Friday, December 18, 2009


The show “Teen Mom” on MTV follows a few teen moms. You see how hard it to be a teen mom, but at the same time this show is showing teens that if you get pregnant you can always just get on a show. The US has a growing number of teen pregnancies and shows like this do not help the statics go down. Once I turned the show, it was hard to turn the channel. The editing makes each scene flow into another. This show type is typical on MTV. They try to bring reality into every home but by doing that they are in a way making important issues not seem so important. Shows like “My Super Sweet 16” shows the world how stuck up so American teens are. Shows like the “Real World” on the other hand show how editing can create an event out of one saying. I do not know what on TV is considered real anymore.

Fantastic Mr. Anderson!

Wes Anderson has made his genius ever-apparent once again in his latest move Fantastic Mr. Fox!. The movie is, of course, based off the classic Rohl Dahl book of the same name. I personally have never read the book, though it seems that most school aged children have become familiar with it at one time or another, but it made no difference to me when viewing Anderson's eye-catching new piece of cinematic art.

Anderson uses his distinct style of animation, that we previously only catch a glimmer of in his previous films (The Life Aquatic, etc.), to create a full length feature that is both witty and mesmerizing. George Clooney is a great fit as Mr. Fox (as is Merril Streep for Mrs. Fox), and who would not love Bill Murray as a badger? The anthropomorphism of the characters is so strong, one almost forgets they are supposed to be animals. The soundtrack sets the tone -- and is perfectly in sync with the animation -- with original composition, indie music, and, yes, a little bit of the Beach Boys. Even though the plot is about coming to terms with one's true nature, I couldn't help but think the film itself was a beautiful exercise in escapism.

It seems to have been the season of fantasy and whimsy with one "fantastical" film after another. Fox echoes the idea of an other-worldliness that could also be seen recently in Where the Wild Things Are. Both are based on best-selling children's books, are retold by renowned indie directors, and both provide a visual feast for the eyes while touching on deeper psychological themes. Although this move may be more child-friendly than WTWTA, it still has many aspects that seem tailor made for adults to enjoy. And enjoy it I did!

Goths Vs Emo

Recently in class we discussed and article called Lessons From Littleton. This article goes into the perception of teenagers in schools and how some schools were banning certain types of "looks." In one incident, the article tells of a teenagers who wore the Star of David and one teacher mistook it as a gang symbol.

Another topic the author, Jenkins, touched on was Goths. Goths appear in dark clothing, crazy colored hair, and many piercing and tattoos. Most goths also wear dark make up such as thick eyeliner, black lipstick, and dark eyeshadows. Goths do this to separate themselves from the social norms that surround them. They feel different, so they want to portray their differences through their looks.

Incidentally a friend of mine recently asked me what the difference was between emos and goths. Interestingly enough, I kind of had an answer. I took a class last semester called Media and Popular Culture. In this class we watched a video called Goths Vs Emos: Differences. The video was produced by a goth to show people what the differences were between the goth lifestyle and the emo lifestyle. One prominant messages was, "Goth is a lifestyle, emo is a trend." I found it every interesting that these individuals spend so much time separating themselves from the social norms when some spend so much time conforming to them.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Surfing Perezhilton, I came across the headline, “Brad and Angie trying for baby #7?” For those of you who don’t know Brad and Angie have a lot of kids. At this point I don’t know how many they have anymore, I’d guess six after reading this headline. A lot of people think they adopt and have all of these kids to be an even larger part of the media than they already are. Some articles about Brad and Angie have been dealing with where they chose to take their children in one reading people were worried about the safety of their kids in the countries Angie was bringing them to. For Brad and Angie it’s always about going above and beyond what other couples do.

Recently though there have also been rumors that the couple’s relationship is not at its greatest point, but they always look so happy with all of their kids. An insider said, “"Angelina decided about four months ago that she really wanted to try to get pregnant again. She basically told Brad that if it happens, it happens and that she wasn't going to concern herself with birth control. Angie's most at peace when a baby is coming." I guess if they have another kid maybe they can fix the bumps in the road, seems to me this is what they’re implying.

The Battle to Leagalize it!

The leaglization of marijana has been an on going public debate for years now. Visiting friends in San Francisco, California has brought to my attention the large difference in leniency between Wisconsin and California in regards to marijuana. I met people out there that have green cards, allowing them to purchase medical marijuana whenever they want, whatever amount. They simply go to the website, browse the online "catalog" of the different kinds of marijuana available, choose their amount and order it! They then, within the hour, deliver your order, even right to your dorm! Coming back to Wisconsin, is another story.
This past Tuesday December 15th, Wisconsin lawmakers sat down to disucss the pros and cons of legalizing marijuana. The bill would allow patients that qualify to be able to recieve the drug from compassion centers or grow it on their own. The bill was denied. Despite its inital rejection, they were said to have decided to give it another month of debate before their final decision is made.
I am in no way claiming to be a "pot head" or smoke marijuana, etc; however, I do condone and support the idea of leagilizing it in Wisconsin. If other states have, and there was not a large increase of abuse or anything due to the use of the drug, there seems to be no real reason to oppose the idea.

'Avatar' already selling out for this weekend

The movie Avatar, due to be released in theaters tomorrow, is already being sold out nationwide.

Directed by James Cameron (Terminator, Titanic, Aliens, Rambo), Avatar is a 3D sci-fi fantasy movie about a paraplegic who travels to the world of Pandora, a land inhabited by "Na'vi" humanoids to take the place of his fallen brother in battle.

The film had an enormous $300 million budget and has received mixed reviews thus far. Some have the said the dialogue is clunky, but famous critic Roger Ebert went in to the showing not sure what to expect, but came out thrilled with Cameron's work.

Cameron had pledged to take 3D to the next level, whatever that may be, and the movie seems to be generating a ton of buzz. Will it be as successful as his previous movies? Time will tell, but if you don't already have a ticket for this weekend, you might be waiting awhile to see it.

R.I.P. Chris Henry

NFL wide receiver Chris Henry passed away today, due to injuries he sustained in a car accident on Wednesday. His story marks one of the biggest tragedies and saddest stories that I’ve heard in a while. It's not just the untimely nature and unfortunate situation that resulted in his premature death, but the circumstances surrounding his troubled life. A few years ago, Henry was one of the top receivers in the NFL, in addition to being one of its biggest troublemakers. For many, he was a symbol of everything that was wrong with the struggling Cincinnati Bengals. At the time, the club was notorious for all the wrong reasons. Numerous players had been arrested for serious crimes. Henry himself had been arrested several times for such offenses as criminal damaging, driving under the influence, and marijuana possession. He was released by the team in April 2008, at which time owner Mike Brown explained that he had “forfeited his opportunity to pursue a career with the Bengals, and that his conduct could no longer be tolerated.” In the following months Henry turned his life around. With the help of former NFL wide receiver Michael Irvin, who was no stranger to legal troubles in his playing days, Henry found a way to get his life back on track. With the Bengals injury list piling up, and their poor performance continuing last year, Brown took a chance and re-signed the reformed Henry to the team. It worked out and Henry managed to be productive on the field once more, this time while keeping his personal life in check. Unfortunately, right when he found the road to redemption, Henry’s life was snuffed out.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tiger Woods vs everyday men

It seems that Tiger Woods and his affair make the major news stories of the day. My main issue with Tiger's affair is that he affair is causing more waves than an affair between a normal run of the mill man and women. I feel that there are more newsworthy stories than an affair. Another thing with the Wood's drama is the fact that the media won't let it go. It seems that almost every other day a new women comes forward saying that they were with Woods. Why can't these women stay in the shadow? I don't know about most people but I am tired of hearing about affairs on the news when there are other events happening in the world that affect more people than an affair involving the mayor, police chief and "celebrity". I now will not click or watch a certain news show if they start off with breaking news about another affair.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sing-Off: The New Vampire?

Despite their khakis, ties, and jackets, the all-male Beelzebubs are no fans of uniformity. Their energetic performances include flailing arms, stamping feet, and running around on stage. They edged out nearly 1,000 other a cappella groups that vied last summer for spots on ‘‘The Sing-Off.’’

Watching the latest performance based music talent show, I thought how much they are exploiting the already popular American Idol, America’s Got Talent and Glee. That is how the show is advertised but then I began to see how what is popular usually is what is profitable. Let’s see who else has done this… Vampire Diaries, Tru Blood, Twilight? As popular as vampires have become, good old fashioned talent with musical influence seems to resonate with many fans. There is something about music that draws us in, kind of like how the undead allure of a vampire makes the teens fall over themselves. If Sing Off does well, how many more shows like it will emerge?

Based on the vampire trend, we should be prepared. Not to say that the show has no draw for me, I am a sucker for great singers and vampires, I grew up watching Star Search and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But it would be lovely if the shows kept to talent, I always feel terrible watching auditions that are not only painful to watch but just downright embarrassing to witness. The best group so far (opinion of course) on Sing-Off is Nota, a Puerto Rican group, that makes the show worth watching.

Monday, December 14, 2009

We Cause Scenes!

Improv Everywhere is something everyone needs to be familiar with! It is a performance group that carries out skits and pranks with group members and volunteers who are called “uncover agents.” The group’s tagline is “We Cause Scenes,” and their mission is to create scenes of public joy and chaos. Usually the improvisations occur in big cities like New York and L.A., where they attempt to bring joy and a bit of randomness to the dullness and monotony of city life. All pranks are done in good fun with simply the intent of putting a smile on people’s faces.

The group has performed countless “missions” but some more well known pranks include Frozen in Grand Central and I Love Lunch! The Musical. In Frozen in Grand Central, for example, tons of volunteers all stop and freeze at exactly the same time in Grand Central Station. They remain frozen in mid-action for 5 minutes as bystanders become confused, entertained, and sometimes irritated. After time has passes, all frozen people come to life and nonchalantly go back to their business as if nothing happened.

Beware! Once you start watching the videos, you will become addicted!

The skits are usually recorded and the group has videos on their website and youtube, a book explaining improvisations, and dvds for sale.

Homeless to "Blind side" (NFL Left Tackle)

Michael Oher, 74, recently known as Baltimore Ravens rookie left tackle. Or as others might know him as, the inspiration of the new movie Blind Side. He was an African-American homeless, overweight highschooler, who was taken in by a wealthy, white family, the Touhys who helped provide Oher with his full potential and become now, an NFL first draft pick left tackle.

The movie is named after his position in football. The left tackle is also known as the blind side. The left tackle position is on the offensive line. (Basically blocking for the quaterback). He is a young 23 year old who didn't have it so easy at such a young age. Since being taken into the Touhy family, he had to opportunity to play a sport he loved, and attend college at Mississippi. What a great example of someone following their dream while being very underprivileged. As the left tackle position, you may not create a profile full of statistics, but it is a crucial position and as a rookie he as even strived to the starting spot.

Two weeks ago, Monday, Oher and the Ravens played the Packers at Lambeau field. Before the game there was a tribute of the recent movie out about the Blind Side's inspiration. As a football fan, I find it as an incredible story and incredibly heartening. I watched the Packers, cheered for Aaron Rodgers, but also watched and cheered for the 'famous' number 74. Even watching the game, gave me goosebumps to know he once had absolutely nothing in his life and now he is living his dream.

Of course since the recent release of the movie, many intereviews with Oher and his adoptive family have been proposed and taken place. However, in some interviews I have read, Oher simply wants to talk about football, not the book or the movie. He doesn't care about the fame from the movie, he cares about his job playing left tackle for the Ravens. He didn't strive get this far and become egotistical. If anything he knows what is like to have nothing and now he is just doing what makes him happy.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Life without TV

one of my first blogs for this class was when I first started living without television. My roomates and I are poor, and dont have enough money to buy one of those boxes to get even standard cable. Me being a pretty devoted television viewer, I thought that I would go crazy. It's been about five months now that my roommates and I have been without television, and surprisingly we are doing just fine. I have found that I generally miss tv when there is a packer or badger game on or the news. We have found that normally on a daily living basis, to do something together in the house, would normally involve us watching a tv show or a movie on the tv. now we sit around and talk about anything, my roomate knits, one plays the drums, and i have taken up the harmonica. I have come to value the conversations between my roomates and I more now, because I know that if we had a TV we would not be learning and exploring and enjoying each others company as much as we do without tv. However, we have all found a way to access shows that we love whether it be on network television websites, or through renting seasons on netflix. If I have learned anything from this experience it would be that television is a luxury, not a necessity. I would recommend to anyone going without a television for a certain amount of time, it brings back the person to person conversation that people in this day and age are lacking.

Friday, December 11, 2009

"Growing pains for Wikipedia"

I never thought about editing or submitting entries to Wikipedia. It sounds so scholarly to be able to contribute to an encyclopedia - doesn't it? Well, I found this article from 2005 (kind of old) and it explains why Wales had to monitor submissions and change the rules.

Hackers are infamous for 'hacking' into entries and changing information, as discussed in lecture. Wales had to put a stop to it when someone tried changing information about the Kennedy assassination. I think that steps like this should be taken to build credibility to Wikipedia.

I often use Wikipedia to gain an understanding and background of my topic. I am never allowed to count it as a scholarly source,but most of the time it is more relevant and "beefier" information than scholarly sites. I think that I would love to edit and contribute to Wikipedia. I would love to have passion for a subject that I cared about how accurate the information is.

In fact, once I graduate I would like to be a user and begin my Wikipedia-ness. I want to become someone who can say they helped write entries for an encyclopedia.

Chad Ochocinco no more?

This will be the third time I've wrote about Chad Ochocinco this semester because he just can't manage to stay out of the media spotlight. Lets recap...Chad Ochocino is a wide receive in the NFL for the Cincinnati Bengals. Chad legally changed his name this past season from Chad Johnson. He decided to go with Ochocinco because his jersey number for the team is 85. There was talk about him legally changing his first name to Esteban to go with his Spanish last name, but those rumors ended. Now, according to sources, Ochocinco is thinking about changing his last name yet again. This time to Chad Hachi Go which is Japanese for 85. A Japanese film crew was in town doing a piece on the Cincinnati Bengals because Chad is very popular over there. His Japanese fans suggested he make the change to Hachi Go.

Chad Ochocinco's reality show life is getting out of hand, but people continue to cover his life. The only reason I'm still talking about him is because its gotten so ridiculous that you just have to laugh. I was a huge fan of the original Chad Johnson when he was just a great football player. It's too bad his celebrity status got to his head and created what we see today.

Snowball Fight!!!

These pictures illustrate a snowball fight that took place on the Madison UW campus just a couple of days ago on December 9. The makings for this massive snowball fight originated over Facebook and then transformed into a reality that involved over 3,000 students. The fight went on for approximately forty minutes and some students were even armed with shields and water balloon launchers, and luckily, cameras!

I think this is an amazing example of the power of online networking groups. The idea for the fight began just two days prior and the message was followed and executed by thousands of people! I actually found this article posted on Facebook. It cheered me up in this bitter cold to see proof of why winter is actually fun. I personally can think of no better way to break up final exams than by hurling balls of snow at thousands of fellow students! If only I had known....

All I want for Christmas is Rage?

We won't be seeing any new Christmas anthems at the top of the charts this year, at least not if Jon Morter has anything to do with it.

In an effort to destroy Simon Cowell's "music machine", Morter has launched an all out Facebook attack on the X-Factor. X-Factor is a television show that originated in the U.K. as a replacement for Pop Idol. Think of it of the U.S. version of American Idol. The winner of this show, The X-Factor, has had the number one Christmas song in the U.K. the last 5 years, and Morter is sick of it.

So what does he plan to do about it?

Morter fashioned a Facebook group encouraging everyone to download the song, "Killing in the Name" by Rage Against the Machine on the same day in order to boost sales and shoot this song to the top of the list in order to destroy any chance that the X-Factor will have of retaining its crown at the top for the sixth year in a row.

The facebook group as of now contains a little more than 550,000 members. The song is predicted to com ein second place on Christman day, right behind the X-Factor, however come Christmas day we will see if this muscial uprising stands strong.

Simon Cowell's retort calls this facebook movemnet both "stupid" and "cynical" says

I guess we will just have to wait and see when the results are in. Will Christmas music prevail or will Rage truly topple the machine?

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Frosty the Inappropriate Snowman

Recently CBS ran a series of ads comprised of clips of the iconic holiday classic Frosty the Snowman mashed-up with the voices of two of the networks biggest current stars.
As you can see from the video, the dialogue coming out of Frosty's mouth is nothing like that of the original movie, but much more reflective of the characters personality's that Charlie Sheen and Neil Patrick Harris play on Two and a Half Men and How I Met Your Mother respectively. Not surprisingly many people found it very offensive to hear Frosty talking about his porn collection and suggesting that he and his friends visit a strip club later. I have mixed feelings about this. First off, I do find it pretty funny. My stance on censorship is generally the less of it the better, so naturally my reaction was that if people don't want to see this kind of content or let their kids be exposed to it then shut off the television. After ruminating on it a bit though I have regressed from this stance a bit. This is after all a Christmas and cartoon classic that has been corrupted in the ads' own words, in an "inappropriate"way. Children watching that won't understand the context and will miss the purity of Frosty the Snowman that I enjoyed as a child. I do find that kind of unfair for them. Another noteworthy aspect is that the lines Frosty spoke were all genuine pieces of dialogue from the actual shows. They didn't contain anything new or push the obscenity than other CBS shows clearly already do. I think in the end, people are just mad and turned off by seeing something as pure as Frosty the Snowman and the holiday special shock them like that. Notice that at the end of the ads CBS insists that "Some holiday classics are better left untouched." Maybe they should have taken their own advice.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Super MASH Bros.

As we learned in class, remix culture is a term named by Lawrence Lessig, a copyright activist. Remix culture is known for its encouragement of derivative works from works that are all ready copyrighted. One of the most popular industries today is the music industry, where each individual song has an automatic copyright to whichever artist sings it first. The music industry hugely partakes in the current remix culture. For example, hip-hop music practices remix culture more commonly with their lyrics and referral to other songs, etc.

After learning about remix culture and the fundamentals and history of copyright, I started to be more aware of examples of it in my life. A friend who attends school in Portland, and happened to meet and become friends with the group of guys who created it, introduced super Mash Bros. to me. Ultimately what Super Mash Bros. is, is the exact definition of remix culture. They take a group of songs that may be different genres, have different tempos and beats, and combines them to create one, ultimate track. All of their tracks are up beat and “hype”. When you listen to them it is crazy to see how two songs you never would have pictured being played together can, when combined, create something completely different and unique. It is these people that we need in the world to present to everyone a new vision, which can then lead to many other things. It was just a small group of guys who randomly decided to do this and create something new from something old.

I attached above a link to their website. They have come out with two albums, both free to download. They can also be found on youtube; I attached a link to that as well to view a track of theirs. To me, when I think of remix culture now, I think of Super Mash Bros. They are the perfect example of how people can take what is all ready made, and make a new derivative, unique work.

Monday, December 07, 2009

"Become a Fan of Farmville"

Farmville, one of the many applications on Facebook that people are just loving right now. It is a game where you can farm virtually with your friends; planting, growing, and harvesting crops. It is an application of Facebook that enhances one of the many social networking events. Since the launch of this game, this last Summer. It has become the most popular game played on Facebook. The game seems to reflect the real world of farming, where the products and crops are all based on a market and for sale. When you buy and grow your crops you are then able to make a profit, which is the ultimate goal. Of course using fake, Farmville cash. It isn't just that simple, in order to succeed to fullest, you will need to plow your own crops, plant trees, can purchase animals to fulfill your farm.

I am not a Farmville player, or a Farmville "Fan", but I have heard many of friends discuss their farm and the competition. For some it becomes an addiction, they need to check their farm on a daily basis to check on their crops or plant more or "water' them. In addition to that, they are checking their neighbors farms' to ensure that they aren't making as much of a profit. It is a competition and an obsession.

Recently, I looked at the Farmville page on Facebook and their new product is a Holiday Tree, where you can send gifts to friends and the gift will appear under their Holiday Tree. The virtual world is becoming a new reality.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Portraying racial identities in the media, I believe, creates stereotypes and assumptions for the country. This Mad TV skit, is humorous, I will admit, but it also creates a negative racial identity for Arab people. To begin with, in the first 10 seconds of the skit, they say 'death to America' twice. This is only the beginning, the phrase is found almost after every other sentence in the whole skit. This easily coveys that ALL MUSLIMS and ALL ARABS want death to America, installing fear and hate for these nationalities from the American viewers who aren't Muslims and Arabs. The host, who plays a Bob Barker type character, as the basis of the show is obviously a joke on Price is Right as well, is blinded by a laser light. The guy in the studio, who announces the prizes (I don't know his name, and honestly, does anyone else?) explains that is his pilot pen, designed to blind pilots. Now, these leads to the assumption and stereotype that Muslims and Arabs in general are terrorists and have interest in, obviously, re-living the terrorist attacks of 9/11, which honestly isn't too funny to me, and probably not funny to a lot of other people, especially in New York. The Bob Barker character goes on the explain to the American tourist contestants that women cannot win prizes (as there is a Muslim woman, whos is of course encombesed in clothes besides her eyes) unless, 'of course you mean the anestia before your clitor-ectomy. Granted, I know woman may be opressed in the Muslim culture, it isn't exactly funny that Mad TV is making fun of it, nor do I bet Muslim woman in American appriciate it. These are the types of racial identites that create negative stereotypes and images for American media consumers. Sure, it is Mad TV and it is a joke, but it really does reinforce thoughts some Americans have, and could possibly install new ideas in their heads.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Buffy vs Edward

This is a mash up of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Edward from Twilight. I think that the editing in this video is excellent. I never watched Buffy but I saw Twilight once to see what all the fuss was about. My favorite part of the video is when both characters are in the woods and then they bust into a church window. At the very end of the video the creator gives credit to the Buffy seasons 1-7 and the video Twilight. This video has been viewed more than one million times since its upload. I wonder if it will ever get pulled down for copy right infringement. I hope not because it is a very well put together mash up.">

Tiger Woods

I'm sure most of you have heard about this by now, but Tiger Woods was involved in an accident this past weekend. When the story first broke, they said that Woods was taken to the hospital in serious condition, but quickly changed to stable condition with facial lacerations. The accident happened around 2:30 in the morning, but still know one is sure exactly what happened. Woods was in front of his home and struck a tree as well as a fire hydrant. Originally investigators thought that alcohol might have been involved, but that was not the case. After looking into it further police, found out that the back window of the car was smashed in with a golf club by his wife. She explained that she was trying to get Woods out of the car, and couldn't get in any other way. Many rumors have been spread about the accident, some true and some false. However they know now that Tiger Woods was having an affair with his wife, and that's what they believe caused the dispute. Since it's Tiger Woods, one of the most famous athletes in the world, we haven't heard the end of this story.


After class I was very interested in the recreation of classic and fairly new movies. I found one on Google Videos that includes the Star Wars (which I have yet to see), Harry Potter and Lord of the Ring.

I have seen Lord of the Ring and parts of Harry Potter. What I found interesting in this mash up is how they played on each other movie stories. All three of the movies that I have mentiioned, have always been similar to me. All three of them have long movies, they have similar character themes and plotlines.

I think this is very funny. Harry Potter gets confused with Gandolf and the characters from the opposite movies fight about who stole ideas from who. Then before Dark Vader comes into the scene while two of the older men are 'sword' fighting as in Star Wars.

This entices me to want to watch Star Wars and Harry Potter. I guess it is a strategic way to have the audience engage in media text - even mash ups.

Worst Hire in the History of Jobs

Earlier in the semester we talked briefly about what qualifies someone as an expert and makes them a credible source to talk publicly about a certain topic. As some of you probably know, I am a slightly obsessive Detroit/Michigan sports fan, so you can imagine the feelings that bubble up every time I turn on a football game on ESPN, whether it be college or NFL, and I see Matt Millen's ugly mug looking back at me. For those of you who don't know Millen was the President and CEO of the Detroit Lions from 2000-2008 during which time he oversaw the worst eight year record (31-97) in NFL history since WWII. During his time with the Lions he was responsible for some of the most horrendous draft picks known to mankind (most of them high first round picks who are no longer even in the NFL) as well as the first 0-16 season in NFL history. Now I admit I'm a little biased, but I still can't fathom how a network such as ESPN and NBC, during last years Super bowl, could look at this mans record and decide that he's the right person to speak knowledgeably on a topic he has proven he knows nothing about. The only people in the TV business who seemed to recognize this were the fine folks at the NBC Detroit affiliate who every time Millen appeared on the screen during the Super Bowl broadcast scrolled the following warning label across the bottom of the screen, "Matt Millen was president of the Lions for the worst eight-year run in the history of the NFL. Knowing his history with the team, is there a credibility issue as he now serves as an analyst for NBC Sports?" It seems to be a question that the network executives should have been asking but for some reason never did. So I end by saying thank you to ESPN for ruining every football game that Millen is part of the broadcast team for. In the interest of keeping my TV in one piece I find myself forced to either change the channel or, at the very least, mute the commentary of the worst hire in the history of jobs.

twilight reaction by fan

All that talk about star wars fans got me thinking about the biggest fan base of our generation. It is a close call between Harry Potter fans, but after watching this video, I believe that Twilight fans take the cake. I found this video a bit creepy, the girl takes us into her room and tapes herself watching the twilight trailer. At one point I believe she hyperventilates, and has to stop viewing the trailer which is only 2 minutes and 43 seconds long. She views the trailer two times during the duration of this video. She talks about the differences she can see between the book and the movie, and about how she loves everything about the the trailer. It is as if she were conducting a textual analysis of her own. I started to get a bit creeped out when she started swearing at the characters and saying "I want to be in your world". Where does fandom draw the line between liking and obsessing?

ps. I read that when twilight came out she went and saw it four times in a row.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show

Two words... Victoria's Secret, What a great and smart way for Victoria's Secret to put their product out there and brand it in a original and unique way. This show is every mans fantasy and every girls aspired image, these models are just unbelievably gorgeous! match that up with the sexiest lingerie and you get the Victoria's Secret brand. This airs every year, around Christmas time (coincidence? i think not) on CBS and gives the audience a look at the latest bras and lingerie on stage and also a look behind the scenes. I really think this is a great and extremely smart way to brand their product. They are not using a basic commercial instead it created a whole show that is all about their product which grabs people's attention the most without making them feel like they are just watching a commercial, instead they are just watching a really exciting show. I love watching this show every year, i usually get together with a few friends and we watch it together and discuss the different outfits, as Victoria's Secret, what more can you ask for? They are getting their brand across and also getting people to talk about it after all isn't that the whole point?

Grocery Wars

This video is pretty much the most outrageuous organic food commercial I have ever seen. However, since we discussed Star Wars, and Star Wars parodies in class this past week, I felt Grocey Wars was an appropriate thing to blog about.

This video is filled with tons on puns. Puns on names, and puns on the movie plot itself. The Force is now the "Farm." The main role is "Cuke" Skywalker played by a cucumber, Obi-wan-Canoli, Darth Tater, and Ham Solo to name a few. It seems very cheesy I know, but it was very clever.

The good side of the force was all organic foods, which led the organic rebellion. The dark side, was food filled with chemicals and pesticides. In this video Darth Tater was "more chemical than vegetable," playing on the fact that in the actual Star Wars movie, Darth Vader was more machine than human. I suppose to some people this is a better way to warn them about healthy or unsafe foods, rather than right some crazy PSA, especially most Star Wars fans. The stereotyped Star Wars fab weighs somewhere in the are of 300+ pounds. (joking of course.) Maybe after Grocery Wars we'll see some slimmer mor jedi worthy Star Wars fans out there.

Star Wars Kid

As we discussed in class about Star Wars and watched the clips from YouTube, I remembered in a different class we watched “Star Wars Kid.” The first time one of my teachers played it, I thought it was the strangest thing; it was also really funny. So many people have viewed Star Wars Kid on YouTube and I guess I never really understood it. After viewing the videos in class that were people’s own versions of Star Wars and other things mixed together it reminded me of Star Wars Kid. The whole time the guy is playing with what he pretends to be a lightsaber. It seems he is acting out Star Wars, but in a different way then the ways we saw in class. But again this is his own version and it’s rather different.

I have never been into Star Wars, so much of the trailers online I don’t quite understand, but Star Wars Kid is one I do understand because I know in Star Wars they use lightsabers and the whole video clip this guy is pretending to have one. Apparently this was taped over a basketball game, and students used it as a joke by sharing it on YouTube, or that’s what I read at least. Apparently a bunch of lawsuits and what not went into it, but it was the most popular video at one point. As I read the comments on YouTube just now many of them say this clip ruined his life and that he is no longer’s YouTube so anyone can post what they want, so I’m not really sure if this is true or not. I found it to be really disturbing after reading those comments though knowing that people still are watching it and making fun of this kid who didn’t even think the video would get out. I think it takes a lot for someone to post something like this on YouTube, but he got quite the audience viewing his clip. Here's the video if you haven't ever seen it. Does anyone actually know what happened to Star Wars Kid?

The Tiger Woods Saga

As I'm sure everyone on the planet already knows, the world's top professional golfer and advertising icon Tiger Woods was involved in a one-car accident outside of his home the day after Thanksgiving. The media has been having an absolute field day with this story ever since. I find it disturbing just how much coverage this thing is getting. My personal opinion on it by now can be summed up in the following two words, WHO CARES? I can't imagine myself devoting another second of time thinking about this event, and I'm a golf fan. It seems to me like the media has taken its typical over the top approach and styled a relatively minor incident as an epic Greek tragedy. Seriously, this is what we've come to? Just because someone is famous does not give you the right to maliciously speculate about their personal life. Some have even called for him to give a public apology. What Tiger Woods was doing to get involved in this minor accident has no bearing on anyone's life except that of him and his family. As a future member of the media, I worry about being involved in an industry where blowing erroneous things out of proportion is considered not just acceptable but necessary. I'm not a fan of Tiger's, actually I don't really like him at all. I have no respect for his childish behavior on the course i.e. cursing, throwing clubs, because he's the only pro golfer who does these things, let alone is allowed to get away with them without any commentator even attempting to detract from him. That being said, I still find the media's treatment of this whole situation utterly disgusting.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

A New Way to Email: Google Wave

A couple close friends of mine started buzzing on Facebook about a new email program by Google. Its called Google Wave and is about to hit the online community very soon. Email was a communication media created over 40 years ago. What Google wants to do is re-create email and its functions. So Google asks, "What would email look like if it were created today?" So here we have it, email for the new age...Google Wave.

Google Wave, as I understand it, is communication tool that allows users to join a conversation, playback information in the order it was created, edit the information, and upload photos, text, and video to said conversation. This is all done in order to keep conversation clean and simple. Since Google Wave is in it's preview stage, this connections are still a little rocky and problems are still in the works for getting fixed. Also, Google Wave is by invite only. If you don't have an invitation from someone who currently has it, you cannot use it until the official launch.

The creation of Google Wave fits in perfectly with some of the material we are working on in class. The idea that creativity plays on the past is key. It all began with the Internet, which led to one to one communications via email. Google Wave is breaking the mold of the personal one to one email. Yes, you can still have a conversation with one person, but you may also have an interactive, playback conversation with multiple people at the same time. Since I am still a little hazy on the details, and in the process of understanding Google Wave, here is a YouTube video that explains Google Wave in very simple terms:

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Happy Holidays -- From My Fetus to Yours!

There exists a place where one can get a 3D sonogram of their unborn child and have it made into Christmas cards all at a convenient one-stop shop within the cozy confines of a shopping mall. There are almost no words. What would this fetal X-Mas card say? Images of fetuses hanging from garlands and card trees alongside that nice little snow covered cottage card that Grandma sent come to mind.

What is this place where someone could obtain such a thing? Why, The Belly Factory, of course! I was introduced to their website just this morning in an especially informative Health and Media lecture. The Belly Factory appears to be the ultimate in consumerism by marketing to women their own fetuses. The store, located in a mall in Illinois, offers everything from expensive baby classes and pricey exclusive products to teddy bears that play a recording of your unborn child's heartbeat. This may sound like heaven on earth for some expectant moms to be, but to me it just sounds over the top (to say the least).

The Belly Factory offers a variety of picture packages as well, encouraging expectant moms to return multiple times throughout their pregnancy by offering a 10% discount on future purchases with each package. One can get a preview of the 3D and 4D images offered by visiting the ultrasound gallery. I cannot imagine anyone visiting this site and immediately wanting to order X-Mas cards of these images -- no matter how excited about their new addition they may be! These especially detailed sonograms look more like ectoplasmic visions from a sci-fi movie than visions of sugar plums or sleigh bells in the snow. To each their own... and to all a good night!

Twilight to TV?

Ok, I get that teenage girls (and not so teenage girls...including my 27-year-old sister) think this vampire character, Robert Pattinson is a good lookin fellow. The Twilight books have been a smash hit for a while now, basically becoming a Harry Potter-style replacement as the books appeal to roughly the same crowd, except carry more emotion.

The movies were so successful they garnered spinoff shows like True Blood and the Vampire Diaries. Do I get the obsession with the mysterious blood sucking type? No, but whatever. To each their own.

But then I came across this. Basically, Twilight might become a TV show, highlighted by Pattinson being the main character. Talk about milking a cow until it's dry. I'm sure females under the age of 35 will tune in for a while, but would it really survive, especially at the price of hiring the Brit to $1.5 million per episode. Call me crazy, but that sounds like a failure waiting to happen.

Vampire Intervention for Twilight fans

From the books to the big screen, Twilight has surely made a large impact on the media lately with its recent release of the second film, New Moon, and the developing romance between the characters both on screen and off. I will first admit that yes, I am a fan - I have read the books and have seen both films. With that being said, I do to a certain extent understand why people like them; however after seeing this video posted to youtube, you all most have to laugh at the absurdity of these fans.

This film was created by a small group of a few guys who find Twilight and the whole fascination with vampires to be completely ridiculous. They stage an “exclusive pre viewing” of the sequel New Moon to a select few, prior to the actual premiere. The video shows all the overly enthusiastic fans waiting to be let in. When Mike comes to the stage to begin the vampire intervention most think it is a joke, and continue to cheer in anticipation. When he finally gets the point across to them that they are not actually seeing New Moon there are mixed emotions from the crowd, some offended, some laugh, and some just leave probably still in confusion. He makes it a point to show their stupidity when pointing out that they came to a magic theater to view a movie.

I personally found this video hilarious, however part of me does feel for the people because all though everyone may not love Twilight or understand the appeal, to some it actually is a passion. Over all this video and “intervention” is a mockery to those passionate fans of Twilight, but at the end of the day you just about have to laugh because it was in fact a successful prank.

Guitar Center Wish List

Previous to Black Friday, I was searching for Guitar Center's extended holiday hours. I really should know, after all I do work there, however Guitar Center often waits a while before they finally let their employees in on some things, such as extended hours. While searching for this, I came across this press release from a hip hop related website. It discussed Guitar Center's new application to create a wish list in the form of a concert poster to let friends and family know that you want all this cool gear from Guitar Center. Now, I am an employee of Guitar Center, but I am also a strategic communication major, and I cannot say that I am as impressed about this application as I should be. It is a super creative idea. It connects to media outlets on Facebook and Twitter, enabling shoppers to share their wishes to other Facebook and Twitter members. It obviously got attention, because I found this press release on a website other than Guitar Center's. However, I know first hand that this application is not half as useful as the corporation hopes it would be. I can gaurentee much time, thought, and creative effort went into it, and it will not pay off as big as hoped. My grandma and the grandma of a twelve year old boy is going to walk into Guitar Center and say to me 'I need a black guitar for my grandson, looking to spend under 400 dollars'. He probably told her he wanetd a black guitar. Maybe she saw a picture. However, a poster jumbled with extra graphics and the own kids face probably is just going to confuse any grandma unless the child prints it out himself and makes damn sure that she hands it to an employee stating exactly what he wants. Luckily, especially around the holiday time, Guitar Center has a generous return policy. Customer service is number one at this store, I have seen things I never thought would happen just to please customers at this establishment. As cool as this idea may have sounded, and as rocker and appealing to the muscians this may seem, my grandma, and your's probably too, is better off with a simple check list that says 'American Fender Strat'.