Friday, November 11, 2016

Blog #5

     This week's blog on Ted Cruz religious memes is a reflection of authority online.  The offline religious culture and political culture helps set the basis and create standards for what is considered authentic expressions online in many ways.  The political and religious cultures have grown so strong in their hundreds of years of history that their impact is hard to ignore.  This compares to the still fairly recent online culture that is still being shaped and molded everyday.   
     In Cruz's case, christianity is an extremely well defined religion and therefore a defined culture.  This culture has an enormous amount of traditions and beliefs which also help impact what is considered authentic.  These rich ideas do not want to be cheated by cheap internet sayings from people not as well educated as most of the religious leaders.  If a person is seen as a political or religious leader, they automatically are looked at with more authenticity just because of their established position.  The standard to have this high esteem is a highly educated person in either education or even educated in scholarly readings when it comes to the religious culture.  Another aspect that helps set the standard for what is authentic online is when it involves church doctrines or highly regarded church teachings.  For example, the Ten Commandments are head in such a high light for many christians.  This orthodox expression is being made fun of in meme 9 which states "what do you mean I've broken one of the commandments?  Bearing false witness against thy neighbor?  Donald isn't my neighbor!  He lives in NYC!"  This meme is criticizing Cruz for his actions that are contrary to such a highly regarded list of beliefs.  It is being questioned how authentic he is as a christian because he does not follow his religious beliefs right down to the doctrine.  
     Online and offline contexts are blended.  They both have an affect on the other and seem to coincide. As time goes on, they are becoming more and more blurred and will eventually become so blurred that the flow of information online and offline is seamless.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Blog #4: Authority

This week's blog discusses how authority is defined online and offline and how that message changes.  Once again I am continuing the case study of religious memes about Ted Cruz.  It is important to note not just his role as a political leader, but a religious voice as well.  

The source of authority could probably be defined as the hierarchy or roles because they reference a religious leader or even the authority of God as a Christian.  You could even  say Cruz is perceived as a leader in this meme.  And in Cruz 7, he is being mocked as a leader.  The meme says "would a good christian man" endorse someone against his beliefs.  This is attacking his morals and who he is as a leader.  This points to the fact that he would not be a good political leader for the country since according to the creator of the meme, his beliefs do not match his actions.  This also goes along with describing authority while looking at ideology because his faith beliefs and shared identity of the Christian community are being judged.   


The logic used in this case study regarding authority being voiced is Logic of Dialectics and Paradox.  This type of logic states that new media both empowers and undermines religious authority.  This creates conflicting tensions and uneven gains.  The conflicting idea is that offline Cruz is regarded by many as a political leader who uses his religious beliefs to better his position in the government.  Online, people mock this characteristic of Ted Cruz and do not have anyone to answer to.


Depending on how an image is framed, especially with wording, impacts how the viewer perceives it.  If it makes a reference to their religious leader, they may be more cautious about it because they would not want to offend their leader or they might be offended themselves of someone taunting someone they hold in such high regards.