Days of Our Lives Cliffhanger Friday 10/14/17: The End of Everything

After leaving Horton Square Nicole rushes off to pack her things after cleaning out kirakis mansion she drove over to the storage facility where she planned on renting a truck.

Rob was already there waiting with Baby Stefano

“Hey Nicole, thought you could use a hand”

“You did all this ..By yourself ?”

“Nah i had help but don’t worry i was the one who handled all your clothes, so whenever you’re ready WE can leave”

What do you mean We ?

“We’re Going with you !

 

 

 

This week in Salem

 

Brady continued to Berate Nicole forcing her to break up with Eric, leave town or face prison for the Damos Murder BTW Brady still has that stupid Amulet on him

Do you want to kill Brady and how much would you make him suffer first

Eli doesn’t want Rafe’s help in Hope hiring him at the Salem PD But he may take Julies

Is this the smart move or is he better off with Rafe

Going with Julie on this one

Hope Reinstated Supercop Rafe accused her of showing special interest

Salem needs SUPERCOP on the job city can’t survive without him

Was Rafe over stepping?

After Sami surprised john and paul at the cemetery she called Rafe to make sure they stopped  a drunk Lucas showed up and after he was convinced that she was real Sami scolded him for being drunk

Again Lucas defended himself using the current events he thinks it may be possible because Dr Rolf has done it before

Sami despite having her father and mother and stepfather all return from the dead Roman and Marlena  at least two times Each still doesn’t believe it to be true

Or is it that Sami just doesn’t want to get her hopes up

Paul is feeling hopeless because whether Will is alive or not he knows he lost Sonny!

Sonny’s being unfair to Paul

Are Paul’s days in Salem numbered

Probably

Bonnie/Adrianne told victor to divorce Maggie and marry him or she would go to the cops for his murdering Damos

She told Maggie to move out she had some weird dream from the movie whatever happened to baby Jane.

She visited Mickey’s grave and replaced Maggie’s flowers with her own

What other depths will this woman sink to?

SMH Why hasn’t Victor just put a bullet in her head ?

Because she’s family just wait though as soon as bonnie is bonnie BAM

Tearful Nicole broke it off with Tearful Eric. Eric doesn’t understand why

Neither do i but hey?

What happens to Eric now any chance he resumes it with Jennifer?

They changed Eric’s persona he’s no longer compatible with Jennifer this is a good thing

Steve called his mother JO JO to inquire about Bonnie/Adrianne’s behavior patterns

Kate got Justin up to speed on everything Dr Rolf the entire town is going to look for him now

They will find him when he is ready

You know where he is

Of course

Chad told Andre to Fix the Hattie mess with the board and of course they used Abigail to bully him into helping them find Rolf ,he said he would try

why does Andre tolerate his family berating him day after day
when is this dimera board inconsistency going to stop they are upset that Andre was scamming Hattie when Clearly Hattie had it coming being a scammer herself and YET they are okay with their CEO stealing and smuggling a 20 million dollar artifact.

Don’t get me started on that stupid amulet

Sami told Marlena she took the kids all over the world trying to find traces of EJ

Instead of enrolling them in school and giving them stability

So she’s following traces of EJ all over the world because HE may be alive. But Will can’t BE SMH Sami

Sami went to Dimera mansion and kissed Chad in front of Abigail, Chad Loved it but played dumb Abigail said it was for revenge

Abigail is lucky Sami didn’t do anything else she should shut up

Andre saw Sami refused to help Sami denied stealing the money claiming it was EJ’s inheritance and when he refused to help they bullied him again

I wish it was a case of poking the bear but clearly these writers no NOTHING about Andre Dimera

Kayla and Tripp had an encounter Kayla looks like she may try to treat Tripp like Family

Steve question Hattie and just missed Adriane

Victor handed Maggie divorce papers Bonnie/Adrianne was livid that he left her so much money wanting her to have less than nothing

A small trace of the old victor reminded her that he could have her killed she got scared but tried to play it off

Bonnie brought in a certified Shelia because Marlena wasn’t available to marry them ????? To get married right her right now

Maggie stopped the wedding, is it possible that Maggie just and victor are all on the same page and are playing Bonnie/Adrianne together

Hope so

Sami and Eric shared a birthday cake Sami ran into Nicole and slammed her in Sami Fashion

Eric demanded that Sami knock it off

That’s about it

Great now Robert ..you can’t go with me

Like hell i can’t you think i want to stay in this town without you in it

Blanca needs you Stefano here needs both her parents

That’s taken care of.. Project pawn remember My clone is with Blanca as is his twin brother baby Stefano 2  who is also a clone

Things will be great for her my um “devotion “to you was not entirely  implanted in him

How do i know you’re not the clone and the real ones are with Blanca

You can trust me

I always could, couldn’t i  ..well let’s get going then i suppose

Nicole one last thing.

Yes

Some time back  on a Dimera Man binder i ended up at the sperm bank and switched specimen cups

So you’re trying to tell me that Holly is yours not Daniels

Yes

IF that’s true then Stefano can’t grow up to be with Holly because they have the same father

But if he’s not my son but a bonfire Clone of Stefano he could  indeed

Get in the car

Nicole when you start to feel better can we have sex? i do love you, you know

GET IN THE CAR

That’s not a no

Just drive i need to get out of here

Next stop my private Island

i want to see my sister first she’s waiting for us

I knew that

Nicole Walker, many will miss her Many wont Either way Adriane Zucker is a great actress and it’s the show and viewers loss

What are your favorite Nicole Memories?

Time to turn the hourglass

By Robert Feldmann

Days of Our Lives Cliffhanger Friday 05/20/17: Greece is the word pt 2

Marlena and John are going to Rob’s house to check up on him  they hear music and singing the door was left open they entered to see and hear Blanca Singing
My head is saying, “Fool, forget him.”
My heart is saying, “Don’t let go.
Hold on till the end.”
And that’s what I intend to do
I’m hopelessly devoted to you

“Nice voice” went John

BLANCA?” Marlena yelled over the music Blanca heard Marlena and with a click of the remote turned off the music

“HE ESCAPED” went a sad Blanca

“oh dear” went Marlena

 

This Week In Salem:

 

After returning from visiting her Sons Adrianne reminded Lucas why she chose him worried about the condition of her body Lucas reassured her but agreed to wait

“Is waiting going to give Justin more time to move in?”

Jade backpedaling a bit told trip she had no real proof that Kayla killed Ava But then Adrianne told Tripp a story on how Steve covered for her killing their father

Will Tripp find out the truth and then let it go because he see’s the johnsons for how they are as a family

“i hope not Joey deserves to go to prison” marlena looked at Blanca”Sniff just saying what rob would if he was here”

john came back from doing a quick scouting of the house”passports still upstairs suitcases doesnt look like he left”

Chad dismissed more cursed amulet nonsense and his mother  Hope Mooched a ride home on his plane

SMH she’s a piece of work”

how much more of Mother Hope is chad going to have to put up with

Erics arrival in Greece caused Zander to plan his escape money helicopter and the like Commando Eric made a shiv out of a pencil and her and Nicole tried once again to escape it didnt work the way they planned Nicole not wanting to leave without Eric trusted a cop the cop betrayed her and she’s prisoner once again

“do you think its part of the writers plan to make nicole look dumber everyday or is the writing just really really bad

“BOTH”

Jade Scared off a potential new girlfriend for joey by telling her the Truth

NO NOT THE TRUTH

will Jade make it past july or will joey kill her before then

Steve showed Tripp the boring sides of Detective work tripp has decided to shadow kayla on the medical school thing

Doctor or Detective which career do you think Suits Tripp Better

Chloe totally forgetting on how she betrayed lucas by cheating on him with dr Feelgood tried to bring him onto her MY BABY team Lucas had none of it and tore her a new one

where you cheering for lucas ..how many “my baby” drinks did you have this week

Damos told Abigail that the same drug dealer after him “EL Fideo” was the same Cartel leader that Theresa went off with

“i thought his name was Matteo”

“it was”

“anyway lying or not Abigail agreed to go through with it”

“Adriannes is feeling her body isnt up to the task she asked Lucas to “wait” until she is 1000 percent ready”

“is there anyway waiting backfires on them ?”

Lani told Eli to go after Gaby because getting Gaby away from Supercop was a bonus for her as well Lani is also upset that JJ is holding off on Sex

How about Lani and Eli as a couple ?

Hope warned chad about the amulet

Chad and Gabi found their room trashed and a knifed masked man who took the amulet unbeknownst to both robber and chad Gabi switched it with a fake

Why did chad leave his gun at home ?

Theo couldnt contain his jealousy anymore and told Ciara that Wyatt was a fake because everything wyatt said came from him

What will happen with these three and will Claire dump theo over this

Eli seeing Gaby and Chad together decided that he wouldnt have any part of being a third wheel and told her they were done

Gabi now believes in the curse too

Do you believe in Curses and who will be its first victim ? just then Robert came home Blanca didnt know to be happy or angry so she settled for both

“oh hi Marlena,john good to see you back in salem

“good to be back thanks for your help”

“your welcome”marlena looked at them both

“How did you escape “asked a curious marlena ”

“trade secret.”rob smiled
“why arent you on your way to Greece”went a still upset Blanca”
“Forget Greece.” rob looked at Blanca Marlena john then Blanca again

Rob got down on one Knee “Blanca..will you marry me”

Time to turn the hourglass

Days of Our Lives Cliffhanger Friday: Hope’s Ghosts

13435877_10206043543077983_1956939966_nHope’s Ghosts Nicole enters Rob’s office but doesnt enter right away because yet again he is screaming into the phone “What do you mean you wont or i cant do anything about Kate,she messed with the wrong friend” “no you listen to me Andre,you return to salem and what have you done ? Hypnotized Chad to try and get belle to lead you to the money sami stole LAME,take the blame for the re writing needed to bring back Peter Reckell DOUBLE LAME, received karma for being framed for a murder you didnt do and then what ?? you have done nothing but sit around in a jail cell your Useless ! and your telling me to stand down because you have plans for kate ? what kind of plans.. you know besides keeping her in the family sex tree ..im warning you Andre you my brother and i love you but if you are involved in anything that gets nicole hurt…we’ll finish this later…”rob hung up the phone when he saw Nicole’s reflection on a glass bookcase “sorry nicole i didnt hear you come in” of course not with you screaming your bloody head off” “sorry,I was Yelling at Andre he wants me to leave kate alone for ect ect ” “i want you to leave her alone too,remember your promise to me” “fine, so what happened this week ? This week in Salem Damos and Summer offered up different reasons as to why Summer was still in salem they ended up in bed could you see them as a couple better summer than you then summer told brady she fallen in love with him theresa is going to kick her ass what will theresa do when she finds out Damos proposed to me please tell me you didnt say yes i said no THANK GOD not because i didnt love him but because of the way he did it sigh he said that i would have grown tired of daniel that would be the other way around whats that suppose to me Daniels love for you was conditional he changed you for the better sure but if you didnt jump to his tune sooner or later he’d be off sniffing jennifers butt in a heartbeat ” “thats not fair or correct “your right im sorry andre phone call residue better be, anyway someone im sure it was Kate videotaped our fight in the park and brought it to the police setting me up for his murder thats why i was yelling at Andre Do you think Kate will get away with NOPE Kate is doing all she could to convince roman i killed him dont worry nicole im sure Roman isnt buying it I hired Belle as my lawyer Seriously ? yes whats wrong with that what isnt wrong with that i can get you a OJ like dream team why hire her because she’s got a good reputation and it looks good with the salem PD true enough anyway CSI special Agent Shawn D found some evidence in the crime scene i dont know if its for good or bad yet thats why i started yelling at Andre speaking of the park turns out nobody noticed you switched dresses or they were just being polite about it,speaking of the dress dont worry i had it cleaned thank you then i gave it to your Clone Helena to see how she looked in it SIGH i want .no on second thought keep it cool Miss Hernandez’s not Hope plan for Rafe materialized her name is Bianca will her plan work to have rafe move away from Hope hope so for his sake Justin working to prove his loyalty to damos paid Aiden to help get rid of some evidence of some Kirakis goons he told victor about the damos/nicole murder Victor seemed happy that made maggie unhappy Kate wants aiden to be her lawyer offering him 250,000 wow aidens getting in deep from both ends now but if Kate doesnt sleep with Aiden we’ll know he’s one of the good guys now how will this all play out ? Hope dreamed BO, Stefano,larry welsch and Zack bo wants her to follow her heart Stefano wants her to look after chad larry laughed at her and Zack is very proud of her Speaking of chad and Ciara ..Ciara has a crush how far is all this going to go not far enough for me but it sounds like fun ..Chara NO..Jade and joey had some disagreements at the cult/commune they had some run ins with the police and jades aunt simone but John steve and kayla were able to get joey out of there is this the last we see of aunt simone and co ? Fynn let Kayla go..sort of Steve thanked him for looking out for him how much wont you miss Fynalya fynala LOL doesnt matter its over after i was released i went straight to kate and smacked her a good one NICE we exchanged threats Aiden and Rafe played who cares about hope the most Hope arrived and said she was going to give Aiden another chance,breaking Rafe’s heart is hope sincere is this a game proposed by Ghost Bo to see about aidens level of trust how will Chase fit in to all of this personally aiden doesnt stand a chance because of chase but thats my opinion Kate gave roman Aidens phony documents proving she was missess damos Roman warned that this would turn ugly for her she didnt listen will kate back off this scheme of hers when does kate ever listen never just make sure you listen im with andre on this Stay out of it whatever you say nicole your wish is my command thank you “excuse me” Bart came in and handed Robert a note Robert read it,it said that Damos made it out of the water and after identifying himself as Robert called chloe lane for help and she came to his aide Robert ? Chloe ? damos ? are you thrown or excited about this latest twist ?” robert put the note through a shredded so nicole couldnt read it “do i even want to know” she asked “probably but im not allowed to tell you ?” “fine lets eat im starved” “After you” Time to turn the hourglass

 

Monday Original Blog–May 9, 2016: The Brown School of Thinking on Activism

Editor’s Note: the following is an excerpt from a Master’s thesis I completed at Colorado State University in May of 2015. For that project, I researched soaps, online activism, and their juncture in the Save Our Soaps (SOS) movement, for which I created my own SOS group, thistimeitsforever.org. In the introductory section that follows, I define activism as it pertains to the SOS group I created for the project, thistimeitsforever.org. Prior to this section, I mention that I will rely on three texts on activism in defining activism: Building Powerful Community Organizations by Michael Jacoby Brown; Tweets and the Streets, by Paolo Gerbaudo; and Cyberactivism by Martha McCaughey and Michael D. Ayers. Though I reference and use other texts in the document and the creation of my own SOS group, these three texts ground and found my thinking on online activism. 


The Brown School of Thinking on Activism

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The Brown school rooted as it is in pre-digital technology, bears unmistakable marks of being influenced by the social justice movements of the 1960’s and 1970’s, which in turn were heavily influenced by the non-violent and egalitarian thinking of Mahatma Gandhi and the socialist thinking that grew out of the writings of Karl Marx and Freidrich Engels. Nevertheless, it proposes an activism based in traditional organizational structure: “hard” (yet still democratic) leadership, i.e., one person heading a top-down hierarchy (though this person may not always be elected by vote, as a single person may start a group and take responsibility for running it, especially in its initial stages). This literature emphasizes the importance of the roles of individual members in a given organization, how individual membership and action contribute to the realization of the group’s aims. It stresses the importance of activist group members’ time and physical energy to realizing its explicitly articulated mission/s.

In keeping with its founding in pre-digital life, this activist literature recommends many “analog” approaches to action. These include establishing and maintaining activist organizations based on face-to-face relationships, and nurturing each of these relationships one-on-one with the ultimate goal of cementing the interpersonal bonds that will hold activists groups together. Other recommendations include recruiting people through active pursuit using the physical realm in which our bodies exist.

Recruiting in the physical realm allows meetings of activist organizations in edifices to come together in person, where rules can be posted on walls, food can be brought and shared, eye contact and gesticulation can partly comprise persuasion in meetings that last potentially for hours. Fliers can be made and later distributed by members on the street, leaders and members pound the pavement, visiting homes and other dwellings in the interest of winning over organization members and passing on organizational intent and goals. The use of hard-copy petitions to influence public policy, as well as taking meetings with politicians and policy-makers on their turf (city hall or office buildings, for example) and marching, picketing, and sitting-in as some of the primary means of achieving activist goals are unmatched techniques. As one text in the activist literature (ironically a text from the McCaughey and Ayers strain!) summed up a good deal of the impetus behind Brown thinking and action, “The only things more consequential than getting arrested and jailed for what one believes are taking a serious beating or dying for it” (Elin 97).

Because thistimeitsforever.org is based mostly online and in digital technologies as methods of carrying out my activist goals for it, it relies more heavily on the Gerbaudo and McCaughey and Ayers Schools than on the Brown one. Still it pays a not insignificant amount of attention to the Brown school as it is the parent of the Gerbaudo and McCaughey and Ayers schools, rebellious as its children sometimes are. Also, my leaning going into an investigation of the thinking on online activism was and remains still an allegiance to the Gerbaudo school

The theory and practice undergirding Gerbaudo and McCaughey and Ayers schools of activist literature originate in the advent and spread of digital technologies as spaces of interaction, tools of communication, and as means of performing a host of both symbolic and physical human behaviors. Gerbaudo school activist literature contains both utopian and dystopian intellectual influences on their view of the role of digital technologies in our lives and activism. And as I mentioned earlier, McCaughey and Ayers school activist literature expresses a tangible urge for wholly original methods of activism based on the affordances of digital technology, with a still-tenuous way of theorizing about and acting out how these might happen. Paradoxically, both the Gerbaudo and McCaughey and Ayers schools do pay attention to and value face-to-face activism as well as digital activism. Sometimes they even imbue with increased, novelty-based value given the overall decrease in face-to-face interaction caused by our use of the Internet.

Brown school activist literature, as I mention above, finds its theoretical inspiration and recommendations for activist behavior in pre-digital world history. Michael Jacoby Brown’s text, Building Powerful Community Organizations: a Personal Guide to Creating Groups That Can Solve Problems and Save the World, is emblematic of this and other characteristics of Brown school literature. Brown’s grandparents and many other family members were murdered in the Holocaust, Brown’s living relatives also included survivors of some the Holocaust’s most notorious and horrific manifestations, such as the Warsaw ghetto. These realities, which his parents informed him of early on in his life, filled Brown with an anger at social injustice that he says led him to a life spent (and still being spent) creating and running his own activist organizations and guiding others in doing the same for themselves. He came of age when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., taking cues from the non-violent protest advocated and partaken of by Mahatma Gandhi in India, led the struggle in the United States that sought civil rights for African-Americans, and when early feminist leaders began doing the same in seeking equitable treatment of women in United States culture.

Brown posits that there are two primary and necessary foundational aspects of an activist organization: to build the organization itself and to nurture, within its membership, other leaders (Brown 10). While he advises minimum numbers of core groups of committed members, he says activist organizations must involve the people whom their actions intend to affect, otherwise they stand little chance at survival, as humans are motivated a) by self-interest and b) the need to feel needed. He advises any organization’s leaders to nurture other leaders within its member pool, because members will not stay long in an organization in which they feel little agency or need for their presence. As such, his book contains both the why (theory) and how (advice) that an activist organization must follow if it wishes to see its goals realized. It is peppered with exercises for the reader to undertake in building his/her own activist organization, “Quick Tips” that succinctly summarize the book’s main points, and stories that illustrate his arguments about activism.

Building Powerful Community Organizations begins by considering why activist organizations exist. One reason is that people crave community, and if an activist organization can provide this, alongside working toward solving the problems it identifies, which ostensibly the members of an organization will benefit from, Brown sees the organization as highly likely to succeed, perhaps even after it has met the goals that originally found it.

The knowledge I gained from Brown’s text made possible vital parts of TTIF. First, it showed me the importance building and maintaining a sense of community in an activist organization as crucial to gaining and sustaining members. Second, it introduced me to the idea that activist organizations must draw in members by showing them the organization addresses problems that matter to them, otherwise they will have little desire or need to join the fold. And third, it exposed me the concept of assigning each member of an activist organization roles necessary to keep the organization running, thereby assuring these members know the matter to the organization and can be nurtured into leadership roles the more responsibility they are given and supported in.

By Akbi Khan

Edited by Akbi Khan

Original Monday Blog: What is Activism?

What Is Activism?

Editor’s Note: the following is an excerpt from a Master’s thesis I completed at Colorado State University in May of 2015. For that project, I researched soaps, online activism, and their juncture in the Save Our Soaps (SOS) movement. In the introductory section that follows, I define activism as it pertains to the SOS group I created for the project, thistimeitsforever.org. Prior to this section, I mention that I will rely on three texts on activism in defining activism: Building Powerful Community Organizations by Michael Jacoby Brown; Tweets and the Streets, by Paolo Gerbaudo; and Cyberactivism by Martha McCaughey and Michael D. Ayers. Though I reference and use other texts in the document and the creation of my own SOS group, these three texts ground and found my thinking on online activism. 


Activism by Alice Walker

Image courtesy of zcomm.org

As I approach it in the following overview of these texts, I define “activism” as the focusing of behavior in the interest of accomplishing goals related to a specific issue facing a culture, whether this culture is as strictly defined as a neighborhood or, in the case of saving the soap opera, the world over. The theory behind and practice of activism have undergone great changes since the advent of the Internet and World Wide Web, and since these and other digital technologies (e.g., smartphones, apps, multiple digital devices tethered to each other, etc.) have woven themselves into the fabric of virtually every aspect of our lives. For activism, this has meant the birth of new ways of engaging in activism and the refocusing of activists’ view of their tools to online spaces. The Brown School sees the Internet as an ancillary tool in activism and sees the no need for change in its view of the place of face-to-face activism in the overall activist endeavor. The Gerbaudo School sees a central role for online spaces in activism, but always in pursuit of face-to-face action. And finally, the McCaughey and Ayers School sees digital arenas as home to wholly new and promising activist behavior.

If we think of activism as having begun the first time a human being attempted to convince his/her fellow human being to take a certain action, which I

do, then perhaps we would say nothing but the means and modes of delivering rhetorical discourse, that which seeks to persuade others (and I see all discourse as persuasive, because it has “designs on the recipient” of it, as rhetorician Jeanne Fahnestock has said), have changed. In fact, the Brown school literature on activism does express this belief. But the Gerbaudo and McCaughey and Ayers Schools see the situation as more complex and nuanced.

My suspicion upon beginning reading the literature on activism, similarly, was that I would find that because activism’s intent is the same as it always was, and “only” the technologies of accessing and distributing information have morphed over time, the literature would reflect an essentially unchanged theory and practice of activism. I suspected that digital technology would be given attention in the literature, but as simply some of many means to activism’s ends.

Not so. To be sure, activism has retained certain features over the decades, features that inform or are mentioned explicitly in all the literature that covers it. But the passage of time and all that entails have atrophied certain aspects of activism while adding others. The Brown school sees the Internet as one of many means of distributing information on activist initiatives—a useful component in activism, but not one essential to its character. The Gerbaudo school looks at the Internet as game-changing in the realm of activism. It sees the Internet as having altered what is attempted in the pursuit of activism, how it changes where activists gather, its potential to add to the number and power of activists —but it still holds face-to-face interaction as the raison d’etre of all activism. Finally, the McCaughey and Ayers school on activist thinking includes a palpable belief that activism can be conducted in wholly new ways.


Stay tuned for more on soaps and online activism. Who knows–you might be inspired to create your own SOS group, as I did!

By Akbi Khan

Edited by Akbi Khan

 

© Copyright Akbi Khan 2015

Monday Original Blog; April 25, 2016: When I Got Fed Up, and Decided to Join the SOS Movement

Editor’s Note: The following excerpt is taken from a Master’s thesis I completed at Colorado State University for which I created my own Save Our Soaps (SOS) group, which you can find at thistimeitsforever.org. In this section this excerpt is taken from, I talk about learning of the second cancellations of All My Children (AMC) and One Life to Live (OLTL). This knowledge got me actively involved in the SOS movement, and I remain so today.


 

angerwoman

Pic Courtesy of susnarinderle.com

Like many fans of the canceled ABC soaps, I had a powerful and visceral reaction to this. When I saw the headline on Soap Opera Digest in the grocery store announcing TOLN’s cancellation decision, I had my first “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore” moment a la the feature film Network. My basket of groceries dropped, and as I picked up the issue of Soap Opera Digest stacked next to the checkout register, so did my jaw. I was literally speechless as I read the brief article inside detailing the reasons for and time frame of the cancellation of two of the three soap operas that I had watched for 23 years. I still did and do watch “General Hospital,” and I had watched “Loving,” another ABC soap, as well for the 12 years it aired on ABC.

As I sat in the cab on my way home from the grocery store, I decided this cancellation would not see me rely solely on others to save my soaps. I would not, this time, plan on going to the face-to-face protest at the Baltimore ABC affiliate closest to my suburban Maryland home but then back out at the last minute because of apathy and the naive hope that things would just go my way.

But this time would be different. Learning that the online versions of AMC and OLTL had been canceled stung badly. When Prospect Park decided to resurrect them online, it felt like–as happens so often on soaps, actually!–a deceased loved one had returned from the dead. It filled me with joy, peace, excitement, and hope.

Over the past 28 years of watching them, soaps had come to serve so many important roles in my life—entertainment, psychological support, comfort, feelings of actual friendship for and love of characters, belonging to a culture of fellow soap lovers. Perhaps this partially explained my somewhat melodramatic reaction to their cancelation.

I entered my apartment in Fort Colins, where I was living now, and began frantically messaging people, my fingers dashing across my laptop keyboard, who were administrators of SOS groups on Facebook—“Did you hear All My Children and One Life To Live are being canceled again? I am not going to let this happen without a fight. Can I have your e-mail, so I can talk to you about getting more involved?” A woman named Tessa Kendall McKenzie, responded.

Tessa had started and was director of a public access talk show airing in Brooklyn called, “Let’s Talk About Soaps” (LTAS) when ABC/Disney announced its cancelation of the broadcast versions of the All My Children and One Life To Live. She eventually started a Website augmenting that public access show. The Website had (and has) a blog. Running all of these things according to the high standards Tessa does everything with would be difficult for anyone, and it was for Tessa too. So when I contacted her, she was thrilled. Based on my being a writer and studying rhetoric and composition, she asked me if I would like to be Editor-in-Chief of LTAS’s blog and Head of Social Media Accounts for LTAS. I responded with an overjoyed and eager, “Yes!” (via e-mail). I still hold both positions today.

 

By Akbi Khan

Edited by Akbi Khan

 

© Copyright Akbi Khan 2014

Monday Original Blog 4/18/16: Online Activism–Why Is It Special?

Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from a Master’s project I did on soap operas, online activism, and their juncture in the Save Our Soaps (SOS) movement. Here, I list the reasons Manuel Castells, a scholar on online/activism, says it is distinct–and powerful! Use this info to think about starting your own SOS group (I did for this this Master’s project at thistimeitsforever.org)! If you want more info, also, it will probably be posted here in future Monday Original Blogs. Or you could email me at akbikhan@gmail.com


Online activist movements:

activism

Image Courtesy of tnh.me

  1. “They are networked in multiple forms.” Online activism involves both online and face-to-face networking. For TTIF this meant, again, that the website thistimeitsforever.org is crucial, but using it to initiate face-to-face interaction is as well.
  2. “They become a movements by occupying the urban space.” TTIF hasn’t as yet but will gather people together in face-to-face activist instances, such as a protest or a rally. These spaces will likely be urban, as most network headquarters or advertising companies’ headquarters, are in urban spaces.
  3. “The space of autonomy is the new spatial form of networked social movements.” Castells essentially reiterates Gerbaudo’s belief that online activist initiatives involve “soft” rather than “hard” leadership, recognizing the sovereignty of each activist that joins a movement. In TTIF’s case this meant requesting individuals to like its Facebook page and follow it on Twitter, but not to demand anything of them anything for membership—no fees, information cards, set of beliefs, etc. TTIF may in the future ask for donations and fundraise if need be, but I do not see these as violating Castells identification of what constitutes contemporary online activism. TTIF fundraising would never be coercive or requisite. It might take the form of crowdsourcing, wherein TTIF would establish a fundraising goal for a specific reason and use a website like kickstarter.com to provide a space for people to donate money to reach the goal.
  4. “Movements are local and global at the same time.” While online activist movements often commence in response to particular events in particular spaces, because of the reach and electronically networked nature of the Internet they involve activists from around the world. They also teach and learn from activists and activist initiatives in global contexts. For TTIF this meant two things. First, saving soaps has no central location that it takes place in. This physical dispersal makes it particularly important to keep members united through building an online community that meets in public as well, which TTIF has not yet but will do. Second, it was a reminder to involve the international audience of fans of U.S. soaps, which is large and vociferous. It will eventually mean, as I continue to develop TTIF as an activist movement, linking to international SOS and general soap fan websites to harness the power of global community.
  5. “In terms of their genesis, they are spontaneous in their origin, usually triggered by a spark of indignation.” Here again Castells agrees with Gerbaudo that, as Gerbaudo writes, online activism must “trigger and harness emotion” through the use of online spaces and tools. Hence I use TTIF’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts and the blog attached to and linked from it to continually remind soap fans why and how they must act or risk losing their soaps and the soap genre as a whole. And TTIF certainly grew out of a “spark of indignation,” the cancelation of Loving in 1995, the cancelation in 2009 of Another World, As the World Turns, and Guiding Light, and the more recent cancelation of both the broadcast and online iterations of All My Children and One Life to Live. Certainly I took a while (until 2014) to decide to act based on my “spark,” but these cancelations eventually made me indignant enough to decide to create my own soap opera advocacy group.
  6. “Movements are viral.” This simple statement reminded me as I created TTIF and will serve as an ongoing reminder that getting TTIF’s identity and requested activist actions out on as many online space by liking and posting to other SOS groups’ Facebok pages, tagging other SOS groups and soap fans in Tweets, following other SOS groups on Instagram, blogging consistently ever Wednesday (the day I chose to write an original post on the blog connected to TTIF) are vital to spreading its activist message about saving soaps and the soap genre.
  7. “The transition from outrage to hope is accomplished by deliberation in the space of autonomy.” I see TTIF as part of a broader, leaderless movement in which agreement on goals and the means to accomplishing them comes from interacting in online spaces with other SOS groups and individual soap fans. TTIF does not seek to be the chairperson of the SOS movement, but to work within it to see its goals come to fruition.
  8. “The horizontality of networks supports cooperation and solidarity, while undermining the need for formal leadership.” Again, Castells echoes Gerbaudo in seeing online activism as resistant to a “head” of a movement. Rather, TTIF as an online activist campaign works in conjunction with other SOS group initiators and soap fans to realize the goal of resurrecting and preserving individual soap operas and protecting the soap genre.
  9. “They are highly self-reflective movements.” For TTIF, in following this Castellian dictum, I will continually reevaluate why and how TTIF functions. I have and will deliberate with other SOS leaders and individual soap fans in deciding what courses of action to take and not take in preserving soaps and the soap genre.
  10. 10. “These movements are rarely programmatic movements.” Here Castells means that contemporary activist movement usually have “multiple demands.” The SOS movements and TTIF are no different. We want multiple soaps back on the air, for example.

By Akbi Khan

Edited by Akbi Khan

 

© Copyright Akbi Khan 2015

Monday Original Blog: Refuting Common Criticisms of Soaps IV–Soaps are Not Soft-Core Pornography

Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from a project I did in completion of my Master’s degree in rhetoric and composition at Colorado State University in 2015. For that project I researched soaps and online activism and their juncture in the Save Our Soaps movement. In the section this excerpt is taken from, I argue against some faulty judgments leveled against soap operas and the soap medium. See if you agree! As always, please comment, discuss, and share! 

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Refuting Common Criticisms of Soaps IV: Soaps Are Not Soft-Core Pornography

SoftCorePorn

People often inaccurately and bizarrely accuse soaps of being soft-core pornography. First, individual soaps vary in how often and for how long they show love scenes, so a blanket statement about soaps and sex is wrong off the bat. Second, soaps are not gratuitous in their inclusion of love scenes. They may go on a little long at timees, sure, but they are always a part of a story/characters’ lives. And they are more an expression of two characters’ love for each other, rather than two random people going at it in a bathroom at a club. The term “making love” is one that is truly the apt term in this case, as euphemistic as it may be in others.

When One Life To Live became the first show on television to have a regular gay character whose portrayer had a multi-year contract at the show, also, it would have been offensive and wrong not to show him engaged in love scenes, for doing so was part of the work the inclusion of a gay character accomplished—exposing people to gay sexuality and love. Soap characters need love lives, because they represent us, we flesh and blood people, and we have love lives.

I hope our culture can move past childish, Puritanical accusations of “soaps are pornography,” and accept that sex will be part of a show from time to time, given that those it reflects have sex from time to time! Also, those who offer prudish outcries about the supposed prevalence of sex on soaps should simply know that soaps are rated, like all television shows are now, based on even more measures than films are, and they can find these ratings in any format soaps are shown, perhaps aside from bootleg airings, which soap creators have no control over. Soaps make it easy for the viewer to discern a show or episode’s appropriateness for certain audiences, such as children.

By Akbi Khan

Edited by Akbi Khan

Monday Original Blog; April 3rd, 2016: Refuting Some Common Criticisms of Soaps III–Soaps Are not a “Low” Form or Art

Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt taken from the document that accompanied, explaining and justifying, my creation of a Save Our Soaps (SOS) group called thistimeitsforever.org (TTIF), in pursuit and awarding of my Master’s in rhetoric and composition at Colorado State University. The website is still live, if you would like to visit it! In the section of the document that this excerpt comes from, I refute some common criticisms of soap operas. This sub-section deals with the “low-brow” label often assigned to soaps by the culture writ large and the many ways it is invalid and denigrates soap operas, thereby increasing the danger of cancellation they face. If we see something as, essentially, “bad,” why not cancel instances of it and seek to rid the cultural landscape of it totally? By pointing out in my project document why the negative judgments–among them, “bad”– applied to soaps are wrong, I sought to make more likely their preservation. And in excerpting this sub-section of my project document here, I seek to do the same. Please read, enjoy, and comment!

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SOAPS ARE NOT A “LOW” FORM OF ART, OR

THE INVALIDITY OF THE HIGH-BROW/LOW-BROW ART DISTINCTION

Humans, in addition to being “inveterate storytellers” have been creating art in various forms since recorded history. Clearly art comes from a primal place in the human makeup and serves valuable purposes. And soaps are art. Just like any other form of it, they must be highly valued and supported by our culture as a whole like painting, sculpture, video art, literature, poetry, performance art, and a host of other human-made creative expressions are.

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Photo Courtesy of gizmodo.com

Since becoming a commonplace item in U.S. homes post-World War II, television has become a cultural behemoth. It entertains us, gives us domestic and international news, shows us places and people we might never see or meet otherwise, airs sports events, and of course bombards us with advertisements. One cannot speak of U.S. culture in general without speaking of the ubiquity and acute power of the television (Herman and Chomsky 24), and increasingly of other watchable digital devices in 115.6 million American homes (Nielsen 1). The ways corporations and executives now use the Internet to “broadcast” fare that would have once been on television has slightly lessened the wide reach of television. But any newer technology like the Internet still has a ways to go before it matches the cultural power of television, though it is powerful in its own ways already.

Despite or perhaps because of its common placement in U.S. homes, the cultural intelligentsia and sometimes even those who watch television, including soaps, look down on it. They see it as crass, a shill for corporations, of no artistic or intellectual value, turning our brains to mush, low-brow. I must ask the reader to excuse me for what may some an overly bold attempt on my part, but one I feel is necessary at the outset when talking about soaps then. But once I have done this, I will justify the saving of soaps that much more easily from people who might not otherwise feel they need to be saved—or even be happy to see them go.

I want to do away with the false dichotomy of high-brow/low-brow art. In addition to the reasons mentioned above, this is vital to do before discussing soaps’ value and why they should be saved, because if I do not, they will remain to some non-fans invaluable and unworthy of saving. They are a television genre, after all, and television, despite its study and analysis in limited scholarly circles, still is thought of as class-less junk food for the mind. The general public often views soaps as occupying the bottom of the totem pole even within in the television industry, basically as mental detritus. This is even true of people who watch and love other genres of television!

In the 1960’s, Jacques Derrida began an intellectual revolution in Western thought when he introduced, among many other radical ideas, that the whole idea of thinking in dichotomies—good/bad, intelligent/dumb, valuable/invaluable—was a peculiarity of Western thinking, not something inherent to human consciousness. Reality, he said, contains so many more subtleties, complications, layers. And many postmodern and post-postmodern thinkers before me have pointed out the myriad ways in which dichotomies are invalid and constructed through language use (not simply described by language), archaic modes of thinking, and as an extension of socioeconomic class distinctions that exacerbate unnecessary distances between people—those who enjoy the high-brow and those who enjoy the low-brow, though certainly there is overlap between these two parties. In short, it is harmful to many and not “real” or “natural.” So let us look at the value of soaps from a place where we reject untrue and unhelpful thinking that lumps artistic genres into one of two polar opposite camps—in this case “good” or “bad.”

I frequently think of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald as an example of how soaps are art and much art is soap-like. Gatsby wants to join the ranks of the wealthy who live decadently ostentatious lives, he loves Daisy and would do most anything for that love, and, in a classic soap twist of fate (Spence 143), there is a car accident in his story that changes everything. Very similar storylines have happened on soaps, but they would be labeled “melodramatic,” or as one writer in a recent issue of Variety said, “a silly, soapy mess.” If Gatsby is art, then, can’t we call soaps art too, when done well, in which love and twists of fate are mainstays of the dramatic action.

Marcel Duchamp’s “Fountain” can be said to show the largely arbitrary nature of the high-brow/low-brow art distinction. In this case, probably no one would call a porcelain urinal art, whether they are themselves high-brow/low-brow. But Duchamp’s clever work points to the fact that simply by placing a urinal in a museum, people called it art, certainly not by some inherent quality it had. Surely there was more going on in Duchamp’s work, but I use it simply as an example of the complicated nature of what gets called “art.”

Artist Damien Hurst adhered 8,601 diamonds to a human skull as part of a show in 2007 in London (Sterling 1). In Denmark artist, Marco Evaristti placed a blender full of goldfish in a museum, allowing visitors to turn the switch on or continue browsing the museum (Clemens 1). Both artists inspired ire, fascination, and fame through these (and other) works, and they certainly have plentiful company in the avant-garde movement. On some level, perhaps even the most obvious and “first” level, these artists wanted viewers to know that art can be more than still paintings of fruit or giant sculptures or rows of photographs on a wall. Soaps then could also been seen as subverting the old-school artistic insistence on seeing “art” as something “special” or “important.” Soaps often give us two people chatting in a kitchen for an entire episode, or a woman telling her husband she feels suffocated in their relationship, or three people involved in a love triangle navigating their situation. These “banal” scenarios, then too, can be seen as art, that which subverts the canonical view of what “art” should be.

Many critically lauded television shows, such as Friday Night Lights, Mad Men, and Downton Abbey, contain elements of soap opera storytelling. Some may agree and say, “Yes, but they don’t contain the ‘bad’ elements of soaps” or “Yes, but they are ‘well-done’ and soaps are not.” And I would reply that there are no intrinsically “bad” elements of soaps, and many, many instances of what is generally considered “good” writing, acting, and production exist in the history of soaps. We as consumers of art should discard our preconceived notions, full of reified words and unfair stereotypes and judge art on its content, not snobbish, irrelevant assumptions. We should follow intellectuals, like Camille Paglia (a soap fan herself), who see soaps in a long continuum of great art, stretching back to the early Mesopotamian civilizations, to the Greco-Romans, to Ghiberti in Medieval Italy, to Emily Dickinson in the 19th century, and then to Irna Phillips (the grandmother of the soap genre) in the early 20th century.

Some may ask. ”Why should the “common” share cultural capital with the “exalted.” To this I say, that “high ” and “low ” are not among the valid distinctions to be considered among creative works. In the case of soaps, the viewer must look to skill in storytelling, character development, well-written dialogue, among other creative aspects, when determining their worth. We might also ask ourselves why, when Jann Martel writes a novel about a boy who lives on a boat with a tiger for a best friend it’s called “magical realism,” placed in the literature section of the book store and critics brand Martel a literary star, but when someone is put through a wood chipper and later comes back to life on a soap, the general public view’s it as “unrealistic,” foolish, and unworthy of attention, cherishing, or preservation

Part of TTIF’s mission then, is a reclaiming of the power to name what is art for some of those who have rarely had it—in this case, soap fans. The folk culture members that are soap fans may have had to carve out a niche culture, as it were, where there voices and opinions count, because their opinions on matters of taste were not welcome in the larger culture. Hopefully participation in TTIF will give soap fans as voice that the larger culture will hear.

Particularly, women have had a long history of being excluded from this powerful activity of deciding what is “art,” and soaps have a significant female audience (they also have a significant audience of gay men, but for whatever reason gay men have been allowed culturally-sanctioned positions as tastemakers and figuratively speaking, art curators). Also, soap fans often fall into a lower socioeconomic class than non-soap fans. Therefore TTIF seeks to appeal to and validate these marginalized voices, through simple wording, attractive and not intimidating graphics, and sometimes explicit statement of its willfully entering the arena of making decisions about what is valuable and worth saving in our culture.

 

By Akbi Khan

Edited by Akbi Khan

© Akbi Khan 2015

Monday Original Blog; March 28th, 2016: Refuting Common Criticisms of Soaps II

Editor’s Note: The following excerpt is taken from a Master’s project I completed on soap operas, online activism, and their juncture in the Save Our Soaps (SOS) movement at Colorado State University in May of 2015. In this section I prove wrong criticisms of soaps commonly trotted out by people who oppose, misunderstand, and/or denigrate them. See if you dis/agree or can add some arguments to mine.

–Editor-in-Chief, Akbi Khan

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Refuting Common Criticisms of Soaps II: Soaps Do Not Reinforce Gender Stereotypes

Recently a professor of English expressed to me her concern that soaps, given their advent’s being inextricably linked to selling cleaning products to homemakers and the overall culture’s viewing them as simply a way to placate and distract bored housewives and homemakers, reinforce the belief that women belong in the home.

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Image Courtesy of motifmagazine.wordpress.com

After the invention of the soap opera genre, the selling of products to homemakers and the prevalence of women characters who stayed at home while hubby brought home the bacon, at first slowly and then quickly over the years became obsolete. One need only turn on any soap opera to see the reality confirmed by Spence’s analysis that 95 percent of women on soaps work out of the home. Even more significantly, most manage a career outside the home and a family/household (160). Overall, soap heroines are no shrinking violets. Their characters face head-on the complicated and true-to-life relationships with people and cultural institutions, just as “real” women do.

The woman of soaps do not simply don frilly aprons and crochet, waiting for “the man of the house” to come home and give them an allowance and use their bodies for sexual gratification. Female soap characters run the gamut from CEOs to restaurant managers to con artists to violent criminals. With how much time and consideration must go into any soap character, given that they might appear on TV for several hours per week, I would argue that most if not all, are finely drawn, richly layered, and in defiance of pat definitions or judgments. I would challenge anyone to watch the four soaps currently on the air and then honestly tell me that they believe the portrayal of women in daytime supports gender stereotypes, or any one thing for that matter, what with the diversity represented by soap characters as a whole.

Daytime, perhaps because so few besides its fans take it seriously, today is a beacon of progressive thought and character portrayal. Is there another genre on TV in which writers feel free enough to have a college sophomore kiss her female teacher on the lips and for the two to express their great, romantic affection for each other? Were this to happen on, say, How to Get Away With Murder (HTGAWM) let us examine what might occur. First, the Twitter-verse would explode with outcries of how disgusting it is for the members of a potential couple to be so different in age, how a teacher is abusing her authority, how two women kissing is gross, followed by Facebook posts and shares of the same nature. Then network damage control PR squads would mobilize, apologizing and back-tracking, in statements and press releases. Finally, the writers of HTGAWM would have no choice but to change the storyline when advertisers threatened to pull financial support from the show.

Rather than a retrograde wasteland of backward values, daytime TV is alive and brimming with progressive stories and characters: gay love triangles, gay weddings and marriages, multiracial couples, the physically challenged in storylines not focused on their challenges, women who consider all their options when faced with an unplanned pregnancy, even characters who openly discuss their inclusive/expansive view of religion (the one exception, which I must mention, is the bizarre and shocking exclusion of Jews from the daytime canvas).

To return to my earlier example, only in daytime does the derision with which most people view soaps, their refusal to take them seriously, leave writers free to explore a subtle nuance in the experiences of many young people coming to terms with their sexuality: sometimes when you feel alone, realizing who you are, the only one you can turn to is someone who has already come into her own and is comfortably open (out) in her sexuality. And sometimes this leads to feelings of love for that person. This is occurring on General Hospital (GH) in the Kristina/Parker storyline, the same one mentioned above.

The concern expressed to me by the English professor may have been about more than the characters depicted on soaps, however. She may have been expressing distress that the advertisements that air during and fund soaps are still largely for cleaning products and motherly paraphernalia. I would argue that soap operas themselves cannot be blamed for this. The content of advertisements during a show result from complicated audience and demographic analysis and what they reveal, which may be flawed or supportive of stereotypes one could argue. But again, this is not due to some inherent quality of the content of soaps, but the way market research is conducted and what it reveals. And whether women are the primary buyers of cleaning products is beyond the scope of this document.

What do you think, readers? Do you agree, disagree, think something entirely different?

By Akbi Khan

Edited by Akbi Khan

 

© Akbi Khan 2015