Lady Gaga blew up in the music industry in 2008 with her hit song Poker Face and soon became one of the most recognizable names in Pop. She grabbed attention wherever she went with her many outrageous outfits (raw meat, anyone?) but she did more than just prance around I weird clothes and sing about disco-sticks. I chose Lady Gaga as a pop icon because she helped to bridge the gap between social groups. In a high school setting, she helped to bridge the gap between the social elite and the outcasts because her message in both music and life is that it is okay to be yourself no matter what others want or what social convention dictates.
As a teenager, Lady Gaga was the only Pop artist that I had on my iPod. She was the lone electro-pop sound amidst the grunge and rock and roll that I was in to at the time. A friend of mine was a huge fan of Lady Gaga and I learned a lot about the pop artist through her such the inspiration from David Bowie (she is also a huge David Bowie fan), meanings behind certain songs, and her message in general. Lady Gaga has far more to say than a lot of the other pop music you hear on the radio and I think she was a fantastic pop icon the past few years, if a little peculiar.
Etsy is the online shop for everything vintage and handmade. You want something done custom? Go to Etsy. You want your NES turned into a piece of art( pretty much all it’s good for anymore)? Go to Etsy. You want that wedding dress that your grandma wore in 1940? Go to Etsy. Etsy has become a huge part of people’s everyday lives. We are a world of e-commerce and for those who hand make products, trying to sell them to locals only or at conventions can be costly and ineffective. Etsy allows a person (artist, collector, tailor, blacksmith, haberdasher, pack rat, old-lady-crocheting-with-five-cats-on-her-lap) to sell their handmade items in a similar way that eBay allows you to sell items you own with a small seller fee. The only difference is that Etsy is supposed to be handmade or vintage, no mass-produced items, no cars (unless you built it yourself), and no stolen clothes for still-too-high prices. Handmade and retro are in right now and Etsy allows people who make those things to offer their goods for sale in a place where anyone around the world can purchase it.
Etsy has been a place where I have found many personalized gifts that would be hard to find in a store. I like it because just browsing it you can find creative things that people have done with their old stuff or get ideas of your own for art projects or interesting gifts. It is also a great place for me to find renaissance festival costumes of good quality which I have trouble finding in a physical location other than at an actual renaissance faire which I can only attend in October. I also am trying to help my little brother promote his guitar-making business and finally got him to open an Etsy shop and I can’t wait to see him get some stuff up there and get some business!
image from: http://pbrnews.com/etsy-ipo-too-big/
Star Wars was a hit in the 80s, the first trilogy bringing in over $2 billion dollars in box office sales. The second trilogy in the new millennium wasn’t received quite as well but Episode I was in the top 10 grossing films in America in box office sales. Star Wars had the unique opportunity to release 10 years apart each time—long enough for older fans to have children and then have them watch it as they grew up and for the younger generation to get into it before they got too old. Star Wars is a sci-fi movie through-and-through, but it many values that it tries to impress regarding family, faith, and altruism. Throughout the seven films currently released, we frequently see family ties tested (some ending in blood loyalty, others not), faith in the Force being tested, criticized, rewarded, and the constant struggle between good and evil—between the desire for power and the desire to make things right. Now that Disney owns Star Wars merchandising for the franchise has exploded, making it easy for someone to see it and wonder what it is, possibly creating a new fan. You can get Star Wars everything now and it’s everywhere—and not just Episode VII, but the older films as well.
My family is a Star Wars family through-and-through (no one cares for that other popular sci-fi show). On my dad’s side of the family most of the kids (my aunts and uncles) were teenagers when Star Wars came out which and of course, it would be the movie to see at the time. They all loved it and all the kids (my siblings and cousins) in my family grew up watching it. I still remember when my mom worked 2nd shift and we would get to stay up watching Star Wars on VHS until she came home from work pretty much every day. I love Star Wars and I cannot be happier about the current merchandising. I was not too thrilled when Disney bought the franchise; I was convinced that they were going to ruin it. But I love that I can now walk into any department store and buy women’s Star Wars clothes; though I didn’t particularly enjoy Episode VII, there is plenty of classic themed clothing available.