Friday, May 16, 2008

The Cost of Young Pop Fame... is it worth it?

What happens to the majority of young pop stars? After watching Where Are They Now: 80’s Young Pop Stars, it dawn on me that for the majority of the time, the young stars rarely turn out normal. The young pop stars go crazy… stay out late, drink, get into bars/clubs under the age of 21, use drugs, drive drunk, and have family problems to the sky. One must ask, is young fame worth the statistic consequences that follow? Let’s look at a new issue that has crossed the entertainment industry. Miley Cyrus and her recent pictures taken for Vanity Fair, she is naked but has a bed sheets wrapped around her. Even though she is getting older and is the new princess of pop teens, she is still a young girl who has younger fans that look up to her. This was not wise choice for her to do. However, she is not the first young teen Disney pop star to do something like this. Inside Disney’s World there is a stream of overexposed stars from their younger days, Christina Aguilera, Lindsay Lohan Britney Spears, and Vanessa Hudgens. Why did they suddenly turn from the perfect idol to an overexposed sultry star. They end up losing their young fan base and respect. Is Disney holding their princess to close to the castle and not allowing them to breach out with out having consequences? There needs to be a happy medium between the teens turning adults without them going crazy.

Bye-bye, Montel

So, yesterday when I was working out I noticed on one of the TVs that Montel Williams, the talk show host, is finally retiring. He was actually one of the talk show hosts that I could actually stand. His material wasn't trashy, like the infamous Jerry Springer show, and he talked about issues alot of people can relate to. Not only that, but he got to know his guests as if they weren't just an episode, and he dedicated his life to making miracles happen. I know Oprah does this on her show, but she's a different story. So, I was watching Montel's last show before his grand finale, and it was actually really touching. Their "most memorable" guests who was on the show yesterday was Joey. When Joey was 13 he was diagnosed as HIV positive. Doctors told him he only have a few years to live. Still alive after doctor's told him he'd be dead, Joey appeared on the show again. Next, the doctors told him he only had 48 hours to live. Once again a survivor, Joey appeared on the show once again, sharing his touching story. Then, when Joey 17, doctors told him he had 5 years to live. And again, he survived through their promise. Joey appeared on the show and shared his inspirational story of being diagnosed HIV positive at the age of 13, hearing how he should've been dead four times over, and how he's staying strong today. It's not too often you get a talk show these days that share real life issues with people and try to get a message out there.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


The climax to JMC 262 we discussed the evolution of how people have become more interactive with the Internet.  How it has become a participatory culture where we are not just consuming media, but actively producing our own media for others. 

Because of this new trend in media, with the use of the web, regular people have become famous through their own omissions or through others.  Either way people are becoming be deals through sources like YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, or through their own websites.  People like Perez Hilton, we became famous by just reporting on the activities of famous people through the web, or LonelyGirl15's producers/writers and actress now have been offered to create a movie and have been give acting jobs through the brief, but popular stunt.  These are some of the more famous people who have become famous because of what they have done over the web and have gone on to fame and possibly fortune.  Other people to a little lesser extent like the Star Wars Kid or the My New Hair Cut Guy have also have become famous over through the web and outlets like YouTube and have become celebrates.

So, to extend the wordage that Bravo has come up with for their A-List Awards is Ceweberty.  They mention Perez Hilton, Oboma Girl, and Tron Guy, but just like celebrities ceweberties should be recognized.  Maybe, certain people that continues to produce popular little blogs or videos could be A-List Ceweberties and one that only have done one thing could be called One Hit Websters.  Whatever we call these people, just like Time Magazine recognizing us as their people of the year because we have become more apart of our media we, as a society, should recognize not just the fact that these people entertain us, but that they have some sort of statues within the public realm because of their production.

YouTube's Most Viewed

Have you ever been browsing around YouTube and you stumble across a video that has an insane amount of views?  Well I did recently so I decided to look at the page with the videos that have the most views all time.  What's nice about the "most viewed" page is that the site breaks it down into categories, so you can search for the most viewed videos in comedy, sports, politics, music, and education, among many others.  The conclusion I came to is people are definitely getting their music fix from this website.  Maybe it's the fact that the government is actually starting to crack down on illegal file sharing or maybe it's just because it's so easy to look up music and videos for free.  Out of the top 10 most viewed videos of all time on YouTube, 7 are music videos, with Avril Lavigne's "Girlfriend" coming in at number 1 for music videos with 83.5 million views.  That is a TON of views.  A new feature YouTube has added recently is being able to see how many other members are viewing the video at the same time as you.  I clicked on the Rihanna music video "Don't Stop The Music", which has 54 million views, and there was 11 other YouTube members watching the video at the same exact time I was.  This goes to show just how powerful this technology is.  It's truly amazing how many people are using this website to share videos.  YouTube is the catalyst for the term "internet celebrity", and I imagine there are only more to come.  By now, you are probably wondering what the most viewed video of all time on the site is, regardless of category.  I was quite surprised myself to find out that this one was at the top.  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you "The Evolution of Dance", with an amazing 85 MILLION VIEWS.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Being that this is the last blog post for the semester, I thought that it would be the best time to post something ridiculous. I get at least one youtube link a week from friends and I usually watch it for 3 seconds and if it disinterests me then I continue on with my day. BUT, this one here that I’m showing you is completely different. The video is of a little boy at his preschool graduation where apparently they do a choral production of sorts. The sister, who posted the video, puts this disclaimer following the link: “Ok everyone, he is NOT on crack, he does NOT have ADD or Autism (as far as we know) he is just a crazy little boy with a lot of energy. Yes he is my brother but my HALF brother mind you.”

If you watched the video without reading this…you might have mixed feelings on whether to laugh or not, but with my experience in babysitting, I know that normal, healthy boys act like this so I had no problem laughing. Or sharing it. I showed my mom this video and she died laughing for the first 20 seconds. I don’t think she knew whether or not it was right to laugh either until I told her the background of it. Then halfway through she shouts “it’s those videogames I tell ya!” This harmless comment of hers shines light on how parents view the media when it applies to children, whether she knew it or not. Of course my mom knows that 3-year-old boys are hyper and she could be satisfied with that being the answer of why this kid is going crazy. But it also was an example that sometimes when the adult culture doesn’t understand something in a younger culture, they blame it on the media.

Number 10

I think anyway.
I owe one more blog and I don't have anything prepared so I'll wing it to fill the requirements.
I've enjoyed this blog exercise for a number of reasons most of which I talked about in class. I've enjoyed reading the other blogs too. I get to know gen-X's (is that the right label?) habits through them and find that interesting. I am also able to gauge the writing skills of modern day college students. Granted it's a small sample but valuable and interesting none the less.
The class has forced to see this new media in a more open-minded frame of mind. I still suspect there is more time being wasted online than actual accomplishments but the potential is there. I guess it's like anything else, the disciplined users get more out of it, the slackers play. I've spent more time on a computer this semester than the rest of my life put together and that's talking about a chunk of time ( I have t-shirts older than some of my classmates). It's good though cause it will be a valuable tool in any endeavor I choose to undertake. Now if I can figure out how to make a living with it. I'll keep you posted!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Loss of Magic in Hollywood

In one of my other JMC classes we have to do a family identity narrative on what makes you well you. As I was working on my project, I had E on in the background. They were play the inside story of the Kardashians. For those of you who don’t know the Kardashians have their own thirty minutes show on E, called Keeping up with the Kardashians. It’s a new form of the Brady Bunch for our generation. Two parents get married both with four kids each. On the other hand, I had no idea both parents were married two times before and the third was a charm. If people in daily life or “normal” people did this we would be looked down upon. However, celebrities propose in a week get married in three months and end in divorce in a year. It seems to me that even though Hollywood is based on magic and romance, they lack it in their real life.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Summer Blockbusters

This past weekend kicked off the start of summer blockbusters.  Iron Man has reportedly open weekend racked in $104 million dollars.  This is one of the largest opening weekends ever.  This summer is exciting again with some greatly anticipated movies coming out.  Everything from a little robot from Pixar to Heath Ledgers dark portrayal of the Joker in The Dark Knight.  It will become interesting over the course of the next couple months on how consumers will react to the rising prices of gas and other commodities in relations to gas prices.  Will the movie business benefit from this because people are less likely to travel because of the rising of gas prices and the the price to just travel.  Or, will it hurt the movie business because people will become more stingy on how and where they spend their money?  Some analysts also bring up the fact that because there are so many movie coming out that are targeting young men, especially teens and preteens, like The Incredible Hulk, Dark Knight, Hell Boy II, The X Files, etc... plus the release of video games like the new Grand The Auto that there will not be enough money to go around and that will really hurt sales.  However, these seems to be the case every summer where there is a plethora of entertainment options that target all different demographics across the board, but yet we still see movies continue to set records and rack in millions of dollars.  So, I say that this summer because less people and especially families will be traveling during holidays and just in general over the course of the summer that we will see a great increase in ticket sales from possible great movies like The Dark Knight and the New Indiana Jones movie to lesser movies like Meet Dave or College. 

Aging in the Media

I was watching The Golden Girls this morning and it got me to thinking about the importance of having different age groups (particularly seniors) in the media. Someone once said on a messageboard I visited, "when I was young, I wasn't watching the characters my age, I was watching the older characters (est. age range here is probably mid 30s and up)." I think there is some truth to that for myself as well. As kids and teens, I think we identify with characters that are similar in age to ourselves, but we tend to look up to older characters. I know that as I age, I'd like some of the characters or people I see in the media to age with me too. That being said, I thought I'd name off a few things I've seen that portray older age groups.

TV Show: The Golden Girls (1985)
Golden Girls is a sitcom from the 80s that revolves around four older divorced/widowed women. The actors on the show have great chemistry. There's the sarcastic divorcee (Dorothy) and her hilarious mother (Sophia), the cheery and slightly idiotic Rose, and the promiscuous Blanche who has a new man in almost every episode. I think the show is successful because the characters aren't treated like "kindly grandmas," but as adults.

Video Game: Metal Gear Solid 4 (2008)
This is the upcoming installment to the Metal Gear Solid games, a series that favors stealth over direct combat. All of the Metal Gear games revolve around the character of Solid Snake. Video games tend to stick to younger characters, and they often don't age from game to game. It's great to see a game series that's not afraid to break the mold. In Metal Gear Solid 4, the main character, Snake, as well as other returning characters will look visibly older. I believe Snake's age also slightly impacts his stamina, making for some interesting gameplay.

Film: Cocoon (1985)
Cocoon is a sci-fi film about a group of older people who discover that they don't have to age or die after making contact with aliens. (I'm seeing a strange pattern with the 80s here). Like Golden Girls, the film's characters act like adults and aren't treated as simply grandparents, although that aspect does figure in for some of the characters.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

so i'm an avid procrastinator and also very much interested in games, and that seems like a statement that can describe most college students. one of my favorite places to go to procrastinate (other than facebook of course) is, which basically is a site of free games. you have to get a login which takes about five minutes, but then you can play all sorts of games for free for a long long time (i've been going at it for about 5 years or so)
my favorite thing to play is checkers, because although checkers grows extremely monotonous and boring if you are playing with the same person over and over again, playing against random people online maintains my interest level because everyone has different tendencies and strategies. There are a bunch of other old fashioned type card games which most of my friends are not dorky enough to play with me, like cribbage and euchre. pretty much the only thing missing is scrabble.

Frontpage Milwaukee

For my last blog I thought what the heck...I'll talk about UWM's own online newspaper, because I think it really deserves some credit. is a really unique site that features OUR voices and everything from reviews, opinionated issues, hard news stories, sports, pop culture, investigative pieces, blogs, and even different forms of media such as blogtalkradio and Panthercasts. 
I don't think our students are giving this site the readership it deserves because there is so much great work involved and such a variety too. And I'm not saying this just because I write for it, there's proof! Frontpage has won 5 regional awards from the Society of Professional Journalists this year, which is not an easy thing to do. 
A lot of the credit has to go to Jessica McBride for creating and running Frontpage, but also to the students, who I think set a great example for our school through their work. 
If you haven't check it out, or maybe haven't visited it more than once or twice, you really should! You can learn a lot- in some ways, isn't student media a fun way to get away from mainstream media? Just because we're students does not mean we can't produce some great things.
On a side note, I write for the advice column He Said, She Said which I think is original because it features strong opinions from both a male and a female perspective. If you ever feel like submitting a question (because we could always use a new one) please do! And of course, you don't have to give your name. Here's the email:
Have a great summer guys and good luck with finals! 

Monday, May 05, 2008

Sunday media consumption

Just heard some good radio I'd like to recommend. The show is This American Life. The episode is called, "What I Learned From Television." Four people present four takes on the ways our lives are affected/infected by TV. They are smart, humorous rants on the subject matter of our class. While it's worth the investment of the hour of time for the general public it's especially pertinant for us in an area of our chosen (?) field of expertise (journalism minors never mind, go back to you-tube). Also, it looks like an interesting episode of On the Media coming up. I'll give a listen and keep you posted. For now I have a CD of my favorite music I burned back in '04 with "my kazza" or something like that. Cheryl Crow starts the hits, Spirit in the Sky, Shaggy, The Allman Bros. and Jessica, some old blues guy with an original version of a song Led Zepplin made famous ... baaaaaaaby... I even got Iggy. Iggy Pop that is. Some old freak from back in the day and his version of "Wild One" and on and on. Seventeen songs on this one. Here comes Lou Reed, I went for a motorcycle ride with him back in the late '80's, he's singing "The Dirty Blvd." Hey, if anyone wants a copy of this CD they'll be available in the lobby after the show. The blog show. On this little TV screen made for movement and visuals. Words get static. Neil Postman, in his 1985 book "Amusing Ourselves to Death," says the technology dictates its bias and the TV screen is biased toward action and images, "the TV screen does not lend itself to typographic discourse." But I digress. Back to the CD. There's some INXS and Annie Lennox and her crew. It even have Blue Cheer doing "Summertime Blues." There's "Euro-trash Girl" by I don't know who. I have the local favorites the Bo Deans and their rendition of a Patsy Cline tune. I'm tellin' ya the hits just keep rollin'. Speaking of rolling I have to break out the lawn mower (the push kind like you see in antique stores, a handle, wheels and a blade). It's almost summer!
Oh, On the Media show was worth a listen. The content included somewhat objective coverage of stories on polygamy, Rupert Murdoch and The Wall Street Journal, internet innovation and utilization and a piece about Grand Theft Auto 4 and the mindset of players of videa games in general. Oh, and a story story about the anniversary of the first acid trip.
All that, plus Weekend Morning Edition, pretty much sums up my Sunday media consumption. Thanks for listening and we'll see you next week!

Funny Facebook parody

Since we're getting into the discussion of Facebook tomorrow, I thought it'd be appropriate to write my blog on the website that acts as the new nicotine. Yes, it seems as though it's become that addictive. So, I did my usual and "Googled" the topic. What I found was pretty funny actually; a parody of Facebook in the form of an eHarmony commercial. I could not stop laughing as I watched it. It's funny, because watching the parody you realize that what they're saying is so true. Facebook gives its members the choice of posting their relationship status on their profile; I won't lie I happen to be guilty of this. Choices include: in a relationship, complicated, married, single, engaged, or in an open relationship. The parody also pokes fun at, well, "poking". Yes, that's right, Facebook invented a way to give creepers the ability to poke their prey. Now, you can not only "poke" your friends, but by adding the one of million Facebook applications, you can also hug, tickle, kiss, wave, high five, and even karate chop them. Lastly, the parody makes fun of the "Looking for" section of a person's Facebook profile. Not only can you advertise your relationship, but you can also tell people whether you are looking for: random play, whatever you can get, friendship, dating, a relationship, or just joined to network. Anyways, take a look at the video. It'll give you a good laugh.

Saturday, May 03, 2008


I am still in shock at the latest dispute of YouTube. A group of girls invite a "friend" over to their house, only to videotape her getting her ass kicked. Something about an argument at school, or the girl "talking shit" to the group of girls is what led to this. I'm not exactly sure, but I think he might even have something to do with the girl causing problems involving one of the girl's boyfriends. Whatever it was, I was disgusted when I heard that these girls planned to post themselves, beating the girl unrecognizable, on YouTube. What kind of people are these girls? Who could actually do this to someone and not feel ashamed of themselves? The girls went to court, and I guess showed no remorse, as they laughed throughout the entire trial. It's people like this that make me really confused. I just don't understand how people can be okay with being that person. That person who could care less about anyone but themselves, beat a girl so badly that her own father can't even recognize her face, and want to post their material on a website for all the world to see. Well, I hope these girls get used to the prison wardrobe and non-luxirous food, because if they're not put in prison, well...that's where they belong.

Friday, May 02, 2008

YouTube...The New MySpace?

I was browsing YouTube eariler this week and discovered something I hadn't seen before...YouTube channels. I came across this by performing a search for "Britney Spears," and the first result that popped up was Britney's "Official" YouTube channel. Curious to see what I would find, I clicked on the link. Britney's page looked ironically similar to the layout of a MySpace page. On her channel you can watch videos, comment on her page, send a message, view her friends list, and more...just like MySpace. According to Wikipedia, only members of YouTube can join these artist channels, similar to MySpace's "members only" ideals. I searched for other artists including Radiohead, Christina Aguilera, and even Bret Michaels; they also have YouTube channels dedicated entirely to their music and supplementary videos.

When, if ever, will YouTube take over MySpace and Facebook? It seems to be becoming increasingly popular, and offers options that other online societies do not.I may be behind the trend on YouTube as I only visit the since maybe once a week, but these music channels are new to me. Does anyone know when these channels were introduced?

Here's an interesting tutorial about how to "Pimp Out" your YouTube channel:

David Blaine

Last night I read and watched David Blaine beat the world record for holding his breath under water. He is best known for being a magician but recently has been doing many stunts such as being buried alive for a week in a see-through coffin, spending more than a month suspended above the River Thames in London and was encased in a block of ice for 63 hours. He broke the record on the Oprah Winfrey show Wednesday by 32 seconds with representatives from the Guinness book of world records in the crowd. The previous record was 16 minutes and 32 seconds, set Feb. 10, 2008 by Switzerland's Peter Colat. Blaine did train extensively for the stunt, but no matter what holding your breath for 17 minutes and four seconds under water is really pushing the knowledge of the human body’s limits. His next stunt is going to attempt at staying awake longer then any recorded human at over 11 ½ days.

Deadliest Catch

By far, my favorite show on television right now is "Deadliest Catch" on the Discovery Channel. I really am not the type of person to sit down and follow a show over a season, but this is the only one that I do follow religiously. The show runs at 8pm on Tuesday on the Discovery Channel. The show is about crab fishing off the coast of Alaska. This season, the cameras are following about five ships around on their voyage on the frigid Bering Sea. Thinking about it, the show really seems boring but the editors and how the show is presented makes it very impressive to watch. The narrator of the show is Mike Rowe, the Discovery Channel voice basically. He has his own show on the network called "Dirty Jobs."

The show documents the crews as they prepare for the king crab season and ends with the oppie season. The weather and the conditions of the sea look terrible at times. Rain, snow, wind, big waves, and cold temperatures add a great sense of danger that the crew has to endure for the couple weeks at sea. The show is not just about catching crab and making money. I would say the main plot of the series is to show the relationships of the crew members. The crab fishing is kinda like background stuff that is constantly going on. The camera crew is usually stationed up by the captain and two cameras that wander around on the deck.

This may seem "boring" but I do suggest giving the show a watch. The editing process is really damn good and it tells a pretty good story out of something that might seem like nothing. Once again, 8pm on Tuesday, Discovery channel.

Free Trade Agreement on importing U.S beef

South Korea president has declared to accept its beef market to U.S beef imports. It is a huge issue for Korean because of mad cow disease. People say the president was forced to make this agreement, and I think it can be very dangerous to people in Korea. Beef that is produced in Korea is extremely expensive. Somepeople say the price is unreasonable. This is another reason why people are so concerned about importing U.S beef because there will be a high chance for people to approach to mad cow disease.
Not everyone has a chance to get the disease, but there is a dangerous possibility of eating mad cow diseased beef. U.S beef will be imported at a lower price, and there is a high chance of lower class people getting closer a step to getting the disease. The thing is that there is no vaccine for mad cow diseased beef; you just simply die from it. Of course it is a HUGE issue now, and I don't know if it is good for economy , but the president seems to not caring for the nation. They are so many people protesting against opening the market to U.S beef imports. I definitely see their ideas, but it is just so disappointing that the agreement has already made. They just don't know what to about it. Maybe not eating any beef might be the solution.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

What If The Internet Disappeared...

The creators of South Park have always be real intuitive to what is happening in our political and pop cultures.  Matt Stone and Trey Parker have not played favorites and everything and everyone will be parodied and made fun of in someway or another.  They have taken on issues of how Bush have handled the war on terror, to mocking The Simpsons, to continuously making fun of Hollywood's "elite" or whatever pop princes is most convenient.  So, nothing is really a surprise anymore on when they attack some topic.  You know when they do so, it will be done in a humorous matter, which I personally look forward to every week.
About three weeks ago an episode aired that brought up the idea and reality of how our society has become so reliant on the Internet.  The episode shows how people of South Park and through out the United States freak out when they can't chat with one another, read blogs, get news, and look at porn.  Even the news stations did not report the news because they didn't know where they could or would get their facts or stories from because the Internet was down.  The in the Kyle resolves the problem by unplugging the plugging the large entity which represents the Internet.  However, watching the episode makes your think about the fact our society has become very reliant on the Internet to not just look up useless things, but to communicate with one another and find news about what is going on in the world.  We talk about how the Internet have changed the way we look at media and revive media, but at what cost? 

IF you would like to watch this episode go to click on season 12 and the episode is called "over logged."

Not Again!

This morning when I woke up there was this talk show on I forgot the name though. I think it was Mark and somebody else Morning Show. Anyway they were talking about this thirteen year old boy who was being bullied at school. So the boy had put together a plan to kill these two guys that were bothering him. He had made the plan with two of his buddies at school. The plan was to first of all killed the two bullies, then shoot in the cafeteria, and then kill themselves. I honestly couldn't believe this, they said had they went through with the plan it would have been like another Columbine. The little boy did go to jail. When he went to court he said that he had went to an adult in the school and the adult said he would take care of it. Evidently he didn't handle his buisness like he said he would. In my mind I'm thinking if the boy would have killed someone as he planned to do whose fault would it have been. I think the bullies and the adult who the boy told about the situation would have been just as wrong as the kids who did the shooting. That's just my opinion. What do you think?

Steve & Barry's Low Prices

Looking for an affordable and stylish place to shop, check out Steve & Barry's. You may have shopped or seen the store Steve & Barry's but never gone in, now is the time. Steve & Barry's is known for selling licensed collegiate designs, most prices are lower than the campus bookstores. Recently, Steve & Barry's has begun to to sell stylish celebrity inspired pieces at prices that are lower than those at Old Navy, H&M or Forever 21 and even undercutting Wal-Mart. You may have walked into this place and thought it looked like a barn or a warehouse, but its not. There are 264 stores across the country, we even have one in Milwaukee at Southridge Mall.

The stores nationwide offer clothing from top stars/designers, Sex and the City's Sarah Jessica Parker, former Nickelodeon star Amanda Bynes, NY Knicks point guard StephonMarbury with their latest collection of Eleven from tennis star Venus Williams. You can find clothing that cost less than $10 for all occasions. You may be thinking this is too good to be true, but its not. You can't beat the price of affordable fashion that looks good and is sure to set you apart from the next person.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Alright I'm going to make this one quick.

I wanted to share a new Web Series with everyone that i've been following for a few weeks, it's called Viralcom. Here's the story in a nutshell. The world of viral videos isn't viral at all, Viral videos are created by a movie studio that works exclusively with viral videos, that studio is Viralcom. the show follows a few story lines, including:
  • Two female viral actresses, famous for their "girls pudding wrestle" and "Two hot girls make out" videos.
  • A Viralcom production assistant who is trying to break into the viral video world as an actress, (She channels Pam from the office quite well).
  • The creation of a new viral web series called "Brit-girl 16", described as "lonelygirl with an accent".
...and hilarity insues. Check it out becuase it's actually really well done. It's created by online comedy troupe "Joey & David" and you can check out their site a New Episodes are released on the site every Wednesday.

pitchforkmedia is the biggest online music review site on the web, and i'm guessing that most of you have probably all ready heard of it. It is a great place to go to read reliable reviews of new albums, because most of the journalists on the site are dead on. I think that the review of the new Jet album this year is particularly spot on.
The site is a great place to listen to new music for free, because they put up tons of streamable mp3s of bands that are more than likely going to become huge very quickly. There are also often a lot of great photos from concerts, interviews with musicians and filmmakers, and one of my favorite features is the annual 100 best albums of the year. Under the "best new music" category there is a comprehensive list of their highest rated albums, from most recent to least recent, and seeing as they put up about five reviews every weekday this is a good way to separate the Radioheads from the Jets.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

We need to have a protest!

I really think that certain people and institutions in Milwaukee view the students of UW-Milwaukee as spoiled young adults who will get Mommy and Daddy to get them out of any financial mess that occurs. But that is just not the case- and they need to stop preying on us financially.

These are a few of the culprits: 
  • Parking on Campus: It is impossible to park on campus for free without the worry of receiving a ticket. People often have to stay on campus longer than the 1 or 2 hour signs allow, and as a result many students rack up a hefty parking ticket debt. As a result, many students lose their car. Sadly, nothing will ever be done by the city because this is the income they rely on.
  • Theft: Crime is already high in Milwaukee, but robbers and muggers target college students because they know we have computers, iPods, etc. They also know that the houses in the area are old and easy to break into, and rarely ever have security monitors.
  • Increased evictions for too many tenants: Police are focusing more than ever on ridding tenants over the 3-person limit. Fines are also increased for landlords who allow this, and they are becoming more cautious about doing so. 
  • Slumlords: Many students are not getting security deposits back when they should, and landlords are not taking care of their units properly.
  • Raised fines for party and drinking violations: The fines are larger than ever before, and already broke students are not able to pay forcing them into debt.
When will enough be enough- and why is it that the bigger problem seems to be the city itself that is  draining our resources? They are targeting people who really aren't doing anything wrong and increasing poverty among Milwaukee residents. Sadly, this is one of the very reasons the robbers feel they have the right to do what they do. 

Friday, April 25, 2008

top sites

We talked in class about the top internet sites gauged by traffic. Naturally, websites like Google, Facebook, and Craigslist led the way. These are useful, arguably really cool places to go on the web, but we all probably knew of them already.

Considering how fast the internet changes, it's really worthwhile to keep up to date about new and interesting websites. Professor Newman showed us some ways to share and track things, like on NetVibes, findbyclick, Digg, and things like that. Looking for more cool web content recently, I came across's top web sites of 2007.

In one of my other courses this semester, my teacher referenced YouTube and wondered why he didn't think of the idea. A lot of the brilliant and successful websites seem really simple in retrospect.

Anyway, the number one site on Time's 2007 list is, another website that makes you wonder why you couldn't think of it first. Apparently, the idea is for users to create their own virtual lemonade stand, where they advertise for big-name products and companies through links. When someone clicks on the link and makes a purchase, the stand owner earns a commission. The stand can be added to blogs, social network profiles, and such. It's free to set up a stand too. This seems kind of cool, as I've always thought maybe people should be entitled to ad revenue that have a fb profile for instance, because the users enable it. In the end though, it's probably more annoying advertising that benefits big companies, hmm.

Old Media, New Media and the Generation Gap

The last two weeks we have been discussing old media and new media thanks to the increasing knowledge of technology. It hits close to home. I have a 100 year old grandma who laughed when we brought her a computer in the 90’s. We thought it was a wonderful idea for her to use the computer to write instead of her old-fashion typewriter, however we failed. She didn’t get the concept of using a mouse or even the key pad for a computer. In time she went back to using the old-fashion typewriter and only used the computer for solitaire. She’s used to typewriters, books, and records. It’s amazing to see the generation gap between her and my 17 year old brother. He loves the mini ipod that you watch videos on, his ultra thin laptop, and goggling on the internet. It’s interesting to see how much technology has changed our life and the way we view the world.


I couldn’t help but to keep thinking about the discussion in class Tuesday involving “Fandom” movies and how their time could be better used. It does seem somewhat trite to defend Star Wars fans when there are so many other problems in the world but on the other hand entertainment and creativity is a great facet to humanity. I have been writing many blogs about living off the land and so on, but I try and maintain a balance of using technology like the internet and building something with my own two hands. For example my wife and I are building from nothing an apartment out of a barn all by ourselves. However, we would have a much more difficult time doing this with out the benefits of videos and websites that the internet and people create. So it seems to me that it’s the act of creating something that is so beneficial, whether it’s a house, a website, a garden or a video. I’m not really sure where I’m going with all this but it seems that people like to attack technology, but to me the internet is no different then a hammer, they’re both just tools that we use to create something. Here’s a couple random videos to watch.

Aaron Lewis - Staind

For the longest time I have been a huge fan of the rock band called Staind. I have seen them two times at Alpine. They put on an amazing show that is packed full of hits. Some of their songs would be Outside, It's Been a While, Right Here, So Far Away, etc... To most people, they are like the band that you kinda know and recognize, but just don't know the name. Well... their name is STAIND. They do have an album comming out later this year that should be pretty good (similar to their earlier songs).

The reason I am blogging is to make note of the fact that their lead singer and guitarist, Aaron Lewis, is amazing. The past couple years he has been doing a solo accoustic tour while the band is getting some rest time in. I was fortunate to go to a show last year and had a great time. I did find a really cool concert like video through a bunch of links and ended up at myspace. Here is a link to the site. It is the second video down, the "sync-live" video. I'm pretty sure you don't need to log in to see it.

The concerts are exactly like the one in the video. Aaron does not come to the event with a setlist at all. He covers songs and plays Staind songs. The coolest part is that he takes requests from the audience and that is basically what he plays. It's crazy because he knows a huge library of songs to play. Aaron just sits up on stage like the local bar musician, except he has sold millions and millions of albums... The intimate setting makes it really worthwhile. I do suggest checking out the video and giving it a listen. It is pretty good background music while checking emails or whatever. This whole thing just blows me away to see Aaron basically hanging out and having a good time playing whatever the hell he wants.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Female Body

I was checking out the Jezebel and Gawker blogs that I think were linked in a previous post and I also checked out Photoshop Disasters, which was mentioned in one of my other classes. After being hit with a wave of different articles involving the female figure and Photoshop, I quickly remembered why I dislike watching celebrity news or reading certain magazines.

Everyone knows about the deal with women, body image, and the media's portrayal of the female body, but for me, it goes beyond the "skinny" debate. The way it appears to me, no type of figure is ever good enough for us. If people see a curvier model, it's going to immediately be followed by some kind of joke about the buffet table. On the other hand, a super skinny model is quickly attacked as being anorexic or having the body of a boy. When asked what people think the female body should look like, people tend to respond with something like "a medium build is perfect" or, my personal favorite, "a healthy build."

However, I came across two different blog posts that make the whole fight for the "healthy" image seem more like one giant mess of hypocrisy. Both posts feature photos of very thin models with one difference - one has (naturally) bigger breasts. (I had to edit a bit because I wasn't sure if I could post the photo as it was)

No surprise, the first picture was responded to with post after post about how "slammin'" the woman's body is. And hey, I'm not going to lie, her figure is ideal. The second photo, however, received post after post about how she needed a cheeseburger and the like. Now, maybe I'm crazy or something, but seriously, their body sizes are exactly the same sans the chest area. What's the second model to do? She could eat more and get bigger, but then people would say she needed to lose weight again. If she were to get breast implants, she would immediately be frowned upon.

Of course the opposite occurs as well. When a magazine does feature a curvier woman, the model is both applauded and criticized. If that woman decides she wants to lose weight, the same people who praised her turn around and start acting concerned for her health. "She's too skinny!" "When she had curves, she was much better looking."

And god forbid anyone does any Photoshopping. Let the flaws show and the model gets criticized, disguise the flaws and the model...still gets criticized.

It's too easy to blame the media. I think women (especially women!) and men alike demand far too much of women's (and men's) bodies in so many different ways. Whatever happened to, uh, genetic differences? And when are we ever going to stop with the "healthy," "normal" body standard. It's like going into a Baskin Robbins ice cream shop, complaining about every flavor of ice cream, and then demanding that they start serving "normal" ice cream. It seems like everyone is compelled to comment on a woman's figure, but it's rare to see anything regarding her achievements or her character. That is, unless, it's to say something about her morality, which is opening a whole 'nuther can of worms.

Fantasy Sports

So I just got into fantasy sports about two years ago and I now realize that I spend the majority of my online procrastination time checking lineups and stats for the various leagues that I am involved in. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with fantasy sports, it's basically an online program that allows a person to take the virtual role of team general manager in which you are in charge of trades, lineup changes, free agency, etc. The most popular fantasy sports, at least in the U.S., are to no surprise football, baseball, and basketball. Fantasy has exploded in popularity over the past few years and I think it has only helped the fan base of certain teams and players grow. According to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, more than 18 million people play fantasy sports online. It does cause some controversy, however, as many people consider it another form of illegal sports gambling. Usually people join a free league online with their friends or co-workers and put together a money pool themselves that the winner of the league takes at the end of the season. I find fantasy sports to be a lot of fun not only because I am a big sports fan, but because there seems to be pride involved when you can say you put together a winning roster. I happened to win my fantasy football league in the fall and I must admit I was pretty proud hoisting that trophy when it was all said and done. ESPN put together some pretty funny promo's before the fantasy baseball season started this year when they made a set of parody ads in soap opera format. You can find them all on YouTube. Here's a look at one of the good ones.

Get Over It?

Get over it? Thats the best rationale a supreme court justice can give to american people as to the historically Bush v. Gore Supreme court case. For the first time in american history, the supreme court in fact "appointed" Bush to the presidency and the legal rhetoric is "Get over it?" In an interveiw on 60 minutes, that was Justice Scalia's response when asked about criticism over wether the 5-4 ruling was politcally based. For those who dont know..all the conservative republican justices voted for Bush, and the liberal democrate justices voted for Gore. In addition of the 5 justices that voted in favor of Bush jr (the coke sniffing, drunk driving, C student) 4 were either appointed by Bush Senior or Reagan. Supreme court proceedings are conducted in secret and rarely if ever will Justices comment about cases. Is there any coincidence Scalia's book is comming soon?

China's population of Internet users at a high of 221 million

China ties the U.S. for most web users at 221 million. By the year 2012 China will have reached 490 million Internet users, a larger population than the U.S. China's web use has grown despite government efforts to block access to material considered subversive or pornographic.

In other markets like South Korea, E-Commerce, video sharing, and other businesses are growing quickly and companies have raised millions of dollars from investors. China does not have the same number of Internet Industries as the U.S. According to, 75% of adults are online while the number is higher for Teens.

In cities like Beijing the Internet is permitted for business and education use, but operates extensive online censorship. Web surfers have been jailed for posting or e-mailing material that criticizes communist rule or is deemed a violation of security laws. Web surfers are blocked from seeing foreign sites like with videos about protests in Tibet. Although users have been censored from some sites, their has been great success with game sites such as and a search engine

The Chinese market has been involved in video sharing with over 100 million visitors a day. Despite China's censorship rules of the Internet, they manage to keep up with the technological market, and continues to create new opportunities in online communication and telephone market.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

McDonald's international commercials

Fast food is bad, but it is fast. We all know eating McDonald's can cause a serious obesity. There is just too much calories with little nutrients. But I was watching few different McDonald’s commercials on you tube, and different strategies that each countries use was so unique to me. It is definitely different from American McDonald’s commercials. The McDonald’s commercial that I watch here is usually promoting "free samples" or I don't know... Other countries seem to get more involved with consumers. These advertisements make us to want go to McDonald’s because it catches viewer's attention. If look at the commercials, you might find it interesting the way they created it. Even though it is in a different language, if you watch carefully, you will find their a hidden story or a meaning in the commericials.
This also tells how McDonald’s is internationalized around the world. Every country used their strategies to target consumers. For example, there is a "Rice burger" in Korea. They make burgers with rice instead of bread buns. McDonald’s has become very big, and there is almost no one who doesn’t know about McDonald’s.

However, not only McDonald’s but also every fast food is bad for us. It's hard to say don't eat fast food because it already plays a big part of people's meal choices (it's fast, cheap, taste good). But everyone should start eating less because there is a big chance to be in an unhealthy condition.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Leave Britney Alone!

Since we've recently gotten onto the topic of what defines a media fan, I found it only appropriate to write my next blogging adventure on who other than YouTube's infamous, Chris Crocker. If this name does not sound familiar to you, Chris Crocker's video on YouTube has been viewed by almost 5 million people. Why so popular you ask? Well, Chris Crocker's video happens to be an emotional confession/defensive rant to try and get people to "Leave Britney alone!!!" In class today we discussed that being a fan of some sort of media is a part of expressing who we are; that it's a part of our identity. Chris Crocker is a great example of this way in which media fans are sometimes viewed. He lives, breathes, and even cries over the traumatic downfall of his biggest idol. We also questioned whether or not their are varying degrees of fandom. Can being a fan of media range from simply enjoying that media all the way to the point of obsessing ove it? Watching Chris Crocker's video made me realize that yes, there are different degress of fandom. Some people are not fans of Britney Spears, others might be a fan of a few of her songs, while some fans can say they've attended one of her concerts, but Chris Crocker is on a different spectrum. I wonder what Jenkins would write about a fan like Chris Crocker?

Over Worked American Idol?

I was listing to 103.7 this morning because my radio kept messing up when I tried to listen to V100.7 but anyway they were talking about a few celebrities. One of the celebrities they talked about was Kanye West and his girlfriend breaking up after six years of being in a relationship and 1 and a half years of engagement. I'm still trying to figure out who cares that he and his girlfriend aren't together anymore. Maybe a "gold digger" LOL. That's really is not what caught my attention they said that Jordin Sparks might be losing her recording contract. They said this just to keep the listeners tuned in because when they came back from the advertisements they told the "real" story. They said she had to cancel the tour that she would be on with Alicia Keys due to the fact that her vocal cords are damaged. I think her vocal cords are damaged because they were overworked and I know I'm not a doctor but if I were her vocal cords I would be tired too. As soon as she won the next day after she was performing on every channel I turned to. Maybe if they had given her a break between performances she would be alright. This should teach the record label not to overwork their people because now not only is Jordin going to miss out on a lot of cash they are too.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Is the Age of the Blog Done? (Already?)

On the heels of our discussion about blogs, and their place in the new world of "web 2.0" (I still have a problem with that term) I thought this video related quite well. This is from a show called "Attack of the Show" on G4. It's hard to define the show, but it's a daily hour long live TV show for "geeks", hosted by Kevin Pereira and Olivia Munn. If you think you fit that montra check it out at 6pm Monday-Friday.

This segment is a one-on-one interview (called "The Loop") with Noah Robischon, Managing Editor of Gawker Media. Gawker, and its affiliate blogs, are some of the highest trafficked blogs on the net and have been for a while. They span everything from Media and Pop Culture (, to sports (, to technology and gadgets (, and more.

Last monday, Gawker Media sold 3 of it's blogs: Idolator (music blog), Gridskipper (travel blog), and Wonkette (political gossip). The reason given was that Gawker Media felt that, "someone else will have better luck selling the advertising than we did." This has sparked a debate in the blogging community as to weather the age of ad driven blogs and professional bloggers is on the way out (it's been estimated that Gawker Media has been pulling in over $1 Million a year).

Check out what Robischon has to say and decide for yourself.

P.S. if you want to check out all of the Gawker Blogs...

Gawker (Media and Pop Culture)
Deadspin (Sports)
Defamer (Celebrity Gossip)
Fleshbot (Adult Content blog...yes that means porn)
(everyday tips and tricks)
Gizmodod (Tech and Gadgets)
Consumerist (A Consumer Reports blog)
Kotaku (Gaming)

(Update 4/21/08 18:59)

Forgot two of the Gawker Media Blogs:

io9 (Sci-Fi)
Jalopnik (Cars and Automobiles)

(Update 4/21/08 22:38)

It has been brought to my attention that their are two more Gawker Media Blogs I wasn't even aware of:

Jezebel (A "Women's Movement" style blog. Not sure if feminist is the right word, but maybe.)
Valleywag (Silicon Valley gossip)

Milwaukee's daily newspaper and other media

I read 2 sections of the Sunday Journal, Crossroads and the comics. This Sunday's content , once again, leaves a lot to be desired. Let me start with the comics. My favorite strip is "Get Fuzzy" (now there's a cat I can appreciate) so I'll leave that one alone. Most of the strips I'll read unless they're too copy intensive. One, in this Sundays selection, I must take issue with. It seems to be perpetuating the "consumption is good" myth. "Between Friends" seems to be saying shopping with your child is quality time. Now, I understand they're comics but come on, can't we work a more positive message in to the punch line? Then we go to "High and Lois." This strip is insinuating organic food has to taste bad. Who's writing this stuff Cargill? Monsanto?
O.K. moving on to "Crossroads", "Dear Earth" is the headline "How Can We Help You?" the sub-head. Well, here's an idea stop printing more ads than news content in this newspaper, anyway the article continues with "As Earth Day approaches eight leaders concerned about environmental policy...blah, blah, blah" Lets take a look at some of these leaders. One is president of Wisconsin Public Power. I wonder where his concern lies. Another is Community Relations manager for Veolia Water, once again, their concern? I was listening to Alternative Radio 2 Sundays ago the title was "The Corporate Takeover of Water." The speakers outlined ways in which this was taking place and Veolia was one of the corporations mentioned along with Bechtel. I suspect Veolia's motives and to see this employee of theirs as one of the contributors to this article cast the article in a new light for me. PR in the form of news. Hey, didn't we cover that?
A last item from this section relates to the blog posted last week about crime coverage in the media. A letter was written to the editor of the Journal entitled "Double standard in media coverage of homocides" and seems to agree with the position staked out by the blog's author.
Finally, a last media note, "Alternative Radio." If you're not tuning in you should be. Last night's show featured Dahr Jamail in a presentation entitled "Iraq: Beyond the Green Zone" and gave views of the war unfiltered by government or main stream media constraints. The speaker called NPR "National Pentagon Radio."
Good info is being put out from this weekly show.

Friday, April 18, 2008


Craigslist has quickly become one of the most popular web sites for apartment rentals, trade services, pets, buying anything, etc...almost everyone I know is familiar with Craigslist. While most people think that this site is mostly harmless, it has recently been reprimanded for people using this site for prostitution and sex trafficing. The site also has links to pages like "Missed Connections" and "Rants and Raves," where the content has a tendency to become rather explicit.

The suspects in the prostitution case were, to my knowledge, caught rather easily. This leaves me wondering why people are so open with personal information on Craigslist and similar sites. I have noticed that some posts on Craigslist include everything from a full name, to phone numbers, to email addresses and actual street seems like an open invitation for trouble.

This also ties into the "feed the machine" theory. While I do not think that censoring ourselves on the internet is a good idea, I do believe that, as the only advocate for yourself, you have to protect your privacy. There will inevitably be people who take advantage of other people, but I do think that with a little thought the amount of identity theft, crime, etc. could be reduced.

By the way, you should all read the "Missed Connections" for Milwaukee. They can be really funny!

I can make my own podcast!

With all the talk about personal broadcasting on the internet, I decided to look up and see really what podcasts are all about. The first time I heard about a podcast, it was when I got my first iPod years ago. To me it was just some advanced feature that I wasn't going to take the time to figure out. And why would I? When I bought my first iPod, I was probably in 9th grade, almost 9 years ago. At that time, they're weren't really any "Lonely Girl" videos out, or at least they weren't as widely broadcasted as they are now. I never really knew about podcasts until I had heard from a person that they create their own, and that interested me so I did a little search on to see how that works and how popular it's become without my knowing. After reading specifically this article titled Create Your Own Podcast I realized that there are more options than just recording from a microphone on your computer. Some mp3 players now allow recording, so you could create a podcast then upload and edit it later on your computer before broadcasting it. This website seems helpful for beginners-it describes the types of microphones to use, the easiest software to use to record and edit, and how to create the correct audio file format so that it can be broadcasted and listened by anyone. It then gives websites to download other podcasts to give you inspiration for your own creations, and lastly explains how to finally publish it. I was impressed to find such a detailed yet simple article to help people produce media of their own. I don't think I could ever create a podcast, but I suppose it's nice to know that if I suddenly got the itch to broadcast my criticisms or speak my mind about any and everything, it wouldn't be too difficult.

The growth of iTunes

Is it just me or does it seem like iTunes has a new version come out every week? Every time I shut down my computer and re-boot iTunes it seems like I need to update. With that said, it might not actually be such a bad thing. iTunes has grown incredibly over the past few years. The iTunes store connects to the Internet to allow users to purchase and download digital music, music videos, television shows, iPod games, audiobooks, podcasts, movies, and just recently added movie rentals and ringtones. What more could they possibly add? I decided to test out the movie rental feature and to my surprise it worked quite well. I purchased "No Country For Old Men" for $3.99 and it took about 15 minutes to download. iTunes then gives you a 24 hour window in which you can view the movie on your computer. The movie was pretty good but had an unusual ending, which I won't spoil for anyone who has not seen it. I wanted to know what all the fuss was about after the film virtually swept the Academy Awards this year. Overall, a good purchase. Anyway, I found the iTunes movie rental feature to be pretty cool and easy to use. Although they don't have a huge selection of movies yet, I assume they are working on building the library up as large as they possibly can. What else is nice about the rental feature is you can watch trailers and read reviews all on the same page before you decide to rent the movie. I thought this was helpful because out of the five or so reviews I read for "No Country..." they were all raving about the movie. It seems that the iTunes interface keeps on improving and I am certainly excited to see what other features will be released in the near future.

Over logging

I read Jeff’s blog and decided that I would also write about South Park. First off, I think the show is great. It pushes the boundaries and delivers perfectly with its pop culture parodies and scatological humor. It always challenges current events and usually exhibits how ridiculous things are. Tying along in with web 2.0 and how much the internet is a driving force in our lives, South Park has created the episode “Over Logging.” The plot goes that one day the citizens of South Park wake up and find the internet is gone. When Randy (Stan’s Dad) hears there may still be some internet out in California, he packs up his family and heads west. The story seems to be a parody on “The Grapes of Wrath” and Silicon Valley, which adds a lot of humor to the situation. Overall the episode depicts internet users pretty accurate in the sense that it’s hard for people to live without it these days. Here's the episode to watch.

Youtube Celebrities

Hahahah well after class today, I knew exactly what I was gonna write my blog about. I think it was last week's episode of South Park that had the character "Butters" get famous by singing a song. The scene takes place at an internet fame money collecting site. Once again, my embed video thing is screwed up... so here is a link to the Youtube. It's funny... the clips of the people were added in by the editor of video. Thinking about this episode, it's funny to see how the characters act like the internet owes them something. Hahah as if we owe them money. They all get into a fight over "who has the most views." I guess this kinda relates to class when we talked about the internet and the fame that generates from it. I don't think anyone in the videos is a "pro." They are just ordinary people (and panda).

I love South Park for the fact that the content is pretty out there and in your face. Stuff on this show is like X rated and banned from network television. It's great to see that the creators could really care less...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

After we talked about personal blogs in class, I just thought to bring up a Korea-based 'My Space' kind of thing to you guys. It's called "Cyworld," and it is probably the widest used personal blog in Korea. It's just like "My space" or "Facebook" with Asian features such as more icons and cute things?(I would say)

"Cyworld" didn't become popular when it first came out in Korea because it was new style of web that people weren’t familiar to. Nowadays, there are millions of Korean people who communicate through this website and it certainly became extremely popular. After they became such a hit, they decide to spread “Cyworld” abroad. America was a definitely targeted market, and there are other Asian countries such as, China, Japan, and Taiwan. In fact, in Asian countries, it already became a big hit because we have some similar cultures in some ways.

However, when I first heard that “Cyworld” is targeting U.S web users, I was a little worried because I didn't know how they are going to commercialize, and the culture difference as well. So, I didn’t know if it would mainstream America. But I think “Cyworld” has enough features and interesting things to mainstream America. Since it is Asian based website, features and some styles might be unfamiliar to you. “Cyworld” also gives you strong policies for people’s privacy that many other websites do not provide. There are certain restrictions that you can create for your own. Maybe you might like this website better than “My Space” or “Facebook” or maybe not. Check it out!

This is one of the Cyworld commercials, even though you probably wouldn't understand this because it is in Korean, but it still gives you a sense of Cyworld's popularity. The message of the commericial is "Anyone can network and communicate through Cyworld"


I'm not too sure how many of you this blog will pertain to, but it interests me, and I'm sure it also interests fans of the Milwaukee Bucks. Today the Bucks fired their head coach Larry Krystkowiak after about 1.5 years of service to the Bucks organization. To Bucks fans of all walks, this should come as no surprise given the Bucks abysmal 26-56 record this year. Krystkowiak was originally hired as head coach on March 15, 2007 and won only 31 of out 100 games over his tenure.

With that being said, I am incredibly happy with the strides that Herb Kohl, the Bucks owner, is taking in trying to make the team a contender again in the Eastern Conference. Less than one month ago, the Bucks fired General Manager Larry Harris who was known for making some questionable personel moves in the 4 years that he was here. Just last week, the Bucks hired a new GM in John Hammond who had worked previously for the Detroit Pistons. This was a great move by the Bucks because Hammond was a key man in the Pistons winning it all in 2004.

Now all the Bucks need to do is find a head coach who is ready and willing to put 100% in turning this abysmal team around. I also think whoever they hire as head coach should be someone who is outside of the organiazation all together, just like John Hammond was. Finding someone outside of the organization allows fresh perspective to be brought in. That leads to new ideas, and ultimately a better performing team.

It is also vital who they choose to let go, and bring in, from a player standpoint. I could get into who I think should stay and who should go and what reasons I have, but I'll save that conversation for a different time and a different day. For now, it's great to finally have the season over with so there is no shame and dissapointment for this Bucks fan. Later.

Too Skinny...

Many people blame the media, rightfully, for creating an unattainable image of what beauty is for women. The typical image of beauty that women constantly see are one of a very thin women. WE get this idea that thin is beautifuland being beautiful is being thin. In reality, only about 10% of all women can even naturally and healthily reach this image of thinness.
During the late 70's and throughout the 80's this image of heroine sheik ,where models would look deathly and just skin and bones, was very popular is the fashion world. For me I never really go that type of beauty and do not find that attractive, but because of cultural norms and an culture that is obsessed with weight loss and beauty this images of very thin women is not healthy.
However, in France they are taking steps towards trying to change that. This new bill would make it illegal for anyone to publicly promote extreme thinness. This would mean that magazines, TV, movies, newspapers, websites, etc. would not be able to promote people who are too thin. If this is passed and you are found guilty of promoting this type of image judges will have the power to imprison or fine offenders up to $47,000. Authorities can also sanction those individuals responsible to magazine photos portraying "excessive thinness."

This is a small step, but a right step towards a healthier image what beauty is and how people view women and themselves.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

im on ur computer, drinkin a beer n' writin a blog

  I think I've completed my blogging requirement for the class already, but after our class discussion on blogging Tuesday I felt that I needed to delve into the sordid underbelly of the feline literary movement, i.e. cat blogging, and share my findings.  First off, I rescued and successfully nursed a stray kitten back to health and my apartment contains an assortment of lovingly knit afghans so perhaps I am one of those 'cat ladies' who people usually try to avoid eye contact with. But I've never considered expressing my feeling via a blog using the pseudonym of my beloved with various cutesy misspellings and harrowing tales of vacuum cleaners ... until now.  First off, I was unaware of the vast network and diversity amongst cats' feeling and opinions.  Some are concerned with helping their feral brethren while others are more obsessed with describing how angry mommy is at them for shredding the toilet paper again.  As I scrolled through page after page of these future anthropological gems I realized that however futile they may seem to some, they are providing release and networking for vast numbers of people who may not have any other outlet to express themselves and I kinda felt like I needed to be a part of the kitsch.  Mark my words, I will have a cat blog and it will be the campiest piece of camp to ever camp the internetz.  !Viva la revolution!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

the riches

so i realize that i have posted on TV a LOT. well, i'm doing it again. The Riches is just a few episodes into its' second season, and it is ridiculously good. It airs on FX on Tuesdays at 9 o'clock.
The show basically is about a family of 'travelers', vagabonds who live in their Winnebago and never really settle down in one place. They came across a really sweet deal assuming the identity of a family who had died on the way to their new enormous house, and assumed that family's identities.
The appeal of the show is that it is funny, edgy, unpredictable, and pretty much just thoroughly awesome. The plot and arcs are stellar, and never does the show venture into any sort of common storyline. It stars Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver as the parents of this Gypsy clan, and both of them are really believable and well cast. The supporting actors are equally good.

My kid's a star...until I mess it up

So, I don't know what's gotten into people these days...but forcing your kid into the entertainment industry for your own self-indulgence has far-passed the line in "My Kid's a Star" on VH1. This reality series really shows how our society has changed into a completely commercially-driven society. People have become so materialistic and commercialized nowadays to the point where they'll openly-expose their children to the evils of the media that most parents try to shy their kids away from to protect them. In a particular episode of "My Kid's a Star" a certain mom, Rocky, does anything and everything she can to act as the typical stage-mom. The kids' challenge in this episode is to learn a choreographed dance and audition for a shoe commercial. Well, Rocky's daughter didn't win the challenge, so she decides to have a meltdown and act younger than her 9-year-old daughter, who acts unaffected by the loss. Not only does she cry, but she's so upset that she begins to trash talk other mother's on the show...which leads to her daughter thinking her behavior is alright, so she begins to do the same! Nice role model. In the confessional, Rocky has her biggest meltdown in her "My Boyfriend Is Out Of Town" shirt. How old are you again? The clip is long, but 5 min. 30 sec. into it is Rocky's first meltdown and 8 min. and 30 sec. into it is her best meltdown ever.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Sorry in advance if a similar subject was already posted on this blog; I can't remember if I read someone writing about Pandora on here or somewhere else. Anyway, for those still unfamiliar, it is a really cool online music player that allows the user to create 'stations' based on a certain song or artist that you look.

After inputting a song or artist that you like, Pandora Radio vows to find similar songs and artists, exposing you to a variety of new music in a similar style. Also cool is that it tells you briefly how the connection from was made. You can also ‘guide’ the radio by saying you do or don’t like a song.

I’ve never liked listening to music on conventional radio because the music is usually pretty bad and repetitive and the commercials, oh, the commercials...

Pandora is a much better way of finding new and interesting music, at least from my experience. It’s also more fun skimming through some Motown sounds new and old than studying for an exam today or tomorrow, yesa.

Too Many DVD Releases

I was thinking about buying the 80s sci-fi movie Blade Runner on DVD, but I'm having the worst time figuring out which version I'd like to get. Aside from the original theatrical version, there's a director's cut, an international version, the work-print version, and now the final cut.

Because everyone wants plastic toys and prints of locations you don't even remember being in the movieNow, you'd think this would be an easy decision because there is a complete set available. The only problem is, this complete set is a $60 faux aluminum case complete with a vehicle replica, plastic unicorn toy, hulking DVD box set, and other movie paraphernalia. That's all fine and dandy, but I don't know if I like the movie enough to want a giant briefcase of things, let alone, all five cuts of the film. That's not to say that this isn't a very generous offering, but just imagine if every movie were packaged this way.

I've had the same problem when trying to buy the original Star Wars Trilogy on DVD. There are way too many releases and re-releases of that trilogy - and all I want are the original three films! I also bought Moulin Rouge and Strictly Ballroom a while back, and am now just realizing they had a box set. The constant re-releasing and bonus-featurizing is also a common trend with video games now too, but that's a whole other ballpark.

Why is buying a movie so much work nowadays? With directors and their never-ending quest to perfect their already perfect films, and the distribution companies' constant milking of films for all they're worth, I'm finding that I want to purchase movies less than ever before. With the rise of the Internet, everyone wants "complete," "definitive," "perfect," but I sometimes wonder if "simple" made us all happier. For me, the movies I fell in love with never needed new lines from the secret vault version or a super-imposed Hayden Christensen for better story continuity (the movie had fighting teddy bears for god's sake! There's no need for a ridicuous amount of accuracy here.) But if these things must be added, at least make buying the DVDs a simpler process.

Born to Rock

Let me just say that I have pretty much given up on MTV besides watching the occasional Hills episode or leaving on an episode or two of America's Next Top Model. Then I heard about this show Rock the Cradle that features the children of famous rock stars from the past. And of course, they want to be rock stars too. So I decided to watch an episode.

First of all, here are who the contestants are:
Lucy Walsh- Daughter of Joe Walsh of the Eagles
Lil B. Sure- son of r&b singer Al B. Sure
Jesse Blaze Snider- son of Dee Snider
Jesse Money- daughter of Eddie Money
Crosby Loggins- son of Kenny Loggins
Chloe Lattanzi- daughter of Olivia Newton-John
Lara Johnston- daughter of Doobey Brother's Tom Johnston
Landon Brown- son of r&b singer Bobby Brown
A'Keiba Burrell- daughter of MC Hammer

So here are the problems I have with the show: 
  1.  The judges. They are so biased and all over the place, and they don't even try to hide it. In the premiere episode Lucy Walsh sang "Heart of the Matter"- good song, but her? No thanks! Yet the judges LOVED her. All I thought was Did you hear her voice? Not amazing. Could it be that her dad is the most famous of the group? Then there was Jesse Blaze Snider who is obviously a born entertainer, who can sing, has stage presence, and even did a back flip in the air after his performance. And the judges did NOT give him the credit he deserved.
  2. Lame version of American Idol. There just isn't enough hype for what one of the judges called "probably the greatest show on MTV ever". On the bright side, it is people's choice so the judges scores don't matter as much.
  3. Some of these kids really want it, some of them just want the fame. The judges can't tell the difference.
But I'm not going to deny that the show could get addicting, just like American Idol did for audiences. The only difference is a lot of these kids already have everything.

Here's the Lucy Walsh performance, you can decide whether you agree with me about her singing or not. But poor girl, her dad doesn't condone her being on the show and wouldn't come and support her :(

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A good book(s)

I went to the library the other day. Books were over due. Some I finished. Some not. They'd been renewed to the hilt though so they had to go. It was hard. I hate giving up a good book before spending the time with it it deserves. I usually overload myself though. Perusing the non-fiction shelves many titles pique my curiosity. A cursory scan of the inside jacket summary, a glance at the back cover reviews and I'm hooked. Stories in the news are short reviews at best. If the subject intrigues me a book offers a more in depth look and to really be informed you have to go deeper. I returned four books and left with three new loans. Added to the pile of 5 or 6 waiting their turn on my living room floor and the readings for this and two other media courses, well, I have lots of text to absorb. My current list includes; Jihad vs McWorld, We're All Journalists Now, the transformation of the press and reshaping of the law in the internet age, Book of the Hopi, In Defence of America, the fight for civil liberties in the age of terror, What Good is Journalism, how reporters and editors are saving america's way of life, Storm World hurricanes, politics and the battle over global warming, The Wealth of Networks, how social production transforms markets and freedom, Encore, finding work that matters in the second half of life, Dumbing Down, the strip mining of american culture and finally Waiting for the Barbarians, a novel I just haven't gotten to yet.
Now, my library gives three week loans with a three week renewal available ... Whoa, I gotta go! I have some reading to do. No time for American Idol. Geez I barely have time to shave.

By the way, good article in the "Crossroads" section of Sunday's Journal. "Foreign policy shouldn't be based on U.S.-centric coverage," is the title. Two authors, Claudia Rossett and David Marash discuss media and unfulfilled potential in international coverage. Both will be speaking at the Pabst Theater Thursday from 4 to 6 pm. The subject "Election 2008: Foreign policy and the media." Students with ID get in free.

Modern dating shows

I don't know if it's just me, but isn't pretty much every reality dating show getting to be too much to handle? It's not like dating shows back in the day, like the Newlywed we have got shows like Tila Tequila and Brett Michaels trying to win true love. How do these people even fall in love with someone like them? I'm sorry, but you're on a show trying to win the heart of someone who's getting on 20 different people at the same time. This is no way to find true love, by trying to capture the heart of someone who clearly is not too into you. I've always found these kinds of shows to be pretty repulsive actually. It's just not my thing I guess, you know...going out of my way to try and win that "key" or "rose every episode, but have the person in return making out and sometimes getting too friendly with my competition. If these D-list celebrities think that having their own reality show will find them their true love, they are out of their minds. Most of the time these contestant go into these shows acting like crazy obsessed idiots. If I were famous, I would definetly not want to have a reality show where contestants try out to come onto my show in hopes to by "the one". It's creepy. Half of these people probably MySpace stalked Tila Tequila before even coming onto the show. And to think that she's famous for pretty much close to nothing is sad.