Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pumped Up Kicks

Pumped up kicks was a song that was very popular awhile back. It was written by Mark foster, lead singer in Foster the People. Of course, I had heard this song a few times. Whether it was on the radio or over hearing someone else singing it (Brock Herrin), and not very well I might add, the song seemed to be everywhere. I can’t say that it was one of my most favorite songs in the world, most likely it’s because I listen to country and this song is indie rock, but it was very catchy… the chorus was at least. I could never understand the rest of the song, because of the way they sang it. So when we were asked to do this blog about it the first thing that I did was look up the lyrics.
Before reading the lyrics I just thought the song was basically just saying “Run. I’m going to kill you.” It seemed to be funny, weird, and a little sickening all at the same time. I realized soon though that the song ended up having a deeper meaning then what I was lead to believe at first. I think that the song was made to get messages out about any kind of shooting in general, and how the killers may not even know what they are doing themselves. It’s about how much pain a person could be in and how far they feel they have to go when they can’t find a way out.
I believe Foster’s purpose behind this song was to get people to understand what’s maybe, and what’s not, going through a person’s mind as they commit this type of crime. He himself, I think, got a glimpse of what they felt when he was bullied as a child. So he wanted to get a message out to everybody in a discreet and fun way, but also keeping it memorable. To help get his message out to a broader audience he made the song more upbeat then most might have done, seeing the darker side to the lyrics. Let’s face it, the most catchy songs are always the corny happy ones we hear and remember. No matter how annoying they really are. So Foster was brilliant to say the least when he wrote this song. What faster way to get something out to the public then making it everyone’s new song of the day?

All the other kids with the lyrical analysis..

Let me just say that thanks to Ms. Jarmer playing the song in class, this song has been totally stuck in my brain for the past two days! Anyway, “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People is an interesting song to say the least. When I first heard it, I didn’t quite understand the lyrics except the chorus. And from what I heard from the chorus, I first took this song to be racist. It sounded like it was referring to the black kids that wore the fancier Nike shoes, Air Jordans, etc. But now that I read the lyrics and combined that with the research we did in class, I have a completely different outlook on the message of the song. First off, the song is written by Mark Foster, who is also a jingle writer and who was bullied as a child. That brought some inspiration into the message of the song. The message being that bullying is wrong and we have no idea the consequences it causes, or even how the one being bullied truly feels. One day they could just snap and walk into school with a gun, or even worse, suicide. We don’t tend to think of the other’s feelings when we are downgrading them. The song takes us into the perspective of a young boy who is bullied at school and then comes home to an abusive and neglecting father, which is an interesting way to show the perspective from a lyricist. Generally most songs you here on the radio about a similar subject/message show the situation from an outside perspective. It’s kind of cool in a weird and dark way.

The fact that the song has an interesting beat is enough to catch my attention in the least. However, it seems that Mark Foster was wanting this song to pertain to a particular audience of “hipsters”, as research told me that it was formatted as an “f-you” song to the “hipsters”, however it was designed to get them to dance to it. Being the fact that Foster is a jingle writer, I’m sure he designed the song to be “catchy” in order to implant it into our brains and have us singing it like crazy all day long. In a weird way though, I believe Foster did a magnificent job of getting the message out. Most people don’t realize that simply stating a fact won’t go near as far as using that fact in an example, such as an image or a song.  Also, if you notice, the song has a darker sounding melody with a light upbeat rhythm. It is inspiring to use that kind of music to attract an audience to listen for three to five minutes-(which is about as long as most songs are, minus Metallica!) Foster definitely has his work cut out for him in the music industry, if I do say so myself.

Amanda W.

Lyrical Rhetoric-JF

In the song, "Pumped Up Kicks" by the banc Foster the People, there is a deeper meaning than the lyrics and tune seem to convey. The song's lyrics certainly meet the requirements of a rhetorical situation. The author (Foster the People), the audience (fans of the band’s music), the text (the lyrics of the song), and the setting (the music video) are all clear. The purpose on the other hand is not as clear, but is easily found with some careful analyzing. The lyrics do not seem to suggest any sort of argument, and they also do not seem to request anything from the audience. The purpose of the lyrics is to tell a story of domestic violence that occurs amongst children unfortunately. The first verse tells of a child who finds a gun, and in telling the story they use words that relate back to the Wild West. The second verse tells of a child waiting for his father to come home, and the tone of the words implies, to me at least, that the child is waiting for a fight to occur. If there is any argument presented in the song, it is that violence is bad and children should not be subjected to it.

Although few people would argue against it, I feel that their argument is good and is supported by their lyrics. Their story-line and choice of music support their point well in the way that is somewhat misleading. If one blocks out the lyrics and listens to the music, he or she would likely assume that the song is a pleasant song. If one simply reads the lyrics, he or she would likely assume that the song is a more aggressive song. If one only watches the video, he or she might think that the song is passionate or friendly. Combined, all of these created a dark, bittersweet mood that enforces the band’s point of the lyrics. A different type of music and a different music video may have helped the point better, but the unexpectedness of the music and video lead me to think that the band did a good job at enforcing their point and playing a style of music that they like. The rhetorical choices made by the author of the song really helped impose his point on the audience because of it’s surprise effect through using a happier tone of music and a laid back music video.

Lyrical Rhetoric

The song “Pumped Up Kicks” by the American indie pop band Foster the People is an interesting song, and a song full of contradictions. The song’s instrumental accompaniment and vocals could be described as being towards the bright, cheery end of the emotional spectrum, while the lyrics are dark and slightly threatening. Well, extremely threatening, depending on how you look at it. The lyrics are written with the intention of showing us the inner workings of a kid deeply involved within his own psychosis, a person named early in the song as “Robert”. “Robert” has just located a gun and intends to shoot some of the children at his school. While we hear these lyrics, the tone in which they are sung and the instrumental background offsets the darkness behind them, and before we know we’re singing along without fully understanding what it is we are saying. The song gets into your head, and as you sit and think about it, you finally understand what it is the song is about, and the message it is trying to get across. The writer of the song Mark Foster wrote the song while working as a commercial jingle writer, so the song’s addictiveness and easiness to learn shows.
I believe the band did a great job in writing/producing the song. It addresses a real life and serious issue in a way you would never expect. Most of the people who know what this song is about don’t even realize it until after they know every single word.  "I was so engrossed with the cheery melody of its chorus that it took me a few listens to discover that the lyrics suggest dark, Columbine revenge,” said Jeffrey Burg of Frontier Psychiatrist. The song provides an easy outlet to bring up the topic of school/teen violence. I mean, look at us; we’re talking about it now! The song is easy to learn and fun to sing, and because of that it has quickly become widespread. The song writers understood their audience: a nation of people who hide the issues under the rug and pretend they’re not there, while focusing on the cheery, happy things in life. Well, in this case, you can’t get one without the other. I think this song did a great job of conveying a serious issue in an easily understandable way, and in a way that no one would expect.
Kaleb Smith (400)
     In the song, Pumped Up Kicks by Foster the People I think that if you just listen to the video of the song you won't get what the message the band is sending.  In the video most people would probably say that this is a nice song with a good melody because they really won't listen to the lyrics to the song.  If you were to actually take time and read the lyrics to the song you will quickly realize that it is a dark and depressing song about killing others then you can tell that the kid has had a bad childhood.  The band in the video did a great job of hiding the real meaning behind the song because they play it off as just any normal song that is not depressing.  Also one thing I never really figured out after watching the video was who exactly was the audience they were trying to reach.  If I had to guess what the audience would be I would say kids with a rough childhood or parents that abuse their kids.  I like that the band with this song kind of put a major problem like abuse and the song made the public aware of this issue. 

     I liked the song for the most part and was a good song to listen to.  Foster the People made a good choice with bringing the abuse and bullying problems in the United States forward with this song.  This is a serious issue today than it was in the past because in the past most people just ignored it and pretended it never happened.  Also I think that the band was promoting the education of abuse and prevention with the making of the song.  I don't think that the artist really got their point across to the listener because its hard throughout the song to tell what exactly they want the song to mean.  Then the melody they used made it seem the opposite of what I thought they intended for the message but they may have meant to do it that way.  You could also make an argument that the kid has gone a little crazy with the way that he has been treated by his dad and others.  This is an issue that needs all the help it can get. When a band or artist chooses to help aide the cause, it often gets alittle more public limelight.

Word Count: 407

The song “Pumped Up Kicks” is a very interesting song with an upbeat tune mixed with dark lyrics. When you first listen to the song it’s almost like you get addicted to it because you want to listen to it over and over again or you keep singing it in your head. When you first realize what the lyrics are you think to yourself why are they so dark and twisted lyrics with such an upbeat tune? I think that Foster and the People used such an upbeat tune so that more and more people would listen to the song. When more people listen to the song the author is more likely to get their message across. The song is about a boy named Robert that gets bullied at school and/or at home that uses a six shooter to murder class mates. When the author says “outrun my gun” he is talking about the kids that he is trying to murder. Foster and the people use the words “pumped up kicks” to show that the kids that have been bullying Robert are more upper class citizens that can afford fancy expensive shoes. This can also indicate that Robert is from a more lower class family and cannot afford to wear fancy shoes, which could indicate why other kids bully him.

The author Mark Foster was bullied at a young age during school. He later overcame this obstacle and started to follow his dream with music. Shortly after moving to L.A. Foster became addicted to drugs. I think that the main reason why this song is so catchy is because Mark used to be a jingle writer when he first moved to L.A. since Mark has the back round of writing jingles he knows what and how to get a large amount of people to listen to a certain song. Since the song has an upbeat tune it is more likely to have an audience of teenagers in high school and college than adults. This is very helpful since bullying happens more often in high school and college than it will any other place. The song more or less is making listeners aware that bullying needs to be stopped and more people need to help stop it so that there are not anymore bullying related shootings. The upbeat tune can also show that “Robert” pretends to be okay and that nothing is bothering him when he is really depressed and is going to in essence go crazy. Analytically this song is constructed almost perfectly to show how serious the bullying issue is.

William Miller (431)

Lyrical Rhetoric

            The song, "Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster the People, is a type of song that has an up-beat vibe to it, but when you really listen to what they are singing about, you wouldn't expect to hear those kind of lyrics from the band. Since the author Mark Foster is a jingle writer, you would typically hear this type of song in a commerical on T.V. When I first listened to it, I personally wasn't expecting the lyrics to have such a powerful meaning to them. The song talks about a kid basically loosing his mind and going mentally crazy. Some situations that can be relatable to the lyrics are school shootings, living in abusive homes, or even just not fitting in with your peers. Since the lyrics deal with issues going on in teenagers, the author's audience was aimed towards the youth. Bullying has been such a huge issue in our generation, and the suicide rate is just increasing more and more every year. Some kids are just cruel, and most of them don't undestand the emotional impact they leave on a kid. I believe that the author's message was very powerful and has the potential to raise awarness in bullying and youth violence, but maybe writing the song with an indie-pop style to it will be more difficult to get the message across towards the audience.
             One of the reasons why this song is so popular is because of not only it's catchy beat, but the lyrics are very repetitive and the instrumental playing is very basic. Those types of songs with that type of musical flow get stuck in the listener's head easily. I think one of the reasons why the band wrote their song in that way is because they wanted their message to spread, and living in an society where the billboard top music chart is mostly contained with pop and rap music, it will be kinda difficult to compete with that and still attract a lot of listeners. The up-beat tone the song has could illustrate the disturbed kid's emotions and how he could pretend he is okay on the outside, but the powerful sad lyrics of the song could illustrate what he really feels on the inside. With that being a type of situation to the song is another example on what bullying really does to people. Whenever someone is bullied they just want to pretend like it doesn't bother them, when deep down it does. Overall, I think the author portrayed the awarness of bullying and the effects it has on the youth, and even using the indie-pop style to it can get your message across, but it probably won't get across too easily.

Emily Shouse
(452 words.)


Pumped up Kicks ಠ_ಠ

                Pumped up Kicks by Foster the People is a rather interesting song. It takes dark lyrics and puts them to an upbeat tune. Most people who have heard the song probably don’t even realize what the lyrics are about. The lyrics tell of a school shooting where the main character is a boy named Robert who shoots people in his school with a six shooter he found in his dad’s closet. This is indicated by the chorus” … outrun my gun…” that indicates a shooting is occurring and “pumped up kicks” indicates children who were wealthy enough to have purchased such shoes.  The author of this song is Mark foster who suffered from bullying in school. He overcame this and pursued his dream in music. He later suffered from drug addiction in his first few years in L.A. The dark side of the author comes to light in the lyrics from the song, but what influenced the beat which mismatches the lyrics so much? I believe it is so the song gets stuck in your head. This way you sing it to yourself over and over again without realizing it.


After a while most people begin to wonder what the lyrics are for a particular song they have been hearing about and eventually realize what the song is about. This leads to them realizing just how dark this song really is. This also helps raise awareness about bullying in school.  It shows that bullying is a serious issue. The side is that the beat is something unique to Foster the People and that could be why the song is the way it is. So the song ends up with dark lyrics that tell of a kid who feels the only thing he can do is shoot people with a beat that most people dance to. This poses and interesting dilemma for me. I do not know whether to keep liking the song and enjoy the beat or do I stop because of the disheartening lyrics. The fact that it poses such a dilemma might have led to it becoming as popular as it has become. It makes me wonder if that was the intention of the author or if it was just chance. Analytically I think that it is the way it is be design and that the author purposefully constructed the song so that more people would try to understand how important the bullying issue currently is.


-          Codie Rome (408)

Lyrical Rhetoric

The song "Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster the People actually has multiple ways for someone to read the message that the song gives. It also sends somewhat of a confusing message at the same time. For instance, the song is talking about how this kid stole a gun from his dad and is telling other kids they better run faster than his bullets. But it's being sang to a catchy kind of beat.

However, Marc Foster the guy who wrote this song had a career in jingle writing. So there is a chance that maybe it only has a catchy tune to it because that is what he was used to writing. Or maybe he wanted it to be that way. How I took the song was that it was a message to all the troubled kids in the world. The lyrics are how some of them might feel on the inside or might explain how they are having all the outragious thoughts going through their head. But, the catchy happy tune is how they are "pretending" to be, it's how they are showing their emotions on the outside.

This is a crazy song. When you think about it. Yeah you hear it on the radio and its upbeat song so everyone starts dancing around and seeing the words they think is being said. Then, you go and look at the lyrics and read exactly what they are saying and the first thing that pops in my head is who would write something like that? Or who could even come up with something like that? Overall it does have a message, but in all reality it is very disturbing. Maybe not to everyone, but to a lot of people it is.

It also has a lot of social and historical context to it. The historical issues would be school shootings, things can get so bad for kids at some schools that they just bring a gun to school and either shoot the kids that have tortured them, or even just shoot anyone in their sight. And thats when the social issues come into play. The kids in schools these days seem to have little or no respect for other people at all. They will say things to kids, or even pull pranks on them that will emotionally or even physically damage someone else and they don't even care. They don't even think twice about it. And sooner or later the kids that they are doing it to are going to reach their breaking point. Everyone handles it a different way but you have no idea what could be going through someones head or what could be going on in their life that you don't know about.



Lyrical Rhetoric

The song "pumped for kicks" is about a teenager kid who is isolated and hated his life. The kid fantasized on going on a huge killing spree. He wanted to go on a killing spree because he kept getting bullied in high school, he had all he could take. The author is Foster the People. He moved to L.A when he was 18. He moved there trying to make a living by writing songs and making jingles. The band put this song on the internet and blogs and people began to listen to the song. The song became a huge hit and the band started to get known. The song has a very catchy tune that easily catches peoples attention. At first I could not understand a word they were saying I found it very annoying. After reading through the lyrics I found the song to be quite disturbing. In my opinion I think the author is sending out the wrong message in the song. I honestly don't think anyone should approach bullying the way they did. To me its sending a message telling kids if your being bullied it is okay to go on a shooting spree,to me that is not okay!

I understand what the author is trying to say to his audience. I also understand that he was bullied growing up. Being bullied is not okay as well but having a mind set of killing people does not solve any problems it just creates new ones. Eventually people are going to think its okay to kill other people because its continuous. To me it makes it sound like the kid is out for revenge to the kids wearing pumped up kicks telling them to run, run from his gun. That is not a good message to send out to other kids. There will be bullying everywhere no matter how many people try to stop it. I absolutly don't agree with it and I wish it would come to an end. unfortunetly those are situations our society has to deal with. The song being under indie pop I think allowed its audience to want to listen to it. I think they made the song hard to understand so people would pay more attention to what was actually being said. It had a very catchy tune that caught everyones attention. Once people started listening and looking up the lyrics I think then they were confused on the message he was tryin to send others. The band managed to make a lot of hits from this song, this song is what made this band known. I just don't agree with the message he is trying to send out, to me its not very positive.

Megan H

                This song “Pumped up Kicks” by Foster the People is a seriously messed up song. The first couple times I heard it I didn’t really listen to the words, but I didn’t like the song I thought it was annoying. When I finally got to listen to the words I was very surprised. I had no idea that this song was about a school shooting. The more I listen to this song, the more I began to like the song. I only began to like it because the song had a good meaning behind it. To me the mere fact that this song was about a kid about to shoot down a school was insane, let alone that it had an annoyingly catchy beat to go along with it. Mark Foster was a jingle writer, so it made sense that some people thought this song was a fun to sing to. What didn’t make sense are the lyrics that went with it. I understand that they were trying to get a message out about school shootings, but the lyrics kind of contradict the beat of the song. Although I do like the meaning behind this song, I believe this message could have been portrayed in a different way, but they seemed to get their point out there loud and clear.  
                I think Foster the People were trying to reach out to both the popular, stuck up kids who treat everyone else like crap, and those people who are troubled. In a way I think this song warns those people who think they are better than everyone else to rethink things. Maybe they should think about what the other person may be dealing with before they decide to pick on them for no reason. I also think that Foster the People is trying to reach out to those people who are dealing with some pretty deep issues. It shows that they aren’t the only people out there who feel this way, and maybe they should find a better way to let all that anger out. Over all you never know what someone is going through, which gives you no reason to pick on them. In the song is says “I don’t even know what, but he’s coming for you, Yeah he’s coming for you”, he clearly was out to get one main person. Shooting keep happening more and more, this song may have been the only way to get the foot in the door about addressing the issue.

Andra W.
(word count 422)

Lyrical Rhetoric

Throughout the song “Pumped up Kicks”, the author makes the song seem very cheerful and
upbeat when you just listen but, if you actually read through the lyrics you can tell that is not the case. He makes you perceive something that is completely different. On the outside people are a lot different than they lead on to others. Many people have bad home lives or other bad situations occurring to them often. They don’t let others see this though; they go about their lives making others think nothing is wrong. Foster the People is a young band and not a lot of parents or older people listen to songs like this; Therefore making focusing on younger people as their audience. Foster the People did a good job in writing this song because they really point out who their audience is. Throughout the music video for “Pumped up Kicks”, Foster the People are singing and jumping around. The video looks as if nothing is wrong. All of the kids are going around showing off all of their “kicks”, and running through alleys smiling and having fun like any normal teen would do. By doing this it makes the song very controversial when you read the lyrics.

Why would Foster the People do this? Was the author Mark Foster one of the kids that he was
portraying in this song? The author talks about a gun and people outrunning his bullet. Is he pointing
out a certain person? The author doesn’t explain clearly whom he is talking about, making this also
controversial. In this case, the lyrics show the inside of a person and the music video shows the outside of the person. How did the author bring both sides together so well? The beat Foster the People used was very appealing, I think they chose a catchy beat to purposely trick people into thinking that the meaning of the song was good, instead it wasn’t. By using this catchy beat it helped me to form my whole paper. If Foster the People would have used a not so catchy beat that represented the beat more directly than you would have known the point they were trying to get across almost immediately. Instead they chose to use a catchy beat making us ( the audience) actually read into the lyrics and to really find out what is going on throughout the song.

Lyrical Rhetoric.

                The song, “Pumped Up Kicks,” by Foster the People was a very mainstream song back in 2011. When I first heard it, I was dancing to it and trying to sing along but I did not quite understand what the words were. They sold many copies of the song on Itunes as well as the album in which the song was on. If you actually listen to the words being spoken, the words are not as the song beat shows it would be, it is actually about someone going out with a gun and shooting someone else. The main chorus of the song says about how you should run from the gun. The way I look at the lyrics, the first thing that comes from reading it is an image of a child with a gun in a school. Recently there have been a lot more public shootings in the United States now more than ever before, even after the song came out. I believe that they wrote this song to show awareness of the problems on violence and the issues behind that.
                With them trying to show awareness to the problem, in my opinion, they did it in a weird way. So, what I am trying to say is, I don’t know if the words tied well with the message. It could have been taken in a wrong way. The audience could be a group of teens, adults, and even preteens. Shooting happen everywhere, especially in schools today. The artist chose the words, “Run, Run, Run” to emphasize the fear in a person’s eyes when they are threatened for their lives.
                The music is very upbeat and catchy while the lyrics mean a completely different thing. The musical background gives the song that first impression of a happy, dance video; the words itself, if put behind a slower, sadder tone would mean something completely different. That’s why the genre is Indie pop; those types of songs are usually upbeat and fun.
                The point I am trying to make is just because you hear something is happy and upbeat in a song, doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a happy upbeat song. Messages in songs, such as this song, show how the world is now and it brings a realization to people in a new and creative way people will enjoy and understand on a different musical level for everyone to take part in.

Word Count: 404

Lyrical Rhetoric

Mark Foster, the writer of "Pumped Up Kicks" is a true jingle writer. In the song, along with his band
Foster the People, try to relay a message aboout shootings. I feel as if being a jingle writer is to his advantage. The song repeats itself multiple times, making it hard to forget. It's easy to listen to and something I think kids would easily pick up on, but does that mean they understand? I find it somewhat odd that you can't really understand what is being said until the chorus, which may be one of the most important parts. I believe that the situation they are referring to is a child bringing a gun to school and causing a shooting. I also think that the song says he isn't sure why, but then continues to say his dad comes home late. This caused me to think that his family problems mad him angry so he took it out on the "weaker" people, the ones that couldn't "run away" so to speak. I can't actually figure out why they talk about "pumped up kicks". One way I thought about it would be other kids that are going through the same thing as him, or people of "his kind".

I think that Foster the People portray this song very well, and I think they get the message across in a way that is easy for many people to understand. You really don't have to do much reading in between the lines to understand what is going on. As I said earlier, I couldn't really understand what most of the song was saying until I looked up the lyrics. I think that the weird voice kind of adds to the situtaion. Like everything is kind of sketchy as the childs anger is built up, but once he finally goes off the voice in the song becomes clear. I also think this could be a way to have people listen to the song more. After a while people are going to get tired of only knowing a couple of words, and are going to look up the lyrics like all of us did. After looking up the lyrics, I wanted to know more about the author. I don't think this song really tells much about him as an author, but more tells a story. That doesn't mean this is his story, but I think that is also another way to draw in the audience.

Karah Trinkle
Word Count(411)

Lyrical Rhet stuff.


 Pumped up kicks was a song written by Foster the People who usually sing indie pop or similar genres. They originated from L.A. and formed in California in the year of 2009, the band leader Mark Foster was making jingles before the band went global. In the start of Fosters carry he had many failed attempts are bands and a drug addiction problem which he shock in his later years. When formulating the song that brought him to fame “Pumped up kicks.” he took an upbeat tone to the song but when you hear the lyrics it is very dark. They portray a troubled youth with parents who do not seem to show much love for him, as days go on he begins to slowly become psychotic. I think Foster could be trying to shed light on violence that has been happening in the public, such as the shooting in the Colorado shooting.  I believe the upbeat feel is for hipsters since they generally like songs that have to do with feelings but still have a tune they can dance to, often incorporating a different sound then usual music.
                If you take out the main chorus and just read the in between you start to gather the reason story. The kid in this story seems to be a country out-cast with a bunch of hipsters with pumped up kicks, I believe is why he is coming for them because he has finally snapped and is angry at them for making him an out-cast. When the song depicts his Dad coming home late and he will be eating frozen food I think this is a great way of showing how little attention the kid is getting from his family and that at some point everyone has a breaking point and he reached it and is going to take it out.
                I think the purpose in Mark Foster creating this song is to bring awareness that we need to be nice to everyone that we know and that not doing so can make people violent and even psychotic. Sometimes we do not know what state someone is in and they may be going through something far more than anything you can comprehend, we should try out best to be nice to everyone we can because of this. You may not be the main reason they snapped but contributing to anything that hurts others is just as bad. 

-Ashley Kocanda

Lyrical Rhet

How many problems with teen bullying have recently come up in society and what do you think would be able to help point out how serious stopping it needs to be? Honestly When I first heard the song Pumped Up Kicks on the radio, I thought to myself how catchy is this song and tune. Then the more I listened to the song I caught some of the lyrics and to say the least, I was a bit shocked on how crazy they were. In all seriousness I thought I was hearing the words wrong. Looking up the lyrics and the meaning behind this song by Foster The People really changed the way I looked at the song. When I used to hear it on the radio it was just another song until I began listening to the lyrics. My interest in figuring out what the lyrics meant grew as well. The song is a little eye opener for people who are just thinking its another song. Pumped Up Kicks was written by the lead singer of Foster The People, Mark Foster. He wrote this song to make people become more aware of how dangerous and common teen bullying is becoming.
Foster wrote this song and put a little catchy tune with it for a reason. You hear this really cool catchy song on the radio and then learn the lyrics and then figure out the story behind them. It was a great idea and plan that Mark Foster and his band had. This was their way of getting their song out and where most of the public would be able to hear it. The more people that hear the song, is the more people that get to understand what Foster The People are trying to get out to the public. The genre of music is alternative and indy pop. Which a lot of young teens and also some adults listen to these genres. The message behind this song is to get people to realize bullying needs to stop. This song truly is about a kid wanting to shoot others, which is a very scary and touchy subject considering all the teen violence and school shootings that have happened here recently. This song I think has done its job, and made people realize the seriousness of teen bullying. What a great idea and strategy that Mark Foster had, such a genius plan!
Word count: 404

Pumped Up Kicks

The song Pumped Up Kicks is a song written by Foster the People. It has a cetchy tune and sounds very up beat. If you listen closely  you'll soon realize that its anything but positive. Mark Foster wrote the song Pumped Up Kicks. Foster was bullied in high school which had a lot to do with the song. The song was written do to with bullying in high school and hopefully is sending a message to the audience to prevent bullying. It was a very popular song over the summer. The pumped up kicks refure to the Reboks shoes that were called Pumps. Most people who wore these shoes were knows as hipsters because they were following an expensive trend that most people couldn't afford.More than likely Foster was probably bullied by these type of people who wore these shoes. The bassit in the band was also said to of had a cousin that was in the library at the time of the Columbine Shooting and that he had flown out to be with his cousin during all the madness. A situation like that probably hit home as it would anyone with a heart.

To me the song has a very deep message. I understand where Foster is coming from and think its obviouse that this is about a troubled person who has been hurt by people. I do not believe that this is a very postive message to send towards people about bullying. To me the song is more about revenge. That we should get even towards the people who have hurt us. The song goes "All the other kids with the pumped up kicks you'd better run, better run, out run my gun. All the other kids with the pumped up kicks you'd better run better run faster than my bullet." The kid in the song finds his dads gun and is now going after these kids who are wearing the pumped up kicks.The kid is clearly on his way to murder these children to get back at them. This isnt a very positive message, though if bullying was stopped people wouldnt have these feelings but at the same time you dont want people to think its ok to go out on a shooting spree. The song is like your in the killers mind and its very dark. By hearing the song for the first time i never imagined it was so dark. It's so up beat that you think its obviously a positive message. The more up beat it is though the more people are going to listen, hints its been named the song of the summer.I think the songs great though most people hate it. The message its sending out is pretty dark but over all its a great song.

Jessica E.

"Pumped up Kicks"

                I believe that Foster the People created a song that tried to get their message across but failed when the song came across as such a happy catchy tune. Foster the People has sold over 3 million copies of “Pumped up Kicks” according to Wikipedia, that is a lot of copies but I believe not many of the people really understood there message. Every time I have ever listened to the song I would of never of realized that the song was about shootings. I believe he was trying to raise awareness of the threat of public shootings and the past ones that have happened. People like me listened to the song for a long time and found it to be a happy song with a neat catchy chorus and catchy beat. The first time I really looked into the lyrics and thought about what the message in the song was the other day in class and I was shocked that it was about shootings.  The song writer Mark Foster is a Jingle writer which explains the catchy beat. The beat helped sell the song and that is a good thing money wise for them and for trying to get their message across. I believe it also shielded there message to the average person who maybe would buy the song if they had an idea of what it’s really about. Making the song appeal to more people was something they were trying to do with the beat.

                When I first looked at the song lyrics I think the Foster the people was addressing all of the resent shootings in the country or even beyond just our country. I think the song is going through the mind of the troubled youth. But when you listen to the song it’s hard to pick up on the message unless you listen very closely because the words are very hard to understand at some points of the song. I think the song is trying to show that people can be happy on the outside like the beat seems to portray and on the inside they can be very different and upset like the lyrics show to be true. I really believe in order to find the true meaning of this song you have to look closely because they don’t want the meaning to be known right away because that might hurt the sale of the song. (402)

Zack Girton

Pumped Up Kicks by Foster the People

As sad as it is to think about, this country has many problems with violence in schools, be it high school or universities. This song Pumped Up Kicks, gives a look into what the person who’s the kid that was bullied and how he makes his choice about what he’s going to do. When just listening to the tune itself, people have the chance to mistake it for a happy upbeat song. This is where listening to what the words are saying is key. The message is clear when looking at the lyrics. This song is also a message to hipsters, an F- you is what its saying.

The social and historical contexts of this song are noticeable. The most recent case that anyone would know about would be the attack at the movie cinemaplex where a man shot and injured many people. There’s also the Colmbine shooting where so many people were injured and a community was torn to pieces because of what happened. There is also, sadly the social thing that people feel that it’s alright to bully because they just think they’re teasing this person while the one that it’s happening to doesn't feel that way. Those that are bullied also keep quiet and pretend that everything is ok and that nothing in their world is going wrong. Bullying is not okay. It’s a horrid thing that happens and sadly, many times school shootings are what the person feels they have to do in order to stop the bullying. The social aspect to this song is that those who are the victims are the ones getting even with their tormentors. What is part of the song is also the titles, the time period where this song is set is when Reebok shoes were the ‘in’ thing. So that was how this guy identified his targets. The shoes were more expensive and mostly the jocks and preps wore them so it was an easy identifier to find his tormentors.

When we listen to a song, we don't always hear the message behind it, it is only when we truly see or hear the lyrics, do we then understand what the entire song is about. This is key in understanding the rhetoric that musicians use when writing the lyrics that make up the song, the beat and sound is only a part of what makes a song, a song.


Baylea Hall

Lyrical Rhetoric

             The first time I heard the song “Pumped up Kicks” I did not really listen to the words. I could only understand the chorus but I liked the music anyway. I did not really care that I did not understand the song and I do not think my friends did either because they never said anything about the meaning of the song. Until we were supposed to analyze the song I did not know what it was about.  Just by listening to the song I could not understand the words or the message behind it. I had to read the lyrics to understand the song was about shooting. The writer of the song (Mark Foster) was trying to inform people about shootings since they have become more common over the years. Also, he was showing us the mind of shooter.  The singer and writer of the song is Mark Foster and he was a jingle writer. Since Mark was a jingle writer he knew how to make songs stick in your head and remember them. He wanted his audience to remember his song and look up the meaning behind it. Mark had the right idea behind his song but it was not executed it very well. He was right by using catchy music that would stick in your head but failed by not making sure you could understand him singing.

By the song being under the genre of indie pop it made the audience think the song was not as serious as it really was. By having upbeat music with intense words I think he is trying to confuse to his audience to make them really listen to his words.  I think audience he was trying to reach with his song was anyone that listened to it. Mark Foster and his band intended to get the message out to as many people as they could.  The purpose of the song is informing his audience that bullying and shootings are an issue. Also, that something should be done to fix these issues. The song was written from the shooters point of view, which helped listeners of the song understand what was going on with the shooters mind and what caused the shooter to make extreme choices. The message of the song is that people who are bullied can do extreme things. Also, shootings can happen at any time and people need to be prepared for it.

-Megan Grimes (405)

Lyrical Rhetoric

Before listening to the song “Pumped Up Kicks” by the Foster People, I was never really aware of the words and the whole meaning of the song; it was always on the radio and I just thought that it was a very upbeat, fun and enjoyable song. After looking through the lyrics and figuring out what the band is really trying to say from them, it changed my whole perspective on the song. After realizing what the song was truly about, the message completely shocked me. The message that they are trying to get out of this song is that shootings are becoming a growing problem in today’s society, especially with teenagers in schools and other places. Mark Foster, who is the author of this song “Pumped Up Kicks”, is a jingle writer and he does this to get his audience to think about what it is like for the children who are thinking about attempting a shooting or something just as severe. Since Mark Foster is such a great jingle writer, this allows him to get the rhythm stuck in his audiences head, leading this song to its huge popularity. I believe that Foster is trying to address just about anybody in this song. He is mainly addressing bullies and the children who are troubled in school, home, etc.

The main message of this song is that bullying is a huge problem in today’s society, and it only seems to be getting worse. “Pumped Up Kicks” is a very popular song because it is so easy to listen to for just about anybody, and this is exactly what the author, Mark Foster, wanted to do here. Although the lyrics are not very straight forward, it was still quite easy to understand what they are trying to address because there are many different perspectives that you could get from this song. It is not only addressing one specific thing, since there are so many different bullying problems around today. I believe that Mark Foster addressed this song to the public to state that just because you may seem happy on the outside, does not mean that you are feeling the same on the inside. The catchy beat and rhythms from this song represent how a bullied child may put on a front for people to make them think that he is okay, but on the inside he is really hurting and just wants to be understood by others; which is what the lyrics represent.

Brooke Kinney (417)

Lyrical Rhetoric

The first time I heard the song “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People I didn’t really think much about it. I thought the song was catchy, but didn’t pay much attention to the lyrics or the meaning behind the song, and I don’t think that too many other people did either.  After the song had been out for a little while someone told me that I need to listen to it more closely. I later realized that the song had to do with a shooting, which should have been obvious from the very beginning. I looked closer to the song and perceived the song as a school shooting. After some research on the song, and the background of the band I decided that Mark Foster (the lead writer) may have been trying to show their audience what it’s like inside the mind of someone who goes on a school shooting rampage. Shootings are really common in today’s society and I think that they wanted to address the issue. I feel like Foster and his group had good intentions and that they went about it in the right way, but I don’t believe that they did as well as they could have in communicating their message.

Before Foster started this band he was a jingle writer. I feel like because of this, he knew exactly what he was doing. He knew how easily a jingle can get stuck in your head after listening to it for a while, and I think that’s what he wanted to happen with this song. I believe that Foster wanted to give his audience something to think about. When the chorus says that all the other kids better run, I think it’s referring to the fact that people should be aware that this can happen anywhere, and that people should be afraid of the people that surround them. While I feel like the group had good intentions, I don’t feel that they did that well at making their song serious. I think that because of Foster’s past as a jingle writer, it made the song more like a jingle, where it’s more memorized for its catchiness than really read into. I feel like the song was too peppy, for the lyrics themselves, and what they were trying to do with them, but I think it appealed to the audience they were trying to reach, which made the song successful. I think that they were doing a good thing but personally, I don’t really take the song as seriously as they may have wanted me to.
(430 Words)

            We all now know, from researching and being told in class on Monday, that author of the song “Pumped up kicks” is Mark Foster. Mark Foster started the band Foster and the People. Foster was also bullied in school when he was a kid; I believe that this had a big influence on him writing this song. I also think that the fact the he is a jingle writer played a part in why this sad, depressing song is set to a happy, peppy tune. I believe that the other reason that this song is set to a tune that doesn’t fit the lyrics is so that more people will listen to the song. Not everybody will take the time out to listen to a sad, depressing type of song, but people are more likely to listen to a song that’s upbeat and in a sense puts you in a good mood. This is also the type of song that gets stuck in your head so that you repeat it over and over and over again. This was purposely done for this song so that people will keep listening to it and get more people listening to it and eventually spreading the song. If everybody is singing the song and listening to it eventually people are going to wonder what the lyrics are and then Foster and the People have came one step closer to achieving their goal for this song.

            The purpose of this song is to get out the message on bullying. It is to let people know that bullying does happen and that we all need to do something about it. Mark Foster and the rest of the members in the band Foster and the People intended for this song to be played and streamed on google plus, twitter, etc. they wanted as many people to be able to listen to it as possible. I believe that they felt if they could actually voice out to people and let them know that these type of things really do go on whether we see it or not and that it is serious then maybe people will actually stand up and try to do something about it even if its never happened to them. I also think that this song may have been written from the victim’s point of view to. I think in a way Mark Foster was trying to let people know how he felt and how low he could have gone when it was happening to him as a kid.


424 words

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Lyrical Rhetoric

I believe Foster the People does a great job of getting their message across, but they also have ways that do not get their message out. To begin with, by selling so many copies of "Pumped Up Kicks," they got their song out to the public. The YouTube video we watched had over 90 million views, and according to Wikipedia, they sold 3.84 million copies of "Pumped Up Kicks" in 2011. By doing this, they got their name out to the world and the possibility of people understanding the lyrics. By being a jingle writer, Mark Foster probably had an understanding of what beats people would find to be "catchy." The catchy beat of the song probably helped sell a lot of copies, and it also appealed to the "hipster" crowd that does a lot of blogging. This was a genius way to create a buzz about the song.  However, I personally had no idea what the lyrics were until class this week, and I have had the song on my iPod since it first became popular in 2011. I feel like most people don't know the lyrics either. So I am not really sure they got their message out completely. I feel like the only way some people have any idea what the message of the song consists of, is because they saw something on the internet or someone told them. 

Looking at the lyrics of the song, I think Foster the People is trying to address all of the recent massacre shootings that have occurred throughout the world. The lyrics have references of homicidal thoughts going through a troubled youth's mind. I believe the catchy beat of the song may represent how the kid looks and seems like on the outside to other people, but since the lyrics are kind of hard to understand and hidden, I think the lyrics may represent what the kid is thinking in his or her mind. This may be a hint that the writer, Mark Foster, has an understanding of these thoughts or he was possibly bullied as a kid. I believe the song was produced to possibly raise awareness to people about bullying. His Goal may be to show the public that some people may seem "normal" on the outside, but they may have something completely different going on in their mind. Overall, I think Foster the People does a pretty good job at getting their message out to the public, but it has taken a while to become more known.

David Sacre
(420 words)

Lyrical Rhetoric

            The message in “Pumped Up Kicks” is directed towards all the shootings that are going on in today’s world and that it is a growing problem that is a threat to anyone and everyone. It seems that there are beginning to be more and more public shootings throughout this country. It is a problem that I think this artist felt needed to be addressed and that was important to him, and his way of expressing this was through this song. The lyrics of the song could very well be describing a school shooting through this artist’s point of view and his interpretation of what a killer’s thought processing would be like. This song was written for people to listen to and to raise the awareness of the growing amount of violence going on. It is not condoning violence it is just presenting ideas in a very abstract way. Some of the lyrics aren’t straight forward so there are several different ways you could interrupt the setting of the shooting and the people involved. The way the lyrical content is set up in this song it seems as though it is from the point of view of the shooter, or aggressor in this situation.
            Looking beyond the lyrics of the song, the musical content of the song is a very catchy and repetitive, probably because the creator of this song is a jingle writer. How this works to successfully get the message of the song across is that it has a friendly vibe to the music so it is very inviting to listen to. It isn’t a really heavy song or a song that the general population might not listen to. The way this song is written almost anyone could listen to this and enjoy it and respect it for what it is worth. This works great for the fact that the issue it talks about is a problem that the general population has to deal with and worry about so the goal of raising awareness of the problem is accomplished because of the broad range of listeners that hear this song due to the great success it has had on the radio. The song uses repetition not only because of the stylistic features of the artist and his background of writing jingles, but to emphasize the severity of public shootings and to create a scary image through his words that will grab the listeners attention. (407 words)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Oppressive Political Rhetoric

Oppression can some in many forms, for many different reasons, and from many different types of people.  At a recent UN conference, Iranian President Ahmadinejad was confronted about Iran's alleged nuclear program. The nation's president again asserted that the program was only being used for uranium enrichment, which would then be used for electricity production, and then avoided the issue entirely and mainly spoke on foreign affairs, policies, economical and international issues, and security. Shortly thereafter, the president made the following set of statements:
-"The pretext (Holocaust) for the creation of the Zionist regime (Israel) is false ... It is a lie based on an improvable and mythical claim,"  (told to worshippers at Tehran University at the end of an annual anti-Israel "Qods (Jerusalem) Day" rally) (**)

-"Confronting the Zionist regime is a national and religious duty."(**)
-"This regime (Israel) will not last long. Do not tie your fate to it ... This regime has no future. Its life has come to an end," he said in a speech broadcast live on state radio. (** )

These statements are oppressive, not to mention extremely insensitive and offensive, to the world's Jewish population. Denying the existence of a major and traumatic event in the history of an entire people is cruel and unjustified, and will quickly burn many bridges. Germany called Ahmadinejad a disgrace, and White House spokesmen said that the comment only serves to "further isolate Iran from the rest of the world." And I totally agree with that. Ahmadinejad made an unnecessary and offensive comment to promote his own goals, and that served no other purpose than to offend people and make a vain attempt at garnering support through those few countries that have it out for Israel. 

The leader of Iranian-backed Hezbollah went on to say ""Our belief and creed ... remain that Israel is an illegal entity, a cancerous tumor, that must cease to exist," Nasrallah said in a televised address." (** ). The language and implication used and made in this statement alone shows the amount of Anti-Semitism present in Iran and affiliated countries. This is also partly why there is large concern over Iran's nuclear program, because these harsh statements were also made partly to distract from Iran’s true goals with the program.

**All statements with a (**) following it are cited from ( )

(391 words)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Oppressive Language

Oppressive language is everywhere these days; and sometimes people do not even know it is around them. Coming across this image was quite comical for me, only if you have a sense of humor of course. Just looking at this image, you can see what it is telling you. This particular image is stating that since the tragic event of 9/11 occurred ten years ago, our United States is not standing together like it, and that is why the jacket does not properly fit this man who cannot zip it or even get it across his stomach. I believe without the man even stating "It fit 10 years ago," is not even necessary to understand what this particular image is telling you. It may give you a better understanding, but you can tell that the jacket simply says United We Stand and cannot zip or fit properly. I believe this piece of communication was very successful because it was short, sweet, and to the point. The author used an image text instead of an alphabetical text simply because the picture does not need a lot of explaining to do to get its point across. The author of this photo did get their message across because they are right; the United States is not like it was ten years ago.

Oppressive language is quite obvious in this picture. It is stating that America is basically falling apart due to the tragedy ten years ago. This article is involving many of the people in America; the government, the citizens, and the different political parties. I think when the author stated “it” did fit ten years ago, is directed towards all Americans because we need to realize as a country, that we are falling apart. We should not have to have a horrible tragedy happen again just so our United States can come back together like it did ten years ago. I believe the author of this image used the specific text to have the people viewing it have a better understanding of what the image is really stating here. I think the author used this type of oppressive writing because not many people realize that America is not as united as it was ten years ago. Our Americans came together for just about everything that was going on in our world; now it is hard to even have the government agree on certain situations.

Brooke Kinney (405)

When I first saw the image above, I instantly thought of political parties, those costly campaign ads that constantly downgrade the other candidate(s), and of course, when I only had 3 channels on television to watch and the President would be on every single one. Yeah television was horrible on that part without the wonderful inventions of cable or satellite. As I was saying, it’s pretty obvious this is against politicians fighting in campaigns. I, for one, think this was a very useful way to get its message out to the masses. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. It most likely would have been less successful in a form of text. Personally, I read something about politics, I could care less. I’m sure there are numerous people in the audience that can agree with me on that statement. I believe the message of the image is about how oppressive political campaigns can be, and often times, can even lead to numerous forms of violence, such as riots, bomb threats, or even assassinations. Even in the campaign ads, there is so little security in what the ads are downgrading about the other campaigner, that it’s hard to even conclude yourself to a choice between who would be the better president, congressman, etc.

In its way, the image is very oppressive. Not necessarily is it saying all campaigns are this way, but the particular imagery is pretty general in its inferred statements. Violence is an issue when it comes to politics. It always has been. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that every single politician that steps to the plate and gives a speech is the cause. Campaign ads are typical in this issue. Most of the time, the offending campaigner is downgrading the other in some form in order to gain voters on his side. It’s similar to an argument. However, this argument is fought indirectly. I believe the image does show the oppressive language helps further their cause very well. It helps get their point across with greater ease than using a long form of text like a newspaper article or even a news segment on the television.  I believe the oppressiveness of this image helped the author reach his audience so much easier than anything else. As I said, a picture is worth a thousand words. And if you think about it, most people tend to get more irate about an image rather than a piece of reading.

Amanda W.

Political Rhetoric

                 In the image I chose the message is saying that the “No Child Left Behind” act is not working. State testing scores have not improved over the years and the reason behind this is the “No Child Left Behind” act. The act was supposed to help students improve on their testing but it has shown only a little improvement over the years. The image is very easy to understand just by looking at it. The image shows the man struggling to see improvement over the years and making it clear that the message behind the image is that the act is failing. The author chose an image text instead of an alphabetic text because since the issue does not need a lot of explaining it was easier to use an image. Also, they used an image text to draw their audience in without it taking much work to decipher the meaning behind what they were trying to say. If they used an alphabetic text it is likely that people would just ignore it since it would take too long to read it. I believe the author did a good job of making the message clear while it being short and sweet.

                The author of the image is saying that the act is not working for all children. The oppressive language of the image is that the act is not working for all children. This oppressive language fits into the criteria of erasing differences.  The image is saying that it is everyone, instead of it saying that the act is not working for some or most children. I think that the author used this oppressive language to make the issue seem worse by stating that all children are doing badly on testing. If the author was to make the image using only some and most children instead of all, getting their point across to people would not be so effective. I believe that by the author using all, they helped get their view across to people more. Also, by making the audience reconsider what the image is saying instead of thinking about for a second and then forgetting it. I would say that the oppressive language helped the author with the image; by erasing all differences it makes the issue more dramatic and worse. If the author just used some or most it would not seem so dramatic to the audience.

-Megan Grimes (401)

Political Rhetoric

This is a picture that I found to be very interesting to say the least. It's a picture that is bashing on political rhetoric that we most often see today. I find it a little ironic; the artist is using a cartoon to bash other cartoons. When I first saw it I knew that I had to use it. It was just too ingenious for me to pass up! So, because of this, it caught my attention and now here I am blogging about it to share with you! 
Politics are always trying to put one over on their competitors and silly little cartoons are one way of doing so. This cartoon was put together very simply, but at the same time I believe that it was pure genius. The picture is a megaphone, stating what political writing puts out there, and a chamber of bullets waiting to be loaded in showing the harm that can be done by putting such silly little things out there for people to see, comment on, and share with friends.
 This picture is stating that it's a bad form of getting out information. That those cartoons speak out to people and really affect them in ways that we can not see ourselves. They truly do have an impact on how some people will look at the debates and how it affects the way the voting might go, because there are some people that take little issues to far. I’m sure that there have been many controversies in the past over some of these cartoons that have been let out in the past.
I feel that the artist was trying to state that we need to step back and let the politics do what they need to do. They don’t need to bash each other to get their points across. What they really need to do is start working together to find a common ground. Enough with the word violence that has gone on because one day it will end up going too far and the damage that could be done will be unfixable.