Friday, February 29, 2008

Long Movies

I feel like lately all of the films I see are seriously lacking any emotion. It doesn't matter if it's a Hollywood movie, foreign film, or independent film. I'm literally counting the minutes, waiting for these movies to end because they're boring, and I don't care enough about how pretty or flashy they are to finish watching them.

It's not that any of the movies I've seen recently are bad movies per se. Lust, Caution, The Banquet, and No Country For Old Men had interesting concepts and were beautifully filmed. I liked I am Legend's idea and Will Smith's performance, but it just fell flat. Lord of the Rings trilogy isn't exactly recent, but it spawned a whole bunch of other similar fantasy movies that also left me snoring. I have mixed feelings about the Pirates of the Caribbean films, but let's just add the third one in the series to my list of long, flashy/emotionless snoozers.

One thing these movies all have in common is that they're ridiculously long. And yet, the longer run time isn't used to expand on characters or story. There's so much emphasis on special effects, accuracy (to history or a book), and artistry that the point of the movie gets lost. Instead of scenes where we can watch characters interact with one another or with their surroundings, we get half hour long scenes of CG animated ship battles hour of elf/gnome/pig/whathaveyous battling for some reason that you can't remember get to watch 2 hours of a psychopathic killer roam the desert and city while incompetent policemen sit there and drone on about cats and dead fathers.

When I go to the movies, I want to see something that stirs some kind of emotion in me, that gives me a reason to be interested. So many 0f these long films...I feel like they try too hard to be meaningful, artistic or epic. Sometimes I think they could better achieve these things by just keeping it simple.

"New" news....

As I read over a gossip website I enjoy reading ( I came across an blurp from the Hollywood Reporter telling about New Line Cinema will now be under Warner Bros.. They explain the new role in which New Line will have with in Warner Bros. dealing with more art and independent films.

They talk about how New Line was originally independent from a large studio and then was bought out by Ted Turner and was a part of the Turner family. One Turner was bought out and merged with Warner Bros. it was just a matter of time that New Line would also be put under Warner Bros..

This is just a little story that I found that I consider interesting and in the future could possible become a big deal. Where less larger studios are around to vi for blockbuster movies.

HBO's new series....

HBO recently debuted a new series titled In Treatment. The hour-long series is based on the life of Dr. Paul, a psychoanalyst that works with patients in his own home, and his wife. Each episode features only one patient, meaning that each hour basically shows only one session with the doctor and an individual patient. Few other characters ever enter the picture.
An interesting twist to the show is that Dr. Paul also seeks therapy from his assistant, Gina. In turn, you get to see the development of many characters, including the hardships that Dr.Paul goes through as a therapist. The catch is that you have to watch all of the episodes to really see the personalities of the characters (great idea for HBO, by the way).
The reason why I chose to blog about this series is because I have never seen a show like it. Each episode is independent from the next, and the doctor's house is the only set used. There is very little to no music, and the lighting stays the same throughout the entire episode. The show is based solely on dialogue, which is rare in most cable shows today.
If you like shows that are different than what's normally on TV, I recommend watching In Treatment. You can read bio at HBO's website or watch previously aired episodes on YouTube.

Boys Will Be Boys and Girls Will Be Hounded by the Media

I think we have all noticed Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, and Lindsay Lohan on plenty of magazine covers followed by articles documenting their crazy behavior. But have we ever considered the possibility that these women are covered more in the press because of double standards the media might hold? I just read an article called “Boys Will Be Boys, Girls Will Be Hounded by the Media" on the New York Times’ website where they compared media coverage on women to men. The author, Alex Williams, compared celebrities such as Britney Spears, Amy Winehouse, Owen Wilson, Kiefer Sutherland, Nicole Richie, Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, and Colin Farrell amongst others. He argues that when male celebrities mess up, get convicted of crimes, or “fall from grace” as he called it, they are treated with gravity and distance. When a female celebrity does the same, they receive less sensitive treatment from the media. The author interviews an entertainment report for who says “female stars tend to make more-compelling stories because ‘they are emotional and open’ about their problems”, where as males are more careful or wary to do so. A really good example of this “sexism” is with Heath Ledger’s death. There was a lot of media coverage about whether he was a drug user and also on his ex-girlfriend and daughter. The author starts out the article by stating that there is a video of Heath Ledger hanging out at a drug-fueled party two years before his death. After pleads from Michelle Williams, Ledger’s ex-girlfriend and other fellow celebrities, to not show the video, it was not shown. To any type of media, this type of evidence would be must-see material. Interestingly enough, the magazines argue this type of coverage on female stars is logical according to the demographics of their audience. Apparently 90% of People’s readers are female. I would like to argue that female stars are not all that women like to read about. Most women read tabloid magazines because they are interested in what is going on in other peoples’ lives, especially celebrities. But not every woman cares about Britney Spears. 

How will you get your media?

So a few weeks ago i posted about the DVD format wars between high-def discs, HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray. Well since then Blu-Ray has undoubtedly won the war, as Toshiba (the makers of HD-DVDs) has ceased all production of HD-DVDs and HD-DVD players.

But news this week shows there is a new war on the horizon. Not a war between two different media formats, but a war for how you will get your media.

this past Tuesday Apple announced (view the press release here) that the iTunes Music Store was now the #2 music retailer in the country passing Best Buy and Circuit City and trailing only Wal-Mart. The significance of this is huge when you take into account the way that media services are going. The next war isn't going to be for what type of media you get, but rather if you will have to go to the store to buy your media or simply download it from the comfort of your own home.

The perverbial "line in the sand" has already been drawn for this war. Sony (makers of Blu-Ray) have taken to the side that believes that consumers will still want to physically own their media, meaning they will want to travel to a store or order online, in order to have a physical representation of their media (i.e. a case, disc, inserts, etc.). However, Microsoft and Apple (an unlikley pairing) have taken to the side that people will want to download their media from home, as both have direct download services in place and are pushing them hard to consumers (apple's iTunes and Microsoft's Xbox 360 Marketplace).

This "war" will be unlike any other format war in the history of media, and it will dictate far more than any other ever has. what ever way wins this match-up will dictate how media is delivered for, possibly, the next 2-3 decades.

Personally, I still prefer to own my media on discs, less of a chance of hardware failure and possible loss of your songs/movies. And plus, my collection of 1,300+ DVDs wouldn't look as impressive if it were just a list of files on a PC...but that's just me.

good radio

While not exactly a blog I'd like to reccomend a radio show that will air on Sunday evening March 2nd at 8:00pm. It will be broadcast on 90.7 fm. The show is part of a series called alternative radio . If you go to their website you can read a brief biography of the featured speaker and the subject covered on this show. If you would like to tune in but will be busy Sunday evening there is a list, at the website, of stations live streaming the show at various times and days of the week.

The Battle of Hip-Hop

A friend and I were having a conversation about mainstream hip-hop versus hip-hop the whole genre. I can't say I know too much about hip-hop as a genre, but I do know what's popular at the moment. The discussion went as far as to say that Hip-Hop is a genre that is balanced? My thoughts and perceptions of hip-hop were very different from his which made the conversation so interesting. His idea of Hip Hop being balanced essentially came from the two types of musical styles, mainstream music and underground music. I offered some insight into why I don't fully understand the Hip-Hop culture is because I have not researched the topic and the music. My interest in Hip-Hop is not as strong as his. It's easier and more convenient for me to just listen to what's being played on the radio and what I hear and see on TV. Is it fair to say that others feel the same?

I can say that I do get my fair share of mainstream Hip-Hop through a show on MTV called Sucker Free hosted by DJ Cipha Sounds. This show was originally featured only on Sundays now it's a daily morning show that starts at 7AM. This show does more than just show you the latest videos, it also features music guests who come on the show to "drop" their new albums to the viewers. Guests who are on the show do interviews with DJ Cipha sounds and he also gets the guests to dish out the juicy gossip that is going on in the music industry. Hip-Hop is something that can be shared between people it's part of a culture, Hip-Hop has become bigger and better, I can't wait to see where its headed in the future.

Cloverfield = making fun of 9/11???

Well I was waking up this morning and was checking the news before I had to leave. I saw a story on the Foxnews website that is titled "'Cloverfield':Horror Film Not Sensitive About 9/11". Well... I saw the movie back when it first came out, and I thought it was a pretty good movie. Compared to all the other things I've seen as of recently, this movie was easily the best. I thought the first person camera style was pretty awesome and impressive. Anyway... the story is trying to say that the buildings were exploding in a way similar to 9/11. It really seems like BS... In the story, the author says "but Cloverfield also inadvertently disses New York for what happened on Sept. 11, 2001, by re-enacting scenes of buildings exploding and massive clouds of debris for fun and profit." Perhaps "fun" is the wrong word to use there. The movie has very little "fun" in it.

The story is about a monster running wild around New York City, causing havok for the citizens. Hell, the movie has set a record for a January release date. It is pretty impressive to top that record. I don't think that the movie was "making fun of" the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Comparing how a building falls in a movie to a real event is just silly. The author of the original article states that the "World Trade Center-like structure exploding and collapsing downward, sending off a cloud (of debris)" is supposed to be a mockery. I'm not an engineer or anything, but I doubt that buildings fall that much differently when hit by a stray missle from the military. Either way there is gonna be debris...

Don't you know I'm LOCAL!!!

People need to start supporting local business, entertainment and food more. Milwaukee has an outlet for almost anything you could want to indulge in locally. I’ve been striving to use only local products and to eat nothing but local food. I just recently moved to 12 acres to start growing all my own crops. If I listen to the radio, I’ll only listen to 91.7 WMSE, 89.7 NPR and 88.9 Radio Milwaukee that plays an immense amount of local music. Too many people walk around their city complaining how it sucks, but maybe they should make sure their money stays in the local economy and find a way to contribute in making it unique. It seems that in a lot of JMC classes all we do is attack the big box stores and corporate ideas and neglect the fact that we all do have a choice to get our coffee from Starbucks or Alterra. Now it would be really hard to be completely all local but we’re all leaving a carbon footprint and it can do nothing but benefit a person and the area they live to think and act more local. This weekend is the WMSE chili cook-off that is made up of local vendors and is sure to put a smile on anyone’s face.

Facebook Anthem


Facebook is a personal blog that is open to everyone. I believe almost everyone in the United States has facebook to create themselves online. I've had facebook for almost 3 years, but I am not a huge fan of it. It used to be only for college students to get connected with friends or others through friends. However, nowdays they added too many features to it. I found this video called Facebook Anthem; I think it's very interesting because it is about how the facebook created so many features compare to the beginning. I somehow lost my interest in the facebook after they started adding so many features because it was too annoying for me to deal with it. They just kept adding and adding more items which require people's attention. I think people might find newer features of facebook interesting, but for me, it feels kind of irritating and boring. I don't want to hug anybody, do the quiz, or confirm someone's request. Facebook is a broad blog that people can keep in touch with friends over the world, but I believe they should stop adding items because it's just too much. I personally believe that no one will be excited by doing the quiz or confirm every invitations that they are already sufficient. They should use different strategies to get people's interests instead of keep adding new features.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

clark and michael

i was first introduced to michael cera on arrested development about five years ago. The thing about this kid was that he was on arguably the funniest show on television, with arguably the funniest actors on television, and he was arguably the funniest one on the show. This was highly unusual considering that most of the time I abhor child actors on television shows, and always hope they are given as little air time as possible.
Since then this kid has become an enormous star, which was bound to happen eventually with his impeccable comic timing. He has been in movies such as Superbad and Juno since then, which are probably the two most highly quoted movies among junior high schoolers nowadays. The fact that his star rose so quickly and his overexposure had me finding it more difficult to enjoy him. Then i discovered Clark and Michael.
clark and michael is a low budget made for internet show, starring Mikey Cera and his friend Clarke Duke who you may have seen on ABC Family's Greek. It's a low brow take on two friends trying to make a pilot for a television station. The show is financed by CBS, but has achieved no advertisement whatsoever other than word of mouth. It is highly enjoyable and I suggest you check it out!

Corporate Radio

NPR again. All Things Considered this time. Two hours of evening news unmatched by any other outlet. One of a number of ongoing series they present is called, "Challenges Facing the FCC". Important information on rulings that will determine the direction media takes in this country is offered in this series. The latest segment, broadcast during the evening show on February 26, highlighted the problems of quality local coverage being provided by a corporate owned, profit driven, centrally programmed outlet. The FCC voted, last December to require commercial broadcasters to air a minimum amount of local programing. A reversal of the deregulation of the past quarter century. Critics say it is also doing the opposite by pushing to allow more consolidation and cross ownership of media companies.
Dennis Wharton, of the National Association of Broadcasters is concerned that the FCC, in dictating programming content starts "bumping up against first ammendment issues".
Michael Copp, a democrat on the FCC board, says "that's the vision the FCC had for broadcasters when it started granting licenses in 1934". Radio and later TV was granted free access to public airwaves. In exchange they were expected to provide a local public service to the communities where they were licensed. Now thats changed and he says his agency is partly to blame. Deregulation plus a "tsunami of media consolidation" from the last 15 years or so means lots of that localism has disappeared.
Last year, as a way to address that issue, the FCC instituted new rules designed to help whats known as low power FM (LPFM). Local news, weather, musicians, "this is what radio used to be 50 years ago" claims Steve Bingham who owns the #1 station, KRIM, in the region north of Phoenix Arizona, an LPFM station. He looked at Phoenix radio ratings, #1 Clearchannel, #3 Clearchannel, #4 Clearchannel, #5 Clearchannel. "Where's the diversity," Steve asks. "Clearchannel owns 11 stations in the area."
FCC chair Copp says localism and diversity "requires licensing procedures that lets broadcasters know somebody's watching." Licenses used to expire every 3 years, now, to renew an 8 year license they send in a postcard.
Corporations keep getting bigger, profits keep growing and quality suffers more and more. I think our culture has a skewed view of what's important. Like Micheal Parenti said in his book The Culture Struggle, "it's easier to be entertained than informed although it is seldom more interesting."
The information I get from NPR entertains me.

Living History

I know the phrase living history is an oxymoron. However on February 25th, 2008 ( a day i will never forget) I witnessed just that. In life we learn that certain ineqaulitities exist, and soon we begin to accept this. We also know that in life that some men are ordinary and few men are extraordinary (as is extra-ordinary). Ordinary men live their lives in co-existence with the status quo. They accept the inequalitites life offers and internalize them. They are just happy be alive, have a job, and live the so called "American Dream". Extraordinary men do not, will not, and cannot accept the inequalitites the status quo hands them. Extraordinary men are willing to lay down their lives and/or freedom in the pursuit of human rights, equality, and justice.
On Monday, February 25, 2008, I had the honor and privelage to see, hear, and meet, an extraordinary man...Mr. Bobby Seale.
At this point your probably expecting an breif elaboration on just exactly who Mr. Bobby Seale is and just what makes him so extraordinary. Well let it be suffice to say that i cannot do mere justice to the legacy, the cause, and the history of Mr. Seale in a mere blog. And i will not attempt to do so. I also must admit that i have another goal in mind...but first let me tell you a story. When i first heard Mr. Bobby Seale was comming to speak at UWM, I was so excited i told my son, I was taking him to see Booby Seale. He looked at me and said, "Who?" In my disbeleif,
i had him do some research on one of most influencial AND living persons from the 60's. Get it??

morning media and consumption

Typical Friday morning. Cigarettes, coffee and NPR's morning edition. A story came on about British singer Amy Winehouse, Brittany's counterpart in the U.K.,drugs, alcohol, rehab, anyways, normally I mentally disengage for stories like this but I enjoyed some of the music they were playing. The piece continued and expanded to cover newer singers inspired by Winehouse. Some of these entertainers gained exposure on the internet, posting songs on "my space".
What most interested me in this story was author and broadcaster Paul Gambaccini talking about crossover styles of music getting airtime: blues, jazz, soul, folk even celtic rhythms. Paul posits, "This is partly because of the diversity in what gets played on the radio in Britian compared with centrally programed stations in the U.S.." He goes on to explain, "In the U.S. it has been possible, with narrowcasting and formatization to hear only the kind of music you know you like. The result of this is that in American music the tendency has been for white music to get whiter and afro-american music to get more ghetto."
Stories like this on American commercial radio? Probably not! For a couple reasons. One, it criticizes our medium. Two, it's not dumb enough.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Google Street View

I read an article in the Journal Sentinel yesterday that outlined one of Google's newest technologies available in Google Maps, Google Street View.  This system is a newer, more in your face version of a previous satellite image technology, Google Earth.  Google Street View used to be available to only a few big cities in the U.S. such as Los Angeles and New York, but it has recently expanded to reach over 30 cities.  Milwaukee was just added to the system this month.  After checking it out, I must say that this imagery system is somewhat creepy, but at the same time, very addicting.  I read in the Journal article that most of the images of Milwaukee were taken within the last year or so.  With this in mind, I typed in my old address to take a look at my neighborhood.  Sure enough, here was a detailed picture of my old house, even with my car sitting out front!  After checking out some more street views of the East Side, I proceeded to fly around Milwaukee a little bit, checking out some close ups of Miller Park and the Lakefront area.  Everyone should check this site out and see for yourself just how crystal clear the images of the city are.  The question I have is how long will this mapping system be available before people start complaining about a lack of privacy?  Although none of the street views allow you to zoom in far enough to see through windows or anything like that, people can still report images to google that they find intrusive.  By and large, it appears that Google is coming closer to achieving its goal of taking over the world.  What's next?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Million Dollar Shoes!

Celebrities had a few issues with their wardrobes at the Academy Awards this week. From refusing to wear million dollar shoes to forgetting the designer of jewels two stars surly disappointed a couple designers.

Diablo Cody famous for her screenplay "Juno" refused to wear a pair of shoes designed just for her. The shoes, created by designer Stuart Weitzman, costing $1 million were designed based off of Diablo's ideas as well as Weitzman's. What Cody was unaware of was that they were to be made with crystals. In addition to refusing to wear the fabulous shoes she proceeded to write an interesting blog about how angry she was that he tried to use her to sell his shoes. The blog, which is comprised of lots of swearing and complaining, was her attempt in explaining her reason for refusing to wear the shoes.

Most know that celebrities do not pay for the things they wear on the red carpet, this event is the opportunity for designers to show off their masterpieces. One thing they do expect however is that the celebrities wearing their designs remember what they are wearing. This was not the case with actress Cameron Diaz, who when asked the designer of her jewels, had to turn to her assistant for the answer.

I have to say in all the years of my viewing of award ceremonies these two incidents came as quite a shock to me. But it is quite entertaining to read the blog by Diablo Cody. Not only does she have a completely different attitude to the fame thing, but she is hilarious. Cameron Diaz on the other hand looked ungrateful and idiotic, which doesn't surprise me. Celebrities will be Celebrities i guess!

Check out the blog at

Monday, February 25, 2008

TLC show: Jon and Kate: Plus 8

As of late, I have become increasingly more interested with some of the shows on the TLC channel. The show that has recently caught my attention is called Jon and Kate: Plus 8. It features a married couple that had always dreamed about having kids but they couldn't have them on their own. Because they couldn't have the kids that they've always wanted on their own, they turned to fertility drugs. What happened next for them is the basis for the show. They had two sets of multiple children. The first set was 2 twin girls. The second set was sextuplets with 3 boys and 3 girls. So in total they had 8 kids, much more than they bargained for I'm sure.

The show is incredibly interesting because the dad, Jon is a full time IT tech and his wife Kate quit her job in order to stay at home and care for the the kids. As the show airs now, the 2 older girls, the first set of multiples, are 6 years old. The other six kids are each 3 years old. Most of the show is about how the kids interact with each other and their parents and also the nanny that helps Kate out.

The concept of this show is unique because I don't think their has been a show quite like this one. When people watch Jon and Kate: Plus 8, I think they feel sympathy especially for Kate who spends each and every day watching over and caring for 8 children. Most of the show is chaotic because all eight kids have different personalities and different agendas. I know that when I watch this show, I can't even begin to imagine having 8 kids. I probably would want to destroy something if I had to handle the pressures off caring and supporting 8 children. Throughout the course of the show, Kate and Jon explain how the trials and tribulations are worth going through because they have the love of famiy.

All in all, this show is incredibly unique and is fun to watch. I would recommend watching at least one episode.

The Oscars

I don't watch the Oscars every year because it is true what Jon Stewart said: they are consistent for one thing, being long! But this year I had it on and I must say that it is cool to see the pure excitement of the people who win. The best acceptance had to be Marion Cottilard for best actress. I must admit that the best actress award always seems to be the most emotional because let's face it, they are actresses and they can put on a show. But I really think she meant it, and I was really happy for her even though I was secretly rooting for Ellen Page. 
At least Juno didn't go home empty handed and Diablo Cody took home a golden man for Best Original Screenplay. The best part about that is, she went from being an exotic dancer to writing a movie that turned into a phenomenon. Jon Stewart's response to that? "Hope you're enjoying the pay cut!" Perfect, considering that the writers are back and were sitting in the audience.
No Country for Old Men definitely took the night with Best Picture, Director, Supporting Actor, and Adapted Screenplay. Makes me kind of mad that I went to see "There Will be Blood" (which honestly did not impress me very much) instead. Sure Daniel Day-Lewis earned his award for Best Actor, since he did stay in character the whole time on set, but one: I personally would not consider it a screenplay worth nominating and two: he probably scared that cute little boy to death!  
And what about those guys who use up the whole speech time and don't let the others speak? It happens every year...and I always wonder, do they think they deserve it or are they so nervous they don't even realize it? I mean, everyone is nervous at the could you not be? But when best song was awarded to the duet "Once"  you could tell Jon Stewart was only half kidding when he called the guy arrogant for not letting the girl speak...and then he brought the girl back on stage! Nice, but that guy must feel like such a jerk now! 
What else? How about the disappointment of some really bad joke telling from "Superbad" stars Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill. Ok, we get it you both think you're more like Halle Berry. It was funny after the first half minute, but c'mon they dragged that on way too long! I really don't know if they are to blame or if the writers are, but someone should have stopped them!
Click here for the list of the winners.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

snl + tina fey = : )

I'm so glad that the writers strike is over and my favorite shows can finally get rolling again.  I think the hardest part for me was going so long without my SNL fix.  Alas! Topical comedic sketches have returned to the air and with them have brought my goddess, my hero; the one and only Tina Fey.  Seriously, I just adore her.  

There were many hilarious moments from the show last night.  Mike Huckabee made an appearance and it was probably the most likable I've ever seen him, well, mostly because he was making fun of himself and I think it's great when people don't take themselves too seriously.  The absolute best thing though was that Tina Fey was the guest host and she came back to do a 'Women's News' segment on the Weekend Update.  I needed some smart feminist humor reeeaaaaal bad after residing on TMZ and broadcast news during the excruciatingly long  (yet necessary) strike.  I desperately needed to hear someone stand up for Hillary because I'm getting reaallly tired of the roles the media has given her and Barack lately.  By roles I mean Obama= inspirational and the next President; Clinton= cackling old bitch who can't control her man (okay maybe that's a little too harsh, but come on!)  
The thing is, I don't think that Tina Fey would want women to vote for Hilary just because she is a woman, but I think the point she was making was that Hillary is being treated unfair by the media and the public and it is unfair to label her a bitch and unlikable just because she is a strong woman What woman hasn't been called a bitch at some point in her life just for being strong, independent, and  standing up for herself and her beliefs?  Tina and Hillary are bitches and so am I.  In fact, Tina gave me the mantra I need to get through the next few months: Bitch is the new black.
I need to see more scrutiny over this whole Obama/rockstar complex on SNL and, better yet, more legitimate news organizations because it is getting reeaaallly old.  

 Update: "Bitch is the new black" has already caught on  haha

Friday, February 22, 2008


So today I got home and went on my (suddenly, strangely, and annoyingly) slow internet. I say this like it's some sort of interesting historical story, but this actually happened like seven minutes ago. Anyway, I did get to I quickly scanned some of the news stories before an advertisement caught my eye. The ad was quite large and featured a girl with a, umm, suggestive look and pose. The ad asked me to place a pink patch on the girl's arm, and then I noticed it asked "want to drop 25 pounds?" Now, I'm thin and a guy, so obviously losing 25 pounds would be probably the worst thing that could happen to me. But the fact that this ad was apparently claiming that a patch would make people lose weight was powerfully absurd.

So, with JMC 262 in mind, I clicked.

The website confirmed my suspicions: they were selling a "pink" patch they dubbed a "a weight loss solution created by women and for women like you." Okay, apparently this ad was targeted at girls. Haha, right. Anyway, this site was pretty fascinating because, for instance, it has funny quotes from girls like this one from "Dana"...
I spent most of high school being teased for my weight. The popular girls seemed to have everything: the gorgeous bodies, the cutest boys. I was not going to feel that way in college too! The summer before I left, I tried the Pink Patch. I lost 15 lbs! It changed my life completely. Now I'm in my sophomore year and I'M the popular girl. Thank you Pink Patch!
The whole thing seems like a scam you'd see on late-night television. So my main question is: how does this (obviously illegitimate) company have the money to place a really big advertisement on the front page of a huge website. Apparently they've amassed enough money, that's how. Tons of insecure girls literally buy (into) this stuff, which of course never works.

The website even claims the patch is an appetite suppressant. Healthy stuff! No!

Not just another Facebook Application...

I am a big fan of photo editing, but my free trial of PhotoShop recently expired. Unfortunately, I just couldn't part with $100 to purchase the program, so I began searching for photo editing websites that have minimum to no charge.
I came across a website called FotoFlexer. With FotoFlexer, you can upload hundreds of pictures and edit them however you would like. You can do a quick photo fix, edit the colors or exposure, "beautify" pictures, do some crazy effects, create a video, and even cut people out or add someone in to a picture. The best part is that the whole application is free!
After you edit and save your pictures, you can log on to sites such as Facebook and Myspace directly from FotoFlexer. You can create entire albums and upload them to your profile.
While PhotoShop is a little more advanced, it's also really expensive. I recommend FotoFlexer not only because it's free, but because it's pretty easy to use and you get awesome pictures. They also have different levels for users; you can do simple editing such as red-eye removal or, for more advanced editors, you can do distortions and shaping (I don't know anything about those effects, so I haven't used them yet! I don't even know what the extent of the "Geek" picture is).
If anyone is looking for free photo editing, I recommend this website. If anyone knows of another editing source, I'd love to hear about that as well! Good luck editing...

Darwin Awards

I'm a big fan of the Darwin Awards.  For those of you who are unsure what I am talking about, the official Darwin Awards website says it best.  "The Darwin Awards, named after the father of evolution, honor those who improve our gene pool by accidentally removing themselves from it".

The internet has made it pretty easy for people to either find video or written analysis of Darwin Award winners or candidates.  My personal favorite is from the award class of 1999.  The story goes as follows:

Mexico, 1999.
A Mexican jail guard died from an excess of zeal while supervising an inmate's conjugal visit.  Raul Zarate Diaz was closely watching his charge from the roof of the prison when he tripped over an air vent, crashed through the skylight, and fell 75 feet to land beside the bed where the inmate and his wife were, against all odds, enjoying an intimate moment.  The interrupted prisoner, offended by the intrusion, attempted to start a riot, but was squelched by prison security.  Prisoners in the Tapachula facility reported that Diaz was in the habit of prowling the prison roof during conjugal visits, in search of prisoners to supervise.  Local law enforcement reported that the guard was clutching a pornographic magazine, which was retained as evidence, and binoculars, whose sentimental value let them back to the family of the deceased.

There are hundreds of stories on the Darwin Awards website, which I strongly encourage everyone to check out.  In closing, i'll leave you with a video I found on YouTube that I thought was pretty entertaining.  It's not quite the material you will read about on the website, but entertaining nonetheless.


To be 100% honest... I'm the biggest sucker for concerts and pretty much anything that has to do with music. While surfing on, I usually end up watching live concert videos of random bands. A good portion of concerts seems to take place at "Rock Am Ring" This place is HUGE!!!! I was amazed at just how big the venue is. Since it is overseas in Germany, I highly doubt that I will ever see it live =( If you know some German, check out the official Rock Am Ring website .

To get a good overview at just how big the place is...check out this youtube link You only really need to check out the first 30 seconds or so. If you watched the video, you may have noticed that they have a ton of camera men that professionally film the acts. It is a lot better than watching crappy cell phone videos, thats for sure. I would probably give an apendage to see this place live... The thing that also surprised me was just how good the headliners are. It's really quite amazing to see bands like Metallica, Rage Against the Machine, Linkin Park, Disturbed, Chris Cornell, and a bunch of others, all together at one whole music festival. It reminds me a lot of how Woodstock used to be. To get a better idea of the type of bands, check out that wikipedia link again at the top. Just browse the history section. I just wish they had this in the United States =(

Computer/Entertainment Industry

I got into a conversation with someone about the state of things with computer companies like Apple, Microsoft, and now Adobe (company behind Photoshop). Adobe just bought out a company called Macromedia, which used to own Flash and Dreamweaver (used to develop web sites). He was explaining that this purchase allowed Adobe to call the shots on prices, and that's why their prices for their suites have gone up. Like Apple trying to corner the market in music software, Adobe is trying to grab hold of the web development market. What happened with the movie, TV, and music industries is happening again in the computer/technology industry.

I'm not so vehemently against corporations that I want to go protest against them and tear down their establishments. Even though I don't agree that these companies should be able to corner markets and call all the shots, all have, at one point or another, made great strides and improved the quality of software (etc.)

However, (and I think we talked about this in class) the difference between the computer industry and entertainment industry is that there are far more alternatives available. I don't know if anyone's heard of Linux (it's an operating system like Windows or Leopard). I was totally surprised to hear that Ubuntu, a version of Linux, has been replacing Windows in tons of countries. Not surprised to hear it was doing well, but surprised that there is a free, streamlined operating system that I've heard nothing about in the U.S. (well, I guess I shouldn't be surprised).

Of course there's Youtube, which allows you to broadcast yourself for free. Then there are also open source (free) programs for things like Desktop Publishing. (If you haven't already tried it and are in need of a free Word/typing program, try OpenOffice).

I guess the problem many including myself have had with the entertainment industry is the real lack of options and how separate the media can be from the average person. Even with similar problems occurring now in the comp industry, I think there will always be more alternatives and just have to look for them.

I was watching TMJ4 10 o'clock news, and there was something that caught my attention. They reported about a website called that provides troublesome neighbors or the way they act around the neighborhood. This website gives most of the nation's neighborhoods which is huge. In that way, people get to know what kind of people live around the areas before they decide to move in. When you go onto the website, it is pretty shocking because you will find your neighbors talking about someone.

However, my question is, How can they run this website legally?
I think it harms individual's image and reputation. Everyone has rights to protect themselves. But when someone finds something bad about themselves online that is open to everyone, I am sure they would feel ashamed. I am also surprised about people actually write about their neighbors. I think if they can write something about their neighbors online, why can't they say it face to face? Why dose it have to posted online? There are always troubles going around our neighborgoods. Can people find a right place to live just by reviewing troublesome neighbors? Everybody is different, and has some kind of troubles. Since everyone has their own opinions, this website cannot be trustworthy because it is based on people's opinion. I do not know what gives this website a right to make any judgment on anyone.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Jackass World...

For most men and some women the crazy, insane, and juvenile things that the the Jackass crew is know for is something that we find amusing and is considered a form of entertainment. There is something about people putting themselves into situations that we ultimately end in pain and watching people do that to themselves or their friends is comical.

Well if you enjoy this type of comedy or just find the Jackass crew amusing in there own rights you will be happy, as I was, to find out that this group will be launching their own website,, on Feb. 23.

As I watched Jimmu Kimmel Live last night I was informed on this and was happy to hear this. However, the most amusing part was to hear that not only all my favorites were coming back, Steve-O, Ryan Dunn, Bam, Chris Pontius, but that with the launch of their website MTV is also allowing these guys to take control of MTV for 24 hrs. Which normally I won't care if a celebrity took over MTV, but this group of guys you never know.

If you would like to see the interview with Johnny Knoxville go to and go to live episode. Also, if you go to right now they will tell you about the MTV thing and also have other clips up.

Blu Ray Wins

The battle between Hd and Blu Ray is finally over! Toshiba has effectively "thrown in the towel" and ceased production,development, marketing & manufacture of all HD DVD players. This halt will be effective by the end of March. So for all you HD fanatics...Better rush to Best Buy now!!

At a press conference Tuesday, Toshiba pledged of offer full product support and after-sales service for owners of Toshiba HD DVD products.

After the press conference major retailers including Wal-Mart, and Best Buy announced that they would begin phasing out the sale of HD DVD products. Toshiba said its decison was based on recent changes in the market and after careful analysis of the long-term impact of continuing the format war (ie: Blu-Ray)

All six major Hollywood studios are now supporting the more popular Blu-Ray format including Sony Pictures , 20th Century Fox (also MGM), Walt Disney Studios, Warner Home Video, LionsGate, Paramount Home Entertainment, and Universal Studios and abandoning production of the HD DVD format.

So what is Blu-Ray?.....Blu-ray is the name of a next-generation optical disc format jointly developed by the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA), a group of the world's leading consumer electronics, personal computer and media manufacturers (consisting of Apple, Dell, Hitachi, HP, JVC, LG, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Pioneer, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, TDK and Thomson).

Hd DVD in comparison was developed by Toshiba in conjuction with a group of similar companies.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I will admit it, I have quite the obsession with celebrity news, which leads me to present you all with one of my favorite blogs. I was introduced to this blog by a friend of mine about a year ago and I cant get enough. One pattern that never seems to change is how much coverage he does about Britney. The first blog almost ever day is of Britney. Today it is her showing us, once again, the fact that she does not like to wear underwear. The creator of this blog always has the best pics, ones that you don't usually see in the magazines at the store. I dont know what his source is but it sure is great. Along with coverage of every move of the celebs, he shares his favorite music, movies, books,and personal pictures from his own life. He also provides a number of links supplied by google. His blogs are very funny and entertaining, In addition to his blogs his captions to the pictures are also very humorous. If you are as big of a fan of celebrity news (a guilty pleasure) then you should definitely check out

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Man Crush on Obama

I think we could all agree that the Democratic primaries between Obama and Clinton are both the most exciting and unique that we have ever seen. People who don't even care about politics are interested and find themselves turning on the debates. One person I have never seen so excited about a political candidate before is my brother. My brother has a man crush on Barack Obama.
My brother is always trying to convert Clinton supporters, and starts to get really serious about it in a way that I would not want to argue! He didn't really need to convince me because I do agree with a lot of what Obama stands for. But my brother and many others have created something I have never seen. An actual extreme fan base for a political candidate.

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On Tuesday my brother traveled to Madison to see Obama speak, and then he went to see him in Eau Claire that weekend. I told my friend this and he said "What, does he have a man crush on the guy or something?" I thought this was pretty funny, so I asked my brother the same thing. His response?
"Damn right I do!"
OK, so I should have expected that one from him. But it really got me thinking about how people see Barack Obama compared to how they see other candidates. And since he appeals a great deal to the younger crowd, I kind of realized something. He's more than a politician..he's a celebrity! It makes me wonder what would happen if Clinton did beat him, or McCain for that matter. What then? Movies? Only kidding...I think we can take him more seriously than that. But I do think he is the only politician I've ever seen dance...and he's not half bad!
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Monday, February 18, 2008

an open letter to roger clemens

so baseball has began to lose it's status as the national passtime, though perhaps the amount of scandal is more of an indication of the state of the country than anything else. like baseball is a mood ring for the united states. barry bonds, arguably the greatest hitter of our generation, broke hank aaron's record and little to no one cared because he looked like the incredible hulk compared to his original bruce banner. hank aaron didn't even show up to show him support.
now, arguably the greatest pitcher of our generation, Roger Clemens, has a hearing with congress about taking HGH. Okay Roger, if you want anyone to believe what you are preaching, please get everybody in your camp on the same page. First of all, it is glaringly obvious that the man took HGH. If the statistics (weight, pitching statistics) aren't a strong enough indication that the man has consumed more drugs in the past ten years than Courtney Love and Tommy Chong combined, then how about the testimony of his former trainer, Brian McNamee and former teammate Andy Pettite. What does Brian McNamee have to gain by coming forward saying he injected pitchers with illegal drugs? what possible rational could he have for lying about it? And why would Andy Pettite, a successful pitcher as well, go to the trouble of including Roger in the implications? And how in the world did this become a partisian issue? I mean I understand that Roger is a conservative, but how does that somehow garner him the support of every conservative representative in congress, and should that really make him innocent? As I recall, these same representatives felt very diffferently about Barry Bonds. I am just wondering how an issue like steroids becomes so muddled that the facts are disregarded and the situation devolves into a bipartisan quarrel. Is there more at risk here politically than is being let on?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The second coming... of the democratic party

When I saw this picture of Barack Obama on the cover of the Shepherd Express, my first thought was "why are they trying to make Barack Obama look like Jesus??"
Come on, intentional or not, this picture of Obama makes him look like a religious figure in a traditional way images of Jesus Christ has been represented in his resurrection: pure white robes, head in the heavens, followers behind him. (I got this image off of a Mormon website).

Now, I'm definitely NOT saying that I'm against Barack Obama (or Jesus Christ); I think he is very likable and could very well make a great president.  I just hate propaganda.  And with Barack Obama comes A LOT of propaganda.  I found THIS video on youtube of celebrities singing one of his speeches like a piece of gospel music.  

Could Barack Obama change America if he becomes president? Sure.  But is it right to say (directly or indirectly with images and songs like this)  that he is going to SAVE it?  If people keep this stuff up, and Obama does get elected, he is going to have one hell of a time living up to peoples expectations.  

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Curse of Lifetime

This week, my media exposure consisted of things that I didn't really want to watch, but ended up finishing because I just had to see the ending. And no channel has perfected that formula better than Lifetime ("Television for Women"). Somehow, certain Lifetime original movies have this way of making you stay on the couch to finish them, regardless of how cheesy/bad/whathaveyou they are. What's worse is that more than half of the time, the ending is never satisfying. Even with the knowledge that the movie will be predictable and the ending will be terrible, I still fall into the trap every now and again.

Okay, to be fair, the Lifetime originals aren't always that bad, but it's not like I'm counting the minutes to see Always Say Goodbye or A Lover's Revenge (I haven't seen either one). I'm just always surprised by how "addictive" they can be. I've overheard both girls and guys talking about how they got stuck on a Lifetime movie. My friends will casually admit to it once in a while. But everyone who has watched one never talks about it. You're not going to hear anyone conversing about how awesome that Lifetime orginal was last night, and I've never heard anyone admit to it as their guilty pleasure.

So, there's always stuff that we get stuck watching even though we didn't want to or plan to, be it reality tv or the stuff on the food network. But sometimes I think Lifetime is in a league of its own.

"We Myspace-ed her...."

As popular applications like Facebook and Myspace become more and more popular, many people, including myself, are questioning whether they are beneficial or harmful to the audiences that use them.

It seems as though they can be both. For instance, I recently overheard a conservation at a well known clothing boutique about the search for new hires. The associates were talking amongst themselves about the candidates for the job. One of the young women said, "I myspace-ed her, and she said she was unsure of her sexual preference and 5'5, more to love!" Personally, I laughed out loud. I know a lot of people, including some of my closest friends, who put things like that on their pages for fun; the point being that only friends have an interest in viewing their page. However, that's not the case anymore.

Now that job candidates can be "screened" before even an initial interview, it is obvious that these internet societies are a benefit to employers, not employees. What is on your Facebook page could seriously harm your chances of getting a job, whether you would be an awesome employee or not. This also resembles a type of "Myspace discrimination," if you will, but that's an entirely different post.

In short, while many of us think that Facebook and Myspace are just for fun, be careful of what you display yourself to be on the internet. This applies not only for jobs, but for any random people (i.e. internet predators) that may come across your page. I recommend making your page private, so that only your friends can view it. Then you can have whatever or whomever you want sprawled on your page and not have to worry about any negative effects.

Monday Morning QBs...This Show's for You

So Pros vs. Joes is quite possibly the most entertaining show on cable television, at least for me. For those of you who don't know about the show or have never seen the show let me explain. Average "Joes" take on former "pros" in the pros' sport. Every show has at least three Pros taking on 6 different Joes. The show is hosted by former USC Football Captain Petros Papadakis. These Joes are those guys that everyone knows, the guys that watch NFL football and say, "I could do that." Or the guys that think that they could get a hit off of Randy Johnson because he's "washed up."

Personally I love this show because of the Joes, all of them...every one of them, talks trash to the pros. Why in the world would you talk trash to these people that are going to try and injury you? Last night's episode had the former five time Pro-Bowl linebacker Jesse Armstead, Armstead played from 1993 to 2003 for the New York Giants and Washington Redskins.

PvJ is on Spike, Thursdays @ 10pm.

If you're still not sure what the shows about, check out this clip from last season. Former Steelers, Bears, and Ravens QB Kordell Stewart has to score a touchdown, and the Joes have to try and stop him. Why oh why do they try and talk trash to them...why?


In yesterdays class, we talked about VOIP (Voice Over IP) chatting. VOIP is a very handy tool for anyone to use that has an internet connection. To sum it up, VOIP programs are used in place of a telephone to communicate with somebody that could be anywhere that has an internet connection. A few examples used in class were AT&T and Skype. Other very popular programs are and . Unlike the other programs, these two require a hosting server to run through.

Both Ventrilo and Teamspeak are widely known over the internet gaming community. I use Ventrilo because of the minimal computer resources it takes to run and the very simple layout. It's pretty cool to use because I can talk to my friends in Alaska and my friends in Texas without paying a dime. Very conveniently I can just log in and start chatting away with my friends. Ventrilo is very popular among the Counterstrike and the World of Warcraft community. It allows people to chat with others from across the globe in mere seconds! The hardest part is just typing in the host server name... I even use Ventrilo ("Vent") to talk to my brothers when they are at our mom's house hahah. I would suggest trying out one of these programs if you haven't. I know that I was amazed when I first got the program a few years ago... god bless the internet...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Fashion Police (Media's right)

There is a show called fashion police which talks about celebrities' fashion style. It is usually on after any awards program. They pick few best dressers and worst dressers to discuss about them. I was watching it after the Grammy Awards, and I reconsidered about media's rights to make judgement on people's privacy. The funny thing that I found about this show is that they harm one's reputation when he/she seemed dressed trashy. Furthermore, they really makes those celebrities feel ashamed of their styles. So I thought of few questions in my mind, Why do they care about their fashion? Are their standard of fashion is the one we all should care about? This show talks about how to dress nice, seasonal trends, and what looks good and what looks bad. I don't know how they are professional about the fashion, but what I have observed from this show is that they are using agenda setting for the public's interest. It does not tell us what to think, but it certainly tells us what to think about.
However, as we all know that media should serve the public's interest. This show entertains us in a way because we all know that it is always fun to know about celebrities' privacy. But the media and paparazzi go beyond the celebrities' libel, and they create defamation on their images. I know it depends on your willingness to focus on those news, but what I am interested in are how far the media can focus on celebrity's life? Are they serving the public’s interest? and Should we listen to their advice? or Should we just ignore?

NIU Shootings

Have you ever been watching the news and all of a sudden the anchor pauses, looks off camera, and puts a finger up to their ear like they are getting a very important news story? I think I experienced that for the first time this afternoon while watching CNN's "The Situation Room" with Wolf Blitzer. Initially, Wolf was rattling on about Obama v. Hillary (of course) and then all of a sudden there appeared a horrified look on his face. He then told the audience that he had just gotten a report of two people being shot on the campus of Nothern Illinois University. Obviously, us college students take notice to breaking news stories like this because it could potentially happen anywhere, including UWM. Anytime there is a school shooting at any level it is going to be big time news.

So i got up and went to make a sandwich and when I got back it says on the screen "18 shot, at least 3 dead on Northern Illinois Campus." WOAH. Talk about a drastic jump from 2 people to 18 in less than 15 minutes. Turn on the news if you are interested as I'm sure this story is covering most of the broadcast spectrum at the moment.

Wired's Things That Suck

As I mentioned in class, the latest issue of Wired magazine has a list of 33 things that suck, one of which is whiteboards. Why?
Whiteboards seem like genius — easy-to-read, no-dust versions of classroom chalkboards. Except that they never really, really erase. The only thing that separates a dry-erase marker from a permanent marker is a touch of silicone polymer. It makes the ink in the dry-erase slippery enough to wipe off the porcelain or white melamine coating on the board. Unfortunately, to be light enough to mount, those whiteboards are pretty thin. Which means the coating wears out — every time you write on one, the surface degrades, forming microscopic craters that grab ink more tightly than any polymer could hope to avoid. Eventually, the whole thing develops a gray residue. That brainstorm session you left up there for three months? It moves into those tiny dimples permanently. Hope they were good ideas.
Other things they mention that relate in some way to our class are DVD sound, radio, ticket purchasing, and web video.

Meanwhile, on the's an article about the new net neutrality proposal before Congress that I mentioned.

And here's something new: Comcast, one of those big, powerful cable companies, has launched a new site called Fancast where you can get info about TV shows and movies and watch them online. I haven't played around with it too much but it looks easy to use. When I tried to watch a TV episode it played smoothly. Thanks, Comcast!

The Internet

We talked an aweful lot about the internet today in class. We talked about how its changing, how corporations are fighting to control it and how people like us enjoy it the way it is currently, as well as a lot of interesting and different things about the internet in general. So it got me thinking about Internet Service Providers a little bit. I was wondering if there is even a market out there anymore for Dial-up internet. I'm talking about companies like AOL and Netscape and PeoplePC. Do they consistently get customers? Is Dial-up internet dying out completely as we know it? What are these companies doing to stay competitive with Roadrunner, AT&T, Yahoo, or are they not staying competitive?

I do know that from my personal experience I will never go back up to dialup internet. I remember those days sitting there watching my computer screen as the computer tried to connect to AOL. It was always heartbreaking for me if it got all the way through all the steps and just decided not to finally connect. IT SUCKED!! It is just way too slow and you just end up getting frustrated with your computer and want to throw it out of the nearest window. I'm also wondering if there are some people out there that are too set in their ways to free themselves from the restrictions of Dial-up internet. I mean everyone knows that it is painstakingly slow and you can't do as much as you can with high speed internet. Those are just some of the questions I was wondering about and thought of in class today.


Paris Hilton's little brother just got a DUI and it has been all over the news all day/night. What is up with this? The kid isn't even famous he's just the brother of an undeserved celebrity. The media has to start paying attention to more important issues, even if it is in the world of celebrities. There are more important stories in the entertainment industry than some underage kid getting a DUI. Is he going to become famous now just because of this? If so then I want to move to another country. On another note, California is attempting to implement a law that says paparazzi must stay 60 ft away from celebrities at all times. I think this is a brilliant idea and should have been issued a long time ago. Celebrities deserve protection. If some dude followed me around with a camera taking my pictures I could easily get a restraining order or something like that. Why can't celebrities do this too?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Free Radio

VH1's new show free radio is a great new addition to the popular theme of making fun of celebrities. Its an improvised comedy which stars an intern Lance who is a complete idiot. The show follows behind the scenes of a new radio talk-show titled "Moron In The Morning". Lance along with his co-host Anna conduct radio shows with celebrities. Lance being the moron tests these celebrities by making outrageous comments and asking extremely inappropriate questions. Much like the show The Office, this show follows a group of characters including the annoyed and angry manager James, the co-host Anna, "emo" Sarah, and of course Lance in their workplace and the sense of humor is very similar as well. At first you can't help but hate Lance because of how obnoxious he is, but as the show continues you cannot get enough of this characters outrageous comments. A favorite interview of mine is one where they have a group of comedians that do personations of Christopher Walken. As he attempts to make his own impersonations of the star he is shot down and made fun of by the comedians. This show is extremely funny and I look forward to seeing what interviews are to come. Check it out on

Death Or Life?

This past week all over Access Hollywood, ET, and Extra they remembered and mourned the loss of Anna Nichol Smith. They had interviews with people that we close to here and broth back happy moments that we could remember Anna Nichol. However, like the recent death of Heath Ledger during the days/weeks/months following Anna Nichol’s own death people came up and criticized her and her life style. And, I am sure a year from now we will do the same of Heath where we will talk about him being a warm and a gifted actor who didn’t have a chance to reach his full potential as an actor. There are many cases like this, especially no in this era on media where we become so involved with celebrities’ lives through the media, whether it being magazines, T.V. shows, or the internet, which we feel that we know them, and try and understand why they did what they did.

I from time to time, as do millions of people, get caught up in the whole sheared of things and want to know about what is going on and what people think. However, taking a step back and looking at it even though they are a public figure and a person of interest because of their fame how can we take pleasure, of sorts, prodding and analyzing this person’s life.

At one time they are beloved by us and the next we are ripping them down with as much joy and then we talk about them with care and understanding. This viscous cycle we are in is one of interests and wonderment. The question here is which do we enjoy more so: The build of this larger then life figure or the ripping down of this person?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Heidi...Forget it!

Ok so yea a lot of people will admit that one of their guilty pleasures is MTV's The Hills...and I won't deny that I watch. I've been watching the Hills since it spun off from Laguna Beach...ok I watched Laguna Beach too! But here's what I don't get: how has Heidi Montag become a celebrity from all this? She's like the antagonist of the show! 
Admittedly I did not like Heidi even when she did live with Lauren, she had horrible taste in men and was really transparent. I remember the first episode she dropped out of school and got a job with a company I would DIE to work for, all because she was on MTV. Sure Lauren got her awesome job at Teen Vogue for the same reasons, but at least she stayed in school! Then Heidi moves out on Lauren for her veiny headed spaz-o boyfriend Spencer and what happens?
Speidi! I cringe every time I hear it. How are they actually getting media attention, do people actually really like them? So when I heard Heidi was working on a single I thought "Enough is enough!" When her first music video was released recently, it was so much worse than I could've ever imagined. Her voice? I'd say about 50% of America can sing at least that well- nothing special. But her video? I didn't know if I should laugh or cry. 
So when Joe McHale of The Soup made fun of her video I was so glad at least someone shared my opinion, because I already know what's going to happen: people are going to eat it up. I can only hope I am wrong. 
Watch this and you'll see exactly what I mean:

P.S. My favorite: Dance like you're in Junior High...because that's exactly what she's doing!

Monday, February 11, 2008


Not sure if anyone noticed, but there hasn’t been any dedication to Stephen Colbert on this blog yet. There was one post way back in October, but it the writer seemed kind of hostile toward Colbert’s presidential candidacy, so that doesn’t really do anyone any justice or good, right? Right.

Anyway, I was over at a friend’s place this weekend and he had a nice flatscreen and a new Playstation 3, so, you know, we had the internet hook-up. After wading through some YouTube, we settled on getting caught up on the Conan-Colbert throwdown, which pits the two television personalities battling over made Mike Huckabee. Good stuff, but I'm not going to link to it because he's done better...

Colbert shines most brightly when he's on a more interesting stage, like at the White House Correspondent's Dinner. It's kind of long, and when I say long I mean 10 minutes. So I'll quote a particular passage.
"The greatest thing about this man is he's steady, you know where he stands. He believes the same thing Wednesday that he believed on Monday. No matter what happens Tuesday. Events can change, this man's beliefs never will."
Colbert's presidential bid is a thing of the past. I mean, it's tough to run a successful campaign in this country. You need money, resources, name recognition, money, connections, money... And if Mitt Romney, who is apparently worth $ 250 to $ 500 million dollars, and whose Dad friggin' owned Michigan, couldn't make it through primary season before dropping out, how could we expect anything else? Oh, the bid was a joke? Hmmm...

Okay, this is slightly more tempting and easier than clicking the underlined links perhaps.
"You know what I hate about people who criticize you? They criticize what you say, but they never give you credit for how loud you say it"

friday night lights

last year, at the end of the season, the tv show Jericho was getting cancelled. The last words in the last episode were something involving nuts. So the Jericho fanbase, in protest, sent an enormous amount of nuts to the house of Ben Silverman, the head of NBC, and he agreed to allow the show to stay on for another six episodes but said that it must improve ratings.
In my opinion, Jericho is a much less worthy cause than Friday Night Lights, which is critically adored and has a solid fanbase but simply doesn't get astronomical ratings. So the same kind of thing is happening with this show now. The television show Best Week Ever on VH1 (is VH1 owned by nbc?) is launching a campaign
to save the show, by sending huge amounts of lightbulbs to the network. Hopefully it works! This is a show worth saving, if you haven't seen it you should probably think about watching it.

Cashmere Mafia

I’ve seen advertisement for the new show Cashmere Mafia on ABC and found that I could watch it online. From the previews it looked like a combination of Sex and the City and Desperate Housewives. A scene in the beginning of the first episode caught my attention. One of the main woman characters and her husband are walking their two kids to school and the daughter mentions that she wants a Marc Jacob handbag. She is only 8 years old and she knew what a Marc Jacob bag is. Not only did she know what the bag was but also wanted one because someone in her class got one. Her mom replied how you know about Marc Jacob bags and her daughter replies snotty everyone knows about Marc Jacob mom. It makes me wonder what we are teaching children. She is only 8 and wants a bag that goes for over $2,000. What is the media portraying to children and teenagers to make them think that they need to have designer accessories? Could it be from magazines, movies, shows, and the celebrities that they look up to? It was shocking to hear a little girl tell her mom that she needed an expensive Marc Jacob bag when it’s unattainable for most of us to have.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Asian/Asian-American Actors & American Media

Two nights ago, I caught the tail end of Enter the Dragon with Bruce Lee on AMC. Not a big fan of kung-fu films, but it made me think back to the Bruce Lee biographical film Dragon, which I also caught on AMC. In Dragon, there is a scene where Bruce (played by Jason Scott Lee) talks about giving his kids, who lived in America, a Chinese hero. In another scene, he's in a rage and recounting the racism in the industry and how he has to dumb himself down for roles. (ie: ridiculously bad accent, etc.) Going back now to Enter the Dragon, I can actually see Bruce Lee trying to give his character and story some integrity or, in a way, bring the role to the level of any American action hero. Not easy to do against the bow chicka bow 70s style and stereotypical Asian whorehouse setting, but I think he succeeded anyway.

It's easy to brush off Bruce Lee's trials in Hollywood to a crazy time of racial divide/civil rights movement, but then something reminds me that there's still work to be done.

Last night, I watched an episode of Law and Order. To sum it up, a man said to be from China made a confession in one of the worst Chinese accents I've ever heard. The confession ended with him saying he didn't want to go back to China because America was free. Or something to that extent. Law and Order is about 18(?) years old now, but it's still recent enough to make having a scene like that sad...and outdated, really. There are other recent examples out there, but this was the freshest in my mind.

In recent years, I've been seeing more Asian/Asian-American actresses in American media, but Asian/Asian-American actors, especially in leading roles, are still rare. The roles they do get - I'll be blunt - tend to suck. So, many Asian-American actors tend to look for work in Asia, because there's a better chance of getting good roles.

Related Links
Ecce Homo Orientalis
'Slanted Screen' Rues The Absence Of Asians

Make Me a Supermodel

There's a HOT new show called Make Me a Supermodel and it comes on every Thursday night at 9p.m on Bravo. The show is hosted by two top supermodels, Nikki Taylor and Tyson Beckford. They’re in search of finding America’s next top Supermodel. The show consists of 14 models, and 2 judges. Each week the models are faced with photo shoots, catwalk challenges, and workout challenges to test their skills of becoming a model. The Judges have the job of selecting 3 models to be in the bottom three and then America decides with call in or e-mail votes who can come back to the show.

On last night’s episode, one of the models named Katy has been in the bottom 3 for the fourth time now. Katy has had a hard time since she’s been on the show. The judges feel like she’s just not cut out for the job. Apparently, America sees differently! Week after week Katy has managed to work her way back into the house for another shot at becoming a model. You may be thinking this sounds like Top Model, but its better, we as viewers get to choose who we want to win the title of the next Supermodel.

I’m bothered by the fact that America continues to vote for Katy when it is clear that she does not want to be there. In the beginning I believed her, now I see no motivation. She has gained weight, she’s anti-social and she’s not listening to the judge’s in order to keep herself out of the bottom three. If you’re interested in finding out what happens next Thursday, tune in to Bravo or checkout the website.

New Ideas

I stumbled across this on youtube the other day and it seems quite interesting. In class we were discussing new technologies and products that come out to benefit the public and weren’t just in the plans of big business. Microsoft is of course a big business, but this seems like an idea that is solely designed to enrich and benefit people’s lives instead of just earning a bunch of money. It fascinates me that there are so many unique useful ideas out there that never get seen or used by the public. Is this because big business controls a lot of the advertising and ideas that get released to the public or are people just afraid to try new products? It seems that the public doesn’t always get the best thing offered to them due to it being too expensive or too risky for big business to venture out on, is this something that anyone else has experienced?

I decided to do a little Youtube rant about this too. just thought i'd share.

So this week Microsoft cut the price to the HD-DVD disc drive add on for the Xbox 360. This hd-dvd drive was by far the most popular way to watch HD-DVDs on your HDTV. Microsoft cut the price froem $179.99 to $119.99. Many people, including myself, are reading this as a sign that Blu-Ray has truly won the format war.

After the CES (Consumer Electronic Show)announcement that as of June 2008 Warner Brothers studios would only be supporting the Blu-Ray disc format, many industry analyists said that the writing was on the wall for HD-DVD, now it looks like that time is finally coming. not only has the Xbox 360's HD-DVD drive dropped its price, all of Toshiba's HD-DVD players have come down in price too, some as low as $149.

Even those who make movies have said they want Blu-Ray. Transformers director Michael Bay, was very public that he felt it was unfair that Paramount Pictures only distributed HD-DVDs, going so far as to say that it's all one big Microsoft conspiracy.

I personally thought that HD-DVDs looked really interesting, the amount of use interactivity that they allowed was incredible, whether it was actually seeing the actors in a Picture-in-picture box giving their commentary to something as simple as being able to access the menu while watching the movie, it looked very cool.

Alas, it is sad that HD-DVDs must go the way of the Jaguar, Beta-Max, and Laser Disc, but it's all in the name of technological advancement.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

American Idol Season 7 Atlanta Auditions - Asia'h Epperson

American Idol has always been a source of entertainment for me. I enjoy watching them especially during the auditions. I was watching the American Idol season 7 on Tuesday. I saw this beautiful girl came in for the audition try to get the ticket to the Hollywood. This girl touched my heart and made me cry by her story. Her story was about her father got into an accident and passed away before she came to do the audition for the American idol. She said, her father always wanted her to be happy, and succeeding as an American Idol is her dream. The song she picked for his father made me cry. I was amazed by her braveness and persistence during her singing because she could have put herself down with her situation. I could not believe the situation that she went through. Even though she had a hard time, her voice was amazing, and I think she is the one of the best ones in this season. She definitely can sing, and I would buy her record if she becomes an Idol. I really think she is the one for this season. She is very astonishing, and also has a great personality. I think to become an American Idol; one should have braveness and the passion. I hope she wins for this season. She is great.

Snow Coverage on TV

I'm not sure how many people happened to flip on the TV yesterday when we didn't have school, but it was insane how much snow coverage was on Milwaukee's NBC channel, TMJ4. When I got up Wednesday morning I checked the school closings at the bottom of the screen around 5:15 a.m. in hopes that UWM would be one of the schools cancelling class for the day. It turned out, around 6:25 a.m. was when UWM decided that the roads and travel conditions were only going to get worse and that closing school for the day was the safest option.

This blog entry of mine is about how much snow coverage is actually necessary when a winter storm, like the one we got yesterday, actually hits. TMJ4 had people out and about in Southeastern Wisconsin keeping its viewers up to date on how much snow had fallen, how the road conditions were, when to expect the heaviest snow bands to hit, and what schools and businesses decided to shut down for the day. This was all fine and dandy and frankly good information to know, but they made sure to tell their viewers every 10 minutes it seemed like. I mean honestly, if its steadily snowing outside at 11:00 am and we are in the midst of the biggest winter storm of the season, is the snow going to suddenly stop falling ten minutes later? I don't think so. TMJ4 weather analysts dedicated their entire day on TV to talk about the same repetitive and redundant things.

I guess my big beef with snow coverage in Wisconsin is that sometimes TV stations go overboard with it. I mean everyone in this state expects it to snow during the Wintertime. It happens every year. I don't think we need to be updated every 10 minutes on how the snow is falling and what direction the wind is blowing. Every hour is fine. But every 10 minutes is annoying. I guess I could have turned the TV off or to another channel, but it was more entertaining for me to make fun of the anchors that said the same exact things over and over again.

They also had their weather crew stationed in different areas like, Whitefish Bay, Wauwatosa, Port Washington, Capitol Drive, etc... And they all seemed to convey that it was snowing. NO EFFIN WAY@!@@@! I just wanted them to break away for one second and talk about something else going on in the world like the results of Super Tuesday, or the fact the Shaquille O'Neal got traded.

Some things in this world are a little more important to cover on tv than a foot of snow.

Product Placement = Blockbuster?

Making a movie is a very involved process and just as important as the creative process is the process of rising money to fund the movie. Production companies and independent people put up millions upon millions of dollars to create a single movie. According to MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) spent an average of $65.8 Million in 2006 on a single movie. While according to multiple different websites the movie Spiderman 3 was the most expensive movie of all time; the cost of this movie was an astounding $500 Million to make.

The amount that studios spend to make these blockbusters or average box-office releases is well worth it for them to get the return from tickets sold, DVD sales, and any other type of merchandising one can get out of it.

Another part of funding a movie is and has been product placement through out the movie. Where a main character might be drinking a refreshing Coke or you see a store in the background of an important scene in the movie. These things are purposely placed in a movie and are paid for in full by these companies to reach a target audience.

So, I found this interesting once I heard about the new Sex and the City movie that is currently being made could be totally be funded by product placement. This is an entire film being paid for and in turn being profited off of high end luxury products. Every high end company from Tiffanies, Mercedes, and all high end fashion designers want to be placed in this movie. These companies have been reported to spend anywhere from half a million to $7.5 Million dollars to get their name/product in the movie. The Sex and the City producers are intelligent people that are taking a small part of making money for a movie and exploiting it to serve their purpose.

This is such a simple idea that it is hard to believe that other have not used this tactic to fund other movies. However, I will admit that the Sex and the City movie is a rare type of movie that can use product placement in a way that will not distract from the movie and will add to the movie.

So the question is: Even though this is an interesting and unique way to fund a movie; and a way that we have funded movies impart; can this way of funding through product placement work with all movies?

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Talk about selling sex...
I came across this new ad campaign from Virgin Mobile yesterday and I am still confused and disturbed by it.  I wouldn't consider myself a prude, but sometimes advertising comes off as so blatantly sexual I can't help but stop and, as the pastor's wife in the Simpsons always says, "think about the children!" is a website Virgin Mobile is using to advertise their Wild Card cell phone and text messaging plans.  This is what they have to say about this website:  PROMISCUOUS TXT HAS BEEN FOUND TO BE A SAFE AND SATISFYING ALTERNATIVE TO THE REAL THING.  LETSHAVETXT.COM'S TRAINED PROFESSIONALS ARE AVAILABLE TO HELP YOU PRACTICE YOUR SEXY TXTING SKILLS IN A SAFE, PLAYFUL ENVIRONMENT. The "trained professionals" are videos of greased-up characters from stereotypical sexual fantasies such as a secretary, a plumber, a nurse, a cowboy, and oddly enough, a sex-robot.  You can send them naughty text messages and they will respond back to you.  The website also comes with complementary cheesy soft-porn dialogue and music.  
I always thought that Virgin Mobile was most popular with teenagers and younger people.  Just doesn't seem like classy move to me.  Anyway, here is the link.  Have fun.

Cyberbullying! Wow I Can't Believe It

On the second day of class I believe someone brung up cyberbullying. I had never heard of it until that day. When it was discussed I was shocked that this actually happened and to be honest I couldn't believe it. I was thinking in my head yeah right how could someone be bullied over the internet. It just didn't seem possible to me.

Since I am at school during the time the Tyra show airs I just record every episode and watch it on my own time. So since there was no school today I watched the episode about cyberbullying. I actually learned a lot from watching this show. At first I was thinking if these kids are being bullied while on line they are a little to scary because all they have to do is just turn off the computer. Then I heard the story about the girl who thought this boy liked her but it was just her neighbor playing with her emotions. This girl honestly thought she had a friend in this "boy" then one day things changed. The "boy" started saying horrible things to her. Her mother said that within a couple of hours the girl called her crying hysterically and her mother had already told her to get off the computer. So the mom came home they had some words and then the girl went to her room and hung herself in the closet. This ended tragically all because of an adult acting like a kid wanted to "find out if the girl was talking about her daughter". Should this woman have been prosecuted? I think so.

Now I know that anything is possible, even though cyberbullying still has me in disbelief. There are many more children who commited suicide due to cyberbullying.

"Suck it Jesus!"

So after the Sally Fields clip that we watched in class, I decided to watch it again on YouTube so that I could post on it. What I found was not only the uncensored clip of her speech, but also a clip of Kathy Griffin who was also was censored at the Emmys. The clip was Kathy Griffin talking about the censorship of the Emmys on the Larry King Live show and I found it pretty interesting. Kathy Griffin's acceptance speech was censored because she said "suck it jesus" when making a joke about people thanking god when they accept an award. Personally, I thought it was funny because she's right, so many actors/singers etc. thank god for their award and you have to wonder...did god really want to be associated with that sex and language filled film they made? Or that rap song that degrades women and talks about drugs and killing? As much as Larry King is not my taste in talk shows, he did have good points in his interview and he brought up Sally Fields speech to compare to Kathy Griffin's. One particularly good point was the quote "when you censor you build up what you censored" and I think he's completely right because now it's all over the place and everyone is wondering what the hell Sally Fields and Kathy Griffin said that's creating all this hype. Another point is if shows like Larry King Live and CNN's "Showbiz Tonight" are showing it uncensored, then what was the point in censoring it in the first place? People are now seeing it, so what good did that do?

Super Bowl Commercials

This year's Super Bowl far exceeded expectations, with Eli becoming the second straight Manning to beat Tom Brady in the playoffs, which was quite amusing. The fourth quarter easily made up for the first three quarter in drama, that's for sure.

The commercials on the other hand didn't live up to the hype. The Super Bowl is littered with long pauses that don't do much for the flow of the game, but do provide opportunities to get more drinks and food from the kitchen... except for those who consider commercials the highlight of the game.

But how and why are commercials so important? For one thing, it's always puzzled me why we all have to wait until the Super Bowl to see commercials that at least might be decent. Seriously, what are these advertising companies doing the other 364 days of the year? I've always known I couldn't be in advertising because my imagination doesn't contain the type of ridiculous corniness that marks most commercials and is apparently appealing. There are people getting paid tons of money to think of these things, which blows my mind.

The commercials of course are important because of the quantity of viewers, but the quality of the commercials was a little disappointing. (Sidenote: I went to the Rockets/Bucks game the day before the Super Bowl. About twice as many people watched that game on TV as the Super Bowl.)

Maybe it's because they are part of my youth, but nothing this year came close to the Budweiser frogs and ferret from back in the day. Bud's commercials actually, as has been the case lately, were among the worst.

More recently, Career Builder had some pretty great commercials, aided by the monkeys. This year, not so much.

All that said, there were a couple this year that were at least okay...

Coca Cola/Charlie Brown