In today’s social media-centric culture, the potential for miscommunication within these relatively new social media platforms is constantly present. YouTube comments, Facebook posts, and tweets now have the potential to ruin someone’s career, even if they were made several years in the past or made as a joke. One example of a Twitter comment coming back from the past to haunt its poster is the Kevin Hart Oscars scandal. In 2018, Kevin Hart was at the height of his stardom. He was starring in movies, had several hit comedy specials, and seemed to be a constant presence on late-night talk shows. In December of 2018, he was selected as the host for that year’s Academy Awards.This news was almost instantly met with widespread backlash, with Twitter users posting numerous homophobic tweets made by Hart several years prior. One such tweet from 2011 reads, “Yo if my son comes home & try’s 2 play with my daughters doll house I’m going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice ‘stop that’s gay.’” Another tweet from 2009 reads, “I just saw the biggest gay guy ever! This nigga looked like hulf hogan with heels on! I can’t lie I got scared!!!!!!” Others then began scouring Hart’s past material to find more incriminating evidence, such as video clips from one of his standup specials where he says, “One of my biggest fears is my son growing up and being gay.”
Initially, Hart refused to apologize for his tweets and stayed silent amidst the backlash. But after several days, he posted an Instagram video explaining that the Academy had told him that he could either publicly apologize for the tweets or he would be fired. Hart was not apologetic, however, stating, “I passed on the apology … I’ve addressed this several times. This is not the first time this has come up. I’ve addressed it. I’ve spoken on it. I’ve said where the rights and wrongs were." The day after this Instagram post, Hart stepped down from hosting and apologized, stating in a tweet, “I'm sorry that I hurt people. I am evolving and want to continue to do so. My goal is to bring people together not tear us apart. Much love & appreciation to the Academy. I hope we can meet again.” Hart’s social media disaster quickly became old news, and Hart would stop commenting about the events of 2018 altogether.
Kevin Hart’s situation is quite similar to that of Justine Sacco, who is discussed in Jon Ronson’s So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed. During her holiday travels in 2013, Sacco had made a tweet which read “Going to Africa Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!” Despite her thinking that this unfunny joke would only be seen by her hundred-something followers, she was quickly met with world-wide criticism and shaming. She lost her job and was harshly scrutinized on the internet, even receiving rape and death threats. This joke, she claims, was satirical, and was not meant as a racist comment. Her humor was not so obvious to the masses who made broad assumptions about Sacco and labeled her as a racist. Hart, on the other hand, has managed to avoid Sacco’s fate. While he did lose his chance to host the Oscar’s, he has continued to be extremely successful as an actor and comedian. This is likely due to the fact that Hart has access to PR teams that are trained to handle these kinds of situations, while “normal” people like Sacco are hardly equipped to take on that challenge.
While Hart’s jokes were without a doubt homophobic, and Sacco’s jokes undoubtedly racist, it begs the question whether somebody should be held responsible and judged based on jokes that were made several years prior. Should someone be punished over a badly-worded joke? Personally, while I think people should be held accountable for what they say over the internet, I also think it is possible for people to grow and evolve and change their previous conceptions. If someone makes a tweet expressing their opinion at that time, that tweet does not automatically define the poster for the rest of their life. It’s important for people to remember that tweets are not necessarily representative of the poster as a whole. Its important to consider that sometimes people will drink and tweet or that sometimes people go through difficult times and say things they don’t mean or wouldn’t ordinarily say.
Creating the design of a webpage for our Shakespeare Archive seemed like a daunting task, but I was excited to see what my classmates and I would be able to come up with. I decided that I would tackle my logo before I would go about designing my “Venue” webpage. I knew I wanted to find something water or ocean related since the ocean plays such a huge role in The Tempest. I searched through seemingly endless images of oceans, waves, and boats before finally deciding on an image. The image I selected was of a drawing of several waves which were contained within a partially circular border. I liked that it was not completely bordered and left some open space in the top right side of the border. I thought that this look would help the logo appear more integrated into the webpage. The only downside I am aware of, which was pointed out to me by Dr. Overall, is that there is a small mountain in the background to the left right side of the image. When I was adding the text, I made sure to cover the mountain to the best of my ability (or lack thereof). Within the context of the actual webpage, to my relief, the mountain is virtually unnoticeable.
After completing the logo, I began designing the webpage. I added the logo on the top left side of the page and then added an image of a “Nashville Shakespeare Festival” banner to the top right of the side of the page in order to balance the page out. Under the banner picture I added a navigation bar containing all six of the required tabs. Under the navigation bar I added a title, followed by space for a video on the right side of the page, followed by a picture of the “OneC1ty” sign, making sure that everything was aligned on the page. Underneath the sign is space that can be used for text and information. I think that having a minimalist look is visually appealing and makes the website seem modern. The contrast of simply black and white is simple but effective.
Going into this assignment, I felt both prepared and excited. Having just completed the CSS quiz, I felt confident and thought I would be ready to take on this new project with ease.
I envisioned having a home page, an “About” page where I could put a short bio about myself, a page titled “Music” where I could post a Spotify playlist, a “Videos” tab where I could embed some YouTube videos, and finally a silly page where I could put a joke or a meme.
I used a template that was posted on our class’ recourse page and got to work trying to make changes and customize it to my liking. Almost immediately, I realized this process would be a lot trickier than I had foreseen. I had to start from scratch three times before I was able to get a somewhat passable home page. But while the home page was beginning to come together, everything else seemed to be thrown out of whack. I couldn’t manage to place pictures in the proper place, and for some reason, the links to my page2 and page3 files would not work. I kept pushing through, not wanting to start from scratch again. At one point, I had added so much code to my CSS page (which I had neglected to organize in a way that made sense) that I couldn’t find the parts of the code I needed. Even after watching countless YouTube tutorials for HTML and CSS, I was still completely lost. The site was falling apart, and it felt like I was too. By this point, it was the night before the due date and I had nothing passable that I could turn in, so I decided that I would have to use the template we had been given for the CSS Quiz. Since I had already familiarized myself with this code, is was much easier to navigate and wrap my head around.
On the home page I included a picture of me eating pizza rolls next to a header that says, “Welcome to my Website,” because I want the site’s visitors to feel welcome. I also want to let them know that I really like pizza rolls. In my “About” page Included a short bio about me and my interests. On my “music” tab, I added an external link to a Spotify playlist that I recently made. I ended up not using the “Videos” tab and instead I dedicated the page to a squirrel that I saw in a branch outside of my window because I that that would be more compelling than some videos. For my silly page, I decided to name it “Dad’s Corner” and put a caption that says, “Dad is practicing his ACDC riff in his man cave, you should probably leave.” I thought this would a fun, lighthearted joke that would give the site’s visitors a good laugh.
Unfortunately, since I had started over the night before, I wasn’t able to fully flesh out the website in terms of content and aesthetic. For example, I wasn’t able to fix the image sizing problem, and wasn’t able to implement different headers for each tab. This project also made me realize how bad I am at color coordinating.
For my analysis I will be analyzing the “Canadian Adaptations of Shakespeare Project” website. At first glance, the site is not very pretty, but in terms of content they have all the necessary bases covered. On the home page they have provided a short description of CASP, which gives a brief history of the organization and states the organization’s goal to document “the ways in which Shakespeare has been adapted into a national, multicultural theatrical practice.” The horizontal navigation bar on the top of the page has several useful tabs. One tab links to helpful Shakespeare links, another links to reputable theatres across Canada, and finally there is a tab to contact the organization.
The vertical navigation bar on the left side of the page also contains several helpful links. The first, “Online Anthology,” links to the CASP online anthology, which is a large collection of plays and other literary materials that can be used for research and teaching purposes. The second tab, “Spotlight,” links to the CASP Spotlights, which are plays that the CASP wishes to promote. The third tab down, “Database,” leads to the CASP database, which contains information on hundreds of plays that have been adapted and performed in Canada. The next tab, “Interviews,” links to interviews with many playwrights and theatre practitioners. They have both pdf transcripts of the interviews as well as actual videos. Many of the interviews were conducted by CASP, but they also have interviews conducted by others. Further down the navigation bar there is a tab titled “Essays.” Here you can find "a wide range of essays, documents, and books concerning Shakespearean criticism and Shakespearean theatrical adaptation in Canada.” Under the “Essays” tab is the “Multimedia” tab. On this page, one can find images, streaming audio, and streaming videos of relating to Shakespeare and Canadian adaptations of his plays. Further down the navigation menu is a tab called “Speare/Chronos: Youth Games.” On this tab, CASP links to two arcade style games for children. These links might be attractive to kids, and can be a fun and accessible method to start learning about Shakespeare, especially for very young children. Finally, there is the tab marked “Interactive Folio.” Here, you can find what the CASP calls an Interactive study guide, specifically pertaining to Romeo and Juliet. The CASP states that the folio is “a new form of book, E-book, and hybrid online publication that is an innovative new web resource giving users free access to a huge array of materials presented in an exciting, new, and wholly original interface.”
This website is effective in providing valuable recourses to students, teachers, and people in general who love Shakespeare and theatrical performances. Even though it contains a wealth of information and recourses, the website succeeds in makes these amazing recourses extremely easy to access and allows the site’s visitors to easily navigate through the dense information. I do think, however, that the site’s overall aesthetic is quite drab. I find that the yellow navigation bar on top of the red and black homepage is not very flattering to look at.