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February 21, 2009

Rites of Manhood

I ran into this article on the most terrifying rites of manhood and I suddenly thought about how various forms of media (tv shows, advertisements, movies and etc) exploit this idea of "rites of Manhood" that in order for "boys" to become "men" they have to participate or experience a certain event that epitomizes what it means to be a "man". Any thoughts? Do women go through something similar or is it more of a "male" thing?


February 20, 2009

Apple Bottom Jeans?

So... From what Dunstan told us today about the Apple Bottoms Jeans contest, I did some searching on YouTube, and didn't come up with much. BUT I did find this clip about AJ from the Backstreet Boys being a judge for who has the best Apple Bottom. It's in German though, so I can't understand it, but you get the gyst from watching it:


I also found a little interview about Nelly's "Apple Bottoms" line, and how he sees it:

February 18, 2009

Response to Kellner article

I’m responding to the Kellner article, “Cultural Studies, Multiculturalism, and Media Culture.” The article begins with discussing media images and how they shape our view of world (143). It discusses how the media expresses power and powerless. Then the article goes on to discuss what cultural studies is and talks about the three things when discussing a multiperspectival approach: discusses production and political economy, engages in textual analysis, and studies the reception and use of cultural texts (146).

The most interesting part of the article, for me, was the discussion of the Madonna phenomenon (152). Kellner explains Madonna as using marketing strategies to reach a very diverse audience.

The end of the article reiterates exactly what cultural studies are: “it is a part of critical medi9a pedagogy that enables individuals to resist media manipulation and to increase their freedom and individuality.” That I can empower people and it’s “a struggle for alternative cultures and political change” (153).

Reflections on "Barbie in Black and White"

I never was such a Barbie fan as a little kid. I mean, I was all about the Disney princess dolls (and a prince or two), which were basically Barbies, but those interested me because they were characters whose stories I already knew and were intrigued by. I remember getting a Skipper doll as a wee one for participating in some kind of market research study and being like, “who the hell is this girl?” I remember being disappointed that I wasn’t given little action figures like the boys were, because I was completely about the Ninja Turtles back then. All I ever cared about back then with my Barbie-esque dolls was miming out sordid bi(or pan?)sexual love affairs that basically amounted to my mashing the two (or more) plastic figures together repeatedly. Oh, the innocence of youth. I never even bothered to think about how they all had approximately the same skin tone and body shape and so forth. Having read Ann duCille’s article, I realize when I look back on my childhood what a huge place of privilege I came from to never pick up on those things--and never had to, really.

Maybe it’s just the fuzziness of my memory talking, but the interesting thing about my Princess Jasmine and Belle dolls was that I think they actually had passably unique features. Of course, the bodies were the same old Mattel distorted-hourglass shape, but I think I can recall things like Jasmine’s nose and Belle’s eyes having, well, character. Assuming I’m not totally making that up, I suppose I would reason that it’s a lot easier to fashion a doll that looks uniquely anything when a template already exists--like in the movies. And, of course, whether they looked identical to every other Barbie to come out or not, it’s definitely true that they still all manage to conform to a very narrow standard of what a woman looks like. (Not that the Disney prince/Ken doll fared much better, but I didn’t know of many girls who gave two about the boy dolls for the most part, myself included. It was the ones that I thought I could look like that I cared about most.)

In her article, duCille makes the observation that costume is very largely the sole means by which culture is delineated with Barbie dolls, and reading that really resonated with me as truthful. I definitely remember buying into the exoticism element; that’s probably why I preferred Disney princesses in the first place, for the fantasy aspect. Maybe not enough to, well, actually literally buy every doll that crossed my path, but I swear all a toy store had to do to blow my tiny mind with Mattel’s own special brand of “diversity” was show me a row of dolls of moderately different skin tones and brightly colored, elaborately patterned outfits. I wasn’t interested in blonde, pink Barbie, but her cousin in the kimono I would go crazy for. I do think it speaks to my privilege as a White person that even as a little girl, I thought absolutely nothing of happily appropriating what appeared to me to be authentic representations of cultures that I found “pretty.” Pretty, of course, because the clothes were pretty, and so were the dolls in the clothes. And the dolls were pretty because in spite of their advertised racial and cultural difference, they still conformed to an ideal of beauty that I was already accepting as my ideal of beauty.

I hope that makes at least some semblance of sense. All in all, the article ended up giving me a lot to think about, though it’s probably pretty clear that it’s all a big, rambly jumble for the most part right now.

My Barbie Clone

Reading Ann duCille’s “Barbie in Black and White,” reminds me of my own experience with Barbie and other dolls growing up. I had a total of three Barbies growing up and all three (and all of my other dolls) were Black. I remember thinking to myself one day about why no one ever gave me white dolls to play with and I don’t know if I ever came to a conclusion. Today, the best excuse I can think of is that everyone wanted me to have a doll that looked like me, but regardless of what skin color those dolls had, Shani/Nichelle/Asha were never going to look like me. DuCille mentions that some professionals suggested that adults highlight the ethnic features of the dolls and point out how beautiful the dolls were. Is that supposed to encourage a girl that she is beautiful too? A more logical conclusion would be that the young girl would notice that she doesn’t look like the doll (because no one actually does) and therefore think that she is not pretty. I honestly don’t have a problem with the fact that Barbies exist, but I do believe that we think of them as just toys and not miniature recreations of ourselves. It’s not possible to capture everyone’s identity and culture into a few dolls and I hope that everyone reminds their daughters how unique they are.

Has anyone ever read the Guerrilla Girls’ Bitches, Bimbos, and Ballbreakers? This book is about stereotypes and it was the first book that really got me into feminism. They had this great section in the end with fake Barbies that represented real, imperfect, women. Church Lady Barbie, Trailer Park Barbie, some Latina Barbie with 5 kids… Maybe a dose of reality for our children?

I found a picture of one of my three Barbies (one other was a fairy princess and the other had a white shirt with pink hearts). See how much she looks like me. “Culturally specific clothes”… “spiced tones”… Yick.

Response to "The Black Beauty Myth"

I was truly intrigued and inspired while reading Sierena Riley’s article, “The Black Beauty Myth.” This piece mentions how eating disorders circulate in women of color. More times than not, society overlooks the specific ways beauty ideas differ from one race to another.

According to Riley, she says that white women dictate pop culture images of women and if those are the images you are exposed to then that is going to be the reality that you recognize. I believe that within popular culture, African American women are always seen as more voluptuous and have more realistic and attainable bodies; just an observation I have concluded. If we were to think in the terms of the Latina race, one might immediately allude to “J. Lo’s butt.” I mention this example because as a journalism major, I am currently taking a class called “People of Color in the Mass Media.” We are actually discussing the topic of how the media portrays women in the media and how ads focus on thin, unrealistic bodies, giving the society this connotation that it is “cool” and “acceptable” to be ungodly thin.

I think one of the points that stood out in this article was when Riley mentioned, "If we are so sure that images of rail-thin fashion models, actresses and video chicks have contributed to white girls' poor body image, why aren't we addressing the half-naked female bodies on MTV". Once again, this quote relates to the class that I am taking. We watched this documentary about how ads are using, for the majority, young, good-looking, white women. When have you seen an African-American woman in Vogue or Vanity Fair? This is a rare occasion. I believe that the media needs to stop disseminating the female stereotypes and begin to portray women in a more positive light: this includes bringing images of all women that are suffering to the forefront.

I believe that all women just want to feel good about themselves and feel comfortable in their own skin. Hence, I do not really believe that there is a major difference between races when it comes to body image between races. As Riley brings up that the one common thing between all women is that we just want to feel better about ourselves, like I mentioned before. We need to stop looking to the media as our source for what a woman should look like, no matter the race.

This reading really made me thinking outside of my beliefs. I never really thought of African-American women in relation to body image. Just by reading this article, I was allowed a glimpse into the world of a different race besides my own and think it relation to how that person was feeling. Riely's piece made me think differently in relation to race and body image, noting the differences. I was able to use this information from the reading and apply it to my other classes and day-to-day routine. I feel as though we are so used to the norm, which breaking down the stereotypes regarding race is a barrier that needs to be broken and addressed.

Body Image in Non-America

Sirena J. Riley's "The Black Beauty Myth" highlights certain differences in how black women experience America's unattainable beauty ideals compared to media-emphasized whites. She discusses, for example, how white women have told her how lucky black women are that their men love curvy bodies, yet white women are definitely not in favor of adopting these curves themselves.
This got me thinking about body image ideals in countries besides our own, and the ease for a people to assume them. Often unknowingly, people accept their society's beauty standards and apply them to themselves as well as everyone else. In middle school, I visited my mom's side of the family in Indonesia. I specifically remember three comments I received from different family members, all saying something like, "Hey, aren't you a little chubbier than you were the last time I saw you?" With this acknowledgment, I began noticing the small amount of baby fat on my then preteen body. My older cousin later showed me videos of some "hot American girls" he and his friend found online. However surprisingly, the ridiculous rail-thin beauty ideal of our society resonates around the world! The combination of this media intake with the familiarity of Asians with their naturally thin women, any hint of being overweight was immediately recognizable.
Thinking back on this occurrence, I am shocked! Knowing that I have always been petite and decently slender, I shouldn't have accepted those comments with embarrassment... I should have thought about the absurdity in my family obsessing about my "chubby" adolescent body.


Black Beauty Myth

The ideas and views within Sirena J. Riley's “Black Beauty Myth” was very interesting. Her ideas behind how demonizing fat and how Riley says, "the demonetization of fat and the ease of associating black women with fat exposes yet another opportunity for racism" (369). I have never thought of that, but it is true, even within popular culture African American women are always seen curves and more realistic bodies, even if they are thin they are never seem to be as thin as their white counter parts.

In addition to this she brings up the point that black women within the media seem to take a backseat during critiques and criticisms. When there are raised voices about rail thin models being exploited on television and we see the same people stay silent when black females are exploited for their bodies. I think this just proves that there is still some sort of division between the feminist movements that has forever brought tension between many feminists.

I think this is a good discussion that needs to be happening more often and brought more to the other mainstream discussions about issues within the media. I think that it’s very easy for people who are not the target of such racism/sexism/etc. to not realize how bad it is, or that it’s an issue because people can understand things better that they can relate to. People who do suffer from this oppression need to speak out and help people understand why it’s important to end this discrimination. This reading really did just that for me, it really made me think outside of my beliefs.

Amy's Response to Black Beauty Myth

The first thing that came to mind as I read the first few pages of Riley's article was an episode of Weeds. Throughout the first season, there is a 10 year old girl who is continually rebuked by her mother for being "fat". The mother's concern is not for her daughter's health but for the sake of vanity. While remembering the episode of Weeds, I remembered that a few other tv series that had a similar situation occur. As Riley points out, women are told what is beautiful from the media and those around us all the time. Even in tv shows like Weeds, the idea is not to make women feel self consious about their bodies, but some how, the message that "fat" is ugly is still expressed. I think the pressure that media places on women to look a certain way is frustrating to many women. Honestly, I don't know a single women who isn't, but yet we still let it bother us.

I also see the truth in Riley's discussion about lack of women of color in our media. And, when a woman of color does appear, she is usually conveyed as an unrealisticly sensual and exotic treat. One comment that Riley made was that white women expect black women to desire to look like them, but I believe that with the new wave of "exoticness" has come more desire for white women to appear more exotic, not white. As far as weight is concerend though, her point is still very true. Thin still reigns in our culture.

On another note, I felt that I personally related to Riley. I've struggled with issues of self esteem relating to my physical image on a continual basis. I especially related to her experience with loosing weight and exercising. I'm fairly sure that it is not an unusual reaction actually. I'm sure that is why excercising for some women can become an addictive behavior. I felt that Riley expressed this issue really well, and I apprieciated that she openly discussed it.

Black Beauty Myth Response

In “The Black Beauty Myth” I thought it was interesting how so many of Riley’s body issues sparked from losing weight in high school and the compliments she received after the weight loss. She hadn’t even realized the weight she had lost until others began calling attention to it. Once she got positive reactions to her new body she began hating what she used to be. I think the effect those around you have on your body image is an important issue to bring up. Her Grandfather offered her money for weight loss, her Grandma told her she needed to stay just how she was, and her Mother was telling her she wouldn’t be able to wear pretty clothes if she wasn’t skinny. I think people get caught up in the idea that the media is solely to blame for a lot of body image issues women have. The media can help perpetuate certain ideologies but it doesn’t create them.
I would also like to discuss more in depth the role that race and culture plays in body image/self esteem issues. I’ve read articles on the topic and a lot of them focus on the idea that many women of color in the media are “white” pretty, or fit many of the ideals of western beauty. Similar to how many homosexuals in the media seem to be very heterosexual gay people, women of color in TV seem to have very white physical characteristics maybe in hopes of making them easier to swallow for those who are ignorant.

Black Beauty Myth

My response to the article "black beauty myth" was that I had put little thought towards how body image affects women differently based upon race. I was able to relate to what the author describes going through with stuggling with body issues. All my life I've tried so hard to like myself no matter how I look, but it will always be a struggle because of the media. It takes a lot of self determination to get rid of the nasty thoughts that most women deal with, (ex, Am I getting fat, do I have love handles, am I eating too much, etc.) I myself have stuggled with this same problem all my life. Although I never attended any eating disorder help groups, I can imagine that perhaps it is full of predominatley white women. Not to say that they are the only ones affected, and in light of this article, the obviously aren't. However I did once recieve an opinion about why many black women don't suffer as often from eating disorders and don't strive as often to be rail thin. The woman was an african american woman who was a guest speaker for one of my food courses (i used to be a nutrition major). She was talking about dishes that came from african slaves that were intergrated into america's diet, mainly in the south, and majorly enjoyed by african americans. In that discussion she ended up describing to us the way she views the ideal body type for black men and women. To her it was ideal to be curvatious for women, and especially for men, the bigger the better. Now obviously this can't hold true for an entire race, because everyone is different, but I do think she had a point. Going by how the media portrays black women versus white women, black women seem to be allowed to be curvatious and considered attractive, whereas white women all seem to be stick figures if they plan on being considered attractive. Even in her article she describes a white women saying, "it's OK for you to be fat, but not me. You're black. You're different." It truely seems to be engrained into our subconscious that somehow women of different races are allowed to look different in order to appear attractive. Which seems sillly, we all just compare ourselves to other women far too often. Just think how much happier we'd all be if we just focused on ourselves instead of comparing ourselves to what other people decide is ideal.

February 17, 2009

The Black Beauty Myth

I was very intrigued reading the Riley article. Reading her story was like reliving my life in many ways except she was living it as a middle class black woman and I was not. I started to think about my experiences with various groups and therapies dealing with my eating disorders and the only women ever in any of these groups were white women. Riley points out the same experience in the article, thinking of herself as an "anomoly" but she obviously wasn't. The thing is I know that there is no difference between the races when it comes to body image, but as Riley says white women dominate pop culture images of women and if those are the images you're bombarded with then that is going to be the reality that you know.

I think she makes a very good point at the end of the article when she says, "if we are so sure that images of rail-thin fashion models, actresses and video chicks have contributed to white girls' poor body image, why aren't we addressing the half-naked female bodies on MTV". I think that the media needs to stop perpetuating the female stereotypes and start to bring us images of all women that are suffering.

As Riley brings up that the one common thing between all women is that we just want to feel better about ourselves and to do that we need to stop looking to media as our source for what a woman should look like, no matter the race.

Author Identity and Text Identity

Anne Thalheimer brings up some very interesting points about authorship and identity in 'Terrorists, Bitches and Dykes: Late 20th Century Lesbian Comix'. Labeling a text one thing or another has always been a muddy swamp laced with problems. The importance of the author to the work has been long debated—does a work stand on its own? Does an author’s identity unlock the meanings of the text?
I’ll use the example of Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn—the novel itself can be read as a story that empowers the runaway slave Jim by showing his personality to be kind, loving, and practical. We want Jim to succeed and to be safe in the story. In life, Twain was known to be a racist. While Twain identified as being one thing, his writing ended up telling another story.
The issue also comes up of whether these are lesbian “comix” because the authors identify as lesbian, or because the subject matter has lesbian themes. In either case, the labeling of the text is problematic, because it either boxes the author or it boxes the text. I believe that the author’s personal identity should rarely be considered when identifying or describing a text—the text’s content is what shapes its identity.
Thalheimer discusses how in labeling the text (not only a label, but a potentially polarizing label like “lesbian”) can vastly limit its interested audience. I think that there is a bit of innocence in the labeling of the texts purely from the standpoint of content. We always want to get a glimpse of a book through its back-blurb—is it a romance? Comedy? Mystery? What kind of feelings will the book elicit? Are they feelings we want to feel? One could argue that by having this choice, we limit our depth of experience by only consuming stories we want to consume. The less adventurous of us will end up reading the same types of stories that we’re used to. Though in labeling these “comix” as lesbian, the audience pushed away is replaced by the audience that seeks out material labeled with homosexual themes.
People cannot be forced to seek out new types of literatures and new perspectives—they have to come (relatively) willingly. As soon as the label “lesbian comix” is considered as much a “special interest” label as any identity-adjective, then the problem of audience exclusion is less likely.
Although we are often curious about an author’s life and identity, we should focus instead on the themes the works explore.

That's What She Said

Hey everyone, I just wanted to plug my upcoming show again.

Desdamona (who is an amazing female MC from Minnesota), Electronica musician Caly McMorrow and poets Jenn Sparks, Cynthia French, Inky, and myself will all perform. All of the show's proceeds benefit the poets attending the Women of the World Individual Poetry Slam. There will be an awesome silent auction during the performances as well.

DATE: Wednesday, February 25, 2009
TIME: Doors at 7:00pm
Show starts at around 7:30ish and will run to around 11:00
LOCATION: The Local Irish Pub (in the Hollow)
931 Nicollet Mall
PRICE: 7$ or 5$ with a student ID

Here is the facebook page if you would like to invite people to come or RSVP (or add me as a friend!)

If you are a swing vote and would like to check out Desdamona's work, visit her myspace:

Here is more information on the WOW Poetry Slam:
or if you are interested in the spoken word community/performances of the twin cities, ask me!

Blog #4 The Black Beauty Myth

Before reading this article I had never thought of body image in terms of race. In my experiences body image is a part of the human condition, with women suffering the most (or at least with there being more attention paid to women with poor body images than to men with poor body images). Body image has always been something that I have struggled with, while reading this article I found myself identifying a lot with what she went through. For as long as I can remember, my mother has had a very negative body image and I believe that her negative body image has greatly impacted the way my sister and I view our bodies. I also believe that Hollywood has played a huge factor in making women, and men for that matter, feel ashamed of how we look. It's hard to remember that every picture of a celebrity is air brushed and that nobody is perfect but our expectations of ourselves and of a partner are influenced by those images. I am sure that Riley and I see this differently because of our life experiences but I honestly do not see body image being divided by race, it seems to me that generally speaking women set really high expectations (and society sets high expectations for us) for how we should look and that we are never 100% happy with our bodies.

Race and Beauty Standards

Sirena Riley's article, "The Black Beauty Myth" discusses the way in which eating disorders circulate in women of color. Riley discusses her personal struggle with her obsession with her weight, from her childhood to present. She also discusses the ways in which society overlooks the specific ways beauty ideals differ from one race to another. Riley does admit that most eating disorders effect white women more frequently, which creates a void of discussion for black womens beauty standards.

I believe was subconsciously aware of this dichotomy because although it didn't come as a surprise to me, this article articulated what I had not (in my head). I always wondered how young women of color responded to how the media portrays what women are supposed to look like, specifically because they are often under represented. Personally, I have never believed that black women were always happy with their bodies and white women were constantly unsatisfied. Nevertheless, I recognize the extreme lack of support or even representation of women of color in studies of eating disorders. Race does obviously play a part in what woman expect of themselves. Black woman's beauty standards, especially the negative ones, often go unrecognized by the public.

Barbie in Black and White

Growing up I was a huge collector of barbie dolls. I had every barbie you can imagine. I had a variety from Evening gown barbie (which was White) to hip hop diva barbie (which was African American). I never really thought about it when I was little but why did evening gown barbie always white and why was hip hop diva African American? After reading DuCille's article on how barbie dolls have had an impact on racism and segregation toward young children. When the production companies make these barbie dolls, they make them the most in the most stereotypical way. They even go as far as putting background information about the doll on the back of the box. For example, if the doll is made with darker skin, the background information states that the majority of that culture comes from African Decent. It amazing that kids can grow up thinking their just playing with a fun toy, but sub-consiously they are choosing the doll based on race and ethnicity. I remember for my friends birthday I bought her the same hip hop dancing barbie, but she did not want the black hip hop barbie she wanted the white one, so she returned it. In Hopson's doll test study he found that over 65 percent of black children would pick white dolls over black, and 75 percent of the children studied said that the black dolls looked bad (DuCille 130). This study showed Hopson that the majority of the black children in the study identified with white images, which reflects on the black childrens self perception. This article tells us that society needs to re-evaluate their concept of race and ethnicity. We need to teach kids to celebrate and embrace difference in race, gender, and ethnicity. Hopefully by the time I have kids, my child will not care if she gets a caucation barbie or a ethnic barbie.

The Black Beauty Myth

This piece really resonated with me because I have went through a lot of the things that Sirena Riley mentioned in this article. She says, "Ironically, it wasn't being overweight that really screwed up my body image and self-esteem, it was losing weight." I spent my whole life being an athlete, playing soccer, running track, cross-country skiing, and dancing. I never had a problem with my weight or with food. My last year of high school I went through something very traumatizing and it made me completely lose my appetite. I didn't realize what was happening until my mother heard some girls talking about "gross" I looked because I had lost so much weight. I have obviously bounced back, and now I struggle with my body image daily. I have spent the last three years comparing myself to that version of myself, rather than comparing that tiny sad version of my body to my real size and feeling relieved that I am back to normal.

Near the end of the article, Reilly says "....it's OK for you to be fat, but not me. You're black. You're different." I don't think anyone is saying 'it's okay to be fat', because it clearly isn't. It's unhealthy and can have dangerous repercussions. I cannot speak for all women, and certainly not all white women, but we can all find physical characteristics in other women that we wouldn't mind possessing ourselves. When I see a beautiful thin woman, I think to myself how I wouldn't mind looking like that. When I see a confident curvy woman I also think that I wouldn't mind looking like that. If I tell someone I wish I could embrace my curves they way they are, it is a genuine compliment coming from me. It is my way of saying that I wish I had her confidence in myself. It does not mean that I cannot and would not ever want to look like that, but rather that I hope someday I do. Then again, that is my own defense, and I cannot speak for anyone else or the women that Reilly has encountered in her life.

Thalhiemer "Terrorists, Bitches and Dykes : Late 20th Century comix"

I really found the Thalheimer piece quite interesting. The article focused on labeling and more specifically on the "lesbianism" as a literary label. She focuses on 3 prominent comix "Hothead Paisan", "Bitchy Butch", and "Dykes to watch out for". In the article she investigates that past their title there are very few differences in the texts. It was a pretty straight forward article that presents a very interesting arguement. The article ends by stating that society's obsession with labeling "lesbian" literature is because it is a way to avoid it. The attention to labeling "lesbian" literature is indicative of a society where it is "....acceptable to be a lesbian... but is not yet accepted". The article points out a certain parallelism with "feminism" and "lesbianism". Both terms are misunderstood in their true meaning and the labels are used in a way where the terms themselves are used to signal the "mainstream" to stay away.
This article resonated with me because in my philosophy class we recently talked about anger and how anger requires a certain relationship with another entity and anger is actually a positive emotion. We compared two prominent figures in history MLK and Malcom X and the professor argues that MLK meats the criterion of anger much better than Malcom X. This article described in the 3 comix different kinds of anger. The comix want people to pay attention to a problem that is prominent in society today. The article also states that these comix are in a unique situation in which because of their "status" or lack there of they can offer a truly honest critique of society and its problems.

February 16, 2009

Black Beauty Myth

I found the "Black Beauty Myth" article to be extremely interesting. As a psychology major, eating disorders get brought up in all my clinical/abnormal/counseling/women's psych courses. And in every single one, the message is essentially "Oh, poor white girls influenced by the skinny white media... oh, but as an aside, this isn't true for black women!" Yes, studies have shown that the percentage of black women unhappy with their bodies is lower than that of white women, but I feel like the myth is that black women never have body image issues and are never represented as "too thin" in the media, or that there aren't any "guidelines" regarding what a black woman should look like.

Thus, it was really refreshing to read this article. I really liked when Riley discussed how white women are often quick to divide themselves by saying "It's okay that you're fat, because you're black, but not for me, because I'm different, and need to be thin." I think the same thing happens on an individual level, too - that is, if a friend is overweight, we might tell her "Oh, you don't need to lose weight! You should be happy with your body!" But if we reach that weight, or even gain a couple pounds, we freak out.

I think the entire concept of the media being "responsible" for eating disorders is way overemphasized in society. We all know that EDs are generally due to a lack of control in one's life and the need to regain control. While the media does, of course, have unrealistic physical portrayals of women that are obviously not true to real life, eating disorders usually have other underlying issues that are way more important. I think when focusing on the media, it is just as important to see how women are portrayed in their PERSONALITIES, strengths, weaknesses, submission... the media that SEPARATES women from men, emphasizes difference rather than similarity... I recently saw "He's Just Not That Into You" [friends made me go!] and was completely disgusted by it - not by the actresses' appearances but by the way that they acted, the parts that the writers decided to emphasize about the women's lives, the desperation and patheticness and stereotypes that the film enforced... this is getting a bit off topic, but I guess my point is that the media is not the only issue at hand here. Thus, focusing on the way that white and black women are portrayed in the media physically is not the whole story, and that it is important to focus on how women are told to ACT and the way that women are told they should be treated.

Body Image is NOT Dependent on Race

After reading "The Black Beauty Myth" by Sirena J. Riley, I was not really sure how I felt about it. The idea of black women always being happy with their bodies and white women always being unhappy never seemed to reach me before. I never heard about the newsmagazine piece that Riley talked about, that made her proud and envious at the same time. As I read Riley's personal story, I could relate to it. I knew we were separated by race, but I didn't really think about that as I read her story. I think almost all body images in the media are unrealistic, I have never really separated it into "black body images" and "white body images." I've always thought of it as, "skinny women" and "fat women" categories. The skinny category being something I knew I would never attain. I think it is ridiculous for anyone to categorize eating disorders as a problem only affecting white women; we know that's not true. Riley makes some interesting points about how white women give themselves too much credit thinking that black women want to look like them (364). I never looked at it from a black woman's perspective. As a white girl, I looked up to the black and white women alike. At times I've idolized some of the black women in the spotlight more, like Beyonce, because I was always told I have a big butt when I was growing up. I tried to embrace that, which left me outside the "acceptable" body images for white girls.

The more I write about this article and my thoughts, the more I worry I am confusing myself and any readers. I was confused growing up, and never really thought about race. Some of my best friends growing up were not white, but I never thought about that until years later in high school and now in college. Does our group of friends growing up determine the body images we look up to? It must have some influence. Am I better off for never having realized the different of black women and white women body images, or does that make me more ignorant? I'm not sure. Elementary school and middle school are not exactly times I would like to return to. Riley's article has opened up my eyes to a new perspective that I think I am still mulling over in my head. I hope it will become clearer for me before class on Thursday.

Side note: The A. duCille article, "Barbie in Black and White" was not in my course packet- I've searched page by page twice. Does anyone else have it?


Kellner =discusses the ideology and how certain texts use them to empower the audience or provide escapism. One of my favorite shows is "The Girls Next Door" which both empowers views and provides escapism. Although the "girls" are in objectifying roles that could be understood to reienforce women's roles in a relationship, they also are rich (now on their own) have good jobs, and have the "power that comes with being able to attract men" (from Senna). Even though these girls have careers their lives are not attainable or realistic for most people--providing escapism. We never will be to experience what they are, but we can see it happening, escaping from our own reality into theirs.

Kellner's piece is really interesting because it discusses why audiences react the way they do to texts. In our media/celeb saturated culture it is really important to understand WHY audiences are influenced by these things because they influence our over-all social structure and basic national attitude. With a country that's going down the tubes, maybe we are escaping into these celeb lives too much and not paying attention to what is going in the "real world"

February 15, 2009

Not all body insecurities are white

Sirena J. Riley's personal essay "The Black Beauty Myth" raises questions about the way in which the discussion of women's body insecurities is raced. She tells her own story of weight gain, weight loss, her "stint with bulimia," complusive exercise, and an obsession with exactly what she ate. She writes that society tends to assume that black women are secure with their bodies but to assume so misses the "racism, sexism, and classism that affect the specific ways in which black women's beauty ideals and experiences of body dissatisfaction are often different from those of white women" (357). While Riley notes that eating disorders tend to be rarer among black girls/women, their body insecurities are not non-existent. Because the discussion of negative body image usually focuses solely on white women, we forget or ignore that women of color experience body image and body insecurities in different ways.

Before I read this article I had never thought of how thinking about body image might be different for women of color than it is for white women. I think I assumed that all women faced the same body insecurities regardless of color, although thinking back to middle school health, where I was taught about eating disorders, all the girls in the materials (mostly videos) designed to deter us from becoming anorexics or bulimics were white. At that age, I don't think I was aware that race affects so many aspects of life; I thought of race in terms of racism but what I knew to be racism was more institutional--like, we hadn't yet had a black president, young black men were more likely to be imprisoned than young white men, and African-American history was relegated to a tiny little "Did you know"-type box in the history textbook. It simply never occurred to me that body image and body insecurities could be influenced by race, that race was something more than racism, and that it pervaded all aspects of life.

Poetry on a guys perspective on being a man

Well I was up all night watching def poetry jam stuff on youtube and I ran into this pretty cool poem by mark gonzales on being a man


Awesome poem by Bridget Gray... pretty relevant for the class

Yeah this is a pretty awesome poem by Bridget Gray talking about hip hop music


February 12, 2009

HEY ALL! Event tomorrow night, Friday the 13th!

If you like activism, workers rights, and sweatshop free clothing, you should check out this event.
This Friday the 13th,
MPIRG will be hosting an event called the Honduran Workers Tour, including
two workers from a Russell clothing factory in Honduras that was recently
shut down. Russell closed the factory because the employees tried to form a
union, and this is not only illegal, but it is also a violation of the
University of Minnesota’s code of conduct signed with Russell. The two
Honduran workers and the International Campaign Coordinator for the
Designated Suppliers Program will be speaking to students about these labor
practices and what can be done to help the factory employees. The event
will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in room 100 of the Bell Museum of Natural
History. Bring your Friends!

Free Peace Coffee will be served. Learn more about what MPIRG and United Students Against Sweatshops are up to around campus and get involved. :)

February 11, 2009

Real Beauty

Here is a Link to a video comparing the Dove and Axe ad campaigns

sorry if there are a bunch of this post, my internet keeps cutting out.

My TV Habits

As I was growing up, my parents only allowed my brother and me two hours of tv a day, instilling upon my young mind that excessive tv watching was for lazy, boring people. This childhood practice lead to my current tendency of watching very little tv. I'd much rather be listening to music than be distracted by background tv noise, while doing homework or hanging out. That being said, I do have a few favorite shows that I make time for: Lost, The Office, Intervention and the Girls Next Door (tsk tsk, I know...). I also love a good crime show.

Even though I'm not a fan of frequent couch potato-ing, I do love movies. My current favorite is Amelie; I reallllly enjoy foreign films (i.e. Y Tu Mama Tambien, Let the Right One In, Pan's Labyrinth, Paris Je T'Aime). Some other random faves of mine include Across the Universe, Beetlejuice, The Emperor's New Groove, Little Miss Sunshine, Love Actually, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Rules of Attraction, The Silence of the Lambs, Sweeny Todd, and Waiting for Guffman.


TV Habits

I do not watch much television, mostly because I can never find anything good on. When I do watch television though, I generally watch Law and Order: SVU, House, a cheesy Lifetime movie, or the History Channel. As a result of my roommate’s television watching habits I also sometimes watch MTV reality television shows and the Food Network; none of which I enjoy. I watch these shows on the weekends or if I have a short amount of time in between activities during the day when I would not be able to get anything else done. I have a few shows in the evening that I try to watch every week as well. I like One Tree Hill, Grey’s Anatomy, The Office, and Big Love. Given my schedule, however, I am usually unable to watch my shows when they are being aired so I stream them on the internet. I don’t like watching a lot of television at one time because it sedates me and I don’t like being still for that long, but a little bit everyday is entertaining.

February 10, 2009

T.V. habits

My T.V. watching habits are incredibly bad. I live with my sister and she calls the couch my best friend. I cannot explain how good it feels to leave reality for awhile and get completely lost in a good movie. I love certain T.V. shows as well, such as: The Office, Family Guy, Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia, but my first love is movies. I particularly love psychological thrillers. I am a Law, Crime, and Deviance so police movies are my favorite! Some of my favorite thriller movies are: The Negotiator, Primal Fear, Shawshank Redemption, Usual Suspects, and Copy Cat. However, I do enjoy escaping to a fantasy world every now and then. Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter movies are some of my favorites. When I watch fantasy movies I feel like I am ten years old again. After the movie is over, I wish I could fly on a broom stick of fight off dragons. It defiantly helps make all my other obligations go away, even for a short while.

My schedule right now is rather hectic. Mondays are my lightest day, with yoga from 8 am to 9am and then soccer practice from 9:30am to 11:30am. After my work outs I have class until 5 pm. Then I tend to watch T.V. until around 9:30 or 10pm, instead of doing my homework.
Tuesdays, I have yoga and soccer again at the same times, and then I have classes from 2:30pm to 7pm. After classes I usually go to Hollywood video and rent new movies (Every Tuesdays are when new releases come out) and watch them until around midnight.
Wednesday is my heaviest day. I have the same work out routine in the morning, then I volunteer at the juvenile prison from 1pm to 3pm, then I have class from 4pm to 8:30pm, and finally, I have soccer games from 10pm to 11:30pm. I tend not to watch much T.V. on Wednesdays.
Thursday I have the same workout routine till 11:30am, then class till 8:30pm, and after that I have soccer games till 11:30pm. I usually watch about 2 hours of T.V. between my workouts and classes.
Fridays we scrimmage the men’s club soccer team from 9:30am to 11am. I also have class from 12:30pm to 3:30 pm, but after that my weekend starts and I tend to watch ALOT of television and movies on the weekend.
Now that I look at my schedule, I feel a little pathetic. I know I need to study more, but for some reason I never do until to last minute. I need to work on my priorities after looking at my schedule. Things need to change.

If I only had the patience to sit in front of the boob tube and rot my brain...

The last tv show I watched with any regularity was last year's Top Chef. I no longer have cable, or I would probably still be watching it. First, I love to cook. Second, my old (and best ever) roommate actually attended to Culinary Institute of America before she transferred to the U of M (coincidentally to major in GWSS) so we would watch it together. I liked it because, as a reality tv show, there was competition, creativity, and it was fast-paced, but it didn't feel like I had just wasted an hour of my life. It also exposed me to new cooking techniques and vocabulary and I like seeing what happens in a kitchen.

Like Mary said in her post, tv can be a useful tool in exposing us to new ideas and new lifestyles. I don't have the patience to be a tv junkie--I can't sit around that long and stare at a screen--so a tv show has to be really engaging for me to even want to watch it. At the risk of sounding like a huge nerd, I really love to learn so I am entertained at the same time I am learning. If that means learning new spices or admiring a chef's exquisite knife skills (skills I am currently incapable of imitating), then so be it.

Now I gravitate more toward short, witty tv shows like The Daily Show or The Colbert Report. These I watch online for the practical reason that I don't have cable and because I am constantly on my computer needing to procrastinate. I like the shows because they are current events related and I pay pretty close attention to the news. In addition, I really like smart, witty humor. It's kind of my style of humor so I like to see others use it as well. I think it also is a valuable tool for public discourse because it does allow us to talk about touchy issues seriously by creating a sort of barrier through which we can ask deep questions. My tv watching habits, while currently close to non-existent, seem to indicate that I watched a lot of PBS as a child true). I like learning so I tend to be bored watching mindless television and need some sort of intellectual stimulation in order to be entertained. (Yes, I can spell nerd).

I was going to talk about movies too...

I believe that TV can be a useful tool in learning about how other people live (although it is often taken to the extreme). When we are able to better understand what motivates others to do what they do, we are better equipped to be truly open minded. As much as we may try to have a diverse group of acquaintances, we gain a perspective into the private lives of others we may not see otherwise (in "reality" or scripted programs). For example, from a show like Wifeswap, we can learn how other families are run and gain more insight into the lives of our peers in addition to a new angle to examine how our actions may affect our peers. What causes me to think that a certain parent is running their family incorrectly? How would I do things differently? If I were to meet this family, would I still be able to treat them with the respect they unconditionally deserve, even if I disagree with their lifestyles?

I don't know what I would talk to my father about if we didn't both watch TV. Through the years, we have watched many shows, movies, sporting events and played plenty of video games together. This is how we learn about each other; form our likes and dislikes to our often varying opinions.I guess it's just how we relate. My father started watching All My Children when it started when he was a kid in 1970 and I guess I've really watched it all of my life. We've watched every season of Big Brother together (except for the one during the writers strike that wasn't in the summer because I was away for school). We even watched all of the 2008 NBA Playoffs/Championships together (yay KG and the Celtics!).

Many seem to believe that TV is a waste of time, but I've definitely learned a lot from the programs I've watched. I loved watching game shows during elementary school and shows like Jeopardy! definitely helped me with my history quizzes. I think that The Real World changed my life. I remember in season 6 (I think) in Boston. It was the first time I learned what a lesbian was, the first time that I realized that women could actually share their lives with one another in such a way. I had a whole new perspective on life, love, and happiness. I also used to love music videos (I really miss Pop-Up Video) but I don't get to watch those as much anymore. TV helped me develop my diverse taste in music; artists I wouldn't have been aware of otherwise.

As for my favorite programs... There are too many! We should have had a limit like we did on the songs! I'll give myself a time limit. Frasier, Judging Amy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Bewitched, Desperate Housewives, Family Guy, Xena: Warrior Princess, the Golden Girls, All My Children, The Wonder Years, Maude, The View, I Love Lucy, Who's the Boss, Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Weeds, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Night Court, The L Word, Grey's Anatomy (although we've been on a trial separation since November, I don't know if we will ever reconcile), Friends, Living Single, Good Times, Mad About You, Everybody Hates Chris, Imaginary Bitches, Everwood, Mama's Family, Daria, The Facts of Life, SNL, the Wonderpets, The Nanny, I Dream of Jeannie, Punky Brewster, Sliders, Quantum Leap...countless game shows, old nickelodeon, crappy mtv and vh1, and even more mindless sitcoms.

See you Thursday,

TV Habits

As I am writing this, my TV is on and will remain on until I fall asleep. I definitely watch way too much TV. When I was little my brother and I used to zone out into cartoons and cheerios every morning before school. This TV habit has not changed, except it's not cartoons anymore it's Maury and Tyra. As much as I hate to admit it, my TV is probably on 90% of the time when I'm at home. I'm not necessarily always watching however. I usually have it on just for noise or sometimes just the visual. I often watch multiple shows at one time in order to avoid watching commercials, which is funny considering I'm an advertising major.

I think my list of favorite TV shows is endless. I can watch almost anything. I am a huge fan of everything bravo (project runway, top chef, real housewives, ect.) and VH1. I enjoy reality TV, probably a little bit too much. I'm the person my friends turn to when they miss an episode of something. Just recently I started watching House. I think Hugh Laurie's character is hilarious. I was really excited when he won a Golden Globe. To continue my list I also like Law and Order: SVU, CSI, Cold Case, and almost any other crime/detective shows. My TV is also frequently turned to E! for some Girls Next Door, True Hollywood Story and Chelsea Lately.

TV Habits

Hi, Sarah here talking about my TV habits. I would like to warn you that I watch a TON of TV, I don't think I could even go a day without it. Sad, but I just love watching TV shows and getting lost in their worlds. Also sometimes you just need to watch shows like FRIENDS, Will and Grace, Scrubs, etc. because they cheer you up and make you laugh. This is how my week goes:
Monday: House @ 7pm, One Tree Hill @ 8pm.
Tuesday: 90210 (the new series)
Wednesday: no schedualed shows, so just whatever is on.
Thursday: Burn Notice :)
Friday: nothing in particular, but Fridays I probably watch the least amount of TV.
Saturdays: nothing in particular, I work Friday thru Sunday at the Cracker Barrel.
Sunday: Same as Friday and Saturday.
Plus I just recently started Netflix so now I watch at least an episode, or on a crazy day like13 episodes, of Heroes online. P.s. Probably the coolest show ever! well besides Burn Notice.
Also, I rent from Netflix the House DVD's.
During a regular week, before I discovered Heroes, I watch Law and Order(CI and SVU are my favorites), CSI:(MIami and Las Vegas--not New York, that one I'm not a fan of), Gilmore Girls.
Plus I wait untill seasons of Grey's Anatomy comes out on Box set and then watch the whole season marathon style.
Also I've seen every episode of some shows that are now cancelled: Dawson's Creek, The OC, FRIENDS, and Will and Grace.

Plus I have a few favorite movies that I've seen so much I know the words by heart: Superbad, House Bunny, Mean Girls, Baby Mama, and What Happens in Vegas. Basically, I love to rewatch funny movies and memorize lines from them to laugh about later with my BFF Lindsey.

P.S. Can't wait till Saturday when Confessions of a Shopaholic comes out!

February 9, 2009

TV Habits

Well, I must admit that I am a tv series junkie. Granted, I don't really have anytime to watch tv anymore, but when I did, I really liked Lost, Grey's Anatomy, Alias, and House. I have one rule that I ALWAYS, always follow: Never watch a series unless it is already on dvd. I can't handle the suspense. it drives me crazy! Lost is particularly bad (or good depending on how you look at it) at leaving you sit on the couch five minutes after the episode ended just hoping that for some reason there will be more. Of course, they never do. Thus, I always wait until the whole series comes out on dvd, and when that happens, I watch way too much tv. My other reason for doing this is to avoid the time conflicts of my life and a tv series. I have friends and family who won't leave their houses on certain nights of the week because "their show" is on. Understandable, tv is addictive, but is it really that important? We know the outcome of the story already, don't we? On Alias, someone always died, but you were never really concerned. You knew that within the next 5 episodes they would randomly appear again whole and healthy. I guess that is why I like tv series so much. They are kind of predicable, unlike my own life.

Movies are a more common thing at this point in my life. They don't require hours and hours of watching to get the whole story. It is a shorter time commitment. Plus, everywhere in the twin cities seems to have a RED BOX! I have never heard of these things until I moved here in January. The person who came up with this concept deserves an award or something. It is the college kid's life saver. In all seriousness, movies are a nice break from reality and the stress of school. Transfering from a community college, I am a little overwhelmed by all the information thrown at me all day long. Sometimes in the evenings, I just need to not think about everything I have to do. A good movie does the trick to ending my frustrations.

As for the kind of movies I watch, I really am not picky. I'm fairly happy watching anything. In fact, if I had to pick a favorite movie, it would be Open Season. Yes, it is a animated children's movie. Watch it if you haven't! The reason I enjoy it so much is just for the simple humor. It isn't sick humor. It is simple and clean humor. It is annoying to me how so many movies and tv shows use humor, but a lot of it is sick, sexits, racist humor. I won't say that I don't find it mildly amusing at times, but I'd so much rather laugh about something that doesn't cross moral boundries. So when I pick out a movie, I'm not picky, but I look for something that isn't too serious and tense. I'm too tense already. Why add to it?

Blog # 3 - TV

My television habits seem to follow my schedule. I used to rarely watch cable, except the weekly Thursday night Office episode. Now that I am in this class, cable has been limited to the occasional football game. I don't like feeling like I wasted an hour of my life, although I admit, I have been hypnotized by stupid shows before. I don't watch something unless I am really excited for it. With that in mind, my latest television watching has been revolved around season DVDs. Last year at this time, I was watching Weeds: Season 1 and 2 and Dead Like Me: Season 1 and 2. These shows were light, funny and dramatic enough to keep me interested. Only recently have I found my current obsession: The Wire. It is smart and excited, with great character development (which happens to be one of my pet peeves). The problem with season DVDs is the fact that nothing is limiting your consumption. Depending on my schedule and workload, I watch any where from 2 episodes to an entire season in a week.

I watch movies pretty regularly. I enjoy the act of going to the theaters, but when I don't feel like spending ten dollars and sneaking in snack food, I rent a movie at the one-dollar Red Boxes or Netflix. Comparatively, I prefer television series to movies because the generic 50 minute of a TV show is less of a commitment than a full length feature film. Also, plot and characters can be developed more. You can become connected to the characters more easily, hence become more invested in the story.

Blog Post #3 TV

I am one of those people who can not stand silence. I always have the TV on or music playing. I really don't watch much TV during the week, I have class 3 nights a week and my son has Taekwondo on the one night I don't have school. Thank goodness for DVR's! Monday-Thursday nights I do watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, I have a tough time watching the regular news- I find it to be a bit too depressing so I get my news from the internet, Stewart and Colbert. By Friday, the DVR is filled with Heroes, Chuck, Scrubs and The Office. I just recently got into 30 Rock so I have been trying to watch the old episodes online and if I'm with my parents we end up watching American Idol- I loved the show the first season and will admit that I'm a big Kelly Clarkson fan still but the show has lost a lot of it's appeal to me. The only show that I watch regularly that does not get DVR'd is The Real Housewives of Orange County- it's definitely my guilty pleasure, those women are just crazy! I have always been a big cop show junkie, but have cut them out of regular viewing due to my lack of TV time. I do try to catch episodes of Law and Order when I have a chance and if in flipping I find Homicide: Life on the Streets I tend to drop everything to watch. I still think that was one of the greatest cop shows ever! I also watch SNL often.

As for movies, I tend to watch a lot of kid movies thanks to my son. I secretly curse Disney for the High School Musical franchise, I know the words to most of the songs and have had to learn some of the dances because of the dance along instructions on the DVDs. When I get to pick the movie, it really depends on my mood. I love all kinds of movies, except for horror- in my defense I am a total chicken and I know it. I love old musicals and still cry every time I watch West Side Story after Chino shoots Tony and Maria gives her speech. I don't get to the theater often, I generally don't want to pay $10 to see the movies my son wants to see, so we tend to rent or buy a lot of movies

T.V. Blog #3

My t.v. watching habits have changed a lot since I started college. I'm from a really small town so we honestly didn't have much to do. On the weekends, we would just hang out and watch t.v. or movies. High school was a breeze, so homework wasn't too difficult- basically I had a lot of free time, and I spent a lot of time in front of the t.v. When I started college, everything changed, including my t.v. watching habits. I no longer have time to sit around and watch t.v. It's just not an option. There are a few shows I watch regularly. These include: The Real World, A Shot of Love (I know this is a horrible horrible show but I was completely addicted), and Chelsea Lately. Whenever I have some spare time during the day, I'll turn on comedy central. I love stand-up comedy; I only watch it occasionally though. I also watch A LOT of news programs. I'm majoring in journalism so it's almost necessary for most of my classes, but I've always watched a lot of news. When I was still living at home I watched probably 3 or 4 news programs a day; I like the news, what can I say. Anyways, thats about all for my t.v. watching.


I'm really bad because I'm a total TV addict. Sometimes I don't even watch what I have on, it's just noise in the background while I'm reading or facebooking or falling asleep for the night. I'm a complete Law and Order nut. Any of them, the Original, SVU, or Criminal Intent. And please don't hate me for saying this, but I watch all of the reality shows on Bravo, Top Chef, Project Runway, all of the "real housewives of...". I'm not sure why I like some of them but they're like driving by an accident, you just can't help but watch. And of course you can't forget the Simpsons and Family Guy I absolutely love Family Guy.

I've always been a media junkie though in just about any form. I'm constantly on my laptop checking CNN or local news and even watching shows online that I forgot to set my DVR for. I really wanted to work for a news organization at one point but decided I was better suited for advertising/marketing/PRI so I decided to major in it.

So there you go....I'm a TV addict. Admitting it is half the battle.


February 8, 2009


My TV habits have changed over the last few years. Before college I watched a lot of TV, usually bad TV. Now most TV annoys me, in particular pretty much all MTV shows. There are not many shows I follow and no shows that I watch religiously. The last show I watched weekly was Arrested Development and I still watch the seasons on DVD all the time. Now that Arrested Development is off the air I try to catch The Office and 30 Rock when I can. I think all three of those shows are well written and smart. Arrested Development is especially smart. The script is so full of hidden humor. I’ve been watching the DVDs forever and I still find new things in the episodes.

Besides the few sitcoms I watch, I watch quite a few shows on TLC and the Food Network. I like the show Jon and Kate Plus 8 and the specials on rare diseases. I’m pretty sure I could watch specials on dwarves for the rest of my life. On the Food Network I really like the show Unwrapped where they go through how classic American foods are made like hot dogs or Jell-o. Even though I have the shows I like my TV watching is hard to peg. I could not watch TV for a week and not realize it or I could watch 4 hours in one day.

When it comes to movies I’m really into Tim Burton stuff. Edward Scissorhands is one of my all time favorite movies. I also like Tim Burton because he uses Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter and the music of Danny Elfman in a lot of his movies. Burton has a really recognizable style that I enjoy and his movies often have a dark humor that I like. Back to Johnny Depp I think the movie What’s Eating Gilbert Grape is great.


Blog 3

I don't watch much tv. Mostly I just don't find it that entertaining. I do have favorite tv shows that I rent the episodes for, though. Some of these would include Spongebob Squarepants, The Boondocks, South Park, X Files, and Star Trek. Whenever I'm in a motel I always take advantage of cabel to watch the Colbert Report, the Daily Show, and I Love Lucy, among others. I also watch a lot of movies. There are certain directors I like such as David Lynch, Stanly Kubrich, and Spike Lee, and I also like horror movies and foreign films. It's difficult to say exactly why I like what I like. I only know I like a lot of cartoons and comedies, but I also like to view so-called "serious" films and to jump in my seat at horror films. I also like selected sci-fi and fantasy films.

Art may imitate life, but life imitates TV

my TV watching habits... oh geez.
First of all, my heart belongs to:

i don't know why. it is the only show i have ever watched every single episode of.
i also watch Gossip Girl &&Jon &&Kate plus 8 pretty religiously. I find myself obsessed with reality television shows of any sort, maybe because it helps me realize that people are just as crazy, if not more, than me. my roommate has gotten me hooked on the Bachelor too, which i think is a disgusting acceptance of polygamy in a relationship, at least for a short amount of time. it's one thing to be dating other people at the beginning of a relationship, but to sit and watch the guy kiss other women.. and then have to LIVE with them? yeah, i couldn't do it.

i do not like watching sports on television. unless it's gopher hockey. or figure skating. or gymnastics. i absolutely adore cartoons. i'll watch anything that is animated, from spongebob to aqua teen hunger force.

i am obsessed with makeover shows. i love shows that have beginning vs end, ya know? it just reminds me of how easy it is to improve things.

two more shows that i am obsessed with: The Soup and MXC. if anyone watches those, they know exactly why.

I also like to eat junk food while i watch TV. or do sit-ups. or facebook. but i can't just sit and watch TV or i'll die.

TV and Me

When it comes to TV, it is very much a love/hate relationship. There are shows that I absolutely love (Arrested Development, The Office, Anthony Bourdain, Stewart/Colbert) and then there are shows that I love that I hate I love (Sober House, Real Housewives, ANTM) and then there's the fact that I hate that it sucks up all my time without me realizing it.

Although I am not one to organize my schedule around "my stories" thanks to the small thing called the interwebs I have found that I can watch most shows on my schedule, which is what I try to do. With the shows becoming more of the break between the commercials I have become a huge fan of television series on DVDs.

What I hate most is how I can plan to sit down and watch only a half an hour which turns into the rest of an evening gone and a stack of readings left to read and papers left to write. So I usually spend my time trying to avoid turning it on when I can. I like to use TV more as a tool to relax and rewind. This probably explains why I tend to stick to travel, food, and sitcoms.

February 7, 2009

Blog Post #3

Hey hey.

I have pretty strange television habits. Mainly, I hate 90% of television but the 10% I do like I develop extremely unhealthy obsessions with. I can watch an entire 5-series show in a week on DVD, especially if it's summer!

I haven't watched much on an ACTUAL television since I was really young. We got rid of cable when I was 8 and since the only channel I watched was Nickelodeon I pretty much gave up television altogether. Sometimes I'd have the TV on for background noise, but that was pretty much all it consisted of.

When I came to college there was basically no reception in my dorm and my TV barely worked, so my roommate and I watched a lot of movies [usually really awful chick flicks she had]. I got into Grey's Anatomy freshman year, mainly because one of my friends had cable and it was just a nice time for everyone to get together. I liked the first couple seasons of Grey's but then it got a little extreme so I don't watch it much anymore.

My sophomore year we got free cable, and though my roommates were always watching TV, I couldn't stand most of what they were watching... reality shows drive me up the wall, honestly! Can't handle them. Especially the bachelor/bachelorette shows, or any show where they stick 10 people in a house with one guy and assume that one of them is the guy's true love. The past two years I've lived alone, and my TV had been totally broken up until like last October when I got a new one for this stupid HDTV switch. It also sucks because even with an antenna the size of my desk I can't seem to pick up many channels. So yeah, I don't watch much TV.

Shows on DVD are my saviors. My mother made me watch Gilmore Girls with her once [cute, I know] and sadly I got hooked - I now own the entire series and it's my guiltiest of the guilty pleasures.

Other guilty pleasures include Monk [mainly because I think Tony Shalhoub is just so damn cute, plus I like solving the cases] and Gossip Girl [I'm really behind]. I watch both of these online pretty frequently.

My sister got me hooked on Six Feet Under last summer. I know, 7 years after it started, but yeah. This is one of those "obsession" shows for me. I have no idea why, but everyone in my family is extremely emotionally invested in this show. I swear, it changed my life. I could go on for five years about how much I love this show, but I'll try to, you know, not do that. I spent my entire summer in front of my computer, downloading torrents that could potentially kill my computer just so I could download each episode [my sister moved back to our hometown and thus I didn't have access to her DVDs anymore]. During a particularly stressful/anxiety-ridden series of episodes, I literally couldn't sleep because I was so nervous about what would happen, and I dreamt about the characters... I blew off plans with my friends so I could stay home and watch the show... yeah. [As an aside, I just bought the ENTIRE series - all five seasons - for only $59.99 on Amazon! It seems to have been a very temporary deal because it was back up to almost $200 the next day.]

Other favorites include...

- The Office! I never miss an episode. I think it's been gradually getting worse - I miss season 2! - but I'm still devoted.
- It'S Always Sunny in Philadelphia [why is this flying under the radar? It's so good!]
- Arrested Development [I could kill Fox for canceling this show, it was seriously like the only good show they had]
- Family Guy [okay, Fox has one redeeming show...]
- Seinfeld [this was our "family bonding" show - after my parents got divorced my mom would still come over to my dad's to watch Seinfeld, haha]

I will also watch pretty much any cooking or "domestic" show [Martha Stewart is awesome] because I love organization, cooking, etc.

I guess that's all... ciao!


Television watching habits

Due to the fact that I have an extremely busy schedule and my time is limited, I chose not to purchase the “cable plan? this year and have, so far, survived without it (but barely).

I resort to watching most of my guilty-pleasure television shows online. I love trashy television; picture this: “The Hills,? “True Life,? “Parental Control,? etc. Anything on MTV that has no relevance as to what reality is actually like, is what I enjoy watching. I have secretly wanted to try-out for the “Real World,? however; my life is far less drama-filled than what the producers are probably looking for. I love “Will and Grace? and “Saturday Night Live.? I definitely enjoy watching shows that are comical.

I feel as though we tend to gravitate towards television programs that we can relate to. I may not necessarily relate to the "rich" girls on "The Hills," but the show is entertaining regardless. I love shows that make me laugh, but I also like shows on the "Travel Channel" or "Discovery Channel" that make me think. Needless to say, I enjoy a variety of shows and it all depends on my mood during that time (and how much I actually enjoy channel surfing).

When I go home for breaks, I enjoy watching marathons of “What Not to Wear? and “48 Hours Mystery.? I absolutely LOVE watching the “Gameshow Network,? as well as feeling about 80-years-old.

While at school, I enjoy watching DVDs when and if I have free-time. My selection and taste in DVDs varies by my mood: I am a fan of “Edward Scissorhands,? “Curly Sue,? “Christmas Vacation,? and the entire set of “Sex in the City.? And yes, I own a VHS player (shocking, right?) and Disney movies will never get old in my book. Maybe it is because I never want to grow up…

Not to mention, I can quote almost the entire movie of “Anchorman.?

Needless to say, there are days where I miss television watching, but with today’s technology, relying in the Internet as a second source is just what I need to suffice all of my television watching needs.

TV habits

At a bar the other night, some friends were discussing the House’s hopes to push the analog to digital signal switchover back to June, worried that some citizens would not have taken actions to buy a digital receiver for their televisions. Someone added, “They’ve been running those ads on TV for, like, 2 years now! Whoever finds themselves after the switch with a TV that doesn’t work must have been living under a rock.? To my friend’s amazement, I had no idea that the digital switchover was even happening.
Like many college students (right?), I don’t own a TV. Anyway, I’m too busy running around during the week to worry about catching something when it airs. But much as I wish I were one of those too-cool-for-TV people, my innocence stops short at not owning one.
The computer reigns supreme in my media-watching habits. I’ve been known to devour an entire season of LOST in a single weekend (over break, but still. Shameful.) As with most things, I can check a season of LOST out from the library. I also use Netflix to rent TV seasons and movies.
I also like to watch TV shows streaming online. I await each new Gossip Girl with bated breath, refreshing the full episode page on cwtv.com almost obsessively to see when the latest episode is posted. For the contraband viewing of HBO’s new vampire show True Blood, I stalk through the back alleys of Asian video sites like a nervous teen in China Town, looking for something illegal. Gossip Girl and True Blood are guilty pleasures, along with The Real World and America’s Next Top Model. I can recognize that these shows do not have much complexity or artistic integrity, but that empty brain-candy is just too sweet to kick.
A couple of shows that I can enjoy while holding onto a sliver of dignity include Six Feet Under and Project Runway. I’m also a fan of The Daily Show and Colbert Report, which I can watch at friend’s houses (those with cable).
On the whole, I probably watch two and a half hours of TV (via my computer) per week on average. I’d say half of that time is spent watching alone, and half spent watching with a friend.
I also go to the movies roughly every other week, and most often it’s to one of the Landmark theaters (much as I steep myself in crappy television, I’m only going to spend my money on a movie that looks complex/artistic/interesting).

This American Life Link

Hey, here is the radio show that I was talking about the other day. Just click here and it will take you to the page where you can stream the episode.

There are four acts and the one I was talking about with Dan Savage and the Suite Life is the last act (you should listen to the whole show though, it's great)


February 6, 2009

TV Habits

In the past year I have started to watch a lot more TV. First, I got cable and internet access (i didnt have it for a year) that I am actually paying for so I feel as though I should use it. Second, since i'm paying for it and therefore have no money, it is "cheap" entertainment. Third, my boyfriend and I are sick of going out with the worry of being pulled over for a DWI every night!

When i'm by myself I watch more reality TV shows like "Girls Next Door", all the ridiculous VH1 shows, and CW shows like "Priviledged", "One Tree Hill", and sometimes "90210". Another show I like but don't get to see a lot is "Don't Forget the Lyrics"

With my boyfriend I usually watch "Everybody Loves Raymond", "King of Queens", "Two and a Half Men", "Cold Case", "Chelsea Lately", "Talk Soup" and of course "SVU"

We also watch a lot of movies. Writing this blog is an eye opener in that I watch A LOT of TV. Oh, and another reason why is because ITS COLD OUTSIDE and I do not want to leave the house (or my warm blanket)

Ohh, and the info-mercial for the GT-Express 2000 (or whatever it is) is really really captivating at 3am

Link for the video talking about women and Advertising

Hey I ran into this video talking about women in advertising... It's very interesting and kinda lengthy but it's done very well....


-Dunstan "Chuck Johnson" Pinlac

Habits of a former television addict... well this class doesn't help me kick the habit

I would describe my TV watching habits as very ADD'ish.... I would find 2-4 different shows airing at the same time that I may find interesting and pretty much just shuffle through them. I would just pretty much just try to get the essence of each of the show's episode. I find it very hard to just stay on one show at a time I get very antsy and start doing other stuff and I just end up ignoring what I was watching. There are however some exceptions, Scrubs, Mythbusters, Star trek next generation, Battlestar Galactica, and Curious George.

If however I find myself in the situation where there is not a show on that interests me I would just start watching commercials. I would choose 5-6 channels that I believe could contain very interesting commercials and shuffle through those. My top channels for commercials would be lifetime, We tv, MTV, VH1, and the Food Network. I find that commercials on freecreditreport.com, extenze, beer, medications(especially about impotance and yeast infections) and weed to be the most interesting.

In the unlikely case that I could not find anything else to watch on TV I would go into the kitchen grab a bag of sugar or sugary substance, a spoon and a beverage of some sort (usually soda) and sit back down in front of the TV and turn on FOX news. I find that when I'm shoveling an insane amount of sugar into my mouth hole FOX news gets pretty bearable to watch.

I'm trying to cut down on my TV watching though... so I try to find more productive things to do like cooking and baking stuff, studying, and turning up the music as loud as I can and dance like no one's watching.

Peace out!

-Dunstan "Chuck Johnson" Pinlac

TV Habits...or lack thereof

I do have some favorite television shows, but we do not have cable in my apartment (or an antenna) and I cannot often find the time to watch t.v. on a regular basis. For the past year, one of my roommates and I have been watching the past four seasons of Grey's Anatomy to catch up to this season, so far we're on the third episode of season five! I like Grey's because of all of the drama and the ability to live vicariously through the characters and find connections to their lives. That is generally how I pick my favorite dramas (I also loved watching Everwood in high school and I cannot believe that they only put out the first season on DVD!). Usually my roommate and I watch Grey's whenever we have an extra 40 minutes of time here or there, or we need a break from homework. My favorite news to watch is The Daily Show and the Colbert Report on hulu.com whenever I get the chance. I watched every episode during all of the election business. I also have a newly found obsession for CSI (Las Vegas is my favorite). I like CSI because it is basically a mystery story, which I love trying to figure out before the end of the show. When I get the chance to watch shows on cable, I love the Discovery Channel and the History Channel. One of my majors is history and I find so many interesting shows on that channel! I also like watching Mythbusters when I get the chance. I am a curious person and I love learning new and crazy things. I typically only watch CSI, the History Channel, and the Discovery Channel when I go to work out in our work out room (free cable!) or when I spend some downtime at my parents' house in southwest Minneapolis.

My television watching habits are sporadic- basically whenever I can make time for a little t.v. If I have downtime and there are marathons on, I am easily sucked into those, especially Project Runway and CSI marathons. I watched so much more t.v. when I was younger, like the Simpsons' (still love it), Judging Amy, Crossing Jordan, Ally McBeal, Home Improvement (Nick at Nite every once in a while), Full House, the show with Steve Urkle, and all of those kind of shows. If I watch them now, it's often for the nostalgia. After class last night, I have a new found love for Maude. I had never seen it before and I thought it was hillarious! So I'll be looking into seeing more of that. It reminded me of a show that I watched occassionally when I was younger with a similar woman as the main character. It was something like Mama's House maybe? She was an older white woman who was always in charge and funny...anyone have any idea what I'm talking about? It is going to drive me crazy not being able to remember, I'll see if I can find it.

Hays Code

Good Blogging to you all!

I have posted the Hays Code here for you. Read and think about how these codes helped form what we think of as mainstream popular culture, especially how we think of the family, women's roles, and interracial relationships. Some questions on the midterm will deal with this code so you may want to print it.

The Motion Picture Production Code of 1930 (Hays Code)

If motion pictures present stories that will affect lives for the better, they can become the most powerful force for the improvement of mankind

A Code to Govern the Making of Talking, Synchronized and Silent Motion Pictures. Formulated and formally adopted by The Association of Motion Picture Producers, Inc. and The Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, Inc. in March 1930.
Motion picture producers recognize the high trust and confidence which have been placed in them by the people of the world and which have made motion pictures a universal form of entertainment.

They recognize their responsibility to the public because of this trust and because entertainment and art are important influences in the life of a nation.

Hence, though regarding motion pictures primarily as entertainment without any explicit purpose of teaching or propaganda, they know that the motion picture within its own field of entertainment may be directly responsible for spiritual or moral progress, for higher types of social life, and for much correct thinking.

During the rapid transition from silent to talking pictures they have realized the necessity and the opportunity of subscribing to a Code to govern the production of talking pictures and of re-acknowledging this responsibility.

On their part, they ask from the public and from public leaders a sympathetic understanding of their purposes and problems and a spirit of cooperation that will allow them the freedom and opportunity necessary to bring the motion picture to a still higher level of wholesome entertainment for all the people.

General Principles

1. No picture shall be produced that will lower the moral standards of those who see it. Hence the sympathy of the audience should never be thrown to the side of crime, wrongdoing, evil or sin.

2. Correct standards of life, subject only to the requirements of drama and entertainment, shall be presented.

3. Law, natural or human, shall not be ridiculed, nor shall sympathy be created for its violation.

Particular Applications

I. Crimes Against the Law
These shall never be presented in such a way as to throw sympathy with the crime as against law and justice or to inspire others with a desire for imitation.

1. Murder

a. The technique of murder must be presented in a way that will not inspire imitation.

b. Brutal killings are not to be presented in detail.

c. Revenge in modern times shall not be justified.

2. Methods of Crime should not be explicitly presented.

a. Theft, robbery, safe-cracking, and dynamiting of trains, mines, buildings, etc., should not be detailed in method.

b. Arson must subject to the same safeguards.

c. The use of firearms should be restricted to the essentials.

d. Methods of smuggling should not be presented.

3. Illegal drug traffic must never be presented.

4. The use of liquor in American life, when not required by the plot or for proper characterization, will not be shown.

II. Sex
The sanctity of the institution of marriage and the home shall be upheld. Pictures shall not infer that low forms of sex relationship are the accepted or common thing.

1. Adultery, sometimes necessary plot material, must not be explicitly treated, or justified, or presented attractively.

2. Scenes of Passion

a. They should not be introduced when not essential to the plot.

b. Excessive and lustful kissing, lustful embraces, suggestive postures and gestures, are not to be shown.

c. In general passion should so be treated that these scenes do not stimulate the lower and baser element.

3. Seduction or Rape

a. They should never be more than suggested, and only when essential for the plot, and even then never shown by explicit method.

b. They are never the proper subject for comedy.

4. Sex perversion or any inference to it is forbidden.

5. White slavery shall not be treated.

6. Miscegenation (sex relationships between the white and black races) is forbidden.

7. Sex hygiene and venereal diseases are not subjects for motion pictures.

8. Scenes of actual child birth, in fact or in silhouette, are never to be presented.

9. Children's sex organs are never to be exposed.

III. Vulgarity
The treatment of low, disgusting, unpleasant, though not necessarily evil, subjects should always be subject to the dictates of good taste and a regard for the sensibilities of the audience.

IV. Obscenity
Obscenity in word, gesture, reference, song, joke, or by suggestion (even when likely to be understood only by part of the audience) is forbidden.

V. Profanity
Pointed profanity (this includes the words, God, Lord, Jesus, Christ - unless used reverently - Hell, S.O.B., damn, Gawd), or every other profane or vulgar expression however used, is forbidden.

VI. Costume
1. Complete nudity is never permitted. This includes nudity in fact or in silhouette, or any lecherous or licentious notice thereof by other characters in the picture.

2. Undressing scenes should be avoided, and never used save where essential to the plot.

3. Indecent or undue exposure is forbidden.

4. Dancing or costumes intended to permit undue exposure or indecent movements in the dance are forbidden.

VII. Dances
1. Dances suggesting or representing sexual actions or indecent passions are forbidden.

2. Dances which emphasize indecent movements are to be regarded as obscene.

VIII. Religion
1. No film or episode may throw ridicule on any religious faith.

2. Ministers of religion in their character as ministers of religion should not be used as comic characters or as villains.

3. Ceremonies of any definite religion should be carefully and respectfully handled.

IX. Locations
The treatment of bedrooms must be governed by good taste and delicacy.

X. National Feelings
1. The use of the Flag shall be consistently respectful.

2. The history, institutions, prominent people and citizenry of other nations shall be represented fairly.

XI. Titles
Salacious, indecent, or obscene titles shall not be used.

XII. Repellent Subjects
The following subjects must be treated within the careful limits of good taste:
1. Actual hangings or electrocutions as legal punishments for crime.
2. Third degree methods.
3. Brutality and possible gruesomeness.
4. Branding of people or animals.
5. Apparent cruelty to children or animals.
6. The sale of women, or a woman selling her virtue.
7. Surgical operations.

Reasons Supporting the Preamble of the Code

I. Theatrical motion pictures, that is, pictures intended for the theatre as distinct from pictures intended for churches, schools, lecture halls, educational movements, social reform movements, etc., are primarily to be regarded as ENTERTAINMENT.

Mankind has always recognized the importance of entertainment and its value in rebuilding the bodies and souls of human beings.

But it has always recognized that entertainment can be a character either HELPFUL or HARMFUL to the human race, and in consequence has clearly distinguished between:

a. Entertainment which tends to improve the race, or at least to re-create and rebuild human beings exhausted with the realities of life; and

b. Entertainment which tends to degrade human beings, or to lower their standards of life and living.

Hence the MORAL IMPORTANCE of entertainment is something which has been universally recognized. It enters intimately into the lives of men and women and affects them closely; it occupies their minds and affections during leisure hours; and ultimately touches the whole of their lives. A man may be judged by his standard of entertainment as easily as by the standard of his work.

So correct entertainment raises the whole standard of a nation.

Wrong entertainment lowers the whole living conditions and moral ideals of a race.

Note, for example, the healthy reactions to healthful sports, like baseball, golf; the unhealthy reactions to sports like cockfighting, bullfighting, bear baiting, etc.

Note, too, the effect on ancient nations of gladiatorial combats, the obscene plays of Roman times, etc.

II. Motion pictures are very important as ART.

Though a new art, possibly a combination art, it has the same object as the other arts, the presentation of human thought, emotion, and experience, in terms of an appeal to the soul through the senses.

Here, as in entertainment,

Art enters intimately into the lives of human beings.

Art can be morally good, lifting men to higher levels. This has been done through good music, great painting, authentic fiction, poetry, drama.

Art can be morally evil it its effects. This is the case clearly enough with unclean art, indecent books, suggestive drama. The effect on the lives of men and women are obvious.

Note: It has often been argued that art itself is unmoral, neither good nor bad. This is true of the THING which is music, painting, poetry, etc. But the THING is the PRODUCT of some person's mind, and the intention of that mind was either good or bad morally when it produced the thing. Besides, the thing has its EFFECT upon those who come into contact with it. In both these ways, that is, as a product of a mind and as the cause of definite effects, it has a deep moral significance and unmistakable moral quality.

Hence: The motion pictures, which are the most popular of modern arts for the masses, have their moral quality from the intention of the minds which produce them and from their effects on the moral lives and reactions of their audiences. This gives them a most important morality.

1. They reproduce the morality of the men who use the pictures as a medium for the expression of their ideas and ideals.

2. They affect the moral standards of those who, through the screen, take in these ideas and ideals.

In the case of motion pictures, the effect may be particularly emphasized because no art has so quick and so widespread an appeal to the masses. It has become in an incredibly short period the art of the multitudes.

III. The motion picture, because of its importance as entertainment and because of the trust placed in it by the peoples of the world, has special MORAL OBLIGATIONS:

A. Most arts appeal to the mature. This art appeals at once to every class, mature, immature, developed, undeveloped, law abiding, criminal. Music has its grades for different classes; so has literature and drama. This art of the motion picture, combining as it does the two fundamental appeals of looking at a picture and listening to a story, at once reaches every class of society.

B. By reason of the mobility of film and the ease of picture distribution, and because the possibility of duplicating positives in large quantities, this art reaches places unpenetrated by other forms of art.

C. Because of these two facts, it is difficult to produce films intended for only certain classes of people. The exhibitors' theatres are built for the masses, for the cultivated and the rude, the mature and the immature, the self-respecting and the criminal. Films, unlike books and music, can with difficulty be confined to certain selected groups.

D. The latitude given to film material cannot, in consequence, be as wide as the latitude given to book material. In addition:

a. A book describes; a film vividly presents. One presents on a cold page; the other by apparently living people.

b. A book reaches the mind through words merely; a film reaches the eyes and ears through the reproduction of actual events.

c. The reaction of a reader to a book depends largely on the keenness of the reader's imagination; the reaction to a film depends on the vividness of presentation.

Hence many things which might be described or suggested in a book could not possibly be presented in a film.

E. This is also true when comparing the film with the newspaper.

a. Newspapers present by description, films by actual presentation.

b. Newspapers are after the fact and present things as having taken place; the film gives the events in the process of enactment and with apparent reality of life.

F. Everything possible in a play is not possible in a film:

a. Because of the larger audience of the film, and its consequential mixed character. Psychologically, the larger the audience, the lower the moral mass resistance to suggestion.

b. Because through light, enlargement of character, presentation, scenic emphasis, etc., the screen story is brought closer to the audience than the play.

c. The enthusiasm for and interest in the film actors and actresses, developed beyond anything of the sort in history, makes the audience largely sympathetic toward the characters they portray and the stories in which they figure. Hence the audience is more ready to confuse actor and actress and the characters they portray, and it is most receptive of the emotions and ideals presented by the favorite stars.

G. Small communities, remote from sophistication and from the hardening process which often takes place in the ethical and moral standards of larger cities, are easily and readily reached by any sort of film.

H. The grandeur of mass settings, large action, spectacular features, etc., affects and arouses more intensely the emotional side of the audience.

In general, the mobility, popularity, accessibility, emotional appeal, vividness, straightforward presentation of fact in the film make for more intimate contact with a larger audience and for greater emotional appeal.

Hence the larger moral responsibilities of the motion pictures.

Reasons Underlying the General Principles

I. No picture shall be produced which will lower the moral standards of those who see it. Hence the sympathy of the audience should never be thrown to the side of crime, wrong-doing, evil or sin.

This is done:

1. When evil is made to appear attractive and alluring, and good is made to appear unattractive.

2. When the sympathy of the audience is thrown on the side of crime, wrongdoing, evil, sin. The same is true of a film that would thrown sympathy against goodness, honor, innocence, purity or honesty.

Note: Sympathy with a person who sins is not the same as sympathy with the sin or crime of which he is guilty. We may feel sorry for the plight of the murderer or even understand the circumstances which led him to his crime: we may not feel sympathy with the wrong which he has done. The presentation of evil is often essential for art or fiction or drama. This in itself is not wrong provided:

a. That evil is not presented alluringly. Even if later in the film the evil is condemned or punished, it must not be allowed to appear so attractive that the audience's emotions are drawn to desire or approve so strongly that later the condemnation is forgotten and only the apparent joy of sin is remembered.

b. That throughout, the audience feels sure that evil is wrong and good is right.

II. Correct standards of life shall, as far as possible, be presented.

A wide knowledge of life and of living is made possible through the film. When right standards are consistently presented, the motion picture exercises the most powerful influences. It builds character, develops right ideals, inculcates correct principles, and all this in attractive story form.

If motion pictures consistently hold up for admiration high types of characters and present stories that will affect lives for the better, they can become the most powerful force for the improvement of mankind.

III. Law, natural or human, shall not be ridiculed, nor shall sympathy be created for its violation.

By natural law is understood the law which is written in the hearts of all mankind, the greater underlying principles of right and justice dictated by conscience.

By human law is understood the law written by civilized nations.

1. The presentation of crimes against the law is often necessary for the carrying out of the plot. But the presentation must not throw sympathy with the crime as against the law nor with the criminal as against those who punish him.

2. The courts of the land should not be presented as unjust. This does not mean that a single court may not be presented as unjust, much less that a single court official must not be presented this way. But the court system of the country must not suffer as a result of this presentation.

Reasons Underlying the Particular Applications

I. Sin and evil enter into the story of human beings and hence in themselves are valid dramatic material.

II. In the use of this material, it must be distinguished between sin which repels by it very nature, and sins which often attract.

a. In the first class come murder, most theft, many legal crimes, lying, hypocrisy, cruelty, etc.

b. In the second class come sex sins, sins and crimes of apparent heroism, such as banditry, daring thefts, leadership in evil, organized crime, revenge, etc.

The first class needs less care in treatment, as sins and crimes of this class are naturally unattractive. The audience instinctively condemns all such and is repelled.

Hence the important objective must be to avoid the hardening of the audience, especially of those who are young and impressionable, to the thought and fact of crime. People can become accustomed even to murder, cruelty, brutality, and repellent crimes, if these are too frequently repeated.

The second class needs great care in handling, as the response of human nature to their appeal is obvious. This is treated more fully below.

III. A careful distinction can be made between films intended for general distribution, and films intended for use in theatres restricted to a limited audience. Themes and plots quite appropriate for the latter would be altogether out of place and dangerous in the former.

Note: The practice of using a general theatre and limiting its patronage to "Adults Only" is not completely satisfactory and is only partially effective.

However, maturer minds may easily understand and accept without harm subject matter in plots which do younger people positive harm.

Hence: If there should be created a special type of theatre, catering exclusively to an adult audience, for plays of this character (plays with problem themes, difficult discussions and maturer treatment) it would seem to afford an outlet, which does not now exist, for pictures unsuitable for general distribution but permissible for exhibitions to a restricted audience.

I. Crimes Against the Law
The treatment of crimes against the law must not:

1. Teach methods of crime.
2. Inspire potential criminals with a desire for imitation.
3. Make criminals seem heroic and justified.

Revenge in modern times shall not be justified. In lands and ages of less developed civilization and moral principles, revenge may sometimes be presented. This would be the case especially in places where no law exists to cover the crime because of which revenge is committed.

Because of its evil consequences, the drug traffic should not be presented in any form. The existence of the trade should not be brought to the attention of audiences.

The use of liquor should never be excessively presented. In scenes from American life, the necessities of plot and proper characterization alone justify its use. And in this case, it should be shown with moderation.

II. Sex
Out of a regard for the sanctity of marriage and the home, the triangle, that is, the love of a third party for one already married, needs careful handling. The treatment should not throw sympathy against marriage as an institution.

Scenes of passion must be treated with an honest acknowledgement of human nature and its normal reactions. Many scenes cannot be presented without arousing dangerous emotions on the part of the immature, the young or the criminal classes.

Even within the limits of pure love, certain facts have been universally regarded by lawmakers as outside the limits of safe presentation.

In the case of impure love, the love which society has always regarded as wrong and which has been banned by divine law, the following are important:

1. Impure love must not be presented as attractive and beautiful.

2. It must not be the subject of comedy or farce, or treated as material for laughter.

3. It must not be presented in such a way to arouse passion or morbid curiosity on the part of the audience.

4. It must not be made to seem right and permissible.

5. It general, it must not be detailed in method and manner.

III. Vulgarity; IV. Obscenity; V. Profanity; hardly need further explanation than is contained in the Code.

VI. Costume
General Principles:

1. The effect of nudity or semi-nudity upon the normal man or woman, and much more upon the young and upon immature persons, has been honestly recognized by all lawmakers and moralists.

2. Hence the fact that the nude or semi-nude body may be beautiful does not make its use in the films moral. For, in addition to its beauty, the effect of the nude or semi-nude body on the normal individual must be taken into consideration.

3. Nudity or semi-nudity used simply to put a "punch" into a picture comes under the head of immoral actions. It is immoral in its effect on the average audience.

4. Nudity can never be permitted as being necessary for the plot. Semi-nudity must not result in undue or indecent exposures.

5. Transparent or translucent materials and silhouette are frequently more suggestive than actual exposure.

VII. Dances
Dancing in general is recognized as an art and as a beautiful form of expressing human emotions.

But dances which suggest or represent sexual actions, whether performed solo or with two or more; dances intended to excite the emotional reaction of an audience; dances with movement of the breasts, excessive body movements while the feet are stationary, violate decency and are wrong.

VIII. Religion
The reason why ministers of religion may not be comic characters or villains is simply because the attitude taken toward them may easily become the attitude taken toward religion in general. Religion is lowered in the minds of the audience because of the lowering of the audience's respect for a minister.

IX. Locations
Certain places are so closely and thoroughly associated with sexual life or with sexual sin that their use must be carefully limited.

X. National Feelings
The just rights, history, and feelings of any nation are entitled to most careful consideration and respectful treatment.

XI. Titles
As the title of a picture is the brand on that particular type of goods, it must conform to the ethical practices of all such honest business.

XII. Repellent Subjects
Such subjects are occasionally necessary for the plot. Their treatment must never offend good taste nor injure the sensibilities of an audience.

February 4, 2009


I registered a little late for this class, and I didn't get to introduce myself. So, I'm doing it now.

My name is Amy Grosskreutz. How I ended up with a last name like that...I do not know. It will be changing to a more "normal" name on May 29th of this year (getting married). I was an English major until last week, which was when I found out I was literally in the wrong major. I was suppost to be in Writing Studies :) Appearently the U's writing program is different than my other college. This semester turned out to be a collage of random classes about things I am interested it, which is why I'm taking this course. Anyways, I'm in my jr year and transfered just this semester. Hopefully by next semester, I'll be a declared Writing studies major. I plan on using it for technical writing, but I'm also thinking of going to law school.

I moved from Fergus Falls, mn (about 3 hours away) this January. I don't really have a lot of out of class activies other than homework and trying to figure out new ways to stuff all my things into horribly small closets right now. I'm still trying to catch up from the week of classes I missed because of all my wrong major issue.

Five songs:

1. Oh I - Colbie Colet
2. I don't Regret - Barlowgirl
3. Feeling Good - Michael Buble
4. Daughters - Vitamin String Quartet (has no words, but I'm planning a wedding...I listen to music with no words these days)
5. One - Tyrese

February 3, 2009

Box o' yarn

Yeah... that's not a problem yo... you can give her my e-mail...

Peace and love!

-Dunstan "Chuck Johnson" Pinlac

Hey Everyone, come knit!

Inter-generational women knitting for a cause

Where: 120 Nolte Center
When: 12:00pm on Fridays, beginning February 13th

Students, faculty, and staff are welcome to knit, talk about current events, and share stories!!!

If you'd like more information you can E-mail Laura at Ihryx004@umn.edu

Dunstan can I get your E-mail to give to Laura so you guys can chat about your box of yarn?

February 1, 2009

Blog Post 2

Blog Post #2 Assignment- Critical reading
Instead of posting to the blog for this week’s assignment you will be asked to do a critical reading of one of the pieces for that week. This is not meant to be an extensive paper, actually it only needs to be about ½ a page, and is designed to help you read to pull out the main points/claims of the author’s piece, the evidence the author gives to support their claim, and your understanding of their explanation and strength of conclusion.
This is a quick blog length assignment and because the articles you have to read are much larger I ask that for the Storey and hooks pieces you only choose a section to write about and for the Senna piece you can choose a “time period? in her life.
When you read the article answer these questions:
1) What claim(s) is the author making in their piece?
2) What evidence does the author give to support their claim(s)? If you have listed more than one claim, please list evidence for each one.
3) How does the author demonstrate the thought process that links the claims and the evidence?
4) What are reasonable opposing claims can you make towards the claims of the author?
Please you have from Jan. 30-Feb. 3 to email your assignment to me at hedg0028@umn.edu