Friday, September 29, 2006

Whoa, I forgot about this one...

yes, its the famous..... MENTOS AND DIET COKE experiment! haha...if you haven't ever seen this or have no idea what this is about click here: http://youtube.com/watch?v=GM-vrmB6hIQ&mode=related&search=

Anyways...so yea, there are many different ways people have done this experiment. Some have it down to a science (which is kind of odd to say, because it is a science experiment). You can either drop mentos in the bottle, shoot them in with a rubber band, or shove them in really fast-fasten the cap back on-shake up the bottle-throw it in the air-and watch. Oh yea, and you guy puts the mentos in his mouth followed by diet coke-not smart. whatever way you do it...its gonna be good. Oh, how easily we are amazed by a simple scientific reaction of the mentos and the heavily carbonated soda, at least I am. So i hope that if you have never heard of or seen his experiment, you are humored.

Movies

So I went to see Talladega Nights and Jackass Two this week, I've been sick so all I can do is sit around, and whereas my boyfriend found them both hilarious my sister and me did not. I don't understand this. Within both movies there were some funny parts, but most of it was rather stupid or blatant trying to be funny which does not entertain me. During most of Jackass I had to turn my head rather than watching people hurt themselves. Although every boy that I have talked to that watched these movies found them to be extremely funny I have talked to many girls that agree many parts of them are very stupid, grant it some girls did also find it very funny. I do not recommend either movie when you are sick though, rent something and watch it on your couch.

Friday Links

Time magazine has a column by James Poniewozik about the new version of the classic board game Monopoly, and it contains a few points that relate to things we discussed this week:
If you want to understand the American attitude toward capitalism, look inside your hall closet. There's probably a Monopoly game in there somewhere. Monopoly is the most popular board game in history, with more than 250 million copies sold. You may never have taken a real estate seminar or cracked an economics textbook. But if you grew up in an American home, and at some point it rained, you played Monopoly.

Smarter writers than I have tried to figure out why Americans resist the regulation of business and markets, often even when we would personally stand to benefit from that regulation. But you could do worse than to start with the fact that for more than 70 years, we have played a game whose object is to corner a market and beggar our neighbors. Every year pundits decry video games like Bully or Grand Theft Auto, yet our first introduction to one of business's most predatory, illegal practices is through a widely loved game with adorable doggy and thimble pieces. It's as if someone had invented a children's board game called Racketeering or Usury.

The new game replaces the thimble, dog, and iron with a Motorola cell phone, New Balance sneaker, and a Starbucks coffee, but it's hard to complain about corporate product placement in something as rah-rah-capitalism! as Monopoly. Also, you now get $2 million for passing Go.

***

I'm still way into watching web video. Two of the most popular vlogs (videoblogs) have become regular stops on my daily tour of the web. They are:

Rocketboom, news/documentary in content, comic in tone. (Here is an old Rocketboom on net neutrality.)

The Show with Ze Frank, zany, funny. (Here is a blog trying to explain some of Ze Frank's appeal--it has to do with how his head fills the screen, says the blogger.)

***

And here is my media consumption forecast:

Movies:

UWM Union Theater has The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, one of the most acclaimed films of the past several years. The New York Times called it a masterpiece.

The Science of Sleep is playing at the Oriental. It was directed by Michel Gondry, who made many brilliant music videos before directing Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. (Review: Variety.)

Television:

Degrassi The Next Generation begins a new season tonight on The N. You can also watch online at the website.

Veronica Mars begins a new season on Tuesday on The CW. (You can already see this episode online here if you have Windows Media Player.)

Thursday, September 28, 2006

jackass:2...hot for theaters?

So last week Friday, I went and saw the new Jackass movie. For those who have been out of touch with society for the past seven years, Jackass is about a bunch of guys who go around hurting themselves and their friends. Some people find their antics to be funny, while some find it to be immature and gross. Personally, I think they’re hilarious. However, there was one "stunt" in the movie that even I couldn’t stand to watch. I won’t really get into all the details, but during the “stunt” an enormous censor bar flashed across the movie screen. My first reaction was, “thank god they didn’t show it” Then I realized that this was an R rated movie, and shouldn’t they show everything??? Apparently, Paramount and MTV felt the “stunt” was too graphic for theaters. Maybe when they release the DVD they’ll show it uncensored, but I don’t know if I really want to see it uncensored. By the way, I heard Jackass: Number 2 opened number one at the box office opening weekend. What a great society we live in.

The (Crappy) Future of Our Society

In another of my JMC classes, Advertising in American Society, we watched a short documentary about people and their obsessions with shopping called "Buy-ology." Prepare to grimace.

It started off fine, talking of a few ongoing experiments in various retail supermarkets (as it turns out, they really are using those damn cameras), but it quickly turned into something that kind of scared me. Evidently there is a chemical imbalance in certain peoples' brains that causes compulsive disorders, including compulsive shopping.

One lady that was followed had to erect an entire garage to store all the materials she had bought over time. I kid you not: she could have opened another JoAnn's fabric store, in her back yard. As it turns out, she's on the pill. No, not a birth control pill, but a pill to help her stop shopping.

What world are we living in when someone needs a pill, or better yet a medical excuse, to spend all their money? Is it the media making them buy all this? Is it the new pastime, just buying crap to satisfy ourselves? Is our society going completely commercial, even in their heads?

Pretty pathetic if you ask me, and not something I enjoy thinking about. What else are we going to need a pill for, breathing air? Anyway, it was an interesting film to watch and I enjoyed almost all of it, save for the seats in the lecture hall.

just like in "Top Gun"

So I recently recovered an npr interview that I heard late at night earlier this week. On Sept. 20th the NPR program "Fresh Air" had an interview with Frank Rich. He has a book about how the Bush administration uses all sorts of propaganda to sell the war on Iraq. The interesting thing he talked about was the famous "mission accomplished" speech that Bush gave aboard that aircraft carrier. The time of day, the position of the ship, and the horribly inaccurate "mission accomplished" banner were all more orchestrated that we thought. Apparently they arranged with ship personnel to position the ship just right so you couldn't see the city of San Diego in the near background - thus giving a "victory at sea" feel to the event. Probably the silliest thing that they did was dress up George W. in that bogus fighter pilot suit, as if he just walked off the set of "Top Gun." They really made a Hollywood style production out of the whole thing, even by waiting for the time of day that produced the perfect lighting. So beware the mass media tactics of the Bush administration. And I'm sure Bush's portrayal of a navy fighter pilot left 'Goose' spinning in his fictional grave.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Journal Sentinel

When I find myself with access to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel there are only a few sections I am interested in. Being a sports nerd I immediately pull out the Sports page. I rarely read the front page and first section because all I see is blah blah campaign finance blah blah republican/democrat blah blah. I next take a look at the Metro section because you can always read some stupid criminal stories and at least the others are relevant to my everyday life. Plus, the back page of the Metro is always a treat, Encore. This glorious section is full of interesting nuggets of entertainment news. For example today Shakira has been nominated for 5 Latin Grammys, charges have been filed against drunky Paris Hilton, and clebrating his 55th birthday....Meat Loaf!! This Bud's for you Meat. Once these sections are done its time to excercise my brain with the Good Morning section. Jumble first, Cryptoquip next, and finish up with the main event: Sudoku.(note:crossword puzzle way too hard) I guess my point is the Journal is sweet even if the "real news" isn't all that interesting or relevant.

Tabloids

So my older sister called me from FL last night and our conversation trailed to our usual unhealthy obsession; tabloid gossip. I'm still fixated on the Paris Hilton DUI scandal or a Brangelina fight here and there. But her conspiracy theories lie with the "suspiciously" labeled death of Anna Nicole's 20 year old son. I have to admit it is a pretty bizarre story with new details emergine daily. From what I understand, Anna's son Daniel died three days after his mother had a baby girl in her hospital room while he was asleep on chair next to his mother. Yes Anna has had her fair share of media stunts, many of which were not premeditated but instead inspired by drugs, alchohol or her unitelligent demeanor. My personal favorite was when she got up to present at a music award show and was completely whacked out on pills. She couldn't read the teleprompter and lets just say between her pills and lack of ability to think on the spot it was a train wreck. If you saw it then you know what I'm talking about. However, despite these bad career moves (I'm being nice) I am quite sure that she does not deserve the media circus that has began because of her son's death. People making jokes on late night TV shows and speculating whether she is to blame for putting him on medication is disgusting in my opinion. This is her son's death not a bad outfit. So my sister went on and on about all of the information that she knew and it occured to me that I had heard only 1/4th of what she was talking about. She barely took time to breath as she quoted information from Star Magazine, People, In Touch, Us, Life and Style and even the British magazine The Sun. "Betty" I asked, "do you buy each of these magazines on a weekly basis?" "Yes pretty much unless Tom Cruise is on the cover or something." "Betty" I said sharply, "do you realize that you are spending about 20 dollars a week, thats over a thousand dollars a year!?" There was silence on her side of the line until she reasoned "That is a lot of money but I give up other things so that I can keep buying my magazines, like by not getting car insurance". Wow isn't that a scary thought for the day.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

So I recently began a brand spanking new job at a very large, nation-wide home electronics store. Should I say the name? Is that allowed? Oh whatever, it's Best Buy. I absolutely love it there! I'm in the wireless department, meaning I get to play around with cell phones and I-pods all day (jealous? yeah you are). Now, as the obsessed owner of an I-pod, I noticed something a tad odd the other week at work......

We had just gotten the first shipment of the new Christmas items in the store (meaning the remodeled 2, 4, and 8 GB nanos, and the 80 GB video I-pods), and myself and a co-worker were given the exciting task of organizing and displaying them on the shelves. Typically on the I-pod cases is displayed a picture of the device itself with a band's cd in the screen (a very clever advertising ploy might I ad--touché, Apple). However, picking up on of the new 80 GB video cases, the very attractive face of Johnny Depp in Pirates II attire was staring back at me on the I-pod screen. I asked my co-worker why Mr. Depp was on the box--he doesn't sing anything. I was told that people can now download full length movies from I-Tunes.com (in addition to songs) for their video I-pods.

Aha! So Johnny Depp isn't promoting his latest album, he now has the ability to promote his new movie via the boxes for the thousands of new I-pods we'll sell. AND HOW IRONIC that this change in box design comes just in time for the holiday shopping season this year!!!!!! I bet that someone at Apple is reaping the benefits from a huge raise right now for coming up with that gem. Geez. Sometimes this industry is so simple it amazes me......so that means I'll be able to get a sweet job with no problem.....right Michael? :-)


9 flicks

so i know everyone has heard of dane cook by now which is funny because i had no idea who he was until saturday. i've heard his name but i had no clue where he came from and why all of a sudden he was so damn popular. and then saturday came and made me realize that i'm in love with dane cook. so anyway, me and my friend were watching the insomniac comedy tour and dane (yes, i'm on a first name basis with him) came on last. he did this one skit that i thought was so hilarious. and the reason why i find him so funny is because everything he says is exactly what everyone is thinking but just never realized to be so true. like this skit for instance: so he was talking about cars at intersections and how you make that "you can go" motion with your hand when you're being nice and letting them go before you. so he said something like you make no more than 9 flicks with your hand and if the person hasn't gone yet those flicks immediately turn into the the presentation of the "fucking go!" gesture. this is so true and everyone knows it!

Monday, September 25, 2006

SNL



Last night i watched the 100 greatest moments of Saturday Night live, which contributed to me being up till 3:30 in the morning but it was awesome. It made me realize what a tremendous impact that SNL has had on todays culture and society. Some of the more memorable skits have been made so mainstream that movies, action figures, t-shirts posters etc. have spawned from these little five minute sketches which when they were written probably were never imagined to blow up the way they did.The show talked about the Blues Brothers and what a tremendous impact it has had on society. Dan Akroyd still tours with the Blues Brothers of course now minus the very funny late Jon Belushi. He also has made two movies and developed the House of Blues chain, which we know today is one of the premier venues for music in todays society. Wayne World also at the time enveloped itself into culture and has given popular phrases like, "party on" and "excellent" new hilarity. Furthurmore Waynes World introduced Queens legendary song Bohemian Rhapsody into young American culture. I remeber when I was in 7th grade and i saw that movie in the theater, everyone sang the crap outta that song and they still do, and people still reinact the headbanging scene in that movie when the song kicks in at the end.Anyway that was a cool show that is running on E! all month so check it out if you get a chance and are a fan of anything SNL.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

FLAVOR FLAV!!!

Ok, so i just got done watching The Flavor of Love with my roomates (we watch it every sunday). We are obsessed with this show. I don't know why I love making fun of it so much. Hm....maybe its the fact that Flavor Flav is the craziest most unattractive person who has a show that is based on...well, him getting some. This is the second season, and for both seasons he names the women that come on the show. Right now Crazy, New York, and Deeelicious are the three remaining contestants (Bootz jsut got the boot..pun intended). Why is this show so popular?...I don't understand it, but I do know i like it. Maybe because I want to secretly wear a clock around my neck, and have it be cool, OR i want to be able to wear horns on my head and a grill in my mouth...yes i think thats it. Well now that i spilled my guilty pleasure to everyone, i think ill go watch MTV's sweet 16!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Def Jam Fight For NY



OK, you can't tell too much from the trailer but you get the general idea.
Is getting your exaggerated self image personified in a video game synergy or what? Well, if you're on Def Jam it is. I suppose its not all that new, just like action figures in a way, heck I'd love to have my own action figure (there was a site that actually did this, but last I checked it was still rather expensive).

What I find most interesting is the level this takes the image of the hip hop "bad ass" really goes beyond what could otherwise be accomplished. On one hand violence is promoted, but on the other, by nature it admits its just a game. Don't get me wrong, I think its a great game. For better or worse, they do know their audience.

The fantasy is the game, and you buy bling so you can hype the crowd to pull big moves, you date porn stars, and live all sorts of shady lifestyles, but this is already the media image sold to kids. Why can't they play it out in a fantasy game at least? Granted, the violence is a bit much for young kids, but the sooner they stop thinking that kind of life is a (sustainable) reality the better in my opinion.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Scream is not a horror movie

I caught Scream on one of the premium movie channels the other night and it made me remember how shitty that movie is. I read that it was originally made as a comedy, but when it actually scared young people in test screenings they decided to release it as a horror film. As a parody of slasher films, Scream would have been average...but as an actual slasher film itself???? Rubish.

Just because this movie scared a bunch of little kids and made eleventy skagillion dollars at the box office, now they barely ever make a real slasher movie. All we get are sequels of remakes of Japanese horror movies; watered-down sequels, prequels, and remakes of older, real slasher movies; and psuedo-scary movies with a PG-13 rating and a bunch of actors from teen TV shows.

Biggie vs. Frank Sinatra

While scouraging across the internet looking for music, I found an interesting remix of an old Frank Sinatra song. To my surprise, the person who began rapping over it was the Notorious B.I.G. The person who mixed it was named DJ Cappel and the album is called Blue Eyes Meets Bed Stuys, referring to Frank Sinatra who was often called Old Blue Eyes, and Biggie who hailed from the Bed Stuys neighborhood in Brooklyn.

For anyone looking for an interesting mix, this DJ is quite good at mixing old and new music. Aside from this album, he mixed an old Marvin Gaye song with a Mos Def song and an album called Purple Reign which used the Prince album of the same semi-name. Anyway, I'm really tired of radio ready pop and hip-hop, or boring rock anthems by cry baby bands, so if you feel the same, I urge you to check this guy out. Biggie, Sinatra, Mos Def, Prince, and Marivin Gaye are all legends. How could you go wrong?

http://www.djcappel.com/

Only Nurses Like Techno

I have to say that I honestly never knew why techo music was ever created. I mean, I really thought country was the lowest of the low. At least I have something to help me out when I'm feeling really naucious and I just can't seem to throw up. However, the funny thing about techno is that there really are people out there who listen to it. For instance, I was taking a publication design class last semester and being the nerd that I am, I was a newbie to photoshop. I would sit at the computer for hours just trying to figure out what one item could create. Well, this girl in my class, who was "of course, a pro" at photoshop decides that she's going to read her emails and listen to music the entire time. Now, I have no problem with Ipods, but please, just be generous when you're in class and don't turn them up. Anyways, this girl decides that not only is she going to share her passion of music with the class but she's also going to share with us the lovable sounds of techno. I really disliked her from that day on. Nevertheless, I made it through the semester and didn't hear techno for quite some time. Truly, I forgot the methodical droning noises stopped for good. So now it's been about 3 months and 5 days and I happened upon a radio ad for a company looking for CNAs and RNs. And what is in the backgroud.....TECHNO!!!! And then it hit me......that girl in my class was a nurse! Who else would listen to techno but a nurse. Every commercial for nurses I've heard since then have been with techno music. And thus is the conclusion of a lifetime.....only nurses like techno!

Project Runway

I'm currently getting ready to watch wednesday nights episode of Project Runway on TiVo. I figured before i fired it up i would come to the old computer and write about it a little bit. (As a side note, Time Warner finally got our internet working two days ago.) Anyways, Project Runway is seriously the most addicting show I've ever watched. It's not really like all of the other reality competition shows that are out there. The people on the show actually have talent. It is so amazing how you can be watching the show and half way through it i can't even image how the designers are going to be turning the materials they have into a hot outfit, but they always do! It's so awesome. They always have really cool challenges too. My favorite one so far was when they had to go to a recycling plant and turn the materials into an outfit. The designs that were created actually looked like something people would wear. They also had to create an outfit for an international jetsetter. Once the designers arrived at the runway show they were informed that they had to test the outfit out. All of the designers were flown to Paris to preform their next challenge. It was really awesome to watch them arrive in Paris and design over there.

My favorite designer is Michael. I hope that he wins because he always has the most creative and logical designs.
Here is a link to preview his line!:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3viBHBMt_M
This is getting annoying. Does everyone have to be talking about the new iPods?
Yes, I’ve seen how tiny the Shuffle is; Yes, I’ve seen how they made the Nanos in the fabulous colors; And yes, I’ve seen that that apple will offer movies and games for the iPod.
Too all that I say, Blah!
Who care is the Shuffle is the size of a matchbook all that makes it is easier to loose and or brake. And second it’s still a iPod shuffle. As far as iPods go they are useless to the average consumer.
For the Nanos I am sick of those metallic colors. Way to go Apple you couldn’t be more creative and get a new color scheme. How about going back to the neon colors you used for the G3s back in there day. Do consumers really need pink or light blue still?
Now for the worst, Who really wants to watch a movie on an iPod screen? That’s slightly better than watching them on your phone, please people get a portable DVD player, or the semi waste-of-space the PSP.
And for games on an iPod, this is easy people, get an older iPod a first, second or third gen.. Then it’s called installing Linux on the Ipod. With this one can play all the games they want from Tetris to Wolfinstien. much better than the twelve or so choices that Apple give one.

Here's the sight to put Linux on an iPod Click Me

Over and Out

Tyra

As I wake up this morning I turn on the tv and since I have no cable in my room, I am resigned to watching the Tyra Banks Show. Normally I would turn the channel and take my chances with whatever is on the other networks but this particular episode has grabbed my attention. Today's guest is none other than Flava Flav. I don't know about the rest of you but his show, Flavor of Love, is one of my guilty pleasures. Despite the fact that Flav is one of the most repulsive people I've ever seen, for some reason i can't get enough of him. Why do these women go on a show and embarrass themselves for the chance to date Flav? Especially considering he comes right out and says he's not looking for love and he just wants to "have fun." The more I hear these women talk the more I understand. Check it out for yourself. FLAVA FLAV!!!

Grey's

The new season of Grey's Anatomy started last night, and yes I am addicted to that show. Looks like a new season full of the same drama, love triangles, and fast-paced emergency room action. I missed the season finale last year due to work so at first it was little hard to understand what was going on, but I picked it up and fell right into the drama fast. I am excited to share one hour every thursday night with the cast of Grey's Anatomy. If you have never watched the show I encourage you to try at least one episode.

The new Survivor



One consequence of the racial casting stunt on the new season of Survivor is that the goofy tribal names (Puka, Aitu, Hiki, Raro) have been made superfluous. Everyone thinks of the tribes as the Asians, Latinos, black folks, and white folks. But actually the biggest consequence may be that for the first time since the initial Survivor, there are many players who are unfamiliar with the game and don't know its strategy. According to the show's host, Jeff Probst, the producers had to seek out members of ethnic minorities to get them interested in being on the show rather than waiting for them to volunteer. This is the only way I can explain what happened last night, when the Latino tribe intentionally lost a challenge so that they would be able to vote off the tribe member (the heavy metal musician Billy) who was getting on everyone's nerves. Anyone who really knows Survivor knows you don't sacrifice your numbers. But a big part of the appeal of Survivor is playing along with contestants, evaluating their judgment and wondering what you would do if you were in their place, so this made for pretty good television.

When the producers revealed last month that the tribes would be divided by race, many commentators immediately passed judgment, claiming that this would promote racial disharmony and negative stereotypes. But there is a flipside: unlike any other show on TV, Survivor has a really diverse cast. It doesn't have one token Asian, African-American, or Latino. It has (well, had) five of each. It's still too early to say if the casting stunt was mainly positive or negative. But there is no question about whether it's a compelling experiment that makes you want to keep watching, which was the producers' primary objective in the first place.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

champagne campaign

No matter where you go or what you are doing, product placement is everywhere. Intentional or not, it has more of a place in our society than ever before. It has successfully surpassed television and film, making its way into literature, countless magazines, music, restaurants, and so on. Although it may not be as obvious as in TV and movies, companies are anxious to get product/name/logo recognition, while attempting to remain as mainstream as possible. Consumers, however, meet the manufacturers half way. Any time you wear a company’s brand name across your chest, it can be considered product placement in the form of a walking advertisement. You, the consumer (and product endorser), may not think twice about the brand names on your belongings, but most likely, the people around you do recognize names and logos, and thus, companies gain more mainstream recognition.

This has also been happening a lot in the music industry. A singer, for example, may want to portray a certain image and will brand-name-drop throughout his or her lyrics. Once the song hits mainstream radio and is repeated hourly, any and all brand names mentioned are being transmitted into the listening audiences’ ears. The effects of this can be as excessive as consumers going out and purchasing the brand names mentioned because they admire the singer’s ability and, by extension, what the singer thinks is cool enough to mention in a song. It is similar to a celebrity endorsement, except the celebrity is not getting paid to mention the product (in most cases). And this form of product placement goes beyond the clothing industry… consider the beverage industry: Like Coke, Cristal has become another household name.

Here are some examples of lyrics full of brand names:

From “My Humps” by the Black-Eyed Peas:
They buy me all these ices/ Dolce & Gabbana/ Fendi and NaDonna/ Seven Jeans, True Religion’s/ I say no, but they keep givin’

Ludacris is also guilty of name-dropping in his song “Numba One Spot:”
Ready to break the steerin column on yo’ Impala/ …But can buy anything I want from the records I’ve sold/ Jacuzzi’s hot, Cristal is so cold

Snoop Dogg loves his Chucktailer sneakers enough to rap about them in “Signs:”
Where helicopters got cameras, just to get a glimpse of our Chucks

Probably the guiltiest one of all, Jay-Z, up until recently, referred to Cristal champagne, among other brand names, in various rap songs. Over the summer, an executive for the high-priced champagne shunned the attention, saying in an interview with The Economist magazine that the name-dropping was “unwelcome attention.” Jay-Z retaliated by halting all sales of Cristal at his 40/40 nightclubs, and at the time of the controversy, considered omitting all Cristal references from lyrics in such songs as “Can’t Knock The Hustle” (Auto off the champagne, Cristal’s by the bottle), “Dead Presidents” (Got the city drinkin Cristal), “Feelin’ It” (Cristal on ice I like to toast), and “Brooklyn’s Finest” (Cristal forever, play the crib when it’s mink weather).

So don’t be too surprised if all you hear is Dom (as in Dom Perignon champagne) throughout Jay-Z’s next rap album.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

"The Path to 9-11"

So a co-worker burned me DVDs of the ABC special "The Path to 9-11" to watch (I, and nearly all other Americans was tuned in to the "Manning Bowl" that evening on NBC, and was unable to watch.) I've only gotten about an hour or so in, and so far, it's been really a great watch.

Now, we've all heard the hullabaloo from the "left" how this work is biased towards the "right." Clinton administration members and congresspersons from both sides complained about supposed inaccuracies, and the work was apparently edited by ABC at the 13th hour. In other words, the work has been a political mess, with both sides being rather unhappy. However, I think this is crap. Frankly, I don't care about the political leanings of the filmmakers, and I don't care about any purported inaccuracies....this work isn't labeled as a "documentary", so who cares?

What's stood out to me so far is exactly how large-scale this special was. With an estimated $40 million budget, this is one of the most expensive projects I've ever seen on the small screen. And, it shows. This work plays like an extended-length movie...one which is rather engrossing in scale. What I noticed most is how much this movie really sucked me in...really made me feel for both the informants risking their necks for love of their country, and even for the terrorists. The filmmakers have really done a good job depicting BOTH SIDES as people...not just blindly depicting the terrorists as "monsters." You really get a good sense of why the terrorists do what they do....their motivations, justifications, hopes for success, and even their fears of failure and sense of paranoia.

So far, it looks like it's going to be a good watch. I'm hoping to finish it sometime this week. But at 5 hours, it's not a quick digest.

rob zombie

so i went to the rob zombie and godsmack show last tuesday at the marcus. rob, of course, put on a great show. as for godsmack? not so much. anyway, so rob zombie's all about this stage presence and special effects and all that, which is what makes his show entertaining. throughout pretty much the entire show he had clips from his two movies, "house of 1000 corpses" and "the devil's regects", playing in the background. the clips did really go with the show and made it that more entertaining, but i just think it's kind of funny how he's still trying to promote his movies even though they're not even new anymore. i also think that it's kind of funny having someone like rob zombie, who is part of one of america's subcultures who deviates away from the norms of society, be on stage promoting his other projects like big wig corporations would do. just sayin.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Consumer Society

this is in regards to the discussion we had in class today. more specifically the idea that we are a consumer society.

it is the reason that bin laden has cried jihad against the united states. now this isn't meant to be a political blog. after sept. 11, 2001 president bush said that we would not be defeated that we would not change, and would continue our lives as usual. he then urged us, perhaps out of spite, to continue spending. during all previous times of war in this country spending was quelled, materials rationed, and victory gardens planted.

now the continued spending was meant to be a sign of defiance that the attacks would not, and could not change us. it was also an open acknowledgement by the president that we are a consumer society; to consume and be consumed.

the call to consumption hasn't helped all americans get back to a normal life. for the majority of us it has helped us forget. it has also helped american businesses who have seen profits increase nearly 75% in that time, while unemployment rates remain relatively steady.

all of us are consumers to some degree or another. some of us consume more than we are capable of. perhaps, because, like money, you can't take debt with you when you die.

RAVE-a-palooza

Last week Wednesday I did something that was 2 months in the making: I saw Jack's Mannequin at the RAVE!!!!! (To recap: Jack's Mannequin is the side project of famous piano-punk band, Something Corporate, started by the singer of both, Andrew McMahon.) Most importantly I absolutely without a doubt LOVE them! (not to sound like a teeny-bopper groupie or anything!) I tried to go see them at Summerfest in July, but a sudden moonsoon caused me to hightail it back home, thus missing the show. However, Wednesday September 13th was a different story.....

My best friend, Katie, and I went to the RAVE (20th and Wisconsin) to finally see them (oh yeah, and we sorta dragged my boyfriend, Chris, along as well! ) The show was AMAZING. I'm sure you all have had experiences at concerts, sporting events, theatre, where the atmosphere is electric, the performance sublime, and you can do nothing else but take it in and loose your mind screaming. Well, that's how Jack's Mannequin was for me. I really wanted to tie this experience into media somehow, so I could write about it for this class (and maybe discover some other JM fans in the process), but I couldn't do what I really wanted to. Let me explain.....

At some point in the show, a girl in the front threw a fuzzy pink crown onto the stage. Andrew caught it, and placed in on his head. The whole room cheered, as he told us he expects to find footage of himself and the crown on youtube the next day. I searched youtube.com (my first look at the site), and found nothing of Andrew and his adorable pink fuzzy crown. Looking back, I think it's pretty funny how a celebrity can refference a web site, resulting in a roomful of cheering fans. It's amazing how much of media is shared by "famous people" and "the rest of us" on a daily basis. It's somewhat unifying, knowing that I can see Jack Mannequin's myspace, just as they could see mine (if they really wanted to).

So that's my tale of one of the best concerts I've seen in my life, and how I discovered how amazing youtube is in the process. I'm going to try and attach another video from there, but there's a good chance I'll mess it up. :-)
(can someone let me know if it fails?)

Until next time, keep on rockin' Milwaukee!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtB7NBkGWEI

Fox Sunday Night Line-up

I was watching the Simpsons and Family Guy last night, like I usually do on Sunday evenings. For the half an hour between the two shows I usually do homework, check my email, or watch Telemundo (no, I don’t understand Spanish, I’d just rather do anything besides watching the horrible shows that they slump in between the classics).

For this fall season, it looks as though Fox is going to put American Dad in middle spot and hope people are too tired to leave the couch after Family Guy to watch the War At Home, a show that I was sure wasn’t going to make it after the horrible pilot episode. Fox has become the king of tent poling and hammocking their low-rating shows around the good ones.

After Family Guy’s first demise, Fox saw the huge audience it gained while in syndication on Adult Swim and received huge profits from DVD sales. Now it seems they are scared of repeating and keep any show that they think might “pull-up” next season. It has become really irritating. Does anybody watch or like these shows? Please respond if you do because I don’t know anybody that actually does.

Unfortunately, the strategy does work. Every week my friends refer to the latest episode of Simpsons and Family Guy and I have noticed lately my friends are cautiously commenting on how one part of American Dad was “kind of funny.” I really hope it doesn’t catch anymore than it already has.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

A Clockwork Orange

Tonight was the second time that I watched the film "A Clockwork Orange". For those of you who haven't seen the movie, it is about a kid named Alex who is a violent juvenile in the near future. Alex is caught and arrested after a number of brutal rapes and murders. While imprisoned, he volunteers for an experimental brainwashing treatment to reform criminals in exchange for a shorter prison sentence. When he gets out, Alex is "reformed" and his victims want to welcome him back into society with the same enthusiasm Alex had always exhibited towards them when performing his crimes.

I origninally saw this film because many people have told me that it is probably one of the greatest films ever made. Also, Stanley Kubrick has made so many masterpieces, and is, in my opinion, a very talented director.

However, with all the perversity bursting out of this film, you will probably NOT like this film the first time you see it. I know I didn't. Fortunately tonight I gave it a second chance and I was at a loss for words. After seeing it again tonight there is no doubt that "A Clockwork Orange" is a masterpiece! Malcolm McDowell gives us a shining example of superior acting, and the plot addresses many real world issues superbly. The best part about the film is that it can be seen multiple times and every time a different perspective arises. It all boils down to serve you a plethora of thoughts for you to take with you and contemplate, after the film ends. I'm sure you'll agree, if you give it the chance it deserves, although it may require for you to see it more than once. Do it.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

"What's the color of speed?"

How I love advertisements. It seems that the more advanced technology gets the more advertising agencies tend to put all of their profits into claiming more space in airtime. Television commercials are looking great, radio ads are sounding fantastic, and print ads...well, they're dumber than ever. Congratulations advertisers, you're breaking through the clutter and into the hearts of all of America by being the crappiest crap that anyone has ever seen. Now, I know that I shouldn't bash on all of advertising. Hell, it's what I want to do with the rest of my life. But I just really need to clarify something. "What's the color of speed?" Yes, I'm not grammatically incorrect by putting this lovely phrase into quotation marks for no reason, I just need everyone to know that this phrase is owned.
I was at Sears a couple days ago, waiting for my fiance to be done with work, so I decided to keep myself entertained by doing something that any obsessive compulsive person would do. I walked over to the paint department and started sorting out the color chips into their correct homes. After filling through the Barbie paints (thanks Matel, you really have outdone yourselves with that one) I happened upon the Hotwheels' colors. Winner white, Burnout blue, I really have no idea, I'm making these names up. Anyways, there before me was the pamphlet with all of the colors to choose from. And right there, in big bold letters was, "WHAT'S THE COLOR OF SPEED?" Immediately I had to laugh because I thought of all of these 8 year old boys snorting things and painting rooms. I mean, what the hell. I know that Hotwheels was trying to be creative, inventive, and catchy but please. It's advertisements like this that inspired me to be a copywriter. So thanks Hotwheels, for turning my boredom into something extremely entertaining.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Roadrunner is NOT so speedy.

This month i moved into a house around the UWM campus. We had our internet and cable installed a week ago thursday. Surprisingly, our internet worked for a maximum time of thirty mintues of the technician leaving. My roomates and i then went to check out the cable situation on the television. To our surprise, the cable was working. The only problem was when we turned the volume up our menu for the televison came on. Also, when we turned on the guide spanish subtitles came on. This was a problem. After being on hold with Time Warner for two hours, they checked our cable line and had someone come out to the house that next friday. After someone came out they installed our internet incorrectly and we had someone come out to the house yesterday to fix our internet "for good."

Needless to say, i am sitting here in the computer lab at the Union. Our internet still does not work. It's a terrible thing that the world we live in depends on technology so much. We rely on certain people (ahem Time Warner) to know what they are doing so that we can access our world. All i really want to do is check my facebook. :( AHAH no really, i do.

So, Time Warner if you are out there i have a bone to pick with you.

shopping spree

Yesterday at my retail job, a mother came in looking for clothes to give to her daughter for her upcoming 14th birthday. She was unsure what she wanted and seemed a bit intimidated by the various options, and was thus willing to hand over the reins and let me put together a couple of outfit options. Unfortunately, her daughter's size was the most common at our store and was pretty much picked over. Every time we found an item she liked, the size wasn't available. After about 20 minutes, we ended up with enough pants and jeans to last her daughter until her 21st birthday, but only a few top options. A bit irritated, the mother suggested buying the rest online at the company's website. I agreed that would be a great idea, and even offered to write down the names of all the items she liked to make the ordering process easier, but was quickly cut off by her question: "Don't you have internet access in your store so I could just order here with your help?"
Her question surprised me at first, but then again, this is the Internet age. Everything that people were once actively "forced" to shop for- from purchases as major as buying a car to minor purchases such as a new handbag or pair of shoes- can now be done with a click of a mouse. Many people actually prefer the ease and simplicity of shopping online because items are divided into categories, all items can be viewed at once, and the mall parking lot can be avoided completely. The Internet allows a customer to compare prices between different retailers and receive Internet discounts. Even better, the Internet never closes- it's a 24-hour business. With sufficient shipping prices and overnight express, shopping on the Internet can be just as efficient as physically going to the store itself. Consumers are so fond of Internet shopping that they now expect to have that option when they are in the store, and with good reason.
Although initially dumbfounded, in this day and age, the mother's request now seems pretty reasonable. The mother saw what she liked and wanted it right away: had she been shopping online, with just a click of a mouse the items could be added to her cart and purchased in no time flat, a service the store couldn't provide her with. Similarly, several smaller stores like boutiques, where physical space and sizes are limited, provide the Internet for their customers. Personally, I believe larger companies that are both accessible in person and online should keep each option independent of one another. If customers make the trip out to the mall but cannot find what they are looking for, then they should count their losses and either settle for something else or wait until they get home and buy it online. In my opinion, that's the whole thrill and excitement of shopping: making the trip, being able to physically touch or try on items, and most importantly, continuing human contact with retailers who provide a friendly staff and fun atmosphere. Plus, you don't have to deal with Internet returns, which can be just as painful as finding a place to park at the mall.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Links

Here is some media I have been consuming.

Video game ads from 1982, interesting in relation to today's discussion of games, which seem so different now than they were then.

Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip is one of the fall television season's most anticipated new programs. You can watch the pilot, with no ads, for free, on your computer, right now if you want, at AOL Television.

At first, lonelygirl15 first seemed like just a kid posting video blogs on YouTube. Some of her videos have been viewed more than half a million times. But people thought she seemed older than she said (sixteen) and the videos seemed too polished. They were right; the videos were fake and the girl is an actress. lonelygirl15 is the creation of aspiring filmmakers hoping to make it in Hollywood. (The link above is to a New York Times article about it. You can view the videos here.)

Flickr.mov is a video for a song by Jonathan Coulton, a singer-songwriter who encourages people to make videos for his songs. This video is a slideshow of images taken from people's Flickr sites. (The pictures are made available for public use under a kind of copyright called Creative Commons, which people use to share their creative work with others and allows for its reproduction/use under specified terms.) It's a remarkable collaboration between strangers.

Finally, in relation both to the discussion of what words you can and can't say on television or in movies and Mike's paper topic, here's the short version of The Big Lebowski. Warning: contains no language suitable for polite conversation.

The Wire

I just got done watching the season three premiere of The Wire. For those of you not familiar with the show it is on HBO on Sunday nights and it is fantastic. It is a show about west Baltimore, a very impoverished area, and the crime in the city. What separates this show from the 5,000 other cop shows on television is that it provides all sides of the story. The viewers get the story not only from the police point of view but also from the perspective of the drug dealers and also the politicians of the city. The episodes don't end with the cops winning and justice being served. It is a real life portrayal of things going on in this city. The writers and producers do extensive research and use real people from the area as consultants when creating the show. The new season has introduced a new element as well. Middle school age kids have been added to the cast showing their struggles growing up in such an area. The season is off to a great start and I highly recommend everyone to check out one of the best shows on television today.

screwball comedies

The other day I was watching The Philadelphia Story with a friend of mine. Like any romantic comedy from this era, there is a lot of "fast talk." The dialogue runs at a wicked pace and is filled with wit. In its day, this was the basic format for a romantic comedy. Everyone went to these films for their light, amusing plots with happy endings. As I was watching this film with my friend, who was born and raised in Racine, I was shocked to discover he was unable to follow the film. He asked me questions about what was going on every five minutes!

I finally realized it was the "fast talk" that was confusing him. He couldn't follow the dialogue. He isn't a total idiot, so I didn't know what to think of this. Has modern mainstream cinema become so watered down and dumbed down that a 20 year-old guy from Racine (where he wouldn't have access to indie films unless he sought them out on his own and drove to Milwaukee) can't even follow the plot of an old-fashioned screwball comedy because he is so used to the methodical and conventional plots of modern movies? Is the average American so used to the terrible scripts found in mainstream romantic comedies that they can't even follow something like The Philadelphia Story?

I can't think of any other explanation for this troubling experience I had with my friend.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

today show / sept. 11

Yesterday morning I caught a short glimpse of the "Today" show before school. Of course yesterday was the fifth anniversary of the world trade center attacks. The pace of the program had been dramatically slowed down. Paula Zahn spoke with a very delicate voice - nearly a whisper. Somber music floated in the background. And the content of the program focused on victims families.

I found myself feeling a little bit guilty if I didn't want to pay attention to the show. I was impressed by the strengths of the different emotional tools they used in order to keep my attention.

Monday, September 11, 2006

I'm sort of grossed out...

Ok, i know that someone has already commented on Facebook, but i was looking on it today and was invited to be in a group titled: If this group reaches 100,000 my girlfriend will have a threesome. ok, i'm jsut going to copy and paste the description of this...

We NEED To become the LARGEST group on Facebook. According to my gf, if you can get the group to that amount she will allow video footage of our threesome to be taken.The rights to take pictures were already earned at 300,000 members.

So here WAS the deal:If I can make a facebook group with over 100,000 people in it before the end of the semester (Dec 31, 2006), I can have a threesome with my gf and a girl of my choosing.

The back story:Like any red-blooded college guy, I've come to the conclusion that the idea of a threesome is perhaps one of the greatest things imaginable (right behind midget tossing).Naturally, I have bugged my girlfriend, Holly, to partake in this dream of mine on multiple occassions... sadly, she has declined every single time. The other day (September 4th, 2006 to be exact), she and I were talking about Facebook for some reason or another and she mentioned how she's a member of some group called the "Largest group on Facebook" and she mentioned how hard it must've been to get a group that size together.I promptly slapped her (jk darling)... and told her that anyone, given the proper idea, could make a facebook group of larger than normal size.And just like that, the bet was formed.

So INVITE everyone you know and help me on my quest for sexual salvation.PLEASE HELP. My manhood thanks you in advance.300,000 members. Wow!

So I joined this group, though now...thinking about it, That is kind of weird. I doubt the girlfriend will follow through. Which is sick of me to say, i know, but im fascinated with this. One guy from Georgia who is now famous and has shirts and hats and stickers with sayings like...Can i be the third girl?...wow, 300,000 people around the country are waiting for this guy to have his fantasies fulfilled. Where else do you find people rapped up in other people's business...non other than good ol' Facebook. Now that everyone knows im a Facebook stalker (not really), I'll change the subject to make this a double entry...

Since it's 9/11....I was wondering if anybody has been watching all the movies that have been playing on tv recently. And if so...what do you think about them?...just curious, any who...see ya in class!

Media for PROFIT is U$ELE$$

I attended the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Forum last week upon hearing that there would be 2 commissioners of the Federal Department stopping in Milwaukee on a nationwide tour. For those of you who are unsure about the business of the FCC, they are at the top of the decision making board for how media works in this country. As the FCC finally made the decision that new rules must be made in regulation of the media, Free Press sponsored the tour of the two commissioners to hear locals opinions about the current state of the media. I personally felt that this was extremely important to get out and see because of my own feelings about the situation with a corporate take over on the level of mass media. My main problem with the fusion of business and media is the objective of the latter when profit become the main goal. We have seen a steady decrease in the validity, depth, and worth of media stories (most espcially on t.v., the most poplar source of news), since the FCC allowed corporate investment in media stock. The necessity of diversity in viewpoint, and reportage on local events is so essential to an objective-based and democratic media system. However, what we're seeing is quite the opposite. The same stories are being reported on evry channel of the 6'0 clock news, and those stories are most usually tinted with sensationalism because of the hunger for ratings and profit. When news becomes more about ratings than portraying valid and in-depth current events that are extremely pertinent to the people, something is seriously wrong. Besides the news itself, I have a problem with stationsm giving too much time to commerical breaks as another way of increased revenue. When 5 corporations (Fox and Viacom being the largest) that are running our t.v. and radio outlets, diversity no longer exists, and local communities suffer due to the lack of coverage and support by something as critical as the media. As an activist and a person of color, I find it appalling that Milwaukee has one independent radio station, and I find public stations are no solution to the problem. Something must be done, and I feel like people's testimony was being heard on Thursday night. Now, I just pray that they are taken to heart despite the luring golden carrot that corporations continue to hold in front of the FCC.

Community as Commodity

How is it that major media companies are operating with a business model that involves giving away so much for free? I suppose this has always been the case, and it fits right in with the broadcast/advertising model but things are a little different on the internet. For one thing, I remember way back when, shortly after the dot com bubble burst, nobody believed that the internet had any direct advertising potential whatsoever. Oh that makes me feel old. Yet even then, it was impossible not to see that it was on the track to becoming one of our primary if not the primary media source.

I started a net radio station with a little background as a network admin, strong interest in broadcasting, and a lot of luck, because the convergence of media simply made it possible. It is still running today, thanks in large part to various ideas that AOL has in regard to content and their own business model. What is certain, is that neither of us make any profit to speak of from the entire operation. When you factor in cost of operation, how does a site like facebook for example keep from going under? Even though the value of banner adds has increased over the years, and myspace has fully capitalized on this, I highly doubt that it can cover their expenses.

So what do they have that is so valuable? I'm sure we all know it's us, but if they are strictly web based, and even millions of banners are not going to cover their costs, what are they banking on? My guess is lots of speculation right now, but I am really interested in knowing what those who are investing in operations like this have in mind for the future. The subscription model is one possibility that comes to mind but in order to get subscriptions you have to have a cultural image as something that's worth paying for. Paying for some of these sites would even seem to contradict what makes them popular, so what do they have in mind? -James

stupid Sopranos

One of my male friends and I were discussing Sopranos. I will generalize (and perhaps wrongly) that most guys enjoy or at least are not opposed that HBO show. However, I am “anti-Sopranos” simply because of the rampant sexual objectification of women. I do not have the male mind and thus, do not know if males take the nudity for granted and such content does not arouse them (because of the desensitization from such frequent images) , or if it is visual pleasure, or both? In any case, films and shows have much female nudity nowadays that creates a “norm,” creating a sense of inadequacy in young girls and desensitizing society to female nudity. A norm that is unachievable. A norm that veils that which is an actual abnormality. A norm that is accepted because people are unlearned of such sociological undertones that I have mentioned. In fact, I was oblivious to this sociological phenomenon until I took sociology and media classes at UW-Madison. That education, to me, is why college is important. It opens your eyes. It is more important in life to open one’s eyes rather than those classes which simply teach you tools to your degree.
This accepting of female objectification is evidentiary support to contemporary Western society as being an actual patriarchal society. Females support male nudity (hey guys, did you know that it IS the male body that arouse us heterosexual females??), so why is there so little of it? I am not encouraging it, but ask for more of equality in objectification of both genders. If male nudity appeared in media now, it becomes a big deal simply because there IS so little of it. However, a more consistent and constant show of the male body would desensitize us and become the “norm,” as female nudity is. Everywhere there are images of perfect women. Children are not blind to it, as it surrounds us. Young girls learn at an early age that perfection is the key to approval. Perfection of the external, the body. The attempt to an impossible ideal. How often do we see an unattractive female in films and in the media? Fat, bold, and unattractive men are accepted in that society of the media and find success. Females have a lesser chance of success unless their looks near the ideal standard. We all need to open our minds and eyes in order to change this so our mothers, sisters, aunts, cousins, future fiancĂ©es, wives, and daughters do not feel such inadequacy and do not strive for societal approval by exposing their bodies to such great extent.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Time Warner Cable Can Get Bent

I recently moved into a new place in Bay View. Moving in with a new roomate and into a new house, it is understood that some things are unavoidably left behind. Aside from undescribable filth and a broken Laz-E-Boy recliner, I've left my cable services behind at the old house. My roomate called today and inquired how long it would take to get someone to come out and turn it on. They say 5-7 days. That is until he requests an appointment, then he is told that they can't "actually" make it here until September 27th.

Their are obvious things I despise about corporate media and AOL Time Warner Cable blah blah is by far the largest and worst offender, but one of the worst things about them is that they continue to get away with treating customers like they don't need them. But this is what happens when choice is eliminated and competition is negligable if not nonexistant. I really debated not having the cable hooked up. That is until I had to watch the Season premiere of the Simpsons with aluminum foil taped to the back of the TV.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The "facelift" heard round the world

I, like most college students, belong to a networking cult site known as Facebook. This site is rather simplistic in design, it allows for students to create a photo icon, course list, favorite things, and "about me" section. Through these leads, people can search and add friends, classmates, crushes, random people with cool pictures, or whoever to expand their networks. I believe I can safely speak for most members when I say that this site is highly addictive. The dawn of a new school year brought a new frightening change to the Facebook community: a news feed. This news feed displayed (rather publicly) everything you and people in your networks did on their pages, updated to the minute. Not only was the feed annoying, but it was also very stalker like. Angry students created groups to protest, and most people I talked to were just plain confused by the whole ordeal. A day later, a lengthy letter from Facebook’s creator appeared on the login page. The letter apologized for the intimate changes, and thanks all the protestors for speaking out. This experience taught me two things: one, the media cannot take for granted the loyalty and fan base it acquires; and two, one should never underestimate the power of college students in large groups….

…..website regardless :-)

Friday, September 08, 2006

agassi

yes i'm pathetic posting a blog at 10pm on a friday night but i just HAD to write this down...definitely kidding...anyway, so i was reading the onion at work tonight and there was this story about how andre agassi keeps eavesdropping on everyone cause he thinks they're planning a surprise retirement party for him. one of the last lines was how two people had to stop their conversation because they spotted an "eavesdropping agassi" in a hat and sunglasses eating an ice cream cone behind a nearby railing. after picturing this in my mind i thought it was incredibly hilarious. and since i'm about 50 words short i suppose i could tell you all about the wonderful experience i had reading about the new discovery world thing in the journal. it sounds pretty sweet i guess but every time i go to one of those museum things i feel like i'm just forcing myself to care about the exhibits. yeah, that really had nothing to do with the media but i did read about it in a newspaper so i'm going to tell myself that it counts.

-by the way, my spell checker didn't work so don't think i'm retarded if i spelled anything wrong

festivus

i just got done watching "the strike" episode of Seinfeld. for those familiar with the show it's the one in which Kramer comes to learn of the holiday George's father made up. it's amazing how a television show popularized a family tradition that is now celebrated by many for different reasons and to varying degrees of seriousness. there are four elements of festivus. an unadorned pole, usually aluminum for its high weight to strength is displayed during festivus as an opposition to the commercialization of the christmas tree. ironically The Wagner Companies here in milwaukee began making poles for festivus. the celebratory dinner is opened with the airing of greivences, in which those attending tell everyone how they have disappointed them in the last year. the dinner is followed by the feats of strength where the head of the household chooses someone who must pin the household head in order for festivus to end. i was curious about what Festivus really was so i looked it up on wikipedia. i was delighted to find the real origins of the celebration of festivus. there is also some information. here is a link.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Festivus

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Invitations

I have invited everyone who was in class today to be members of the blog, so sign up for a blogger account and start posting whenever you are ready.

Also: here are some of the websites that people mentioned in class today. If you can think of others, leave them in the comments.

Gossip/make fun of celebs sites:

The Superficial

Go Fug Yourself

And no one mentioned this but it's too good not to pass along: Perez Hilton

YouTube videos:

Brokeback to the Future

Spongeback Mountain

O K Go, the video on treadmills, absolutely incredible.

Monday, September 04, 2006

So this blog is for the students and instructor in JMC 262 (Principles of Media Studies) at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to use as an online, shared media consumption journal. The participants are all members of the class. We are going to use this to describe and analyze our interactions with various media, including the internet, film, television, books and magazines, games, and music.

Here's a link to some media I consumed just now: an article about YouTube. Just cuz.