Mr Smith's Uncool Playlist

I'm Just A Killer For Your Love - Blur

The Greedy Ugly People - Hefner

Diners Only - The Avalanches

Under Pressure - Queen and David Bowie

Don't Talk, Put Your Head On My Shoulder - The Beach Boys

All Your Time - Black Twig

Purple Prose - Mystery Jets

Western Eyes - Portishead

U-Boat - Kasabian

Honey Pie - The Beatles

Rhythm and Blues Alibi - Gomez

Pruit Igor & Prophecies

Today's Lesson Creating an 'uncool playlist'

1. Read Brian Eno's article on the death of uncool
2. Using your ipod, spotify, iTunes or other generic music account set your software to shuffle and select the first TWELVE songs, you cannot cheat, you MUST use whatever the software chooses.
3. Post your 'Death Of Uncool' shuffle mix.
4. Add a genre to each song.
5. Write about the postmodern meaning of your shuffle mix, what does it say about your taste in music, are there any songs you were embarrassed to have on your playlist, any songs which are a guilty pleasure?
6. Find the images you want to use for your bricolage CD cover which will accompany your CD mix
7. Write a blurb for a fictional film which this playlist would be the soundtrack to

The Death Of Uncool

Brian Eno — 25th November 2009

It’s odd to think back on the time—not so long ago—when there were distinct stylistic trends, such as “this season’s colour” or “abstract expressionism” or “psychedelic music.” It seems we don’t think like that any more. There are just too many styles around, and they keep mutating too fast to assume that kind of dominance.

As an example, go into a record shop and look at the dividers used to separate music into different categories. There used to be about a dozen: rock, jazz, ethnic, and so on. Now there are almost as many dividers as there are records, and they keep proliferating. The category I had a hand in starting—ambient music—has split into a host of subcategories called things like “black ambient,” “ambient dub,” “ambient industrial,” “organic ambient” and 20 others last time I looked. A similar bifurcation has been happening in every other living musical genre (except for “classical” which remains, so far, simply “classical”), and it’s going on in painting, sculpture, cinema and dance.

We’re living in a stylistic tropics. There’s a whole generation of people able to access almost anything from almost anywhere, and they don’t have the same localised stylistic sense that my generation grew up with. It’s all alive, all “now,” in an ever-expanding present, be it Hildegard of Bingen or a Bollywood soundtrack. The idea that something is uncool because it’s old or foreign has left the collective consciousness.

I think this is good news. As people become increasingly comfortable with drawing their culture from a rich range of sources—cherry-picking whatever makes sense to them—it becomes more natural to do the same thing with their social, political and other cultural ideas. The sharing of art is a precursor to the sharing of other human experiences, for what is pleasurable in art becomes thinkable in life.

This article first appeared in the December edition of Prospect magazine

Blog admin

Ensure all tasks are completed by the end of the lesson.

Order your blog in the following manner:

Note to the moderator
Music Video
Digipaks and magazine adverts
Evaluation questions 1-4 or 4-1
All posts must be labelled - final evaluations must be labelled YOURNAME evaluation e.g.: Alfie evaluation. The same format applies to digipaks and magazine adverts.
Music video analysis must also be labelled in the same way
Please ensure that all links work
All images must be visible
Embed apps were possible (essential for Prezi)
Draft work must be labelled draft


Section 1b Lesson 10 Theorist Task

Section 1b - Lesson 9 Audience Question

"A product’s success is determined by its audience.” 

Explore this statement in relation to one of your products and discuss how you have tried to influence your audience’s response to it.

Your response needs to be handed to your teacher by the end of the lesson.

Before handing in ensure you have highlighted the following things

McQuail and Katz
Ethnographic model

There will be a detention for non-submission of this essay.

Section 1b Lesson 8 Audience

The next theoretical approach is audience. To prevent you having to write yet more essays I have made a booklet.

Download the booklet.
Print it off.
Complete it.

Section 1b Lesson 6 Audience

Analyse one of your media texts using audience theory. [25 marks]

Top Tips

P1. Always define the theory first - for audience establish what was the original belief - Blumer (Mass audience) and how we now have an active audience theory which operates through the decoding process of mode of address as well as an ethnographic approach.

P2. Identify your audience and what use/gratification they would take from the text - ensure you give multiple examples. Link this to UK tribes data.

P3. Apply active audience theory and give the preferred, oppositional and negotiated readings of your text - ensure you give multiple examples.

P4. Apply the ethnographic model (domestic, cultural and technological) to your text. Comment on the impact of where your text is available on the audience it would attract (domestic). Comment on what cultural knowledge (this links to Genre) you audience would need in order to understand your text. Comment on whether your audience would be information rich or information poor.

Section 1b Lesson 5 Genre The Vixens AFL activity

Watch the video below and then read the accompanying 1b genre answer. Your task is to improve their response using appropriate genre theory.

Your second task is then to write a 30 minute 1b exam answer to the question below

"Analyse one of your media products using genre theory"

Section 1b Lesson 5 Genre

Analyse one of you media products using genre theory.


Section 1b Lesson 4 - Representation

Dyer argues that if we use textual analysis alone, we risk a narrow understanding of representation- seeing representations as fixed within a text, ready for us as readers to draw out of the text, analyse, and then judge (in terms of their veracity/ accuracy/ truthfulness).

Dyer’s typography of representation offers a model that emphasises this idea of representation as process. We can use it to help us consider how representation constructs meaning at various stages in the process.

Dyer identifies 4 stages/ areas for us to consider:

1) Re-presentation
– media language in a media text conveys a representation; textual analysis (conventions of camerawork, mise-en-scene, lighting, and editing) help us understand how the representations in your text convey meaning.

2) Being representative of- How much have you used ‘types’ and thereby reinforced dominant representations of particular social group. For example, if your main subject is a British Asian Muslim woman, how does your representation relate to those found elsewhere in the media? (issues of gender and religion). To what extent are you reinforcing dominant ideas about this social group? To what extent are you challenging dominant discourses? Is this group often stereotyped in the media? How is your text offering a more informed, nuanced representation by providing a portrait of one person- not a type, but an individual with a unique and unstable, contradictory sense of self (as honest as possible, not least because you as filmmaker are acknowledging from the start that it can only ever be a mediated representation).

3. Who is responsible for the representation “that is, in the sense of speaking for and on behalf of”. Institutions creating a media text obviously influence representation. Consider representations of gender, ethnicity, religion…and the contentious issue of white middle class men doing much of the representing.

4. What does the audience think is being represented to them?Audiences can construct different readings of media texts than those intended by the texts producers. Stuart Hall’s reading positions (preferred, negotiated, oppositional, and aberrant) are useful here, as they offer a way for us to think about how individuals actually make meaning from media texts.

Section 1b Lesson 3 Re-presentation

In the exam you could be asked to analyse the use of 'representation' on one of your media texts.

It is important to remember that representation mean to RE-PRESENT, that is the media show us things a version of the truth, they can never show the truth.


On a word document select the 'characters' from your video and/or and screen shot each main 'character'. Do the same for your AS magazine


Next you you need to decide what 'type' of character you have represented, generally there are just three 'types' as described below

Character Typing
There are three different kinds of character typing:
1. An archetype is a familiar character who has emerged from hundreds of years of fairytales and storytelling.
2. A stereotype is a character usually used in advertising and marking in order to sell a particular product to a certain group of people. They can also be used ‘negatively’ in the Media – such as ‘asylum seekers,’ or ‘hoodies’.
3. A generic type is a character familiar through use in a particular genre (type) of movie.

Explain which type of character(s) you have used and connect to existing texts (i.e. music videos or films)


Annotate you character screen shots with answers to the following questions (the codes referred to are narrative codes)

Key Questions about Specific Representations

What is being represented?
How is it represented? Using what codes? Within what genre?
How is the representation made to seem 'true', 'commonsense' or 'natural'?
Whose representation is it? Whose interests does it reflect? How do you know?
At whom is this representation targeted? How do you know?
What does the representation mean to you? What does the representation mean to others? How do you account for the differences?
How do people make sense of it? According to what codes?
With what alternative representations could it be compared? How does it differ?
A reflexive consideration - Why is the concept of representation problematic?

Section 1b Lesson 2 - MEDIA LANGUAGE

Download the booklet and complete the tables

Media Language booklet

The kahoot is here: 


Section 1b - Lesson 1 Narrative Theory Angel's Narrative Answer

As examples are a weakness for us, here is Angel's 25/25 response for narrative.


Section 1b Lesson 1 - Narrative task

All texts have a 'narrative', as media producers you construct these narratives using certain tools. Here are some of the tools which you will have used to construct and which your audience will have used to decode.

Task 1

Print screen FIVE  shots from your music video
Shot 1 MUST be the establishing shot for your video
Shot 5 MUST be the final shot of your video

The other 3 shots MUST contain at least one shot from your songs chorus.

Task 2

Annotate each image identifying as many of the following as possible, ensure you briefly explain HOW and WHY this is an example of the code.

Roland Barthes narrative codes.

The Enigma code is a question within the narrative which must be answered

The Action code is an event in the narrative which means a further action will occur.

These first codes are reliant on ‘time’, they only work if you read a book or view a filmtemporally, i.e. from beginning to end. 

The next three codes tend to work "outside the constraints of time" and are, therefore, more properly reversible, which is to say that there is no necessary reason to read the instances of these codes in chronological order to make sense of them in the narrative.

The cultural code is an element within a narrative which can only be decoded if you are a member of the culture responsible for creating the text

The symbolic code is an element within a narrative which represents a political, moral or symbolic point

The semantic code is an element of a text which has both a literal meaning and a series of associated meanings (e.g. a drum kit is a drum kit, however it has connotations of rock music)

Task 3

Apply music video theory (Goodwin)

Now annotate your images to indicate as many of the following as possible

Star Image (be sure to name the angle used)
Amplification (be sure to note the lyric/instrument used)
Illustration (be sure to note the lyric/instrument used)

Keep these in your class folder.