Monday, December 11, 2006

Shake it!

I do find it very interesting that the average person uses a line from Shakespeare at least once a day and I have to say I believe that is true. Thinking back to the middle of the semester I remember that I had to write a review on the play "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," for my Arts Reviewing class. If I can recall correctly, the first sentence of that review started out with: "To be or not be. Insane?" Now, I know it is not the exact line from Shakespeare, but obviously I borrowed some of the words. Since I have just finished Hamelt for that same class, my mind is on that play and others written by Shakespeare. In Shakespeare's time Hamlet was called a revenge-tragedy. We have seen these same stories throughout the entire time we have consumed media and it's always the same thing. Stop me when it sounds familiar. It's a cold night, and it is dark and dreary. There is a ghost that has been haunting the town and it has finally come in contact with someone. That someone wants to seek revenge on the person that has killed it. So, naturally we want revenge too. We want this person to kill whoever he can, because we think that will solve everything.However, when he does kill someone; it is usually an innocent person. Then we say, why did you do that? In the end there is nothing but bloodshed. The person who was seeking revenge is dead and he has killed everyone in his path. So, the message of that story: Revenge=Bad.It is stories like this that will never get old. And, it was here in plays like Hamlet and Macbeth that these types of stories originated. It just amazes me that he could write these plays so long ago, and still people practically worship his work, today. I think it is important that we ask ourselves what we really consider our standard to be for art. By my defenition, and I believe others would agree with me, most of what we consume from the media is in fact art. So, how do we decide whether it is good or bad? What makes "Gone With the Wind" any different from "Napoleon Dynamite?"

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Media Consumer..Hey That's Me!

At the beginning of this class i would consider myself to have been a media drone. What do I mean by media drone you ask? Well, it's simple. I was one of those people that was so used to consuming media that I did not think about the meaning of the media. I can honestly say that I have become more critical since I have been in this class. Sometimes I catch myself nit-picking at little things in the media. Things like advertisments, movies, and even books. In another class, we talked about a canon that was created. The canon included all the pieces of media that were most important- it could be considered the foundation that other media references to from time to time.Also, it was a list of books and things that well-educated people should be familiar with. For instance, last night I was watching some late-night T.V. Ok, so i was watching the movie "Clueless." There's nothing wrong with that. First, I will give a brief explanation of the movie for those who have not seen it. It is a teeny-bopper movie that was created to make fun of all the rich teenagers in L.A. Cher, the main character, falls in love with her step brother, and they live happily ever after. It is a funny movie, but again there is refereces to other media that has been created. Although there is not a very strong plot, I found it very interesting that there was references to Shakespeare. Specifically, the actors make remarks about Hamlet. This i something that I did not pick up on when I was younger, because i did not have the left brain critical media side in me. I've thought about te commercials that are on during certain times. During the day there mostly one group of people that stay home: Retired people. So at this time there are commercials about scooters that help you be more mobile. When school gets out around 3 or 4 in the afternoon the commercials consist of iPODS, and mostly electronic things. At night, aroud 7 or so, there are commercials about food, and cell phones. There is not one commercial about scooters. And, late at night there are commercials about sexy girls that you can call for a good time. Also, Christmas seems to be getting earlier and earlier every year. The very beginning of November set off the Christmas advertisements. Usually, it would be hard to even see that right before Thanksgiving. Saturday and Sunday morning it would be easy to see commercials about barbie and RC cars.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Since When Did I Get Rolling Stone?

Today, I was taking in the mail, and noticed something extraordinary. Well, maybe its not that extraordinary, but I noticed that we get Rolling Stone at my house. On the cover of the December issue is Snoop Dogg. For all the people who know about Snoop, they can probably guess what he is holding. It is a blunt that is shaped like a candy cane. I think it is weird that Snoop is on the cover holding a blunt, but yet the article inside the magazine talks about how he is the head coach of a child's football team. Not only is he on te cover with the candy cane shaped blunt, but the article begins with Snoop in his porsche rolling a blunt with his hands while driving with his knees. Does he send the message to young children that it is ok to do drugs? It seems like it to me. The article says that he is really involved with the boys. He truely cares about each individual child and the boys feel the same way. In fact, Snoop cares about the boys so much he is willing to put his career on hold. I'm quoting Rolling Stone here: "Snoop says,'I don't wanna do no records, I don't wanna do no movies, I don't wanna do shit but football. Until I win the Super Bowl the buck stops here.'" Hmmm, it seems like he really cares about the kids when he says that he is going to win the Super Bowl, not the kids. Snoop probably paid the magazine to put this article in there for him.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Well, it really concerns me when advertsiers start turning stomach problems into song and dance. Some of the new commercials for Pepto-Bismol contain some sort of sign language with the actors dancing and singing about their stomach problems.The picture above shows a Pepto-Bismol advertisement from 1955. I think this type of advertisement explains everything. Why do we need giant monsters, and in a previous commercial, break dancers, telling us about upset stomachs and diarrhea? But, I have to admit the commercials are funny. Maybe by making these kinds of advertisements into comedies, the advertisers hope to help people feel better about having the symptoms that Pepto-Bismol cures. Then, more people will buy their product instead Pecid AC, or other name brand stomach medicines.
It seems funny that I would think this deeply about a Pepto-Bismol commercial, but since I've been in this class, I've become so critical of everything. But, that's not the only reason, because people with stomach problems don't usually go out telling the world they have diarrhea or indigestion. Just like sex has become something that people talk about openly, and in public, maybe it's time we start talking about our explosive diarrhea. Some things are better left unsaid.

Friday, November 24, 2006

The O.C.

What will they come up with next? I was a huge fan of the show when the first season came out, juts like all the other teenage girls were. But after the second season, the storyline got really old. It was always the same thing, Marissa would get caught up in some bad situation, and Ryan would have to come rescue her every single time. Since Ryan's character was some bad-ass wannabe, of course he could only solve Marissa's situations by kicking someone's "butt". Not to mention that Marissa was so stupid! She had the dumbest character on the show, and that's pretty hard to beat when her co-star was Summer, the bubble-headed brunette. The reason I use past tense for Marissa's co-star is because Marissa died. She was killed in a tragic "accident". This, I believe, is the reason for the show's utter failure. With Marissa being the star of the show, alsmost every show had been based around her, this move by the writers set the show up to fail. Then again, I can't blame the writer's because it was probably Mischa Barton's choe to leave the show. Coming to my conclusion, I know the show is doing really bad when my little sister read in Cosmo Girl that there is a new fragance, it's called the OC fragrance. Wow, now you can smell like the people on the show! I predict that the show won't last for another season, actually it might not even last in its current one.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Saar family, "Mixed-Media" Artists

Standing at the beginning of the art exhibition there is a sculpture of a young girl carrying the heavy weight of cloth above her head. Immediately, I could feel the weight the little girl was carrying on her head. As she greets visitors, the weight of sorrow sits heavily upon her, but probably not by request. This piece was done by Betye Saar; it represents the burden that her father had bestowed upon her at a very young age. Her father had asked to her to take care of the family when she was only 5. Later on, she would try to come out as an artist, but it was not always so easy, because she would have to follow her mother’s golden footsteps. The sculpture led the way for themes of depression and oppression alike as I continued through the rest of the exhibit. The sculpture that represents these themes most accurately is Sapphire by Alison Saar. Betye, and her two daughters, Lezley and Alison Saar have very similar materials in their artwork. They call themselves “mixed-media” artists. Their pieces consist not of beautiful, colorful paintings, rather they are a collection of “things” that the artists have found at flea markets and garage sales.
The sole piece that caught my eye was Sapphire by Alison Saar. The glowing, red light mesmerized me as I walked closer to it. The light captured me like some kind of hypnotist. As I got closer there were a multitude of tiny little belongings that the young lady was so willing to show. A red light is usually an indication of prostitution, the red light would be lit up outside to let people know that the business inside was prostitution. However, when I looked inside this young lady’s chest there was a whole life story. Pictures and gadgets, needles and combs, cowboys and railroads were placed throughout her chest. Even though this girl is a prostitute, this piece shows that she is still young and vulnerable. There are many good times that she has had in her life, but by opening herself up to anyone who is willing to look she has let her guard down. She is no longer able to defend herself as she journeys through life. Even more importantly, she is so young, and like a lot of girls in her culture she has chosen to take the difficult journey. She has chosen to use her body as a tool, instead of special belonging that only she has control over. All of the memories she once knew and loved can only live inside of her now.
Alison Saar has captured the problem with our society today. There are young girls that live on the street everyday, that are lost with no where to turn but, prostitution. Unlike her mother, Alison chooses to use the heart and soul when she is dealing with her pieces, rather than the mind. Alison depicts this prostitute as being sexual on the outside, but the on the inside she is nothing but a little girl who is lost and confused. If the sculpture is closed, the nipples on the outside will light up red, but when it is opened it reveals all that is inside. Like any lost girl, it seems as if her heart is pulling her in all different directions.
All together, the exhibit exposed the dark, melancholy emotions these artists have experienced in the last few years. After losing a loved one in the family, these women have continued on with their life by expressing their emotions through their art. The women experienced sorrow, depression, and anger. But their art work shows us that with time, life does go on.

Donna Moderna

For those of you who were in class, you heard my short presentation about the Italian website, Donna Moderna. It is a magazine in Italy that is pulished once a month, and its target audience is mainly women, with some other general interest. The modern pictures and art in the magazine are very vivid. The word modern leads me to believe that the women reading this magazine are probably interested in fashion, and they are anywhere from 20-35 years old. It's not likely that a 60 or 70 year old women is going to pick up this magazine,because they're interested in fashion; I said unlikely not impossible. In last month's copy there was an article about how to quit smoking. Even though most of the European culture smokes, I think they are finally realizing that it is important that they quit smoking. After all, smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, not to mention it takes countless numbers of lives every year. This leads us back to the point of who decides what people read in magazines, and other media. Unlike the US, Italy has much more restrictions on their media. A lot of what is written is controlled by the government. But, that is a whole other tangent. Back to the magazine, it features a lot about health, and how to keep your children happy. Did I also mention that there is an article about jeans that you can wear while you're pregnant, and you even wear them while you're not. Most of these articles could probably be found in like a Cosmo, but the Italin touch is highly enjoyable.

Monday, November 06, 2006


one of the most disgusting
pictures i have ever seen

Most of you are probably wondering who this Borat character is, well I'm not really sure myself. But, here is what I can tell you. He is a made up character that leads his viewers to believe that he is leaving his hometowwn to make a documentary about America. When he arrives in America he dicovers that there is television, and that television provides this show called Bay Watch. It doesn't stop there, he he falls in love with a particular character in show called CJ, otherwise known as Pamel Anderson. He is determined to venture across America to California where he hopes to meet his one true love. This is great anf all, but why would anyone with any intelligence spend their hard earned money on such stupidity. It makes me wonder who the target audience if for this movie. Could it be the youth of our nation? Or maybe it is the unemplyed internet nerds that have nothing better to do than watch some idiot try to find Pamela Anderson.
Looking on the other hand, this Borat guy does some pretty outrageous stuff that causes others to cringe when they see his actions. Most of the critics are saying this movie is the funniest movie of the year, but what does it have to compete with? Jackass? I think not. Similarly, some critics say that is a lot like the humor of Jackass, however it is a mockery of all documentaries. "I highly recommend 'Borat' to anyone like myself with zero emotional I.Q., those with a thick skin for when former friends decide you're a moron by association, and the wise people who believe in their souls that "Jackass" was shafted for the 2002 Oscar," said critic Micheal Booth. So, in the end of this blog I guess I have answered my own question. The target audience for this movie is none other than the audience for Jackass. I would say that the common audience member would be a male, anywhere from 13-19 years of age.