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A Musician'S Reality

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Autor:  anton  10 December 2010
Tags:  Musicians,  Reality
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A Musician’s Reality

A Discourse Analysis of the relationship between a musician’s public perception and personal reality


Successful American musicians are considered high in social status. Trends in American culture are often set by musicians. Any decisions made by musicians are constantly magnified in the media. There are many social factors which artists have to deal with as a result of their place in society. Constantly, a musician as any other person is always trying to change and discover one’s identity. Each musician with the assistance of marketing strategies, publicists, and image consultants displays their identity to the American culture.

This research will attempt to establish and comprehend the relationship between a musician’s perception in the media and reality within their personal life. This study examines the concepts of music videos as a persuasive form (Gow, 1993) and film theory and film documentaries are essentially narratives for artists. Music videos continue to be a vital part of creating an artist’s image. Film documentaries attempt to develop an artist’s image as well. Therefore, my research will try to discover a reality through the comprehensive analysis of two different artist’s music videos and film documentaries.

In popular culture there has been a trend of musicians have run across drug use, violence, psychological issues, and other illegal actions. In the past there have been studies on the understanding of celebrities’ perception. Musicians are a different type of “celebrity” because they have many different ways to represent and express themselves. Two distinct ways which musicians use in order to present themselves include their music and music videos. Audiences often develop their perception of musicians based on the two. Most recently there has been more a trend to make musicians more intimate with reality shows and film documentaries which attempt to delve into a musician’s life. Therefore, I feel a musician’s representation is a very unique one and their problems which coincide with their unique social position. This study examines whether there is a pattern in the realities of being a musician. This research will be providing incite for future musicians as they attempt to deal with these unique stresses.

In the music industry often the marketing strategy for record labels consists of catering to our ideals. A recording artist is presented in many different ways to the public as flawless. They have the money to buy anything they want, hang out with other people who can buy anything they want, and they travel all around the world. These are just some of the general concepts that are perceived by fans through media. The structure of the industry is structured in a way so that there is actually someone to make any problems in recording artist’s lives appear false or misconstrued. However, this can be negated by direct comments by artists which occur in interviews and documentaries. These duties fall on the shoulders on the publicist also know as the “spin doctor”. The publicist is always working to spin negative things with a positive perspective. The publicist’s job is very essential in the music industry because image means almost everything to contemporary artists. Music videos are another part of the music industry which promotes a sense of idealism and perfections. Joe Gow discusses the music video as a persuasive form (Gow, 1993). The videos try to persuade audiences that musicians’ lifestyles are perfect.

As I have mentioned earlier this study will be extending and connecting existing theories concerning music video analysis, film theory (documentaries) and the celebrity culture in order to decipher a pattern in the stresses of being a musician. The two musicians which I will focus on include Jim Jones and Kurt Cobain. Jim Jones is a well-known rapper in the hip-hop community. He is the leader of the Dipset movement which consists of rappers such as Juelz Santana, Cam’ron, Hell Rell and J.R. Writer. Recently, Jim Jones has come across new found success in the music industry after years of being in the background of the Dipset movement. Jim Jones single “We Fly High” has been one of the biggest hip hop songs this year while he also holds an executive A&R position at Warner Music Group. Kurt Cobain was the lead singer and songwriter of the Seattle-based rock band, Nirvana. Cobain became a national and international celebrity as a result of the band’s success. Eventually, Cobain was recognized to have committed suicide with a shotgun in his home.

Cobain’s Image

Nirvana’s breakthrough single, “Smells like Teen Spirit” which was accompanied with an interesting music video directed by Samuel Bayer. The video begins with a teenage audience sitting in the bleachers. The general ages of the audience give us an example for who his fans are and who he represented. The video takes place in a high school gym. The band is performing center stage on the basketball court for a pep rally. Usually pep rallies don’t have bands and usually have the teams out there but Nirvana doesn’t follow traditional ways. Nirvana’s message appears to be anti-form and anti-structure. The lighting of the court is very dark and it is hard to get a clear view of the lead singer, Kurt Cobain’s face. Even though this video doesn’t have very many clear shots of Kurt Cobain the video, it still gives him the most camera time. There’s a smoke machine which is used lightly throughout the video. The smoke machine seems to be important to creating this mysteriousness about Kurt in this video. There are cheerleaders wearing black outfits with Circle A symbols representing anarchy. The cheerleaders were also waving red pom-poms. These colors add to the dark and grunge image of the video. The presence of the anarchist symbol is to represent the movement of his generation. Noticeably, there is very little if any movement on the part of the audience and Cobain during first verse of song.

During the chorus of the song the energy instantly picks up and the audience starts to move a lot more. Cobain energy increases as well as he begins to move around with some passion added to his performance. At one point the smoke is very heavy as it blocks Cobain momentarily. Flashes of a very old man, “the janitor” dancing is shown periodically. Kurt Cobain seems to move in and out of the little spotlight that exists in the video. This mysterious mystique continues to be supported with the smoke and spotlight use.

In the final scene all of the teenagers begin to join Cobain on the court during his performance. The teenagers begin pushing and dancing together. Suddenly, fire flames appear in the background. Flames usually indicate something dangerous and devilish. The performance essentially becomes mayhem when the students joining Cobain and Nirvana on the court. These flames are a more of a sarcastic indication of danger being used. The video comes to an end after a close-up shot of Kurt Cobain’s face and then shot of a tied up headmaster. In Michael Azzerad’s book, “Come As You Are: the story of Nirvana” (Wilkepedia) the story is that the initial edit was not accepted by Kurt. One noticeable change is the ending close-up shot of Kurt. This edit by Kurt does reveals one of two things, either his need for control over his image or a development of an ego.


As stated in the introduction musicians are uniting individuals because of their ability to have different ways of creating and presenting their public image. Music videos are one element of developing an image. Artists often have little if any input on the specific details of a music video. Accomplished artists on the other hand generally have more control. Lyrics are one way for musicians to express themselves without any influence. Depending on the subject of the song there is usually a message which comes through the lyrics. Therefore, it is important to understand the lyrics as they can be more direct than music video images. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was written by Kurt Cobain and these lyrics appear to have some intriguing meanings. The initial concept of the song was ignited when a friend of Kurt’s said, “Kurt Smells Like Teen Spirit”. This meant that he smelled like the deodorant of the girl he was dating (Wilkepedia). However, the misinterpretation gave Kurt the idea that he was the leader of his generation. Kurt was a strong disbeliever in conformity and the mainstream. In this song his rebellious spirit comes through clearly in his lyrics.

In the first verse Cobain sings, “Load up on guns, Bring your friends, Its fun to lose, And to pretend, She’s overboard, Myself assured, I know I know, A dirty word”. Guns in these lyrics signify violence which would take place in a revolution. Kurt also tells his followers to bring their friends, which is reflective of a movement. However, everything is given sarcasm with the line about being fun to lose. Kurt in this verse just simply entertains the idea leading a revolution and just as quickly dismisses this notion with sarcasm. The bridge seems to be an attention grabber as Kurt repeats, “Hello, hello, hello, how low?” four times.

Cobain speaks from the audience’s perspective in the chorus: “With the lights out it’s less dangerous, Here we are now, Entertain us, I feel stupid and contagious, Here we are now, Entertain us, A mulatto, An albino, A mosquito, My libido, Yeah”. These lyrics express Cobain’s view on audiences during performances. All audiences want is to be entertained. The light refers to the concerts and not seeing your audience makes it easier to perform and not worry about a messing up.

In the second verse Cobain sings, “I’m worse at what I do best, and for this gift I feel blessed, our little group has always been, and always will until the end”. This was the first song to become a hit for Nirvana, since it was Nirvana’s first single on a major label. Therefore, Cobain didn’t consider his band mainstream and would be satisfied with this reality forever. In the third verse, Kurt says, “And I forget, why I taste, oh yeah I guess it makes me smile, I found it hard, Its hard to find, oh well, whatever, never mind”. From these lines Kurt seems to be expressing sarcasm about being alive. It seems like Kurt feels like although he should be fortunate to be alive, he really doesn’t.

Jim Jones Image

Nirvana’s video was more of a performance and concept video. There are only two separate scenes used while Jim Jones’ video is more of a narrative. In Jim Jones’ video “We Fly High/Repine Time”, we are introduced to Jim Jones with a black cap and shades on. The rapper is leaving a bank with two other rappers on his record label. They are all carrying duffel bags which they have used in a robbery. The three of them are wearing oversized black suits with white shirts hanging out of their pants. The video goes into the perspective if a photographer, possibly a spy taking snaps of them while they exit the bank and enter their getaway vehicle.

The second scene takes place in a jet landing zone. Jim Jones is wearing a designer hoodie sweater and he throws his duffel bag as he exits the jet. Three vehicles are parked by the side of the jet worth approximately $200,000 each. He then proceeds towards his assistant who’s holding a briefcase with stacks of money, shades, flashy watches, and jewelry. In the next scene, Jim Jones is hanging out at a mansion like home. He has ten beautiful women in bikinis keeping him company around his pool. Flashes of performance scenes with his label mates, rappers Juelz Santana and Cam’ron begin to be shown periodically throughout the music video. In the blue screen background of their performance is a Dipset logo (his label) and also California’s signature Hollywood billboard sign. In another performance scene, Jones is joined with an entourage of people shooting cash in the air like a basketball.

In scene four Jones is now driving a Lamborghini with his girlfriend. There path is suddenly blocked off by detectives who have been investigating and taking pictures of Jones since the start of the video. Jones uses his driving skills to get away from the police. Scene five reveals Jones’ girlfriend is a detective as she discloses her true identity. The woman proceeds to arrest Jones and take him for interrogation. In the next scene she interrogates him while showing him photos his criminal activity. Jones yawns and his demeanor expressed how unimpressed he is with her evidence. Next scene supports Jones attitude in the interrogation room as he is acquitted of all charges in court. He takes off his suit as he begins to exit the courtroom. Eventually, he reaches the front of the courthouse to reporters where he is in a different clothes and sun shades.


Jim Jones lyrics are different than Cobain’s because they have relatively more direct meanings. The hook of the song are, “We fly high, No Lie, You know this (BALLIN!), Foreign rides, outside, it’s like showbiz (We in the building) (Girl) We stay fly, No Lie, You know this (BALLIN!), Hips and Thighs, Oh my, Stay focus” There are a lot messages which are perceived from listeners. Jim Jones flies in jet planes and he’s living a lavish lifestyle. The “ballin” phrase has been a great part of the song’s success. The NFL Giants’ players are saying the phrase after every great play they make in the game. I think this tells us a lot about our culture when a song that glorifies living which glorifies living a lavish lifestyle is such a success.

In the first verse, Jim Jones continues to explain why he is “ballin”. Jones says, “Ya boy gettin paper (Money), I buy big cars (Foreign) ,I need fly rides to drive in my garage (Choose 1) ,Stay sky high (Twisted), Fly wit the stars (Twinkle ,Twinkle)

T 4? Flights, 80 grand large (BALLIN!), so we lean with it, pop with it (Bankhead)

'Vertible jones, mean with the top listen (Flossin) ,I'm sayin clean with the bottom ?(Do It) ,I Hop'd out saggy jeans and my rock glistenin(BALLIN!) ,But I spent bout 8 grand ,Mami on stage doin the rain dance (I think she like me) ,She let it hit the floor, made it pop (What Else !?) ,Got my pedal to the floor screamin fuck the cops(Do It!)”. Jones brags about how he gets money and high from drugs. Jones also makes it clear that he wears the best clothes and has the best jewelry. Regardless of what he has already, he plans on spending eight thousand soon. Towards the end of the verse he begins to describe a stripper dancing for him and once he leaves the stripper club he’s going to speed because he disregards the law.

In the second verse of the song Jim Jones has a line which is his reasoning for his lifestyle. Jones reasons, “Slow Down Tonight may be gone tomorrow

(One Chance!), So I speed through

life like theres no tomorrow

(Speedin!)”. Then he reaffirms his perspective on police and the law, “100 g's worth of ice on the Auto? (Flossy), And we in the street life until they call the law(BALLIN!), I made the whip get naked (What Happen !?), While I switch gears, Bitch lookin at the bracelet (Got Me), Step out, show me what your all about, Flashbacks of last night of me ballin out (Harlem!), 1 a.m. we was at the club (What Happen !?), 2 a.m. Ten bottles of bub (Money ain't a thing) And about 3 somethin I was thinkin about grub, So I stumbled to the car, threw the drinks and the drugs (Twisted)”. Jones discusses speeding recklessly and how women are drawn to his jewelry. Reiterated concepts in this song include partying hard, getting high on drug substances, and spending money. This type of reiteration gives off the perception that these are the principles and values which he believes in.

The final verse of the video comes from the song “Reppin Time”. However, the lyrics show the same concepts being discussed. Jones explains how he drives a convertible making money but still remains gangster in the lines,“hop in the coop relaxin', you see the roof colapsin', I got my paper off but im still ?? smackin', hear the scar fearin', forein car steerin' (speedin'), 60 thou par wearin'”. In these lyrics Jones boasts about his lifestyle and untouchable persona, “just be the trial hearin' (the hood), you should catch me walkin kaky out the court room (???), like eat my dust a buck 40 for da porsoom, if I can population (what up), we coppin' propstuation (ballin'), we gettin' money over here whats your occupation, we on top of things (what), and we got them things (converbs), but we only sellin' birds we tryin to cop with wings, I know the real rich (the real rich), the real rich importer (yeah), r.i.p. he left the hood to us we on the corners (ballin'), the bright lights of my big city, my ice sprite and the wrist silly, shea (flossy), im riskin' fed time, front page headline, let the pedal hit the floor till it drives a red line”. In the lyrics Jones discusses how lawyers will get him out of jail regardless of what he does. Once more, Jones boasts about making money and how nobody is making it like him. A reference to Richard Porter, a one time drug lord is made. He explains how his people currently control the drug game. The most unusual boasts he makes is that he not paying taxes and appears proud of risking federal prison time. Jones lyrics tell us a lot about the persona he wants his audience to receive of him. In the next section, I will delve into the documentaries of both Jim Jones and Kurt Cobain in order to see if there is a difference in their image.

Documenting Reality?

Documenting history has occurred on camera for over 80 years. This genre of film was essentially developed with the intentions to capture reality as it occurred. However, could such capturing of reality occur? I think it is basically impossible because of many different factors. For instance, the presence of the camera crew and/or person during any action or event can influence and consequently alter it. The editing and directing process of a documentary is another factor in affecting the reality. It’s important to have the awareness of such subjective qualities of a documentary. These subjective documentaries tell us different things about Cobain and Jones. It is essential during my qualitative analysis of each documentary to understand their messages relatively effectively through the subject lens used by each director.

Each respective documentary is narrated very differently. “Kurt and Courtney” is more a documentary on Kurt through investigation. Therefore, most of the concepts I obtained about Kurt Cobain came from people have interacted with him. There are some direct instances in which we learn about Cobain throughout the film. For example there are a couple of scenes where a past interview with Cobain is played. During these instances he candidly expresses how he is feeling about his successful life. In Jim Jones’ “A Day in the Fastlife”, the perspective of the narration is opposite. Jim narrates about ninety percent of the film, while close friends of Jones narrates the other ten percent. There is plenty of just footage of Jim Jones and his friends/entourage completing daily duties. Although these documentaries are different in narration information obtained from both will be essential to further comprehending the issue of a musician’s reality.

Cobain’s Documentary

Cobain’s documentary which I will discuss is called, “Kurt and Courtney”. This documentary sets out to discover more about the life of Kurt Cobain. “Kurt and Courtney” delves deep into Cobain’s past and uncovers secrets and other truths. During the path of understanding Cobain’s life some light on Courtney’s past is revealed. This film discusses some allegations referring to conspiracy theories concerning Cobain’s death. Director Nick Broomfield begins his documentary with news footage at Cobain’s home after he committed suicide. The film goes from the documentary to a brief narrated summary of who Kurt Cobain was and what he meant to pop culture. This narration was accompanied with still shots and video clips of Cobain. Following the narration Cobain begins to discuss the issue of being happy with his success.

Cobain explains, “You can’t buy happiness, that made me happy for a little while”. Cobain elaborates as he discusses the feeling he had shopping before the success. The times shopping before his success had more suspense and enjoyment connected to it. The feeling of being able to buy the whole store is something people claim to want. However, Cobain does not glorify that feeling. I think what Cobain really realizes is that the easier things are to obtain the harder it is to appreciate the little things in life. Cobain wanted to appreciate life and continue to be satisfied with the less glamorous part of it. Cobain gives an example, “I look to going to second hand stores and finding a little treasure like that, that meant more to me because it was a stab in the dark in a way. You know, because you don’t know if you can afford it, you don’t know what you’re looking for when you find it’s more special to you, rather than having a $1,000 when you enter a store and buying everything”. It is evident that being all of the elements of being a rockstar wasn’t appealing to him. What appealed to Cobain was his art, his music, interacting with people and the curiosities of life.

In an interview with Cobain’s old girlfriend (Tracy) viewers get some really great incite on Kurt Cobain, the young man. Tracy shows some Kurt artwork which she has at her home. One really interesting piece was a self-portrait of Cobain. The interesting thing about the portrait was how he painted himself like a slumped skeleton. Tracy tried to giver her incite on the possible motivation for the portrait. Tracy said Cobain was very conscious about his weight and never good gained any. Tracy went on to explain that Cobain wore layers of clothing to cover up his physique which embarrassed him. According to Tracy, Cobain lived with her and didn’t work. Instead, he just worked on his music. Her support may have been important to Cobain’s success, but he was able to not deal with monetary responsibilities and just focus on music. Support is one resounding theme for musician’s success. I will further explain the significance later in this paper.

Drug abuse was definitely a problem for Cobain throughout his life. Cobain was a frequent heroin user while his wife Courtney Love supported and participated frequently. Dillon (Cobain’s best friend) felt that record label pressure to stop using drugs ignited the root of Cobain’s problems. This type of drug use support coming from both Courtney and Dillon tells us about Cobain’s inner circle and the type of support he received.

Jones’ Documentary

Jones’s documentary is really interesting as it delves into other parts of Jones’ persona which were never evident in the past. We get to see Jim Jones the respected business man. Jones is the co-president of Diplomat records and has in recent years become more of a vocal leader for the label. Recently, Jones earned an executive position at Warner Bros. Music Group. His mentor, Kevin Liles is the vice president at Warner. Kevin discusses how he has a good feeling about Jones. How Jones has slowly come to the forefront after being basically a hype man for Cam’ron, the co-president of Dipset Records.

In Jones’s documentary you will also see a more caring and calm individual. Jones goes to visit some student at some event. There he reads the stories of harsh stories of kids growing up in the inner city, the streets which he was raised. The harsh reality bothers him to the point when he disbursed tears from his eyes. Jones also looks like at one point he’s had a bad day and fed up with the stress was deciding to quit on important work. His girlfriend was able to give him the encouraging words which would allow him to get things done. With the right support accomplishment probability is much greater.

Another aspect of his life on display was his gangster, troublemaker public identity. At one point, Jones is blatantly disrespecting a bouncer. Jones then proceeds to jump an individual who appeared to be taunting him as we entered the club. Then there is another instance in the video when he takes advantage of a clothing store he often purchases at. He takes them for granted and doesn’t pay the store retail price for his purchases. Instead he creates his own price which is about 50% off the retail price. These instances just affirm this gangster identity that he has put towards the public’s perception of him.

The effects of the how editing can affect the reality within a documentary is often revealed. There are instances when pieces of an interview are broken up but nonetheless blended together. While Nick Broomfield, the director interviews Tracy (old girlfriend of Cobain) we can see a quick fade in while she speaks. This fade indicates the director was trying to convince his audience that all her responses were accurate and in context. If Broomfield used a fade to black transition instead, it would have been more truthful.

Theorist Bill Nichols notes, “Dead or empty time unfolds where nothing of narrative significance occurs but where the rhythm of everyday life settle in and establish themselves. In this mode of representation, each cut and edit serves mainly to sustain the spatial and temporal continuity of observation rather than the logical continuity of an argument or case. ...the sense of an underlying temporal or spatial continuity prevails, one which is vivid form of ‘present tense’ representation.”(Biressii, 38). This is an interesting perspective on the need for slight editing on a documentary film. A great example of this is watching the Big Brother, a twenty four hour activity surveillance reality T.V. show. One thing which makes this show a little different from other reality T.V. shows is that the cameras are all in stationary positions. Therefore, there is little if any interaction with the camera people. Often they will show the cast of Big Brother just hanging out, in attempt to really emphasize how intense it is to live somewhere isolated from the public for weeks at a time.

Another theorists discussed how its impossible not to affect film subjects, while another theorists feel there are certain emotional circumstances where camera presence is irrelevant. I definitely agree with both instances, therefore certain instances I would consider reality cinema would include Jim Jones crying with a group of kids or getting upset in a heated debate over him gracing the cover of a magazine. Family’s significance is this documentary was a reality as the small group (family) is what makes him successful and that is exactly the relationship which Cobain lacked in his life. There’s one scene in Jones film where it showed giving him support to do some important. We never get to really see first person perspective on Cobain’s life. Those who interacted with him saw a depressed individual with no support from his close friends. It’s certainly possible that Cobain got tired of pushing himself.

Celebrity behavior

Famous people are often social “leaders”, where trends and fads in thought and behavior begin. While my research is focusing on a music celebrity, the study of celebrity behavior existed for a long time. It is important to acknowledge this research as it can assist me in my understanding of the music artist. One prominent feature of being a celebrity is their seemingly high probability to get involved in socially unapproved behavior. There is strong evidence for this view, showing that celebrities have shorter life spans than non-celebrities, particularly due to increased risks of accident, suicide, among other “lifestyle” related factors. Specifically, the product created by celebrities is often so tied to the celebrity himself that it cannot be consumed without him. For instance, the demand for a recording of the song “Thriller”, originally performed by Michael Jackson, is many orders of magnitude greater than the demand for the same song, as recorded by a Michael Jackson “cover” band, even a very talented one.

Marshall McLuhan one stated, “the medium is the message” implementing McLuhan concept I believe, “the [celebrity] is the message”. Therefore, the nature of the business is that a celebrity’s product: film, art, or music can not be substituted. This relative strong demand for a celebrity’s continued production means that misbehavior commonly will not lower the demand for their labor as much as misbehavior by non-celebrity workers would. In short, celebrities can get away with misbehavior because the entertainment market cannot easily replace them. This misbehavior theory applies to all celebrities and professional athletes are another example. Basketball players are highly prominent in society, and an easily measurable form of misbehavior exists for them: their tendency to receive “technical” fouls and to be ejected from games. Trends show that this measure of misbehavior on the court seems to be highly correlated with misbehavior off the court, and I find that a number of factors influence misbehavior. They include most this substitutability effect, but also income effects, immaturity, and personal character. Publicity does not seem to drive much misbehavior.

Obviously, understanding the causes of misbehavior is important for non-celebrity workers, as well, and a significant amount of economic research has addressed misbehavior generally. Looking at the particularly stark case of celebrities may also add to the understanding of non-celebrity misbehavior. For instance, the demand for janitorial services within firms is likely to be more elastic than the demand for computer assistance services, since working in a dirty environment or cleaning up one’s own workspace constitute relatively low-cost alternatives to janitorial services, while most people cannot fix their own computers. This celebrity theory presented in this paper suggests that janitors should be friendlier and more diligent than IT professionals, which certainly fits the stereotype of these two professions. This further explains why musicians run into stresses in their personal lives. Music artists’ economic power and social status gives them less self-discipline than the common individual. Higher misbehavior rates among tenured than among non-tenured university faculty would also be a prediction of the model. There are a number of reasons why celebrities might engage in more misbehavior than non-celebrities.

Theories of Celebrity Misbehavior

In this section, I briefly consider some essential theories of celebrity misbehavior, without producing formal models. I don’t believe that this list constitutes a complete theory of celebrity behavior, but I mention them because it further supports this idea of behavior and its connection to an artist’s perception. According to Cobain’s aunt Kurt wrote a song about suicide as early as fifteen. This type of song writing as a teenager signifies some mental instability. Walt Disney, Thomas Edison, and Albert Einstein all had learning disabilities. These men have all created or discovered some of the most profound concepts in world history. While lack of social skills usually are connect to the public reputation such as ‘nerds’, ‘geeks’, ‘bit heads’, ‘propeller-heads’, they are often the creative individuals and “outside-the-box” thinkers, both in their work and in their personal life preferences. Therefore, the brilliant ideas and performances that make one a celebrity would be more likely to originate from people who also have preferences considered outside of social norms.

It is possible that misbehavior is simply a normal, so that celebrities, who generally rank among the highest paid workers in the economy, lose fewer fans from the fall in demand for their services rather than associated with bad behavior. Alternatively but equivalently, high-earners may be able to hire better legal counsel and publicity representatives after misbehaving, lowering their effective price of bad behavior. Under these income effects theories, however, one would expect CEO’s of Fortune 500 corporations to engage in as much or more illicit drug use, marital infidelity, and public disorder as movie stars and rock stars. I know of no research on this subject that addresses this question, though the casual view is certainly that they do not. However, I think research would show they certainly behave in the same level of disorderly conduct.

Misbehavior may be a means by which celebrities draw greater attention to their work. After her embarrassing rise to celebrity status, Monica Lewinsky was able to start a line of fashionable women’s accessories. Janet Jackson’s widely condemned misfortune during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show surely increased the sales of her album, which was released shortly afterwards. Moreover, fans may enjoy living vicariously through the exploits of their favorite celebrities, increasing the demand for those celebrities’ products. Certainly there is an element of recklessness and sexual machismo that attracts teenage boys to demand the performances of rock stars and hip-hop artists with long rap sheets. High-profile movie stars, athletes, and musicians may be pestered or even mobbed by fans asking for autographs and other favors when they make public appearances. For this reason, celebrities employ professional assistants to do their grocery shopping and other tasks that non-celebrities typically would do themselves. This leads celebrities to engage in an unequal amount of social interactions with other celebrities. Such a tight-knit group may lead to the rise of different social norms than arise among non-celebrities, who interact frequently with persons from a variety of walks of life.

Many celebrities, especially movie stars and musicians are valued by audiences at least partially by their attractiveness. For this reason, and also because teenagers constitute a significant source of demand for celebrity output, celebrities themselves tend to be young. Young people sometimes lack the life experiences that would temper their behavior, and may misunderstand the potential consequences of bad behavior, leading them to engage in activities towards which a more mature worker would be less inclined. Celebrities often live under very stressful circumstances, both because of the nature of the production process for entertainment services, and because of the constant focus of the public eye upon. Such stressful conditions may lead to psychologically-driven outbursts of anti-social behavior, as when a rock star assaults camera-holding paparazzi at his home, or a movie star engages in marital infidelity after spending two months filming on location far from home. The reasons discussed above suggest that peer effects can explain different norms in speech patterns among teenagers and the different social norms regarding smoking that exist in Japan and the U.S. important in determining the level of anti-social behavior among celebrities.

A great model to further explain status leverage is within a firm. A generic firm that employs workers of two types is a great example. Firms discipline workers by reducing their demand for misbehaving workers by usually through cutting back on their hours or by firing anti-social workers. Firms that can more easily substitute between the two types of workers can thus more credibly discipline badly behaving workers, which reduces the supply of misbehavior among workers. Thus, the result of the model is that workers who are less substitutable in the production process engage in more bad behavior.

Celebrity labor may be less substitutable than non-celebrity labor for several reasons. Most celebrities have very rare talents, and are for that very reason difficult to replace. Moreover, unlike the conventional model of consumer behavior, consumers of celebrity outputs care not only about the quantity of the output they receive, but also the technology by which the product was created. For instance, the demand for “Terminator” movies would likely fall extremely if another actor other than Arnold Schwarzenegger. This would happen if someone equally talented as an actor and bodybuilder were cast into the role for a future sequel. Similarly, the demand for the song “Billie Jean” practically is the demand for Michael Jackson’s labor services, and most fans of the Chicago Bulls do not simply root for the franchise to win, but also care about the particular players who are the Bulls


What is communication? Communication itself has a wide range of ways it could be defined, but one isolating topic that concerns many people is Interpersonal Communication and Relationships. Interpersonal communication and relationships can be described in two ways, a contextual view and a developmental view. An important point to note about the contextual definition is that it does not take into account the relationship between the interactants. On the other hand, the developmental view involves people that know each other, and more importantly view each other as unique individuals. The contextual view and developmental view define interpersonal relationships well, but contact, involvement, intimacy, deterioration, repair, and dissolution are what make interpersonal relationships. Contact can be thought of in many different ways, but as a stage of interpersonal relationships it is the "beginning." From what the person sounds like even what the person smells like is all part of contact. Following the first moment of contact, interaction contact usually takes place this consists of superficial and impersonal interactions. Such as, something as simple as a self-introduction and exchange of basic information can be identified as nearing the final stages of contact. This in turn brings the relationship to the next stage, which is known as involvement.

At the stage of involvement a sense of knowing one another and being connected should start to develop. Throughout this stage you and the other person almost for a pattern of back and forth interaction, which is in other ways considered a method of getting to know one another. It is almost like a sense of self-check, because at the point of contact a person may or may not have decided to continue a relationship with the other individual, but involvement is almost like just making sure your first impressions prove for the better. Along with asking the person a numerous amount of questions how ever many it may be, if a person feels like they want to be more committed to getting to know the other individual then a person may begin or start to reveal his or herself. Depending on the situation of relationship whether it be romantic or just friendship, a decision has to be made as to which sub-relationship they would like it to occur. If perhaps you make a decision then a person might start to meet with an individual under different circumstances. In the sense of a romantic desire, one, might decide to go on a date; but, on the other hand if it's decided to be a simple friendship then maybe just partaking in activities relative to each others common interests. Although many people many not realize or have knowledge of their own actions taking place in a relationship, during the "involvement and early stages of intimacy, partners continue testing each other." Reassuring themselves of their decision, this process may continue throughout the early stages of intimacy. This leads into the next stage of interpersonal relationships, of course being intimacy.

Although still not fully connected, intimacy is often the bridge that is taken when someone decides to turn up the notch on the relationship. This may lead to the blossoming of a best friend or even future spouse, but for now just lovers. Intimacy may not be a large period within the stages of a relationship, but it is still divided into two phases: one being interpersonal commitment and two being social bonding. The difference between the two of these phases is more than obvious. Interpersonal commitment is a more private and reserved commitment in which you abide to each other in a more personal way. Social bonding on the other hand almost speaks for itself. This phase is a way of making your relationship public. Unfortunately for some, everyone does not necessarily remain at the intimacy level.

Deterioration is the next step in the trail of interpersonal relationships. Deterioration can be defined as the weakening of bonds between the communicators that represents the downside of the relationship progression. Deterioration does not have to be defined by how severe the relationship turns but simple things too, like a lessened amount of eye contact or holding one another. Some deterioration may not even be noticeable by the other person or even the person initiating it. The first phase of deterioration takes place in your own mind. It is called intrapersonal dissatisfaction. This is you second guessing and reevaluating all of the decisions made in this relationship. Most people get to the point and wonder whether their relationship is worth all of the hassle that it once was. Interpersonal dissatisfaction is the next phase, which means is that you disclose your dissatisfactions with your partner. Communication patterns change drastically during the process of deterioration. All of this occurs because of the way you feel about the deterioration. The stage following deterioration is often one looked forward to, repair. Repair first takes place within you, and is called intrapersonal repair. This phase occurs after you have thought about your actions that took place in your relationship leading to deterioration, and are willing to make a change if needed. Another thought that takes place within both relational partners is weighing out the relationship, before or after, which of these would you prefer? And if preferred is it worth the trouble for the other partner. The next phase in repair is interpersonal repair. This takes place when you approach your partner and discuss what can be fixed in and throughout the relationship to make it better or work. Even seeing what you are is willing to do and what you want him or her to do. This can be almost seen as a stage of negotiation. Once the relationship is hopefully resolved or repair, the dissolution is the next stage in an interpersonal relationship. Dissolution is the stage in which a final break up occurs. Whether you become an ex-lover or ex-friend the relationship is finally over. The stage is also known for guilt, anxiety, or resentment. Contact, involvement, intimacy, deterioration, repair, and dissolution are the six stages in which interpersonal relationships can be defined. Through group communication we grow as people because we see how others define us as individuals. Through group communication we can solve a problem better then by ourselves.


Self concept is the cognitive thinking aspect of self also related to one’s self-image, it’s the way we see our selves in the mirror. Self concept is the way we told to see ourselves we are grown into our self concept by what we learn when we our young from our parents or our peers. Self concept is changed through out life from how people look at you and tell you what you are to them, if they say a person is nothing then that person will believe it for as long as it takes to get over it. Self esteem is the affective or emotional aspect of self and generally refers to how we feel about or how we value ourselves, also known as one’s worth. Educators, parents, business and government leaders agree that we need to develop individuals with healthy or high self-esteem characterized by tolerance and respect for others, individuals who accept responsibility for their actions, have integrity, take pride in their accomplishments, who are self-motivated, willing to take risks, capable of handling criticism, loving and lovable, seek the challenge and stimulation of worthwhile and demanding goals, and take command and control of their lives. In other words, we need to help foster the development of people who have healthy or authentic self-esteem because they trust their own being to be life affirming, constructive, responsible and trustworthy. Some have referred to self-esteem as merely “feeling good” or having positive feelings about oneself. Others have gone so far as to equate self-esteem with egotism, arrogance, conceit, narcissism, a sense of superiority, a trait leading to violence. Such characteristics cannot be attributed to authentic, healthy self-esteem, because they are actually defensive reactions to the lack of authentic self-esteem. Someone with defensive of low self-esteem typically focus on trying to prove themselves or impress others. They tend to use other for their own gain, some act with arrogance and contempt towards others. They generally lack confidence in themselves, often have doubts about who they are and why they are here.

Small Group Communication

We all know, or can imagine, how dysfunctional a group can be. One person dominates conversation until others tune out. Some group members stop coming to meetings. A few group members end up doing all the work. The full potential of the group is never realized and the outcome is second rate. But it doesn't have to be that way. Group members can energize each other, set clear goals, divide the work equitably, and achieve great things. Which is it going to be in your group? How people talk in groups, decision-making, conflict, leadership, and ground rules. Understanding these group issues and learning how to manage them effectively can save you time, enhance your experience working in groups, and improve the quality of your group's outcomes.

What are the benefits of working in groups? There are many. People often come up with better ideas and more of them in the company of others. This is because group members can feed off of each other's ideas, extend each other's thinking, and build some shared energy and excitement. Group members can share information and experiences that help make problem solving easier. Groups can divide and assign tasks according to the skills and interests of its members. Groups can develop policies and procedures to manage the work of the group and assess progress, such as holding regular meetings for updates. Groups can share the risks and the rewards, the glory and the frustrations. Oftentimes, group work renews members' commitment to a goal.

Working in groups is not always straightforward or easy. This section will discuss three challenges particularly important in student work groups. Group members may not have an appreciation for, or experience with, highly productive groups. Many of us don't know what good group interaction looks like. Because few of us have spent much time witnessing and appreciating ideal group interaction, few of us appreciate or can even recognize all of the skills required to manage successful group interaction. On television we see shows that encourage uncomfortable and unproductive group interaction. On reality shows like Big Brother and Survivor we witness people who have few glimpses at the kind of group interaction that is required to build relationships and solve problems.

Group situations are dynamic, requiring group members to continually adapt to changing circumstances. Each group has a different meeting style, and each group will evolve and change, and so what worked in one situation may not work in another, even within the same group. The skills required to manage groups effectively require constant adaptation to keep pace with a continually changing set of circumstances. Group members may have different expectations for the actions and their participation in it. Another challenge is that everyone, or mostly everyone in the group, needs to care enough about the group's process and product to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. Thus, satisfying and productive group work requires a group effort which is no small feat considering that people enter into a group situation with different expectations of the goals. Groups can outperform individuals if they can find a way to work well together.

In order for a musician to find success the theories of behavior and communication have an impact. Through the theory of celebrity it was evident that being of high social status an artist is forced to control their ability to have no consequences of their actions. Communication is another important factor of success as musicians attempt to create a public identity. An artist’s record label can have lots of control due to the structure of the music industry. However, there are other avenues for the artists to controls one’s public identity. Music videos, lyrics of songs, and diary like documentaries have most effective lately. Therefore, struggling with one’s public identity can be troubling. However, great small group communication can be imperative a musician ability to cope with the stresses.

Jim Jones and Kurt Cobain were artists from two different genres, backgrounds but their problems were similar. Jim Jones was from the hip hop culture where he has been successful on his identity as a flossy and gangster individual. However, in the documentary see that he another hardworking and caring perspective of Jones. We also learned that while Jones group of friends were like an entourage with no jobs they were like family. Jones strong small group communication with entourage is what keeps him self-assure while others would be harping over the misperception. Jones entourage is really honest and genuine friends. Kurt Cobain didn’t seem to really have that small group with his close friends. I think he was able to deal with the pressures and spotlight of fame. Drug use was the way he more than likely dealt with it. This addiction is never even discouraged by his close friends. If anything this led to further issues of mental instability and depression. I think these factors are so imperative that they can determine life or death in relatively high risk situations. In conclusion, I would hope my finding could add incite on the cloudy comprehension of life a successful music artist. Essentially, your small group communication has to Utopian in many ways in order to ascertain and maintain success.


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