be able to do these things from anywhere. There are many fitness pages on social media, there are many authors and think pieces that get published daily and social media is one of the most useful tools when it comes to socializing. 

BBC 

Social media is killing the truth…do you agree? I feel that’s especially in the Trump era and how easily false information or propaganda can spread. I don’t think this has to do with society but instead how as society we have a hard time dicing on what’s right and honest. This makes it so false narratives or unpopular opinions are perceived as true. If you were going to believe in false stories, the newspaper can provide that. 

Now this author Ben doesn’t completely hate or think social media is the end of creativity. He points out some positives; Social media expands our knowledge and allows us to develop work and social skills, both things can and will lead to creativity. So in the end I think it all falls in the hand of the user. Personally, social media and technology has pushed my creativity as I’m able to learn from all over the world and be inspired by the things I see online.

“Tucker Carlson: Revoking Disney’s self-governing status will cost them, and Democrats, a lot of money” – analysis

https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/tucker-self-governing-revoke-will-cost-disney-lot-money

The idea that Democrats as a whole are going to be paying the price (in actual dollars) is a lofty statement and I’m not seeing a lot of evidence in any other articles so support this idea, considering other analysts are saying it’s going to be the residents in Orange and neighboring Osceola County in Florida that will be seeing their taxes raised by up to 20% [https://www.npr.org/2022/04/22/1094316591/disney-world-desantis-florida-counties-taxes].

Additionally, the idea that this “Don’t Say Gay” bill is just about teachers not being able to talk about their own sexual orientations and preferences is false. While yes, the bill itself doesn’t contain the word “gay,” it forbids teachers in the state of Florida from talking at all about gender identity and LGBTQ issues in the classroom. There are many parents who support this bill because they agree with Governor Desantis on the notion that parents should be leading this conversation, not teachers – however, this opinion piece misrepresents what the bill is entirely about.

Disney is not the first large corporation to come out in support of or against legislation. Consider just one of the controversies of Hobby Lobby, an American company that sells arts and crafts supplies:

Additionally, the iconic statement I will never forget by Mitt Romney in his 2012 Presidential Campaign:

What I see the act of stripping Disney of its self-governing status in response to its criticism of the new anti-LGBTQ law is a stunt by Governor Desantis to position himself well for a 2024 presidential candidate for the Republican nomination. Both the anti-LGBTQ bill and the revoking of Disney’s self-governing powers won’t actually happen until June of next year, however it may face some constitutional challenges:

Time will tell what happens to Disney World; perhaps this will end up being challenged in the Supreme Court, or maybe things will move forward and they will lose their self-governing status. Either way, we have mid-terms coming up in the fall and we can expect to see more of these legislative actions on schools, healthcare (the ongoing efforts to overturn Roe vs. Wade), and I guess Disney now..

An Analysis of The Modern-Day Film Bro

Before I begin this blog, I want to start by saying that I do not believe Martin Scorsese’s analysis on marvel movies was exactly accurate. He said that marvel movies are not cinema and compared them to a theme park experience. I do think that because of marvel’s success it has dominated Hollywood and has become a staple for film among a lot of young Americans to the point where exploration becomes neglected. Oscar Issac stated that Marvel movies have replaced big comedies at the box office. This is a little more accurate and addresses the situation a little bit better. Entertainment has an important purpose in every society and is successful because it fulfills a social need. I chose this topic because I wanted to address the controversy around people considered “film bros” and the lack of interest in the exploration of foreign films.

What is a “Film Bro”?

A film bro is defined by the urban dictionary as a person (usually a man), that views themselves as a huge film nerd while having mostly surface-level knowledge of movies. Their favorite movies include underrated gems such as the dark knight, pulp fiction, inception, and Jurassic Park. Some are defined by their dislike of marvel because of its success and others are defined by their love for them. Sometimes mentioning how much the film “Logan” deserved the best picture at the Oscars. This archetype’s creation follows the wave of apps, brands, and other products that young adults have attached to their personality and way of life because of how much technology has integrated itself into our daily lives.

Marvel’s Success

Marvel’s modern-day success started in 2008 with the first iron man movie and over the course of 11 years pulled in 25 billion in sales worldwide by acquiring A-list actors for lead roles and requiring viewers to watch multiple movies to understand the overall context of the universe. For a lot of people marvel movies hit home and elicited an emotional response and it is important that those people are validated in their love for the movies despite opinions. The issue is when marvel movies are placed at such a high standard that it overshadows films that offer more nuance and context to our lives.

American Film vs. International Film

American film is not unique in its focus on entertainment geared cinema, as other countries are well aware of the need to turn a profit. What is unique about America is its place as one of the largest markets for film studios and draws in people from around the world. This is why “Film Bros” and Marvel fans clash, Marvel does not just get money from American sentiment, it is from world sentiment. Which naturally overshadows old classics that may not feel as relevant to some people as watching a mighty Norse god become overweight on-screen because of trauma-induced depression. Film bros are enforced with the idea that their detest of marvel movies makes them a more informed film critic rather than appreciating all genres of movies for their true purpose: how they make people feel. Rather than continuing my hatred of romantic comedies I decided to pick apart why people loved them so much while browsing social media, in between work, and from classmates. Although I may never sit down and binge the movies mentioned I can still be open to appreciating the insights they have on the genre.

From directors in Taiwan to production houses in France, the international film world aims to tackle the issue of cutting the fat on real-world experiences down to a medium that can be visually contextualized for all to see. We should be grateful for the number of worlds we can explore through the globalization of film.

The Slap Heard Around the World

I’m sure that EVERYONE has heard about the famous slap that happened at the night of the Oscars on March 27th. As many people are picking sides over who was in the right and who was in the wrong with Will Smith and Chris Rock, I am actually here to talk about the article that I had read about claims that the slap was staged. I have seen many discussions back and forth about the slap being real or being staged on the night of the Oscar’s. There are many points to back up both sides of the arguments.

In the article “Was Chris Rock Wearing Protective Cheek Pad Before Will Smith Slap?” by Dan Evon, it talks about the viewers of the Oscar’s thinking that the whole situation was staged. There are some points in the article that may not have been fact checked before being publish or they just didn’t do the due diligence of showing the proof behind their statement.

The Claim

At the beginning of the article under “Claim”, Evon states, “A photograph shows Chris Rock wearing a protective cheek pad before Will Smith walked on stage and slapped his face at the 2022 Oscars show.” There is no picture evidence next to this claim to show that this statement is factual. You should always try to fact check posts before believing the post and especially before reposting the information on your own social media platform.

The Origin

Under the “Origin” of the article, Evon explains the story behind the slap. He then goes on to explain what some conspiracy theorists had put out onto social media; “On March 28, a doctored image of Rock wearing a protective cheek pad in the moments before the slap was spread online in support of this “staged” theory.” He shows the post with the doctored images and the caption at the top saying, “In 8k quality images you can see a pad on chris rocks cheek, yeah conspiracy theorists gonna go crazy with this one”. Other articles that touched base on the topic of the slap being staged stated that this image that was shared was a doctored image of Chris Rock. It would have been better if the author had added this image at the beginning of the article next to the “Claim.” This author only talks about the misinformation that has been spread across the internet, but they have not talked about what the facts are.

Now, we are just left with the misinformation that the internet has put out there instead of the facts of the event that actually happened that night. People fall for conspiracy theories all the time because of how interesting they are. Conspiracy theorists are like people trying to find the criminal. They put together all these stories that may or are not 100% true.

Video Games: Good or Bad?

The biggest debate in the world of gaming asks one question: Are video games good or harmful? The truth is, the answer to this question is opinion-based. People can list all the reasons why video games are bad and detrimental to our health. But people can also list the benefits of gaming. It’s a win-win situation. Both sides have research to back up their beliefs. That is the wonderful thing about this divide. Both sides are supported. But, there are extreme articles out there that blindside one another. For example, the article The Negative Effects of Video Games, completely misses the points and ideas that I believe are important in understanding this worldwide debate. 

Analyzing “The Negative Effects of Video Games”

In this article, the author is quick to present twelve common negative effects of video games. As I was reading through this article, I realized one thing was missing. It’s the lack of proof. There aren’t many studies that prove this side of this debate. There is still some work to be done on this side of the divide. The positives include an abundant amount of studies that prove the benefits and their impact on gamers. The number of gamers is on the rise and scaring them with these “common” negative effects will not work. They will eventually find out if gaming is good or bad for them through personal experience.


I don’t agree with much that was said throughout this article. The author, Cam Adair, fails to realize that the symptoms he mentions are extremely rare. One must suffer tremendously from a clinically diagnosed gaming disorder. This is of course based on the symptomology listed in the DSM-V. He provides very little statistical evidence that shows the population that struggles with extreme and prolonged gaming. He did share personal accounts that explained multiple individuals’ experiences with extreme gaming issues. One thing I noticed was their negative tone. The author used these accounts in a negative spotlight which makes me like the article less. I wish there was awareness of the opposing side of this debate as it does exist, whether you believe it or not. You can’t hide from that fact no matter how hard you try.


I can appreciate one thing from this article and the author. He provided a resource for those who are struggling with suicidal thoughts and ideation. He also provided a personal account that relates to overcoming suicidal ideation and thoughts that came from the effects of a gaming disorder. Not only this but a resource for how to overcome gaming addiction. The negative tone slowly developed into a helping hand. There is no mention that there is an upside to gaming though. The article only focuses on the idea that gaming too much quickly develops into a disorder that can, of course, be managed and treated. I would have preferred he stated the positives of gaming as well. There are two sides. If you bring awareness to the other you may reach a larger audience that wants to be swayed in one direction or the other. The bias is ultimately eliminated and the readers would begin to trust you. This is just my opinion though.

Positive Effects from Gaming

I believe in the counter-proposals of this article and debate, which are the positive effects of gaming. After a little bit of digging, surprisingly, I came across an article authored by the same individual. Cam focuses on one side at a time. He takes the time to prove one side, then moves on to the next. I can appreciate that. But, I believe articles covering this debate should meet somewhere in the middle. It seems logical to cover both within the same article in a brief manner to catch the reader’s attention.


I am not here to provide specific statistics or ideas. I am here to address how gaming has helped me and why I believe it has positive effects. Not only this but why I think it has negative effects as well. Firstly, I will discuss the positives.


Gaming has served as an escape for me. A place where I can go to forget about my life for a little bit of time. I’ve come to realize I deserve that. I pack too much on my plate and don’t release it. Gaming has become the perfect pleasing skill for me alongside music. When I can incorporate gaming into my day, I find my stress levels greatly decrease. I play with a bunch of my brother’s friends and all we do is laugh. My social life thrives when gaming. I can play with others and talk with them every time. I have also gained confidence in my skills, especially with video editing. I make gaming YouTube videos to help fill the time when homework becomes too much, but I need something to do. It makes me feel capable and confident. I love this feeling.


I have pointed to more specific benefits of gaming in the Instagram post below that was published by Forbes. I resonate with the idea of improved emotional health because I have experienced it firsthand. I have made friends, I have also uncovered skills that have paved the way for my future career (e.g. social media/marketing work).

“Technologies are invented to make our lives easier – not our choices”

Adam Jensen, Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Though there are countless amounts of positives, I have experienced the negatives. One of them being HORRIBLE sleep hygiene. I was dealing with a lot a while back and needed an escape bad with all my unwanted free time. I took advantage of my free time though, and never slept. I was severely sleep deprived for weeks. Until I said, enough is enough. I learned to moderate gaming. There’s a healthy medium when it comes to stress and gaming. My diet was non-existent as well. I’ve lost a lot of weight after my pregnancy because I had no time to eat. This was worsened when I picked up gaming once again. I’d play all day if I could and I’d forget to eat and hydrate myself. The bare essentials of daily living and I forgot all about it. I have dealt with both the negatives and the positives, and thats okay. You can believe in one side and have experienced the other, it’s your opinion and your choice. Go with it.

In conclusion, articles need to reveal both sides of the debate instead of sticking to one side. Especially if one side cannot be proven with extensive studies or lack thereof. There are both negatives and positives. It’s up to you to decide what side you are on. Do you believe in playing, or do you believe in not playing? Be careful about what you read on the internet. A lot of publications hold bias on this topic and lack logic on certain ideas. Now that you’ve read this, I hope you gained a better understanding of one of the biggest debates we have seen, which will continue into the unforeseen future.

Resources

https://gamequitters.com/negative-effects-of-video-games/

https://gamequitters.com/positive-effects-of-video-games/

The Influencer Report

We’ve officially entered the age where bloggers have really crossed over from simply running their own personal sites to starring in campaigns, commercials and even on magazine covers. Now all forms of social and digital media are allowing bloggers to really succeed in running their own business.  – Harper’s Bazaar

The blog I’ve found and will be analyzing is called: Fashion Mumblr

An influencer refers to “a person who is able to generate interest in something (a product) by posting about it on social media”. This blogger and fashion influencer is a London-based woman running a lifestyle blog designed to emphasize “attainable and inspirational details with a special focus on the subjects of fashion, beauty, and travel.”  Just like any paying job there are many different tasks, deadlines, campaign directions, pivots, and research. Being a fashion blogger or influencer also means there is a ton of competition.  

Fashion influencers/bloggers have become trusted sources of new and emerging trends and products for fashion audiences to rely upon for inspiration and consumption. No longer are designers and brands solely reliant on their marketing team, websites, single social media networks, etc., but sometimes decide to turn to the influencers and brand ambassadors that the fashion consumers have deemed as trusted trend-setters.

Modern purchasing behaviors in the industry start with visual inspiration and mass conversation — unique forms of communication that fashion blogs promote.

Now that companies see digital influencers and bloggers starting to drive more sales than celebrities, brands are building more campaigns for influencers into their marketing budget. Ultimately, this means that bloggers have much more room to earn a profit through various different mediums.

We know that fashion is a constant changing industry with new products and trends being created and new designers itching to be publicized around the world at any given moment, making identification with loyal consumers and their preferences vital to any amount of success. It is this fact that makes marketing and branding fashion more complex than in other sectors because of the velocity and vastness of this industry.  A low-cost form of distributing online media, specifically important to new designers whose budgets remain at lower capabilities, bloggers spend their time searching for high-quality products and trends, to supplement a blog post to attract the largest audience possible.

Marketing and Social Impact Theory

Social Impact theory states that professionals must position themselves to benefit from fundamental changes that are occurring in the ways people decide on which products and services to consume, and how they actually consume them. With the fashion industry’s quick pace, reliance on a unique brand image and established relationships in all aspects of a business venture, fashion blogs have emerged as leading foundations for strategic marketing. Fashion marketing uses common techniques of advertising and market research with the addition of tools specialized for the fashion industry such as product development, branding, pricing, and forecasting.

Blogging enhances these tools as the sites are exposed to large, trusted followings, determined by a combination of fans, email subscribers, page views, comments, etc. When combined with their relationships with fashion designers, their influence extends in the form of vital components to brand exposure. Oftentimes, bloggers post new content at least once a day, making their sites ideal sources for public relations outreach in such an industry whose products and branding moves at a consistently fast pace. Our digital age of marketing makes blogging just as, if not more, valid as any other form of publicity in reaching a brand’s desired audience(s).

A Day in the Life of a Fashion BloggerFashion Mumblr is seen here, collaborating with Michael Kors to showcase their product, Access Watch, for this video.

My thoughts

Okay, overall I am impressed – with the scale of work it takes to be a fashion influencer, with the amount of content in a fashion blog + social media platforms. While reviewing Fashion Mumblr’s blog and social media platforms, I have acknowledged that fashion blogging could be a positive and beneficial tool to supplement and improve public relations and marketing strategies in the fashion industry – if done ethically and sustainably.

On the flip side

To influence is to affect, to sway, to transform. To influence someone is to move their opinions away from authenticity. Anyone with social media today is constantly being bombarded with the opinions of influencers. I feel we unconsciously let go of our own opinions to replace them with those of the people we follow. (For some, not all)

Magazines have been influencing our fashion choices for years, but they have never reached as many people as influencers do. Their reach extends so wide that the culture of inauthenticity that they promote is becoming almost universal. It’s even possible that influencers themselves are inauthentic. The very presence of financial motivation subconsciously modifies what they believe to be an authentic choice. 

The danger in this is that we all eventually become a mass of indistinguishable beings lacking any individuality. There is value in individuality. And I think fashion influencers are endangering it. 

-April

Pause Before Pouring Out Your Vodka

Businesses in United States and Canada have started pouring out their stores of Russian Vodka in solidarity for Ukraine because “every small thing makes a difference”, states a Fox News article, with a slew of pictures and stories of business owners pouring out Russian manufactured vodka.

While I do believe it is important to stand in solidarity with Ukraine during this attack fueled by Russian greed, pouring out your vodka should be pretty low on the list.

If you think that your mission to end human suffering, an unprovoked attack on Ukraine citizens, is solved by pouring out an alcoholic beverage, a non-essential food item, is your greatest plan to end a war, as this article suggests, please don’t pat yourself on the back yet.

On the macro-scale, “The Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation removed Russian products from its shelves and website because of the ‘terrible events taking place'” and “British Columbia [has] ceas[ed] imports on Russian alcohol” states the article. Canada and United states have started an embargo on Russia, an economic sanction. Not only is this embargo targeting liquor, it is targeting all Russian-made exports, the most important of those being crude oil, which nets the Russian economy $300 billion dollars per year.

And while we might cheer for the Russian economy to be starved so that the war ceases, and we might like or even post videos of pouring out vodka as some form of “humanitarianism”, an embargo is not starving President Putin, nor the Russian billionaires who line his pockets and have lead to this war.

The Russian people are not our enemy. These are people who may not even want their country to be at war, but found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Let’s talk about what this article does not discuss: the implications of an embargo on Russian goods. A good starting point of understanding would be assessing the embargo of North Korea and Cuba. The United States embargo has caused pain, suffering, and starvation in these countries. North Korean citizens are receiving food rations that are below the “survival ration” that has been deemed by the United Nations. This has lead to 300,000 to 800,000 North Koreans dying each year from starvation. In Cuba, the United States denied medical supplies, food, and fuel. Because of the sixty-year embargo, the country is unable to build an economy and is living in a crumbling physical and economic infrastructure with no means to support their citizens. Do you think that their authoritarian dictators care about if the people they rule over are dying of starvation? These regimes have done little to reverse their stance on political issues, so how can we say that an embargo is working, or would work?

So yes, you can choose to read the article put out by Fox News, and as a business owner or a private entity, you can pour out your vodka and give yourself a pat on the back. But this, dear reader, is lulling you into a false state of humanitarianism. As one business owner stated in the article, “He said he stood to lose a few hundred dollars over the spilled vodka – but said the protest was worth it to him”.

A few hundred dollars for lost liquor and praise on social media, while the implications of an embargo will lead to universal human suffering and starvation not limited to Ukraine, but also in Russia. Is that worth it to you?

I am not condoning military actions against Russia by the United States, nor am I condoning violence. What I am imploring of you, dear reader, is to read articles and consume media cautiously. Be aware that what might be trending can actually be harmful if you do not know the real life implications. Don’t subscribe to this kind of humanitarian illusionist journalism — instead of offering ways to truly help the Ukrainian people, or even the Russian who people find themselves in a conflict they do not want, look for sources that will educate you on the full story, or tell you how to get involved. We must not be hoodwinked by these posts; we must hold world leaders accountable for taking actions to decrease the likelihood of human suffering, rather than small, meaningless actions that don’t really, in the scheme of things, do anything.

A final note: what I am asking of our world leaders is that we impose sanctions or operate our governmental posturing with the most attention to prevent human suffering as possible. I know that’s a big ask — the United States hasn’t got it right with Cuba or North Korea, or even immigration and refugees, and has just began to look at the human suffering inflicted in our own country. We must stand by Ukraine’s innocent civilians as well as Russia’s. I am asking you to be swift in your decision making, decisive, and lead us on a path that will lead to the least loss of human life. Hold Putin and his allies accountable, not innocent people.