Monday, March 31, 2008

"Gay Day" @ Action Mountain

Since we've been focusing on representation in the media, I found the sitcom "Grounded for Life" to be a great example of a show that takes of sexual identity, and they don't seem to hold back. In one particular episode, the family takes a trip to Action Mountain on what just-s0-happens to be "Gay Day", a day in which once a year the gay community gets together at the amusement park. Henry, the youngest boy, is unaware of what it means to be gay, so when he sees two men holding hands he shouts, "Whoa! That ride must be really scary, those men are holding hands!" Sean, who plays the father, begins feeling uncomfortable as he looks around and notices that his outfit happens to match the outfit of every gay man at the park, a white t-shirt and jeans. Not only does Sean match the outfits of the gay community, but becomes really uncomfortable when he runs into his coworker, who he was unaware was gay. When Sean accidentally tells other people at work that their coworker is gay, he feels bad and invites the man over for dinner to confess. Even at dinner, the family cooks up coos coos, because they feel that coos coos is a "gay man's dish". At the end of the episode, the gay man grows upset when Sean tries to convince him to come out of the closet. After coming to a truce they beg the man to at least stay for dinner, which he accepts and says, "Well...I do love coos coos!" The show gives its viewers the idea of heteronormativity...the characters just assume that their friends and coworkers are straight and their reactions to those that aren't are that it is not normal.

Ethical question

A recent news story brings up somewhat of an ethical question in my opinion. A body was found, supposedly being that of a mother who has been missing for weeks. It has been all over the news. Over the last 2 days since this body was discovered, the main question that news channels are headlining have been "Was the body found without a head?" What is this all about? I believe they are asking this question to grab the attention of viewers, when they should really be talking about other issues. They should address the issues of the family, the crime that was committed, and the suspects and overall situation. Why do we need to know if the body had a head or not?! I think news channels ask these questions because they think that people like gore or something...Or they just try to grasp our attention. This is messed up. Who wants to turn on the news and be forced to picture a body without a head in their minds? I'd rather know the families reaction to the crime and what they are doing to find the murderer of the woman.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


This should be a pretty relevant topic, right?

As is the case with many new and popular things, blogging is misunderstood. It's even misunderstood by some people who have advanced knowledge of the media, or even those that blog themselves.

With the advent of the same blogger platform we are all using on this blog for this class, anyone can blog about anything they want, and for free. This has been really empowering for the serious citizen journalist, while also providing a forum for the unintelligent and uncreative. Many focus on the latter, trashing blogs as inherently something less than a newspaper, or a magazine.

We must realize however (and with respected online newspapers and websites increasingly employing professional bloggers serving as a witness) that blogs are not inherently something less. True, they are much more inclusive and so there is a lot of bad to go with the good, but arguably there is a lot of bad in mainstream media too. Consider newspapers, websites, magazines, and television. There is a lot of good, and a lot of bad. Magazines aren't good by virtue of being traditional bound in a physical sense with letters that form words and words that form sentences, right? Some are good thanks to good writing and editing and creativity. In the same sense, blogging isn't bad by virtue of it taking place online and being more easily updated. Some blogs are good because of good writing and editing and creativity.

If the same person writes for a print newspaper and a blog, is the newspaper writing good but the blog writing bad? That's the illogic conclusion some people oddly come to.

Jamie Mottram at Mr. Irrelevant (a blog) does a good job of trying to educate the confused.

Quoting Michael Wilbon: “There are differences between reporting and blogging.”

Jamie Mottram: Right. Reporting is a discipline, blogging is a medium and the latter is an efficient way to do the former. This is why most sports reporters at The Washington Post have blogs and use them to report.

Quoting Michael Wilbon: “Blogging is just having an opinion. Just sitting at the crib, back in the cut, as we used to say, and just regurgitating anything you want.”

Jamie Mottram: That’s exactly how I’d describe what Wilbon has been doing at the Post and on ESPN for many years now.

Quoting Michael Wilbon: “I don’t care.”

Jamie Mottram: Obviously.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Opening Day is coming, how are you going to watch it?

So a few weeks ago we talked about the NCAA tournament being broadcast for free on Well that made me think of a similar service that offers. My favorite (American) sport to watch is baseball, there's just something about the history and tradition of it mixed with the level of detail required to fully appreciate the sport that I love.

For the past 4 years I've used's "MLB gameday audio" and "". MLB has worked out deals with every Television and Radio station that has the local broadcasting rights to each team in MLB so they can broadcast them over the Internet. MLB Gameday Audio puts the radio broadcast on the net, and puts the Television broadcast on.

The reason I bring this up now (apart from the majority of baseball opening day starting on Sunday), is that I realized that has been ahead of the curve on this. CBS Sportsline has been broadcasting the NCAA tournament online for the past three years, MLB has had "MLB Gameday Audio" for over 9 years (MLB.TV has been operational since 2003). Now, they're not giving this away for free, MLB Gameday Audio is $14.95 for the season for every radio broadcast in the league. and there are two tiers of the regular version is $80 a year and the premium is $120.

If you're a baseball fan, like me, this is a great service, especially if your team is out of state/market, (while I do like the Brewers and have covered them for work in the past, I'm from team is the Cubs). So if you didn't know about it yet, go check it out.

Oprah's 'Give Big'

Oprah has a history of giving away lots of expensive things (cars for example) and large amounts of money on her show. But now she’s made a competitive reality show called “Oprah’s Big Give” to have other people do that for her. The show started March 2nd and there will be eight episodes in total playing on the ABC network. Oprah makes the contestants work their hardest using their creativity and resources to create the best giveaway. And of course, whoever doesn’t do the best job, gets sent home. Oprah makes appearances as well as celebrities John Travolta and Jennifer Aniston. I watched a few clips on and so far, it looks like it could have somewhat of a steady following for it’s season. It appears to me that Oprah wants to jump on the reality TV bandwagon and finally catch up with those who already have. Who can argue against giving away money to organizations and people who need it? Well it turns out she isn’t getting all good reviews for this innovative idea. I did a search to find out what critics are saying about the show, and Hollywood Reporter gave me a good idea. It turns out a lot of critics have a hard time with all of the product placement that Oprah allows in the show. Also, many aren’t impressed with the genuine giving feeling that the show tries to put off, arguing that these contestants aren’t giving away their own money – it’s all Oprah’s. Also, it’s down 24% from it’s debut rating which drew 11.83 million showing that perhaps viewers are feeling the same way about Oprah’s “Giving Big”. After hearing the reviews, it doesn’t sound like people are impressed and perhaps this won’t be a big hit for Oprah despite her track record of dominating talk show television. I guess we will just have to see.

Hillary and the media...

While I will be the first to admit that I don't know as much as I should about our current presidential candidates, I do know something about Hillary Clinton. I don't know about her campaign, but I know about her personal life. This seems rather odd to me. My point is that the media has created a biased campaign; they have focused more on Hillary's personal life than her goals as a potential President. I think that a large part of this problem is affected by Clinton's gender. Women and men are obviously portrayed differently in the media, and I believe that this is creating an unfair advantage for the male candidates. I think that Hilary has been emotionalized and even penalized for the fact that she is a woman, contrary to men. Candidates like Obama seem to be valued for their strength and ability to seem powerful; Clinton does not.

This form of sexism and stereotyping happens in other forms of media as well. For example, it was widely accepted and even applauded when Brett Favre cried at his retirement press conference. Contrarily, Clinton was made to seem weak when she cried at an event at the Yale Child Study Center in early February. In a country that is supposed to be advanced, we are still operating on gender stereotypes build solely by social constructs. In turn, we may be robbing ourselves of talented and intelligent people.

*Just a note: this is not a reflection of my political association, just my observations of the media!

$6 million dollar babies

How much is too much to pay for baby photos? Is this even right? J Lo and Marc Anthony were paid $6 million dollars for photos with their newborn twins Max and Emme. People magazine jumped at the opportunity to be the first to have pictures of the couple and the twins. No price could stop them from getting these photos. People magazine wanted an exclusive photo shoot of the family's home, an interview with the new parents and to capture the lavish lifestyle these parents have made for their "newborn" babies. Not only have the babies cashed in on the big bucks in America, but its expected that J Lo will also receive an undisclosed amount sum from OK! for international rights.

Its funny how stars can collect money on their newborn babies. Don't you already have enough money, why do you have to collect on the kids. Some stars are even thinking about having more children just to cash in on the profit. In recent news its expected that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are expected to get $10 million dollars if rumored Jolie will have twins.

You Know What's...

There are lots of interesting posts this week, so I hate to ruin the streak with mindless youtube videos, but I just watched a ton of them with friends, so they're fresh in my mind. We've been finding a ton of news bloopers, and some of them are really hilarious. There's tons of stuff like in this set, where various things go wrong for the anchors. Then there's this compilation where the anchors totally screw up with how they word their sentences.

We also found this series called "You Know What's Bullsh*t." The episodes are super short, but amusing to watch. The guy behind them picks random things in life that you may find mildly annoying (but don't otherwise think much about) and picks them apart. You know those stickers they put all around DVD cases that take forever to peel off? Or did you notice the crazy amount of penguin movies that have been released recently? He rants about that sort of thing. My favorite episode has to be the one about the lack of pens at the post office compared to the bank. It's so random, but at the same time, so true:

Apparently, one of the episodes (a rant about the uselessness of pennies) made it as a news story on CNN. I've been noticing the trend of youtube videos as news stories lately. It reminded me of the discussion where the news is more concerned with entertainment than actual news, and I also think it's interesting that the news, in a way, has to compete with online venues like youtube.

Wonders of the internet....

I was bummin on the internet today and found the most random, off topic thing of all history... Go there and enjoy. I personally laughed pretty hard just by reading the title. Very off topic, but it reminds of just how diverse and random the internet is. Countless times have I found something on the internet that just amazed me. Whether it be disgusting, funny, crazy, etc... it was on the internet. There really isn't much you can't find if you actually look for it. Even for something like this article I posted above, chances are that it wouldn't be on a local television channel in Wisconsin.

The internet really does a great job of bringing together many things that occur throughout the world. Even "the wire" of a news station is an internet subscription that picks up feeds from across the globe. Personally, I think it can only get better. The technology that is comming out has a ton of potential to increase the internet experience for users. Video was very hard to find on the internet a couple years ago. Streaming video was unheard of. With high speed internet, downloads seem almost instant. The world would go into a state of panic if we all had to go back to dial up connections. Things like would never be possible. I really have a great appreciation with the internet and all of it's uses... well everything except the "To Catch a Predator" type crap. That I would consider the dark side.

I think the best part of the internet is it's randomness and diversity. The fact that it is made up by a lot of users makes the whole thing more enjoyable for everyone. For this reason, I usually spend my time on the internet and not sitting infront of my television watching shows that I care little about. The internet is an amazing thing..god bless the internet...


Have you heard of megabus?
It's a bus company that costs very cheap from $1 to $8 maximum
They have been providing the bus service from Chicago to Milwaukee and Chicago to Indiana etc..
Maybe some of you have already taken the megabus, it is as same as coach bus.
I think there is no sense spending $25 for one way ticket if you can travel with the cheaper cost at a same level of service.
However, this bus does not provide airport service, if you plan to travel downtown Chicago or Milwaukee, it is a great bus service at an affordable cost.

They announced that bus service is now available from Toronto to New York City at the cost of $1. The cost may be a little higher as you make reservation late. They have also announced that the bus system is affordable for everyone compare to other transportation. More specifically, they said they will provide a type of entertainment just like flights, or trains for a long trip, but at a cheaper cost.

Even though they are not so famous yet compare to other bus companies such as, couch or greyhound, but I think they are now making the company bigger.
The big bus company, such as, greyhound is putting their advertisement on their website to promote give 60% discounts the expense of the income passenger below the $35,000 per year. Since megabus is prodviding the service way cheaper than them, they are trying to compete with them with different stratigies to interest their customers.

If you plan to go to Chicago this weekend, try the megabus.
You can go to Chicago at the lowest cost you have ever paid for transportation.

Here is the website

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Higher Tech = Better?

Technology, and the media, is changing fast. It has been for a while now. I really like new technology, such as computers, especially the internet. We have the MP3, GPS, and DVD. This has all made life really easy and convenient.

Sometimes though, I think about what it must have been like without all the amazing new technologies. Boring? Slow? That might make sense, but I'm not so sure.

These days, new cutting-edge cell phones come out all the time, and if you don't have one of the latest, it's almost like you're out of the loop. Then there are gaming systems. I've never been very much into video games, but the new systems come out, and you must have them. In music, CD's days seem numbered, and DVD's aren't likely the future either. And so we will need to get duplicates, just as people before us replaced their cassette tapes and VHS's. We can even consider school. Thanks to technology, we get to take quizzes and tests online. And we print notes off our printer. But it's not as though we aren't anymore paying hundreds of dollars for textbooks. Or taking real tests, or going to class.

Sometimes it's just too much, and too fast.

I love the technology. I love the internet that I can cruise for five straight hours and consume new, interesting, well-written stories, watch entertaining videos, and learn new things, without ever being bored. But it is also kind of ridiculous when I step back for a moment to think about it.

I guess we just live in a really fast-paced, always-changing culture. And while I wouldn't want to trade it away, sometimes I'd like to just, you know,
sllllooowwww it dowwwwnnnn
and chill it out for a minute.

Major Sports Overseas

In case some people didn't know already, the 2008 Major League Baseball Season officially began this past Tuesday, March 25. The game was between the Boston Red Sox and the Oakland Athletics. Now normally this would be all fine and dandy and not be all that relevant to anyone. But this game wasn't played in Boston. It wasn't played in Oakland either. It was played in Japan. This was the third instance now in which the MLB has opened the regular season in Japan. Which begs the question, will all major sports be played overseas if there are enough fans and these leagues continue to see increased revenues?

As an avid baseball, football and basketball fan I am selfish. I want every game in every sport that is from America, to be played in America. I don't care whether or not the major sports in our country see financial benefits and their fan bases increase if they go overseas. I don't want that. But that is not the way the these major sports leagues view it. They are corporate run companies with corporate interests like we talked about in class. All they want is money and they want as much of it as they can get their greedy hands on while maintaining and increasing their fan bases.

Just last year the NFL played their first regular game overseas between the Giants and Dolphins at Whembley Stadium in England. Again, I am not a fan of these changes and I wish that every game in every sport every year, could be played in our country, where these sports were founded. But with globalization in full force the sports that we know and love could some day be stripped from right underneath us. As far-fetched as that may sound now, it could happen one day. I hope it doesn't, but it could.

Campus Safety

I read a very interesting article in the Journal Sentinel the other day regarding guns on college campuses.  Eric Thompson, a gun dealer from Green Bay, suggested that college students should start carrying concealed weapons to class to avert any chance of a killing spree.  Thompson, like many other gun retailers, runs his business via the Internet.  As I am sure most of you have heard by now, Thompson sold weapons online to the shooters at both Northern Illinois and Virginia Tech universities.  Although he feels grief for the situations that unfolded, Thompson is still an advocate for this idea.  Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, a group founded after the Virginia Tech shootings, has grown from a relatively small group to 22,000 students across 14 states.  To me, the idea of making it legal for college students to carry a concealed weapon is kind of scary.  Arming students would make it much easier for would-be shooters to bring guns on campus.  There was a statistic in the article which stated even trained police officers only hit their target 20% of the time.  That, to me, is pretty sad.  I'm not saying an average Joe college student could do any better, but maybe it could actually save lives.  The truth of the matter is, unfortunately, we will never know until another campus shooting takes place and the idea is brought to light again.  What do you guys think?  Should college students be allowed to carry weapons to prevent future massacres?  I think it's a topic up for serious debate.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Bush's War

Media consumption this week included a two part four hour PBS series on the Iraq war. Entitled "Bush's War", it was an in depth look at the behind the scenes machinations of the Bush administration to fabricate the need for a pre-emptive strike on Iraq and how it was sold to the American public. A lot of the sales job depended on cooperation of the press and boy did the press cooperate!
One part of the documentary highlighted the way certain bits of information were leaked to the press by the administration. The press gobbled it up like they got a scoop and printed it. Then administration reps like Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice and Powell would appear on news shows like Meet the Press and quote the article like it was confirming the B.S. they were presenting. Apparently no investigation by the reporters took place to determine the validity of the "leaked" info.
The press really has to take a lot of the blame for getting us into this mess.
PBS did a thorough job interviewing higher-ups from both sides of the issue. A lot of pro Bush, pro war administrators refused to be interviewed for the show. I wonder why? I also wonder, with all the lies and deciept from this administration exposed, how they can continue to step in front of a TV camera and justify this fiasco.
I read a column in Sundays Milwaukee Journal, the Crossroads section, about the CIA uncovering Hussien/Al Qaeda connections in some 20,000 documents captured in Iraq. Jeez! Won't these freaks ever quit?

six feet under

Six Feet Under is an hour long drama that was on HBO for five seasons. It was created and executive produced by Alan Ball, who some might recognize as the writer of American Beauty.
okay, so i realize that this show has been off the air for about 2 years, but when it was on I didn't really get it. And then recently I rushed through the entire show in about a month, and i'm not the kind of person to do that but it's just that flippin good.
The show has basically the greatest writing staff ever assembled. A former presidential speech writer, the writer/creator of Dexter, the writer/creator of Dirty Sexy Money, the Writer/Director of In Treatment, the writer of Lars and the Real Girl, and then the aforementioned Ball were the predominant writers on this show, and I don't think that any other show has ever seen it's writers go on to such success, but it's obvious why, becuase this show is movie quality every episode.
The show focuses on a family that run a funeral home, who are united when their father dies. Every episode begins with a death a sort of epilogue, and then the rest of the show details the funeral plans and the interaction with the families, and though this premise might sound like it would get old, it doesn't.
Never has a show provoked so much thought in me as this one did, or effected me as strongly as Six Feet Under does. I highly recommend to anyone who likes to watch TV on DVD to head out and rent the first few episodes of this show.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Candy Girl Blogs

I read Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper by the lovely Diablo Cody over spring break.  If her name sounds familiar it's probably because you know her as the Oscar winning screenplay writer for the movie Juno.  Yes, before she wrote that movie about the prego teen with the hamburger phone and refused to wear million dollar diamond shoes underneath her leopard muumuu at the Oscars, Diablo Cody spent a year working as a stripper, phone sex operator, and doing other dirty deeds which she blogged about at great lengths.  The book itself was quite entertaining.  It delved into some pretty raunchy details that at times made me chuckle and at other times made me go ICK.  People have some pretty strong opinions about Cody, but hey, I think that she is a really good writer and if nothing else, at least a very thorough  investigator.  
Some of her blogs from her stripper days dating back six years are still archived online.  I'm starting to get obsessed with reading them.  Some of the incidents she wrote about in her blog appear in the book almost word for word.  Other juicy details and characters on the blog are left out of the book entirely or are far underdeveloped.  The blog is interesting to me because it just seems like an awesome way to write a memoir and a natural progression from the writers who used to journal everything in notebooks.  Her blog obviously had a decent readership and maybe the comments viewers posted helped her with the book somehow.  I'm not a fan of the local  political blogs or the boring "OMG guess what I had for lunch today" blogs on Myspace, but this I find interesting.  

*this specific blog entry is just a sample of a few incidents she wrote about in the book and contains some very grown-up language.... so you've been warned

Monday, March 24, 2008

Maxim, you are so full of it!

Sarah Jessica Parker recently responded to a poll in Maxim naming her "Unsexiest Woman". Ok for one, unsexiest is not a word. And for two, could this magazine get any more shallow? I know it's target audience is the "typical male" who wants to hear about hot women, cars, and sports, but come on! This is just promoting the chauvinistic shallow male. Sure, it was a poll based on what the readers thought, but did the really need one at all? And are men just voting for Sarah Jessica Parker because they cannot stand the show "Sex and the City" and the empowerment it gives to the real woman? They surely can't be calling Parker the least attractive woman because come on...she's beautiful! Maybe it's in a unique way, but I think it's sad to not accept that. Not only that but it hurt her feelings big time! And who is Maxim's number 1 sexiest woman? Lindsay Lohan. I don't think I even need to go into how ridiculous that is.  
Besides promoting ridiculous ideals and major shallowness, Maxim is hardly credible. Awhile back Maxim reviewed the new Black Crowes album, giving it a rating out of 5 stars. The band found this interesting as the album had not even been released yet, and they had based the entire album review on one single that had been released. Turns out, this is not uncommon for Maxim and they often don't even listen to the whole album or watch the whole movie, etc. Isn't that a little bit pathetic to say the least? Yet Maxim is one of the most popular magazines among men. I'm not saying that some of it isn't interesting in an entertainment sense, but I think that their ignorance is very apparent in way too much of their material. 

Friday, March 21, 2008

Spring Storm?

Just when I thought winter was over or at least there would be no more snow, here we go again. I heard yesterday that it would snow but I was hoping the weather forecasters were wrong. I really got mad with FOX 6 because this was something I just didn't want to hear. I know it's not there fault but I had to mad with someone. I remember last Spring break when we got some snow, so I was just hoping we wouldn't get any this year. On FOX6 they said it would start at about 3 a.m when it wasn't snowing around that time I was so happy. Then when I woke up at about 1pm there was snow everywhere and on the news they were showing things that would be closed today. This spring storm is worse than last years I think. I hope when we get back to school all of the snow is clear because it's already hard enough to find a parking space as it is. Hopefully this will be our last snow fall for a while. I'm sure you all feel the same. Holla!!

The Office's own website

So I’ve been spending a lot of time on The Office’s section of because they have full episodes from season four on it. Since the strike was going on for so long, I ended checking out these episodes and also found that they have added a ton of features to their website. You can download a Dunder Mifflin Infinity calendar (the company the show is based on), buy Office merchandise, and take personality quizzes to see which character you are like. But those are only the small features of the site that aren’t too unique compared to what another site for a TV show might have. But what makes this site different is the “spaces” they have created for the characters Dwight Schrute and Angela. The character Dwight has a “Schrute-Space” which is basically a blog meant to have humorous thoughts that the character would have on the show. It’s also regularly updated with new blogs. The character Angela has the section “Adventures with Angela” where you can get to know the “real Angela” with her own stories and photos. There are several videos ranging from a day spent shopping to spending time with characters from the show outside of filming, for example with the characters Pam and Oscar. The character Creed makes an appearance throughout her miniseries as well. She also has an “Ask Angela” where anyone can ask questions about either the show and her character or even her personal life. Although I would probably never spend the needed hours to go through all of this stuff, I think it’s pretty cool. I think it helped a lot of The Office fans keep from getting bored while the strike was going on, I know it's helped me. 

Media...It's Everywhere You Go...

Well, it's late...I'm bored... but this must be done. While bummin on the internet today, it hit me hard. The fact that media is everywhere and is entwined in everything I do. This has become far more noticeable in "the digitital age" that is going on around us. Everything has a hand in this. TV cross promotes other shows, movies, music, games, anything... My cell phone even gets downloads for movie trailers or songs. Even the other day, I bought a cd (yes... I actually buy them) and it had a card in there for a free music ringtone download of a track off the album. To really think about it, it surprised me. Sure, I experienced this stuff everyday...but I never really noticed it. It was just part of the norm.

iPods and iTunes is really huge on this. On iTunes, you can download almost anything you are looking for. Most of the crap is even free. It is huge on promoting other things. Even games like Guitar Hero help sell cd's or songs of the bands featured on the game. Hell, I even saw a Guitar Hero soundtrack the other day at Best Buy.

Just take a look around. Take an extra second to notice just how crazy all of this is. The idea of cross promotion (synergy) is not new, but it has a far greater platform to shine on during this digital age.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Urban Dictionary
Wikipedia is a free encyclopedia that is written by the public. Somewhat similar to Wikipedia is the free online slang dictionary, which is also written by the public. Instead of information you'd find in an encyclopedia, Urban Dictionary offers online users a slang dictionary. You can find anything from someone's definition of a person's name to the definition of "fo shizzle". No lie, you can look up pretty much any word you can think of. Urban Dictionary is pretty odd and it is definetly not a website you would site as your source for a paper, but it is kind of interesting to check out since we have been discussing Wikipedia and its advantages and disadvantages. I couldn't find the history behind Urban Dictionary on their website, and when I 'Googled' it I couldn't help but laugh a little when I looked at what popped up as the first result. It was none other than Wikipedia's result for Urban Dictionary. According to Wikipedia, Urban Dictionary is very similar to its own site in the way that it is written and edited by their users. However, on the users can also rank their definitions, making the most popular posts appear first. Although Urban Dictionary is probably only used for entertainment purposes, I found it really interesting comparing it to another publicly-open site.

Madonna's a stooge!

This year’s Rock and Roll hall of fame induction ceremony was ridiculous. Madonna, whom I enjoy and admire for her punk rock attitude, babbled on and on about crap that didn’t seem to matter at all. The craziest part of the whole event is that Madonna didn’t perform at all; she had The Stooges play a set of two of her songs instead. It’s especially interesting since The Stooges have been rejected six times to be inducted since they became eligible almost a decade ago, even though all the inspiration and influence their music has served up to be. After The stooges did their thing, they met Madonna below the stage in a kitchen area where she didn’t even seem to know the band or legendary bassist Mike Watt. The Stooges or Mike Watt don’t need publicity whore Madonna to do them any favors, they paved the way for her.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Opening Day!!

With less than two weeks seperating the first pitch of the 2008 Major League Baseball season, Sony and 2K Sports are gearing up for the upcoming season. The first game set to be released is "MLB 2008: The Show." This game is made for the Playstation 3 and will run you $59.99 when it first comes out. Obviously the price will drop in coming months after the game is released, but for now, it is a little bit pricy. Although this game is said to play almost exactly like the 2007 version, it does have some differences. One key difference is the visuals. The Player models are supposed to look far more authentic than they have in recent years. The uniforms get dirty when the players slide into a base and muscle definitions can be seen easily on the players forearms. A players mannerisms and movements also evoke a high level of realism in this game. The stadiums are also supposed to represent their real-life counterparts. The only thing that the game is supposed to lack is ambience. It feels more like a secondary backdrop more than it does a real experience.

The other game that is being released is Major League Baseball 2K8. This game is also going to run you $59.99 but it is available for the XBOX 360 as well as the Sony Playstation 3. This game is said to be fairly sloppy in gameplay although the makers of the game, 2K Sports, are known for innovative ideas in the sports genre. This game is supposed to be more rewarding to videogamers because it takes more skill to pitch and to control the runners on base. I love to play MLB 2K7 and I know this from experience. It was always hard for me at first to become accustomed to the gameplay but I found myself playing it multiple times a day because of how rewarding it really is.

As 2K Sports gears up for the baseball season so do millions of baseball fans around the country and world. Baseball is one of the great pasttimes of America. GO BREWERS!!!!

Myspace is trying to be like Facebook it seems...

Although I am not proud of this, I was and am a member of the Myspace network. I say “was” because it has been years since I have made any effort to be active on the site with the exception of messaging a few relatives here and there (yes that seems sort of strange to me too). When I do sign in from time to time to check my messages, I usually become irritated by the features on the site. For instance, I truly despise the bulletin feature. For one, there are a number of spam incidences where a friend of yours will post a small message full of advertisements or just plain old crap that you don’t want to read. Secondly, it just appears that people write the stupidest things in these bulletins. They fill out surveys about their personal life (with perhaps a little too much personal information for the world to read) and even sometimes use them as a form of blogs (even though blogs are a major separate feature of the site). Okay, let’s move on past the things I dislike about Myspace, and talk about the new feature that I noticed a couple months ago. They probably added it long before then but like I said, I hardly take the time to sign in to my account. I noticed that they now provide a “news feed” feature very, very similar to Facebook’s creation. It will tell you about blog posts of your friends’ (similar to posting “notes”), adding of new photos and changing of profile information. What seems to be the reason in my opinion is that maybe Myspace is realizing that many people have moved onto Facebook now that it no longer requires a specific college network to join. Facebook was once, and for the most part is, considered a safe social network. One where members most likely wouldn’t be approached with private messages from creepy people they don’t know and the goal of the site was simply to unite friends met through school. So in my experience of talking with people, no one really cares that much about Myspace anymore. It’s almost seen as where the creeps hang out. Which, isn’t far from the truth because I have had my fair share of creepy messages. But I just found it interesting that Myspace might have been noticing their audience trickling away and jumping onto Facebook instead. I think even though Myspace added this feature, it probably won’t compete with growing popularity of Facebook despite their attempts to copy it.

Well according to the Summerfest website , only 104 days, 11 hours, and 7 minutes til the best thing to visit in Milwaukee is underway!!! It is hard to imagine a day over 60 degrees, OH THE PAIN!!!!!!!!! Anyway.. Summerfest is on the horizon. Not only is this the greatest, relatively cheapest, and best thing to happen to Milwaukee, but it is a clear definition that summer has arrived. No more 20 degree mornings, no more snow covered cars, and no more icy sidewalks. This year, rennovations are underway on the Miller Oasis stage I believe. I saw it driving home from class yesterday. And wow, driving past the Summerfest grounds everyday sure makes me anxious for it to start.

By the way, if you are new to Milwaukee or have been under a rock since birth, Summerfest is "the worlds largest music festival" and it is located a mile or two south of campus, on the lakefront. The setting is perfect at night. The bands are all loud and usually the weather is just perfect down there. The admission is somewhere around $14 for an all day ticket. Usually there is some sort of promotion going on and you can get in for essentially free. I think the figure I saw was something like 700 bands playing from June 26th-July 6th.

Like the previous years, the only schedule that is out right now is for the Marcus acts. Once again, many country artists, washed up artists, and a couple bands that are for the kiddies. From my experience, the "free" acts on all the different stages are far more enjoyable than paying upwards of $65 for a band that isn't exactly my favorite. The smaller bands usually surprise me and I say, "oh wow...can't believe this show is free!" If this year is anything like last year, it should be awesome as always. I tried to browse different forums to see and find some of the bands not playing at the Marcus, but I had no luck :( The forums on the Summerfest website is like a ghost town. I shall post any new updates most likely in the near future ;) Until then, we can only hope for better weather and some sun to melt all the snow away.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Oh Sally Kern, you so crazy

So...I'm not the biggest fan of gossip/tabloid magazines and blogs BUT I do have this little ritual of catching up on a few nights a week, OK maybe a little bit more than that....ANYWAY I like Perez more than the other celebrity parasites out there because sometimes he will use his blog as a way to introduce upcoming musicians, promote charities, etc.  Mainly, I like that he follows politics and national LGBT issues.  I really dig that because so few mainstream media agencies really follow LGBT civil rights issues, and honestly, LGBT rights issues are not a matter of religious preferences or whatnot, they are a matter of American civil rights and people being treated like second class citizens (I'm not just talking marriage, I'm talking VIOLENCE here people).  Well, last week Perez posted a video of Oklahoma legeslator Sally Kern saying some really hateful, and frankly unintelligent, things about how homosexuality is a bigger threat than terrorism, tolerance is bad, and something about 2 yr olds being taught about homosexuality in public schools.(?????)  As of today, 1681 comments have been posted under that first video on Perez's blog, and reactions have been pretty mixed.  Since the audio of her speech has leaked, she has refused to apologize for what she says on the grounds that she is a Christian and those are her beliefs.  Free speech.  Everyone is entitled to an opinion.  My question is:  Do we really want someone with disdain for a certain group of people representing and creating legislature that will affect this group of people? What if she said that African/Asian/Hispanic/White/Purple poka-dotted people were a bigger threat than terrorism? (which would be just as trivial/stupid/impossible to prove).  Another misguided part to her speech that NOBODY (that I've seen at least) has grabbed onto is that she equated Islam with terrorism.  Perez and Ellen and a slew of Youtubers are standing up to this rather misguided woman.  I would defiantly like to see more of this civic engagement and I would love love love to see Sally Kern return Ellen's phone call.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Exam Room Change Announcement

The midterm exam tomorrow (Thursday) will not be in our regular classroom, but in Engelmann 105. This is a huge room, but at least it will have a desk for each of you to write on. Good luck!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Charlie bit my finger!

So I was thinking about how I had no idea what to blog about this week, so I started thinking about videos I've watched recently on YouTube. You know the pointless ones with the sole purpose of making you laugh? Well the "My New Haircut" guy came to Buckheads 2 weekends ago and I thought that was pretty ridiculous. How is this guy a celebrity? The video has bad humor that I would think is only funny to people who live in or near Jersey, as it makes fun of the stereotypical Jersey jerk. I mean, the ridiculousness of it kind of made me laugh but then I moved on with my life.
But the ones that I can't get over are the little hilarious toddlers that don't even know they're being funny. There's one of a three-year-old who's response to the monster in her closet is that she's gonna kick his ass, then there's a four-year-old who rocks out to Jukebox Hero into his sucker. But for some reason my favorite has to be Charlie bit my finger...I don't know if it's the toddler's English accent or the way you just know that little baby is gonna be a real punk when he's older, but it's just too cute.

But while I'm on the subject of kids on YouTube...the UWM Post just featured an article on Magibon, also known as Mririan. OK, well she's actually 21 but she definitely looks and talks like a 12-year-old. What bothered me was this article seemed to give this girl credit for her postings, but I think they are a waste of time! She is number 75 on YouTube for most subscribers and I don't even understand it because this is what she does: Stares into the camera, blinks, waves, flashes the peace sign, and occassionally speaks Japanese. People are actually seriously into this, and it makes me wonder who and why. Well, I guess it's all about people's preferences, but I for one would much rather watch a video about a kid who doesn't know they are being cute than a girl who is using her childish looks to make people think she is cute.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

march happiness

The NCAA tournament is set to start in less than two weeks, and Selection Sunday is coming up on March 16. This year's basketball tournament should be exciting to watch as usual, but even more interesting is the way viewers can watch it. In the past few years, CBS has experimtented with televising tournament games live on the internet. For the many people with high speed internet, this was great. This year, they are taking it a step further, vowing that for the first time ever, people can watch every tournament game online for free.

This is very cool. The site also says each game will be archived and available for viewing shortly after it is over.

The whole concept of free, live television is interesting. With the technology clearly available, where will this stop, and if it does, why? It seems inevitable that in time televisions will become a lot more like computers, or computers will have the same capabilities as television.

Friday, March 07, 2008

The Prince of Punk

In recent gossip, the tabloids were spreading around how Paris Hilton has found a spiritual guild is and had hired a Buddhist guild to help her. The paparazzi even photographed Paris with this Buddhist guild around town. (This is the link to that story This activity to us does not seem weird because celebrities are have been know to go to great lengths to fulfill their spiritual awakening. For instance, Mel Gibson have built a church in his back yard or Tom Cruse for all his work he has done for Scientology. The list could go on and on. So, when Paris Hilton showed up with a monk people would assume that she is trying to become more spiritual and trying to better herself, like so many for he famous counter parts.

However, it was reported that this was a craft planned prank that Ashton Kutcher had played on the Paparazzi. It has been reported that Ashton has a new show in E! called Pop Fiction where he with his celebrity accomplices will prank or punk the paparazzi.

This could be a really funny show and could slow does that paparazzi boom that has happened over the past two years or so. Celebrities, especially young Hollywood, have been caught doing some out there things and it would be hard for tabloids and paparazzi to determine whether or not these are really actions or Ashton actions. We will soon find out.

Always Sunny

I had never heard of the show “Always Sunny in Philadelphia” until I got the first two seasons on DVD for Christmas. At first, I was sort of critical. It’s a fast moving comedy and some of the content is really out there. Just to give you an idea, one episode is based on two characters that quit their jobs and lie about one of them being mentally handicapped for the chance to get on welfare. The whole episode is based around their friends convincing them that need to come back to work because welfare isn’t meant for lazy people, like them. They take a pretty serious topic in society, and turn it around to be pretty funny. I was surprised. The show could probably be described in between a Seinfeld and Arrested Development. The scenarios of the show are so just appalling, embarrassing, uncomfortable and entertaining that you can’t stop watching it. I’ve watched every episode on all three discs and now I’ve read news that they are coming out with the third season on DVD, along with starting up a season 4 all in this fall. This website gives an interview with the main writer about the show and what the new season has to offer. Least to say, I’m pretty excited. One of the coolest parts of this show is that the main three actors are also the writers and producers. I think it is refreshing to see a sitcom on TV that is trying new things, creating its own borders and ideas without pressure from the show’s writers and producers. I think the reason that the show is acted out so well is because the actors are truly acting out exactly how the script was written. They all have the same idea about the episode, and are able to work together so well that they come out with a great, clean cut comedy such as this. 

Bob and Brian

These two men have the top rated radio program in the mornings. Listening to them is the only cult-like thing I do. You know, how most people have a tv show that they can't miss and make time in their schedule to watch it, well...thats what this program means to me. The "Bob and Brian Morning Show" airs on 102.9 the hog from about 5:45 until 10:10ish. This show has an amazing fanbase of dedicated listeners that have been following them for the past decade in Milwaukee.

Throughout the day, Bob and Brian about anything and everything, usually topics that are completely random. Some personalities that they interview weekly include: Santana Dotson, Matt Kenseth, Chris Capuano (Brewers Pitcher), Mark Metcalf (from Animal House), and their sports guy Steve Czaban ( The show even does podcasts every day during the week. You should check some of them out!!! The podcasts can be found here.

The cast for the show include Bob Madden, Brian Nelson, Carrie Wendt, and the producer Eric Jensen. Each of the cast members brings something different to the show. Bob tends to be very talkative and laughs a lot. Brian is the smart one, also can do a lot of different immitations. Carrie is the news woman and often spins off into wild tangents that have nothing to do with the news. Eric is the producer of the show and runs the behind the scenes stuff. He is a big sports fan and I think he even announces for the Milwaukee Bucks...

Anyway, it is a great program and I suggest you all just check it out for yourselves. You can always listen live at or catch them on the dial at 102.9 FM.

We're College Kids...we need to save money however we can!

I'm a big fan of shopping online, particularly when it's -20 degrees outside (I'm not a cold weather person). When you shop online, sometimes you have the option of entering a promo code at checkout...I often used these codes for things such as free shipping, $10 off an order over $100, and so on. Sometimes you can find these deals right on the website you're shopping on, but sometimes you can't.
Today, I discovered MoneyMailer. Some of you may have already used this site, but for those of you who haven't, it's awesome. When you visit the website, you can search by city, state, or zipcode for coupons in your area. They site has discounts for food, automotive, home improvement, general services, salons, retail, travel, and more. For those of you that haven't done their taxes yet, there are even coupons for accountants and tax services.
After you search for the coupons you want, you simply print them out and bring them to the retailer, restaurant, service provider, etc. They even have discounts for grocery stores!
I love a good deal, and saving money wherever I can always makes me happy. Visit MoneyMailer today...good luck finding coupons!


I just bought White China, a new album by Milwaukee’s own Fever Marlene. The album was recorded in the Chelsea Hotel in New York during a four night stay. It’s more
stripped down then their last album, but really shows well written songs and their ability to try new things. As I know the band does everything themselves that they can and have no interest in being signed to a major label to be told how to sound. It seems that there are so many bands out there that just want to be the next big thing, but don’t take the time and effort
to find their sound and feel. If there were no big labels to constantly try and shape bands a certain way we would have a lot more fresh ideas and local flavor. It’s pleasing to see a band that can be successful and do it all themselves, but I guess that takes a lot more talent and drive then what most bands have. Fever Marlene’s playing at Turner Hall tonight if anyone’s interested.

VH1 Needs Some New Material

I don't know about you, but I am getting tired of VH1 broadcasting the same boring and lame reality TV shows from season to season. Where is the new material? In times of desperation its easy to go for what's simple, and give the people what they want, or what "they" think the people want. I have to say VH1 is good at recycling a show and turning it into a profitable spin-off, giving the once famous star another chance to reclaim their fame.

An example, would be Flavor Of Love, being the first to air the washed up "old-school rapper" Flavor Flav, followed by I love New York, Flavor of Love's Charm School and the newest show to air in the fall of 2008: New York goes to Hollywood. The show will star Tiffany "New York" Pollard as we watch her attempt to become a professional actress.

Along with New York's show, VH1 has added four other new reality shows to hit the 2008 fall lineup. Keep your eyes and ears open for The Cho Show staring Margaret Cho, Luke's Parental Advisory, which follow 2 Live Crew's Luther Campbell as he balances parenting and producing adult videos. Ten episodes of the now famous Brooke Hogan Knows Best, spin-off from her dad's show Hogan knows Best. The show will focus on Brooke Hogan moving away to Miami to get away from her strict father. Adding to Rock Docs "The Night James Brown Saved Boston" and Elton John: Me, Myself and I.

Has VH1 lost all of its ingenuity and creativity? Will the station ever be able to regain its popularity as music station?

Smart phones

There are so many high tech mobile phones, such as I Phone and Blackberry. I Phone is a touch screen phone with various high technology features. Mobile phone market is trying to target consumers with these smart phones with internet access, e-mail access, and much more that we did not expect in previous days. I Phone is very popular because of its design and convenient access to I pod and the internet. It is very convenient to do everything in hands. I think the market is getting bigger and bigger for cell phones because people are demanding higher technologies. These smart phones provide the prosumer society that provides easy access features through internet for the business. It is so comfortable that people can use internet in anywhere with that little device. However, I don't know how far they are going with theses phones. Google is also going to introduce their Google Phone. It has similar features to the I Phone, such as Google mobile search, Google e-mail etc.. It has access to internet, but the cool thing about the Google Phone provides open sources to everyone. I think the mobile industry is trying to compete with its competitors with almost same features. I don't know how long consumers would be interest in these smart phones. I am also a little afraid that the role of technology in our lives.

Thursday, March 06, 2008


Whatever happened to the miniseries? I watch TV sporadically, so I don't know how many (if there are any) left. I heard about one called The Tudors on HBO, but I don't have that channel, so I don't know what that's like or if it's any good. I know there are still British mini-series, but I wouldn't know where to catch those.

I ask because I was just thinking the other day that I probably like miniseries better than full season-type series. I remember watching a few based on famous novels back in the day, and just recently I picked up on one called The Thornbirds, which is your typical forbidden love story set against the Australian Outback. (If you like that kind of stuff though, it's a great miniseries!) In middle school, we had to watch Roots, which I also liked a lot.

There are a lot of decent TV shows, and some that I really enjoyed, but I really wish there were more miniseries because they tend to be more story and character focused. Sometimes TV shows start out great, but eventually, they drag out until there's nothing left to be done. Eventually, they end up ending on a rather bland note. Obviously, some shows (like sitcoms) work better in the current format, but I don't see why some shows couldn't actually have a solid ending at some point.

Retarded Golfer

So I was just making my daily flipping through the TV channels and I stopped on ESPN to check out the days headlines. I came across a story they were doing on golfer Tripp Isenhour. Isenhour was with a film crew for "Shoot Like A Pro which is a TV show, on Dec. 12 at the Grand Cypress Golf course. While trying to tape there was a bird in the background and the bird was being obnoxious and making a lot of noise.

According to court documents, Isenhour got upset when a red-shouldered hawk began making noise, forcing another take. He began hitting balls at the bird, then 300 yards away, but gave up. When the bird got to about 75 yards away he started firing at the bird again.

Isenhour allegedly said "I'll get him now," and aimed for the hawk.

After about 6 shots Isenhour was getting really close to hitting the bird and on the seventh shot he hit the bird. As it turned out the bird was a federally protected migratory species. When the golf shot hit the bird, it fell to the ground and bled from both nostrils.

The maximum fine for hitting a federally protected bird is 14 months in jail and $1,500 in fines. Isenhour later released some statements for the press and told them he was deeply sorry and that he never meant to actually hit the bird, he was just trying to scare it away.

I just think it is kind of a funny that he told reporters he never meant to actually hit the bird. He is a professional golfer on the PGA tour. He is accurate. You have to be accurate to make it into the PGA tour in the first place. I hope that the law comes down hard on him and gives him the maximum penalty that they can because he was so damn stupid.

rock n' roll internet

so being a wannabe musician, me and my friend have found a website basically designed for wannabe musicians. Basically, you go to the site, start an account, and upload whatever songs you have recorded. So it's sort of a big network of hopeful musicians to bounce ideas off of eachother and share ideas and songs.
The site is completely free, and the people on it in my experience have been really friendly. There are some semi-famous bands who have accounts even, so that is an encouraging idea. In the age of the internet and television producing the next big bands it is something that you should check out if you have musical aspirations.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Forbes Best City for Couples

Last month Forbes researched the top 40 metropolitan cities and their likeliness for couple survival. The research was based on the fact that with increasing rent people are shacking up more quickly, which can ruin a relationship quickly. They also look into income disparity between couples, which can relate to education and lifestyle and cause a rift in marriages.
The study uses data of people per thousand between the ages of 20 and 34...the most likely age for couples to have issues. They then use data of how many people are married, how many have divorced, income disparity between the couples, starter home affordability rank, and the availability of counseling. They double-weighted the marriage/divorce factor and put half weight on the counseling factor. 
Some surprising things: Texas cities beat every other state by far...Dallas is the number one best city for couples while Houston is number 2, Austin number 5 and San Antonio number 7. Milwaukee doesn't make it until 27, and seems pretty average in all aspects. Salt Lake City outranks every other for most marriages while the least city for divorce is Indianapolis. The cities that do the worst are Miami, Providence, Rhode Island (I hear it's a crazy place) and Cleveland makes number 40. Here's the full list
One thing the survey had no way of including was the rate of infidelity and it's role in breaking up couples, which obviously is a common reason for the end of relationships. 
On the other hand, Forbes also does surveys that prove which are the best cities for singles. With higher rates of singles each year, the list has changed from previous years. At the top are San Francisco at number 1 and New York City at number 2. Denver used to top the list but has now dropped to number 16. Here's the article on that. 

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Kids in the Hall

I just bought tickets to see Kids in the Hall Live at the Riverside Theater today and I am so freakin excited! Its going to be a sort of dysfunctional high school reunion for some of my friends who were really into the show it is based off of.  Its going to be great; I can't wait.  
The live show is based off of the 90's sketch comedy show of the same name that was filmed and aired in Canada.  I learned about it when it went into syndication on Comedy Central when I was in middle school.  The best way to describe it is as an edgier, sometimes creepier, sillier, more flamboyant version of Saturday Night Live.  In fact, I think it was produced by Lorne Michaels, the same person who produces SNL, and one of the actors starred on both programs.  Anyway, Kids in the Hall still has a huge cult following and, well, where there's a cult there's me.  :)
There were so many ridiculous and incredibly creative characters in that show that don't match anything that is currently on TV (at least American tv).  Most of their sketches poked fun at gender, sexuality, religion, and cultural norms.  Maybe it was ahead of it's time and maybe it still is.  The show only lasted 6 seasons, but people still love it so the cast occasionally goes on tour and performs sketch comedy live for it's fans.  This clip is a classic example of the twisted humor the show used.

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Monday, March 03, 2008

The Moment of Truth...Do you really want to know?

The Moment of Truth is a new reality/game show on Fox that reveals contestant's deepest, darkest secrets...secrets that most family and friends would not like to hear, no matter what amount of money is being offered. The most previous episode featured a woman who was more truthful than recent contestants have been. Her husband was one of the guests watching her answer the uncomfortable list of questions. To get over the $100,000 mark, the host brought the woman's ex-boyfriend on to ask her the question: "Do you believe you should be married to me?" The woman answered yes, and it was revealed that her answer was true. Question 16 followed: "Since you've been married have you ever had sexual relations with anyone besides your husband?" Again, she answered yes and the answer was true once more. Then there was the question: "Do you think you are a good person?" She answered yes, and he answer was false. So after not even winning a cent, she had ruined her marriage. This show has become a hit, with a mass audience tuning in every Wednesday to watch people ruin friendships, relationships, and family ties all for the hopes of winning $500,000. "Some truths are better left unsaid," is how the host leaves the show, which is probably the moto people should take into consideration before revealing their secrets on national television.