Phase One

Week 4

Click here for the transcript for my pitch!

(Week 3):   I’ve selected “I Don’t Ever Want to Try Whatever Kool-Aid Kanye West Keeps Drinking” written by Panama Jackson for my opinion piece to work on this semester. To summarize the article, Jackson’s central argument revolves around how the hip hop artist truly believes that his support for Donald Trump and his insistence to wear the infamous “Make America Great Again” hat represents some form of liberation from democratic politics for Black Americans. Jackson grounds his claim through Kanye’s tweets on New Year’s Day where he reminded his followers that he is still pro-Trump. Jackson also looks towards the media coverage of Kanye’s actions throughout last year, namely his controversial “slavery is a choice” comments, his relationship with conservative commentator Candace Owens and his meeting with the President himself.

  There are a few things in the article that make it stand out as an opinion piece. Firstly, Jackson’s vocabulary is somewhat informal, and he speaks in the first person throughout the piece. Secondly, he states his opinion clearly and direct. Jackson makes it obvious to the reader that he does not support Kanye’s political choices. Lastly, he argues for a point that very few writers discuss when it comes to this topic. Whereas most commentary about the Kanye-Trump relationship mainly talks about how uneducated Kanye is about current American politics, Jackson talks about how Kanye’s actions and his position as an influential artist are representative of his own deluded form of black liberation.

  Panama Jackson is an editor for Very Smart Brothas, he states in the article that he does listen to Kanye’s music but for a long time has stopped believing in the artist will change from his controversial ways. Therefore, he is coming from the perspective of a former fan. As stated before, he makes it clear about his thoughts on Trump and his presidency. He is also writing from the perspective of a middle-class black American, a demographic that he states the Kanye used to represent during his early days in music but has now abandoned since his rise to global fame and now his political stance. Jackson’s biases stem from his distaste with Kanye and Trump, as his comments about how it does not benefit marginalized communities can be argued against. Also, his claim that Kanye is supporting Trump as a form of black liberation from Democratic politics can also be a bias because of the number of black politicians, activists or otherwise who support the President for different reasons (like economic for example).

    The article is coming from the social context American politics and race. Two issues that seem to have been extremely difficult to talk about in recent years. There is also the notion of a celebrity endorsing the President, as it appears that Kanye is one of few that has openly expressed his choice. This also feeds into the problem that this has created among fans, as Jackson briefly explains that the number of fans who still believe in Kanye are having a hard time agreeing with him (myself included!). It is because of this, I believe that the article has the potential to create an interesting podcast episode, I feel that it will create a healthy discourse among Trump and Kanye detractors/supporters.

(Week 2) Based on this week’s lecture and in the videos shown both in class and on the blog schedule. A key aspect of an opinion is that it is more or less based on personal emotions/beliefs, is open to interpretation and cannot be confirmed to be the fact. Your own view or belief that. Using the Starbucks example that was presented in class, the statement that “Starbucks is ethically produced” is something that is not based on fact, with possible evidence to reject that claim. Whereas the matter of opinion is something relative and cannot be proven either way.  Harkening back to the lecture’s Starbucks example, statements such as “Starbucks coffee has the best taste” cannot be proven either right or wrong, as it is entirely subjective to a person. 

   So, with all this being said, is it possible to assert that all knowledge is simply a matter of opinion? I would say no, not necessarily. Knowledge is based on true facts and research. If knowledge were a matter of opinion, then it would all become too subjective and could perhaps lead into confirmation biases. Also taking into consideration that knowledge would then become something that cannot be proven either way, therefore a person’s understanding of say physics for example would not be based on actual facts and research to prove that they are correct. Justified true belief could also become skewed through a person’s own subjectivity, as what they believe to be the truth is no longer based on evidence to support that belief.

(Week 1) Hey everyone, my name is Mark Chinapen and I’m a fourth year film studies student here at York U! My hobbies include things such as videography/photography, writing about films and music, gaming from time to time and spending time with friends and family. I’m feeling pretty excited about the course project for this term, the idea of a podcast ( as well as the concept of the course website) all seem quite interesting to me, I listen to podcasts here and there but I’ve never really considered to start my own, so I’m eager to see how that goes! that I’m definitely looking forward to the learning process of the project as I feel it will help me improve on my own writing and research abilities inside or outside of school.

A research/shortcut tactic I’ve used time and time again is the York U E-resource, like scholar portals for example and reading them in depth. I’ve found them to be quite helpful when it comes to essay writing because of how easy it is to access them, plus as a film student, many of the resources such as journals or scholarly articles are more often than not available through there. What makes it limiting however is that you could tend to rely only on e-resources, hindering the chance to look for other sources like actual physical books for instance.