Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Philly Just Might Be Seinfeld on Crack

While watching the new season of one of my favorite shows in recent years with a friend and breaking down our love for it, we stumbled upon an interesting conclusion. The FX show It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia is a modern Seinfeld; one for our generation. Asking what both shows are about could return one-word responses of 'nothing', not-to-mention the striking similarities between the unconventional behavior and convictions (or-lack-there-of) held by the four principle characters of either show.

Both of these shows exemplify some of the strongest characterizations in comedy history. First, you have the de facto central star Jerry Seinfeld and Dennis Reynolds. As suave, privileged and narcissistic, as they are ultimately hopeless when it comes to romance. When it comes to George and Charlie, these two are neurotic beings defined by inferiority complexes. Mac is like Kramer with his eccentric 'goofball' personality and shallow humor, while managing to be surprisingly capable at times. Sweet Dee and Elaine are not just the girls completing their otherwise all-male groups, they often represent the shred of moral conscience if it exists at all. The tightness of their groups makes both gangs reliant on their close friends. Their personalities also come to mirror one another over time.

The adventures of both gangs are always self-serving and often bizare or pointless, yet endlessly entertaining. When it comes to interactions with other people, it's skewed views, egocentrism, and constant disregard for the well-being of other people or society at the source of the conflict. The result of which is frequently an uncomfortable and awkward situation. Although the characters are so absorbed with themselves they can never quite to this realization. It's the generational differences that overshadow the similarities of the two shows. Philly is raw, coarse, and entirely too obscene for network television or mainstream society for that matter. Basically it's Seinfeld on crack. If you're a fan of either of these shows and havent seen the other, check it out. I have a feeling you'll feel right at home.

Bouncing Baby Loves Beyonce

A viral video has become an internet sensation. The home-made video - uploaded to YouTube less than a week ago, features Cory Elliot dancing to Beyonce's hit, "Single Ladies."

The 20-month-old toddler has unique moves. Like most toddlers, he appears to struggle with balance. Cory can barely stand as he holds himself up on a table, but his shimmy and shake dance compellation prove to be impressive moves.

The internet has paved the way for little Cory's fame. The video has received over 1 million hits in addition to a variety of other media coverage. Cory's father, Chester Elliot was interviewed on "Today Show" and explained that Cory's dance was not staged. The family had been flipping through the channels. Cory heard and saw the video and instantly began dancing. Chester was lucky enough to have a video camera handy.
The press coverage does not stop there. Several articles have been printed highlighting little Cory's representation of Beyonce.

It’s amazing if you think about it. Technological advances have paved the way for viral videos that turn everyday people, in this case toddlers, into celebrities. Cory is doing what little kids do everyday. They bounce up and down. He just happened to spark a craze with his head tilting attitude and left leg shuffle.

I’m sure the fame won’t last and Cory has no idea that he is a world wide dance icon, but it is fun to watch.


I have to say this is one of the most tragic and horrific things I have seen in awhile. The story of 16 year old Derrion Albert, a honor student at Christian Fenger Academy High School in Chicago, has haunted me for the past 24 hours. Derrion Albert was brutally beaten to death by five heartless individuals last week. A fight broke out between two groups that reside and represent two different neighborhoods on Chicago's southside. Derrion happened to be an innocent bystander on his way to catch the bus home from school. An amature video was able to capture the raw footage as the brawl unfolded. In the video you can see how brutal and savage this fight was because you can see the suspects striking Derrion with wooden rectangular two by fours used as a base for railroad tracks. After he was knocked unconsciousness you can see the suspects begin to stop on his face and head repeatedly. After that you can see those capturing the footage run to his aide and pick him up off the ground and move him into a nearby building.

I just don't get it. This is such senseless and barbaric violence that has taken the life of a good person. From reading news articles on the matter it has been stated that Derrion was a good student that comes from a good family with a strong religious background. Why does violence like this occur at all and let alone a school?

Due to the footage that was captured Chicago Police were able to arrest the 5 suspects and charge them with first degree homicide. There are so many question besides why that are going through my head. Why didnt anyone help him? Why are these individuals so angry? What makes a person so emotionless and heartless that they could do such a thing? Why didn't someone call the police instead of recording this? I would really appreciate some feedback and opinions on this situation because I am just absolutely devastated that this took place.

Monday, September 28, 2009


Alright, after the anyone glances at that headline, the reader of this blog has pinned me as nuts or a liar. I swear, I am neither. I am reading The Onion, of course! The publication never fails to make me laugh and smirk, but this article paticularly hit my interest seeing as I am a JMC Strat Comm major. Pepsi end all of its advertising efforts to give to charities and the factory employees? Impossible. Everybody knows the glorious advertising campaigns Pepsi has been through. The Super Bowl advertisments with Britney Spears cost millions just to air, let alone actually produce.

The article, however, does make a true point about advertising. It jokes on how there is no 'Cola War' and if people choose Coke products over Pepsi, so what? After all, as the article states, it is about the taste not the advertisments, right? I am a loyal Coke drinker. I always order 'Diet Coke' at a restaurant and feel disappointed when the waiter or waitress comes back with 'actually...we have Pepsi products, is that okay?'. Not really, no. I mean, I like Britney Spears, and Pepsi has had some pretty cool advertisments that I have spent time watching and thinking about, but really...I want my Diet Coke. It does come down to the taste for me, and probably for millions of other regular cola drinkers. I can't go a day with out cracking open a Diet Coke right after my coffee in the morning (I need my caffine), and then continue to have three or four more cans before I finally hit the sack, and that's on a weekday. I have actually had been brought a PITCHER of Diet Coke at a restaurant once, because I had so many free re-fills. While being a DD at a bar the bartender actually went ahead and filled the largest beer stein with Diet Coke for me and joked that thank god there isn't Captain in that Diet Coke. Point is, it is about flavor for me. In REALLY tight situations, when I can barely pay the rent, I purchase Pepsi if it is cheaper. I am a loyal customer of Diet Coke, but I also would like to not get evicted. This article does have it right in a sense. With religous cola drinkers who have a loyal brand and probably are the biggest spenders for that brand, advertising efforts are not going to switch Coke drinkers to Pepsi and Pepsi drinkers to Coke.

It does seem absurd, and that it is why it is hilarious, that Pepsi would stop advertising. I still remember the little Pepsi girl who's voice turned into an old man's voice in an advertisment for Pepsi. They obviously have created great ads that stick in people's minds years after, and advertising is a huge part of the brand and buisness.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Say what?

As I sit here trying to watch Sunday Night Football, I am getting pretty damn frustrated. As you may or may not know, there's a thunderstorm going on right now. Since my roommates and I are dirt-poor, we don't have cable or a dish and resorted to this new D-TV thing. In general, I'd say it's an alright change from the old-school rabbit-ears-style TV I had when I was a kid. However, since the weather outside is rather frightful, my television is not so delightful.

Every time there is a lightning strike/heavy rain output/gust of wind I can't see a freaking thing of the game I'm trying to watch. I go from the start of the play to the end and am left trying to figure out what happened in between.

I'm not saying DTV is all bad. I love some of the channels we get now that we didn't before (i.e. Cool-TV, qubo, + the Traffic channel). But when the old method left you with those goofy ghosts or double picture instead of choppy picture every time there is inclement weather, the transition has some fine-tuning to do before I think it was worth-while.

iPhone : Happiness Rectangled

The love of an iPhone is evident today when you glance up to see someone multitasking while waiting for the bus. With all of the updates for the phone (MMS) it is no wonder why this phone is so popular. I find that the simpler a device is, the more possible users. For instance, my technologically un-savvy mother can’t quite make heads or tales of the touch screen (which is a problem when we play Scrabble) but loves the ease that is provided. I can’t say that the touch screen did not take some getting used to, since buttons were a way of life for me. But after a few hours of texting let me tell you how much easier it is for your fingers to glide rapidly over the screen.

One of the best functions the iPhone provides stems from the thousands of applications offered on iTunes. Admittedly I download every free song offered Tuesdays and search the App Store for the latest and greatest and the free apps so my phone is less bare and more colorful on each screen. The reach the app store has is causing problems now for game console makers, greater extent of the details were reported in The New York Times, since a vast majority of people own phones and are likely to play games on the go.

I love the variety from my favorite Scrabble to Assassin’s Creed, which I used to watch my friend play religiously on his PS3. But even more, I appreciate what the competition from Apple is doing to Nintendo, Microsoft X-Box and Sony Playstation. The cost of these consoles, the WII for example, has kept its’ popularity while not needing to lower the cost for sales but with the growing interest in Apple’s applications they are going to lower the cost by a fifth in major markets (yay!). X-Box and Playstation have already lowered their costs, so it is only a matter of watching and waiting to see developments in consoles and software for the systems.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Latarian wants to do hoodrat things with his friends.

Yes, in some U.S. cities they have lowered the legal driving age down to just 7 years old. Well at least in 7 year old Latarian Milton's world. Latarian is the lastest 7 year old to get behind the wheel for a joyride. When I heard this story I thought it was a joke. Let alone did I even think it was possible. When I first watched this story on youtube I couldn't help but laugh. Not only do 7 year olds still cars now but they also smoke cigarretts. This story attracted so much human interest that it managed to make national news a few months back. The funniest parts of it all are the quotes they got from Latarian himself. I'm not going to spoil this for you all so just watch the video. If you thought you were a hell raiser when you were 7; you have officially been out done by Latarian Milton. So when you are out there on those roads beware of the 7 year old who might cut you off or tailgate you. He's just wants to do hoodrat things with his friends.

Celebrity Interviews

After the whole Kayne West and Taylor Swift episode, Jay Leno had him on the show to perform. Prior to his performance he wanted to make a statement to address what he was or was not thinking before he stole the stage. I don't know what to make of it myself, but he seemed genuine. We talked about it in class and had a debate whether he called Taylor Swift personally or not. If you watch is apology with Jay Leno and listen carefully because I don't even think he is making much sense.

I find it interesting to see everyone get involved in this. For the most part our society wants to be involved in the pop culture, celebrity world. I say, who cares. So, he was a bit crazy. If we all had our crazy moments video taped then we all would be in Kayne's shoes. I googled Kayne West and Taylor Swift and let's just say that there were many links to choose from. I went to Just Jared. com. All about celebrities. I enjoyed reading the comments.

"IM DISGUSTED AT HIM i used to like him so much now i hate him" This is one comment from a poster. Kayne West is human and makes decisions that he probably regrets. It doesn't change how he performs and does his job. He should have had better judgement, but he didn't. He is trying to apologize, but I don't think that will ever matter because he will always be remembered for that one night!

Tavis Smiley

If it’s not a Sunday or a Tuesday (my off days from work) one of the only television shows that I consistently make time for is PBS’ Tavis Smiley Show. The show despite being on PBS provides a good blend of information and entertainment. Entertainment guests have an opportunity to express themselves other than the customary plugs for their current projects. Tavis dig a little deeper than normal interviewers, and seldom are any of his guests unprepared to respond intelligently. I usually come away with a little more respect for his guests than I do by watching Leno, Conan, Letterman and other late night talk show hosts when I have time to check those shows out. Some of this weeks guests were Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner, former NFL star Michael Strahan, Congressman Mike Pence and actor David Duchovny. It’s a really well balanced show that I strongly suggest others tune in to watch.

Is Bing the real thing?

So I recently used Bing, Microsoft's relatively new search engine, just to see if it matches up with the king of search engines, Google.

I was pleasantly surprised, and I might even start using it as my main search engine.

The Layout

The simplicity of Google is one of the main reasons it has become the biggest and best search engine of all time. It's easy to find the search bar (how could you miss it), and the same goes for Bing.

Bing is probably prettier to look at because of its beautiful city picture on the front page, but it doesn't really add anything, I guess.

Both sites have their email counterparts right on the homepage (Hotmail for Microsoft, Gmail for Google).

Advantage: Tie

Web Search

I didn't really notice much difference in terms of what sites show up on each engine's web search. Google allows you to see 100 sites on a page, while Bing only lets you see 50, so advantage Google there.

A search for "Milwaukee Brewers" in Bing gives you six different sections - general Brewers info, Schedule, Tickets, Wallpaper, Rumors, and History. I guess that could be nice for some people, but if I wanted to know about the Brewers' history, I'd type in "Milwaukee Brewers history". The way that Bing has it now, you have to click on "see more results" in each section if you want to see more than the three default sites in each section. That just slows the search process more than it needs to.

Advantage: Google (for me, anyways)

Image Search

The fantastic thing about Bing's image search is that you're not limited to only 20 images per page like Google is. You'll get up to 1,000 images on a page.

Bing has four different views for images - small zoom, medium zoom, large zoom, and show image details. Google has no options. When you scroll over an image in Bing, it gets bigger and shows its details, a nice touch. When scrolling over an image in Bing, it gives you the option to show similar images, something that Google does not offer.

Advantage: Bing in a big way

Video Search

Bing has video searches all figured out. When you scroll over a video, it'll start playing for you. How cool is that?

Google Video wasn't very successful at all, so they acquired YouTube. Of course, YouTube on its own crushes anything Bing Video can do, but since YouTube is a separate site, I'll exclude it for comparison's sake.

Bing only allows you to see 20 videos on a page, whereas Google Video lets you see 100. Advantage Google there.

Advantage: Bing, as long as you consider YouTube not part of the Google Video site.


Bing's Microsoft Maps are clunky and not very easy to use. We all know how good Google Maps are. No contest here.

Advantage: Google

I think Bing is a pretty nice search engine, and I think I'd definitely use it more in the future. The video and image searches are really a plus, but for pure web searches, I think Google suits me best.

It'll be interesting to see what features Bing adds to try and catch up with Google. If one thing is for certain, it's that Microsoft has all the money in the world to pour into Bing.

Planned Obsolescence Blues

For those who do not know what Planned Obsolescence is --

--A company makes a product in such a way that within a certain time period, the device becomes useless. The consumer is then left with no choice, but to buy a newer version of the device--

Have you ever heard your parents say, "Ah, they just don't make'em like they used to." And then you probably think to yourself, "C'mon mom, you say that about everything."

In many cases, especially with devices like cell phones and iPods, this is very true. I would say that on average most of my friends get a new cell phone every year. And not just because it was smashed on wall in an apartment hallway in a drunken stupor. Sometimes, the screens stop working, buttons stop being responsive, and battery life (ESPECIALLY) declines drastically. I personally have never had an iPod that has lasted longer than two years. It works wonderfully for about a year and a half. Then things start to go south.

I'm pretty sure the most aggravating thing in the world is when you are listening to your favorite song, and you are really getting into it. You hear that one song that is so good it makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. And then right when it is about to hit your favorite part of the song, it happens.....CLICK! OFF! Whoa...Buzzkill.

Another irritating thing that is the battery life on cell phones. The last phone I had worked great for two years. Then one day it just switched off, and would not turn back on. Almost like its life span was on a timer. Conspiracy? Probably not. Irritating? Most Definitely.

Imagine if this would happen when you are using your phone for an alarm clock. It turns off in the middle of the night, and you miss an interview for a job that is willing to pay you six figures a year. Lame right?

Regardless if you believe this or not -- I'm still real bummed that my phone doesn't work anymore, and my Ipod lasts for about three songs before it shuts off. I'm glad apple is making a profit killing off of my misery. Planned obsolescence is the bane of my existence. I mean c'mon, if we can put a man on the moon, and clone a sheep, then we better be able to increase the battery life of an iPod.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I guess True Life can't be any truer!

I think I can say I am a fan of True Life, a show where people have their experiences with certain issues documented and aired on MTV. This show documents all kinds of stories from recovering drug addicts to people going through process of adoption. Last night was different, they put the producers on the show to talk about their experience documenting these raw emotions and near death experiences. These producers talked about the difficulty they face filming these stories and how sometimes they had to stay up three days at a time trying to keep up with a Crystal Myth user who had to prostitute herself in order to get her hand on this drug, that to her was the reason why she woke up in the morning. But most of all they talked about the importance of not interrupting and or affecting these people in any way so that the stories they chose to share are as real as they possibly can be so that maybe someone can actually learn from their experience and choose a better path. This is where I think media plays a good part in letting people know and helping them overcome or even try to make important decisions that help shape who they are or who they want to become.

Absolute sobriety for bartenders - Really?

I recently read, "Assembly panel considers absolute sobriety for bartenders" printed in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Josh Zepnick (D-Milwaukee) wants absolute sobriety for bartenders and a ban on “all you can drink” specials. He also wants laws in Wisconsin to change regarding underage drinking with a parent. He is proposing that underage drinking with a parent be permitted only if the individual is 18.

Zepnick is emotionally attached to these proposed changes. His sister was killed by a drunk driver who spent the day drinking at a church festival. I can understand his desire to reduce drunk driving in Wisconsin. Don’t we all want to be safe driving on the road?

I do have some issues with Zepnick’s approach however. Part of a bartender’s job is to keep guests entertained and having fun. Often times this requires a bartender to drink with a guest. I know from personal experience because I’m a bartender.

People go out to:
• Have fun
• Unwind
• De-stress.

Is drinking the best way to relax? I can argue that going for a run might be healthier, but who am I to judge.

**Photo by www.drinkingandyou.com

I think it is great that elected officials are trying to reduce the amount of drunk drivers on the road, but prohibiting bartenders from drinking is not the answer. We need to remember that bartenders are serving consenting adults who make their own decisions - consenting adults who chose to drink and drive.


I agree that bartenders should not be drunk on the job, but absolute sobriety is ridiculous. The truth is, bartenders CANNOT make someone take a cab. It’s that simple. Even if we stop serving someone because they are intoxicated, we have no control over how they get home, whether we are drinking on the job or not.

I agree with many bar owners who say that bartenders are also responsible for tasting products. If a customer says the beer is flat - I need to taste it. I believe that each business owner has the responsibility of promoting a safe environment for their staff and for customers, but the policies and procedures for staff members regarding drinking on the job should be determined by the individual business owner, not the government.

I understand why one would argue that a bartender’s ability to monitor a customer may be impaired if they engage in drinking with the customer, but it sounds to me like panel members are trying to find an easy way to “publicly” proclaim their efforts to lower drunk driving causalities.

The truth is they haven’t done enough research.
• How many of them have ever worked in a bar?
• Do they know how difficult it is to monitor someone’s alcohol consumption?
• Do they realize we can’t force someone to take a cab?

No they don’t.

The idea “looks” good, but I’m willing to say now, that if this passes – it will not have an effect on drunk driving.

Oh, Lady Gaga....

So, you may think I’ve been living under a rock for the past, what, week or so, but I’m just now getting to see the VMAs. Yup, I just saw the Kanye/Taylor drama, but since I already know what happens with that, I don’t care.

What I find interesting, is Lady Gaga’s performance. First, let me say that I bought her album “The Fame” not too long after it came out. I LOVE every song on the CD. (Yes, CD, I may be one of the very few that still purchase them…) Anyway, ever since then I would say that I have been, not obsessed, but a huge Lady Gaga fan. She’s totally weird, but that doesn’t bother me at all; it just adds to her persona, and makes her that much more intriguing.

She has a beautiful voice; I think that’s pretty undeniable, and she’s actually quite talented. Her performance this year may have been odd; here’s one from earlier this year at the V Festival in England. It’s still her style, but less…bloody. I say, keep on keepin’ on, Lady Gaga!


It seems that MTV still wants to air DJ AM's Intervention series.  I thought this was a bit strange considering he passed away, and he passed away from drugs.  How can MTV really want to air his show about staying away from drugs, when he is no longer with us due to drugs?  MTV thinks it is going to send a message dealing with anti-drugs, which is what the show is about, but it seems a little weird to continue to air it when he is no longer here. 
 It sounded like a great show, and considering he was a big celebrity to some that kids watching his program would have listened to what he had to say.  If the show begins to air, won't the viewers be confused that he is promoting this anti-drug lifestyle but he can't be there to talk about it anymore due to drugs?  I agree that it could be a tribute to him, but I think there is a better way to honor him.  Here is the link to what PerezHilton posted about it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

You Can't Forget Ryan, Marissa, Seth and Summer

After having been stressed this past week, I was hoping for a movie night.  A few of my friends came over and as always; the debate over what to watch began.  Unable to universally pick a movie or something to watch, my one friend decided she would just pick one and surprise us.  To our dismay, she chose to put in a disc from The OC first season. 

Initially, most of us argued or complained – typically the guys more so than the girls.  Most girls cannot deny that they have in fact watched most, to all of the seasons of The OC and probably own at least one season.

After watching the first half hour of an episode I began to notice that everyone, including the guys, were all quite, and actually really watching the show.  It was as though despite the petty, over dramatic themes of the show, no matter how badly you try to avoid it, it will suck you right in. 

This then lead to our discussion of how these unrealistic television shows of teenagers going through high school are actually entertaining.  We watch The OC, acknowledge how over dramatic and unrealistic it is, and yet cannot wait for the next episode.  We see these characters and wish to personify their styles, their attitudes.  We become infatuated with what is going on in their lives more so than we are with our own.  Don’t get me wrong I love the entertainment, but it just seems that as a society we almost set these shows as a priority.  I have many friends that will cancel anything or set aside homework on a Monday night because heaven forbid she were to miss a few minutes of her beloved Gossip Girl.

            I think too much of our society, mainly the younger generations, are losing insight into their own lives because they get too caught up in the lives of these fake people, living fake lives on television.  

You've got mail

Last week I tried to mail a simple letter to a friend. I don't normally use "snail-mail," (as it is affectionately referred to these days) but I had to mail a check to the commissioner of my fantasy football league. Being that I was sending money in the mail, I wanted my letter to go somewhere I knew it would be picked up on time and without concern. So on my way to class I figured I would swing by one of those blue drop boxes by the OP and simply drop my letter in there. Wrong.

Unbeknownst to me, the city has apparently ripped up all said mail boxes from the surrounding UWM area, as my search for one later that day went unsuccessful. So, although in order to use my mailbox for outgoing letters I have to leave it out for all to see, I took my chances and put it in the little flimsy hook on my porch.

When I came home later that night, we apparently got no mail that day so the mail carrier decided not to see my letter - thus not picking it up.

I finally got my mail out (two days after I intended), but is this what technology has done to old school-style mail? I admittedly don't use it much, but has email taken over to the point that sending letters has become this complex?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Guilty Pleasure (cont)

Here is Britney's video, "Piece of Me" where she says it like it is (in her view)

Guilty Pleasure

This is old news to most of you, but it is something that seems to resurface periodically. Britney Spears, the "Miss America dream since she was 17". Probably her CD was the first CD I had ever owned with a close follower, Hanson. Then of course as time passed media made her life a center stage; the break-up with Justin Timberlake, eloping in Vegas with Kevin Federline, PREGNANT, oh and pregnant AGAIN!, shaving her head while hitting rock bottom, seeing pictures of her "crotch" and "OMG" so much more!!

What amazes me, is she still proceeds to win VMA's and other awards. She still is producing music that makes it to the top 10. She still is touring and selling out her concerts. And she voices her opinion of media and paparazzi through some of her songs.

Britney has progressively been a promiscuous artist. Her songs, such as, 'If U Seek Amy', (say it fast!) bring controversy and speak of vulgar things perhaps, depending on how you want to interpret it. Or, one of my favorite songs, 'Piece of Me' is her saying like it is about all the Media attention.

Britney knows media loves her and what she does. Therefore she continues to make music she knows the media will enjoy and criticize. She knows she will get attention through almost anything she does, including her VMA performance kissing Madonna, yet Spears continues to succeed.

Of course, many people can say this about probably many different artists. The only reason why I use Britney is because she is my guilty pleasure. I don't even enjoy "POP" music, I just enjoy what Britney has done and how successful she has been and yes.. I do like her music.

It is really Ocenta y Cinco

Following up on what Chad wrote about Ochocinco. I will have to agree with him.
Although I did not know that "Ochocinco" (who I will proceed to call Ochenta y cinco- the way it is suppose to be pronounced) had said before the game that he was going to do the lambeau leap. But when I saw him do it during Sunday's game, I definately was annoyed and angry. However when I saw the Packer fan flip the bird on live TV, I was thankful.

I do agree with chad, the media gave it too much attention before and after the incident happened. It's a football game and most of the attention should be targeted toward the players and their performances.

With the exception of the Green Bay Packers, I generally watch the NFL to follow up on my Fantasy Football league, so while I am watching the game I am listening to what the announcers are saying about certain players and their projections. Also, I am watching their performances to see if I should keep or trade particular players I have on my team. I don't want to hear about what would be "thrilling" on a reality TV show.

The reason why I was so disgusted with "Ocenta y cinco" is because, of course, he is a good player and performs very well, but no one wants to see his performance of his ego, especially at their favorite football teams home field. It's disgusting and unnecessary for both the player and the media to over exaggerate this incident.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Kids and Cell Phones

On my way to work last week I was listening to a popular morning radio talk show. The topic of discussion was Kids with Cell Phones. One of the main DJs was talking about how is 7-year-old daughter asked him for a cell phone. His was response: Absolutely not.

My first thought agreed with him. But the more I thought about it, the better the idea sounded. Maybe not at age 7, but definitely in the preteen/teenage years. I changed my mind just about as fast as the times are changing. When I was 11 or 12-years-old I begged to have a phone in my room. At this day and age, not many people have land lines so their version of a phone in their room is a cell phone.

I don't agree with a standard phone for a preteen/teenager, but there are cell phones on the market that function with and store up to 6 numbers and have a limited amount of minutes but function in an emergency even if minutes are gone.

Sunday, September 20, 2009



For those of you that don’t know, Chad Ochocinco is a wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals.  Chad legally changed his last name to Ochocinco, who wears the number 85 on his jersey, from Johnson last season.  Ochocinco is arguably one of the best wide receivers in the league, but he knows it and it’s obviously gotten to his head.  He likes to be the center of media attention and has been very good at it in his career. 

The Bengals were in Green Bay to play this Sunday to play the Packers and of course Chad has to do something to draw some attention.  He accomplished this by telling reporters that he would perform the “Lambeau Leap” after scoring a touchdown in Sunday’s game.  This is a big deal because the “Lambeau Leap” is generally reserved for Packer players only, where players jump into the stands after scoring a touchdown.  This caused a lot of media build-up over the week and angered a lot of Packer fans.

On Sunday fans sitting near the end zone prepared to protect the stands in case Ochocinco did score a touchdown.   He did manage to score a touchdown and headed towards the stands.  Luckily for him, three Bengals fans managed to get tickets in the front row (or Ochocino bought them for the fans) and he was able to jump in the stands.  One Packer fan nearby shared a few choice words and flipped Ochocinco off on live TV.   So Chad got the attention he wanted and accomplished his goal of pissing off Packer fans.

            The sports media has made a big deal about it and I think it’s pointless.  They should concentrate more on who’s performing well and who’s winning games.   That type of behavior is meant for reality TV and not football in my opinion.

Greatful ramblings on a better Emmys


There is a special appeal to Kristin Chenoweth. Her personality went from carefree to overcome in a matter of seconds at the 61st Annual Emmy Awards. Being a bit of a Broadway aficionado I was a fan of Kristin’s voice before I watched her on Pushing Daisies. You see this pint-sized woman and hear her slight squeak of a voice and wonder, really? Amazing vocalist and actress? But yes, really, and in a long line of nominees for the night, she was the one I didn’t expect but was over the moon when she was awarded.

Another bright note of the Emmys, Neil Patrick Harris. Not to say that I felt cheated by the lack of an Emmy win for NPH, host of the night’s award show, but yeah, boo to the academy. During the stint with winner Jon Cryer (in no way am I saying that Cryer is any less than brilliant in his role on Two and A Half Men), I almost thought that the award given was a joke and the envelope was going to revel NPH as the winner. Le sigh, no such luck.

And nice touch adding John Hodgman (better known as PC on Mac commercials) as an announcer, whose voice filled our airwaves as each winner walked up to receive their award. I am one to flip to mute during certain award winners but because of Hodgman’s witty comments, I just felt like I couldn’t unless I wanted to miss out.

Last but not least, the blasts from the past announced by NPH about prior roles actors and actresses had, cheesy but true I remembered why I do love TV; it makes you smile (cut to camera showing NPH guzzling champagne angrily). Much better than last year’s Emmys, much.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Boobs, we all care about them.

October is just around the corner and once again it will be National Breast Cancer Awareness month which will be celebrating their 25th year of educating and making breast cancer aware in our world. Sooner than later we will start seeing PSA’s centered on breast cancer awareness however, I am not sure they will be showing this one. Although I believe that this PSA can be very effective it might be too edgy for television. The PSA is set around a pool where a lot is happening, there are men dancing, people conversing and drinking, and women tanning, pretty much the normal activity around a pool. Then a young woman in a white bikini approaches the pool, the music is changed and everything that was happening is stopped and focused on the young woman (except for the group of men dancing.) This is what I think is so unique about the PSA. You are introduced to the characters around the pool that are all of different ethnic backgrounds and age groups. Although I am sure people were more focused on other things, I believe this was an interesting way of showing the many different demographics the PSA was trying to reach. I also thought it was an interesting as well as a strange approach for a PSA. Using sex to sell the idea that breast cancer is still a continuing issue in our world is rather different then usual. Many of the PSA’s that are centered on breast cancer seem to just be straight forward with the idea “if you don’t do something, you will die” and that seems rather dark and depressing. Although the necessary message is given in these depressing PSAs I feel there are more effective ways to educate viewers of this issue. I for one hope to see this PSA broadcasted on our local networks because I believe it targets a large range of people which I think is necessary to continue the ever growing support we have towards breast cancer.

Lil' Mama what were you thinking?

I would say this years MTV VMA’s were a complete disaster and it was not all Kanye’s fault. We can also thank rapper/ Amercia’s Best Dance Crew judge Lil’Mama. I’m sure a lot of you are thinking who the hell is Lil’ Mama? Do not fret; she is a no talent hack who happens to make one semi popular song titled Lipgloss or something along those lines. While hip-hop mogul Jay-Z was performing his new track Empire State of Mind featuring Alicia Keys, Lil’Mama decides to make an unexpected and unwanted appearance on stage. As you can see in this photo Jay-Z does not look too thrilled by Lil’ Mama’s emergence. First I think to myself where is MTV’s security and second why in the world would Lil’ Mama think it was ok to interrupt the performance of one of hip-hops biggest stars? These types of stunts are the reason I watch award shows because it’s guaranteed someone will make a fool of themselves.
Whitney Houston once remade singer Chaka Khan's R&B classic "I'm Every Woman." When the song was release she was on top of the world, having performed the "Star Spangled Banner" at the 1997 Super Bowl like no other singer had sang it before. She had had one of the most popular songs in the history of pop music with the Dolly Parton penned "I Will Always Love You." She managed to, while not entirely taking away such a tremendous contribution to music, to nearly undo it with her penchant for partying and drug use, and a tumultuous marriage to Bobby Brown.

She emerged brand new on The Oprah Winfrey Show this week. She has kicked cocaine and dumped Brown. She seems healthy, but the voice has been reduced by her rough lifestyle of drug abuse despite her riches. The interview was proof that Houston is that every woman she sang about in the song. Not because of drug abuse, though of course many woman struggle with that, but because of the resilience of spirit that has brought her back relatively whole.

Like a Facbook, touched for the very first time...

So, I might literally be the very last college-aged person in America not to have a facebook account. Almost every time I meet someone new, the question of, "Do you have a facebook?"
ensues, followed by a puzzle look when I reply, "Um, no." I can no longer fight facebook, and there's no time like the present. My goal for the following week: finally open a facebook account and set up a profile.

In the past few weeks I've actually managed --facebook free -- to regain contact with a few friends I haven't seen in a couple of years. But it seems the only way to remain in contact with them (and others) from this point forth is through this social networking site. I have been peer-pressured into facebooking. Facebook has quickly become the preferred route of communication for people with busy lives and internet access (i.e. everyone). At times it seems near impossible to reach anyone by phone. I find more people respond to texting than a phone call, and ultimately, it would seem, that facebook is now at the top of the chain of interpersonal communication between acquaintances and friends.

I've been so resistant until now because I'm just not crazy about the idea of putting images and information about myself up online for all to see for no other purpose than to socialize, though I do realize one can have a private profile. But having to allow and disallow friend requests seems a little cliquey. It feels as though I'm about to embark on some kind of social experiment. Wish me luck!


As I mentioned on the first day of classes, I write for the Bucks for the website Examiner.com.

What is Examiner.com? Well, it's a website that hires everyday people to write about their areas of expertise. The company hires people from most major cities and has them write articles about a particular topic, whether it be a sports team (like me), the city's bars and clubs, the area's mortgages and housing, and even such things as sports cars or gun rights.

The company pays a penny per page hit, and while that may not seem like a lot, some of the nation's best bloggers make hundreds and hundreds of dollars a month. The Oakland Raiders Examiner is among the best in the US, and several boxing/mma Examiners do really well also.

It's a company that is really on the rise, and their ultimate goal is to be the first place people go to for up-to-the-minute news regarding specific topics.

I've had a lot of fun doing this so far, and with the Bucks season starting up shortly, it'll get a lot more interesting. The main reason I started doing this was to help get me in to the JMC program, and I think it really helped. It certainly looks great on resumes if any of you are interested in writing articles (or doing something similar) for a career.

I should also mention that if I refer you to Examiner.com and they hire you on, we both get $50. I referred the Pro Tennis Examiner last spring - they hired him on, and it has worked out great for both of us. If any of you are interested, you can apply directly at examiner.com or CareerBuilder.com always has a listing. When applying, just use referral number 6519 (that's me). They may have openings in certain topics already available, or you can create your own topic to write about.

The Digital Age and News

I went back home to visit my parents last weekend and noticed something very odd: my dad woke up on Sunday morning, drove to the gas station, and bought the Sunday newspaper. As someone who has grown up with a computer, I have never spent money to purchase my news. So, I got to thinking about what effect the Internet, in terms of obtaining news, has on older generations of people who have not grown up with the same technology that I have.

The Internet has an intricate history, but it is not relatively long. Our parents and grandparents did not grow up in the era of computers and many of them still don't even know how to operate one, let alone go online to read about the news. My own dad is a prime example; my family has had a home computer for years and I can count on one hand the number of times he's used it.

So if printed newspapers continue to disappear, what will people of older generations do to retrieve their news? Can you teach an old dog new tricks? Can a someone like my father learn to use, accept, and enjoy the Internet?

I recently read a blog post from WordPress that discussed the demise of newspapers."When someone demands to know how we are going to replace newspapers, they are really demanding to be told that we are not living through a revolution," says Clay Shirky. "They are demanding to be told that old systems won’t break before new systems are in place." The truth of the matter is that instead of dreading and worrying about the demise of newspapers, people should look to the future and realize the many advantages that digital news has to offer.

The end of newspapers may not be as big a crisis as many think. After all, it offers a much more convenient and efficient way to view different publications at once. In the end, all generations need to embrace, or at least make peace, with the digital age.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Racism Excuse

I was required to read this article for my JMC 450 course, 'Race and Ethnicity in the Media'. This article, I believe pertained well to this weeks discussion so I decided to blog on it. The article talks about how if Obama does not/did not win the election then the excuse would be that this country is racism. I believe the media plays a role in this. I believe the media potrayed Obama as a BLACK CANDIDATE versus being a candidate that just happened to be black. By doing this they installed fear in having a black man ruling the country to millions of hesitant American voters, and reassured the many racist OR republican voters that he was not the write choice. Who rules the media? Conglomerations and CEO's of these few media coperations. Therefore, these CEO's, I believe arn't likely to vote democratic. Therefore, the media, I believe potrayed Obama in the light that they did, to persuade the millions of viewers with the right to vote that he was not the write man to be our President.

Twitter...popular among all ages?

I must say, this spring when Twitter exploded into the MEGA-social-networking site that it now has been for the past few months, I didn’t get it. What’s the big deal? Status updates on Facebook are enough for me; I don't care what you're doing every second of every day. I hardly have time to think about what I'M doing during the day, much less follow friends, celebrities, companies, television stations, and whoever else. Recently, though, a friend told me about this person on Twitter that I just HAD to check out because his tweets are just “SOOOOOOO hilarious”. So I did, and as it turns out, this man is quite possibly the funniest man I’ve ever…not heard…not seen…followed?
The account was made by Justin a 29 year old who lives with his 73 year old father. He posts only funny quotes that his dad says in passing throughout the day. Check it out!

Back 2 School

I was visiting a website called current.com where i like to watch the infomania segments, especially the target audience by Sarah Haskins. I was watching this back 2 school video that got me thinking about wether or not it is ok to target kids for advertisement. I was also looking at the connections in the video and got to thinking about integration, conglomeration and concentration. For example when you see the video she talks about how she does her back to school shopping at walmart because that's where miley cyris sells her line, and that she has to go to sears because thats what selena gomez sponsors, and Kohl's because thats where avril lavegne sells her line. It is crazy to see how the advertising world feeds off of the integration of these corporations, media overlapping other media, media making a profit off of other media. Here is the video: http://current.com/items/90946644_back-2-school.htm

It is also a good illustration of the youth of our generation are being exposed to.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Texting while walking

After watching that video in class last week about texting while driving, I can't help but notice (even more) how much people actually do that. But there is something that has grabbed my attention even more: texting while walking.

I'm sure we've all seen it, and probably most of us have done it too. Why not? It's the new form of walking-and-talking. You can get your message across without having to worry about where that person is or if they can answer the phone. However, have you ever seen these people trying to walk while their doing this. It would almost be worth while to just stop, finish your message, and then proceed walking.

As I was walking to class yesterday, I was about two hundred feet from a girl that had her hands and eyes glued to her blackberry. It was like watching a drunk person stumble home after a long night at the bars. Not only could she not keep a straight line on the three-foot-wide sidewalk, she nearly barreled into me when our paths crossed. My advice: if you're not text-walking, keep your head on a swivel. You never know where the next twalker will come at you from.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Kanye vs. Taylor

So after not watching the VMA's due to studying at the library, I guess I missed out on the big drama between Kanye West and Taylor Swift.  No worries though as I surfed perezhilton.com, I found plenty of information on it, and I also visited youtube.com to view the clip from last nights Video Music Awards.  So I'm sure a lot of you, unlike me knew what happened right away, but if you don't know Kanye West got on stage when Taylor Swift received her VMA, and began to let everyone know that Beyonce had an amazing music video, and basically just took the microphone from Swift and kept going on.  This seems to be big news in the media, and I'm sure this drama is yet to be over. 

Apparently he has apologized to Swift several times, but everyone seems to be quite upset with a disrespectful Kanye West.  I wouldn't be surprised if this is the top article in all of the magazines that come out this Friday.  I am still in shock after watching the video, I think Kanye is a complete jerk and was totally wrong for blowing Swift's moment.  It seems that Kanye was pretty upset though that Beyonce did not get the award, although there was no need to show how he felt by taking the stage away from Swift's win.  I would love to know what other people think about this!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Did Facebook need a diet?

I recently discovered Facebook Lite, which was launched in August. I was quite happy that a friend introduced me to the site, because I was beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed with Facebook in general.

I found myself using Facebook less and less when I was introduced to Twitter this summer. I thought it was a bit boring at first, due to the lack of photos and other images, but I began to appreciate the site’s authenticity and simplistic style during the global Tehran demonstrations.

If you think back, this was the intention of the original Facebook. It was marketed as a social networking site for college students and seemed like a breath of fresh air in comparison to MySpace.

MySpace was flooded with intrusive advertisements and stalker like individuals who wanted to be your “friend.” Some how-I’m not sure why or when, Facebook morphed into MySpace II. Even with the updated “Twitter like” feel, Facebook is not the same as it used to be.

The site has become an advertisement circus. Personally I am happy that Facebook went on a diet with the introduction of Facebook Lite. It needs to detoxify completely.

If you’re tired of Facebook, I suggest trying Facebook Lite. One can truly see a difference in the comparison below. Facebook Lite is easier on the eye, has less advertisements and appears to be taking a step in the right direction.
Image from Mashable.com

What do you think?

U2 in Concert

Even though I think the title says enough, I need to fill you in on my amazing experience with getting to be a part of U2’s 360 tour. Talk about a powerful performance, U2 performed at Soldier Field in Chicago and gave thousands of devoted fans and appreciative listeners a slice of greatness. I have never been to a concert of this magnitude and this many people. The arena was sold out which means close to 100,000 people were there. To just give you a taste, I found this video on youtube that gives a small idea of how it went in Chicago. What struck me the most with this whole concert was the message U2 was trying to send to the world through his unforgettable lyrics. Of course it wouldn’t be like Bono if he didn’t try to make us aware of the number of people dying from aids in Africa or ask to dedicate a song to Iranians and the people who were on streets and were killed trying to practice their right to vote and decide who their leader is. I was on the verge of tears at the end when the show ended and they came out for one last song, of course they saved the best for last with their amazing song that gives the people a perfect message to take home, One Love.

Friday, September 11, 2009

What's In A Name?

When a holiday arrives most people look forward to the little luxury it brings. Things like having the day off, presents, a huge dinner and so forth. For me, there is one little thing that I always look forward to: The Google Logo.

Now let me give you a little background before you think I'm crazy. About a year ago I was the Vice President of Promotions for the American Marketing Association, UWM's collegiate chapter. Since I was on the executive board I was asked to go to multiple conferences. During our regional conference at Whitewater, we had a presentation with an art executive from Google. One of his main topics was the Google logo and how it changes for each holiday. He described the history, process and selection of the logo. His presentation was so interesting that I can't help but visit the website everytime a holiday arrives.

This brings me to my next point. Recently we visited the date 09/09/09. This is a studied date for theorists and skeptics. Even so, there is no real significance to this date. I happened to visit the site that day and saw the logo was altered. Little digital 9's graced the logo. Now, today I visited the site, 09/11/09...and there was nothing. No graphics, no added special effects, nothing. I guess I just want to know...what's the beef, Google?

Black Minstrelsy Still in the Media

I have never seen the show Mad Men but I have heard some good things about it. Actually let me take that back! I have only heard reference of the show while watching one of my favorite shows Entourage. Shout out to my guy Turtle! In regards, to the blackface minstrelsy you referred to that took place in one of the episodes of Mad Men The actor kinda looks like Uncle Ben or the crème of wheat dude. LOL. Although I feel this is one of the most disrespectful and degrading forms of entertainment. It is one of the first forms of popular culture ever created in the United States of America. It is ironic that you have brought this subject to the forefront because I recently have studied this form popular culture last semester. Whites who performed and depicted the uneducated, lazy, rhythmic, and joyful enslaved black had no idea how influential and detrimental this would be to the black community and black identity for future blacks like myself. Blackface Minstrelsy only perpetuated the stereotypes accompanied with being black and gave those of other ethnicities a sense of superiority. I can’t even count how many times people have assumed I love chicken, watermelon, and that I can dance really well. It’s a slap in the face that these actors would even color their faces with charcoal and enhance their features such as the lips. They portray the characteristics of blacks to be unattractive and savage like. I think it is important that we don’t forget that this type of entertainment is part of America’s history because it is still prevalent in advertising and popular culture today such as Aunt Jemimah. But us, as African Americans, should do everything in our power to not live up to these ridiculous depictions and stereotypes. As for Mad Men, I hope they do fined a better way to incorporate blacks into their story line and still hold the essence relative to that time period.

Oprah's On! - Again

The new season of The Oprah Winfrey Show kicked off with The Black Eyed Peas performing their hit "I Got a Feeling" while thousands of fans performed a FlashMob with choreographed dance steps. It was amazing to see such a massive crowd performing these steps. The show was staged along Chicago’s Magnificent Mile on Michigan Avenue. It was quite a spectacle.

It is Oprah's 24th season on air, and though I envision her coming on stage with the assistance of a cane, she still books current acts. If anyone, regardless of demographic group, tunes into the show you'll still find something of interest. The show is still an American institution of interest. Wednesday’s premier included acts as diverse as the aforementioned Black Eyed Peas, magician/illusionist Criss Angel and musical icon James Taylor.

If the show can take the entire summer and most of the spring off, and still be relevant ratings and culture wise, then expect to see Oprah for a long time to come.