Friday, November 11, 2016

Blog 5- Authenticity

This week, the question is raised on exactly how the offline culture that presents certain memes about Trump or Obama set the basis for their authenticity or accuracy. In all honesty, the vast majority of the memes I have found are not specifically designed to be "politically" accurate, as much as they are designed to take jabs at each of these individuals and make fun of their policies and attitudes towards the Muslim faith. This is evident in the majority of Trump memes; however, there is some form of back up as far as how he is viewed in society as a "racist, bigoted, fascist." On the other hand, some of the memes presented about President Obama are more aimed at portraying a picture of him either being Muslim or loving and valuing the Muslim faith/ideology over the wellbeing of his own country, which he has time and time again been questioned over.

In the context of this weeks memes, these memes are very broken-away from any form of authority on the subject. However, to say there is no authority behind these memes is also incorrect, due to the fact that these individuals who post these memes are speaking as what they feel is the "voice of the people" or the vox populi of sorts. This breaking away from what is viewed as "accurate" information, and leaning more towards biased opinions and jabs at the individual presented shows, at least in my opinion, that what might be authentic and legitimate to some may or may not be true and real for another. Each of these cases and the points they try to make are subjective specifically to the individual who creates them.

These two points are not to say that there is not a certain agreeable basis behind the context of the memes at hand; however, if one was looking for accurate and up to date information about how a political candidate or president feels on a certain issue, I feel that memes are not a good location to find this.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Blog 4- Authority

Clearly presented in this week’s memes are two staunchly different views of the authority of Islam as portrayed by Donald Trump and President Obama. In the first meme, the authority of the ideology of the Muslim faith comes into question; this is proven in the Qur’an when it states, “one such thing that needs to be avoided is swine flesh or pork…” (Qur’an 2:173). Although the President of the United States does not explicitly follow Islam or its ideologies, it is clear that the implication is being made that he does, and is breaking its rules and commandments. On the other hand, we have a direct quote from Trump about the “religion of peace” and putting into question just how “peaceful” Islam actually is. From this tweet, which was actually sent out on Trump’s personal Twitter, it can be clearly noted that Trump does not follow suit with what the Muslim faith says they believe versus how a select few of them act.

The logic portrayed in these memes is a mixture of the logic of continuity and complementarity with the logic of dialectics and paradox. By this, I mean that while in the first meme, the offline user is projecting their own views of President Obama onto him by labeling a Muslim who is breaking the faith-based laws, this is not necessarily true, and this mindset has actually led to many online and offline conflicts. In the case of the Trump meme/tweet, Trump is using his own authority in order to convince others that maybe the Muslim faith isn’t as peaceful as they make themselves sound. This fear-mongering tool has been used countless times by politicians in order to push their own agendas or in order to get public action rolling. These two cases are just a couple of thousands of accounts of the words and actions taken by political candidates being twisted or taken out of context, or even straight from the context they are used, to give a voice to the thoughts and mindsets of the people.