Friday, February 27, 2009

I was told I should blog on my website,, this week. AllMonster is a site I created to share my passion for the world of monster trucks that I have had since I was three years old. It has made me a bit of money, but that's not why I do it. I wanted to create a place that was free of rumors, myths, and the like about the sport, and was a "just the facts" type of place to go for the drivers, crew, and fans that enjoy the sport and its positive aspects. I have interviews, photos, sponsors, videos, and much more there, and encourage anyone to check it out. What is traditionally viewed as a "hick" or "redneck" sport has come a long way, and I hope that someone will find the site and enjoy it as much as I enjoy running it. THanks!

Appeal in the boring, uneventful and everyday

It has become a common thread in contemporary television: the glamour of ordinary people doing ordinary things in ordinary environments under ordinary circumstances. As audience members, we just seem to crave entertainment that affirms our own lives, jobs, families and relationships. It somehow makes us feel that we're a little bit cooler, a little bit classier, a little bit more exciting when we know Hollywood's interested in the daily, hum-drum activities of receptionists, warehouse workers, diner owners, waitresses, and hospital interns like ourselves.

From Seinfeld to Friends to The Office to Grey's Anatomy: just think for a moment of the various TV programs (mostly talking about comedy here, with a few exceptions) you've been faithful to in recent years. It's very likely that they each have at least one cast member, if not the entire cast, who gets painted as the ordinary joe or jane. And this is done entirely with you and me in mind. I can at least speak for myself in saying that it makes me feel better about my pittance of a paycheck and the fact that no one may notice who I am or what job I've done when I'm getting a weekly does of the Hollywood version of such a life.
In a warped way said Hollywood version always gives me a boost of pride in where I'm at, what I do and who I am, rightly or wrongly so. It just goes to show you that media makers have power over their audiences and use it to their advantage. We tune in because it's fun to watch someone doing the same things we do and getting a whole hell of a lot of admiration for it.

The Neighborhood of Make Believe

So last week I had the flu and Wednesday afternoon I accidentally overdosed on cough medicine. And no, it wasn't fun or funny. It was a legitimate inappropriate temporary overdose. Anyway, after I'd watched just about all my dvds from being stranded in my room I realized I was scraping the bottom of the barrel and reached for a dvd my mom bought me for christmas, which was a few episodes of Mr. Rogers. I figured this would be the only time I'd ever watch it.

Growing up, I always watched him, but he always took a backseat to Sesame Street. But the neighborhood of Make Believe was always my favorite on his show. Being in the odd state I was in I imagined myself being back in my 6 or 7 year old frame of mind and watched it and took it in like I did when I was a kid.

What a great guy Fred Rogers was. Boring maybe but he reached out to all kids. The episode I watched the closest was when he went to a restaurant. He told the viewer about seating, waiting, the menu, the waitstaff, the cooks, how its made, and the bill. I vaguely remmeber watching it when I was little, and realized how such a small, boring, and seemingly pointless episode had a profound effect on me. Even though his restaurant trip was different than any of mine, as a child when I did go to a restaurant I had a heads up from Mr. Rogers. I knew what to expect whenever I went to a restaurant.

So if it was boring yet educational, what type of entertainment is that? Is it entertainment? I think the Mr. Roger's Show is sort of like the Daily Show. It's got some useful, some pointless content, but its main purpose to to inform people of necessary information, and adds extra interesting fluff (Daily show humor, Mr. Rogers Make Believe land) to help the flow of info into our cluttered minds. I'm glad I grew up with Mr. Rogers.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cds will join floppy disks in the afterlife!

In case you didnt know, now you do! The end has come near for the era of the compact disk or better known as the CD. There has been buzz around its end in the music industry for some time now but now it has branched of into all areas that CDs touch. From DVDs to blue-ray and HD DVD optical disks, according to free software magazine, they will all become apart of yesterday's or rather more appropriately yester-year's technology. Why is this you ask? Its simple. Just as technology advanced and inevitably pushed the floppy disk, vinyl albums and the eight tracks tapes into non-existence, as technology continues to advance especially with computers, so must methods of storing and distributing information, music, and movies. Its about getting these by-products to consumers in the most convenient, easiest and cost efficient ways. The next logical question then is what is to come next? Well we already have a widespread use of flashdrives which can hold a much higher volume of information from pictures and music to documents. There is talk that music companies will sell music on memory cards. The bottom line is that more people would rather download their music and movies, whether legally or illegally, online and the sales of Cds have dropped. These memory cards are speculated to be compatible with cell phones and mp3 players. So just as we have all masterd the art of ripping Cds and now can afford to buy DVD players without breaking the bank, soon and very soon it will time to re- adjust to a new way to consume, but isnt that what we as a society are good at? I think so!

The Unfilmable Movie..

As luck would have it, in one of my Comparative Literature classes, we are currently reading the extremely well regarded graphic novel Watchmen. This happens to coincide with the release of the film version of the graphic novel. This is my first go around with the reading of it, but as I have read throughout various websites, this is considered the unfilmable comic book.

For those unfamiliar with Watchmen, the story takes place in an alternate 1985, a world where costumed superheroes do exist. Each of the story's heroes bring a number of flaws behind their masks, presenting a sense of realism and avoiding giving us the well liked perfect hero. It was a twelve-part series that many considered unfilmable due to it's length and the amount of detail in each of the novel's drawings, giving the reader a sense of what the world of Watchmen is really like. Below is the movie trailer. It remains to be seen if the movie as a whole is well executed, but the trailer gets me excited.

The Best of Friends

I was watching the television show friends the other day and saw what I think is the funniest episode ever. I also think this ties into what we were talking about in class on Wednesay. Friends is taped with a live studio audience. In this case I think it really works because the viewers are laughing just as hard as the audience, or at least I was. I think in the case of Friends the studio audience adds to the show because it offers a place for laughter and I think the actors feed off of it as well.
Another episode that I thought is probably the second funniest show is the "leather pants" episode. Again here the audience adds to the humor in the episode. I think it is also better for the actors because it allows them in improvise more throughout the scene depending on what is and isn't funny. I think the character Ross is really good at this, obviously because he is in both of the episodes that I chose. I think he really plays off of the audiences feedback, and does a great job of it!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


What happened to "Lost?" It was my favorite show for a few years, and last season it became unable to comprehend. In the beginning it was like, "Wow, John Locke can walk even though he's paralyzed. Cool! What an enigma!" or "The Doctor is a real heartthrob; he heals all wounds with vodka." Now I find myself thinking, "What just happened...which storyline was that from...wait...what???" That's when I remind myself that watching a show I hate isn't a wise use of time.

My biggest problem with "Lost", regardless of how trivial it may seem, is the four-toed foot statue. A show can leave a lot of loose ends and still redeem itself, but throwing a giant stone Muppet foot on a time traveling island and leaving the viewer hanging on what the hell it's there for is where I draw the line.

Have you ever had a friend that tells really long stories? Like, the person you avoid setting off because they're likely to launch into a story about nothing and forget why they started telling it to you in the first place? I feel like the writers of "Lost" are like that person. They started out with good intentions and ended up going off into a million ridiculous tangents.

Maybe I just don't get it? Maybe "Lost" is just a show for geniuses. Maybe the intricacies of "Lost" are 'lost' on me (I couldn't resist). Ehh, maybe not.

A Surprising Win for Kate Winslet

This past Sunday, I was glued to my tv watching the Oscars. This year was especially exciting for me because I had seen most of the movies that had been nominated for numerous categories. When I saw the movie "Doubt" I did indeed have no doubt that Meryl Streep would be nominated and most likely win for Best Actress for the year of 2009. Her performance of a Catholic nun was impeccably accurate, it was as if she once was a nun. I was blown away by her performance and I'm sure alot of others had the same opinion as myself. I of course was surprised when Kate Winslet won and it upset me a bit because I did not get a chance to see "The Reader." Now that she has won it gives me a cue that maybe I should check out the movie. When she made her acceptance speech, I had to give Kate credit because of her decency of recognizing the other "goddesses" in her category and giving special credit to Meryl as well. Her speech was sincere and gracious, much like the academy had recognized and honored her for her role in "The Reader." I do like Kate Winslet in the roles that she has played and she has been around for a while so I assume this is finally her time to shine. Check out her acceptance speech and see what you think of Kate.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Why does the media/society put more emphasis on what a celebrity is wearing, compared to their nomination or the WINNERS, and if they were even deserving of the little gold man? When huge award shows approach, like the Grammy's and the most recent Oscar's all eyes are focused on the bling, hairstyles who the evening gown and or tuxedo was designed by. Not only are the audiences anxious to see how radiant Angelina Jolie appears but the celebs themselves go the extra mile to make sure they make the best dressed page in popular magazines. Here Angelina is wearing her hair in a half updo which hangs over here black elegant gown designed by Elie Saab with emerald Lorraine Schwartz drop earrings. Personally I've never heard of neither one of these designers and Im pretty sure Im not the only one. Is it necessary to mention these sort of things when referring to a a prestige award show such as this one? Or should the focus be more on her nomination? and how she felt when she didnt when Best actress? This is showing how shallow our worlds has become when we put too much emphasis on fashion then the reality of award shows.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Accepting in the Afterlife

So one of Hollywood's biggest events just happened yesterday, The Academy Awards. I decided to watch a bit of the red carpet, and then I tuned in just as they were doing the awards for best supporting actor. The nominees were Josh Brolin, Robert Downey Jr., Philip Seymour Hoffman, Heath Ledger, and Michael Shannon. And just as I had thought, the winner was Heath Ledger. Now don't get me wrong, I think he did a great job as the Joker in The Dark Knight, but I don't exactly think it's fair he was nominated, or won. I know this sounds mean, but I think a lot of people only saw the movie because it was the last one he filmed before he died, and I think a lot of people voted for him because of that. Not only that, but I think Hollywood has a tendency to make a bigger deal out of celebrities after they die, especially when someone dies from drug abuse. It's almost as if it makes them more iconic. Look at Jim Morrison, Marilyn Monroe, and Anna Nicole Smith. Although they were famous before they passed, it's as if their deaths have immortalized them and we look at them as more intriguing because of it. I think the same holds true with Heath Ledger. Before he died, he was barely talked about, or celebrated for his contributions in the acting world. Besides the Dark Knight, I can only remember him from A Knight's Tale, all the way back in 2001. Even though I don't agree with it, Heath Ledger now has an Oscar, and I'm sure it won't be the last time we honor someone not because of their talents, but because of a tragedy they were a part of. Sad, but true.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Pandora Radio

One thing I think is absolutely great is this website called pandora, and if you haven't checked it out yet I would highly suggest it. Basically you just make your own account, type in favorite band or favorite tune and it creates a playlist that has music similar to it. Probably the best thing about it is that its unedited. Before I do anything on my laptop, I go to this website and please my ears everytime I do something on my comp. If you feel like completely changing the genre of music just type in a different artist or song and enjoy. At the dorms, I don't get to download music illegally, so pandora is my next best option, but now since I know about it, I'm probably going to be using it for years to come.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Buying What Confessions of a Shopaholic is Selling

Now I probably would have never seen the movie Confessions of a Shopaholic but my girlfriend wanted to see it on Valentines day so I pretty much had to see it. I went in there hoping that the movie would be slightly entertaining, but as it turns out it is actually quite a good movie with a good message.

The story is about a girl named Rebecca Bloomwood who, as the title says, is addicted to shopping. She lives in a small apartment with her friend, but owns enough high fashion clothing to start her own department store.

Not only is Rebecca addicted to shopping, but she is in debt way over her head. She and her friend calculate all her debts and during this process it is clear she has a serious problem based on her reasoning for some of her purchases.

Rebecca then decides she needs to find a job and attempts to get a job at a high fashion magazine, but when she accidentally sends her letter to a finance magazine, the manager there finds her letter to be quite "metaphorical" to finance.

She ends up writing for the financial magazine using metaphors about shopping and becomes world renowned for her articles. Through her popular articles she ends up meeting the women who runs the fashion magazine she has dreamed about writing for, and puts on a pretty good impression with her.

Throughout this whole process she continues to ,and continues to fall deeper in to debt. She attempts to go to a shopaholics class, but it doesn't appear to affect her shopping decisions.

Rebecca is then outed on national television on a spin off of "Good Morning America" buy a debt collector who has attempted to contact her for months. This leads the financial magazine to cut their ties with her and she is again jobless.

Rebecca jobless, but still having her good impression she set on the women who runs the magazine of her dreams is given an opportunity to write for her dream job. Rebecca is offered the job to write a article in the magazine for "affordable fashion" but realizes the things she is going to be selling aren't affordable at all, and are exactly the same things she has been put into debt with. She then has one of those movie moments where she preaches about how she "doesn't feel good" about doing that, and preaches about how she has changed and so on.

She ends up turning down her dream job because she has cut ties with the idea that she needs material possessions in order to live a happy life. She ends up selling all of her high end clothing to build up enough cash to pay off all her debts.

This is a pretty brief description of what the movie is about. There is a love story in there which of course is resolved in the end and the girl falls in love with the boy, but I believe the message of this movie is a pretty good one.

Being a shopaholic is a very real problem we have in America and this movie actively speaks out against it. They show a women who is absolutely attached to her material possessions give them all up in the end because she realizes that they are not what she needs in the world. They show what is really important are friends, family, and love.

I don't believe this is a very materialistic movie regardless of how many different designers were viewed in this movie. The message is a very positive one that may be help enough for someone who has a shopping problem to get help, or may allow someone who believes they need material possessions to change their views.

I myself don't like when people always need "nice" or "new" things in order to be happy, and if they were given something used they wouldn't be happy at all. But I am buying the message that Confessions of a Shopaholic is selling.

The New World of Televison

Written by TIME Magazine's resident TV critic, Jame Poniewozik (Yes, I know. I have been wearing out TIME Magazine on the class blog). Comes this article about his trials and tribulations when his TiVo died over his Thanksgiving week last year. Initially Poniewozik explains that he felt like he was being "cut off from the main pipeline of American media life."

But, unsurprisingly Poniewozik quickly adapted and began to either go to websites, such as, that offers television for free or iTunes to watch shows on his iPhone and on the go.

Interestingly enough, Poniewozik even says now that there are certain shows that he now only watches online or through his iPhone.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Man vs Wild

I was watching Man vs Wild and the crazy adventures he goes on shock me. For a little explanation behind the show, Bear the main character is dropped off in the the middle of nowhere and has to survive until he can find a way out. He has to do all things possible to get out, and sometimes you watch and can't believe your eyes. To start off, the things he eats are borderline unbearable to watch. I cringe at the thought of anybody ever having to eat some of the things he does. For example yesterday when I was watching he caught a fish, bit it's head off, and gnawed into the rest of it, scales and all. Yesterday the episode that I watched was one when he went to Romania and it was probably the most bizarre one I have seen yet. It seems to me that he puts his life in so much danger to do some of the things that he does for television. Like scaling mountains and climbing through small caves. I couldn't ever imagine doing something like that. He is either brave or stupid, I haven't quite figured out which one it is yet. It is not something I would normally watch on TV but when you turn it on you get sucked into watching it to see what will happen next and if he will be able to get out by himself and still alive at that. I think from a consumer perspective it was a really good idea to do something like this, other than survivor man there is nothing else like it. The main character, Bear is really likable once you start watching the show, you start rooting for him to make it.

Oscar Sunday

Sooo I know the Oscars are approaching and I'm getting pretty excited! I think that there is a lot of potential for a great race, with the winner for best picture pretty up in the air. I've seen one of the movies in the running, "The Reader", which I really enjoyed. I also heard that "Milk", "Slumdog Millionaire" and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" were excellent films, and plan on seeing those soon. What's great about the movie theaters close to campus (Oriental Theater, Downer Theater) is that they feature a lot of these Oscar nominees. Its great that UWM students have access to these films at a reasonable price in great old theatres. This Sunday will be exciting to see who steals the show and captures the ultimate prize- an Oscar!

Poet Paradise

For all you poets out there, I’d like to point out an interesting website cleverly named It hosts daily, monthly, and annual poetry contests along with miscellaneous things like poetry IQ quizzes and my favorite, the rhyming dictionary. I used to be obsessed with this website back in high school and mainly used it for a nice place to compile my poetry without fear of ever losing it to a house fire or computer meltdown, but once they started harassing my mailbox with announcements that I won The Best Poet Award—I’ve won around twenty times for each poem—the annoyance outweighed the convenience. The website still has its perks, however, and I visit the rhyming dictionary and browse through the millions of poems for a laugh. I will never be a professional poet, and I’m far from bubbling over with talent, but let me explain:

“Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” by Jane Doe

Welcome to the space jam my friend
stay awhile, meet Michael Jordan
for you see, I am not like them
not like them at all
i need space, intellectualism
time most of all
cuz i love you
and that's all there is to it
i need you in my life, in my time
so come to me and do yo thang!

ttyl babe, gtg

love y'all
Love it!

The Dead Are Not Dead! has recently released tour dates for the Grateful Dead's 09' tour! They will begin their tour in North Carolina, and end in good ol' California. Along the way they are scheduled to play in Chicago on cinco de mayo (5/5) at the All State Arena at 7:30p. This will be a summer to remember, with Phish and The Grateful Dead doing reunion tours in the same year. It will most likely be the last year we will have the opportunity to see either of these bands! Tickets go on sale to the public tomorrow morning at 10am! Get your fingers ready, and dont miss out on the most epic concert of the summer!!

Confessions of a Shopaholic

I am going to make the assumption that I will hate this movie, and thought it would be a good topic to write about. So I thought I'd wait until it comes out, watch it, then give a really good review of it and have backup for my reasons for bashing it. But then I realized I'd have to pay money to see it and that is something I'll never do. My biggest concern with this is its promotion of consumption in America. I'm basing a lot of my opinion off of info. I got from my JMC 214 class, Advertising in American Society.We are in a culture that is either going to help save the world or destroy it. Americans are living an insane life that just keeps using and wasting. It's a big deal that hasn't yet hit us yet. What I'm trying to say is that there is a bigger issue at hand, than just marketing for Prada or whatever hand bags will be featured in the film (or google, which has even been product-placed into the advertisements on television). This movie is going to promote wasteful spending, just like 101 Dalmatians promoted puppy mills filled with dalmatians. Is it cool and cute to not have control over what you purchase? Is this entertainment? Is this even funny?I think I'm trying to tackle something that everyone knows about but doesn't really do anything about. Sweat shops are everywhere, even in the United States (look up Northern Mariana Islands), and know that people are dying, have hardly any money to eat, have no health insurance, sometimes no freedom, and make next to nothing so that Americans can have their clothing. If it's not made in America, it's almost guaranteed that it wasn't so it could be made by cheaper labor. I think it's important to know where your money is going when you buy things.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It's Game Time...

Perhaps need a new site to look at when you‘re surfing the web.. Maybe, you need another way to pass time while you’re on your laptop in class (Not that I’m endorsing doing anything else besides note taking…c‘mon now my professor is probably reading this.) A friend of mine recently introduced me to a fantastic website called As you probably figured by the title, it is a website composed of different games.

This is a free website with hundreds of different games to choose from in just about every genre. Granted there’s a few clunkers on the site, it’s more than likely you will find a game or two that you do find truly addicting. My personal favorite on the site is the Helicopter Game, which the object is simply to guide your helicopter along a side-scrolling screen without hitting the halls. Like I said before, if you are looking to pass some extra time next time you’re on the computer, check it out.

Annoying Advertising

Lately, every time I am sitting down relaxing in front of the television, I see several commercials about the upcoming movie, Fired Up. The movie is going be released February 20 of this year. It is about two high school football players that are dreading football summer camp. The two come up with an idea to join the cheerleading squad, and find themselves at cheer camp instead. They originally go to meet new beautiful women, but one of the guys falls head over heels in love.

Like we didn't see that coming. It seems like many movies that involve teenagers lives nowadays, are so predictable.

Usually I appreciate many forms of advertising, and can see why companies do what they do. But these particular commercials are so repetitive. They show the same scenes no matter which trailer is shown. It seems like it doesn't matter which channel I am watching, I still see the commercial every break in the show.

I know, I know, the company would be happy with me writing online about this upcoming movie, and happy to know these commercials stuck in my head, but after seeing it over and OVER, I have no intention of seeing it in the theaters or renting.

I'm not angry about these ads, I just feel like I've already seen it, so why waste my time...

Coraline- For an older crowd...

On Sunday, I went with my mom, aunt, and cousin to see the new Tim Burton 3-D movie Coraline, and overall, I'd say it was a pretty good movie.

The movie is based on the book Coraline written by Neil Gaiman. It's a story about a young girl who moves with her parents into a big house called The Pink Palace with strange neighbors. After moving in, her parents are so busy that she has to find ways to entertain herself. She ends up meeting a boy called Wybie and his black cat. After meeting him, he gives her a doll that looks exactly like her. After she falls asleep that night, she is awakened by mice who lead her to a door in the wall. After she opens and goes through the door, she is taken into a world just like hers, only with parents who pay attention to her and neighbors who aren't crazy. Although it seems great at first, the other world turns out to be a nightmare, with her "other" mother trying to capture her and make her stay there forever.

Although I thought the movie was really good, I definitely thought it was geared more towards young adults. The movie is rated PG, but I think it should really be rated PG-13. The movie is quite hard to understand, having some depth and requiring you to think a little bit. I also thought some parts were a little too provocative for young kids. Besides the scarier images and some adult language, there's this one scene where Coraline's elderly neighbor appears wearing a g-string and pasties. Pasties on a 72-year old cartoon with size double-G breasts? Really?I was actually pretty shocked, and even saw some parents covering their children's eyes. I mean, the scene was completely inappropriate, not to mention it added nothing to the scene and had no relevance in the movie whatsoever.

Like I said, I thought the movie was really good and it definitely sparked my attention, but I would think twice before taking children under the age of 12 to it. And I'm certainly glad I saw the 2-D version, because I don't how I would have dealt with those pasties in 3-D. EW.

Monday, February 16, 2009

What happened to all the Talk Shows???

So, every since I could remember I was surrounded by Television talk shows. From Sally, Ricki Lake, to Jenny Jones. Now, it seems as though reality television has replaced them like VH1'sn reality television shows such as For the love of Ray J, I love money and Rock of love tour bus. Although theses two different genres have soo much in common, talk shows has somehow become depopularized by reality TV. These two are similar in such ways like, broadcasting citizens real life situations for the world to see. Like cheating lovers, paternity tests and secret love affairs. On reality television shows such as Real World many of those factors mentioned above apply to many of the roommates life styles. They also target the same audiences. Watching talk shows as those mentioned above were highly entertaining and kept viewers tuned in. Some differences include the style in how they expose the realities. To a certain extent talk shows seem more believable because in most cases its taped live in front of a live audience. So to answer the question of What happened to all the talk shows???? Times have changed and some genres have homogenized into a super genre so to speak. So reality television is simply the talk shows of the future.

Friday, February 13, 2009


I had some time to watch a bit of my favorite sport on television last night--basketball. While I don't get the chance to do this often enough, I still decided to punish myself and view the halftime show from a journalistic perspective for this class. Chris Webber and Kenny Smith, two former players themselves, need some work. While Smith is entertaining and can be serious, he is egged on by Webber, who contributes nothing to the broadcast. I couldn't understand much of what he was saying at all, and he followed everything he said with a cackle of nervous laughter.

Where is Charles Barkley when you need him? He and Smith worked well together and mixed humor and analysis to keep the viewer entertained and informed. The answer is that Barkley had quite the issue with a DUI arrest, and is nearing the end of a suspension from TNT for doing so. Without him, the program suffered. Smith spent an entire segment trying to make a trick shot while Webber and the host, Ernie Johnson, talked over him. Sigh. Say what you want about Barkley, but I would have been interested in what he had to say and do, unlike Webber.

On the bright side, the game itself was entertaining and good, but if TNT wants me to watch the halftime show in the future, they need to hire a babysitter for Barkley so he isn't cut out of the show anymore.

The Grammy's

I'm not sure how many of you were able to watch the three and a half hour Grammy's on Sunday night, but for those who did saw an interesting mix of performances. This years Grammy's were all about collaborations and different artists coming together. For instance Justin Timberlake and Al Green, Coldplay and Jay-Z. But the performance that stands alone is m.i.a's swagger like us featuring T.I, Jay-Z, Lil wayne, and Kanye West. The weirdest performance has to go to Neil Diamond's performance of Sweet Caroline. For those of you who have not seen his performance it is basically a creepy old man doing a spoken word version of sweet Caroline because he can't sing it anymore. And finally where would we be without the DVR. The commercial breaks during the show seemed like they lasted forever and some of the performances were not worth watching. So luckily I was able to cut that three and half hours down to only and hour or so.

The Future of Print Journalism?

In last week's TIME Magazine comes this very interesting article. It is an essay by Walter Isaacson on what he believes the future of print journalism should do to adapt to the times of all newspapers and magazines being offered online, for free, as well as the traditional hard copy print manner.

Isaacson is the former Chairmen and CEO of CNN and also served as the Managing Editor of TIME. He is currently the President and CEO of the Aspen Institute, which is a nonpartisan educational and policy studies organization based in Washington D.C.

Isaacson believes that certain newspapers and magazines should start charging for their content by different sorts of micropayments by the user. He says the best way to make these micropayments successful would to have an E-ZPass way of payment. E-ZPass as in the way commuters in the New York State area pay for tolls on the highway system (Or I-Pass in the Illinois area). Each time someone passes through a certain point then their prepaid account automatically gets charged.

It is very intriguing idea. I don't believe that this system would work on the web right at this moment. But regardless, something does need to be done to help save print journalism from falling ad revenue and lower subscription rates for some of today's newspapers and magazines.

Pepsi Logo Design Document a Hoax?

The other day, a friend working in the web design business sent me an email telling me to check out the strange PDF that "explains" the new Pepsi logo.

This PDF is supposed to be the designer's pitch to the makers of Pepsi. What is getting peoples attention is just how ridiculous the in-depth pitch is.

The document is a 27 page PDF that compares the new pepsi logo to such things as various emoticons and the Mona Lisa. It breaks down the past pepsi designs into tons of tiny circles and relates them to the new logo. It even explains the Pepsi planet, solar system, and universe.

Now, I've seen design pitches before that are similarly thorough, but this struck me as contrived from the first time I looked at it. I started thinking, this is just too silly. Aside from being ridiculous, it doesn't really explain anything about the design decisions and the desired affect on people receiving the product.

As it turns out, other bloggers and journalists are feeling the same way. What was once thought to be a "leaked" design pitch is now being called viral marketing campaign.

As a person with an interest in advertising, my first reaction was that if it is a marketing campaign, their marketing people are awesome. They're marketing a PDF that takes a jab at marketing. Even better, they're delivering it directly the digitial generation, most of whom believe they are above the reach of formal advertising. What's more, the people distributing the document believe they're "in" on pointing out the obsurdity of the behind the scenes of advertising. In the end though, the jokes on them. They're doing exactly what Pepsi wants. It's brilliant. It's like the mouse outsmarted the cat, and now the cat's back for revenge.

The document hasn't been denied or confirmed to be fake as of yet. There's always the case that it actually isn't fake. If that's the case, I just thought way too into it!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Joaquin Phoenix???????

Last night I was watching David Letterman and Joaquin Phoenix was on the show. I generally love him so I was excited that he was on, but it sure wasn't the Joaquin Phoenix that I thought it was going to be. Throughout the entire show he pretty much just sat there and twiddled his thumbs sipping his water sporadically and not saying much of anything. After this went on for a little while David Letterman actually seemed to be a little confused and started making some jabs at him, I think more so because he didn't know what to do. The man would not answer any of his questions. He was wearing these dark sunglasses the entire time so my assumption would be that he was under the influence of some sort because he was acting very strange.

I was so excited to write about this and show a clip of it on the blog today but when I went to YouTube to get the clip a message popped up that said, copyright claim by CBS Broadcasting Inc. Now I am not sure what this means exactly but it prohibited me from pulling up any real video from that interview. I did find, however, a short clip of the news and in it they show different parts of what took place in the interview with what had to be a, drugged up Joaquin.

Wrigley's is not "forever" loving Chris Brown anymore

In the entertainment industry it is nothing new about watching seemingly smart, and very rich people do extremely dumb things. It has almost even become expected of them, sort of a right of passage to stardom. However there are those few instances where we watch "America's Sweethearts" with squeaky clean, cookie cutter images get involved in bad situations where it leaves us feeling so dumbfound because we never saw it coming. This is definitely so for a lot of fans of R&b/Pop phenoms Chris Brown and Rihanna and the allegations circulating them. first broke the news Sunday, the night of the Grammys, after the seemingly perfect couple canceled their performances at the start studded event. Later it was released that Chris Brown had turned himself in to LA police after a 911 call came in from a female who said she had been attacked by Brown. It didn't take long for news sites, blogs, and radio stations to begin speculating Rihanna as the alleged victim. Brown, who posted his $50,000 bail and was released, has now lost his endorsement deal with Wrigley's gum as a result. I personally agree with the decision of the company to disassociate its brand from the singer with the severity of the allegations.

I'm in ur internets, writing ur blogz.

Lolcats. You either love their cuteness or hate their stupidity. I knew it was a little pop culture phenomenon cooking on the internet, but I didn’t realize how much of a phenomenon it had become until I was browsing Barnes and Noble this weekend and actually found a compiled book of Lolcats. For those of you who are deprived of Lolcats, or are lucky enough to have never heard of them—however you want to put it—let me explain to you their simple humor. Take a picture of an animal, it doesn’t even have to be a cat, sea manatees work if you wish, add a clever caption stated in poor grammar, and pow! You’ve just created your first Lolcat. I won’t deny that I hated Lolcats in the beginning. I thought they were pointless and dumb. But when one of my guy friends openly laughed and pushed Lolcats in my face, I began to cave. Simply the fact that a macho football player was browsing through endless pictures of kittens with tears in his eyes from laughing so hard started to make the amusement contagious. Sometimes it’s hard to find a funny one, but when a Lolcat is exceptionally clever or there’s an exceptionally cute animal, the giggles hit you hard. I’ve come to realize they’re sort of like Haikus; they’re quick, dull, seemingly empty shells of entertainment, but when you ponder them for a second and let the flavor sink in, there’s really something there.

I Feel Funny

I find the recent phenomena of a little boy named David to be quite hilarious. I am absolutely amazed by how much attention a child can get so many media attention for being high on laughing gas. The first video of this was posted by the dad on January 30th. A few of the same video by different people have also been posted. These few videos have already gotten more than two million views. He has also been on shows like "Best Week Ever" and "The Soup". I find the video absolutely hilarious and I'm glad it was on "Best Week Ever" because that is where I first saw it.

YouTube's broadcast yourself theory has countless occurrences of people putting their face on the Internet and doing something outrageous or funny, and for doing that millions of viewers could identify them.

Not only has David's laughing gas hit counted up a ton of views, but a second video of him telling a joke has as well. Now this joke and video are rather humorless, and they are not entertaining, but it is amazing how much attention it has gotten just because it is the same kid who was tweaking in his dad's backseat.

You can tell me how funny you think this is...

Gold Medal or Acapulco Gold?

Olympic gold medal winner, Michael Phelps is under investigation for smoking pot on the University of South Carolina Campus. A picture was taken at a party while Phelps was smoking marijuana out of a bong. The photo was then published in a tabloid. Phelps admitted to the authorities is was indeed him smoking in the photo.

"I engaged in behavior which was regrettable and demonstrated bad judgement. I'm 23 years old and despite the successes I've had in the pool, I acted in a youthful and inappropriate way, not in a manner people have come to expect from me. For this, I am sorry. I promise my fans and the public it will not happen again," said Phelps in an interview with WIS NEWS 10.

Phelps as well as eight others are under investigation for drug possession and distribution.

I feel this story was blown way out of proportion. I understand Phelps signed a contract that did not allow illegal use of narcotics; but the fact that he is a Olympic gold medalist is why this particular photo was frowned upon by many. He is still able to obtain great accomplishments in the water, and the fact that he is facing conviction due to a picture is absurd. It is not illegal to smoke pot, however it is illegal to possess it. By him admitting to smoking does not justify the right to punish him with drug possession. It could have been tobacco in the bong, who knows, but by him admitting it is where it gets fuzzy.

Also, why are authorities wasting taxpayers dollars for such a petty action? When cigarettes kill more poeple in ONE day than marijuana does in a lifetime!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

An A-Bomb drops on VH1

So there's yet another dating show that's entered into the mix, and it is definitely an interesting one at that. Airing on VH1,"For the Love of Ray J" follows Ray J, a "famous" actor and rapper as he sets out to find true love. Just like Rock of Love, Flavor of Love, I Love New York...the list goes on- it's really about some has-been celebrity trying to rejuvenate his career while a bunch of nasty, attention starved groupies compete for the limelight and television time.
Don't get me wrong...these shows have certainly served to be my guilty pleasures, but it's starting to get annoying how they all pretend to be about love when all it's about is camera time. I mean, these girls are given fake names like Atomic Bomb, Hot Cocoa, and Caviar. Is the audience really supposed to believe that some C-List celebrity is going to find true love with someone he names after fish eggs? And the challenges he has these girls do to prove his love? Pathetic. In the second episode, he has these girls get on a web cam, pretending he's on the road, and he makes them entertain him with some hidden talent. But hidden talents to these girls include everything from beer-bonging to creating a human banana split.
Although I love these shows, I think it would be more entertaining to see someone who is a current, popular celebrity really try to find love with someone not named after liquor or food products. And if not, I just ask that I never have to see someone admit to downing a beer from a funnel as their "talent."

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

When DUI's make frontpage news then there might just be a content problem

When looking at the JSONLINE frontpage, I noticed that one of the main stories is that Darnell Cole received a DUI and it was definately one of the top headlines for the day. I wonder if this is really that necessary? I'm not saying that a DUI isn't a big deal, and I know that it is indeed public information. But, I would think that there are other newsworthy topics worth writing a headline story about than this.

For those who don't know, Darnell Cole is the President of MATC. I feel as if posting this story is just an attack on an everyday guy. Just because he holds a major position with MATC, does that mean he should be in the spotlight for being arrested on an offense that happens frequently to thousands of people daily? It almost seems like they would post this as an embarassement to him. I could MAYBE see it being under a smaller colomn or in public records, but I definately don't consider this newsworthy of a main headline.

I guess I am posting my blog on this because I feel as if the public shouldn't have to be informed of information like this. If he had done something that directly affected his position as President of MATC, if he had hurtsomeone during the incident, or commited another outstanding crime, then maybe it should be posted. However, it was a simple DUI arrest that doesn't change the lives of anyone who reads it, and nobody was affected by the situation except for him.

The Real World...Staged?

Many of us tune into the Real World Brooklyn on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. As many of us believe, this popular reality show is real life shown about 8 very different people. They have their lives tapped 24/7 with no scripts, just themselves for the public to see. But are they really being real? With a camera around you, wouldn't you change your personality somewhat, knowing that every move you make will be aired on television?
I have actually met a couple people who have been on the show and they say, it's not completely "real."
This past episode that was on last week, questioned a lot of things for me. Chet, one of they guys living in the house, wants to be the next Carson Daly. He wants to be a host for MTV's non-existing show, TRL. He goes to get tickets to this show at MTV's head-quarters, to find out the bad news. It's weird to me that a camera crew, that works for MTV, is following him around obviously knowing that this show no longer exists. Why didn't they just tell him. Or did they, and just wanted him to continue on, to get the video footage.

Supposedly, the crew members are not allowed to talk to the roomates living in the house. Maybe Chet really didn't know that TRL was off the air. It just seems weird that he didn't know anything about this, especially because it was his life long goal.

I couldn't find just a clip of the show I'm talking about so here is the full episode. The clip starts at 19:25 and ends at 20:02 (the third triangle)

Monday, February 09, 2009

Cheater Cheater

Use of steroids is a hot topic in today's sports world. They have become even more media tasty since the whole Rafael Palmeiro saying "Let me start by telling you this: I have never used steroids, period. I don't know how to say it any more clearly than that. Never."pointing his finger at a Congressional hearing in 2005. There was rampant and detailed use in the NFL during the 80's, "professional" wrestling in the Vince McMahon era, and now baseball.

Barry Bonds is the poster child of steroid use in MLB. Books have been written alleging the use, and he of course has denied ever taking anything. Roger Clemens has been accused and the evidence is very damning. But those players are..well old. They are not the face of MLB.

Enter Alex Rodriguez.

He is the face of the younger generation of baseball superstars. When the use of steroids started to come out in Major League Baseball he denied ever using. This is an interview he gave to Katie Couric on 60 minutes.

Now the truth has come out. He did use steroids. Not once like Andy Pettitte, but for three years. "When I arrived in Texas in 2001, I felt an enormous amount of pressure, felt all the weight of the world on top of me to perform, and perform at a high level every day," Rodriguez told ESPN's Peter Gammons in an interview 48 hours after the report came out that he tested positive in 2003.

Should all of his numbers be wiped from his stats and MLB records? Maybe an asterisk next to his final career numbers? This is a slap in the face of every player that has earned his stats by hard work, not liquid in a needle. Since steroid use was not against the "rules" when he took them he can't be punished now. But in a sense he will be punished for the rest of his life by being branded a cheater.

I have never agreed with athletes being role models and this is why.

An extended interview will air tonight on SportsCenter at 6 p.m. ET.

New UWM ad campaign: Not that awesome

This topic may not have as much to do with media consumption as the previous ones we've been reading and writing on the class blog, but then again maybe it does.

I recently found out that UW-Milwaukee has begun a new ad campaign, for which there will be billboards stating, "UW-Milwaukee: Awesome. Affordable." The new ad wording will replace the slogan we've been used to for the past year, "UW-Milwaukee: Something great in mind."

Here's my opinion on the change in slogan, and on the choice of the new slogan in particular. I really had to read the new wording twice before taking it seriously. Just two words: Awesome. Affordable. Are you kidding me?

From where I'm standing it seems that the university has taken two aspects of its reputation and played them up in the exact way that will illicit a negative connotation. Everyone knows that this public university of ours is far less expensive than the private colleges and universities in the area, and this has not necessarily been a positive thing. Talking to my brother who attends Marquette University, I have gotten the impression that UWM's reputation is that of a cheap public alternative for those who can't afford the "better" education a private school like Marquette can offer. Combine this with the single word "awesome" to describe what the school is like and no one should be surprised that someone might ask, "Is that all you could come up with?"

Now don't think I'm so naive as not to realize that the affordability thing is a big draw these days. I understand that this was no doubt on UWM officials' minds when they made the change. Of course we should play up the fact that we offer students a way to continue their education despite a perhaps crippling lack of cash flow. I simply don't believe this was the only way to advertise that idea.

I'd be very interested to hear what others think about the effectiveness or lack thereof of the two-word ad campaign. I'd also be very interested to know how my fellow UWM students feel their school is being portrayed through this advertising.

Sunday, February 08, 2009


Over the past two decades kids, teens, and adults young and old have been introduced to numerous electronic devices. The first "console" that took the US by storm was the Atari in the early 80's. Since then video games, and the video game industries have drastically changed introducing what have been called next generation consoles. Over the years the video game industry seemed to be aimed more so toward males rather than females and the so called hard core gamers. Microsoft and Playstation seemed to continue this approach as a veteran to the video game industry being Nintendo took a very different look at the spectrum. Thus the birth and craze of the Nintendo Wii was revealed in 2006 where it has since then been dominating the video game industry. It has now been about three years since Nintendo's release of its new "next gen" console and is still sold out across the country. How has Nintendo been able to accomplish such a feat you may ask. Well the name of the console itself is said to mean that the target audience is for everyone no matter how young or old, whether your a boy or girl the Nintendo Wii has lived up to its name. Heres a little video of people from around the world 'experiencing' the Wii....

The console itself is very userfriendly and offers numerous features called "Channels". These "Channels" allow people to check the Weather, News, surf the World Wide Web the list goes on. What really sets it apart from other consoles is the fact that instead of a controller and games consisting of button mashing this unique device has users do different motions allowing them to interact with the game. It has been said that Nintendos main goal with this device was to help bring family and friends together to enjoy a whole new experience of games and to just have fun. Well kudos to Nintendo because they've most definitely succeeded and have accomplished that very goal. I have heard many people say that it has helped bring there family closer by creating a 'family game night'. If you would like to find out more information regarding what this device is or does just go to and check it out for your self.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Kate Winslet's Oscar Race

So in the past two weeks, I have seen two of Kate Winslet's latest films, Revolutionary Road and The Reader. In both, Winslet plays somewhat deep and pretty troubled characters but her performance in both is absolutely spectacular. In Revolutionary Road, she plays a suburban housewife in the 1950's leading a seemingly dream life. She has a handsome husband, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, a beautiful home and two great kids. But she wants to achieve her dreams and when plans get altered, things kind of go haywire. In the second film, The Reader, Winslet plays another troubled character with a dark history- she was a former S.S guard at Auschwitz during the Holocaust. When she falls in love with a boy half her age, she makes him read to her- hence the name of the film. The film spirals into an odd and slightly disturbing turn of events and leaves the viewer wanting more. Overall though, both films were excellent and Winslet who already won a Golden Globe for Revolutionary Road, deserves nothing but the best!


One of my favorite shows has finally come back. The show Life airs on NBC on Wednesdays at 8pm. It involves a detective Charlie Crews that was found guilty of murder but has been released after serving 12 years. The conviction was overturned by DNA evidence. Charlie got a substantial monetary settlement from the state for the time he served as an innocent man. While serving in prison Charlie has embraced the art of Zen.

This is one of the smartest shows on television. Charlie is always cool under pressure and is able to solve the crime through his intelligence and willingness to solve the case no matter what. He has already found the real killer from the murders that he was found guilty of years ago. But by solving that he has uncovered a plot that lead to framing him by others in the LAPD.

This is one of the few funny moments in the show.

I have always liked the actor Damian Lewis. He is perfect for this role. If you like smart shows that have twists through out, sprinkled with bits of humor check out Life.

Mickey D's goes R&B

Mcnugget love caught many viewers by storm when McDonalds decided to debut this 30 second R&B music video to promote their crispy six piece chicken mcnugget. To appeal to a vaster audience McDonalds has always managed to step outside the box when advertising. Many previous commercials seemed to tap into the hip hop culture as this music genre began to evolve into something big, but Mcnugget Love appealed to more viewers. why? the video incorporated real life. It's mature, sexy and believable. They used images that were appealing to the eye. They used the phrase "sex sells" subliminally by using nice looking people to their advantage and making it work. It wasnt your avergae family enjoying a meal. It wasnt like other commercials where you had a kid dancing at his kitchen table while eating apple dippers. Mcdonalds made a smart move when incorporating a catchy yet enticing song to get people more interested in their "upgraded" version of the same mcnuggets form ten even twenty years ago.

Super Bowl Letdown

The 2009 Super bowl ads are the academy awards of advertising and for us none football fans, can be the only incentive for watching the big game. Every year the ads range in variety from amazingly entertaining to just plain horrible! This year's ads, however, were filled with more of the horrible. From Teleflora's weird ad of dead flowers smash talking the woman in the commercial to Sobe Life Water's horrible revisiting of last year's thriller ad, they all were less than disappointing.

It's Always Sunny

One of my new favorite television shows has to be It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. The show a brother and sister, their dad Frank (played by Danny DeVito) and two of their friends. Always getting into hilarious and strange situations the show provides nonstop laughter and entertainment. The actors on the show are genius in their portrayal of their characters and I feel has some of the best writing on television. Always Sunny just wrapped up their fourth season on FX and if you haven't heard or seen this show before I strongly suggest that you go online and start watching. It isn't a show like Lost were you need to watch from the beginning so you can watch them in any order you like. If you are looking for a new show to start watching give It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia a shot and I don't think you will be disappointed.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

The Baby Commercials

Lately when watching tv I have caught a lot of the talking baby commercials. I think it was such an innovative idea to make the commercials. It is so humorous to see these little adorable babies talking like they are adult men. I would have to say my favorite is the one where there are two babies, one is white and the other is African American. I honestly don't even know what the commercial is about, it really just caught my eye because of the humor in it all. These commercials have started this baby hysteria, I think this is such a good idea because there are so many different directions you can go with these. These babies have branded the product and draws you in as a viewer to watch the commercial, even if you are like me and don't even know what is being advertised. Here is another little clip just for pure entertainment just because I love the commercials so much!

Straight cheese

I have a pretty easy class schedule this semester. I have a lot of free time especially in the afternoon. One of my activities during this time is watching Spike TV anywhere from 1 P.M. to 6 P.M. because CSI New York or Vegas is always on during this time.

There are many things I really love about the show, but there is one thing I can't seem to get over and that's why I am writing right now.

Every time, and I mean every time, there is about to be a cut in a scene (where they play their theme music and have a few quick shots of various crime scene equipment) they always have a cheesy one liner to drop on us.

One sticks out in my mind particularly from an episode I saw the other day. A woman was found dead in a ballroom that was occupied with hundreds of mannequins. As they were about to cut to a different scene, a male from the show implies that the killer murdered her in front of many witnesses. Then a female from the show responds, saying the only problem is "these witnesses can't talk".

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love CSI: NY and CSI (placed in vegas) but these cheesy one liners can irritate me.

There is another CSI, CSI: Miami, that I refuse to watch though. Not only are the lines from this show outrageously corny, the actor who says most of them is unbearable. Horatio, I believe, has to be one of the worst characters in television or film history. Everything about him irritates me.

I'm going to embed a video found off YouTube where you can watch, and you can either agree or disagree with what I have to say.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Real World Trans-ition

Of all reality television, I believe that the king of all shows would be The Real World. This show is what kicked off the "reality" craze back in 1992 and is the longest running reality show in history. And even though it's so popular, I started to lose interest after about the tenth season.

Just like many shows, the "plot lines" started to become repetitive and boring. After a while, all you see are the roommates going out and partying at clubs...and that's it. It used to be so controversial in the beginning, covering topics from racism to homosexuality to AIDS awareness. But recently within the past few years, nothing new has been introduced. In the Real World Sydney,there were no people of color or anyone of homosexuality as there had been in every single season previously. And in The Real World-Hollywood last season, the most interesting thing that happened was when castmate Joey had a minor stint in rehab for cocaine abuse, which was barely covered for two episodes until he left the show. I was beginning to think Real World was falling victim to "reality t.v. syndrome" and it wouldn't be long before it would be cancelled.

However, this season has so far proved to be different. The Real World-Brooklyn is about 8 (always a 7 roommate house) strangers who come to Brooklyn to live with one another and pursue their dreams in New York. Unlike other seasons, Brooklyn has gone back to its' roots in that the roommates are encouraged to find their own jobs instead of all being required to do the same one together. And the cast is better than ever. Some of the more interesting castmates include a soldier named Ryan who has just returned from Iraq; an aspiring television host named Chet who is a Mormon from Salt Lake City; a hip-hop dancer also from Salt Lake, although not Mormon, and many more. But, the one roommate that stands out the most is Katelynn, a transgender women from West Palm Beach, Florida.

Katelynn began life born male, but realized her unhappiness was because she felt she was the wrong gender. She had gender reassignment surgery in Thailand and now lives life like all other women. In my opinion, Katelynn gives the Real World exactly what it has been lacking for quite some time. This is the first time someone who is transgender has ever been on the show, and it is already making for some interesting conversations and situations in the house. I think The Real World made a great choice in selecting Katlynn not only because it makes for interesting television, but it allows The Real World to remain true to its' standards in setting itself apart from the rest of reality television.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Crystal Ball Predicts Snack Time

As Americans, we all know the amount of hype Super Bowl Sunday brings to our lives. It's the one day we eat the most food (tying in with Thanksgiving Day) and bet on the two best competing teams in the NFL by handing over a $5 dollar bill and signing up in those little squares for the game pool. This is also the day that we get to view those hysterical commercials that have been heavily anticipated all year long. I guess you could say it's another one of the unspoken traditions here in the United States. Sure they are for the most part funny, clever, and whitty but one commercial in particular made me bust out laughing..the crystal ball doritos commerical. If you didn't happen to catch it, watch it here!!

The only reason this commercial made me spit my drink out is because of it's authenticity. The actions portrayed in it are very different than anything I have seen lately. To me, the concept of it is something the public doesn't see in the typical commercial; it's not something we see everyday. You want free Doritos? Just smash the glass. Ta-da!!

Pepsi Superbowl Ad

In class we saw the above video, and since I never really watch the Superbowl, this was the first time I had seen the Pepsi advertisement. The last comment made in class was about whether a company addresses its audience as a person or as a consumer (I'm not sure of the exact wording, but I'll elaborate on what I mean).

In this ad we are encouraged to create a mental tie between being a forward-thinking young person and drinking Pepsi. Pepsi is making a direct attempt to wedge itself between the American social advancements made between the mid 20th century and today. In this way, they are speaking to the viewer less as a consumer and more as a regular member of the modern generation.

I have mixed views on this ad, because it seems a little bit irresponsible for the Pepsi company to link civil rights advancement, for example, with a product that has nothing to do with it. On the other hand, I definitely had a 'we've come so far' moment when I watched it. I can just imagine the Pepsi ad execs smiling to themselves as I wipe a tear from my eye. Okay maybe that's going too far, but you get the point.

Here's my consensus: if a company is willing applaud the fact that rap is just as legitimate as classic rock and women are physically capable of boxing and joining the armed forces, then I'll buy their product over others who don't do this.

Super Ads Have Increased Longevity

Thanks to the evolution of the internet, whether it's through the uses of Youtube, Hulu, Myspace, etc, Super Bowl ads have become a more worthwhile investment than they were five years ago. Super Bowl ads have always had an aura to them. Every year, the Monday after the Super Bowl, we talk, and talk, and talk about the ads that came on during the game. But beyond talking about the ads, that was it. Unless you recorded the game, these ads that companies spend $2-$3 million dollars for 30 seconds for, were only seen once by the masses. 

Though, $3 million for 30 seconds is still a lot amount of money, since we can watch these ads over and over again on the internet, the investment is much more worthwhile. In addition to being able to watch these ads repeatedly, the buzz surrounding them seems to last a bit longer, which is exactly what these companies want. The ability to watch the ads online also gives a chance to people who might have not watched the game, or maybe left to TV for a minute to see an ad they may have missed. As of typing this blog right now, I love seeing links that will take me to these ads. Though, I may feel differently by Wenesday.

My Newest Favorite Thing

So I was recently told about a website that takes Garfield comics and takes Garfield out of them (here), only leaving Jon. It didn't sound that great at first, until I came upon some similar to these:

The site says:

"It is a journey deep into the mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness and depression in a quiet American suburb."

I have to say that this is the funniest thing I've seen in a long time. From the original Garfield comic, which I thought was amusing in itself, a totally new and different type of humor has emerged. And it's more than just these particular comics that bring me humor, because I don't think they have everything that they have without my knowledge of the previous Garfield comics. In fact, I would even say that they have nothing without their roots from the original comic. I also have to say that it must have been interesting how someone decided to take Garfield out, and then decide that this was funny. I read further and Jim Davis gives complete permission and encourages Garfield minus Garfield so that his readers can see another side of Garfield.

I am reminded of music being "sampled" by all of this, in that a new artist takes an existing song and changes it in some way to make something different, often with a completely different meaning from its original. In this case, the original is obviously being changed, and even though something is extracted from it instead of something being changed or added, I still feel that falls in the same category as sampling. Someone has used their own creativity to change the meaning of an existing media and has created something else to think about and enjoy. I then wonder what other writing could be sampled. Images, I've seen that, but I couldn't think of any other medias that compare to this type of sampling where copy is involved (if I do think of any I'll update this post, or if you have input, please comment). I'm a huge fan of this comic, and I hate to say it but it's about 4 times better than the original Garfield, in my opinion.

Monday, February 02, 2009

The 1-second Commercial

MillerCoors company broad casted a one-second commerical last night during the Sunday Super Bowl. It took a couple hours to decide who the best team was this season, but only a second to determine who makes the best beer. The cost of a 30 second spot during the Superbowl...$3 million dollars! Miller says, why waste money when common sense can be saw in a second.

I didn't see the commerical during last nights game, but watched it online. It is hilarious! I also noticed a commercial that was aired leading up to the big game. A 30 second commerical acted as an introduction to what was coming during the game, a few weeks before. They advertised that there would be a one-second commercial. This is an interesting way of getting their image out there. Advertising about an advertisement.

Here are the one's the didn't make the cut.... I wish a couple of them did.

I don't think they could of casted anyone better for this commercial. He's very entertaining.

My favorites: "Beers here!", "What's my line?.....Miller."
Every time I watch these out takes, I can not stop laughing!

Good Job Highlife!

Soft Drink War

Did anyone else notice the biggest change between the halves of the Super Bowl ads? It was pretty interesting that during the first half of the game there was no soft drink ads by anyone except Pepsi. Now I must admit I knew about this before the game took place. I read online that Pepsi had struck a deal with NBC that no soft drink company would be allowed to advertise during the first half.

What I found to be a great counter move, Coke struck a deal that they were the official soft drink of the SECOND half of the game. This was made very clear after almost every commercial break. I could not tell you how many ads each soft drink company aired during the Super Bowl, but I can tell you who I think had the better ads.

In my eyes Pepsi did the best job of marketing. Their ads were funny and were more memorable. This was apparent to me because the whole second half I was hoping for more commercials by Pepsi. This was huge risk for Pepsi to sign a deal that made them the only non-alcholic drink company allowed to market in the first half, but it worked. My favorite ad by pepsi can be found below.

Sample Topic Proposals

See the assignment and the sample proposals (pdf) for printing (and one additional example).

Everyday Italian

Giada makes a sandwich.

See Giada's books at Amazon, like this one.

Pepsi: Refresh Anthem

Aired during last night's Super Bowl.