Wednesday, October 31, 2007


The new season 5 of Nip/Tuck has just aired last night. As an avid veiwer of Nip/Tuck I am concered that this season will not be as provocative and entertaining as the previous seasons. For anyone that is not familar with the show, it is really a soft core porno about two plastic surgons that seem to take on the most rediculous clients that always get them into the most rediculous problems. However, on the new season they have just moved their practice from Maimi to LA and the whole season seems to be able them trying to "make it." They decided to co-star in a pathetic tv drama about and ER to try and make it big. To be honest I would rather just watch Christian bang girls in rediculous situations and Julia making out with midgets. Although, they do have an impressive list of quest stars that I am looking forward to such as Dylan Walsh and Julian McMahon. As any good Nip/Tuck fan would, I will continue watching in hopes for improvement from episode 1.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Darjeeling Limited

On Sunday, I went with a friend of mine to see Wes Anderson's new film, The Darjeeling Limited. We went to the Oriental Theatre to see it, since it's not being played in many theaters (I've heard it's also not being released in the UK). If any of you are familiar with other Wes Anderson films (Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, or the Royal Tenenbaums, for example), you will notice a lot of similarities between the films- from casting (the Wilson brothers, Anjelica Huston, Bill Murray, etc.) to writing (co-written- Wes Anderson and this time Roman Coppola) to editing (Anderson uses his signature "bookmarking" style once again).

More than the film, however, I want to blog about experiencing the film. Firstly, I was really lucky because the Oriental played "Part 1" (called Hotel Chevalier) which was a short that depicts one of the character's relationship (Jason Schwartzmann) with his ex-girlfriend (Natalie Portman). I had heard before seeing the film that the short, which was played at film festivals, would not be played upon the film's release. Secondly, the venue in which I saw the film was important. I didn't see the film at Marcus Cinemas (with sticky floors and stadium seating)- I saw it at the Oriental Theatre (with high class overtones and a balcony). I really think these contextual aspects of experiencing the film influenced what I got out of it.

P.S. I definitely recommend it!!

Aliens in America

Last night I watched the Aliens in America episode "Help Wanted" as it aired on the CW.

Stop reading here if you don’t want spoilers!

Raja wants to help out the family monetarily so he gets a job at a local convenience store. The manager/owner of the store is of Indian descent (not Native American/First Nations) and the show kind of pokes fun at the Middle-Eastern-guy-running-a-corner-store stereotype.

Anyhow, he’s got this job. And now we’re shown Raja around another “other” character. But we soon find out not all ethnically diverse or “different” characters on this show are good people. Put in charge for a weekend night, Raja refuses to sell beer to his clearly underage classmates with fake IDs. His Indian manager is upset the next morning because the store made so little money with Raja behind the register.

The episode reminded me a lot of our discussion about Indiana Jones’ portrayal of Asian characters. The manager is portrayed as a “bad other” character because he runs his store in a corrupt manner (unless maybe you’re underage and want to buy beer, then you might like him). This makes Raja look like even more of a good guy, reinforcing his extremely positive role.

Stupid, but interesting at least

It's been widely reported that FEMA held a fake news conference last Tuesday about the California wildfires. Since no news reporters were there in time (FEMA only gave them 15 minutes notice), someone thought of the great idea to have FEMA communications staff pose as reporters. The Washington Post heard about it and broke the story- here's a link. If you'd like to watch it, take a look:

There's really not much more to say about this specific incident...on my part. FEMA has been heavily criticized from the media, as well as from other levels of government, including The White House.

What I find interesting is the comparison between what this fake presser was, and other forms of PR.

Couldn't it be argued that this event is very similar to a press release? It was crafted in a positive light of FEMA, it was created by FEMA and it was distributed to news outlets.

FEMA has consistently said that this was an error in judgement and will not happen again.

I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt and say that I believe them. However, I can't help but wonder if, in fact, this press conference was strategic as to show how great FEMA was responding to the crisis in compared to...well..Katrina.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Copy Cats!

This weekend I watched the movie Emma, which is the movie version of the novel by Jane Austen. While I was watching this movie I realized, actually my sister first pointed it out and then I realized, that there is nothing new in stories. Jane Austen wrote hundreds of years ago, and we are still telling the same stories. The movie Clueless is actually the modern day version of Emma and Bridget Jones’ Diary is the modern day version of Pride and Prejudice.
Clueless used the same type of characters, right down to names, like Elton, and hair color, Ms. Smith’s signature red hair, to describe the main characters. Granted Clueless was never considered to be an epic film, but I still feel a little cheated. In our age of immense technological advance we cannot even come up with a new take on a love story. Worse than unoriginality is the fact that the modern day versions are not any more entertaining than the original stories. At least the original stories used beautiful language.
Don’t get me wrong I love the humor of Bridget Jones’ Diary, but do you think that Jane Austen would have wanted her masterpiece to be reduced to a bunch of sexual innuendos and tiny skirts?

Friday, October 26, 2007

Gossip Girl

Gossip Girl is a successful series of books, and I'll admit I've read them. Recently, the author published what I believe will be the last book in this particular part of the series. It has become a television show as well. The show does a decent job of recreating the books, but the casting leaves something to be desired. In particular, one character, Jenny, is represented as a curvy young girl who has a lot to learn about life. In the show, she is stick thin and blonde yet does a good job of representing the naive young girl climbing the social ranks. I guess this is just another case of the media promoting the image of the young, hot, and most importantly thin girl.

"Ohhhh, Dick Van Dyke!"

I have recently gotten back together with Dick Van Dyke. As a child, I was a Nick at Nite junkie. Something me friends gave me a lot of grief for, as I seldom knew MTV or any other pop culture references. I did come to enjoy this contemporary programming more, and eventually stopped watching the oldies. A few weeks ago I turned on the Dick Van Dyke show, and enjoyed it even more than I had as a kid. The show is a classic and is still completely relevant. I was amused not only by the show, but how I had managed a media 360 back to the old favorite. There was something about Laura Petri’s (Mary Tyler Moore) “Ohhhh Robbbbbb!” that I enjoyed as familiar. The Dick Van Dyke show boasts creative plot lines that even in this age of imitation, I have yet to see emulated. I’m not giving up my addictions to The Hills (even though I just learned it’s staged), Ugly Betty, etc. However, I’m not always in the mood for what this generation of TV finds innovative and shocking, which often times is little more than cheap thrills and the obvious sale of all things sexual. Maybe it’s a result of watching way too much TV, but I’m finding most of it has become too predictable.

Live with JIMMY and Kelly

Being without cable, local television and the main broadcast channels has actually not been that bad, considering. I do miss Sports Center, TCM, the History/ Discovery Channel, and yes, Nickelodeon. But, as long as I am able to watch Family Guy and the Office, I am a content human being.

What I am actually excited about is my new common routine of watching Live with Regis and Kelly at 9:00 am.

I am somewhat an early riser and am blessed with classes which do not start before 11:00 am. So what is there to do when you're up at 8:00 and have about 3 hours at your disposal, no tests to study for, no Internet to surf and no cable to pass the time? You engage in a highly rated morning talk show!

I have been a viewer for several weeks now, but what was especially interesting about this week was Jimmy Kimmel would be replacing Regis Philbin as co-host! I am a fan of Jimmy and knew that this week was going to be a riot.

And indeed it was! Not for the sake of Jimmy's quick-witted humor and sarcastic/slightly risque remarks, but Jimmy would now be traveling back and forth from New York to Las Angeles to host his own late night t.v. show.

What anyone can guess, Jimmy was on a complete lack of sleep which made his usually camera personality a little "buzzed" and incredibly more unpredictable.

I am questionable though. Why did the networks pick Jimmy Kimmel as co-host for this week knowing that he would have a tough time and a long, repetitive journey ahead of him? LIVE has used other co-host before when Regis was absent; what makes this occasion different?

Is it because:
  • Jimmy 's show is also an ABC networked program, (and perhaps he wasn't going to get paid as much?)
  • Lack of sleep and an overdose of vitamins/herbs provided by LIVE's executive producer Michael Gelman will create a delusional host?
  • Late-night wanted a crack at the morning audience?
  • "This is a ridiculous idea. The only reason I'm doing it is to try to get Kelly to make out with me on the plane." (Jimmy Kimmel's response)
  • All of the above?
Whatever the case may be, (and I have a feeling it was generated towards the top answer,) Jimmy's performance was hilarious and it was twice as nice to view him twice a day.

Another quirky anecdote is Jimmy has actually received a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most traveled miles in a single work week by one human being! Congrats ;-)

TV on the Internet

I missed the Office last night. This never happens; I've invested hours upon hours of Jim-and-Pam, Dwight-and-Angela, Michael-and-Jan drama that missing one half-hour segment would possibly ruin my life.

Ok, overdramatics aside, I'm a big fan of the Office. If I miss an episode, I have a few options.

First, I can read about it online. One amazing innovation of the internet has been Wikipedia, which has synopses of every episode online.

A second option I have is going to NBC's website and watching the episode online. This works well for people because they can watch it at their own convenience. It still comes with commercials, however.

Finally, my neighbor has TiVo, and she's a big Office fan, too. This is probably the option I'm going to take because it offers me the chance to watch the episode in full, at my own convenience, and I can skip the commercials if I want. I also don't have to worry about lagging possibilities that I would online.

Anyway, please don't tell me what happens; I have to watch it! :)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Facebook is Beefing Up!!!!

Between Microsoft and Google, the winner is.....Microsoft!! According to an article I found online Microsoft and Google were competing against a stake in Facebook. For $240 Million, Microsoft won! This decision finally arrived Wednesday after weeks of debate.

I'm sure you all know how Facebook was created, as it has been brought up in class earlier this semester. Although if you can't recall it started about four years ago at the Harvard University in a dorm room!!!! Surprisingly enough this social network has grown to be worth $15 Billion dollars!!!!! WHOAA....I wish I could have introduced that!!! Ah well..

Facebook's competitor Myspace, which is the biggest social network out there, better watch out!!! In September, it had been noted that Facebook 30.6 million users as opposed to Myspace which was more than double at 68.7 million. As Myspace is worldly, Facebook is only nationwide. Facebook is looking to expand worldwide as well.

Facebook is also looking to expand the company as well. Currently with 300 employees, 400 more will be getting hired...topping off at 700!! Facebook and Microsoft will be working together to work on more advertising for the site.......

I am a fan of Facebook myself and I also have a myspace account which I never use, I actually don't know why I got it? BUT- I hope Facebook survives and beats myspace.....I'm sure it will happen. I do believe that Facebook can transcend myspace. Although I am not sure how long it will take! WHat do you think?? FACEBOOK or Myspace, which do you prefer?? Or perhaps Do you think Facebook can outshine myspace????

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Flaming Lips have recently released a live DVD called U.F.O.S at the Zoo. It is the film of thier self proclaimed "legendary" 2006 performance in Oklahoma City, their home town. If you're like me and you've never been to a Flaming Lips show, this is as close as you'll ever get (for now of course). The performance here resembles a cross between a Funkadelic show and a KISS show. Needless to say it's something to see. The concert begins with Wayne Coyne, the band's lead singer/songwriter, coming off of a space ship in a giant hampster ball. He then proceeds to walk across the crowd. Added to the spectacle are large amounts of confetti, people dressed as Santa aliens, fake blood, beach balls, a nun doll, and more things you have to see to believe. While most bands claim to be DIY, the Flaming Lips actually do it themselves. Much of the show is put together by the band members (down to the spaceship created in Wayne's back yard). However, the spectacle never overshadows the performance, even if Wayne's voice is a bit horse in the beginning. Band favorites like "Race for the Prize", "The Spark That Bled", "She Don't Use Jelly", and "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 1" are brilliantly recreated live. Psychedelic pop is rarely this enjoyable, and you don't have to be high or trippin' on acid to appreciate it. I leave you with the chorus from the band's closing song "Love Yer Brain":

"You can love yer brain
Even if it slips down the drain
Man, I'm not no drug addict
But a person's gotta have something
To keep him from going insane"

I'm sure you all can relate. Here's the performance of "She Don't Use Jelly" from the DVD:

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Citizen Girl

I just finished rereading one of my favorite books, Citizen Girl by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus (who also wrote The Nanny Diaries). The book deals with a young twentysomething Girl who is just out of college, and I highly recommend it. The book's conflict centers around the recent changes in the feminist ideal... and while I haven't taken a Gender Studies course, I do think, and watch media, and look around. Feminism has really changed: it's portrayed as an eye-rolling, bra-burning, embarrassing thing for a woman to proclaim herself to be.

It's not like we haven't always portrayed feminists as something that was better swept under the rug, but the sweeping motion seems to have changed. I think Citizen Girl does a great job of portraying the change: now we have girls who proclaim to be feminists, but who fail to see the irony in claiming that feminism allows them to be sexual. Girls in this generation seem to confuse sexual freedom with feminism.

I'm tired of movies that deliver the message both ways: girls, stand up for yourselves and be feminists, but please sell your looks in a way that will attract the right kind of audience! I applaud McLaughlin and Kraus for representing the real issues in gender roles in a smooth media package. It's about time.

I'm not sure that I've explained myself clearly, so I'm going to include an excerpt from the book:

"How many of you call yourselves 'feminists'"?
The same four hands stay extended...
"Why?" I ask. The unraised arms remain clamped across chests, firm in their postion. "Why wouldn't you call yourself a feminist?"
"We don't hate men," says one with a shrug, speaking for the group.
I blink at them, my head filling with a dozen extraordinarily un-neutral tacks. "It's not at all about hate. Or an enemy." I grapple unsuccessfully for nonleading language. "It's about every one of you walking out that door, graduating, and leading a life where your gender doesn't determine your salary, your welfare, your health care, or your safety. And ther's no reason that has to be at the expense of anybody else. Or your sexuality. It's not a negative movement... It's a positive one."

McLaughlin, E. and Kraus, N. (2004). Citizen girl. New York: Atria Books.

Mr Pregnant

I'm not sure how many of you are familiar with Mr. Pregnant's videos but to let you know he is an internet celebrity on youtube. Mr. Pregnant gets millions of viewers for every video he posts on youtube, and he has been posting for 2 years. Trouble started for him though when he posted a video of himself appearing on VH1 which he even asked permission for to post online. Viacom however said he was in copyright violation so YouTube suspended his account and his 200 other videos were unavailble. After 2 years and gaining millions of fans he was a bit furious about this and asked for his fans to write letters complaining to Viacom and YouTube. Eventually he got his account on YouTube back up as long as the video violating the copyright was deleted.
I think this is B.S. because there are a million other videos on youtube that violate copyrights and Mr. Pregnant specifically got permission from VH1 to upload his video. They could have simply deleted the violation and sent him a notice but instead they shut down the whole account?
you can read a little about it here.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Ohh... Busted!

A few months ago I learned about a UK based website... It contains full episodes of television shows as well as movies. It contains full seasons of pretty much any show I can imagine. I recently used it to watch tons of episodes of Arrested Development after hearing so much about the show and never having seen it before. It was pretty neat to be able to watch episode after episode without having to buy or rent DVDs.

This site seemed too good to be true...

... And I was right.

On Friday, this article was published. TV-Links, which is apparently one of the world's biggest pirate film sites, was shut down because of it's links to illegal versions tv shows and movies. The owner was arrested on charges relating to the facilitation of copyright infringement.

Because the site allowed users to access illegally broadcast material, especially blockbuster films that are still in theaters, the people working in the film industry were affected. In 2006, an estimated £459 million ($933 million) was lost because of this website. I can't even imagine what his fine is going to be...

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Fight Club

Last week in my Gender in the Media class, we were dissecting the media's presentation of the angry, white male and how masculinity is often associated with violence. The example screened was scenes from fight club, which showcased Brad Pitt and his rippling muscles, alongside bloody, secretly angry Edward Norton. I hadn't seen this movie since high school, and I don't think I ever really understood it. I had seen it multiple times, but the images portrayed had I guess become NORMALIZED, as nothing really seemed abnormal about it. I would watch it with my best guy friends all the time. But then something changed. My best dude friends idolized this movie, literally. They read the book, then watched the movie every week, learned all the lines of the script, started listening to the PIxies, beat each other up to be funny, then found the anarchist cookbook and started building bombs in their basements, and blowing them up in the fields outside of my hometown. This affected me because instead of watching movies with my guy friends on the weekends, I didn't have any guy friends anymore because they had taken the media's message about masculinity to heart. The message that as boys, being violent is glamourous and cool. Or perhaps being the upper-middle class, white, Protestant males that they were, felt that they could identify with the angry, escapist, masochistic ideals endorsed by Tyler Durden and Jack. They needed to identify with those ideals. All I remember, being a 16-17 year old female, is that losing friends sucks.

I guess as a result of that screening, I've been thinking a lot about media effects, and of course, how everybody has their personal experiences. For me, I was able to connect the dots a little this week, with a dramatic example of how the media really can alter an individual's perception of the world.
I am a little young to actually remember much about Transformers, except for the awesome 80s ballad that played during their battle with the Decepticons, but I must admit that I really enjoyed the new movie. I was sure that the film would be filled with cheesy computer animation and a Pokemon-ish story line, but I was wrong. The graphics were great and there was a wonderful intermingling of humor and emotion.
I must admit that if my brother hadn’t watched it with me I may have been a little confused. There were a couple of jokes that drew on past Transformer knowledge, which I just don’t have, but overall the movie was entertaining. The only other problem was that the plot drew from three separate stories and tried to draw all three together in the end, but at the end all I thought was….wow, what did that cute actor have to do with that other cute actor…oh well. The plot as a whole made sense, but the extra stories just seemed unnecessary.
I would definitely suggest people see this movie, but be prepared they do not play the 80s ballad from the cartoon. This took me by surprise and I was greatly disappointed.

The Good, The Bad, and the Weird

HEY fellow media scholars,

Just when I thought I'd seen a lot of different things on the web I found this site: A non-profit organization built around encouraging independent artists, and media makers.

It really made me stop and check out the content because of it's modern design and pleasing layout. Part blog roll, art gallery, animation house and media sound-off space. It's slogan: "A place to look and listen." While we are daily overwhelmed by so many advertising impressions, publications to choose from, books and required class texts, etc... this was a pleasing foray into an abstract world of pure art pulp.

I love the fact that you can enable streaming radio from many techno subgenres: house, ambient, trip-hop, breakbeats, drum n' bass for a few examples.

The site actually offers online art exhibitions and is archived until October 2003. As if they couldn't add anymore browsers can also check out articles, interviews and just plain editorials on a myriad of subjects and people.

Sometimes the endless Wikipedia, YouTube, Google to email circuit becomes, well, circuitous and I would encourage all of you that like things a little unconventional to embark upon an exploratory mission to this internet wonderland.

Friday, October 19, 2007

E! True Hollywood Story: Hugh Hefner

I was watching E! True Hollywood Story today, and they were doing a story on Hugh Hefner. It was really interesting. It told about the "real" reason behind him creating the magazine, basically because his parents didn't show him much affection. E! exposed all kinds of dirty little secrets about Playboy, some good and some bad. Also, maybe one of the reasons why he was such a "playboy" was because before he married his first wife she cheated on him. It seemed crazy to me to hear all of these former girlfriends talk about how they were aware he was unfaithful yet still stayed with him. I guess it just goes to show you how far people will go to be in the spotlight, and what they will put up with.


I recently learned of this community art project created by Frank Warren called PostSecret. People annonymously mail him artistic postcards with a secret on it. Warren then publishes the post cards in a book and part of the profits go to the 1800SUICIDE network. It was created in 2004 where he recieved 3,000 postcards and has grown in popularity and one year later he got 20,000 postcards. Some of the cards even appeared in an All-American Rejects music video, "Dirty Little Secrets".

Here is a link to a few of the postcards that would appear in his books:

Warren beleives that this can help people get out feelings or confessions that they could not tell in anyone in person. There are many suicidal confessions but many are funny and lighthearted as well. THe postcards come from all over the world and he feels that they help people to get out their secrets and the viewers help in their understanding and compassion for the annoymous writters.

holy kamoley!

I work in the multimedia library on campus and we have a lot of awesome movies. On Wednesday I found out we have the complete (!) Storylords series. It's twelve 15-minute episodes where Norbert learns important reading lessons. He has to save the planet Mojuste from Thorzuul, his royal Badness, who doesn't want the citizens of Mojuste to understand simple reading comprehension ideas like using context clues and pronouns. I remember watching it when I was very small and thinking Norbert was so cool. He's a Storylord. He puts on his magical gloves, gets on his stationary bicycle (really well hidden in his parents' garage) and transports to the planet Mojuste when his magical ring calls him. I found out the show was actually filmed in Wisconsin at UW-Stout. The acting is cheesy and the special effects are clearly from the 1980s. But I'm sure I learned a lot watching it. The Youtube episodes cut out the flashbacks (complete with music to differentiate the scene and a smoke-like filter at first) to Mrs. Framisch's reading class where you really get the meat of the lesson. Anyhow, here's part of an episode:

"Oh! You remembered to read on and see if your first guess made sense! Aaaaarrrggh!"

Thorzuul is thwarted again.

It's pretty much an excellent, wholesome show. The Storylords always get home in time for dinner.

Internet = procrastination.

Working back home over the summer had its rewards; free meals, unlimited use of internet and the wonders of cable television. Being poor in milwaukee, one has to live without these luxuries.

I'm not saying that television is a big part of my life...far from it. Only having access to local channels works quite well for a girl who is distracted easily. I will admit though, I had become quite addicted to the Game Show Network. Interactive gaming from the comfort of my living room was a great way to by-pass time.

Unfortunately GSN is a cable program. I had to leave the comfort of easy access entertainmet to the wild life of a college student in Milwaukee. Yes, the transition was tough.

But, there is good news! Thanks to the use of the wonderful world-wide web, (and because everything now has it's own website,) has come been brought to my attention and I now can spend my homework time on this site.

Some of my personal favorites are:

All are a race against time to try and create words from clues given along the way.

In Lingo, two teams race to try and spell a five-letter word with only getting clues, (the next letter in the puzzle,) after a certain time period.

Chain Reaction has a different twist because it is not confined to five letters. There are two words given. One on top of a series of level and another at the bottom. The only way these two are connected is if you guess the words in between. An examle would be:

Given- Golden

You must fill in the middle blanks before the time runs out.

Now camouflage is my personal favorite.

In camouflage you are given a bunch of jumbled words and have to find the word within. They are in order, but many words are scrambled within. You are given a clue and unneccessary letters fall away but points are deducted the longer you take. An example of this game would be:

Clue-A hunter's/sidekick

Letter combination-eargtdiwksfialhose


Once I found this wonderful site, homework time has never been the same! I urge everyone to check these out if they haven't already. Because of interactive websites, I have been able to write papers in about 10 hours! Holy Crap, So Much Fun!

Colbert '08?

On Tuesday, Stephen Colbert announced his candidacy for president on his Comedy Central program, The Colbert Report. Before making his announcement he was on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart and satirized the coyness of real presidential candidates when Stewart asked him questions relating to this impending announcement. Usually, I do not find Colbert funny. I understand that he is playing a character, but the ultra-conservative media pundit he plays seems too static. Colbert's interview on the Daily Show was an exception. I tend to be pretty politically aware of the happenings in our Country, so I found his mockery of the presidential candidates very entertaining.

Colbert's announcement comes at an interesting time. He is in the middle of a publicity tour promoting his new book, "I Am America (And So Can You!)." Although it is unclear how long Colbert plans on stretching his impression of a candidate, the announcement is most likely a publicity stunt.

Interestingly, an official website has been set up for supporters to find out more information on his White House bid.

Even though I find this fake story funny, if Stephen Colbert was elected president, the world would be in some real trouble.

Official Colbert '08 Website

Getting High in "The Hills"

A few class periods ago, we discussed whether or not producers interfere with the cast members of reality shows when they find themselves in potentially dangerous or illegal situations. According to a Star magazine interview with “Laguna Beach” and “The Hills” cast member Jason Wahler, they do not. Wahler has been arrested four times in the period of one year, and attributes his legal problems with the stardom that resulted from appearing on these shows. “I definitely think being on 'The Hills' influenced my problems…club owners and promoters want people on TV to party in their clubs. They throw bottles at you! It was 100 percent part of the problem,” Wahler claimed. The 20-year-old has completed rehab, and is committed, with the support of his new fiancée, to remaining sober. Only time will tell if Wahler will be able to overcome his bad habits, but either way I am sure MTV will closely document the drama and air it for America to see it unfold.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Well hello, I hope you all feel relieved now that our papers are finished and handed in! I know I AM!!! Well anyways I just thought that I would share a little video I watched on The Onion's website recently. The video is about 2 minutes long. The Onion News Network is parodying CNN. The topic of the video is about voters' most important issue when deciding a presidential candidate for the election. This is pure BULLSHIT! Well...just find out for yourselves!

This is super funny, I hope you all enjoy it! SO Lets all have a few laughs before our exam on Tuesday!!!


Poll: Bullshit Is Most Important Issue For 2008 Voters

Chad Vader

Hi all. Here is a video series that I just came back to today that is quite interesting. Obviously, for those who are fans of Star Wars, this should be a real treat. Chad Vader: Day Shift Manager is a YouTube series that uses the montage of the famous Sith lord himself, Darth Vader, only that this Vader in the show is actually Darth Vader's brother. Chad is a day shift manager at the Empire Market grocery store and runs all of the staff that happen to be there. Chad wears Vader's suit, (complete with Vader's ever-present breathing noise), carries a lightsaber, and comes complete with his force powers, like the force push and force choke. Another one of the quirks about this series is that one of the writers, Matt Sloan, perfectly emulates Vader's voice, and it is hilarious to see how one of Star Wars' most ruthless characters reacts to many everyday situations. Overall, this video shows not only represents the ongoing popularity of Star Wars, but it re-emphasizes the integration between YouTube and the film industry. For those who haven't seen Star Wars much, I don't know how you'll respond to this series, but I do hope you enjoy it. This is the first episode out of eight, so feel free to check out the other videos on YouTube.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

YouTube and Copyright...

So there is this fantastic 80's TV show called Remington Steele that star Stephanie Zimbalist and Pierce Brosnan (in his younger days...). I really like the creativity of this show, even though compared to CSI and Law and Order, Remington Steele would not even be in the same league. Hey, it was the 80's...give 'em a break!

Anyway, in the last few months I've noticed that, like almost EVERY other TV show, a lot of clips of it are on YouTube. Cool! I'd watch some periodically and it was always fun to see the show in another language...when I was in Italy this summer they ran an Italian dubbed version during the day! It was awesome! However, in the last few weeks, I have noticed that ALL of the 300 some videos have disappeared (with the exception of maybe 5). The videos are no longer available and most of the user's accounts have been suspended. One user had put a message on their profile that FOX made them remove the videos...I do not believe other networks have gone this far cause you can find clips of sooooo many tv shows on YouTube. I am just wondering why FOX has done this. Cause really, what harm is there in having clips of one of your shows on YouTube? If anything it is a great marketing tool since it gets people to watch the show who might not have known about it otherwise...kind of like me.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Birthday by Facebook means

I turn 21 this Friday, October 19th. Since I started kindergarten when I was 4, I am in my fourth year of school- still as a 20 year old. I started college at 17 and got my driver's license my December of my junior year of high school, etc. etc.

So this is the last big milestone before age "ain't nothin but a number," as Aaliyah would say... and since it's a well known fact among my friends that I'm younger than shit ("You're still not 21 yet?"), who were out at the bars all this summer, it's kind of a big deal.

My best friend and I decided to facilitate the entire party, we'd create an event on facebook. Both of us felt that it was the easiest way to contact the most people in the most organized fashion. Also, that way we can both change whatever details we need or want to (as admins). And I can obsessively stalk the "attending," "maybe attending," and "not attending" lists.

Without the events application on facebook, I would have been hard pressed to get the word out about my birthday to the 70+ people I invited (I know this seems excessive but I swear they're all my friends and they all have been waiting for me to turn 21!!).

Ahhh facebook... such a wonderful tool for the garden variety party planner.

P.S. We'll be out on North Ave after 10 p.m. for anyone who wants to tag along!! :)

Choose Life

I have recently come to the conclusion that billboards are the most ridiculous form of media that I can personally think of. I drive a lot. I am originally from Wausau, which is about 3 hours away (depending). I also drive to Oshkosh frequently. So I guess my point is that I spend a decent amount of time on the road, and I get bored driving so far all the time. So I have been paying attention to the billboards lately, I am an advertising major. The majority of them are dumb. people don't pay much attention to them and they usually don't say much. But one in particular caught my eye, an anti-abortion billboard! When a woman becomes pregnant she knows her options. As difficult as those options are, a billboard of all things is NOT going to change or even help her make up her mind!!! that being the most specific example, is not the only reason i dislike billboards. i just feel like they persuade me in no way and they are more of a distraction than anything. I've actually caught myself looking at billboards instead of the road! So they are potentially dangerous too. I just don't think that we should have billboards clogging up our scenery.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Divorce Court

I was sitting at home today, lazily watching horrible television programs that one can find on a Friday afternoon. I stumbled upon Divorce Court, and since there was nothing else on (no cable at my home) I decided to see what it was (having never watched the show myself).

The show was a courtroom reality show, in the style of the People's Court, where two people come together to face-off in a courtroom with a single judge. The show, however, targets a specific genre of courtoom cases: divorces.

What I found interesting was that the show was real, yet incorporated many aspects of television that ordinary people not taking a media studies class may miss. For instance, many times during one person's "testimony," the camera did a close-up on the opposing side's face to catch their reaction. I didn't know if I liked this or not: on the one hand, it helped to see how the otherside reacted; but on the other hand, it sort of villainizes the opposing view. In a court of law, there should be no good-vs.-evil, and the audience should not be given a subjective view of the proceedings.

george lopez

The George Lopez Show is now syndicated on my24. I had never actually watched an episode of the show until it began this syndicated run. I'm relatively interested in Hispanic representation on television, so I started to watch the show a bit (especially when I heard that their theme song was "Low Rider"). Unfortunately the opening sequence seems to be the best part of the show. Lopez's wife on the show takes care of him like he's a child. Although I see how George's antics fit into the sitcom world, they're not very funny. His mother on the show is a callous, extremely abrasive (and kind of an alcoholic) single woman who constantly lies to George. The show doesn't really teach much about Hispanic culture: the fact that they're a Hispanic family isn't all that relevant to the show. It's good to see more Hispanics physically on TV, but I was expecting more, George Lopez.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I Love Home-Made Crafts!

OK, this one is pretty sweet.

I unfortunately have to admit that it doesn't have a lot to do with the media in the context of how the product is being presented, but from my point of view we see product advertisement, (I admit I went out and bought some of each ingredient,) and the use of YouTube.

If you've already seen or heard of this I apologize but I think it is ridiculously clever.

There was trouble loading it onto my blog so I highly recommend you visit the YouTube Page instead:

What I think I enjoy most about this posting is the fact that these guys did not upload this video to get famous nor rich by means of YouTube. They did it because something was genially interesting and fun for them, and they felt it necessary to share it with the world in hopes that people will pass it on.

It seems rare now-a-days to find something on YouTube that isn't in regards to a celebrity mishap, or a crazed movie fan reenacting scenes from a science fiction phenomenon. We then hear about/see them in every media outlet announcing how they will possibly have their own reality T.V. show...

It's just a little refreshing to see some people are just out to have fun.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The OC & SNL: Cinematography

I was in the process of doing research for my industry analysis paper for "The O.C." and I came across a SNL spoof of the last episode of the second season of The O.C. I posted both videos so you can see the comparisons between the two. In Tuesday's class we learned about cinematography including camera shots and angles. Both videos equally display the different types used in filming. For those of you who haven't seen the show or this episode, it's about Ryan's revenge on his older brother Trey for "forcing himself" on Ryan's girlfriend (played by Mischa Barton). The first video uses a medium close-up of Ryan and Trey during their heated confrontation and uses the over-the-shoulder filiming technique as well. The end of the scene is also captured from a high angle shot in which all the characters are in the frame.

The second video is the SNL spoof of The OC's episode. It uses similar, but noticeably more camera angles. When each head hits the floor, it's a close-up and the camera angle is canted and basically appears as though it's set on the floor. They filmed the guy in the green shirt as a quick extreme close-up capturing only his right eye. The scene is also filmed from low and high angles as well when they key in on each shooter and each body on the ground. Check it out.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

TV Links

Hey all. Here is a fantastic site that I have been using for quite sometime now. It is called “TV Links” and it is a UK-based website that houses television shows, Japanese animation (anime), cartoons, movies, and some other things. I go on this site to look at tons of updated anime content and old cartoons. (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, anyone?) I was directed to this site through on of my co-workers on campus and I am on this site quite consistently. If only they had French films on hand, then this site would truly be awesome. Anyway, like YouTube, this site shows the massive progression of the World Wide Web. Just imagine, movies just released in the theater only moments away and re-living your childhood through the cartoons you used to know and love. The only drawback to this site is that (like YouTube) the quality of the footage depends upon who uploads the content. Not all the movies work and the quality leaves something to be desired, but most of the cartoon and anime footage is superb. Please check it out!!


Does anyone know an unsigned original musician that wants to record a music video for free and possibly win $500!? Do tell!

Monday, October 08, 2007

"I'll take 24 songs for $220,000, Trebek"

As you've probably heard by now, a Minnesota woman was ordered last week by a federal judge to pay $220,000 for violating copyright restrictions with regards to sharing music online. After reading a couple articles about this (here's one from the Wall Street Journal), I have two major concerns.

First, this case seems to have created a dangerous precendent: The judge found that simply making the songs available for download constitutes copyright infringement. The fact that the RIAA couldn't prove that files were actually shared seems to have had no bearing on the verdict.

Secondly, $220,00 for 24 songs ($9, 250 per song) is grossly excessive.

I certainly support the RIAA in combating illegal file sharing and enforcing their intellectual property rights. Furthermorel, I don't feel completely sorry for this woman, as she had a chance to settle with the RIAA out of court and pay significantly less.

However, as it seems this is "making an example" of the defendant, the RIAA has been critized by many media organizations, saying the outcome was excessive and that the case was proportional to "David and Goliath."

Bottom line: I support the RIAA and other media organizations for enforcing their copyright holdings, but this is a bit out of whack.

Countdown to Cavemen Cancelation

I previously blogged about my excitment for the new show "Cavemen" to begin. After viewing the first episode of the season, I would like the retreive my previous statement. The first episode was not only not really funny at all but i found it kind of annoying. We all know that media thrives on watching good looking people on television, therefore not only was this show uninteresting but it was just kind of painfull to watch since the main characters are quite hidious. ABC has a new slogan for their new shows on Tuesday nights stating to the viewer to "Make it a Man Date" for Cavemen and the following show Carpoolers. I actually found this slogan whitty and effective, but the show is definately not.

private practice

A couple of weeks ago I watched the first episode of Private Practice. I believe that it is done by the same creators or producers of Greys Anatomy. I really like Greys Anatomy, I try to watch it whenever I have the chance (when I'm not working or have tons of homework to do). anyways it was not as disappointing as I expected. usually i feel like producers have one really good idea and that's it for them. but this show was pretty funny. it was suspenseful, funny the characters got in to arguments overall i was entertained for the entire show. I HATE reality shows. there are usually two of each, when there shouldn't have been one in the first place. producers need to move on. i think i have as much hatred for game shows. i don't find them entertaining in the least, actually i find them more irritating than anything. i don't like watching people do stupid shit on t.v. for money. I do like acting though, i think we should get over this game show/ reality and get back to the way t.v was supposed to be, fake.

Packers on SNL

This past Saturday night, I was feeling real run down and tired so I decided to stay in and watch Saturday Night Live. I haven't seen it in quite a while because I usually watch Mad TV, but I decided to give SNL a chance for a change. The opening credits were pretty funny. They had Adam Sandburg dressed up like Kevin Federline and I just had to laugh at how dead on Adam was. He talked just like K-Fed, had his same mannerisms, and had the clothing attire to match. It was way too funny to hear parenting tips coming from K-Fed. After the monologue, there is usually a mock commercial featuring a made-up product that is previously taped during the week. This week, the producers of SNL decided to make an ultra sound product that enables the capabilities of seeing an unborn child in high definition. That's just a comical concept in itself. They begin to tell the audience all of the benefits of the high resolution screen and what not. Then as a bonus they begin to explain how this product has the ability to show you what your child will look like with your favorite sports team helmet on their head. I was thinking to myself that it will be a New York area sports team. To my surprise, a Green Bay Packer helmet shows up the head of an unborn baby in perfect high definition. It was so funny to see this concept but I laughed even harder because out of every sports team, they chose the Packers. I am a die hard Packer fan and to see that just put a huge smile on my face, knowing everyone around the nation watching at this moment is seeing the Packer helmet. That's great publicity for our state! It got me so pumped up for the game against the Bears on Sunday...but we won't talk about that disappointment. The cool thing about this is that when they replay this episode of SNL, it will forever be a Green Bay Packer helmet.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

This weekend I went to see the Matt Nathanson concert in Minneapolis, and I was shocked to witness the class’s discussion of copyright personified in this display of live music. Nathanson’s concerts consist of about 90% of his original music. Every now and then he’ll perform a Prince song or end one of his songs with a line from a Tom Petty song, but these instances are usually meant to be humorous and cliché. However, at this show he announced that he had taken parts from the song ‘Jesse’s Girl” to use in a song he had just written. The song was about an actual instance when Nathanson stole his friend Jesse’s girl. Nathanson’s use of familiar parts of the classic song helped the audience to recognize the theme of his new work and to see the humor in the situation. Without the use of the famous (and often parodied) song the new song that he had created would have lacked some of its humor and its overall effect. Nathanson never claimed to have written the original version of the song that he borrowed from and he used that same song to create a new piece that I would argue furthered the arts of story telling and song writing.

Friday, October 05, 2007

The Real Real Orange County

Yesterday when we watched Laguna Beach in class, I was reminded of a hilarious sketch on the Daily Show. It originally aired a few months ago, and features correspondent Jason Jones as he investigates Laguna Beach, in a segment he calls "Laguna Beach: The Real Real Orange County." The format of the sketch is exactly the same as the real Laguna Beach. The camera work is done the same way, there are voiceovers, it uses dramatic music to create moods... basically, it pokes fun at the elements of Laguna Beach that we talked about yesterday in class.

Here's the video, in two parts:
Part 1
Part 2

Kid Nation

Recently I was watching television at my house during prime time hours. Since I work a lot at night, I don't typically get to see prime time tv, and I am usually out of the loop as far as new tv goes. My brother calls me and asks me to DV-R a show called "Kid Nation", so he can come over and watch it.
Later when he comes over, we watch it and it's acually really funny. The premise is that a bunch of kids, ages 8-14, are given run of a formerly deserted town town and they must manage things like food, rules and order, and compete in challenges in order to win cash and prizes. It sounds kind of corny, but it's funny to watch bullying 14 year olds and bratty little ten year old girls compete and work to lead or follow in the new society they have created. If they are the "gold star" member of the community, they recieve a star made of gold, worth $20,000. So there is real money put on their squables. Anyways, you should check out the show. It's a good, dumb time.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

bOING bOING UPgrades

If you all are not very familiar with bOING bOING, let me give you a little idea of what it is all about. Originally started as a zine in 1988, boing boing grew into the internet world in 1995 as a website and later relaunched into a blog. Considered one of the most popular blogs out there by Technorati, B.B. gets up to 7.5 million page views a month! This blog covers everything from consumer electronics to crazy happenings around the world. There is so much interesting stuff on this blog, you could surf around for hours just reading some of the entertaining posts and now even watch video!!!!

As of yesterday, the popular blog BOING BOING introduced video component into the mix of things. Xeni Jardin and co-creater Mark Frauenfelder will be co-hosting BOING BOING TV, 25 minutes a week (3-5 minute segments daily). I found one 'episode' hilarious, it shows a discount lobotomy billboard with a live number and people actually called in!!! Prior to the lobotomy segment is a short video featuring old movie trailers with remarks from directors. All in all it's great stuff. I recommend you all taking a peak at what this blog has to offer!!

I tried embedding the video multiple times and it isn't working for me.....who knows what i'm doing here it is with the click of a button!!! Sorry

It's still a race to the moon?

Cruising along on, I came across an article that definitely diverts away from the expected norm of what the media feels we should be considering news today, and undeniably holds the news value of unusualness...

NASA chief: China will beat us back to the moon

The Chinese Space Program has announced a shuttle visit to the lunar rock in the year 2020 and "we" seem to be upset that another competition has been set into motion... and us without an invite...

I guess you could say this all started when Russia, (when under the Soviet Flag,) launched Sputnik on October 4, 1957. President Kennedy issued the challenge of getting a man on the moon to NASA in 1961 and Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin completed it with the Apollo mission in July 1969.

Now, all fingers point back to Bush's challenge back in 2004 and NASA's reply of 16 years later... it seems we are less enthusiastic this go around and China grabbed the chance once again to spark up space travel.

I'm not quite sure, but hadn't the U.S. given up "the rights" to the Moon and said anyone who lands there can have it? -This being said if anyone can own the moon.

So now China is trying to go ahead and learn more about the "man who lives there" and the U.S is furious that we didn't think to do the same sooner.

Questions if I may:

Would we have planned a sooner departure if China had not presented their intentions?

Why is it so important that the U.S be the first to go back to the moon if we didn't feel it "top priority" for the last 30 years?

Are we not busy enough with a war going on or is that old news due to its lengthy outstretch?

I say rock on China! Head to the moon and have a "blast!"

-Link to set article: China's the runner up and we're still angry.Link

celebrity sicksposé

Monday night I half-watched the Simpsons and Family Guy on my24. A lot of times I don't pay that much attention when I watch TV, especially if it's episodes I've seen before. Anyway, after these this show called Celebrity Exposé came on at 7PM. I don't know if any of you caught it ... but it was absolutely ridiculous.

This episode was all about Lindsay Lohan and her totally outta control lifestyle. The details involved were freakishly invasive. At first it chronicled her arrests for cocaine possession and stints in rehab. It showed paparazzi video of her IN the rehab facility, then let the viewer know exactly when she left, where she went, who she saw. At one point the show portrayed her as a serious danger to herself and others while driving under the influence, then turned around and talked about her privileged lifestyle in an admiring way. The show implied her parents might be to blame for some of her behavior followed by clips of them saying all adoring things about their daughter.

For a while I was hypnotized and disgusted at the same time by this show, but I started to realize it was going to be more than a half-hour investment of my time and quit watching. I felt kind of gross for watching as long as I did, and sad for Lindsay. Here's her most famous mugshot, for your viewing pleasure.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Radiohead's Big Idea

Radiohead’s latest album, “In Rainbows”, has been released, and it’s free … at least if you want it to be. The British band has decided to let the consumer choose how much he or she would like to pay. The album is only available for download through their website, where they also offer a deluxe package for around eighty US Dollars.
I came to like Radiohead in a somewhat unique way. I heard the string quartet tribute to "Ok Computer" before any of their original work. This, in part, is what interested me about the band. They had the ability to pervade musical genres. I have to respect how “rock n’ roll” this is of them to snub the major labels' method of money making, and empower their fans. Radiohead has completed their contract with EMI, and are now without label. Maybe Radiohead has discovered the solution to the ever prevalent problem of illegal music downloading. Most critics have agreed that this one of the most momentous developments since the creation of digital downloading, and that Radiohead is the right band at the right time to attempt such a stunt. However, that begs the question, is this just a publicity stunt? I choose to believe that the band really is fighting the good fight for rock music, all gimmicks aside. That said, rock on, Radiohead, rock on!

SNL is still sorta funny

I do not plan on making weekly YouTube links my blog focus, but the following was just too good to pass up. For a few years, a newcomer to Saturday Night Live has virtually revitalized the comedic output of the show. Andy Samberg has become famous for his SNL Digital Shorts. These short clips often incorporate celebrity guests including Justin Timberlake, Natalie Portman, and Peyton Manning into hilarious skits. Samberg’s most famous skits are “Lazy Sunday” and “Dick in a Box” featuring Justin Timberlake.

Samberg's newest digital short is a mock music video centered on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of Iran. Ahmadinejad recently spoke at Columbia University in New York City and claimed there was not a "homosexual phenomenon" in Iran; women were treated as equals, and Iran had no association with insurgents in Iraq.

His controversial visit is referenced in this following clip. Samberg's Digital Shorts are a perfect example of traditional television shows reformatting their programming to cater to this new generation of post-modern electronic media consumers.

"Iran So Far"

Sex & the City Movie

Since Sex and the City went off the air there have been a lot of rumors about a movie coming out. For those of you that have been hiding under a rock and never saw the show, it's about four women living in New York City trying to find romance. The television show was absolutely hilarious and fun, which was probably why it was so successful. I believe there were a total of six seasons. The show ended in a way that kept the audience wanting more.

Finally, I've read in US Weekly that they are in the process of making the film. They even provided pictures of Sarah Jessica Parker's character, Carrie, in her wedding dress. Personally, I wouldn't wear a feather on my head to get married, but hey I'm sure Carrie would! I just hope that the movie is as good as the television show, because I'm sure the audience is going to have high expectations.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Dr. Burke's absence

The new season of Grey's Anatomy began last Thursday night without one of the most interesting and main characters, Dr. Burke. Actor Isaiah Washington who played the talented surgen was kicked off the show shortly after the end of last season because of his anti-gay comments concerning fellow gay actor T.R Knight. Washington had a pattern of bad behavior and apparently could not hold his tounge about his feelings of sexual orientation. It seemed apparent to me that this decision must have been in the works for some time considering the way the writters wrote him off the show. It seems too conveinent that Christina and Burke's relationship was so rocky right before then wedding and that he actually was the one to leave her at the alter. The writters than adjusted the issue quickly in the show by having McDreamy simple tell Christina that Burke had quit. There is talk that his mother will still be making appearances in the show so it will be interesting how they decided to write that portion back into the show. I believe it was in their best interest to write him off the show considering that Walt Disney is a co-owner of the show. It is too much of a liability for them to keep him on the show. It would look insenstive and in bad taste to keep Washington employed. Although i agree on the decision, I will miss is promince as Burke and the odd relationship that he and Christina held.


Originally, I went to Youtube to get a version of the FCC song from Family Guy. Anyone who is familiar with Family Guy knows that the creators of the show love to parody everything. Well, they made a little montage to a pretty clever song about the FCC and how it exercises constraint over media content.

I couldn't figure out why I was unable to view the video until I paused and read the print at the top of the page: "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation"

So I decided to put a different version on- skip past the first 13 seconds if you'd like. You can listen to the original lyrics but they're set to different visuals. It's very fitting however that after we discuss copyright laws I come across something like this WHILE trying to provide an example of the FCC and its views.

While searching I also came across this video, which is to the same tune. However it jokes around about TV's content from a creative standpoint- or lack thereof. Pretty interesting! Another blatant way for Fox to advertise its own shows at the 2007 Emmys...

Back to Frasier and Everybody Loves Raymond, Please!

So for the last 2 weeks I have watched FOX's new show, Back To You, and I found it to be one of those shows that I am not the biggest fan of, but feel compelled to watch it. I know, it makes no sense.

I was a frequent view of Frasier and Everybody Loves Raymond a few years back, so I think tuning in to Back To You has something to do with the fact that Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton are in it. I did not realize how typecast these two actors were until their new show debuted. They are both fabulous actors, but it is hard to see Grammer's character so, um, un-Frasier like. Heaton's character is different from Debra but there are some similarities. And I just realized now that I do not know either character's names on Back To You! My bad. See, I must have been so consumed with trying NOT to see these actors as their previous characters that I really know squat about the show itself.

Here's a little clip of Grammer's character ripping another reporter on air which prompted his being fired and moving back to the station where Heaton's character is.
Frasier, why are you so mean?

Monday, October 01, 2007

A little too far?

A friend recently sent me this video of a newscast from WTOC in Savannah, Georgia. The story is about a woman who is accused of throwing boric acid at her neighbor.

Take a look:

I find it interesting that this local station decided to air the story as it was edited. I think the factual elements of the story are newsworthy, but it's pretty evident that the reporter was more focused on the woman. I say this because the package didn't include any comment from the neighbor (although the reporter says the neighbor wasn't home), any reference to the effects of boric acid or even an interview with the police.

The fact that this TV station and this reporter ran this story makes me question their ethical integrity. Do local stations sometimes hype-up their stories to boost ratings? Of course. Is breaking news much more common? No doubt.

When I first saw this video, I found it funny. I still do. However, it never should have been broadcast on local tv.