Saturday, March 31, 2007
Friday, March 30, 2007
ok back to work!
Almost every day there seems to be a news story about a suicide bombing in Iraq or somewhere else in the Middle East. Most recently there was one about 5 near-simultaneous suicide bombings that killed at least 122 people. Is this the featured story on Yahoo.com? No. A story about a Legoland re-creation of the Las Vegas strip at a California theme park is. To find the suicide bombing story at JSOnline.com you have to scroll down to the second story in world news. A worthless story about Bud Selig gets top billing at JSOnline.com.
So what gives? Is this more of the 'fluff sells' marketing approach that news outlets have been adopting to retain their audiences, or are we sick of seeing the same story over and over, and therefore it loses its newsworthiness? Probably both, but I still think the death of 122 people in one day in one city due to five suicide bombings is more important than fluff.
Maybe the newspapers are losing their audience because they don't report what's really going on in the world. Or because we've been bombarded with fluff stories, is this what we've been conditioned to want when we watch or read the news? I guess it's the same as asking what came first, the chicken or the egg?
I guess you just have to find a news outlet that agrees with you. I like CNN.com. It conveniently divides out stories into these sections: Latest, U.S., World, Technology, Entertainment, Politics, Law, Health, Science & Space, Travel, Education, Sports, and Business. This way one can ignore sports and entertainment because, while interesting and exciting, generally have about as much newsworthiness to me as a story about the weather. I take that back. The weather is more important to me than a story about whether Angelina Jolie adopted another foreign kid or not. But that's just me. . . .
Thursday, March 29, 2007
I know what most people think about the show. "Oh, it's just a bunch of anorexic, stuck-up women who think they're better than everyone else." I've heard these comments from many people who may or may not have ever watched the show. Even some of you in this class may be opposed to the idea of selecting a woman to become the next "top model." But, there are some things about this particular season that I find to be empowering to the "average" woman, if you will.
For anyone who does not know the basics of America's Next Top Model, I'll give a little background. Model Tyra Banks hosts the show in which aspiring models live in a house together and compete against eachother through a series of challenges, most often difficult and demanding photo shoots. Each week the judges review the day's photos and ultimately send one woman packing at the end of the episode.
Most of the women on the show are tall, probably 5'10"-ish and have very small frames. I'd have to guess the average women on the show weighs 125 or so.
However, this season, Tyra Banks and those involved with casting selected two "plus size" models to compete also. These women are significantly bigger than the other women in the competition, yet they are just as beautiful and talented. One model, Whitney, said she wears a size 8. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the average American woman wears a size 11-14. So, I don't necessarily agree that these women are "plus sized," but I am nonetheless proud that the show is beginning to represent women of all sizes.
This is really a huge accomplishment. I'm not saying that the thin women aren't average either. Women come in all shapes and sizes, and having confidence is yourself is what really makes you attractive. But, compared to the shrinking size of models nowadays, seeing a show representing women of different sizes, and even different races and ethnicities for that matter, is good for society.
As a result of watching this show, I've come to understand the modeling business a bit more. Instead of thinking of modeling as an easy endeavor, I've seen how difficult it is to convey an emotion for a photo just through your eyes. Seriously, look in the mirror and try to be happy without smiling-it isn't easy! (but it is pretty amusing)
I'd encourage people to check the show out if you don't already. I'm not saying it's a feminist revolution, but it's a good show that may keep you interested. It has all the drama and backstabbing of reality TV too, which is something we all love.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
I watched my first, and last, episode of "The Search for the Next Doll." This show is on The CW and it is about adding a member to the now extremely commercial group The Pussycat Dolls. This show, in a nutshell, is The CW's attempt to reel in some of the MTV audience for "Making The Band." The Pussycat dolls started out as a dance troupe... and in 2005 were nominated for a GRAMMY (that alone should prove how pointless Grammy’s are).
This show in particular is one of the worst ‘compete for fame’ shows that networks have come up with. At least on ‘Idol,’ you don’t get constant drama or 10 minutes spent on “But you said I dance like a drag queen…waaahhh.”
The classic use of the “confessional camera” permeated every segment of the show. When someone got kicked off she told
Sunday, March 25, 2007
I recently watched "The Departed" and was appalled and kind-of disgusted at how much screen time cell phones got. It seemed like every thirty seconds someone was talking on the phone, sending a text message, or receiving a text message. I bet if you deleted all the cell phones scenes in the movie it might be 20 minutes shorter.
This is also getting to be an annoyance in TV as well. Just take any reality show on MTV as an example.
Well, I guess as technology changes, each new technology gets its fifteen minutes of fame. I remember when cordless phones and answering machines were prominent in movies. Then it was beepers for a while. Now it's cell phones and PDAs, etc.
But it seems to be more exploitative now, more of a product placement thing than a part of the screenplay or story.
Has product placement gotten out of hand in today's media? I think so. It's bad enough we have commercials in TV and endless trailers in the movie theaters, but now we get commercials and trailers, and tons of subconscious ads during the movie. It's gross. I think it needs to be toned down big-time.
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Does anyone else feel as though the tactics employed are a bit ironic? Everything from the deranged carnival music to the entire 'I've let my four year-old toddler fiddle with my marker set' scheme screams trippy.
It just seems as though those behind the anti-drug campaign are giving kids a mixed message. In order to fully appreciate the anti-drug message, I have to be on drugs to grasp the beauty of this commercial?
At first, I though it was just me, but then I stumbled across this site. It seems as though some other viewers are more than slightly confused by these commercials.
Friday, March 23, 2007
I just bought a new car and it came with 3 months of XM Radio for free. According to Wikipedia, XM Satellite Radio Holdings (XM) is one of two satellite radio services in the United States and Canada, along with SIRIUS Satellite Radio. XM provides pay-for-service radio, analogous to cable television. Its service includes 73 different music channels, 39 news, sports, talk and entertainment channels, 21 regional traffic and weather channels and 23 play-by-play sports channels.
So, knowing basicly nothing about XM Radio except what you guys read above from the Wikipedia defination and also what the car salesmen told me in his three minute pitch about it, I am finding it hard to acutally use the XM Radio. I find myself playing around with it for afew mintues but then switching back to regular radio, using a CD or hooking up my MP3 player. I think that it is just easier for me to stick with technologies I am use to. I mean with XM I am having trouble finding the station that plays music I like. With traditional radio, I know what stations I like already, its just easier.
Now, I know this seems crazy and I know XM has lots of pirks like no commericals, etc. Also, everyone I talk to that has XM loves it and say they would never go back to standard radio. I just think the adjustment to it is hard. Also, I think that at this point in my life I can see myself paying $15 dollors a month or more for radio service once the 3 free months are up.
Ok...there has been a lot of blogs about Facebook and MySpace lately. I have both, but my desire to constantly check them has dropped to almost zero. When I first signed up, I checked them both every day, multiple times a day. Honestly, I probably spent more time crafting and looking at my own profile than other people’s profiles (I am self-centered, I guess).
Both websites have allowed me to keep in semi-regular contact with high school friends and people I’ve had in classes at UWM. Plus, all of my friend’s bands, and other bands, list their upcoming shows and the show locations—it’s become very convenient.
Ultimately, I’d like to state their uselessness, but I can’t. My boyfriend’s band has been on tour this past week. Bands from other states would play in
Thursday, March 22, 2007
A story was featured today on NPR's all things considered about how the parent companies of NBC and FOX are planning to create a media platform in which they would feature televison shows and movies that are copyrighted by NBC Universial and News Corp. Another intresting thing is this platform would be availiable to and Yahoo, AOL, MSN, or Myspace users, making this new media open to basically all interent users. The parent companies also said they would make their material able to viewed on YouTube if the price is right. For the complete story. . .
I found this Daily Show parody of Laguna Beach, but since Comedy Central is owned by Viacom, the video had been removed due to Viacom's lawsuit against YouTube.
I actually think it's a poor decision for Viacom to include The Daily Show in this suit because the show is not released on DVD (the exception being the "Indecision: 2004" set it released) and I find a lot of the clips I missed on YouTube if I missed the television broadcast. If anything, YouTube is advertising for the program by allowing its content to be instantly accessible.
The Comedy Central website has a lot of clips to watch, but it certainly does not have the number that YouTube provided. Oh well. Viacom would rather take down the more convenient source than actually offer a better product themselves, which usually seems to be the case. Lawsuits are probably cheaper than developing a better product anyway, especially when you have your own team of attorneys.
Monday, March 19, 2007
I don’t have it and I don’t want to have it.
People are always like I tried to find you in facebook and I couldn’t…then I tell them that I don’t have it. They act shocked and tell me I need to sign up.
Everyone I talk to says that they have it because it allows them to keep in contact with friends but I think it is a lot more than that. I mean people have hundreds of people on it that they don’t even really know and even if they do know them they probably are not friends with them. I think it’s just away for people to be able to find out more information about you then they need to know. For example, a year ago I was sitting in a class with a friend and some girl came up to my friend and knew who he was and about him…they had never met in person or ever talked before but she had searched for people in the class and recognized him from his picture. This is just too much for me. I don’t want people to know who I am, where I am etc.
Now again, I don’t know much about how facebook works. So, maybe I am way off here but I guess until I learn more about it…I will be staying away.
Friday, March 16, 2007
Thursday, March 15, 2007
I have not seen this movie yet…it seems like it’s just going to be crappy characters with cool visuals and effects.
Here's an example of my daily 100 messages
"Ok I know this is hard to believe but you remember seeing that message and bulliten a little while ago about the peniz pills to make it bigger? Well.... Just like you I am sure, thought it was funny and a joke, but today I find out that my own brother Aaron has been taking the pills since he heard about them on myspace and yes, they actually did work on him, he hooked me up with some and its been 2 weeks now already see a big difference and I ordered nine more bottles from YMBOB.COM
Yes My brother is living proof that they do work, he never used to get girls, now since a few months he is all popular with the girls in his class and work too. They made his saussage grow a full 3 inches in hardly any time, they really work fast on any guy.
If you order some now from YMBOB.com you will even get a full money back guarentee, so don't worry about them not working on you as well as they did on my bro and starting to on me as well.Tell them I sent you as a friend if they ask Just copy and paste this address into your browser and hook yourself up today YMBOB.COM
thanks for listening,
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Monday, March 12, 2007
It disturbs me, because with the advent of CGI (computer-generated image) effects, the movie industry is moving very close to eliminating real sets in their movies. There seem to be more and more movies per year that are, for all intents and purposes, cartoons with human actors. This, for me, ruins all believability in the storyline—even the movie itself.
Has anyone seen “A Scanner Darkly.” If so you know it’s a sci-fi movie that was filmed with real sets and real actors and then changed to a cartoon after-the-fact. That one blew my mind. I was asking myself after I watched it why would any film-maker want to ruin a perfectly good movie by doing this? It took away all the emotion and realism of an otherwise intriguing story and seemingly good acting.
Anyway, I won’t be rushing off to the theater to watch “300”—the cartoon-film with human actors. Maybe Hollywood will grow a brain and realize no one wants to see this crap and that’s why tickets sales dropped off in the past five years. Amazingly, I think it was the top movie for it's opening weekend (which says nothing for a film's longevity), which means people are going to see it, which means as long as people keep going to see these crap movies, Hollywood will keep making them. It's a consumer-perpetuated cycle. I, for one, won't contribute.
HOLLYWOOD: No one wants to see cartoons with human actors. Stop gypping us theater-goers and make real movies, with real sets, real effects—and real actors. Oh yeah, you haven’t eliminated actors yet. Well, before you do, let it be known that we want you to keep those, too.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Friday, March 09, 2007
Being in the stage of my life where a full time job is in the near future, services like this seem to be the best thing ever. I mean you can find a job anywhere in the world with just a click of a mouse. Before these services the only way people found jobs was through newspaper and even then these jobs were only local jobs. So, how did people find out about other jobs? Or did they? When I look at the employment section of newspapers today, there is barely anything there. Has it always been this way or is this just because of the online services?
To prove my point about how important these online services are to finding a job, I talked to my cousin who is in human resources and she said that they do all of their employee hunting and recruiting through an online service. This means that most of their jobs are never even posted in papers or anywhere else.
To me these online job services seem very helpful in the job searching…does anyone have any reason to disagree?
Sunday, March 04, 2007
But the real purpose of this post is to express my concern for the advertisement of movies in modern America and the inaccurate reviews of movies by incompetent movie critics. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of good critics out there, but, with the boom of the internet over the past ten years there has been a exponential increase in people who review movies who think that movies like “Freaky Friday” or “Big Mama’s House” are the “best friggin’ movies of all time, dude!”
Often I take what is the popular opinion on a movie and take the opposite stance. For the most part, it doesn’t let me down. Of course there are movies that are terrible in almost anyone’s opinion. These are the exception.
But the hubbub with “Zodiac” was that it isn’t Hollywood enough, it’s too real, it doesn’t have a happy ending, etc. . . Hello, retard critics, this movie is about true events! This isn’t “Die Hard.” The fact of the matter is the Zodiac killer terrorized California for nearly ten years and, in the end, not a single person was arrested or charged with a crime in connection with the Zodiac killings [this makes it interesting and pertinent and not the unrealistic Hollywood movie with the typical I-love-you-kill-the-bad-guy-happily-ever-after ending].
But of course when people from the “Now” (I just made that up) generation see the trailer, they expect a “Silence of the Lambs”-type movie. They want that type of movie. They want an hour and a half of video entertainment; they don’t want realism, or creativeness, or god forbid — art! Sadly, movies started as a business, then were artful for a period from about 1950 to 1980, then turned back into a business. Yes, occasionally a good movie slips through, but not often enough. Foreign movie-makers refuse to conform much more than the American market. Just watch a French, Italian, or Japanese movie and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
But a lot of people who think they know movies only know the swill that the 90s and 00s have thrown at them. They know nothing else and don’t want to know anything else. I doubt you could get them to sit down and watch a movie like “Barry Lyndon” or “Strangers on a Train” in their entirety. “Dude, this is black and white, man?” they’d say.
But enough bitterness. Just ignore these idiots. Would you go to a doctor who’s hasn’t been to medical school? No. Then why read the movie criticism of a amateur movie fan? A wise man once said, “Unsupported answers have no validity.” That’s a pretty hard statement to refute.
I also remember a few years back feeling confused about the term 'Google' as a verb. Come on, what's up with our language lately? We're just making up phrases now?
Oh, well, why don't you Google it?
Wait, what? Google can be a verb? Yes, it's quite common now. I find myself telling my friends to Google things all of the time. Usually, it's when we have a disagreement about music or a specific celebrity or information about school assignments.
Dude, just Google it. I know I'm right.
I have become increasingly accustomed to the verb. Because of my assimilation, I have also become increasingly annoyed with people who are not aware of or refuse to recognize Google's power.
Specifically, last week in a lecture of mine, students were asking the teacher questions about a project that is due. We could have saved half an hour by repeatedly saying: GOOGLE over and over.
-How do I find out how many calories are in an apple?
-How do I convert pounds to kilograms?
-What is a macronutrient?
Google Google Google. Honestly, it's not that difficult of a concept. I'm not trying to appear condescending, but we've all been exposed to Google. Just type in a question and have faith.
If you don't believe me, why don't you Google it?
Friday, March 02, 2007
Then, Tony made the Dallas Cowboys team as a 3rd string player. He wasn’t famous in everyone’s eyes but was getting local fame around Burlington.
However, now that Tony is the first string quarterback it seems like his life has completely changed. He is constantly being covered by the media not just about his football career, but who is dating, what is he doing, etc. Just recently Tony returned home with his girl friend Carey Underwood to Burlington (or so I hear from the family gossip) and he could not even go out to eat during normal restaurant hours. Instead a local restaurant opened early just for him and his family to have dinner.
I think this is crazy. I mean five years ago most people didn’t even know who Tony Romo was and now the media are covering him so much he can even go out in public without worrying about being covered by the media.
I guess what I am getting at is how much should the media really cover these “celebrities” lives? I know everyone likes to watch shows the E! but do we really need to know about every meal they eat and everything they do?
This got me questioning why our culture is obssessed with seeing other people make fools of themselves or have troubles. You can see this throughout history as well in many hit shows today. In many late night talk shows a segment is dedicated to asking simple questions to people on the streets who have no ideas of the answers. Why do we love to see other people fail? Does it make us feel better about our own lives? Reality TV shows have taken it a step farther and we now find it entertaining on the Real World to watch people with eating disorders, or on the Hills watching Lauren cry when fighting with her best friend. We find joy in other peoples pain. We find humor in others failurs. I am afraid of where the media may turn next. Are we coming to a point of The Truman Show when we will watch someones every minute to understand their intermost personal thoughts and feelings.
So maybe its okay if you put yourself out there to find humor and entertainment in other peoples lives, yet maybe our media should find something a little more creative to show us. Maybe we continue to tune in every week because thats all their is, or maybe this is all their is because we do tune in every week.