Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The unstoppable movie star..

The clip I'm showing is from the 1980's action move Commando, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. In this particular clip, we see what was a very popular formula from action movies in the 1980s, the unstoppable movie star. The film's hero, played by Scwarzenegger invades the enemy compound. Schwarzenegger, fits the role of the typical hero; he is a well known star, he's white, he's physically imposing, and able to do improbable things to prevail against the bad guys, all of whom being non-white, clearly not as phyiscally imposing as our hero.
Publish Post
These henchmen are all perceived as bumbling fools who couldn't hit the broadside of a barn with their weapons. Though clearly not realistic at all; it does make for entertaining viewing.

Crash into our faces

One example of an ideological construct is race. The media text that in my opinion best portrays relations between races, is the movie Crash which was released in 2005 and directed by Paul Haggis. Crash is about the separate lives of individuals of different ethnicities whose lives became intertwined through the decisions they made and various events outside of their control. It takes a very bold look at not the only way people perceive each other and stereotype one another based on their race, but also the tension this causes. In the movie the car thief is played by an African American who hijacks the car of a rich husband and wife played by White Americans. The maid who works for the rich couple is played by a Hispanic woman. These are some of the ways in which the movie reflects the ideological views of society because these are the perceived roles people from different races occupy by most Americans.

"You kept me honest." - Gender Roles in The X-Files

When considering which media text I wanted to analyze based on its ideology, I immediately thought about the unsettling yet intriguing relationship between the main characters in one of my favorite TV shows of all time: Mulder and Scully from The X-Files. About a year ago, I began watching the show when a friend bought the entire series on DVD. Despite the fact that I absolutely loved almost every episode, the story arc of these two main characters as co-workers and a couple reinforces tired gender roles.

The below clip is a climactic scene where Mulder and Scully argue about Scully leaving the X-Files in the 1998 film "The X-Files: Fight the Future." I think this scene exemplifies their basic relationship, and is a good example of what I would like to analyze.

What I like about Scully is that she is intelligent, scientific, and witty. She joins up with Mulder to be the counterpart to his obsessive interest in the paranormal. Since Scully is the fact-spouting hard ass of the two, one might think the character is breaking stereotypes. Unfortunately, she is only obscuring them.

Scully plays a traditional mother figure to Mulder more so than his love interest. She continually questions her work in the FBI duo, but she stays because Mulder needs her. In her, he has found someone who tries to understand his work, someone to care for him, and someone to love him unconditionally. The few times that she has an interest in other men is when she is trying to get over Mulder or get back at him.

Throughout the series, the fact that Mulder is a "typical bachelor" is driven home. He's quirky and boyish. He never cooks, he's obsessed with baseball and porn, he can't keep house, and he usually just sleeps on his couch. Scully is seemingly unconcerned by all this. She laughs it off when he flirts with other women, she rolls her eyes at his housekeeping, and she is always there whenever Mulder decides he needs her.

The video above is an example of a sort of backwards rationale. Yes Mulder is thanking Scully for being there for him, but he's also pleading with her to continue to deprive her own happiness. Though the scene directly references her giving up her own interests to be with him, it also romanticizes the concept of a woman selflessly caring for her man. The scene resonates with his emotional "thank you" and begs the viewer and Scully to come to his rescue. It reinforces the idea that in order for a woman to be perfect for a man, she must be willing to do anything for him at all costs and should never as for anything in return. If he so much as thanks her for years of servitude, then he's the knight in shining armor. Read it as: The perfect women are level-headed and enjoy cleaning up the messes that their boy-in-a-man's-body significant others create without any appreciation.

I think the X-Files is a good example of a show that manages to skirt the issue of gender roles by throwing a few curve balls. In reality though, it's just more of the same.

Scarface vs. Blow

I chose to compare the lead characters in the movie Scarface and Blow to see what ideological concepts are being represented.
Scarface is a movie about a Cuban refugee, Tony Montana, in the 1980's. The movie shows his rise from poverty into a rich drug lord. The movie shows his conquests in the cocaine business, as well as his love life with a beautiful woman named Elvie. However, the movie ends with Tony being shot by his ex-associate's band of assassins.
The movie shows us many ideological concepts about foreigners. One of the first scenes in the movie, Tony has to kill someone in order to become a U.S. resident. This depicts Tony in a light that shows him as someone from another land far away that will do anything to become American. Also, as we see Tony rise to success through his drug business, he is typically depicted as a villain, not a hero. We see him killing people along the way, even his best friend and sister. As he begins to get addicted to the cocaine, we see him caring only for himself and his power, and disregarding his wife, who happens to be a gorgeous, thin, white woman. Although she is an addict herself, it is as if we sympathize with her because Tony treats her so badly and talks down to her. It is clear throughout the movie that although we want Tony to succeed because of his ambition, we still look at him as the villain and not the hero.

In comparison to the movie Blow, we see a huge contrast. Blow is about a man named George Jung who also becomes very rich in the 1980's due to his involvement in selling cocaine. Like Tony Montana, George marries a beautiful woman and eventually meets his demise in the end as well. However, some differences surface that show ideological representations. First, George is American, not foreign. And as we see him become a successful drug lord, it is as if we like him even though we know what he is doing is wrong. He is good-looking, with blonde hair and often shown smiling, whereas Tony has dark skin, dark eyes, and often has a hard look. Besides their appearances, their wives are very similar, yet very different. We see that Tony has an American wife who we sympathize with, whereas George has a Colombian wife who we grow to dislike. Although both wives use cocaine, the audience tends to dislike George's wife because she takes George's daughter away from him, another way in which we see a softer side to George; the fact he has a child. In the end, George goes to jail for his actions, although the audience feels a sort of sympathy for him. He decides to get involved one last time in the cocaine business in order to make a few dollars and take his daughter to California. He is busted, and ends up in prison. In the final scene, we have a dream sequence where George's daughter comes to visit him, although we learn this is untrue and she has never visited George ever in prison. Unlike Tony, George is someone we feel sort of bad for, whereas Tony is depicted as getting what he deserved.

Overall, Scarface and Blow are very similar, yet very different, and part of the reason is because of race. Although maybe not intentionally, these two characters raise different feelings in the viewers based upon their ethnicity, and not what they do.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Dora vs. Dora

The comparison of the old Dora with the new "tween" version we discussed in today's class is here, at a blog called Sociological Images.

Beauty and the Beast Ideological Critique

Even though this critique extends to most of the movie Beauty and the Beast, I chose to critique the final scene to be more specific to points that I make.

First I think it's important to say that this movie is for children and so these messages or ideas that are represented are powerful because children are effected much more by the media they consume.

The scene begins right after the Beast gets stabbed by Gaston (the bad guy in the movie, out to get Belle, who just fell off of the cliff because Belle caught the Beast and not Gaston), and is saying his final farewell to the love of his life, Belle. It shows what manliness is and that women need to be protected and saved and fought for, and what real happiness is, and that it's worth dying for. The Beast eventually turns into this handsome, tall prince when Belle says she loves him, which is confirmed by her saying it, which I always thought was odd because love is a feeling, and she had to have loved him before that second that she decided to say that. So, happiness is shown through the love of two absolutely perfect and beautiful people, dancing in the spotlight and as entertainment to all the workers of the castle, all much less attractive (besides that dust mop girl thing), and shorter, skinnier, or fatter than Belle and the Beast. They live in a huge castle and have this perfect love that conquers all obstacles. Even though the movie ends here, it leaves open the rest of their life together, assumed to be perfect, which is helped because of the fairytale ending, preserving their images in the stained glass window along with the song. These final touches to the movie give a permanent placement in the viewer's mind, that this movie put out by Disney is so official and it's rooted with the original Beauty and the Beast (which I'm pretty sure was not written by anyone after Disney was created) and should be classified as a true classic in our minds.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Embedded below is a video clip and Example of the movie with the personified Hero (White American) and Villian of another ethnicity (Persian).


As discussed in class we had covered differences between heros and villians and the obvious racial differences invovled especially in American Films and other forms of media. In the movie 300 the director, “Zack Snyder” took a unique approach with how he had used color tones as well as a stop motion feature used to excentuate the fighting sequences. It is pretty clear that the movie is a fight between two different ethnicities. Once again as described in class by Professor Newman heros in American films tend to be portrayed by young handsome and strong white men and the villian is portrayed by some other ethnicity whether it being hispanic, african american, or asian to name a few.
So lets look at 300, the main character is a King Leonidas is a Spartan who leads a 300 man army to fight against the threatening Persians from the East. The Hero and Villian of the story are easily distinguishable as King Leonidas is a once again handsome and very strong white guy as Xerxes is a very tall and extremely odd looking guy with loads of jewelry on. The fight between the Greeks and Persians is a battle for Freedom and Slavery. Leonidas is a honorable soldier and leader look at as a god as Xerxes is the ruler of the beasts feeding off of slaves. A Hero is someone that personifys all virtues as the Villian is stripped to the bear minimum of humanity and resemble beasts.
Action-Adventure films have and will continue to be a battle of “Us” and “Them”as the Villians represent a danger of difference. Yes the movie “300” seemed to be a battle mainly of almost color and beliefs its still a battle of difference. As discussed in the book by Croteau and Hoynes there are many different versions of the central determinant of the in-group and out-group. For example the usual main difference of nationality and ethnicity of the white American defeating the dangerous “primitive.” They go on to explain how this demonstration of differences used back in the 80's and 90's continue to occur in todays media and that it is slowly apart of our mainstream society. I personally don't find any offense to this observation however im not to fond of our country being attached to such ideologies. How else could we create such suspense and drama in American action-adventure films that focus on the evolution of institutions, class or individuals without a Hero and Villian?

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Hufington Post

Printed in the March 30,2009 edition of TIME Magazine comes this profile of the creater of the Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington.

The Huffington Post was started on May 9, 2005 by Huffington and Kenneth Lerer. It is a liberal news websites and is also a weblog. The HuffPo, as it is commonly known, covers topics that range from politics to entertainment and even has a section on the green movement.

As it is noted in the article, the HuffPo came to prominence by what is known as search-engine optimization. No one knows exactly how the HuffPo does it but more or less search-engine optimization is a trick that makes the articles from the HuffPo appear at the top or near the top of any topic you search on Google or Yahoo! This makes for more hits on the website and thus allows the HuffPo to charge more in advertising on the website.

As an avid reader of the HuffPo, I encourage anyone who doesn't regularly read the website to do so. It is a great news website that sometimes pokes fun at regular news stories in a serious light. Also, it is a great website if you are a liberal as I am.

Moderately well-known star dies tragically

Tragedy garners bigger shock, sorrow than expected

British actress Natasha Richardson, best known in my memory for her performance as the mother in Lindsay Lohan’s 1998 version of The Parent Trap, died suddenly March 18 from brain injuries suffered during a beginner skiing class she was taking. While she was not necessarily a vastly known star, my reaction when I learned of her death on AOL.com this morning was one of a lot more shock/ sadness than I expected to experience. Such feelings got me to thinking about celebrity deaths or tragedies in general.
I don’t know why, but it seems that with the status and function celebrities have within our society we more or less believe they are invincible and that the bad things that happen to average people like ourselves, our friends and family members do not happen to our favorite musicians, actors or authors. Of course it’s a silly concept and there’s no reason why we should think this way, but it never fails to happen.
The huge amount of visibility that the personalities, activities and personal lives of celebrities have to the public makes us feel (falsely) that they are our friends, or at least that we know some of them as well as we know some of our friends. I believe this partially contributes to our shock and sadness when people we really don’t know at all pass away.
I must confess that I find it sad and a little strange that people mourn for a famous person when they don’t even know who that person really was. Of course, I do believe that every human life deserves to be remembered and mourned, but it’s just unfortunate that we have developed a false idea of what mourning is. I don’t believe any fan of a star could really know who the person was as a human being unless they had an actual relationship with the person apart from admiring their work. And America’s intense idolization of stars of pop culture is particularly sad. It is a testimony to the fact that people are not mourning for the right reasons.
It seems that the whole issue hinges around a lapse in logic and in respect. In a perfect world, people would mourn and remember the life of a precious human being upon the death of a celebrity, rather than being shocked that someone famous and popular who led a charmed life could ever have been taken so tragically.

Dark present for jobs but bright future in advertising!

In the current economic crisis, advertising is facing an inevitable shift from traditional forms of advertising such as commercials and print, to more digital forms. These digital forms include websites and social networking programs like Facebook and Twitter. This transition has been happening long before the crisis began, but with the current state of the economy, it has now been propelled. This new age of advertising is especially important for those who will be entering the field in the next few years. This means that knowledge in just the traditional forms will not be enough. There is a great demand for those who are savvy in the digital world and can be creative through both traditional and digital kinds of work. The upside to this new demand for students studying advertising is that we were born into the information age. This means a lot of what is in demand we do everyday. Things like blogging, facebooking, creating Myspace accounts, things that are natural to a majority of those 25 and under are the kinds of things advertising agencies are looking for when hiring potential employees. The moral of the story is although the job market is grim now, the future in advertising looks bright and the new skills that are needed most people have mastered them and don’t even try.

Sex Sells.... But Not in Brooklyn

One of the most memorable series of The Real World is arguably Vegas. The Las Vegas season was filled with non stop partying and sex, things that seem to attract Real World viewers quite frequently.

But this new season is different. The Real World Brooklyn has taken away from sex scenes and hook up scenes, and has focused the show around household and individual conflicts.

It is a very new approach to the season since in reality I am sure that there is some kind of sexual relationship stirring up in Brooklyn with this cast, and the editors and producers have completely ignored this.

It is a new take that is quite unfamiliar to me, but yet the show has managed to keep me hooked through these conflicts. Even though they have made it so sex is not ubiquitous on The Real World, they have managed to make the show very interesting and arguably as interesting as the Las Vegas season.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

March Madness Ad.

I chose to analyze an ad that the NCAA created for their college basketball tournament. In the ad, the worker is shown sitting in his cubicle watching the NCAA tournament on his computer. He is making noise during the game causing his surrounding co-workers to surround his cubicle and question what he is watching. The basketball viewer's prediciment is exaggerated by the fact that visually, he is surrounded by everyone else with no way of leaving his cubicle as well as having him sitting while everyone else is standing, giving the visual of towering over him. The ad uses a comical twist of showing that you are able to follow the NCAA tournament, even if you are stuck at work and don't have access to a TV.


I used to consider myself too old to understand the Twitter craze. I wasn't even into posting my status on Facebook. I mean, who cares whether or not I'm "on my way to class" or "can't wait until work's over!" I changed my mind when I visited my younger brother over the weekend a few weeks ago.

He's 17, and was like, "No one uses Facebook anymore. No one even thinks about MySpace anymore. You should start tweeting!" I reluctantly made my page on Twitter and entered in a few updates. I was satisfied that the website was just as boring and stupid as I had assumed, until I started following a few celebrities pages.

Something about down to the second updates of what a celebrity is doing suddenly intrigued me! I am a celeb gossip fanatic, and this was like the best gossip I had ever heard! Heidi Montage is eating sushi right this second? AWESOME! John Mayer is up surfing the web...just like me..right now? Incredible! The other night, I woke up in the middle of the night, and instead of going right back to sleep, I grabbed my phone to check out the latest tweets of the people I follow.

It's sound completely ridiculous, I know - probably because it is. I really don't care about John Mayer one bit. In fact, I don't even listen to his music! I guess the intrigue of Twitter is different for different people, but I am now a huge fan.

I just have to remember not to get myself fired using the website!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


In many American films, the villains are always often portrayed as "non- Americans". It is most common to see films such as Indiana Jones "The Temple of Doom" portraying the hero as an all American handsome strong white man, and the villains being Chinese. I feel its easier to distinguish between the villain and the hero if they not only acted differently but also physically appeared different as well.

In the film "Bad Boys 2" starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, the interesting thing about the images of what a villain was in this film didn't play off physical difference, it played off culture and nationality. Even though the heroes and the villains were the same skin color there nationalities, cultures, languages, ethnicity and beliefs were all different, thus classifying them as "non-Americans" or villains. It is very interesting how Hollywood has created this idea of orientalism in judging a persons culture as a whole. By watching this film a person could develop many stereotypes about the Haitian culture, or relationships between people of African decent. Maybe Jamaicans, Blacks, Haitians and Bahamians don't get along, and the blacks are automatically seen as the hero in that situation because they're American.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Neverland Ranch's Treasures

Beverly Hills auction house has planned on selling over 2,000 pieces of Michael Jackson's furniture, clothing, and other memorabilia, during a live auction. The items were taken from Jackson's Neverland Ranch, which is located in California's wine county. Julien's Auctions will be conducting the event, hosting a 7 day exhibition, which is open to the public.
Items like the Jewel-encrusted glove from the video, Thriller, and MTV music video awards, will be on display starting this Wednesday at the Hard Rock Cafe, in NYC's Time Square. According to a New York Daily News journalist, this will be the last time you will be able to see these items publicly unless they are purchased by a museum.

The auction is said to take place between April 22nd through the 25th. The items have been estimated to bring in $10 to $20 million dollars in sales. Jackson will get all of the proceeds except for the price of the auction house rental.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Models Stomp Each Other...Not the Runway

The new season on America's Next Top Model, cycle 12, began last week Wednesday. And while all the usual drama came with it- models fighting, talking smack, tears and eliminations- the real drama happened while Tyra prepared for next season's cycle. On March 14th in New York City, the Top Model Crew began its' casting for the upcoming season when a stampede of models broke out. Apparently, a broken down BMW had driven by the line of models awaiting their casting call outside a Central Park hotel. Shouts broke out that there was a bomb, leading hundreds of people to frantically run around and create a human stampede. Six people were injured and two needed to be hospitalized. Auditions were shut down for the day, and Tyra released a statement expressing her concern for the matter. Talk about a stomp to the death!!!

FML - Why?

Anyone who has been on Facebook anytime in the last 3 months has probably seen people talking about www.FMyLife.com on their away status or profile, etc. For some reason I've been drawn to it as well, and I'm not really sure why. There are some very humorous posts, but the fact that it has made its way into such a popular sight is beyond me.

I think that I could probably find five different things that went wrong with my day, post them, and they would probably be funny to some reader who doesn't even know me and know that I'm really not that funny of a guy.

Some examples: Today, at the gym, I saw this really pretty girl. Trying to impress her, I started lifting with heavy weights. One of the weights slipped out of my hand. I then dropped the other one, trying to make it seem like it was on purpose. I dropped the weight on my phone. I squealed. She giggled. FML

Today, I received my passport in the mail. They got my birthdate wrong. Then I picked up my birth certificate that I had sent in with the application. Turns out my parents have been celebrating my birthday on the wrong day for 16 years. FML

Maybe its the fact that there are people out there who are having bad days, just like each and every one of us will have at some point. Maybe we can relate to some of the FML's to our own experiences. Or, maybe the website is just meant for students to have something to space off to and read for 30 minutes every day. Who knows? Regardless, I'll probably keep reading them (maybe not everyday), because I enjoy a good laugh. I must note though, I question whether or not some of them are real, and who is behind all of these posts.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Holy Smokes, Myspace is Turning Facebook

We all know that Myspace has been slowly turning into Facebook (they bought out by facebook or something, right?), but today I saw that you can make your full name public, like facebook has always done.

They can't do that. This is why: Facebook was always like that, and everyone (mostly) was reluctant to add anyone they didn't know (even though they trusted to add classmates from high school years and years ago). Anyway, the point is, is people add friends on myspace like there's no tomorrow. I sure do. Facebook, no, because your full name and more personal information is involved.

It really would be great to make everything public, where we could all just live online letting everyone know some of our personal information and stalkers could just pick and choose as they see fit, similary to what they do now. I mean, come on, even through a pretty private (not private setting, but reserved profile) anyone could find out more personal information about an individual, especially if you lived near them. You'll know what school they go to, then through casual e-mails or comments on their profile you could find out they go to the Alterra on Humboldt every Wednesday evening.

Anyway, Myspace can be similar to Facebook, but the mode of communication when people get on them is totally different, and I think this is just bound for disaster. Some of my friends have done it already, but I think it's just people that have pretty common last names. Unlike mine, so I'll avoid it. I hope parents know that this is an option and I think it's encouraged on myspace. What a crazy world we live in when that seems okay to give that information. Remind me never to have kids.


Barack Obama recently filled out a white board bracket on ESPN. Recent controversy suggests that he purposely picked teams from his swing states to do well, but I don't really care about those conspiracies, and that's not what I want to write about.

A proclaimed basketball fan comes on ESPN to pick his bracket and he picks straight chalk (that means he picked, mostly all, the favorites in the games).

Anyone who truly enjoys March Madness enjoys picking upsets and watching upsets. There is an overwhelmingly great feeling in picking a four or five seed to make it to the final four, or picking a 14 seed over a three in the first round.

March Madness gets interesting when the underdogs start making moves against the big time programs. He even steered away from his home town team Illinois and picked them to lose in the second round. I would respect him being a homer over being a boring bracket picker.

All I'm saying is I am kind of upset with the lack of upsets picked in Barack's bracket. If he claims to really like basketball he should have some interest in being exciting with his picks.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Blackberry Bambalam

I'm on the last day of my spring break trip visiting my dad in Florida, and decided to write about my brother's lack of involvement in activities in order to keep his facebook up to date via Blackberry.

As I type, he is updating his friends that he is watching South Park and that I am typing a blog.

At first I wanted to write about how newer technologies ruin family time and blah, blah, blah, but I realized that Blackberry has added to the entire vacation, including humor because his pictures in the family album with be mostly of him on Blackberry.

Last night, before going into The Moose Lodge to sing karaoke with geriatrics, a blood donor bus was out front trying to persuade people to give blood. My brother agreed in order to get a t-shirt. They allowed me in the bus to document the event but said that I couldn't take pictures. I did anyway with Blackberry and they didn't even know. They turned out really cool. He also donated his left arm to get blood from so that he could keep up to date and type using his right hand.

Also, despite the distraction, it's not like he was constantly on it. When we were taking pictures or discussing things or sight-seeing, he wasn't on it. It definitely took him out of some conversations, but for the most part, I didn't feel like he wasn't as much a part of the vacation as I was.

So technology does distract us occasionally from just face-to-face communication, but for the most part and as a whole it doesn't. It's just another part of the vacation. He let us know what our cousins (his main viewers on facebook) were doing, and we were also able to communicate with them ANYTIME because he was already mid-conversation with them. We even got our future family reunion almost all straightened out, just because the option to talk to them was available, and we were discussing family things anyway. Technology is just another thing on the vacation, like shopping or going to a museum. They take up time, too, so who is to say what is worthwhile and what isn't?

Obama on Leno

Tonight, President Obama will be appearing on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno." Pretty much every main media news outlet is hosting a poll about whether its "OK" that Obama does the show, and the blogs are blowing up with people who strongly agree or disagree.

I am really eager to see how the President will balance talking about the current economic climate with appearing on a show traditionally geared toward making people laugh. When I first heard that he would be on the show, I felt a little uneasy. I think it's important to make politics accessible and relevant to the average person, and I think Obama has done a great job of appealing to a younger demographic. I suppose my hesitation lies in whether the President is considered a respected political figure or a celebrity. I don't deny that most of our Presidents have been both. I guess what I mean to say is that there is something inherently un-respectable about the notion of "celebrity." I mean, when I think celebrity I think "Lindsay Lohan," or "Tom Cruise."

I just hope Obama can maintain the interest of younger people normally outside the realm of politics while keeping the respect of America in a more traditional sense.

That all being said, Presidential etiquette, after all, was defined by someone at one time or another. It isn't written in stone. What was considered unthinkable to our parents is much more acceptable now. If the choice is between a President with a little extra helping of celebrity or more of the old white guy routine, then I'll take celebrity.

Check out the show tonight...

Friday, March 13, 2009

The View

Everyone knows the show "The View." Five Caty women sitting around a table, talking about random topics. This week they decided to move the show to Disneyland in California. The show is not quite as entertaining as usual. It seems like they have taken the week easy, and have not gotten in as many debates as usual. I don't know if it is because they feel like children will be watching and they should keep it on the lighter side because of them or what. I also have no interest in watching them interview people like Mickey and Minny mouse. The only part that I did find amusing was when Jimmy Kimmel came on the show and dressed like Rosie O'Donnell he even had dancing Broadway cookies come out with him, which was something that Rosie always did. I think some of the women found it amusing and some didn't think it was very funny. I think Jimmy did a good job of livening up the show a little bit for an older audience. He even cracked jokes about the women who wouldn't come on his show and would go on other late night talk shows.
I think "The View" needs to remember who their main audience is when doing things like going to Disneyland for shows. Older people or stay at home moms and dads are generally their main viewing audience. If children do ever see it I highly doubt they are too excited about it to begin with. They need to make sure they keep their original format and what people like otherwise I think they will loose a lot of their fans.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Football's Cinderella Story

I found this NFL ad that was a commercial from the Superbowl last year and thought it was pretty interesting. It was really cool how the story unfolded and had a happy ending. The mix of Bach and the NFL was really cool, and the music helped tell the story. The camera angles are innovative and the use of both color and black and white was a great contrast. My favorite angle was the swirling from above ad while the players are practicing football. The ad was one of the most popular commercials of the Superbowl last year and really told an inspiring true story about the NFL and made the viewer happy for the players. This story is one of thousands, like the commercial said, the use of great shots both long and close up makes the commercial very well done. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPLX_ckw0G4

Mamma Mia the Movie: "to put into some pretty panoramic, beautiful scenes"

Over the weekend I watched "Mamma Mia!" for the third time since it was released last year. This film version of the musical based on the music of Swedish pop group Abba is fast becoming one of my favorite flicks, and not only because the effect of Meryl Streep serenading Pierece Brosnan and vice versa is so horrible it's amazing. The movie as a media text has engaged some very effective techniques in its process of mis en scene. Most awe-inducing of these can be found in the choices of lighting and depth-staging in each scene.

In particular I noticed that the staging throughout had an overwhelmingly deep quality. In addition to the sweeping panoramic views of the film's seaside Greek location (unfortunately photo of this were hard to find), there is rarely a close-up focus on an individual or group of characters that does not include some aspect or detail of setting behind or surrounding it. Always a sandy-colored stone pillar, a backdrop of sparkling aqua seascape or some other scenery finds its way into close-ups of the characters. I believe the reason for this is simply that the setting is so incredibly beautiful that it would be a shame to cut it out of any moment, and so the producers, directors, etc. have kept it in as much as possible.

In addition to the depth of the staging, the lighting choices for the film were certainly calculated to produce a very awe-inspiring effect in the audience. The fact that the overwhelming majority of the scenes were shot in very high-key lighting, with relatively little contrast between the light and the shadow in the image, means that the scenes take on a dazzling and dream-like quality. You find yourself thinking, Nowhere could ever be that bright, sunny, cheerful and refreshing all the time. And thus the end result is achieved - the audience is immersed in a fantastical atmosphere they only wish could be real.

2009 World Baseball Classic Ad

My analysis is on one of the ads being shown for this 2009 World Baseball Classic, which is currently going on. The first thing I noticed about the commercial was the players featured in the ad. They used a few of baseball's star players who play for the different countries participating in the tournament. Visually, the players faces are black and white, with the only color on them is the uniforms for the respective countries they're playing for. Also, each player is naming the different baseball teams they have played for, in their native languages. This along with the usage of the color on the uniforms persuade the audience that the importance of the tournament isn't the players themselves, but the countries they are representing in the tournament. All of the shots in the ad are long shots with a background behind each player that represents the teams they are saying in the commercial.

This Is Sportscenter

The video I have chosen to textually analzye is the "This Is Sportscenter" commercial featuring David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox and Jorge Posada of the New York Yankees.

This is an example of a narrative form of commercial as a brief story is shown about David Ortiz trying on the hated Yankees baseball cap. Conflict arises in the story as Wally the Green Monster, who is the Red Sox mascot, walks by and sees his beloved Red Sox star wearing the rival Yankees cap.

Mise en Scene is utilized in the storyline as I mentioned before as David Ortiz is seen wearing the Yankees baseball hat by his team's mascot.

The framing of the camera is mostly very simple throughout the video as first the shot scale shows Ortiz, Posada, and the Studio Anchor talking about Posadas' hat and then as the studio achor picks up the hat there seems to be a medium shot w/ him, Ortiz and the hat itself being shown.

The camera then pans over to the Red Sox mascot in horror seeing Ortiz in the Yankees cap and Ortiz standing up to the plead his case on why he is wearing the cap.

In all the commercial uses simple tactics to show the "Betrayal" of David Ortiz wearing his rival Yankees hat. The overlying tones of comedy also plays a big role in the commercial as well. I thought that this was a clever commercial to show how heated the rivalry is between the Red Sox and Yankees.

Go Yankees!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Dead and Gone

I decided to analyze a song written by T.I. titled Dead and Gone. The song is pretty deep if you listen to everyone of the lyrics. I beileve that this song has a narrative. The artist seems to show numerous shots, or flashbacks of numerous things that have occured over the years. Hes telling the story of how hes been on the same road of corruption and having bad influence upon the people around him.

The meaning behind the song and the music video is that the old T.I. (the younger and wilder self) is dead and gone. And that hes leaving everything that hes done in the past behind him and now going through redemption. There is obviously even more meaning behind the song and alot of different ways to interpret it, for instance he also talks about how if it wasnt for him or his friends making some rash decisions some of his friends could still be alive.

The video begins with him driving down a road in which hes been going down all his life and that its time for him to change and be better since what hes done is effecting both his family and friends.

There are a variety of shots throughout the video from still images to from what I understand to be depth of staging when they show an almost darker or aged look at some flash backs and various narratives from a boy and a girl walking past a group of men which leads to conflict and then hospitalization. There are many close ups and medium close ups of the two artists T.I. and Justin Timberlake as well as numerous shots of the camera panning around the both of them as they are singing. Toward the end of the video theres a shot where it seems as though the camera is trucking forward toward Justin Timberlake with a scene of piano burning in the background. Througout the video they also have numerous still shots of pictures from cemeteries, to extreme close ups of peoples faces and texts like the emergency room sign. They seem to almost use a stop motion with some of the scenes of flashbacks like the scene of the couple walking between the group of guys. Its obviously not a continous shot but a series of individual photographed frames played in a sequence in which it appears to be a continous sequence but after I analyzed it more it seems to be more so an actual continuous scene in which they edited it to make it appear as though it was pieced together.

There are also some unique angles some of them seem to be repeated where they have a camera above one of the artists and almost pan down from up top. This is a high angle which is then moved down to about a medium close up of JT or T.I. The majority of these shots however seem to be camera movements in which the camera is on a crane.

Heres the Video....

In all the video is very interesting and there are a few different ways in which someone could interpret it. I would have loved to show a different music video like No Doubts "Spiderwebs" or Shiny Toy Guns "You Are the One" (which you should definately check out) but neither of them seemed to show much of a narrative as this video did. In all I think this is a good example with a variety of moving image media which we discussed in class.

Just Dance

Lady Gaga's "Just Dance" music video is a mostly narrative story about the singer and her friends showing up at a party that is over and getting everyone partying again. They arrive while the partygoers are passed out around a house, and she gets everyone dancing and singing with a boom-box and her dance moves.

There are portions that are a little more non-narrative. For example, there are repeated shots of her dancing alone or with a team of dancers. These portions don't help to carry out the story of the music video.

There is mixed usage of deep and shallow space. The portions of the video where the entire house is shown and then the close-ups of Lady Gaga herself are examples of these.

I noticed immediately the shaky use of the camera in the dance scenes. To add to the affect of the party, they cameraman shook the camera to the movement of the people dancing and jumping.

I didn't notice any zooming in this video, but there was definitely panning and lifting throughout.

I like the use of a loose theme for the video, but the main focus is simply on the singer and her dancing. I think its a nice balance of trying to seem too narrative, like some other videos, and being completely non-narrative and boring like others.

"A little piece of heaven" video analysis

This is the music video I chose, "A little piece of heaven" by Avenged Sevenfold.
I chose this video because its a perfect example of a narrative music video. The first time I heard this song was on the radio and it wasn't bad but it seemed like it was missing something. Then after watching the music video you realize the song was kind of meant for listening to while watching the music video. The story itself was pretty twisted but there was a definite plot.

Taylor Swift's, "Love Story" Analysis

Taylor Swifts music video, "Love Story," takes place in an medieval Renaissance period. Since this video has a beginning, middle, and an end, this video is a narrative. It tells a story about the unrequited love between two people who are not allowed to be together but try anyways. This is the conflict. The video mirrors the idea of the play Romeo and Juliet.

The video starts at the end of the story and throughout the video, flashbacks of the two together are shown, which is what discontinuity editing does. She is imagining the two back in time.

Mise en Scene is used in this video through costumes and scenery. There is acting going on, since the two characters are playing the roles of Romeo and Juliet. When watching the video, you are suppose to feel like you are "in" the time frame of the 18th century. The use of daylight seemed to be very important when shooting this video. The bright sunshine is shown in several shots with high key lighting. During the nighttime scenes, there is very high contrast, with low key lighting.

The video is shot using shallow and deep space between the two characters and props. The cameras use panning/lifting as well as tracking/craning. They seem to be zooming in some of the shots, like when she is stationed in the castle, singing on the balcony. When they are in the field, running towards one another, the cameras are following the characters, and then circle around them. The camera moves pretty quickly throughout the video.

There are a lot of angles shown in this video as well. Cinematography is shown through high and low angles of the singer when she is by herself and during the dancing scenes. All the different shots are used here, (ELS, LS, MS, MCU, CU, and ECU). There are two ECU shots. One shows the two characters holding hands, and the other shows Swift picking berries.

The video does a good job in expressing the characters personalitys. Juliet, played by the artist, is shown as an inocent girl who is awaiting for her prince. I think the lighting, costumes, make-up and scenery were all chosen very carefully and all worked perfectly for the video. Taylor Swift is one of my favorite artists, and although I have seen this video before this assignment, I still enjoyed it like the first time I saw it.

Dwight Yoakam Video Analysis

Turn It ON Turn It Up Turn Me Loose

The Turn it Up, Turn it On, Turn me Lose video begins in black and white, showing a lot of contrast between the outside world through windows in the room. It also begins as a narrative, and opens as a clock ticking is heard in the diegesis. The camera pans around the messy room, showing odd objects up close. Dwight is shown sleeping, then an alarm wakes him up.

The narrative continues temporally and spatially, the camera tracks to follow him through the house then outside to his car. The contrast decreases and the entire scene is a deeper staging, showing more than one plane; him, the car, and the background that's an empty parking lot. The car doesn't start and an odd guy in a straight jacket named Toad (his name is identified by Dwight yelling it) has Dwight's distributor cap and he threatens to smash it. The camera goes to and from Dwight and Toad in close up shots and is spatially continuous, but the camera angles on Dwight are straightforward, while the camera angle on Toad is from below which gives Toad a more distorted look to help accentuate his personality. They exchange some heated words, then the next camera shot is on the ground next to the distributor cap being smashed by Toad while Dwight looks on in the background.

The next shot is in slow-motion and is a medium shot of Dwight, pulling a gun out of his back pocket. He aims the gun to the side of the camera (aimed at the spatially contiuous area that Toad is located), and it fills up the view. He fires the gun. The cinematography shows a deep depth of field, focusing primarily on the gun, while Dwight, then his smoking car appear less in focus. The next few shots show Toad get onto a bike with a woman to get away; an extreme long shot shows they're in some sort of a canyon. Dwight fires a few more shots in a medium close up shot, misses, looks at his watch and has a worried look on his face.

The next shot is temporally continuous in that it is chronological, but temporally discontinuous in that there is some time between the scene preceding it and the following scene, but it's guessed that it's within a few hours of them. It begins by showing Dwight looking at his watch then having a few more shots explaining the difficult time getting to the place where he needs to be, which is a big, run-down looking building. He bangs on the door in angst.

When the door opens, the shot changes to the camera being inside the building, with a medium shot of Dwight outside. The visual style changes to color, with increased contrast of the bright outside world and the dimly lit inside of the building. A man has opened the door for him and Dwight falls to the floor in exhaustion. This scene changes to a non-narrative, focusing primarily on painting a scene for the lyrics of the song. Now there is discontiued editing, and there is a Dwight on stage while there is still the Dwight from the previous narrative scenes in the crowd of this concert. There are extreme long shots that show a mise en scene of a crowded room full of gamblers, women swinging from saddles hung from the ceiling, cocktail waitresses and smoke clouds the view of the camera. There are various medium shots and medium close ups on different characters to help describe the room and its visitors. The camera shots explaining the room are panned and tilted but also tracking and craning around the room. Spot lights add contrast to the lighting all around the room, showing that what is going on is somewhat of a spectacle. During a few shots you can see some bleachers up above all the interesting characters down below.

The close ups of Dwight on stage are in focus and often behind some unidentified out-of-focus objects, showing a deep depth of field with two planes. The lighting behind Dwight is sometimes flashy and bright with short stints of contrast. The camera pans the stage going from close up to medium close up shots, the camera is tracking around Dwight.

Dwight's original character is also in the room, still looking exhausted and being the object to the lyrics to show a small continuation of the beginning narrative, and to add the style of the entire video together with the song itself.

Saturday, March 07, 2009


I chose to analyze the music video Lucky by Britney Spears. The video is a narrative video because it tells a story. It talks about a girl named Lucky who is so sad because although she is a star, she is missing so much from her life. It takes us through sequences where we see her waking up in a beautiful hotel room, accepting flowers from an admirer, accepting an award: all while she struggles with the cost of fame.
Looking at the video from a visual standpoint, many different elements are used. In regards to the mise en scene, the video begins with using contrasting lighting between bright and dim. The billboard shown with Luckys' face on it uses a high key lighting, whereas the buildings behind it uses low key lighting. This is to emphasize what the audience is supposed to be looking at- Britney on the billboard, while creating a night backdrop for the shot. The cinematography used is also interesting. In the same opening shot of the billboard, we see that camera is using an extreme long shot, and then zooms in very quickly to show a medium-close up of Britney. Throughout the video, so many ranges are used. Another extreme long shot shows Britney going to answer the door, a high shot of her accepting flowers, close-ups of just Britney herself; almost every shot is implemented in this video. The video also uses visual techniques by showing Britney as Lucky and Britney as Britney in shots together. Obviousl, we know there is only one Britney, but they have edited it in a way that we can see Britney as both of these characters in the same scene.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Love Story

This week I chose the Song "Love Story" by Taylor Swift. It is a Narrative form. It has a beginning middle and end. It starts with a girl in high school and she has a fantasy, Cinderella story. She dreams that she is Juliet and her father will not let her be with Romeo. In the video they show her and her Romeo dancing, they are dressed in old English clothes. They are dancing an old dance that would have took place at that time. It shows them kissing in the garden and acting like they had to hide that they were there and be quiet so nobody heard them. The conflict in the story is definitely the fact that this is a sort of forbidden love because they are not supposed to be together. The conflict ends when Romeo gets her fathers permission and the video shows them running up to each other, happy that they get to be in love. A shot then goes back to her at her high school and the same boy that was Romeo in her fantasy ends up being a boy at her school and he comes up to her and they are together as well. The story in the song and the video show a perfect video in narrative form.

Faith No More is Back Together!

So I am excited to say that Faith No More is getting back together. The latest news is that they’ll be touring in Europe this summer. That’s all. The reason I’m happy is because of Mike Patton, the lead singer. He took over after they fired Chuck Mosby for being rude, drunk and unhelpful in promoting the band. Mike Patton took over and came out with hit Epic, on the album The Real Thing, that went platinum. That really put them on the map as far as main stream music goes, but they never stayed there. It’s my personal opinion, but I don’t think they really wanted to be there or stay there. Mike Patton took the band to different platforms, making different sounds by changing it up a bit and moving away from the 90s rock music that was also coming out at the time. They called it quits in 1998 to pursue other things, and put an end to rumors about quitting, so they quit.

But Mike Patton kept on making music, creating and joining new bands, and really exploring what his vocals could do. He was part of Lovage on their album Music To Make Love to Your Old Lady By, Peeping Tom, which was one album where every song featured another artist. The type of music is labeled “experiemental/ghettotech”. Peeping Tom’s most popular track, “Mojo” can be interpreted in many different ways, but its music video mocks television shows by recreating movements, visuals, camera shots, among other things to shows or commercials. Before Faith No More, Mike Patton created Mr. Bungle, which is very post modern in terms of music; adding different vocals, sounds, and noises and retracted from the ‘verse, chorus, verse, chorus, solo, chorus’ convention. Mr. Bungle is certainly a different way of making music.

I don’t know what the future holds for Faith No More, but I’ll be sure to be first in line when they come to the Midwest or any other place I’d be willing to travel to see them. I’m really excited to hear the new music they’ll come up with, and I’m hoping Patton will include some other artists he’s worked with before (including the beat boxer ‘Butterscotch’) to add another side to Faith No More that we haven’t seen.

The Denny's Mafia

This Denny's Super Bowl commercial appears to be in the form of a narrative. Although you don't see the beginning or end you can conclude from the information where it is going, and what has already happened.

These three men are in a meeting about someone they know who may have ratted them out. Benny, the person who supposedly "talked", has caused this meeting. The conclusion to the Benny story isn't fully in words, but when one of them says "I think it's time we let everyone know what happens to people..." you can assume they plan on doing something to Benny based on any preconceived notion of what gangsters do.

The mise en scene of this particular commercial also helps portray these men as mafia or mobsters. They have their Italian accents, and they are dressed in stereotypical mafia clothing. The lighting of the scene is pretty bright, where it looks like it may be very early morning.

Since this is shot in a Denny's they also have the set right. Many booths for seating, and the waitress is dressed up in a uniform with a name tag. The shot of the table also shows the different kinds of syrups, and three plates of widely accessorized pancake platters.

The cinematography includes mostly medium close ups, except for the opening shot which is more of a long shot to establish the location. The camera angle is straight for the conversation between the men, until the waitress comes in with the whipped cream. Then there is a low angle shot of her applying the whipped cream, and a high angle shot of the smiley face she is applying to the pancakes. There also appears to be some sort of fuzzy filter applied to the camera, which gives me the feeling of The Godfather movie.

The editing of this scene is a transparent spatio-temporal continuity where it presents a scene in a single space and time, where the scene holds many different shot and then reverse shot angles.

I think the production of this commercial was very successful in humor and getting their message out at the same time. The "serious breakfast" slogan allows them to have a scene where it appears to be very serious, more or less about the death of one of their friends, which then allows them to show these "tough guys" getting very childish platters of pancakes.

I Should be Dead by Now

Dennis Rodman is one of the most interesting popular culture figures of the current generation, in addition to being one of the biggest attention-whores, so it comes as no surprise that he has authored two books. I Should be Dead by Now has more of an angle on his post-basketball life, including the end of his career, than does Bad as I Wanna be, his first book. Rodman struggles with faithfulness, alcoholism, and many philosophical issues in the book, and when he takes a serious tone, the book is actually quite more than simple entertainment. At points in the book, sections called "Reality Check" highlight important points and nail them into the reader's head. It seems that Rodman doesn't want us to make some of the same mistakes as him--the all-night partying, failed relationships because of polygamy, and not realizing family is important, among others--and opens up to us as a result. His wild stories definitely provide the entertainment aspect, however, as he relates many of his trysts with women, booze, and bizarre adventures along the way. If ever there were a candidate for a reality show before reality television became big, Rodman in about 1997 or so would have been it. He is one of the few popular culture figures that transcends not only the game he plays (basketball), but social issues as well (gender, sexuality, etc.), and that definitely comes across in an entertaining, insightful book.
For my textual analysis blog I have chosen to write about "The Office" which airs on NBC on Thursday nights. It is one of my favorite shows and I cannot get enough of it! There are so many scenes that I wanted to include but I found one that gives a great example at how this show is filmed. "The Office" is pretty much self explanatory; it's about a group of people that work in an office setting for Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. Being a fan of the show, I had to of course choose a classic moment of Jim messing with Dwight. The filming of this scene shows how any other scene would be filmed on the show. It is a very unique filming sequence, complete with added sit-down "Real World" confessions of the characters to aid in explaining the narrative conflict. Although this scene doesn't have a character's confession, it has everything else that helped make "The Office" a success. I love how the filming includes alot of depth staging; the camera is always moving in and out to show an up close shot as well as a surrounding shot. It's the kind of filming that makes you feel like you are there witnessing the action first hand. The most important part of the filming would have to be the shot scale and camera movement. The camera is always moving up and down, back and forth, side to side; you name it. This also adds to the lifelike experience of the show. Most of the shot scales are between medium short and close-up of the character's face in order to see their emotion. When in conversation, the camera does alot of panning and tilting around the characters to allow the viewer to have a convincing analysis of what is being presented. Watch this scene to understand what I mean; have a chuckle or two!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

The Baddest Girls on TV

I made a vow to be more selective with the reality shows I choose to watch, but I must admit one of my many guilty pleasures is watching Oxygen's The Bad Girls club season three! Drama, Backstabbing, and lots of partying are the ingredients that make up the hit reality show. The style of the show uses multiple cameras to show the seven girls living under one extremely huge and expensive roof and all that goes on, both at the house and when the girls are out on the town, which is mainly at nightclubs getting in to fights. This narrative TV show contains tons of conflict between the girls in the house from the common "he said, she said" to your normal cliques emerging between the girls, which is all aired for the world to see. But outside the drama that goes on between the girls, there is supposed to be true meaning behind taking seven wild behaving women and forcing them to live together for six months and that is to inspire change. Through the experience each girl is supposed to somehow change her ways, kick her bad habits and come out after her stay as a changed and matured woman. The most entertaining part of watching the show is seeing each girl struggle with this inner conflict they have. And of coarse the ones they have with each other!

Here is a clip of the show if you've never caught an episode!

Tiger's Back Nike Commercial

This is the new Tiger Woods commercial, after his 8 month layoff he is back on the PGA tour.  This commercial is in a narrative form, and uses dialog and music to tell the story.  It starts with the two announcers telling the audience that Tiger Woods will not be in any more golf events for a while.  They use close up shots of other players faces and they are all smiling, having a good time.  The camera was not on a tripod, so a lot of the shots are moving, giving the commercial even more excitement.  The music drives the narrative, and the lyrics are describing things that are fun and associated with a good time.  It shows all the players winning, popping champaign, going to events, and having the time of their lives because Tiger is out of competition.  Then they are sitting in the locker room talking when the music stops and Tiger Woods walks through.  Their faces drop and the last shot is of the player dropping his head because he knows that the good times are over now that Tiger is back.  The narrative uses framing, music, editing, and dialog to drive the commercials short story.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

If I Were a BOY

If I were a Boy by Beyonce, raised brows across the nation. So many women could relate to putting their cheating, lying boyfriends in their shoes to see how it feels to be hurt, time and time again. This video tells a woman's familiar story about relationships, and how men just dont get it. I would categorize this music video as a narrative because it tells a story. Its composed of events that are linked together, and by the roles being reversed in the video meaning Beyonce's playing the male role, makes it even more of a narrative because its telling a story visually.Even though it doesn't come out until the end of the video when the roles switch back to Beyonce being the Secretary and her husband is the police officer it was still clever and unique how this narrative was told. we thought Beyonce was the villain so to speak in how she was portrayed in her video, cheating, not answering phone calls, leaving her husband worried because she ignores his phone calls, and acting dumb founded as to why he's upset, and this is all conflict. The song is a conflict in itself and the video does a nice job of reflecting this aspect. Another important factor is it has a plot, and different scenes to keep the audience following the story and whats going on. Just by watching the video, the audience gets to know the characters, the situation and the conclusion. You can almost look at this video as a mini movie, leaving the audience wanting more and raising questions like, what happened next, did she leave him for good, did he come to his senses or are they back together?

Britney Video

Here is the video for Circus.

Stella Ad

We watched this today.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Girls Next Door split

"The Girls Next Door," is a reality show based on three girls lives that all live in the Playboy mansion. This last season came to an end when Kendra decides to move out of the mansion to move on to bigger and better things. She claims she wants to pursue a relationship she had started with an NFL player. She buys her own "mini mansion," and breaks the news to Hugh Heffner with tears.

Bridget, gets the opportunity to host her own show, "Bridget's Beaches," which deals with prime vacations spots. She leaves the mansion and is said to be gone for four months. Sad about leaving, she claims she will be back.

Holly the prime girlfriend to Hugh Hefner, is the only one of the three girls to have something going on in her life other than Playboy. She evaluates herself in the last two episodes, and it looks as if she doesn't want to be there anymore.

I just wonder what these girls are going to do but then I see commercials for a new show about Kendra. It looks like another reality show based on her life. It seems like she isn't really moving away from what she was already doing. Her new show is self titled.... "Kendra."

I really like this show and was sad that the trio broke up. I'm looking forward to the other 2 shows that will be on "E!"

The "Girls next door," is going to have a new season, but I really don't know how well it's going to do without the three girls that started it all....I guess we will see!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Over the Hill...

In an article in Sunday's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, I learned someone very well known to people around the world is celebrating her 50th birthday on March 09, yet she has no wrinkles or shows any signs of aging at all. Who is it you ask? It's Barbie, of course!!!!

That's right; the toy from Mattel known worldwide as Barbie Doll is having her 50th birthday this year. To me, it feels like just yesterday I was playing with my own Barbie dolls, dressing them up to go to parties and on dates with Ken (I had 17 Barbies and only one Ken doll, what a lucky one he was!) So many girls like myself grew up with Barbie and have many great memories playing with her, it's no wonder why she remains on shelves today.

The article itself was really interesting, including 50 facts about her life. Some of the ones I liked included:

#7) In a series of novels published by Random House in the 1960's, Barbie's parents were George and Margaret Roberts who lived in the fictional town of Willows, Wisconsin.

#24) Barbie has had more than 1 billion pairs of shoes.

#45) Teacher Barbie was recalled in 1995 because she wasn't wearing underwear.

#49) Sales of Barbie were outlawed in Saudi Arabia in 2003.

Among these facts, some of the most interesting figures included that of Barbie's value. The most expensive Barbie ever sold was for $7,999.99, a No.1 1959 Ponytail Barbie. And, the current estimated price of the original 1959 Barbie in mint condition is a whopping $27,450!!! Obviously, Barbie has had a huge impact on not only American culture, but international as well, and to that I say, Happy Birthday, Barbie!!!!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Late Night Television

As I'm sure most of you all know. But come tomorrow night, Jimmy Fallon is set to take over the reigns of the show "Late Night" on NBC as Conan O'Brein has left the show to begin preparation for him to replace Jay Leno on "The Tonight Show."

You can read an article about Fallon and all of his thoughts about his new career move here. But more or less, Fallon is excited about his new gig but says he is a little nervous.

I personally like the choice of Fallon to replace Conan on the show. I never really liked much of his movies but I loved him on Saturday Night Live and I believe that Fallon's style of comedy will be more conducive for late night television.

But, on the other hand. I am not liking the idea of Conan replacing Leno on "The Tonight Show." I do like Conan and his comedy routines but I just don't believe that Conan has the star power to run "The Tonight Show." I think Conan is a person that thrives in that "Scottie Pippen" role and not so much the lead role or the "Michael Jordan" role.

I do hope he does well though. I would never wish no ill will against him.

Time will only tell how things turn out.