micro genres

Using micro-aggressions to set Uncanny mood

My story, a horror, surrounds a multiracial Protagonist (mother is Black, father has White and Arab heritage). I’m wondering if it would be offensive to occasionally use microagressions as a form of the Uncanny, that aspect of horror or mystery genres that make and keep up an uncomfortable and creepy atmosphere. They will consist of assumption of adoption/nonrelation, questions of race, and being followed in places.

I initially thought it could be a good play on the Uncanny, which is all about making one feel ‘off’ because something/someone is obviously not behaving like ‘normal’. This time, the behaviour is ‘off’ because it’s accepted as ‘normal’ by the masses.

Additional info: Race is not the center of the story/series’ plot, but will be commented upon by the characters. My protag starts as a child and ends as a teen, starts out friendly and tries to be confident and reliable. As story progresses, the plot wears them down into becoming anxious, depressed, and paranoid.

Thank you in advance for your response!

As long as it’s occasional I think it should be fine, although it will differ between people. Some people are more sensitive to micro-aggressions than others. Remember that poc are already forced to put up with occasional micro-aggressions, so it might be frustrating, but it could also feel like “finally someone understands” or “finally a story about my life”… something like that. It depends on how you write these scenes too. I’d say be careful with how much you add, make sure that you show how these are wrong and hurtful and mix them in with other things which will add up to an uncomfortable and creepy atmosphere. You can still make clear through narrative that the protag deals with micro-aggressions on a daily basis or otherwise.

And btw, your idea is very interesting to me, since you are actually trying to portray this aspect of many people’s lives for what it is: horror. It is unsettling, frustrating and very damaging and it is partly so because people are 99% of the times unaware that what they are saying or doing is offensive. To make this understandable to your readers you will need to break these micro-aggressions down for them. Otherwise you might just confuse (some) of them. To pull this off, you’ll need to really know what you’re writing though. It will be very hard to do without personal experience, so in case you don’t, find some good bèta-readers who do. Personally though, I think this would be handled best by someone from within the group you’re writing (which your protag identifies with), since if this goes bad, it will really ruin the story. If it is handled well though, it could be a masterpiece!

Then, especially with adding in mental illness, do your research thoroughly and find the right people to read. Make sure you also research tropes concerning depression, anxiety issues and other mental illnesses mentioned in your story so you won’t add to harmful stereotypes.

The addition that the plot (and I assume that includes the racism) wears your protag down is actually a very realistically but poorly understood subject too. You’ll find during your research, not only that racism in any form can cause PTSD, but that this is not always acknowledged. Poc with mental illness seeking treatment sometimes even have the really bad luck of having racist therapists which add on to their problems (people having this problem should try to find a therapist who’s a decent human people and not ignorant so they can do their job properly and help their client achieve better health). 

~ Mod Alice

How Netflix Reverse Engineered Hollywood

Alexis C. Madrigal wrote a fascinating article on how Netflix filters through titles to ensure that you get just the film you’re looking for. The key component in this effort are the 76,897 unique microgenres developed by Netflix.

Here are some examples:

Action Movies Starring Bruce Willis.

Emotional Independent Sports Movies

Spy Action & Adventure from the 1930s

Cult Evil Kid Horror Movies

Cult Sports Movies

Sentimental set in Europe Dramas from the 1970s

Visually-striking Foreign Nostalgic Dramas

Japanese Sports Movies

Gritty Discovery Channel Reality TV

Romantic Chinese Crime Movies

Mind-bending Cult Horror Movies from the 1980s

Dark Suspenseful Sci-Fi Horror Movies

Gritty Suspenseful Revenge Westerns

Violent Suspenseful Action & Adventure from the 1980s

Time Travel Movies starring William Hartnell

Romantic Indian Crime Dramas

Evil Kid Horror Movies

Visually-striking Goofy Action & Adventure

British set in Europe Sci-Fi & Fantasy from the 1960s

Dark Suspenseful Gangster Dramas

Critically-acclaimed Emotional Underdog Movies

Note that first one. Action Movies Starring Bruce Willis. Bruce Willis, undeniably a prolific and popular actor, doesn’t even crack the top ten of Netflix’s favorite actors headed by Raymond Burr (see the image above). In fact, there are 19 micro genres dedicated to Mr. Burr, tops amongst all actors. His television costar, Barbara Hale, appears in 14 micro genre names, good for 7th place.

When asked why Perry Mason is weighted so heavily in Netflix, Todd Yellin, the man who spearheaded this effort and was partially responsible for the algorithm itself, can’t answer. It’s just a preference the computer itself developed, outside of human control and completely unexpected. 

[Image: From How Netflix Reverse Engineered Hollywood]

Fantano-Americans and The Death of Music Culture

Believe it or not there once used to be a time when it wasn’t cool to be a nerd. Non-nerds always had a feeling that nerds would be successful someday but that couldn’t stop the nerds from getting ridiculed for their odd-duck social skills or having their gadgets broken. Being a nerd was hard and it was the furthest thing from cool. Today people actively pursue the nerd label and wear it as a badge of honor. It’s cool to be a nerd.

No one exemplifies this dynamic better than Anthony Fantano, the self-proclaimed “Internet’s Busiest Music Nerd”. For those of you that are unfamiliar, Anthony Fantano is a dude with a YouTube channel where he talks windily about new music mostly of the “indie persuasion”.

His videos often feature skits involving his abhorrent alter-ego Cal Chuchesta whom is apparently some sort of functionally retarded Cosby sweater immigrant. Fantano, for all intents and purposes, is a music nerd and a critic. But most importantly he is the type of nerd that can only exist in a world where the music industry is filterless and lacks the type of quality-control we romanticize about the classic rock era. Music criticism itself has been reduced to a hype-blog saturated echo-chamber that’s more concerned with gimmicky aesthetics and contrived innovation rather than any sort of artistic merit.

The days of curmudgeonly cranky critics like Lester Bangs or curators of cool like John Peel are long gone. All that we have are Fantano-Americans: bespectacled and shameless hipster prototypes stroking their chin (or beard) while gazing pensively into a MacBook Pro wearing Beats by Dre headphones. The mere act of simply consuming music and posturing has become more important than actually appreciating it or criticizing it.

As we know, the internet is really good at making people instant experts on things that would otherwise require a lot of time and effort. Just as there used to be a time when it wasn’t cool to be a nerd, there used to be a time when learning about cool music required reading interviews with people who knew their shit, like Kurt Cobain. Or frequenting stuffy record stores where snarky elitist clerks gave you the stink-eye even if you purchased something they approved of. Or going to one-off shows in cramped places that smelled of piss and puke. I know that I probably sound like an old man upset about the kids playing on the lawn, but there was just something much more edifying about that kind of experience.

The Fantano-American approach to music appreciation consist of reading countless blogs, downloading countless albums, and Googling band bios. Badabing! You are now an expert on every genre, fringe genre, sub-genre and micro-sub-genre music has to offer. Never mind the fact that deep down you are a folk-punk dork who evolved into a post-rock dork and now you have strong conflicting opinions about the new Kanye West record. Now you are suddenly concerned about the state of hip-hop. “The thing is, an album like ‘Paul’s Boutique’ could never be made in today’s Daft Punk world because blah blah blah…..samples!”

Now that you are a connoisseur of only the finest, most radical pop curiosities on this side of the web, you are an authority and arbiter of taste. Now you can go catch 30% percent of the bands that inhabit your iPad and live at an outdoor music festival sponsored by Dos Equis and Beats by Dre headphones.

It is important to note that music festivals aren’t for people who appreciate music. They are for people who appreciate drugs and like the idea of 'appreciating’ music. Seeing a band you like play a rushed 25 minute set in the middle of the hot afternoon while a bunch drunk (presumably off vodka-red bulls) girls wearing high-waisted denim shorts and floppy hats shout annoying shit like “YOLO!” and groove around taking selfies is not an ideal scenario for a music fan. It’s basically music hell. It’s the physical equivalent to voracious “have you heard of this? Have you heard of this? Check this out!” digital clusterfuck that Anthony Fantano embodies.

Fantano-Americans aren’t necessarily bad people. I suspect that their heart is in right place even if they wear shorts year-round and insist on playing a playlist off iTunes at every social gathering they attend, including funerals. At they end of day they just want to have their cake and eat it too. They want be cool, in spite of being a nerd and nerdy in spite of being cool. They want to talk into a web-cam for 10 minutes about the new Beach House record (even though they’d be better suited to offer tips on a moisturizing regiment) and then fingerbang their shy girlfriend under an afghan blanket while it plays softly in the background without the fear that some ignorant brute wearing a Led Zepplin belt-buckle that also opens beers will smash their rig and call them a dork.



-Armando

Fresh Air’s tech contributor Alexis Madrigal discusses his research on the many “micro-genres” of Netflix. Here’s an excerpt of his piece:

Now it’s become one of the company’s big selling points. Netflix doesn’t just provide streaming movies and TV shows; it knows you.

Thinking about how specific Netflix could get, I started to wonder, “Just how many micro-genres does Netflix really have?”

A friend pointed out that the web addresses for the categories in the Netflix database were sequentially numbered, and that I could type through each URL, one by one, and figure out all the micro-genres.

The first brought up African-American Crime Documentaries. The second pulled up Scary Cult Movies From The 1980s. The next was Tearjerkers From The 1970s. After a couple more minutes, I tried entry 10,000, just to see if the database was really that big. Japanese Horror Movies From The 1960s was in that slot.

There was no way I could copy and paste tens of thousands of genre titles by hand, so I wrote a simple script, a little piece of code, that would copy the names to a list. I set it up to run and then I waited, as the script kept copying-and-pasting for more than 20 hours.

I found that Netflix has 76,897 separate categories. To my knowledge, no one outside Netflix has ever compiled this mass of data before. And now we can really understand how the system works.

The State of Ska Music

by Zack Zarrillo

Real Big Fish on how music genres have further shattered from where they were two decades ago:

There’s just not pop-punk anymore. In the 90’s there was pop-punk. But now there’s pop-punk with a little bit of post-hardcore, and now there’s melodic hardcore with a little bit of pop-punk. You start to take those genres, and now there are even micro-genres.

youtube

Today: Tech contributor Alexis Madrigal discusses the Netflix algorithm and micro-genres used to personalize movie recommendations for you. Here’s a BuzzFeed video that features 12 surprising facts about Netflix. 

The times, they are a-changin’.

anonymous asked:

This might come off as arrogant but i really don't want it to i just know nothing about vaporwave... But like what is it/what's there to understand? And why do people mention capitalism a lot?

Vaporwave is a micro genre of music that was birthed out of the 2010 album CHUCK PERSONS ECCO JAMS VOL 1 (by Daniel Lopatin of Oneohtrix Point Never fame) and FAR SIDE VIRTUAL (by James Ferraro) that is noted for (but not limited to) it’s use of chopped and screwed vocal samples, whitewash corporate elevator music, and sometime samples of older 90s video game consoles (other samples include japanese tv commercials, the weather channel, and other obscure sources)

Lots of people like to attack this hackneyed “anti capitalist” idea to vaporwave because of some very very misinformed online articles about the genre in it’s early days

for me, vaporwave is all about the idea of nostalgia on the edge of my mind. I listen to vaporwave for the headspace it puts me. Not to be cool, not to “be a hipster" as I have been told by people who don’t understand, and not to be elitist. Vaporwave can be smooth background music to get me focused on another task at hand, or it can be a jarring harsh sound that grabs you and demands you to listen to it.

If you are interested in the genre, and want to find some albums to listen to, I suggest you look at my little guide I’ve haphazardly put together