Monday, April 30, 2007
Anyway, if anyone is a fan of extreme violence and gore, let me know and I'll hook you up with a copy.... I doubt I'll have any takers.
Friday, April 27, 2007
She lives in GB so to keep tabs on her three children she likes to text. The messages started off as how is school, work or did you catch American Idol. Soon she was asking if I knew anything about my sister's new boyfriend. Or did I know that my sister had a new boyfriend and did my sister know that she knew about the new boyfriend. My phone is blowing up with inquiries from tax forms to new restaurants. Oh and if I dont respond she might just ask why and where i am. My sister and brother are getting annoyed also but we thought the novelty would wear off.
No such luck. Sitting in class I got a pic message from her of a cute baby that had been brought into her work. WHO taught her this! Progessively I (along with my other two siblings) have been getting pic messages of old friends she runs into or (and I'm not kidding) her garden she is creating.
Now although it's cute that she wants to share all of these facets of her life with us. It's too much and too time consuming. Ok and a bit out there. Perhaps we should have an intervention over Mother's day weekend about this growing obsession. I dont expect her to quit cold turkey but this has gotten out of control. As I type this I can hear my phone going off in the next room. Must go! It could be my work calling back. Or perhaps more likely a picture of my mothers newest haircut.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
The movie is based on the memoirs of Augusten Burroughs, who wrote the book, Running With Scissors. The movie revolves around the young boy, Augusten, who has to deal with an alcoholic father (played by Alec Baldwin) and a very unstable and selfish mother (Annette Bening). When Augusten's mother begins seeing a therapist, Dr. Finch (who is really crazy for being a psychologist), everything hits the fan. She and her husband get divorced, she begins taking the drugs that Dr. Finch prescribes her, and eventually gives her son up to live with Dr. Finch in a crazy bright pink house with his other insane children.
I don't really feel like going more in depth with the description, so you get the point. The movie is actually really funny but it's more of a humor that results from the characters' insanity and misfortunes. It's just really weird. It's one of those movies that if you checked out a second time you might enjoy it. or maybe not. I think I'll try reading the book.
But really, a father's message to his daughter? Yeah, I guess he displayed 'bad parenting' but that was between Alec Baldwin and his daughter. I love how we can witness a mother/father berating her/his child in public, probably to the extreme Baldwin displayed, yet we don't do anything about it. But in the media, Baldwin is forced to write an apology to strangers.
Baldwin posted the apology on his site here.
"Thank you to everyone who has posted messages of support and understanding. Naturally, it is not best for a parent to lose their temper with their child. Everyone who knows me privately knows that I have endured a great deal over the last several years in my custody litigation.
Everyone who knows me privately knows that certain people will go to any lengths to embarass me and to disrupt my relationship with my daughter. In such public cases, your opponents attempt to take a picture of you on your worst day and insist that this is who you are as a person.
Outside the doors of divorce court, I have friends, I have respect from people I work with and I have a normal relationship with my daughter. All of that is threatened whenever one enters a court room.
Although I have been told by numerous people not to worry too much, as all parents lose their patience with their kids, I am most saddened that this was released to the media because of what it does to a child.
I'm sorry, as everyone who knows me is aware, for losing my temper with my child. I have been driven to the edge by parental alienation for many years now. You have to go through this to understand. ( Although I hope you never do.)
I am sorry for what happened. But I am equally sorry that a court order was violated, which had deliberately been put under seal in this case. Once my book is published, I'm sure more people will understand the incredible strains created by parental alienation.
In the meantime, I'm sorry to anyone who's taken offense from this episode."
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Monday, April 23, 2007
I was checking my email tonight and came across this on yahoo. Hopefully, this link works but it details the murder of a bodyguard in the inner cities and the way which the music can twist life. I hadn't heard much up until tonight from watching it but rap star Busta Rhymes was a witness to the murder, and because of this unwritten rule that says "no one can snitch" the murder will probably never be identified. I was amazed to watch the values these young children have from the inner cities of how life is. It reminded me of some of the discussions we have had on ideology and meanings because Geoffrey Canada, a anti-violence advocate, makes a direct reference to these.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
And this guy bluntly says that he's not speaking metaphorically when he says that he wants a "warring church." He exhorts his followers that they must be ready to fight instead of being "passive little lukewarm, namby-pamby, kum-bah-yah, thumb-sucking babies that call themselves Christians." Yup, and he also thinks it's weakness to merely accept and trust Christ. "'I want a stalking church!'" he shouts.
One of the most disturbing things that I read was when Ron Luce recited a story from the Bible where a man gave his concubine to be gang raped, then sent the pieces to the twelve judges of Israel. He then started to cut up a mannequin onstage while the crowd chanted, "Cut up the concubine!"
It's funny, but as I read the article and watched some clips about BattleCry online, I wondered why these teens didn't realize that for all their ranting and raving against pop culture, they utilize it quite a bit themselves. Except for the praying and lack of alcohol, their rallies usually look like rock concerts, complete with a stage and pyrotechnics. Plus, these people have a kind of university now where they train teens to fight the fight from the inside of the culture. And these rallies attract thousands, even with their outright militaristic tones. They blame the culture for almost everything, completely ignoring how violent the Bible is, and other aspects of the culture they treasure. One can only hope this doesn't turn into something more ugly. And I guess blaming MTV, sex, pot, and secularists for all our troubles and violence is a lot easier than taking a hard look at ourselves.
Friday, April 20, 2007
OpenMoko Announces the World’s First Integrated Open Source Mobile
Communications Platform at Open Source in Mobile Conference in Amsterdam.
Open mobile communications development platform and phones will create explosive growth of
mobile applications to rival the diversity and size of the massive ringtone market and foster new
income models for carriers
OPEN SOURCE IN MOBILE CONFERENCE --Amsterdam, November 7, 2006 –
OpenMoko today announced the immediate availability of a completely integrated open source
mobile communications platform in partnership with FIC, a world leader in motherboards,
graphics cards, mobile solutions, and electronic devices. The announcement of the OpenMoko
mobile communications platform coincides with the unveiling of FIC’s Neo1973 smartphone,
which utilizes the full OpenMoko platform and will be available in January 2007.
Until now, mobile platforms have been proprietary and scattered. With the release of
OpenMoko, which is based on the latest Linux open source efforts, developers now have an easy
way to create applications and deliver services that span all users and provide a common “look
and feel”. OpenMoko also offers common storage models and libraries for application
developers, making writing applications for mobile phones fun and easy while guaranteeing swift
proliferation of a wide range of applications for mobile phones. With such extremely high quality
open frameworks, developers will be armed with exactly the tools they need to revolutionize the
the upper text is just a clip of whats to come from this revolutionary phone. but, at the very least this is the first phone to offer open sourse technology. Like Linux or wikipedia users can shape the phone to work anyway they want. The phone can be used on any network with various softwares. I believe this is the first step in real making a revolutionary product. Its the first step to aloow endless options for the consumer. Check out
www.openmoko.com to see more specs
I, as many others, was watching one of the primetime news specials that aired the day after the intial shootings happened. As most of the other news programs it gave recaps of what had happened and who was affected. One of the stories was on how people have come together on the interent and how facebook.com was the center of it. One of the news anchors made a comment that "Facebook is becoming the new town square." Students were posting comments and trying to find friends in less than hour after word of what had happened. People were also leaving meaagaes of condolnce and disbelief.
I know that some people are against facebook and what it means to be a part of the college pop culture. I can see where they are coming from, but is becoming the new cell phone, even though it may not be portable, facebook is a new line of communication and it isn't going anwhere. Even the main stream media is getting in on the deal. They are looking for news stories through different threads and the opinions that kids have on them. I know this has happened in Virginia, but I also happen to know that media outlets here in Milwaukee have used Facebook as a way to get people's reactions and to get in contact with specific people to get their comments on a news story.
I am now addicted to The Show with Zefrank. After Wednesday’s class, I went home and immediately started watching some of the popular shows. Each one was unique and clever.
As I watched episode after episode, I started to wonder about Ze. He seems smart…I totally want to meet him…how does he think of all these ideas…why doesn’t he have his own books/shows/movies!?!
Then I came upon one of the last episodes listed on the most popular page, “Left Turn,” and Ze really did break the fourth wall. He narrated the show from the audience’s perspective and asked many of the same questions I’d been asking myself while watching the shows… “I wonder if he’d be fun to hang out with…nah he’s probably a dick”… “I can’t tell if this is stupid…or smart?”…. “What’s this supposed to be…artsy?”
This show totally sucks you in…I’m planning on starting at the beginning and watching them… I only wish I would have known about Ze when it first came on, so I could become an official member of the League of Awesomeness and feel like a true Sports Racer.
Like Flavor of Love this show takes dehumanizing quite seriously and each guy is given a nickname from Romance to Pooty. The producers also make sure that unlimited alchohol is available and boy do these guys take advantage! Hey I would too. They provoke fights with their challenges and interviews and it is not long before one of the guys ends up being pinned down and having part of his hair shaved off. The majority of the men that they have chosen are often make references about "coming from the streets," or threatening to "cut someone up". The latter statement is obviously pretty disgusting and of course given air time. The first statement is just an indication of their background. Because of that the producers also had an episode where they took humiliation to another level. They invited self proclaimed Bitch, Omorossa from the apprentice to come in and interview the men about their income and total net worth. From making fun of a man for not being able to afford diamond earrings to listing all of one man's accounts that are in collection. I couldn't believe it. I wasn't too suprised when one man got so upset that he started shaking, crying and threw himself (or fainted) down a flight of stairs.
The last show just aired. It was a reunion special. These guys just do not get it. They see this newfound fame as a complete win when audiences everywhere are laughing at them. Like most reality contestants their fame will quite likely be very short lived, but the hurtful and emberrassing ways that they were often portrayed will follow them. Did I mention that New York made references to the winners inadequate "manhood" at the reunion? Wow. Of course its obvious that although I'm a bit put off by this I am an avid watcher. Cant deny it How else would I know all of this priceless info?
In this situation no one knows what is right. But the media should have the ability to show things that are relevant and not be jumped on for being insensitive. The media is a business, and they are looking for ways to succeed. The media gives us the outlet and responsibility to see and hear what we desire. Maybe we need to be critical or maybe we need to look back at ourselves and see why we are angry, or crave this type of news story.
After the Virginia Tech shootings, the media violence debate reared its ugly head again.
The other night, after I had already taken sleeping pills and was drifting to sleep while watching Tavis Smiley (Yes…I watch Tavis Smiley… and Charlie Rose) and the interview sparked my interest and overrode the power of melatonin on my brain.
During this particular episode, Tavis was interviewing former U.S. Attorney, Bud Cummings, who was recently forced to resign, and before they even talked about the legal or ethical issues surrounding the forced resignation, Tavis asked the Attorney what his thoughts were concerning the VT shooting…here is what he said…
Bud Cummings (emphasis added):
“School shootings are a modern phenomenon. And Tavis, it's traceable, really, to only one aspect of our society and it's not poverty and it's not racism and it's not too many guns on the street.
There's been guns in our communities for hundreds of years. It's the culture and it's the increase in violence that the children and all of us are exposed to in televisions, movies, and video games. And in some people - especially people like this young man, who may have been on the edge, that may be just enough to take them over the edge, and it actually transforms them physiologically - the way they process information in their brains. So it's something that we really need to look at.”
WHAT!? I don’t buy that are society is more violent than it was 1,000, 100, or 30 years ago. Read the Bible, watch The Mod Squad, or watch the nightly news and you’ll get plenty of violence throughout time and in “informative” forms of media.
I won’t even get into the statement- “Transforms them physiologically.” Tavis just nodded and let Cummings continue…
“Parents know to not expose their children, for instance, to pornography. We all kind of know on some level that that's bad for kids and we should keep that away from our children, but we don't all seem to make that same recognition about the effect that this rampant violence that's depicted in the media has on children and all of us.
And we need to talk about that, and there's a lot of money behind it, and there's gonna be a lot of push and pull. We have the First Amendment, and that's important, but it's an issue that needs to be debated, and this incident may be one example why that debate should take place now.”
….I wonder what Charlie Rose would have said in response?
Thursday, April 19, 2007
But more interestingly, I liked how we talked about how much skill and work goes into producing a decent, 2-minute video. I can relate. In my spare time I am an amateur documentary filmmaker. I started a new project recently. I've been filming for about 3-4 weeks (about 2 hours of raw footage thus far) and this will probably only translate into about 3-5 minutes of finished video. It's a lot of work!!! But it's all worth it, because if done well the end result is timeless, especially now when video is digital and never degrades like the old video tape did.
So perhaps the digital video craze will not die off, but perhaps people will get sick of the meaningless, poorly created video available and there will be a demand for talented professionals to take back this industry. Then again, will the world population at about six billion and growing, probably not....
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Monday, April 16, 2007
Anyway, I find myself sucked into two hours of HBO every Sunday night, for after The Sopranos comes Entourage, a show I also enjoy. Then, starting this week, HBO started a show that airs after Entourage—a mini-series about the upcoming De La Hoya - Mayweather fight. Being a mild boxing fan, I couldn't help but watch it. And now that I watched the first one, I will have to watch the remaining three.
Then I noticed that all are obviously "man" shows, filled with testosterone. Of course, many women also get pleasure out of The Sopranos, but on the whole, these are male-oriented shows.
And so, I'm sorry to say, HBO keeps America's males supplanted on their lazy asses for two hours without any inkling of changing the channel. Well, at least their shows are commercial- free, noncensored, and will only last for four more weeks.
Anyone else find themselves lured into a string of shows all on the same channel?
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Friday, April 13, 2007
taken from rolling stone magazine.
On their full-length debut, Silversun Pickups, a quartet from L.A.'s trendy Silver Lake neighborhood, show all that's possible when the California sun shines on indie-rock shoegazers. After the fuzzy, Pixies-ish dreamscape of the opener, "Melatonin," things take off with "Well Thought Out Twinkles," a surge of guitar squalls and male-female vocals that sounds like what might have happened if the Smashing Pumpkins had driven their ice cream cart out West. The Pickups' grandiose rock owes a great debt to its Chicago forebears "Waste It On" rips the "Rhinoceros" bass line, and "Lazy Eye," in particular, could be an outtake from Siamese Dream but the L.A. kids seem to be having fun in a way that Billy Corgan and company rarely could.
its really cool stuff i promise.
Monday, April 09, 2007
Ok, in all honesty not really. Actually none of this is really how I feel about Sanjaya,
but it was interesting in today's class to see this very intriguing 13-year old girl on AI who feels this way. I agree with Beth in saying that I want Sanjaya to win and I don't watch AI either.
I suppose we all have a little Howard Stern in us all, and I think one of the guilty pleasures in media now is to want to destroy everything that is popular, just because we give into it. I'd like to know how Sanjaya actually feels about his situation; whether he likes all the attention for being horrible, or if he is being horrible for the attention of the shows producers. It would be funny if he could really sing in reality. I get a picture of Sanjaya going off stage and away from the cameras and belting out tunes in perfect harmony to his friends. It would also be very funny if everyone voted for him because he was terrible, and after he won he releases a CD proving he can sing proving that A.I. has pulled the most elaborate media trick ever. None of this is true probably, but it is my own dorky thoughts.
So next time when Sanjaya belts an irregular melody of hope and media inflation,
I will shed a tear towards the media and vote for Sanjaya.
Friday, April 06, 2007
It's the real thing. This website encourages American Idol enthusiasts to cast their votes for the worst contestant on the show. I guess Sanjaya has been chosen as this year's golden kid. It's funny how propoganda has the ability to sway the opinion and actions of the public. I think this is just a way of individuals acting as a group to demonstrate and test the power of media.
Is this a way of fighting the system? Well, either way, AI wins because it's raking in the viewers.
I don't watch AI. I don't think I've seen an episode since Justin lost to Kelly. But, I will admit, I kind of want this Sanjaya kid to win. He's the quirky contestant. He may not have the pipes, but he's got the courage to be just plain odd. Now that I can respect.
For those who haven't ever watched a MMA match, it is a primal, ultra-violent experience. The two fighters wear barely-padded gloves only to prevent breaking their own hands when punching their opponent. And unless there is a broken bone or a wound is gratuitously spraying blood, the fight is not stopped by the medical official. I have seen matches where both fighters' faces and torsos are covered in blood. And the fight goes on until the rounds are complete, someone is knocked out, or someone "taps out" (gives up due to a submission move).
After our discussions of media effects this week in class, I couldn't help but wonder if programming like this is making our society more violent. There is definitely an element of flash and sensationalism attached to it. There always seems to be high profile celebrities in the audience and scantily-clad women everywhere, glamorizing these fighters, essentially advocating the violent, bad-boy brawler-type.
But I do admit that cable and satellite TV providers have done a good job with being able to block certain shows. Parents can block these shows or only allow them to be viewed with a secret code. But how do children always seem to know the code, or figure a way around it? Is show blocking enough? Or if one is of the mind that media doesn't affect our behavior could it be deemed unnecessary? To me "show blocking" seems like a selling point and not much else.
So I was watching the news and this middle aged lady was quite upset. Turns out someone who did not like her too much put an ad on Craigslist pertaining to her deceased mothers house that she owned. They told all Craigslisters of the address and said everything in the house is up for grabs, feel free to break in if it's locked and take anything that you want. Free. Amazingly a number of people did just that. Pictures of the house on the news were horrendous. Thousands and thousands of dollars of items were stolen, everything was gone and the house was violently vandalized. I'm not sure if they found the suspects or not but because of the annonymous nature of Craigslist this might be hard. If they had used a public computer at a library, school or cafe they are laughing now.
Craigslist isn't always bad. When my TV broke a few weeks ago I found myself on Craigslist checking out TV's and prices. You can barter on prices or advertise what you are willing to pay. Upon looking at prices I decided that I didn't want to pay anything at all, but I still wanted a TV. So I put up my own ad "Cute girl needs TV" and I wanted it free. I did make up a small story about my boyfriend breaking up with me and taking the TV but it was all in good fun. You can probably still find my ad. I had quite a few interesting responses. But finally a man from Waukesha said he had a 20 inch color TV, for free. To be safe I went with my brother to a Target parking spot for the pick up. Yes I was a bit apprehensive and had I heard more horror stories about Craigslist I might not have been there. But it worked and the sweet man handed over my TV that sits before me right now, for free.
In our discussion in class we addressed if video games increase violence or are the cause of violence in young children. Many of us agreed that for most people video games are a way to let out frustration or a way to enter another social world, not influencing a person to be violent. But maybe the messages its sending us about gender ideologies is as dangerous to our society. We don't know that everyday sterotypes are being reinforced. It is so natural today to pick your gender and when you do it leads you down a certain path with certain expectations. Video games are just another way that provides us with the idea that gender shapes our lives.
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart talked about the release of this movie and, in true Daily Show fashion, mocked the movie, and the fact that it has taken Disney so long to have a black princess. They talked about how their have been other minority princess added to the countless white princesses represented in Disney films. For example, Mulan - who was an Asian princess, Jasmine - who was an Arabian princess and Pocahontas -an American Indian princess, etc. It seems ridiculous that it will take until 2009 to have a black princess added to this group. It will be interesting, as it gets closer to it's release date, to see how the media will pick up on this fact.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
i tried to add a video but im a total idiot. She has her two newest singles on youtube.
The documentary Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills reminds me a lot of our class discussion, and the violence/outcast discussion in general. This documentary follows the trials of the “West Memphis Three” and shows how society (especially the media) demonizes those suspected of committing crimes. These three teenagers were accused of murdering and mutilating three young boys. Even though contradictory stories were provided and forced confessions were admitted into trial, all three teens were convicted of murder. The prosecuting lawyers and the town vilified the boys because they were outcasts, they played violent video games, they wore black, and they read about the Wicca religion. Basically, they were convicted of murder for being different (just as they were picked on in school for being different). None of the physical evidence made sense, and none of the boys were linked to the crime scene or to the corpses, it is the perfect case of a legal and criminal scapegoat (just as violent video games are used as a scapegoat for more serious and broad social problems).
There has always been a counterculture for every mainstream culture…hippies, punks, Goths, whatever (and it is sort of annoying for me to even be classifying them). When will we have an adult society recognizes that youth culture is as harmless as it was when they constituted the youth culture?
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
They designed a study in which measures of anger levels acted as a proxy for violent behavior. They recruited 135 children, but were forced to kick some out of the study due to bad behavior, leaving them with about 110 boys and 15 girls with a mean age of 14.6 years, all of them familiar with the game of choice, Quake II. The children were given personality profile tests and measured for anger levels, at which point they were set loose for 20 minutes of gaming. Anger levels were measured again following the gaming session.You might also be interested in the lively (though not totally civil) discussion of this article at the link-sharing site Digg.
Crunching the numbers indicated that there were three clear groups. The anger levels of 77 of the subjects remained unchanged after the gaming session. In 22 of the subjects, anger levels nearly doubled from a starting point similar to that of the unaffected children. But 8 of the test subjects started out at this high anger level; for them, 20 minutes of gaming dropped them down to levels similar to those seen in the unaffected group.
The research team then correlated these groups with the personality profiles, and an clear pattern emerged. Those with personalities that were scored as stable largely wound up in the unaffected group, while the remaining two groups were populated by personalities that were considered less stable.
One more thing: Henry Jenkins, whose ideas we have been discussing, has a blog in which he writes about pop culture like videogames and TV shows. One recent entry is about American Idol, Sanjaya, and the "Vote For the Worst" phenomenon.