The Art of Media

As my final blog, I will write about the best medium that I believe communicates a message. It is a medium that expresses a feeling, everybody can understand, it has been present since the beginning of times, and has been part of globalization and has not stopped evolving ever since it started. This is the medium of food. Food is used when celebrating, when morning, when in love, and simply in order to enjoy time with someone else, among other things. Food helps one express how they feel personally and how they feel about another person. It is used as a medium not only to the people that consume it, but the people that prepare it as well. The moment when the food is cooked or consumed depends on the feeling or mood the person is in. For example, one might sometimes need comfort food, or might feel creative and invent new recipes, or simply one might be in the mood of eating healthy. This medium is very important in every society because beside the obvious of giving energy to live, it also defines a society and distinguishes one from another.

Food can be considered as part of globalization since it has been evolving by combining different types of cuisines. Based on the factors of globalization cuisine it is not new, it is uneven since people from different parts of the world have access to different techniques and ingredients (therefore, it is interpreted differently) and it happens at home because ever since one is little, one is surrounded with food. The type of cuisine from each society depends on their history, but as one moves around the globe, there aresome patters of the ingredients each part uses. Nonetheless, many chefs travel around the world in order to learn more about food and as a result, they are able to combine different cultures and create a new type of cuisine.

Another reason why food is considered to be a medium is because it is polysemy, it has multiple meanings and the consumer can interpret it in different ways. For example, for an American kid a bowl of rice can represent lunch, for a kid in an Indian tribe in South America it can represent the path to survive a couple of more days, and for an Italian chef it can represent a new ingredient to create art.

Cuisine is considered to be a form of communication and expression; it is art for the experts and future for people with low resources. Food is used to express moods, events, and represents societies around the world. Societies should appreciate it more and continue globalizing it in order to create new cuisines and traditions, and never stop the evolution of such and expressive and creative form of medium.

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La Mara Salvatrucha

Croteau defines ideology as “a system of meaning that helps define and explain the world and that makes value judgments about that world”.  It relates with values and beliefs of the world or a specific group. Marxists define ideology as a belief system that helps justify the actions of those in power by distorting and misrepresenting reality. Additionally, James Davis Hunter believes that media is the center of what he calls “culture wars” since ideologies are communicates through the mass media by the use of media technologies. Heremony is a contemporary study of the ideology of media, and it states that ruling groups can maintain their power through force, consent or a combination.

The terms ideology, “culture war”, and heremony can be related to a criminal gang that originated in Los Angeles but has spread across North America and South America. The gangs are mostly composed of Central Americans who organize child prostitution, drug trafficking, human trafficking, murder, kidnapping, and abusing women or children. This gang is called Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13; they are known for being very violent and having revenge and cruel retribution with others that cross their way. La Mara is able to distinguish themselves by tattoos that cover their face and whole body. Although their ideology does not have a positive effect in society, I consider this gang to be part of the “culture war” because the members use a form of art (referring to their tattoos) to distinguish themselves from others. Through the technology of tattoos, they are able to see who is part of their gang and are able to express their story. Their tattoos represent who they are; they each have different meaning to the gang member. Furthermore, they are known for having tear shaped tattoos in their face which represent the amount of people they have killed. Not only they are able to express and distinguish themselves through their tattoos, but they have a hand sign for purpose of identification and communication; this hand sign represent the devil’s head.

The Mara Salvatrucha uses different form of communication to express their ideology; hence, their beliefs and background story. Members from the gang Mara Salvatrucha follow and ideology through the media of hegemony because their beliefs and symbol operate at a level of common sense in the assumption of what each member makes out of life. La Mara is able to display a range of behavior and lifestyle through the use of tattoos, which are considered to be a media since they express an idea or belief, and serves the purpose of communicating who they are.

 

Here you can see the trailer of a movie called “Sin Nombre” that is about a boy who is becoming a member of the gang Mara Salvatrucha, but then he is able to leave it behind: