Friday, December 18, 2009
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.
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.
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.
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
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
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
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.
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
Friday, December 11, 2009
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.
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.
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 NME.com.
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
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
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
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
Friday, December 04, 2009
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.
Thursday, December 03, 2009
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?
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.
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 alive..it’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?
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
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
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.