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’s Negative Effects Essay, Research Paper

May 2001 English 115 – In today s society, popular culture is often accused of having a negative effect on individuals. In Lee Ballinger s Rock and Rap Have Never Been Better and Stephen King s Why We Crave Horror Movies, the authors express their opinions on the inaccuracy of this statement. Both Ballinger and King believe that pop culture is something that is beneficial to society; however, they convey their ideas in different ways. Ballinger presents his view on how today s music is the best that music has ever been, while King strives to explain the peculiar addiction that society holds for horror movies.

King successfully explains that there is an inherent desire to view and perform acts of aggression and mischievousness in every person in some degree or another. He best expresses this when he writes, If we are all insane, then sanity becomes a matter of degree. If your insanity leads you to carve up women like Jack the Ripper of the Cleveland Torso Murderer, we clap you away in the funny farm; if on the other hand, your insanity leads you only to talk to yourself when you re under stress of to pick your nose on your morning bus… (King 277). While he contends that there is this very real craving for a scare in the American society, it is fed by horror movies. King also gives the impression that horror movies keep the craving with-in social boundaries. Without this check we could perhaps experience serge of violent brutal crimes as well as an outbursts of less violent criminal activities. This is best said in the last few lines of the article, It was Lennon and McCartney who said that all you need is love, and I would agree with that. As long as you keep the gators fed (King 218).

Just walk on By Stranger

+ He sees and understands the way * He feels a sig. Part of his

People see him, so he changes to fit in and tory and development ended when

Make them feel comfortable, as to not be a {he} set foot on Toronto.

Menace to anyone

+ notes his ability to alter public space *

in ugly ways

+ came to doubt the virtues of intimidation

early on. Instead perhaps unconsciously to

remain a shadow-timid, but a survivor

+ learned to smother the rage [he] felt

at so often being taken for a criminal. Not to do so

would surely have led to madness.

In his essay, “Just Walk on By: A Black Man Ponders His Power to Alter Public Space,” Brent Staples explains how throughout his life, others have discriminated against him because he is a tall, black man who works as a journalist in a predominantly white field. As he explains, he first realized how much his appearance frightened others, particularly a white woman, when he used to take late night walks as a graduate student. While he understands that we live in a culture that has become increasingly violent and dangerous, he feels frustrated that black men, in particular, are still being judged and misjudged based on their appearance alone. For example, he cites two instances where he was mistaken for a burglar and a fellow journalist was mistaken for a killer. These incidents, he claims, are not uncommon. In order to deal with the misunderstandings on others parts, Staples says that now when he has the urge to go out for a late night walk, he whistles classical music as a way of assuring others that he is not a dangerous man. His whistling, he concludes, allows others to see him for who he really is: a cultured and sensitive man.