November 2011 Archives

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A little something

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Here's a link about different topics of gaming if you're interested
http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/show/extra-credits
I find it entertaining to watch and it talks a whole wide worth of subjects such as propaganda gaming and gamer. There are three seasons but watch whatever you want

Final Paper

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For my Final Paper, I would like to write about the NFL Draft and how that applies to Modern Day Slavery and how close it is too it. Obviously they get paid millions of dollars and i will not focus much on that but the fact that when you are under contract you are treated and expected to act like a lot of slave like acts. You are not allowed to participate in certain events and such. Also you are cut away if you are considered hurt and old and not able to participate you can be cut and thrown out to the wolves. A lot of football players have brought up modes day slavery in the NFL. Adrian Peterson even brought it up. I thought it would be interesting topic to address

Final Paper

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I completely forgot that we had to do this blog prompt. I am sorry! Anyhow, I really like the topic of comparing the Occupy Wall Street coverage on Democracy Now vs. CNN. I will use the articles posted on both sites to build my argument and use articles such as The Propaganda Model and the Old Growth Media and the Future of News in my article. I decided to chose these text and this topic because I've always been interested in how we are affected by the news coverage and also, I want to learn more about the Occupy Wall Street movement. The only concern that I have right now is that The Propaganda Model article is difficult to understand. I would have to go through it again and figure out what I can use to support my argument.

Blog Post 8

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I apologize this is a couple days late. I was not expected to be staying at a place that had no internet from Wednesday to Sunday (it was slightly frustrating). I have chosen to look at the recent coverage of Tim Tebow or "Tebowmania" and looking at the difference in coverage between ESPN articles and other websites. Basically I am looking for a strong biased against Tebow based on nothing factual in the other site. I will be looking for that tonight but it should not be difficult as most media sites bash Tim Tebow based on their perception on what is right in a NFL quarterback while ESPN focuses on the past and facts for their analysis. Finding an exact argument may be difficult but this is something I really want to pursue.

Blog prompt this week: catch up!

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Hi all.
This week you can play catch up with blog posts. This is your chance to craft a blog post you missed. In the title of the blog post, let me know which week you are making up for. You have to use the blog prompt for the missed week--not make something else up.
This prompt is NOT required. If you have done all/most of the prompts, then no need to write this week.

Remember the syllabus states you can only miss ONE blog post without penalty. The blog writing is 75 points of your grade.

If you average mostly check PLUS, and have completed all the DQs, blog posts, and responses you will get points in the 70 range
If you average mostly CHECK and completed everything, mid 60 points
If you average check MINUS and completed everything, low-mid 50 points

Missing large chunks of blog material, no matter your average, will lower your points by at least 10. Any questions? Post them here!

Blog post 8

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Sorry this is so late; I forgot we had anything due over break. I'm going to do the compare and contrast option, comparing American Girl magazine with Girl's Life magazine. I chose these because I grew up reading American Girl, but when I discovered some of my friends read Girl's Life I checked it out and noticed a lot of differences. I'm an America Reads tutor now, so knowing what kids are reading is part of my job. It's important what values the magazines have because they have a big impact on how kids grow up; and these magazines promote very different values. My concern is what course materials I can apply to this. Obviously, since these are both girls magazines, feminism is going to be a part of it. I've already done two papers on feminism, but it's the only critique we've learned about that I'm really interested in. I've picked through the one article we have on feminism, "Girls Gone Anti-Feminist," and as far as content goes, it's pretty sparse!

Blog prompt

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Blog Prompt.
Sorry it's late. I posted at work, but the computer systems proxie would not let it go through so I just want to get it in now.

1. The topic that I choose for my final paper is ESPN W website in comparison to the original ESPN website.
2. With this paper my main goal is to really look into the women's website and get all the positives out about how ESPN actually made a website for women. Also to grab the positives about the material that is shown on the site and the resources that they are given. I also will want to touch on some of the negatives like how it's not publicized enough and the lack of creativity on the site, but I really want to gain a large positive argument for the website.
3. I chose this topic because I have always been an athlete and I love watching sports and just being involved with them. I have gone on ESPN's original webiste but have not felt that its being aimed towards me and when Melody told us about the ESPN W in class, I checked it out right away. I think that it's important for women of all ages to be able to followed different sporting events and not have the enjoyment taken away from them because of the gender the company is aimed towards. Sports and physical activity is not just something that men enjoy and this website helps point that out.
4. I am afraid that when I start writing (which I already have) I will get into a rant and lose focus of where my paper is supposed to go. I really want to keep it focused and not turn it into a bash on ESPN because I am really happy that they made this website. I don't want to seem all negative with my writing some I'm hoping I can find a positive way to word and go about this paper.
5. I look forward to my final result of this paper and hope that I can make a strong argument. This topic and website has been fun to look further into. I guess that is all.

Post DQs for Tuesday here!

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Thanks

Final paper blog response

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Sorry this is late!!!!!!

1. What option you chose

I am choosing Option 2: Media organization analysis


2. What specific texts and/or organization you are focusing on


I am focusing on the website/organization called About-face.org. It is an organization that provides awareness about media and women's issues--with focus on body/self esteem issues, and perpetuated images in advertising/pop culture/mass media about/aimed at women & its' affects on them. The website makes it easy to respond to and write letters to and about advertisements women feel strongly about. For example--it makes it easy to find out who to write to about an ad you find sexist or extremely inappropriate to be in public--and often the companies reply and will remove the ad or message. It's a very effective way of changing what media is given agency.
I am writing about certain magazine and internet ads and other types of media that is forced on us can be changed and appeal more to us instead of offend/cause negative reactions.

3. Why you chose your texts, etc. (personal interest, interest from class, etc.)

I am choosing this option and these media texts because I think it's a big issue in media and advertising and needs to stop. Consumers should be the ones telling ad companies what we want to see, not vice versa. Killing Us Softly really hit home for me because I think of my little sister and nephews and how absolutely perfect they are but will grow to question themselves and base their beliefs about themselves via the media they absorb--it is apart of our environment and therefore we are responsible for making it positive and empowering.


4. What questions and concerns you have for the final paper (struggling with theory, application, confidence in your text choices, etc.)


My concerns are the basics: time management, giving proper length to each part of the paper, and just assuring that my application of course material is correct & placed appropriately. (I hope to not 'miss the point')

Final Paper

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For my final paper I will be choosing the second option. I will be looking at perceptions of hip hop in society and through the organization "Hip Hop Caucus" show the positives that are coming from much of the hip-hop community. In a lot of rap music, there are very political lyrics representative of society as a whole. I plan to examine both underground and mainstream rap, and the ways in which artists use their influence to affect change in various communities. I chose this organization because I think it is important to not generalize genres or anything under an idea that it is inherently bad. This happens a lot to rap and hip-hop and this organization is such a great example of the beneficial influence these artists can have. We have been doing a lot of analysis or rap and hip-hop culture in my Chicana/o Studies class, and I find it to be a fascinating microcosm to the issues going on in society. I hope to be able to effectively show that rap is a legitimate art form, that many people cling to and consequently can be a vehicle for change in society. This becomes challenging when we look at the representation of many of the mainstream songs we have analyzed in class. By looking at the deeper significance of artists in the genre, especially those in the underground rap scene and the work of the hip hop caucus, I will hopefully be able to show the value of rap.

Blog Post Final Paper

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For my final paper, I am choosing to do option 2. I am going to focus on the Parent Television Council (PTC) and specifically look at the messages and how sex, violence, language and behavior are used in two separate movies: The Simpsons Movie and Toy Story 3. First, my major is child psychology so I am interested in how media is portrayed by children and what organizations exist to help them understand and help monitor what is approved for children. I chose The Simpsons Movie because as a child my parents did not allow me or my brothers to watch the Simpsons so I know very little about the television show and am going to find it interesting to research why it is that my parents, along with others, would not want their children viewing the show. Toy Story 3 was choosen because the Toy Story movies are some of my favorites but also because I know that there is some humor in the movies that is aimed at the adult audience.

The only concerns I have for the final paper is finding specific information regarding the PTC's views on each of the media texts I have chosen. Otherwise, I think that it will be important for me to know each of the texts well so I will enjoy watching the Simpsons Movie for the first time to better understand what the reviews are about.

I am looking forward to seeing how media is handled when it comes to children's viewing because I have focused much of my major on children and their development. It will be very interesting to see what the PTC organization thinks media does to children, their development, and the influence it has on who they are and become.

Final paper ideas

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For my final paper, I will choose to write about the advice columns on TheHairpin.com and other various advice columns vs. the advice columns in Glamour/Cosmopolitan magazines. I will be focusing on hegemony and possibly enlightened sexism in the Glamour magazines. I would like to show how the magazines are so repetitive and lacks substance in their main headliners.

I chose this text because I myself am an avid reader of these magazines and still try to find substance in what I read. Even though I know there are the same things over and over in these magazines, I still read them thinking that maybe this time I'll find something different and useful. We had a great discussion about this in class and I would like to continue my research about this topic. I looked at thehairpin.com and found really interesting and useful things that a woman may be looking for.

I am very confident in writing this paper. I just hope my time management skills play out right. I know this was one of the examples in the guidelines on Moodle; so I hope it's still okay that I use this idea? I really like thehairpin.com but I am also going to integrate one or two more sites that are similar. I am still deciding on which ones. Beinggirl.com is another interesting site. It's an advice column also but emphasizes on a woman's menstruation cycle. I find that very interesting that they would focus on that, but I realize that a menstruation cycle is something that would be a big concern for a lot of women. So I think the website is really a great resource.

Also, how should we do that citations? Could we just pick and choose our own style or is there a preference?

Submitted by Chua Xiong

blog post

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For my final paper I am writing it on option two. I will be focusing on a great organization called About-Face. It's an organization based out of California that "promotes positive self-esteem in girls of all ages, sizes, races and backgrounds through a spirited approach to media education, outreach and activism." I plan on doing extensive research on the organization to find out what exactly they do to help stop the hegemonic actions U.S. media promotes towards young women. I will also focus on what they have accomplished as an organization. I will also be looking at course readings to help support my argument of why we need this organization in our society. I chose this specific group because I think advertising towards young women is a huge problem in our society in that it gives women a false perception of beauty at a young age. I would love to learn more about an organization like this that is trying to change all of that for the better. Before this class I never really thought about this topic as a big issue, but after all that I've read and all of our discussions we have had, I've learned of what a huge issue it is in our society. Being an American women I feel somewhat victim to all of this and if there is something I can do to help regress this I feel responsible to do so. As of now I don't really have any questions or concerns but I'm sure I will once I start writing the paper. I'm just excited to start learning about a really cool and vital organization!

Blog prompt- Final Paper

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For my final paper, I am going to do a media organization analysis and discuss how the organization can work to the media for the better.

I chose the organization Media Education Foundation, MEF produces and distributes documentary films to inspire critical reflection on the social, political, and cultural impact of American mass media. In conjunction with this organization I am going to use texts based on culture jamming/advertisements to discuss the materialism of Americans. I just read an article about holiday shopping and how traditions have become time spent shopping, advertisements create a society of consumerism and materialism. I chose this organization and text because I am really interested in advertisements and the effects they have on society. Especially with the holidays coming up, the amount of money and time people spend shopping for gifts, and the increase in advertisements is significant. The advertisement and culture jamming texts were very interesting from class, and recently I have noticed such a huge focus on shopping, and spending money, and materialistic things that society has forgotten about traditions and what the holidays are really about.

Some concerns I have are which texts to incorporate, I guess I just need to narrow my topic. I know I am interested in writing about ads and consumerism/materialism but I'm not sure which text to use to support the media organization's mission. Also, I have 3 other papers due the same week, so time management is going to be key. I am not completely confident in my choices.. I found another organization called About Face, which is a nonprofit organization that equips women and girls with tools to understand and resist harmful media messages that affect their self-esteem and body image. I would also use the advertisement texts to argue that this organization is needed. I wrote my last paper on the ideologies of advertisements in Cosmopolitan magazine, so I'm not sure if this would be too similar? I follow the Media Education Foundation on Twitter and they have posted some great articles in the past couple days, one about the Superbowl which would be another interesting topic to write about (the money that goes into the advertisements for the game,etc.) My biggest challenge is deciding on a topic. I am interested in so many of the topics we talk about in class and see so many of the ideas we have discussed outside of class that reflect our lectures that it is hard to choose which topic to write about.

blog res final paper

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1. I chose to look at a nonprofit organization and look at how they are trying to help media get better the organization is CCFC or "Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood" how try to educate children and parents about harmful advertisements and products
2. I will be focusing on sponge bob square pants and the CCFC
3. I chose this organization because I plan on having children and want them to have good media and I think it is important for people to know the effects of media and what it dose to there children
4. I think it will be a little hear finding a lot of material to use and back up the CCFC but that is just speculation I may be wrong.

After thorough thinking of which option to choose, I finally settled for option 2: Media organization analysis of "Media Matters for America" which is a web-based not-for-profit progressive research and information center. It is dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media. Launched in May 2004, "Media Matters for America" put in place, for the first time, the means to systematically monitor a cross section of print, broadcast, cable, radio, and Internet media outlets for conservative misinformation -- news or commentary that is not accurate, reliable, or credible and that forwards the conservative agenda -- every day, in real time. The media text for which the existence of "Media Matters for America" is crucial is FOX News Channel. I will critically look at a specific news item that FOX reported on the November 14, 2011 edition of "Your World with Neil Cavuto" in which host Cavuto trumpeted the discredited claim that repealing the Obama Health Care Reform would create jobs.

Initially, I sought to compare and contrast the two so-called liberal cable news channels (CNN and MSNBC) over their coverage of the occupy Wall Street Protests. But my instincts advised me otherwise. My analysis will focus on the misinformation and categorical lies always presented and reported on FOX News Channel and the many researches "Media Matters for America" has undertaken and proven FOX News Channel to be misinforming Americans on virtually everything else. My choosing of FOX News Channel for my analysis does not in any way suggest CNN and MSNBC or other cable news channels do any better job of accurately reporting or informing Americans than FOX News Channel does. It's a matter of preference.

Additionally, I have very personal interest in evaluating what I see or listen to on FOX News Channel because most often than not, I am almost always concerned about FOX News Channel's reporting of events such that no member of my family or close friends ever watch FOX News Channel. They think and believe that whatever comes on FOX is not worth listening to. However, as a Communications student, I would not be fair to FOX if I follow the stance of my friends and family without listening to it or watching what's reported. Besides, this analysis of FOX News Chanel will give me an added advantage over my family and friends in determining whether or not FOX News Channel is doing a fine job of news and information dissemination.

At this moment, I don't think I am struggling with any questions regarding the text and the media organization I chose because the news media have been and still are an interesting segment of Mass Communications for me. I have worked in the media before and know just about what it entails to be involved. That experience gives me leverage in opting to analyze a news media organization rather than attempting to talk about something that I have no interest at.

And to help me analyze the media text, I have at least three articles we discussed in class that may help me in the process. Then, there are tons of outside of class material that are also very essential that I can use to produce a great paper.

If there are any suggestions or pieces of advice that are offered, I would welcome such with gratitude.

My Final Paper Idea..

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For my final paper, I have decided to go with option number one, compare and contrast. I have decided to compare the two women's websites Jezebel and Betty Confidential. These two websites are relatively new. Betty Confidential was established in 2008 and Jezebel was up and running in 2007. Since they were both started around the same time, I thought it would be interesting to see how some aspects of the two websites compare and/or contrast with each other. I haven't decided for sure yet but I think one aspect of the two websites that would be interesting to compare would be news stories and how they are presented to an audience comprised mainly of women. I intend to argue that Jezebel is the counterhegemonic alternative to Betty Confidential in regard to how the news in presented to women both in amount of news stories and depth. There are other elements that I would like to explore as far as content goes but haven't decided all that I'm going to include yet. I would also like to discuss the ways in which Betty is a typical magazine aimed and women and why Jezebel is not. Of all the topics we covered in class I find the concept of post-feminism to be one of the most interesting. I think it's interesting how hegemony and post-feminism theory complement each other. I hope to use these concepts when analyzing these two sites. I guess my only concerns about the paper would be not having enough to write about or having too much to write about that it becomes hard to organize. I think it becomes harder to keep things organized when you have a longer paper. It's easy to start jumping around to different topics and not make any sense. Also, I think I mentioned this before but content on websites is constantly changing so that can be a problem sometimes. I don't think this will be problematic though because I'm not analyzing a specific story, but the way they are presenting a majority of their stories.

Final Paper Topic

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For the final paper, I decided to chose the first option and compare and contrast two media texts, the first showing how the media can change people ideas on the food industry, and the other showing how the food industry actually implants ideas about their food in your head. I am going to use the documentary Food inc. as the media that shows the 'behind the scenes' information regarding todays top food industries, one of which is Mcdonalds. Mcdonalds commericals and advertisements are going to be my focus for explaining how societies perspective on fast food has been impacted by those advertisements. I chose to do my final paper on this issue because I first watched the documentary Food inc. 3 years ago, and the information that I learned from that documentary still sticks with me to this day. There are so many things going on behind the doors of huge corporations, like Mcdonalds, that effect people in ways they would never know about. After learning about advertising in class and culture jamming, it came to me that this topic would be perfect to write about and learn more about. My concerns for my final paper relate to the subject matter, and fully capturing how advertising of Mcdonalds effects society, and how documentaries like Food inc. try and go against the norms to explain how something is effecting us.

Final paper blog prompt!

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1.What option you chose
My topic is the comparison of KPop (Korean Pop) groups/singers with Feminist groups/singers. I was thinking how in a lot on Korean music videos, they make the girl very cutesy or sexy.
2. What specific texts and/or organization you are focusing on
The group and organization I will focus on is the Riot Girls. For the specific text, obviously, something from the feminist articles. It will be "Feminism, the Mainstream Media, and Pop Culture" I might also look into a Porn article such as Dworkin's "Pornography: Men Possessing Women" since there's a lot of connections between how women are used as "sex objects" in the music industry.
3. Why you chose your texts, etc. (personal interest, interest from class, etc.)
I have a personal interest in this topic because I myself am Korean but I have certain interests in Korean media. I tend to not like a lot of the romance dramas because they tend to make the girls idiotic, emotional weak, and dependent, which drives me insane. In Korean culture, it's common for women to be dependent towards their husband when they get married. I probably will talk to a few of my friends who have lived in Korea and talk about their opinion to get more a perspective.
I also have an interest in music since I can play multiple instruments.
4. What questions and concerns you have for the final paper (struggling with theory, application, confidence in your text choices, etc.)
I want to get more information from academic sources about KPop but I don't think I will have a good chance since it's not very well known. There is a Korean Wave but that usually happens to people who emergence themselves in Asian culture (from what I believe).
5. Anything else you want to add!
I look forward in doing this paper and hopefully I'll do well. I might have to talk about this subject a lot with my friends. Oh and I still love the action Korean shows and variety shows. Korean varety shows are a lot more entertaining than American ones. (Off topic, I know....)

I will be doing my final paper for this class by doing an analysis of sports and how they affect people of the working or lower classes. A few people in the class maybe familiar with the old sports clichés of, "my team lost so now I am going to have a bad week" or "this city has rallied around this team," well I plan to do an in-depth analysis of sports effects on marginalized communities. The aspects that I have done a little bit of research on for this analysis paper have been relating to manners of dress and attitudes from working class people relating to sports. I will analysis why people have negative attitudes toward their teams rival and the rival's fan base.

Sports are an important part of our society, however they are not the most important. Although, some people in society invest much of their time into following and participating in sports. One article that I have found relating to matters of dress amongst marginalized classes and sports discusses how professional baseball teams caps have been adopted by gangs. The baseball caps of the Royals, Twins, and others have been adopted by street gangs in Los Angeles and Chicago to correspond with their colors and signify their turf.

These ideologies amongst sports and working class citizens have always been of interest to me. I grew up in a marginalized town of "haves and have nots" and it was always interesting to me with how some people took their sports very seriously while for others it was simply an activity. The surrounding towns were my town's rivals in sports and if they had their high school teams colors on they were not greeted in a friendly manner, which always seemed strange to me. The people from surrounding towns were really no different from people in my town besides that they want to a different school.
I think my main concern right now as I start to dig into this assignment is being able to find quality sources that strengthen my analysis. I want to use quality, almost even scholarly, sources and so far I have not found much difficulty. However, if the difficulty of finding quality sources arises I would hope that the sources I can find to craft my paper would be good to suffice within my analysis. The working class theory we study in class only related to Television shows as well, not to sports.

Otherwise, I am looking forward to digging into this final paper. These subjects have always been a big interest of mine and I believe I can give a quality analysis on these subject matters. I have most of my paper already written in my head all I need to do right now is put it to paper. I worked on the paper last Friday and managed to complete a couple paragraphs which I believe is a good start. I will work on it some more tomorrow and get the rest of it crafted prior to next Thursday.

Blog Prompt- Paper Topic

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1. I am writing my paper on Cultural Jamming. Our discussion in class was interesting to me and I would like to take a closer look at how society can benefit from their distorted ads.
2. I'm going to focus on our readings for this unit. I will take a more in depth look at Warner's article as well as Klein's.
3. I choose this text because I have an interest in it. I was having a hard time figuring out what I wanted to do for my paper and after reading these articles and talking in class I knew I wanted to look at it more closely. I think what they have to say can be an eye opener and give people a different perspective about advertisements they didn't have before.
4. The only concern I have regarding this paper is time. I have other papers due at the sometime, on top of my weekly homework. I don't want to feel rushed. I want to put in a good amount of time to get a good grade.
5. There is nothing else I would like to add. I hope the ideas I have will pay off in the end.

war made easy

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In the documentary war made easy they talk about how the news creates propaganda to get the Americans citizens to support the war in iraq only playing images of success and how much they need us over there when the reality is very different. "propaganda model focuses on this inequality of wealth and power and its multilevel effects on mass-media interests and choices" with this definition the documentary discussed how the government is in cohorts with the news stations and creating propaganda.
The documentary showed how all the news stations where pro war and then also how if any one was not pro war they would be discredited and slandered on the news stations for what they said and thought. On of the people they brought up was a politician that was originally pro war but later on he no longer thought it to be just and was fighting to have out troops be brought home and the news said he was senile and loosing his mind. Another person that was talked about was a tv talk show man who would question the motives and decisions of the government and at the beginning of the war the tv network fired him to prevent controversy.
When we are brought to light on things like this I think it is our job as Americans to try and fix the propaganda and the broken reporting of the news we have the technology and means to fight ageist the major news conglomerates to produce true new with out bias we also need to have news stations that compete to have the best news and who are not afraid of bring out the problems and faults of the government and its officials, as the consumers of media I believe the news stations will give us what we want but we just have to be forceful enough in telling them it is not ok to just be feeding us propaganda.


Austin Enoch

Blog prompt this week

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For this week, I want you to explain what you are writing about for your final paper.
Some things to touch on:
1. What option you chose
2. What specific texts and/or organization you are focusing on
3. Why you chose your texts, etc. (personal interest, interest from class, etc.)
4. What questions and concerns you have for the final paper (struggling with theory, application, confidence in your text choices, etc.)
5. Anything else you want to add!

With the short week, remember it is due SATURDAY at NOON. I will make a good effort to respond to your questions and concerns! Also remember to comment on one of your peer's blog posts by the following Monday.

Thanks. Looking forward to seeing what you all are coming up with!
Melody

Post DQs for this week here!

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Thanks

another football player's story

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this is exactly the discussion we had in class during our sports week.
"Now, the game is about money. It's not even about our health."

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/20/sports/football/kris-jenkinss-view-of-life-in-the-nfl-trenches.html

Response to War Made Easy

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The propaganda model outlined by Edward Herman and Noah Chomsky explains how money and power are able to filter out the news fit to print, marginalize dissent and allow the government and powerful private interests to get their messages to the public. The model focuses on the inequality of wealth and power and its multi level effects on the mass media. The propaganda model uses several different filters to explain how power and money affects the media these filters are: the size, ownership and profit mindedness of the large media conglomerates, advertising as the primary income source of the mass media, the reliance of the media on information provided by the government and 'experts, flak as a means of disciplining the media and finally anticommunism as a control mechanism. While some may argue that this propaganda model does not exist in the united states because we have freedom of the press freedom of speech and a privately run mass media the documentary War Made Easy illustrates that the propaganda model is alive and well in America's mass media today. The documentary illustrated primarily how the mass media is a form of government propaganda. Before we had even declared war on Iraq all the stations had favorable views of the war. CNN even enlisted the pentagon's help in finding war experts to use as pundits on their war coverage; by consulting the pentagon in its hiring decisions CNN was perpetuating the pentagon's message on its station through the use of its pundits. We also saw examples of the government's message being perpetuated when the documentary talks about how news reporters are embedded with the troops. By embedding reporters with the troops these reporters form close friendships and alliances with the troops, while this may let the reporters closer to the action they also lose their objectivity in reporting and only report one side of the message. In the documentary we also see examples of the filter of the size, ownership and profit mindedness of the media conglomerations filter the news in to propaganda. One clear example of this is the dissonance between new coverage and public opinion, while public opinion on the war continued to decrease positive war coverage on networks continued to increase instead of showing news coverage which supports the public interests mass media coverage supports the interests of those in power who own the media conglomerates and their other businesses which profit from the war. I think it is important today that when we watch the news we remember that the same company which produces the news also has many other companies which need favorable environments to do business in, due to this media conglomerates want to perpetuate news which is pro war even if public opinion has changed. We also see this reflected in the firing of newscasters who did not report on the war in ways which benefited the conglomerates. Even the comments from the congressman and former war hero featured in this documentary were discredited because they were of a different view point. I think that this documentary did a good job of illustrating how alive and well the propaganda model is in the United Sates. I think it is important that we remember this model when we watch all news coverage and ask ourselves whose message this really is, and in what ways is this news coverage just government propaganda.

War Made easy response

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The documentary "War Made Easy" is full of examples on "The Propaganda Model" by Edward Herman and Noah Chomsky. War Made Easy is about how the media tried to manipulate the public's opinion on the war in Iraq to that of the government. "A propaganda model focuses on this inequality of wealth and power and its multilevel effects on mass-media interests and choices." Therefore, the documentary was showing how televised news is government propaganda.
The documentary showed that all the main news stations appeared to be pro-war. Networks' segments that covered the war had titles like "Target: Iraq," "The War on Terror" or "Operation: Iraqi Freedom." Titles like these made the war seem justified and good. News stations announced how many American soldiers were killed by Iraqis, and the damage Iraqi terrorists had done. Experts who made appearances on news programs talked about how crazy Muslim extremists were, and other reasons why the war was necessary. They praised George Bush and Colin Powell on their reasoning behind the fighting, even though foreign presses disagreed. This one-sided coverage demonstrates one news filter, "the reliance of the media on information provided by government, business, and 'experts' funded and approved by these...agents of power."
Another news filter is "the size, concentration ownership, owner wealth, and profit orientation of the dominant mass-media firms." This is demonstrated in the documentary by how the opinion of the news programs differed from public opinion. While reporters preached how good the war was, polls showed that the majority of Americans were against the war and wanted troops pulled out of Iraq. The government, or "concentration ownership," wanted Americans to support the war, so the news programs made it look like the war was being supported even though it wasn't. For example, when TV personality Donahue talked about how bad the war was, his show was canceled shortly thereafter. When a congressperson spoke up about being against the war, news "experts" denounced his statement and said he was "hardly taken seriously." The government, or "concentration ownership," only wanted war supporters praised, thus warping the reality of public opinion. These are also examples of "'anticommunism' as a national religion and control mechanism." Although news programs didn't call war protestors communist, they did portray them as being anti-patriotic. This was definitely used as a control mechanism which made people afraid to speak out against the war by threatening them with being called anti-patriotic.

It is tough to watch documentaries like "War Made Easy" or read articles like "The Propaganda Model" and not become angry and critical of people in power. As is noted in "The Propaganda Model," monopolistic control combined with strategic censorship is the way in which "media serve(s) the ends of a dominant elite" (1). In addition to this the government has a lot of pull in the mainstream media scene as the media needs the cooperation of the government to get the licensure and inside clearance to report effectively. The problem with this is that while it is good to have media to be able to go in and get information for us, it often keeps them from being overly critical on touchy issues like that of war. In order to rally support, especially in the early stages of war information is frequently skewed or presented in ways that appease both elite and government interests. In the article the authors cite Mark Fishman who says "Newsworkers are predisposed to treat bureaucratic accounts as factual b/c news personnel participate in upholding a normative order of authorized knowers in society."(19) This has to do with who society interprets to be experts and can trust for their information.
We saw in the documentary, too often were people considered to be experts and the American people took what they had to say simply because they are in these positions of authority. This is a dangerous occurrence, especially in cases where there is not obvious evidence and conclusions are being made based on the assumptions and advice of few. However, this set up is what our system of government supports. We have a representative democracy and transfer our voice to individuals we vote into office and hope our interests are carried out. The President represents millions and has to look to their staff and their own unilateral power to act in difficult situations. When there is not a critical and objective 3rd party to question action and ensure especially in the case of conflict that the actions taken are not only strategic, but calculated and essential. It was so frustrating watching "War Made Easy" thinking about how elite officials so frequently react with foreign policy because they have power to do so and be reasonably unchecked.
Media needs to be this objective, critical 3rd party and serve the interest of the populace. Citizens need to have credible news reporting, as they are the people entrusted to inform the public on matters going on around the world. Important questions of all people in power have to be asked. The media is being influence by elite interest so now it is left up to citizens to dissect this information and be critical. It is scary to think how frequently the government and media go unquestioned and people fail to look in depth at the information being presented to them. While watching this documentary it made me think of this piece of art called "blind patriotism" I found on a website called artcriesout.com. In this piece there are a bunch of bureaucratic words in the background with the American flag. In the foreground is a group of people all of whom and blindfolded while also putting their hands over their heart. I think this sums up both the article and documentary well. Loving your country should mean wanting it to succeed and questioning the action of elite government officials, not accepting and blindly following the things you are told.
http://www.artcriesout.com/PA2008.html Here is the link for the art piece I was talking about. (First one on the left)

War Made Easy

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I thought that the introduction to the Propaganda Model article written by Herman and Chomsky provided the best description of the goal American news today. The article states, "The media actively compete, periodically portray themselves as spokesmen for free speech and the general community interest." (pg. 105) Although it does succeed at being a "spokesmen for free speech and the general community interest" at times, most of the time the news media is skewed, one-sided and does not really provide information on both sides. The saying, "there is two sides of every story" does not show up very much within news media. I wasn't surprised when War Made Easy talked about these biases within news reporting of war. There are many reporters that want to tell the truth and all sides of the story, but unfortunately these reporters work for major networks who have ties to the government, or are afraid to oppose government decisions in fear of becoming labeled as a "communist". I personally think that it's really ridiculous that the U.S. government and Americans still use this "communist" label to label people who are unsupportive of war efforts. Many people who use this have never read the Communist Manifesto or understand the key principles of communism. The reason why communism has such a bad connotation to the name is because of manipulative men who chose to abuse their power and position, very similar to that of capitalistic America. Anyhow, it makes me very upset to see that news reporters who are critical are automatically silenced by discretization or being fired from their job. I am also upset that the news corporations would send out their journalists to Iraq and live within the camps and grounds of American soldiers. I understand that we should support our troops but we can still support them and remain critical of the war. Coverage of the war in Iraq seems to over emphasize the dangers that our troops face. I appreciated Michelle's comment in class about her experience with news coverage about the war in Iraq. I too have a friend who was over in Iraq. He told me that being a troop over there was like having a 9 to 5 job. After his shift he would just play games all night long. This is not to discredit our troops at all, but it does show that the media is not covering the normal every day aspect of our soldiers. They are not ALL going into combat terrorist infested regions. Many of them are simply there. But I guess, showing the everyday life of a soldier might not be exciting enough if there weren't any explosions or bullet dodging. The fact that the news media is able to influence so much of the public opinion scares me. I'm glad that there are alternative news options that try to remain unbiased in their reporting such as the BBC and MPR. I think it is because of these alternate news that Americans are becoming more aware of the deception and manipulation of the U.S. government.

In order to respond critically to this great documentary, it's important to stress out key elements associated with journalism. To that effect, let me begin by emphasizing that there are three different views regarding what makes someone a "journalist".
According to class lecturers of 9/28/10 from Professor Dan Sullivan, these are: the situational factors (there are some laws that give room for some people becoming journalists through the expressions and publishing of their views, news, articles, columns, and features); Personal factors (studying journalism in college, and obtaining a degree specifically in journalism); and work product (those who learned, or were trained on the job and work to publish and disseminate news and information).

Also, there is the term press (meaning news organizations that produce and distribute news) or the news media. The press also means individuals who report the news.
Therefore, the news process itself has two distinct elements: 1, production (gathering, verifying, and assembling) and 2, distribution (selecting, prioritizing and disseminating)
And when I took high school journalism almost 12 years ago, I learned from that elementary level of journalism that the three ABCs of journalism were: Accuracy, Balance, and Clarity. I was reminded to always double-check factual statements.
Given the above, you will quickly realize that when and if any of the elements of journalism is missing in reporting, it leaves many loopholes in determining the veracity of an account whether it's from government officials or from the journalists themselves.
Perhaps Norman Solomon himself would not have known or recognized these weaknesses in the American News Media if he had not been drafted. It was after that he began to question statements emanating from the White House and from top officials in Washington.

That notwithstanding, his documentary in many ways corroborates a conceptual model in political economy as advanced by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky in their "A Propaganda Model" piece. Their essay suggests that when the news media are structured through such bureaucratic outlets as advertising, media ownership, government sourcing, and even absolute reliance on officialdom for information, such create an inherent conflict of interest, which leads to lazy and un-objective journalism.
And this is the case with the documentary and the article.

Solomon said that there was pressure on the U.S.news media to support the war in Iraq without even asking legitimate questions when the U.S waged that war because Iraq reportedly was amassing Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). "U.S. media were afraid of Government pressure, advertisers' pressure, readers' pressure; you've got to support them and don't raise these tough questions." Solomon's admission confirms what Herman and Chomsky said on page 14 that "these advertisers thus acquired a de facto licensing authority since, without their support, newspapers ceased to be economically viable. The advertisers' choices influence media prosperity and survival."

The authors added that "the power of advertisers over television programming stems from the simple fact that they buy and pay for the programs-they are the "patrons" who provide the media subsidy."

When the advertisers wield such potency, there are always the potentials for compromising your objectivity because it's like you owe them; they own you. When such exists in journalism, forget about being able to fearlessly, accurately, and objectively hold onto your journalistic values. The media managers and the journalism themselves will put those values under the carpet. That is why journalism is not such a "noble "profession here. But this also presents a dilemma for journalists elsewhere who don't have such a capital base, with the guarantee that they will make some huge money as journalists which will be able to pay for their children's school fees. When I worked as a journalist in Liberia, we didn't have that kind of free market capital for which I could compromise my journalistic values. Therefore, objectivity and balance were not major problems because there are no such financially potent advertisers in whose hands my fate lie. But you have your family to cater for, and since a journalist in Liberia barely makes $100 per month, it presents a challenge as well.

In terms of sourcing mass media news, while " the mass media are drawn into a symbiotic relationship with powerful sources of information by economic necessity and reciprocity of interests," it's appalling, disappointing, and frankly un-professional to see a media executive like CNN's Chief News Executive, Eason Jordan, boasting on his network that CNN got a "Big Thumbs Up" when he told Pentagon officials that CNN was retaining retired Generals who would advise CNN about strategies about the war.

To admit, that symbiotic relationship between journalists and top administrations officials has always been there and will always be there. In some ways, the journalists are attempting to fulfill the broad definition of what constitutes "hard news", which is news related to public affairs dealing with matters of government. But rarely have I ever seen media executive brags about such relationship in public for fears that he/she might be considered by the public of being bedfellows.

And in terms of bias, every media organization has its own bias. But bias, contrary to popular opinion that it's a big problem, it's actually not. Being liberally biased means slanted, which is the evidence reflected in news output through choices that journalists make. For example, the way an editor selects his story in preference of priority and importance. In journalism, stories are selected and published in the order of importance.

That selection is biased. The opposite of biased is unbiased, which means being straight or neutral. Can you find any person under this sun who is neutral? Therefore, these common antonyms can sometimes be misleading to the way the public perceives them.
Being objective means fact-based or evidence-based, which is what Solomon and the authors have problems with as it pertains to U.S .news media. The documentary and the article are unanimous in criticizing the U.S. news media for lacking objectivity (not asking for the facts when governments say that something is factual), and I concur with them. Here him: "After Colin Powell's speech to the UN,U.S., press immediately applauded the speech, and at the time, it was quite possible to analyze and debunk what he was saying." Wolf Blitzer of CNN added, "we should have been more skeptical."

Journalists, even those in J-schools across the U.S and elsewhere, are told that they should and must always double-check facts. They should always question and verify statements from government officials because it's the job of journalists to protect democracy.

Lastly, Herman and Chomsky's point that, "another structural relationship of importance is the media companies' dependence on and ties with government. The radio-TV companies and networks all require government licenses and franchises and are thus potentially subject to government control and harassment." Christiane Amanpour who worked for CNN at the time of the war in Iraq, confirmed this harassment on media organization by government in the documentary. "I'm sorry to say it certainly, but TV or at least my station was intimidated by the administration and its foot soldiers at Fox news," said Christiane.

So, although the job of journalists in the U.S and elsewhere is mainly to inform (providing citizens with information they need to make informed decisions); set the forum (provide an opportunity for competing viewpoints to be articulated in a common space); represent (by giving voices to citizens, groups of citizens, vis-à-vis the government); and to serve as watchdog (monitoring the activities of the government and alerting its citizens), we have barriers that impede that process and job. Perhaps the only way those might be minimized, if not eradicated totally, is to have truly independent media organizations without the filters that render them inefficient, ineffective, un-professional, and lacking credibility.


After watching War Made Easy, the point that resonated with me the most was the control that the government and the media had on the information that was shared and given to the public about the war. The film talked about how in American history, we had entered wars based on deception. Instead of focusing on what happens at war, they made war an object, one that they tried to sell to the people. They tried to sell the idea of war to people, and because the government had control over the media, it was easier to do just that. As the PM article claims, "Political discrimination is structured into advertising allocations by the stress on people with money to buy." This is one way the government controlled the public. They advertised the war as an object and sold toys and other propaganda to get America to be pro-war. Furthermore, in the PM article, "advertisers will want, more generally, to avoid programs with serious complexities and disturbing controversies that interfere with the "buying mood". This relates to the fact that the government wanted to make sure the media was showing pro-war coverage to the public, and selling the war as an object. Anything that got in the way of this, and made the people think negatively about the war, needed to be removed from the public eye in order for the people to continue buying into the idea of war in the first place. The government wanted the media to force the public onto the "pro-war" side, and any reporter or prominent political figure against the war was taken out of the public eye. This was interesting to me, and something I never really realized went on, as extreme as this documentary showed. One strong argument from the documentary was that society had placed pro-war people as objective and anti-war people as biased. Anyone with a critical voice about the war was either fired from their job or forced to step down in order to maintain the support from the American people. Because the government had/has control over the media, they are allowed to skew the media terrain. The PM article argues, "The powerful can use personal relationships, threats, and rewards to further influence and coerce the media." Basically this relates to the idea of the top media conglomerates have control over what ideas are conveyed to the public, most of the time very biased. However, because they have so much power over the media and other sources such as anti-war political figures, they can control what information is given to the public. A good example of this from the documentary is when they talked about Phil Donahue's show on MSNBC. Donahue was a critical voice and his show got cancelled three weeks before the war [in Iraq I believe?] started. Furthermore, the PM article states, "The mass media will allow any stories that are hurtful to large interests to peter out quickly, if they surface at all." And based on the documentary and the PM article, we know that the government and media conglomerates decide what news is "worthy". The government, who has control over the media conglomerates, forced the cancellation of the show to make sure that Americans would not be influenced to be against the war. So when I think about media today, and knowing that since 1984 the number of top media firms has dropped from 24-5, shows that power really can influence what news is given the people and citizens of this country. With only 5 media firms controlling all of the media we consume, biases are unavoidable.

War Made Easy Response

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Even after finishing the "A Propaganda Model" article and digesting everything that was inside of it, the biggest thing that stuck out in my head were the authors thoughts regarding objectivity on the second page. It stuck out enough that I wrote my discussion question on it. It wasn't so much a question than a rant. But it sticks out in my mind mainly because I cant stand the term objectivity because it's what so many news medium base their writing upon when it's not even certain that being objective is possible. So I was pumped to hear in the "War Made Easy" documentary that Solomon brought it up. He made an extremely impactful argument when he said, in regards to war reporting, "If you're pro war, your objective. If your against war, your biased". That basically means if you oppose the decisions of the government (whether reporter or not) when it comes U.S. involvement in war in order strictly to "protect" U.S. citizens (as if they have nothing to gain from it) then your biased. You should also, according to a reporter on a FOX news clip shown in the documentary, "shut up". On the other side, if you support a government's decision in your reporting to go to war, or what they are doing during war, then you have succeeded in being objective! Wow, all my confusion regarding objectivity has been cleared! All you have to do is cater your reporting to the interest of our trustworthy government and your successes as a journalist will sky rocket to unimaginable levels!

I am conflicted though with the thoughts of Edward Herman and Noah Chompsky. They say "news people are able to convince themselves that they choose and interpret the news 'objectively' and on the basis of professional news values" (2). I dig their claim that news people convince themselves that they are objective. I would have used "tricked themselves" as opposed to "Convince" but whatever. But just because objectivity was created with bodacious intentions (it is a really good idea) does not mean that just because someone attempts to be objective therefore makes them unbiased or the perfect journalist. And to make the faulty connection, which Solomon points out many news people do, that objectivity can be directly linked to the support of war decisions by the government, is a bizarre concept to me. But as for my conflicted feelings? That comes when Herman and Chompsky say, "Within the limits of the filter constraints they [news reporters] often are objective; the constraints are so powerful, and are built into the system in such a fundamental way, that alternative bases of news are hardly imaginable" (2). I could be reading this wrong but "alternative bases of news" meaning, possibly 100% biased in opposition to their claims regarding objectivity? If that is the case then lets look at something like FOX news or MSNBC. FOX and MSNBC = Almost 100% biased. Their opinions regarding war news coverage is typically biased, so to say that alternatives to objective news reporting is "hardly imaginable" is a bit of a leap. I feel as though reporting in the news about war and how it relates to propaganda, whether objective or not, is all propaganda in many different respects. I don't know if any of that made sense.

Blog Prompt

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I was not in class on Tuesday for the documentary "War Made Easy", so that will slightly affect my blog prompt this week. I will instead be discussing the Propaganda Model. I am assuming the movie talked about all of the propaganda that the media and the government tie in with war and their coverage of events surrounding war. Often times when it comes to war coverage, much of the media covering the issue is affected by the government. Because of this, the media displays their war coverage in a manner so the audience is to be persuaded which ever way the government wants them to be, which often times is in a pro-war fashion. This government control over the media on such issues is created quite easily. Journalists are informed to present information in a way that is pleasing to the government and persuades the audience a certain way. Even if this is not necessarily the way the journalist would prefer to present the information they still generally have to do it this way because if they fail to do so, they are blocked out from a lot of information in the future by the government because the government does not want a lot of anti-war opinions being thrown around in the media that often causes a lot of issues. This process is what creates a lot of the propaganda surrounding wars in America and keeps a lot of real opinions from the media out of view. This idea of who has control over the media affecting the coverage that the media presents is one of the main points in the propaganda model and the best example of the issue is through the obvious correlation with National coverage of wars in this country that generally are pretty biased and often times do not even mention the other side of the coin.

Response to War Made Easy

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In the documentary War Made Easy, it discusses how ownership of the media has changed the coverage of news relating to war. This is especially prevalent during the period when government officials are trying to gain public support for going to war. In the article A Propaganda model, it also discusses war news coverage. The first filter discussed in the article is "size, ownership, and profit orientation of the mass media" which supports the documentary because the media is owned by large conglomerates. Along with that, the wealthy and government officials "define the news agenda and supplies much of the national and international news to the lower tiers of the media, and thus for the general public". Because of this, as shown in the documentary, when broadcasters begin reporting on and covering the reasons why the government needs or wants to go to war, it is often in a biased perspective. This is because government officials are providing the media with the information that will give them the most public support for the war. What has come from this is faulty information from the government to gain support.

The media go along with this bias representation of war coverage because of their "dependence of ties with the government". If a journalist wanted to question government officials for their reasons for going to war, they are shunned, which was shown in War Made Easy when military experts were questioning their presence in Iraq. These experts are portrayed as "out of their time, old, and unaware of the issues". This is because of the strong governmental ties with media ownership and licenses required by the government for TV and radio stations. The government use their "technical legal dependency" to "disciple the media" if they stray to far from what they want the media to covering in the period before war.

The problem with this is that society often believe whatever they hear on the news because their information often comes directs from government officials, who are "recognizable and credible by their status and prestige". But as seen with the war in Iraq, government officials have been known to present faulty information to gain support. The war in Iraq was started partly because of 9/11 and partly because of the false claim that George W. Bush made stating that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, which was turned out to be false.

All of this relates back to the article A Propaganda Model because the media, which are controlled in ways by the government, are using their information to persuade society to believe what the government wants us to believe. News media has transformed to biased opinions and is no longer objectively presenting news. Because of strong governmental ties, the public is seeing less and less critical analysis of the government's reasons to go to war and is only being presented with one side of the story.

Response to War Made Easy

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In the documentary War Made Easy, it discusses how ownership of the media has changed the coverage of news relating to war. This is especially prevalent during the period when government officials are trying to gain public support for going to war. In the article A Propaganda model, it also discusses war news coverage. The first filter discussed in the article is "size, ownership, and profit orientation of the mass media" which supports the documentary because the media is owned by large conglomerates. Along with that, the wealthy and government officials "define the news agenda and supplies much of the national and international news to the lower tiers of the media, and thus for the general public". Because of this, as shown in the documentary, when broadcasters begin reporting on and covering the reasons why the government needs or wants to go to war, it is often in a biased perspective. This is because government officials are providing the media with the information that will give them the most public support for the war. What has come from this is faulty information from the government to gain support.

The media go along with this bias representation of war coverage because of their "dependence of ties with the government". If a journalist wanted to question government officials for their reasons for going to war, they are shunned, which was shown in War Made Easy when military experts were questioning their presence in Iraq. These experts are portrayed as "out of their time, old, and unaware of the issues". This is because of the strong governmental ties with media ownership and licenses required by the government for TV and radio stations. The government use their "technical legal dependency" to "disciple the media" if they stray to far from what they want the media to covering in the period before war.

The problem with this is that society often believe whatever they hear on the news because their information often comes directs from government officials, who are "recognizable and credible by their status and prestige". But as seen with the war in Iraq, government officials have been known to present faulty information to gain support. The war in Iraq was started partly because of 9/11 and partly because of the false claim that George W. Bush made stating that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, which was turned out to be false.

All of this relates back to the article A Propaganda Model because the media, which are controlled in ways by the government, are using their information to persuade society to believe what the government wants us to believe. News media has transformed to biased opinions and is no longer objectively presenting news. Because of strong governmental ties, the public is seeing less and less critical analysis of the government's reasons to go to war and is only being presented with one side of the story.

Analysis of Documentary

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Solomon in the documentary War Made Easy states how the United States media portrayed the wars in the Middle East in the early 2000s as patriotic. Although, the medium is supposed to be objective with their coverage of major events such as wars, they seem to have taken the side of the government to further channel war propaganda to United States Citizens.

Herman and Chompsky in "The Propaganda Model" describe how media push their messages through four filters. The first filter has to deal with the ownership of the media outlet that is disseminating the message. Through all the different mediums that our society has Internet, Television, film, newspapers, radio, photography, music, and literature, there are big conglomerates that own several of the companies that generate this content to us. There are five conglomerates one for example News Corporation has many subsidiaries including Fox News which was one of the news channels brought up in the documentary.

The second filter of the Propaganda Model has to do with advertising licensed to the business of media. Media corporations will gain significant profits through advertisements. However, Herman and Chompsky relating the model to the British media and the British working class state how advertisements carry a "bonus" aspect. "Advertising did, in fact, serve as a powerful mechanism weakening the working-class press." (Herman and Chompsky 14) It becomes quite simply for media conglomerates to advertise in the propaganda model, because of their subsidiaries and products that we think we need. CBS for example can clutter our attention with advertisements for music from their subsidiary Warner Bros.

The third filter is the continuous dissemination of information by the mass media. Solomon further states that media relied on so called "experts" to generate their information about developments involving the events leading up to the war in Iraq. The only thing about these so called "experts" is that they are government officials and the government is not known to openly share what goes on in war room situations. Therefore the media was disseminating obfuscated information to the United States public on the events leading to the Iraq War. They created patriotic messages that supported the government's decision to go to war. Herman and Chompsky write about how media may rely on false information do to the "time crunch" presented by continuous dissemination. "Economics dictates that they concentrate their resources where significant news often occurs, where important rumors and leaks abound, and where regular press..." (Herman and Chompsky 18) The mass media must follow this model and therefore we did not receive quality information.

The fourth filter has to deal with criticism and the media's response to such criticism with reinforcements. Solomon gives plenty of examples in the documentary of how not all of the American public believed in the war and also media coverage of the war. However, the media persisted with their original messages to further enforce representations of the war. Overall the Propaganda Model reflects much of how War Made Easy portrays the media's representation of how the media covered the wars in the Middle East in the 2000s.

Post DQs for Thursday here!

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Thanks!

Make sure to think of how YOU feel about this debate, perhaps with some examples in mind, too. You are all very opinionated so I am sure that won't be a problem!

Oh, I'm sorry!!!

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the NYPD kept the press out of the raid this early morning to keep them "safe." My bad!

http://www.politickerny.com/2011/11/15/mayor-bloomberg-says-he-kept-press-out-of-zuccotti-park-for-their-own-good/

Sports Blog

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I've been playing sports since I was four years old. It has always been a part of my life. I have tried many sports since I was young but by the time I was 12 I was strictly focused with soccer. There were a couple reasons that I focused only on soccer. First, because I had natural talent for the game. Second, I was not an athletic build for other male stereotypical sports like football. I simply wasn't tall enough to have the sport be something to pursue as a possible life commitment. And third, because I somewhat prided myself that I was good at a sport that wasn't necessarily as popular as other American sports like baseball, basketball, and football. Soccer may be the most popular sport in the world but most of us know in the U.S. it is not. By other males in our society it is somewhat looked down upon. Some term it as being "faggy" or "unmanly." I have to admit I have no idea or understand where this stereotype came from but I can't tell you how many times I have been called a "field fairy" or "homo" for playing soccer during my high school years either as a joke or discrimination. I never really let it get to me though because I love the sport and I just brushed it off as ignorance. I played at an elite level starting when I was 13 up until college started. It was basically my life. I traveled all the time. School definitely came second to soccer. I was reflecting on how sports influenced my life. It directed every aspect of my life, it even influenced where I picked to go to college. I would have to say most of the media of sports that have influenced my life have been movies. Inspirational sport movies are very entertaining. As far as actually watching sports on TV, I have never been a part of that culture. It is a little strange how much sports has influenced my life but myself and my family have never gotten into being fans of professional sports teams. The only sport I watch on TV is maybe the super bowl and that is only because I like watching the funny commercials. As far as always wanting to try things, I've always wanted to try break dancing or a form of martial arts. Both of those sports have always looked very challenging but I feel that the satisfaction from being skilled in those sports would be very fulfilling. I will end with a short lesson in sports. Reality: Soccer=football and American football=handegg, that is all. :)

http://www.tnr.com/article/goodbye-the-age-newspapers-hello-new-era-corruption?page=1,0

Post DQs for Tuesday here.

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Thanks

BLOG PROMPT for this week is below the new media ownership chart I posted.

updated ownership chart

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media_concentration.png

blog prompt for this week

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For this week, you will be writing a response to War Made Easy (a documentary we will watch on Tuesday) in conjunction with The Propaganda Model. In other words, you will discuss how the PM piece and the documentary speak to each other. You must pull quotes from the PM piece and give good details from WME to receive a check plus.

The prompt is designed to give you more practice crafting a response/analysis and using an academic article as a framework and support.

Growing up my parents were very supporting and told me to try whatever activities I wanted, but even with this encouragement, I didn't. I suppose people would have labeled me as a "Tom boy" although I did not think of myself that way. I loved sports from an early age and tried a variety of them. The only thing I worried about was not getting passed to and having to prove myself as a good player. My concerns grew as time passed. I had friends in a lot of different groups and liked to change things up and do different activities depending on the day. Most often my recesses were spent playing games, usually with a bunch of boys. Slowly I found myself caring what people thought about me and eventually transitioned to spending more recesses making up dances and playing mostly with the other girls. I didn't wholly fit into either the "Tom Boy" or "girly-girl" label and liked pretending to be spice girls as well as playing sports and did not see anything wrong in that. Sports were a ways to express myself and my competitive nature, and were just a fun way to spend my free time.
I started with soccer when I was in the second grade and that stuck with me throughout my life. I had a pretty good kick, which in conjunction with my competitiveness translated well to football. I remember in middle school being able to drop kick a football a solid 10-20yards further than the kicker on our schools team. I really wanted to play, but was scared of what my peers would say. Also, my favorite sport was Hockey. My dad played it for most of his life, was the announcer for two of the high schools in the area and I have been going to games basically my entire life. I loved everything about hockey, my family even jokes that it was my first word, but somehow I never played. Instead I opted for figure skating, which I did for 3 years and then quit before it got really serious. I often cite this as the biggest regret in my life. I think that if society and the media were not flashing these images of hegemonic definitions of femininity, I would not have been so hesitant to play hockey.
I know the media had a huge effect on me and what I felt would be acceptable. Even though my parents were there telling me to participate in whatever I wanted, I found myself choosing things I thought would take away from any potential name calling or labels. If I had grown up not caring what people thought of me or worried about what judgments might follow, I know I would have played probably both football and hockey. It is sad that even with the parental encouragement I had to be and do whatever I wanted, I still felt pressures to act and participate in certain ways that correspond to normative femininity.

Sports Blog Prompt

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Growing up in high school I loved watching and playing sports. I played volleyball, basketball, and softball. Even though our sports teams received a lot of support from the community and other students (including males), it seemed as if they weren't taken as seriously as the male sports. I remember every year we would have powderpuff during homecoming week, where the senior and junior girls would compile a team and compete in a flag football game. I love watching and playing football, playing catch with a football is one of my favorite past times actually. So every year when I had the opportunity to compete in a football game I would be so excited. I was chosen to be the quarterback of my team both years and actually took pride in that position. Our coaches were always 3 boys from the guys football team. When it came time for practice, it was almost like a joke. The girls on my team would fool around and wine when they even got touched by another girl. Also, guys would come to watch our practices and would just laugh and make jokes about how "fragile" we were. Even our coaches would underestimate our strength and abilities by thinking that they needed to take our drills and practices light on us and not take it too seriously. I wanted to be taken seriously as a flag football player for those couple of weeks out of the year and actually learn things from the boy football players but instead practices and the game were made to be sort of a joke.

The opposite was true for the Ironman team, which was a team of senior or junior guys that competed in a volleyball game. Now this game was taken seriously. The practices were just as hard, if not harder than our actual volleyball practices. The coaches, 3 girl volleyball players, did not take it easy on the guys just because they did not actually play this sport. The competition of the actual game was intense and the crowd treated it as if it were an actual conference game.

I don't understand why there are these stereotypes about men and women in sports. Also, they seem to arrive early in life; already in high school we are taught by media and society that men and women are viewed and treated differently in athletic sports. There's proof all over in sports, I always felt like I wasn't being pushed as hard as a guy would in the same situation. I personally think that girls can do just as good as a guy can in the same sport but we are taught differently and there's some sort of self fulfilling prophecy because of stereotypes taught by media and society that keeps girls from reaching their full potential sometimes.

Sports Blog Prompt

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Neither of my parents have ever been much into sports, they both got teased a lot growing up--my mom was shy and my dad was a "nerd". Mind you, they're the smartest most wonderful people I know. But, they did not hand down any competitive nature to us kids. I played various sports growing up including soccer and volleyball, but I hated the favoritism and the catty girls, it wasn't for me. I didn't have a strong love for any sport in particular until high school. I picked up running when I was about 13, because I love being outside and I found I just really loved to run. I joined cross-country and track & field in 9th grade. The two sports were very different I found--not in terms of actual activity (you run...) but the culture around them. What I loved about cross country was that I didn't feel like everyone else on the team was relying on my every action to win--the way I looked at it I was simply competing against myself and trying to set personal records. My friend Rachel and I would always run next to each other at CC meets, even though she was a little faster than me- it was more for the fun of it.
Track was different. It could have been the particular team I had, the generation, the coaches... the town I was from... I am not sure. I went to high school in a small town called Pine Island and I graduated in a class of 94. Anyway, when I began track I started running 800's because I thought I was a better distance runner, then one meet my coach threw me in a 400 and I did really well. So that was my race. The sprint coach was a crazy, lazy, abrasive woman who often played favorites and made the rest of us do Indian runs for an hour while she "focused" on the "star athletes". My times were always just seconds away from these other girls but I never got put in a relay. I could run a track in under a minute. And I couldn't wrap my brain around why this coach favored these girls over me.
Track kind of ruined high school for me, the older girls were all really thin and made fun of anyone who actually ate food and looked like it. I lifted weights a lot and really enjoyed that, but I had a lot of muscle and got picked on for it by these girls. So I started to diet, or starve myself really, I lost 30 lbs in a couple months and was disgustingly thin. I had an "ah-ha" moment looking in the mirror one day, I looked terrible. That was 10th grade. As a junior I decided to attend college full-time as a PSEO student and I no longer participated in high school sports. I still love running though, and now my little sister is 15 and in track and I encourage her to do her own thing, be her own person and tell her she's perfect the way she is. She's got a better head on her shoulders than I did at the time, and is a lot less influenced by other kids than I was.

When I was growing up in my native Liberia in West Africa,the sports I loved most was soccer.I actively participated in many inter high school soccer tournaments so much so that my coach even encouraged me to play professional soccer.We won several trophies, and I played in mid-field.I loved soccer. In most parts of Africa,soccer is like Football in America.Many young boys from poor families are seriously urged on by parents,friends,and even loved ones to play soccer with the hope of "lifting" the family out of poverty.One of my former school mates,George Weah, succeeded in playing professional soccer in Europe, and he brought pride and honor to Liberia and the continent of Africa when he became the Federation of International Football Association( FIFA) player of the year in 1995.FIFA is the world's Governing body of the most famous sports in the world called Football.It's here in the United States that I realized it's called soccer.He even became the only non-European player to be capped the European player of the year in 1995.In the following year,he became the continent's best player ever.But despite these achievements,my heart was broken when my cousin's right leg was broken twice while playing soccer.He had no medical help to seek surgery on the leg.Today,he's disabled.I was utterly disappointed and that one singular experience made me never to play soccer again for fears that when I'm injured,I might not get the immediate medical attention that may save my life especially because I am the first born and the only male child in my family.Therefore,I gave up on soccer not because of media representations of the sports.But with what I'm learning now with American football,I think I would remain poor for life if playing American Football were the only way to get wealthy.

Sports

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Growing up, I move around a lot and was home-schooled until my family moved to Minnesota when I was in 3rd grade, so I was never particularly interested in sports because I was not around other people who did them and did not feel the need to participate in them. When we moved to Minnesota however, my parents enrolled me in public school because they were not going to move any more, and because Minnesota's education system is a lot better than most other states. When I started public school I also started doing sports, which is interesting because I feel like the only reason I decided I wanted to do them was because I saw my peers doing them. Starting out, I mainly did soccer and softball, then because interested in gymnastics. What was interesting was that the classes that I took at tags were obviously beginner classes because I had never done gymnastics before, but I remember everyone in my class being half my size. It was difficult for me to stay interested in when everyone was way younger than me, but I stuck with it because I truly enjoyed it, and I was pretty good and advanced through the levels fairly quickly. Gymnastics is an interesting sport because the different organizations that offer the sport are fairly competitive and people typically start when they are very young, so by the time I was in 6th grade, the girls my age were usually on the tags "team", having practice every night for a few hours, while I was still simply just taking classes for an hour a few days a week. But I still stuck with it and when I got to high school I joined the team there. I only did gymnastics my freshman year and decided to quit because the high school team was extremely exclusive, and because I hadn't been in gymnastics since I was a toddler, I was not competent enough for their varsity team. I remember feeling very self conscious when I was on the high school team, never feeling as good as the other gymnasts and I even thought that I was fat, however looking back to my freshman year I was definitely not fat at all. Also, None of my friends in high school did any sports, so I often felt left out of that aspect as well because I had practice everyday after school for 3 hours, and all of my friends would go and hang out. I think this is because the media often doesn't represent female athletes, and if they do they represent them in a way where they have been raised to be an athlete, something they have done their entire life, not something that someone just does for fun, or because they enjoy participating in the sport.

Blog 8: Sports

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I grew up in Wisconsin, so naturally I was raised as a Packer fan. I grew up also rooting for other Wisconsin teams such as the Badgers and Brewers. My favorite sport to watch is professional football. I didn't really play sports when I was in High School but not because I didn't want to. I think being involved in a sport, especially when you are growing up, is a good way to keep out of trouble. I grew up in a small town with about 100 kids in my graduating class. My particular class was comprised of various cliques. I didn't play sports because I didn't really fit in with that crowd of girls. Looking back on it now, it seems like a weak reason not to play softball like I had wanted to.
I like to watch professional football. I think I enjoy watching football because I choose not to pay attention to the business side of it. I have been in arguments with my friends over this aspect of it. My friend's argument is pro football players are all overpaid athletes who just care about their paycheck. He doesn't get why I would care so much about a game when the athletes are more concerned about endorsement deals and money than a Super Bowl. I usually tell him that since he is a Vikings fan he can't possibly understand. But really, he does have some valid points. I do agree that they are grossly overpaid. I agree that a lot of the players can be less than passionate. I definitely think steroids are an issue as well. We have talked in class about people being dupes when it comes to advertising. I am a dupe when it comes to football. I like the way it feels to have a favorite team and be able to cheer for them. I like being around other fans and I like the camaraderie of it all as well as the rivalry with other fans. I also like to pretend the team might care as much as the fans. So, I'm a dupe. I'm cool with that. Maybe the way Pro football is represented in the media helps me maintain my dupe outlook. The way they market the sport is pretty dramatic. There is dramatic music and a lot of hype that goes along with football on game day. They talk about the games all week long. Sometimes I'm amazed at how much time is spent talking about one single game. I've been to a few games and I'm amazed at how small the field looks compared to how it looks on TV. It's also weird not being able to hear the announcers talking about the game. If you had bad seats, it could get kind of boring compared to watching it on television. I think this may demonstrate how importand the media is when it comes to creating a certain kind of experience for the fan.
One thing that annoys me is the advertising when it comes to sports, particularly commercials. There are a lot of beer commercials. They are usually very sexist and aimed at men. I understand this kind of advertising probably has something to do with the percentage of men that watch football on a regular basis. I don't know why they would choose to leave out the large majority of women that also like to watch sports. I guess you could argue that the extremely sexist commercials are just reinforcing hegemony in our society under the guise of humor.

Sports Blog Prompt

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Sports in my family was almost a required. I played all through school and some college at Augsburg college. I lived and breathed anything that involved a competition. When I was four years old I started softball which in the long run ended up being my sport of choice. I was either at a tennis match, softball tournament, or basketball tourney throughout all of my life until recently. I remember the joy and popularity that came with being a good athlete at my high school. If you were a captain or on varsity people knew who you were, I started on my high school team since I was in eighth grade. I have had people call me names because I was so passionate about my sports. I was a lesbian because I played both basketball and softball. People could not get over the stereotype that athletes and people who are serious about their sports are lesbians. I do not have anything against lesbians, but its hurtful to say that people are things when they are not anything of that sort. I never was able to get away from the lesbian "name calling", but I was able to get over it and found confidence to just ignore what other people were saying. I don't know where people thought that lesbians who were good at sports were automatic lesbians. I was never born with my talent and it didn't come natural, so it was hurtful that people thought that. No one took into count that I started when I was four or that I practiced every night and trained as hard as I could because I wanted to be good. I felt that being in shape and hardwork was important to me when it came to extra curricular activities. If others would have been able to look at me beyond just my sport, they would have been able to see that I always had a 3.8 GPA and was student body president, editor of the newspaper, and captain of my sports teams. I was more than tennis shoes and shorts, I was well rounded. High school is a hard time for many students and the one thing I always had a hard time with was that just because I was "popular" I also had obstacles to over come with my confidence. I think that there is a large negative feel towards women athletes, they get close to zero recognition and people call them lesbians. So then in return it gets transferred to the youth and the stereotype grows. Women athletes have felt this negativity for a while and I think that while the women get better the more people feel insecure about themselves. There is nothing that says just because you're a female athlete that makes you a lesbian also. I just wish those stereotypes would go away so girls could feel pride in their talents and abilities instead of feeling embarrassed of being an athlete.

Blog Prompt

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I love sports. It is one of my favorite things to follow and I a stay updated on them daily. The mass flow of media revolving around sports makes it easy to follow them and draws your attention to sports. When I go on Yahoo's homepage or the front page of the Pioneer Press website, often times the first picture I see on the site is about sports. The main sports I see pushed through media outlets are baseball, basketball and football. This makes sense as they are the major sports in the US. The fact that it becomes so easy to follow these sports makes it more enjoyable as I have access to a bevy of information about issues regarding sports that I want to see.

As a fan I do not see my favorite teams' successes as a necessary thing for my happiness or anything. I also do not go crazy over results of sports. Though I do love competition, the part of sports that I am most drawn to is the feeling that you are part of something bigger. That you are along with so many other people on the ride that is the ups and downs of your favorite teams season. Also, unlike many things in this world, sports are a thing that you will always have. You can always count on your team being there to play for you when you need a lift. In regards to on of the articles we read about a team lifting up a city, I agree. Sports have a certain magic to them. When a city watches the team that is dubbed to be "theirs", they are drawn to them. The team's success feels like the success of the people and that success brings a general lift in morale to everyone which can only be considered a good thing.

Channels like ESPN often make video clips and such emphasizing these special moments and the effects that they have on the fans viewing them. These clips often give me the chills and only increase my love for sports and my intrigue in consuming them even more.

My experience with sports

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I feel like I don't have much to say on this topic because although I am involved in sports, I don't consider myself a very athletic person, nor do I watch a lot of sports. With my little knowledge of sports, all I can really say is that I've played some sports growing up but never seriously thought about competing with others. I've always thought of sport as a way to spend time with friends and family. It was no more than a leisure activity for me. Competition in sports was never really my thing...I was more concern with school, band & choir practice and so forth. In high school I picked up tennis because my boyfriend at the time was on the team. I learned because I enjoyed the physical exercise and it was a good way for us to spend time together. I continued with tennis after my breakup because I thought it was fun and liked learning about new tennis techniques and meeting others who played. Sometimes I would watch a few tennis games in the passing but have never made the effort to plan out a time to watch one. I've always thought that its better to go out and play a sport than to sit around and watch superhuman players on the television. A few years ago I started endurance running. I ran because it was a cheap activity that kept me physically active and in shape. I enjoyed it a lot because it was a gender neutral and didn't require a lot of experience to start. Anyone and everyone can get involved and do it together. You weren't separated into teams, rather you ran to improve yourself. I guess you can say, you competed with yourself. About two years ago I started snowboarding. Again, I did it because all of my friends started to do it. It sounded fun and I wanted to be apart of it. I think that snowboarding is very similar to running because the boarder's own competition is with herself. She has to decide what is risky and what is not. You aren't forced into doing things that your body may not be able to handle. You take it as it goes and adapt accordingly.

I think what is dangerous in sports today occurs when others decide what your body can handle and what it can't. Professional athletes deal with this because it is their job, but I've also seen parents, school teachers, and school coaches embark down this dangerous path with their children or students. I think this occurs when people become too involved in competition within sports. I am not saying that competition is wrong, I'm saying that unrealistically setting goals for others in the pursuit of winning which can cause them physical or mental anguish is wrong. I think the more control you have over your own bodily investment in sports the safer you'll be therefore increasing your enjoyment for whichever sport you choose.

Blog Prompt

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Sports were a big part of my life growing up. My dad was and still is very much into sports. Like any child, they want approval from their parents so I thought the best way to do this was through sports. Before I got into playing sports on a team I would just watch them. I would sit and watch all sports with my dad. I loved to be able to spend time with him while doing this. I would ask questions about the players and the rules of the game. He loved that I took interest in his greatest interest. It was definitely our way of bonding. Luckily I was blessed enough to grow up in a house that had a basketball court along with a huge backyard. When the weather was nice my dad, my brother and I would go outside for hours and play basketball or throw around a football. It was never competitive though; always for fun. Once I got a little older, around 11, I started organized sports. I was never a typical tomboy so I wanted to join something "more girly". I did tap and jazz dance along with volleyball. To be completely honest our volleyball team sucked. When we lost I always felt bad. Growing up watching professional athletes I always thought that if someone was to play sports they had to be amazingly good. I didn't realize that most professional athletes had to work hard to get where they were at. I did dance for three years and volleyball for four. I really enjoyed both sports. It was a fun activity to do outside of school because it kept me busy and I made a ton of friends. I quit dance because the school I went to was known for having amazing dancers. I thought all of them were so beautiful and such great dancers; I just didn't measure up. I think my school, as well as the media influenced me into thinking that being a dancer had to do as much about your looks as it does your abilities. I ended up quitting volleyball because of an injury, not because of any media influence. Present day I do not play any organized sports. It's something that does not really interest me. I still love watching them because I think it's a great social activity and a great way to bond with people. I do think our society influenced me when I was younger that I couldn't play football or basketball anyplace than my backyard. Growing up I was never exposed to female athletes playing "masculine" sports. Because of that I always had it in my mind that only men were allowed to play those sports on teams. I along with many girls conform to society at a young age that if they do play sports it has to be the less masculine ones; the ones that maybe aren't as physical and don't require as much strength. Personally, even if society did except women playing more masculine sports I don't think I would want to

Sports Blog

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I was forced at a very young age to participate in athletic activities by my parents. I guess they thought it would be a good way for me to meet people and have a little physical activity in my life. However the very reason I hated basketball, soccer, baseball and golf was because I was forced into it! So I quit. Then I started skateboarding and did that for a large portion of my life. Eventually my parents noticed that both my brother and myself were extremely passionate about something, and that we invested a ton of time into something physical and that made us happy, so they built us a mini pipe behind the garage. That mini pipe is still there, and when I go home to visit I sometimes jump back on, regain my somewhat lost chops and it's just as fun as it was when I was sixteen. However, behind the garage, on the mini pipe is where I had my first cigarette. Eventually I became a full time smoker and GOOD BUY PHYSICAL ACTIVITY!
I also really think that media did have some sort of influence on me as well. Mainly because the media is always focusing on the best of the best in sports. And when they compare the best of the best to the worst athlete in professional sports, that worst athlete is sill going to be better than half the people watching. The standards in sports are absolutely crazy and because of the media exposing those standards to the average person, it gives you a point of comparison. And for me that point of comparison was discouraging, however being a young sixteen year old, I did not notice at the time that I should have let that encourage me as opposed to discouraging me.
My mode of transportation now is a bicycle, as opposed to the skate board. Way more fun because it's too much fun to buy a bike, tear it apart and create something new from it, then sell it and do it again. Meanwhile your getting tons of physical activity and its a good time. I find a lot of gratification from the tinkering aspect on things like motorcycles, bicycles, or digging around in my skate box full of old board parts and fixing a buddies busted board. That fix it aspect has become almost more enjoyable to me than the physical activity itself.

Cute enough for sports?

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I know it might be hard to believe, but I played in a Hmong woman's flag football league for four years. Since I was fifteen starting high school and until I graduated high school. I was a shut-down corner-back (or I like to think so..=) ) and defensive captain for my beloved team, Regulators. My cousins and I built the team from the ground up. We were one of the first teams established for Hmong woman's flag football. So, I have a lot of love for the game, the unity of teams and also women in sports in general. The July 4th soccer tournament held at the Como Park field is something equivalent to the Super Bowl. It features many sports competitions, men's soccer being the major headliner. Hmong people from all over the country come to the tournament every year. And in 2007, something new was added to the agenda which was Hmong Woman's Flag Football; in which my team debuted. It was such a great thing to be a part of. Finally, Hmong women were given a spot amongst the men and not just presented as playing a more 'girly' sport such as volleyball. Throughout the years, more woman's flag football teams emerged and it became highly competitive.

I stopped playing the summer after high school graduation. I loved the sport and I still do. However, I couldn't find the time for it anymore. I had to earn my livelihood and I couldn't do that playing in a small community woman's flag football league. Yes, it was just 'for fun' and I was really good at it. In reality, playing flag football isn't going to get me anywhere. It's just not going to sell.

However.. there were still a couple options. There is the option of joining the Minnesota Vixens, a semi-pro woman's tackle football team. However, they aren't paid or televised like all other sports. I'd make way more money working a 9-5. Another option would be to join the Lingerie Football League: Minnesota Valkyrie; which gets way more revenue, fans and press than the Vixens. The reason why? It is simple: because it's women in lingerie playing tackle football with cute names such as MN Valkyrie, LA Temptation, Chicago Bliss, Tampa Breeze, or Orlando Fantasy. Cute women in lingerie playing football? Or butch women in full gear playing football? Franchise holders would choose the former. There were tryouts at the beginning of this year and sadly, I almost attended because someone referred me and said I had a high chance of getting in. Thankfully, I did not go to the tryout after doing some research. The LFL players also don't get any type of salary. They get free clothing and paid trips to which ever city you'll be playing against. The benefit? You might catch the eye of a famous football/basketball player or just a rich man in general. Also, under the rules for tryouts, it stated "DRESS ATTIRE IS CUTE GYM WEAR (SPORTS BRA & SHORTS) WITH SNEAKERS OR CLEATS." I like to look cute and all, but to be TOLD to look cute (in a sports bra and shorts) is a completely different thing. All in all, sex sells and sexy women in sports sell. It's been like that for as long as I can remember. When I watch game clips from the LFL, I see passion and the love those women have for the game, but I think it's sad that they have to be dressed in barely any clothing to sell themselves as serious players of the sport.

Submitted by Chua Xiong

My whole life I had never been a sports fan. My family was never into sports, although for some reason we always watch the Superbowl even though no one knows what's happening! Throughout elementary school, gym class was my least favorite class by far and I was terrible at everything we did. Not only did I not like sports, as a non-competitive person I didn't even understand them. The whole sports culture, which I observed in the media and at school, seemed totally unpleasant to me. There was something about it that seemed primitive and masculine, which did not appeal to me at all. The only sport I ever did was track and field in middle school, because I found it to be less competitive and stressful than team sports. Also, I was good at it and so didn't always have someone on my stupid team yelling at me for not hitting the ball or something. I did hurdles and the 100 to 200 meter dash. I wanted to continue into high school, but after I went to a few practices where we did long distance running and planks, I decided it wasn't worth it. My friends and teachers trying to get me to care in practices/gym class was a losing battle on their part. However, high school was where I started to enjoy watching sports. Going to the homecoming football game was a tradition at my school, and it was the only football game out of the year I would attend. I didn't know how football worked, so I only went to have fun with friends and do a bunch of crazy cheers with the rest of our class. I also went to several basketball games at the insistence of friends and dates, and I was surprised when I started to actually get into it. Basketball is still my favorite sport to watch, but football is up there too. I wasn't a football fan until I came to college and the Packers won the Superbowl. That sounds bad, but one of my friends is the biggest Packer fan ever, and at our friends Superbowl-watching party last semester, I guess some of her enthusiasm rubbed off on me. I'm from Wisconsin, and after the Packers won, I felt this weird sense of pride in my home team. Since then, I've watched a few games on TV and sort of followed the scores. I wouldn't really call myself a fan, but I have definitely come a long way from my sports-hating childhood.

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As a child I was never involved in sports, or particularly interested in watching sports. However, three years ago I started working at a sports bar. Working in an environment filled with flat screen TV's displaying only ESPN, ESPN2 and Fox Sports I have now become transformed into a sports fan. I believe that ESPN has turned me into a sports fan because listening to the commentators and pundits on ESPN I have begun to understand the complicated sport of football. I think that the exposure to this media has sparked my interest because ESPN is in some ways like a gossip magazine. I find the daily commentary on the player's abilities, and disadvantages to be very interesting. I especially enjoy when the pundits talk about the players down falls and coaches horrible mistakes. This media coverage turns football into a gossip arena. In my opinion this is interesting and funny. I think that this portrayal of sport by the media changes sport from being just about the games into more of a commentary on each player's individual abilities. It is so exciting to hear who pundits think will do well on a given week, and it is even more exciting to hear who they think will fail. Personally as someone who does not completely understand the rules of football due to my lack of athleticism and complete avoidance of sports until I started working at the Library Bar I think that the gossiping nature of sports media creates a more exciting arena to watch sports in. Now I want to watch the games to see the mistakes that players make. Then I want to watch the after game show to hear what other pundits are saying about the games. I also think that this type of commentary can turn sports into a more interactive entertainment source. The personal nature in which pundits talk about players makes me feel like I know each player and their abilities. It turns fans into insiders. I also think the focus on individual players has changed the way we view sports. Personally I now love fantasy football because I picked my team based on my favorite pundit's advice. So this media has changed the way I watch games. I don't only watch the packer's game. I also watch every other game because my players are all from different teams. Economically this shift in the way we watch tv is a gold mine for networks like ESPN. Instead of only watching our home teams game we now watch more games because we have our own personal teams. So I see more commercials and want to watch more of the commentary shows to decide my roster for future weeks. Overall I think ESPN has made football more interesting to viewers because as a society I think we love to gossip about others. This media transformed football from just a game you watch once a week into a venue where you can have your personal team full of players which you can constantly learn about. If you had of asked me a few years ago if I would have ever played fantasy football in the future I would have laughed in your face, but ESPN has made sports more interesting to me because now watching football is almost as fun as reading the latest gossip about Kim Kardashian.

sport blog~

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Currently, I'm not doing any sports. I used to do swimming lessons when I was in elementary school but stopped when I was 12 because I was sensitive towards chlorine and it gave me bad eczema. During the summer I tried to walk or bike around the pond to get exercise and fresh air when I'm not working during the afternoon. Otherwise that's all I do with it comes to physical activity. The only thing I can think of when it comes to being personally influenced by media representations for sports is that I need to get some of my unnecessary fat and I should work out more. I'm honestly out of shape and I feel as though I need to be healthy skinny (with some muscle).
Most of the time, my personal experience with sports and media representations deals with my father and brother. My brother does weight training and traveling baseball, so he's constantly working on his form and practicing to become a better player. He and my father often watch sports on TV and by using the TV they either enjoy the game or use it to get a better idea what form would work best for the sport. My father especially uses golf to figure out the best way to score the least points since playing golf is his stress relief.
It's a bit strange that even though I don't watch sports with my brother and father (I get really bored watching it) I still know the basic rules for most sports presented in TV and what's going on with each player (like a scandal or an injury). I wonder if it's the repetition from the television and my brother talking about sports.
I have some friends that are athletics and one of them used to be a dancer. She was telling me that currently the ballet is slowly getting better when it comes to eating disorders and health problems. But there are some companies that still want anorexic girls and it's especially bad in Russia. She also points out that ballerina's feet are the closest thing you can have when it comes to foot binding. I remember she was telling me that the prima donnas were genetically meant for ballet since you need that body type of being skinny with no boobs, light, and has strength. Otherwise it's almost impossible to become a prima donna if you don't have the genetic make up to become a ballerina. She pointed a lot of the information I would have ever thought of. In the media, it usually focuses on the eating disorders of ballerinas. But there is so much stress physically and mentally.
Even though my friend is a dancer, she feels disgusted with eating disorders and the anorexic body type. She only quit dancing because it's hard to become professional as a dancer and it was a better future for her to become a material engineer.

my life and sports

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I have played soccer sense I was able to walk. In my house it was the sport to play. Both me and my sister were coached by my dad, and we both went on to play in school. In high school I was lucky enough to become my team's captain. And although it was an honor I found myself defending my sport all the time. (Important side note, Forest Lake sucks at all sports except golf and tennis) Our team faced constant ridicule for our bad record. We received little to no funding so we had to raise all of our money. And both my team and the boy's soccer team had to face the mockery of being called a "field fairy." Soccer is a challenging game that requires a great deal of physical ability. Our team went through to two-a-days for two weeks and we had practices everyday their wasn't a game, and people had the nerve to tell us what we were doing wasn't a sport.
I think this had a lot to do with the media representations of soccer. First thing to note is that there is very little American media coverage of soccer. The absents alone allows people to develop negative opinions of the unknown. Next the coverage of soccer is largely European countries, and the majority of English men are presented to our media as feminine. Lastly the coverage of soccer does little to show the physical strain and injuries it can cause. Soccer is a pretty brutal sport full of collisions and kicks. (I can't tell you the number of times I came limping off of the field after a hit) I can only remember three big coverage moments of soccer in American media. One of which is when Brandi Chastain, ripped her shirt off in victory revealing her sports bra. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brandi_Chastain
Ironically she participated in her own body issue photo shoot. http://www.google.com/imgres?um=1&hl=en&sa=N&biw=1280&bih=653&tbm=isch&tbnid=zk9UqNYVvLXxRM:&imgrefurl=http://www.fark.com/comments/6393087/70454277&docid=0HNCdqoH8LTJtM&imgurl=http://www.perfectpeople.net/photo-picture-image-media/Brandi-Chastain-582x793-69kb-media-3785-media-124246-1193502903.jpg&w=582&h=793&ei=QWG7TsqQIaXi2AWirN2bBw&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=360&sig=108452614815363298463&page=1&tbnh=131&tbnw=96&start=0&ndsp=26&ved=1t:429,r:4,s:0&tx=74&ty=96
Another spot of media attention is when French play Zidane head butted an Italian player. This grotesque violence of course would receive attention. The Last media attention would be the last world cup when the US women's team made it to the finals only to lose to Japan.
Having an unpopular sport didn't ruin my life by any means, but I did have to defend my sport a lot. And I had to look for validation that my sport was big internationally even if it wasn't cool in Forest Lake, MN.

As I was growing up I was involved in many sports baseball, football, basketball, wrestling, boxing, Mixed Martial Arts, karate, and swimming. Sports definitely played a big part in my life growing up, however it was not the biggest. I really was only involved in these sports for fun with friends and to build my character. I really was only good in football and the rest I was either mediocre or horrible. I do believe that sports play a big role in building character as you have to learn to work with a team. Sports teach kids to listen to their superiors by listening to your coach this can teach kids to someday listen to their boss. A kid involved with sports knows that they must be at a certain place at a certain time for a game or practice this teaches kids to be punctual. Therefore the fundamentals of sports play a big role for children.

As of now I still participate in many casual sports such as basketball or football pick-up games and I am involved in the University Squash club. These are fun activities that allow me to be social and have fun with friends and family. Watching sports has been big for me my whole life. My dad was a Minnesota Vikings fan and so is the rest of my family. I enjoy watching the Vikings, even though sometimes they lose, when they win the victory is much more of a great feeling. However, I am not like many were I let the lose ruin my day or week. I will cheer for any Minnesota teams and I have ill feelings for some of their rivals such as the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago White Sox, sorry Melody. I also enjoy watching other teams that bring excitement to sports such as the Yankees and the Fighting Irish.

I sometimes perceive individual sports teams as identities to communities for example Chicago is the Bears and Milwaukee is the Brewers. I believe the fans of teams that represent their community carry these teams as part of their identity. If, you were born and raised in Iowa for example it would be perceived as "weird" if you were a Buckeyes fan and not a Hawkeyes fan. Sports also are a good form of bonding for parents and their kids. My father was a Vikings fan and we would sit down and enjoy Viking's game when I was young. These are some very fond memories that I have with time spent with my father. I hope that the Vikings do not move to Los Angeles so someday I can share that same time with my children.

Overall, I believe sports are very good for teaching children fundamentals and also for our personal enjoyment. They definitely are not the most important thing in life, in my opinion. But, they give people an identity with their team similar to how ones neighborhood or college gives them an identity. Sports definitely have a value in our society and they always will play a role in my life.

Thank you!

Great blog posts this past week, too. Keep up the good work!

Some follow-up to class today

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I hope Matthew posts a great video he found with Dr. LaVoi (who he mentioned today) on the Rosen Sports show. She expands on a lot of the points we made in class today. If he doesn't, I will.

You may be interested in hearing some people from that sports conference I was at talk about women's issues in sport. There was a long radio program on MPR titled "Has the playing field been leveled for women in sports?" I am going to play a few min in class on Thurs because it speaks directly to what we were briefly talking about today about whether women play for "fun" or competition: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2011/11/03/midmorning2/

Finally, here is the skateboarding article I was talking about today: http://sports.espn.go.com/action/skateboarding/news/story?id=6595750&campaign=rss&source=ACTIONHeadlines

So much to say, so little time!

See you Thursday

Blog prompt for this week

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Discuss your experience with sport and how your experience is impacted by media representations of sport. You can speak about being a former athlete, a current athlete, a hopeful athlete (I always wanted to do gymnastics but...), a fan, an anti-fan (I hate football because...).
"Athlete" is very broad. Any physical activity is game. Playing tag, riding a bike. dancing, horse back riding, whatever. Just think about how your experience is impacted by media representations.

For example, I could write about how I danced (tap, ballet, jazz) until I was 13. I quit because I saw the girls around me start starving themselves//obsessing over their bodies (for sure impacted by media reps of "sexy" women) and I caught myself being self-conscious because I did not have a body like what you see in dance photos. So I quit because it was not a healthy space for me to be in.

Candy Fixations Blog

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In class on Tuesday, my group analyzed an ad for TIGI Bed Head Candy Fixations hair products. The ad itself was very vibrant and definitely caught the viewer's attention instantly. The background was red and the entire color scheme played along with a peppermint feel: white and red. The woman featured had bright red lip stick, bright blonde curly hair and was wearing a red and white striped bikini top and eating a bright red lollipop. The colors went together very precisely all to attract attention and to fit with the overall intention of the ad: to sell hair product that reminds people of candy. The signifier is the Bed Head Candy Fixations products, the sign and the signified is textured, playful and sweet enough to eat hair. Her stance and look is very sexualized also, especially the placement of the lollipop. It is not directly on her lips, its close and her lips are puckered up which portrays a very sexual image. This could imply that using the product will make your hair so sexy that you will in turn be sexy as well. The names of the products include names like "totally baked" and pairing that with the psychedelic background and candy it could refer to someone getting high. I also thought that the ad looked strangely similar to the "Pucker Vodka" ads, which could imply even more so the whole party aspect. Drugs, drinks, candy and sexy women... using this product could make you the star of the party. That's what I get out of it but that may be because I analyzed every portion of this particular ad.

Post DQs for Tuesday here!

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Sorry for the delay.

Tuesday Discussion Question

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In the article "Pornographic Eroticism and Sexual Grotesquerie in Representations of African American Sportswomen" the author cites many instances of grotesque commentary in articles which focus more on the Williams sisters looks and bodies than on their tennis playing. I wonder if the focus on their bodies continues during live coverage commentary. When announcers are commentating the games of the Williams sisters do they focus on the tennis being played or is once again the focus on their bodies and the ways in which they do not conform to the hegemonic norms?

Killing Us Softly

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Killing Us Softly Blog Response
The documentary we watched on Thursday "Killing Us Softly" brought up several important arguments about women's portrayal in advertising. For me personally the most interesting part of this documentary was where she uncovers the advertisings industries photoshop and air brushing secrets. I think that the expose of how advertisers and magazines slim down women and enhance their features proves that the images of women in the media are not realistic. Yet it is incredibly unfortunate that this practice is kept a secret. When I go to pick up a magazine I see a celebrity or a model and I assume that what I'm seeing is real. Yet watching this video I learned that what I'm seeing is actually fake, it is just an illusion of beauty that the ad industry has created. I found it especially shocking to learn that some of these images are made of many different images of different women. The ability for the industry to create super women using computers also creates an unrealistic sense of beauty which is unattainable to the average woman like myself. I think that the idea she mentioned that a European country was going to print on all ads that had been airbrushed that they were edited in this way is a good idea. This will educate women that this image is unrealistic, however I think a better approach would be just to show real women who are beautiful in magazines. However from an economic point of view there is no way that advertisers would want to do this. I think advertisers have created this image to sell products the unatainibility of this image of beauty creates an insatiable need to consume. So if advertisers were to stop this practice they would lose money because their ads would be less effective. So I thinki t is important that scholars and media analyzers like the producers of this documentary work with the advertising image to create a more realistic yet still profitable version of beauty that advertisers could sell. I think one example that could be used are the dove campaigns there were noted in this documentary, dove has showed that real beauty can be marketable we should push other marketers to use this same ideal of beauty.
I also really enjoyed the points the video made about male bodies in ads today too. I think so often in discussions of advertising we focus only on females so it was interesting to learn about males in advertising. I think it was especially interesting to see the contrast in the way males and females are posed in advertisements. Females are posed in positions which leave them looking vulnerable but males are posed in stances which exude power and masculinity. I think the reason for the differences in posing of models is that this is a reflection of our patriarchal society. By posing the models in this way ad agencies are concreting patriarchal ideas by constantly bombarding us with images of males dominating females.

Prius Ad

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When I was looking through some different ad's this one caught my eye. It is a Toyota Prius magazine Ad. There is a man putting what looks to be a body bag into a lake or river at dusk or dawn. At the bottom of the Ad it says, "At least he drives a PRIUS". What I am getting out of the Ad is, if you drive a Prius its okay to commit a crime because you are going good for the environment.

For the Analysis of the Ad. There is a man who is the supposed driver of the prius. A man is masculine and a lot of times seen as the driver. Women drive Prius' also, but because the fuel efficient car is seen as power less, they are trying to draw in the male consumer. The man is dressed in a black suit and looks to me like a man who would be part of a mob or something like that. They are also pointing out the size of the trunk of the car since the trunk is open and it looks as if the dead body was stored there while he drove to the lake. Then the atmosphere is in the woods. A prius is not the vehicle of choice for people who like to participate in outdoor activities. I know that my family who is hunting this weekend would not chose to take out a prius to their hunting stands or to bring their boat to the cabin. Where the car is located is trying to give off that this car is capable of going in the woods and can handle nature.

Toyota is trying to draw in the male consumer and get a different type of buyer. What I find is crazy that when I first saw this Ad, I wasn't shocked that a man was throwing a dead body into the water, what first caught my eye was that a man put a body in the back of the car and that a prius was in the woods. It looks completely past the fact that the man is doing a crime. The car is not central in the ad but because the lights are on it catches the readers attention right away making the car the focal point. I know that as a girl this ad is not aimed to me, it's for those bad ass guys who think they are way to tough to drive this type of car.

Killing Us Softly 4 Prompt

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I have seen this video over the years since i was in high school and it never gets old. The video definitely shows how women are treated in todays society and how bad the images are sending. We have ads out there where women are only there because they have big breasts and a nice ass. They make you know this because they cut her head off and only show those provocative body parts. We have clothes ads where they show women being attacked by men in rape and battery situations and we think that is advertisement. i personally would not like my brand associated with anything that has to do with harming women. Even the slogans are that suggestive that they do not even have to have a subliminal hiding to it. Ads like the BK sandwich where it shows a sandwich going into her mouth like a porno ad and the slogan reads, it will BLOW your mind... with the emphasis on blow. Things like he loved you after you started wearing these clothes and he didn't think you were a nice girl before you bought these diamonds. Ads like these is what makes women think loess of themselves in my opinion. Women deserve to be treated with the ut most respect no matter what and we have ads out there claiming women are only worth it if they are attractive and making sure men are happy. That is a crock in my opinion. The one thing that i have a problem is Kilbourne as well. I feel like she is the kind of feminist that will never quit even if it ever becomes "fair". I feel like even if the perfect ad was out there she would claim something wrong with it. Anyway, I believe women should not have to change themselves so they can look like the ads on the television because according to the video, half those girls don't even look like that. Ads can be very misleading and very seductive and it is a deadly combination to say the least.

blog respons 11/5

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My add is a burger king add for the sandwich the super seven incher showing a younger lady wither her mouth open and the sandwich facing it. So the coloration in my add is mostly neutral colors having a brown back ground, I think this was done so the viewer (me and you) would not be distracted from the three other major pieces, first would be the out of context message; at first glance if I was just flipping thought pages in a magazine and caught a glimpse the positioning of the woman with the dropped jaw and the largely falic looking object directed toward her face implies sexuality (her giving head) as a shock value or something that will make me take a couple more seconds to find out why this is in a fashion or any other main stream magazine, second is the actual product; this is expressed in vibrant colors but is small so not to really draw my attention away but to inform me that this is a burger king sandwich and also along with this we have the text that describes the sandwich a little, thirdly we see the closer or catchphrase that will make us remember or stick in our minds; this is the catchphrase the righting that once again ties in to the first thought but this time in a joking manner as to say this is innocent and a joke. This really will bring out two different effects first being the people that find this inappropriate and there for complain and discus with there friends how appalling thus making the add get more publicity than it originally was and making it show up in places that the advertisements would normally not be able to reach for instance the collage classroom. Secondly we will see the people that find this funny (me) who will remember when they see all the different fast food stores the comical add and then wander how that sandwich is, also along with this as I find it funny I will also be showing my friends and making the add be publicized even more so the over all effectiveness of the add will be a major success because of the controversial messages it has in it. The Burger King logo is able to be small and out of the way because it is made of the bright colors that will make it easy to find when searching for it but also it is a logo we have seen many times there for we do not need to really see it just a quick glance for our brain to understand and store the memory of what type of add we just looked at was. Also it makes so the add will be able to use other methods so catch our eye and the lack of repetition in the adds gives more interest to the us the viewers.

Just saw this commercial on TV... some sports channel (the idea that Dr. Pepper 10 is just for men and also playing it on a sports channel makes the assumption that only men watch sports? i dont know.. ) I thought of this class right away and thought I'd share it. The link on YouTube is from LAMPlatoon- you can read about them underneath the video. They play the commercial and then break it down with what they have to say about it. Its seems like an oppositional reading.) Not sure if anyone has seen it but there are some pretty strong assumptions about men and masculinity and violence and stereotypes of women (romantic comedy reference and their dislike of action films). And since when DON'T women want to drink something with 10 calories? Usually low cal foods are targeted towards women too. Men and women both drink soda... right? I also thought being that extremely explicit by saying "its not for women" was interesting in regards to what we have talked about in advertising and also femininity/masculinity discussions we've had. But there is a lot to say about this commercial and I thought it would be perfect to share with a media literacy class! I'll post the link to just the commercial too without the LAMPlatoon breakdown.

just the commercial
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qjcas79lqRQ

LAMPlatoon's breakdown of the commercial
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qjcas79lqRQ

The advertisement(s) I brought in were for SKYY vodka. One was from In Style magazine and the other two were from Cosmopolitan magazine. They are all very typical/obvious in subscription to the idea that sex sells. The first ad from In Style features a bold canary-yellow background, in stark contrast to the life-size blue Skyy vodka bottle... which looks just like what it does in real life. A pair of legs are propped up against the bottle, one leg angled across it. The legs are in skin tight, bright red vinyl.. tights? Leggings? Doesn't really matter, and seamlessly blend in with the bright red vinyl ice-pick stilettos.
The second ad is the same bottle but bigger and angled against a bright red background, with a gigantic woman's hand with bright red claw like nails holding a melting ice cube against the bottle... And the last ad (which was the next page after the ice cube one in the mag) is a bright orange back-ground, same bottle- upright, with a woman's glistening hand holding the neck of the bottle.. but it looks more like it's stroking it, oh and it's dripping wet. Oh and if you don't look closely you might miss the dude's body placed below the bottle. The bottle is placed like it's coming out of his groin... you can only see his stomach and thigh, and the bottom and top of his gym shorts.
The sign in these advertisements is "Skyy is sexy". The signifier is the bottle of vodka and the signified is sexiness.
The colors used are all "hot" colors other than the cobalt blue bottle itself, making it stand out, drawing attention to the ad, creating a very bold visual display. The ads bolster no words except the bottle's label. The legs ad intrigues me most because its suggestive, but not as obviously suggestive as the Skyy bottle= penis ad. The viewer cannot see the legs' bum or any part of the body, it is cut off, leaving us to assume or guess that the body is on its back- bum against the bottle. The bottle is between the legs slightly--again making a phallic reference--but also the secondary meaning would be that imbibing with Skyy will put a sexy girl on her back. The ever so large and powerful bottle is life size in the ad, but the legs are not. The left leg is being held up by the bottle as the right leg slides down the bottle. Between the two feet is the label of the bottle--drawing the eyes towards it. The ad is an example of what Williams explains as illogical juxtaposition, logically a pair of legs would not be propped against or have between them, a bottle of alcohol. The ad thus engages our emotions and senses--we correlate the emotions of desire, happiness, excitement, lust, envy, power subconsciously to the brightness, shininess, newness... the very large bottle, the very tall heels. It suggests a party without even showing one, by the forms and structures within the ad.

Gucci Ad

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Tuesday I brought in a Gucci ad. The scene of the ad is a dark room filled with four white women clothed with sexy clothing that showed quite a bit of skin. 2 women were in chairs, one sitting on the ground, and one sitting on a couch with a man's head in her lap. There was also one man entering the room through a door. Both men were also white. Everyone's facial expression seems somewhat blank and everyone's gaze is looking away not at you. There is also what seems to be a wall painted or huge tv screen with a female face with a very sexual expression. The colors used for this ad were mostly dark reds oranges and purples. The dark room set a mood of intimacy. The sign for this ad would be that wearing these clothes is sexy and will get men to come as there was a man in the room and another walking in. The sign therefor would be the Gucci clothing. The signified is definitely geared towards sexiness. The setting also seems to be very luxurious and the clothing looks very rich. It was also interesting that there were no words on this ad except for the name GUCCI in big letters. The people in the ad don't even seem to be talking or want to talk. I noticed in the magazine I got the ad from many ads used a sense of sexualness to promote their products.

Blog Entry Killing Us Softly

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The documentary "Killing Us Softly" was a real eye opener to the realities of advertisements true intentions in the mass media. I definitely believe that the advancements in technology over the years has changed our perception of what beauty means to us. 50 years ago we did not have the tools to alter women's bodies. The only means of change we could make to the ads were what clothes the model was wearing and how they's look on her. Now we can change everything about a women right down to her eye shape or length of her neck I agree with the video in that it is absolutely ridiculous to do this. It's setting a completely impossible standard for women to live up to. What's the point of doing this when only 5% of women actually look like this? I think I speak for most in saying that women want to see other women that look like them, not women that aren't even real. It's the same problem with men in ads. The majority of men shown in ads are super buff and just "perfect". This also holds men at a very high standard that most can't reach. I think these ads affect men more than we think. It's just not something our society really talks about because of the stigma attached to it. I wish Killbourne would have spent more time talking about men in ads; I felt like she kind of just glazed over them. I thought it was good how Killbourne did bring up a few positive changes to the industry. For example the German magazine showing only real women and not models. I think Europe is usually ahead of us when it comes to fashion so hopefully in the near future we will be seeing changes like this in the U.S.

In the video Killing us softly, a few things stood out to me. One was that she briefly brought up gay men and ethnic woman in her arguments. When she would talk about them, she would quickly would go over it and then just ignore it the rest of the video. I understood what her argument was but I think it was too much towards just white woman. I don't think she should have brought up the other aspects if she wasn't going to go into detail on them. Also I noticed how she presented herself was very superficial, lots of makeup, no wrinkles, good hair, and not much facial movement. It just seemed a little hypocritical to me that she was all done up and was talking to us about how the image of woman in today's media and advertising isn't real or achievable. I thought it was very interesting in the video finding out about how advertisers Photoshop like crazy on pictures of woman, especially the one about the four different faces used to make one face. It just makes me wonder what these people are thinking that are doing this, are they doing this for the money or because they think that people want to see a "perfect" face. I think the best message I got from this documentary, is that having these images constantly thrown at us makes us strive for that in other people and that we judge others that much more harshly. I know for me, when she started talking about that, I thought it true to myself. I constantly see men with nice bodies in ads or extremely good-looking faces all around me. Especially a lot of the gay representation I see on TV is 99% of the time a very attractive white built/ toned man. Because I enjoy looking at these men, I find myself sometimes expecting to find that in reality, when I know that it's just not attainable. I do have to agree with her in her main argument that advertising is how we look at the world, I believe a lot of people realize that none of these bodies can be achieved or attained but there is the small population that have health issues because they think they need to be that skinny, or guys taking steroids to get beefier and bigger. I also thought it was very interesting the difference in how woman are portrayed and how men are. I never noticed that most of the time girls are represented to be younger and adolescent looking. Girls are presented to be passive and vulnerable while men are presented to be tough and dominant. I thought it was weird that in some countries they placed a woman's head on a different body that seemed to be more childish like, that it is sexy to be a little girl. I wonder who thinks that is attractive, seeing as in the US, we look down upon people who go for younger people, especially if they are not 18. Yet advertising is telling us that having an adolescent's body is what is attractive.

Jean Kilbourne's "Killing Us Softly" documentary was very interesting to me. She brought to light a lot of important issues regarding female images in the media. At the start of the documentary Kilbourne showed ad's that were in magazines a long time ago, even than it was problematic. Ads were being verbally sexualized however in todays' ads it's more visual. I can see how Kilbourne would say things have gotten worse. Twenty years ago when kids looked at those ads they were harmless unless they understood what they were reading. Now when they see these images they are slapped in the face with what the "ideal" image should be for women. They are extremely unhealthy photos and tell girls, and some would argue boys, who they are and who they should be. So advertisers are saying, if you are not skinny and 90 lbs and have men all over you, you are not sexy. It's so sad to think girls all over the world are aspiring to be like the women they see in these ads. They are too young to understand what they are seeing is all fake. When Kilbourne made the statement "men judge women more harshly because of ads" just shows that not even men understand these photos are fake. No women will ever look like that, however it doesn't stop them from trying. Plastic surgery has increased by 91% in recent years, women are wanting bigger boobs (I have big boobs and trust me they aren't all that great),botox and lip suction. I think about the parents who give their girls breast implants for graduation. What is wrong with them? That is sending them a more negative message than the ads themselves. Parents are supposed to be your support system but they are reinforcing the message advertising agencies are sending.

Another part of the documentary that brought up a good point was sex education in schools. I did a project on this for one of my classes last semester and I didn't even think about tying in what kids see in ads. Kilbourne was right when she said, if these sexual images are what kids will be looking at then it should be addressed. There are a lot of parents against sex educations in school and think it should be a topic left at home, which is a fair argument. However, if they see the impact the ads have on their children they might feel differently and want more experienced people talking to their kids about what they are seeing in the media.

Kilbourne said the attention of ads in the media is changing. It is getting more recognition and some countries are trying to put a stop to what goes into their ads, i.e. skinny girls. She mentioned a couple different countries but never said anything about the U.S., which makes me think, what is American ad agencies doing to make their ads more healthy and less sexual? It is a disappointment America is not making a bigger effort to portray a more realistic image of women and men.

After watching the Killing Us Softly, I agreed right away with Kilbourne that representations in advertising have led us to public health problems. The way that the media portrays women is unachievable. I was shocked to find out that women in ads have been digitally modified and constructed from 4 different women. Although many see technology as an advancement for our future, I don't think that it is helping the image of beauty and what we perceive as beautiful in men and women. It has made the ideal impossible by making every woman a size 0 and men extremely physically fit. The fact that there is a size 0 and 00, I agree with Kilbourne that "women are taught to aspire to become nothing." Literally nothing, because you can't get any smaller than a size 00. There a visibly no imperfections when it comes to wrinkles, the size of the eyes and lips of a woman, the ab muscles on men, and many more aspects of the body that are digitally changed. It was surprising to me when Kilbourne talked about how celebrities like Kate Winslet were not aware of the digital changes made to her body, and for many other models too I'm sure, that don't have agency in what gets modified in their ad.

The entire time I was watching the film I couldn't help but wonder, if everyone knows that these images and ideologies that the media are pushing are so wrong, why do we keep doing it?

That is because of the promotion of consumerism. All of these ads are showing people what they should want to have and the public in turn, strives to be. But the kicker is, it is impossible to achieve because not even the models or celebrities in the ad look like that in real life, therefore people continue to buy the products in order to achieve that look. It's like that cycle we looked at in class-people want to look like the models in the ads, when they don't achieve that look they feel like a failure which in turn makes them want it even more so they continue to buy the products in hopes that they will be that skinny, that perfectly beautiful, have that guy, etc. Another important aspect of the video was that advertisement sells a lifestyle, an idea, an emotion. When we see ads for example a jean ad, we subconsciously think if we buy those jeans we will have that lifestyle depicted in the image; an attractive man or woman, carefree lifestyle, most of the time be rich/famous, etc. It relates to the reading from Dinez and Humez that the "diamond is forever". The diamond is not just an object anymore, it is a lifestyle. People want a diamond because they want love, security, happiness, and forever.

One thing that bothered me a bit about the video was her argument about advertisements aimed at men. While she did argue that there were some problems with mens ads, she emphasized that they were not nearly as problematic as women's ads. I disagree because when I think back to our class discussion about masculinity, there are constant pressures from society and the media that all men should be strong, independent, masculine, muscular, and tough. All of the ads I see in the women's magazines that I buy have physically attractive men with perfect abs, perfect hair, perfect tan skin, perfect muscles and this is also unachievable. While Kilbourne did argue that there are positive changes happening in the ad and fashion industries, they all seemed to be overseas in countries in Europe. This is not very credible to me, when in America you still see the portrayal of men and women in the media as extremely unrealistic and sending the completely wrong message to people, especially kids at such a young age that success is only when you are rich, famous, skinny, and beautiful.

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Do people with self confidence issues actually feel that way or do they feel that way because that is what they have been told and taught to think? If mainstream media and advertisements were not constantly projecting an unattainable image of the "perfect" body, would society live in a happier place that is less focused on the external? Would we have fewer eating disorders, plastic surgeries, and beauty products? I think much, if not all of it stems back to colonization and modernization, and the need to control people. When people were living in communities, with a mentality focused on the whole and survival, I think the size of their body was the last of their worries. Slowly the "developed" world has morphed into a materialistic culture, divided into the have and have not's, extending from not only what you own, but what you look like. I do not think it is inherently human to be unhappy with your body. This can been seen in the documentary, when Jean Kilbourne talks about the modernization of an island people, whose
Commercial culture now shapes almost everything we do and I argue, almost everything we think. Even if we say we do not accept media messages and standards of beauty, the majority of us still buy makeup and magazines and assorted products meant to improve our image. Some of this may be for our personal want, but I question the agency in those purchases with the bombardment of advertisements meant to make us feel like we need certain things and look certain ways in order to be "happy". The statistic in the documentary about only 8% of ads messages being received by the conscious mind made me think. First, how do you go about measuring that? Second, if there is an accurate way to gather that information, and that statistic is indeed true, that is a very frightening thing to think about. It takes me back to 11th grade when we read the novel 1984 by George Orwell. The mainstream media being similar to the thought police, ensuring society thinks the way they intend them to. This big brother, subconscious targeting is something to be very suspicious of. Advertisements and the people who produce them have motives and incentives to convince you to think in a certain way. Having this section of decoding advertisements and watching Kilbourne's Killing Us Softly 4 has made me suspicious of the way I think and feel about myself. Society needs to be at very least thinking about advertisements and critical of who is behind them and their motives in persuading the public. More than anything this unit has caused me to reflect on what I think and say in regards to my body and gives me reason to question what is truly behind why I think this way.

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Do people with self confidence issues actually feel that way or do they feel that way because that is what they have been told and taught to think? If mainstream media and advertisements were not constantly projecting an unattainable image of the "perfect" body, would society live in a happier place that is less focused on the external? Would we have fewer eating disorders, plastic surgeries, and beauty products? I think much, if not all of it stems back to colonization and modernization, and the need to control people. When people were living in communities, with a mentality focused on the whole and survival, I think the size of their body was the last of their worries. Slowly the "developed" world has morphed into a materialistic culture, divided into the have and have not's, extending from not only what you own, but what you look like. I do not think it is inherently human to be unhappy with your body. This can been seen in the documentary, when Jean Kilbourne talks about the modernization of an island people, whose
Commercial culture now shapes almost everything we do and I argue, almost everything we think. Even if we say we do not accept media messages and standards of beauty, the majority of us still buy makeup and magazines and assorted products meant to improve our image. Some of this may be for our personal want, but I question the agency in those purchases with the bombardment of advertisements meant to make us feel like we need certain things and look certain ways in order to be "happy". The statistic in the documentary about only 8% of ads messages being received by the conscious mind made me think. First, how do you go about measuring that? Second, if there is an accurate way to gather that information, and that statistic is indeed true, that is a very frightening thing to think about. It takes me back to 11th grade when we read the novel 1984 by George Orwell. The mainstream media being similar to the thought police, ensuring society thinks the way they intend them to. This big brother, subconscious targeting is something to be very suspicious of. Advertisements and the people who produce them have motives and incentives to convince you to think in a certain way. Having this section of decoding advertisements and watching Kilbourne's Killing Us Softly 4 has made me suspicious of the way I think and feel about myself. Society needs to be at very least thinking about advertisements and critical of who is behind them and their motives in persuading the public. More than anything this unit has caused me to reflect on what I think and say in regards to my body and gives me reason to question what is truly behind why I think this way.

I think that Jean Kilbourne offers a lot of good comments and arguments regarding women's representations in advertisements. She argues within the film that women are subjected to images on screen. She states that because of these images, women starts to strive for this unattainable perfection and ultimately sets herself up for failure. It is only through dangerous and devastating circumstances that some women come close to this perfection. Close, but never there. She goes on to talk about the rise of plastic surgery in America. However, she never explained in detail how advertisements affect minority females and their usage of plastic surgery. It is obvious that the white female is not the only consumer. Advertisements are made and used to target a specific group, however, they are seen and have the ability to influence others outside of that group as well. There is a specific scene in the film that spoke out to me. This was the shot of the little Asian girl holding up a magazine with a white model on the cover. She seems to be idolizing it, holding it up in praise and admiration. I think this shot was interesting because within the recent decade or so the cosmetic surgery industry in Asian countries have massively boomed. Now, what is most interesting is that the definition of "beauty" within Asian countries and how it has changed. Even though I think that television, films, and music have done some part manipulating the definition of beauty in Asian countries, I strongly believe that advertisements have had the most manipulative powers.

A recent example of this new definition of beauty is the eye-lid surgical procedure. Many Asian women go through surgical procedures to create a double lid effect uncommon in Asian eyes. Some people state that this procedure tries to imitate the Caucasian or western eyes. Others argue that it is more about enhancing ones own beauty in the same way as a white women would get plastic surgery to enhance their own beauty. Whatever it is, it is a procedure perpetuated by many Asian celebrities and continues to be one of the most profitable and common cosmetic surgical procedure. Eye-lid surgical procedures continues to be practiced most commonly among Asian women.
Another rising surgical procedure enhances the bridge of the nose of the Asian women to make it more prominent. Again, some people argue about the racial implications that goes behind this procedure. Whatever the arguments say and strive to point, it is true that these procedures are different and unique to Asian communities in different countries and within the United States.

Overall, plastic surgery has become a big issue as the idea of idealized beauty become all but the same everywhere you go. Even though the human race is diverse and our personal interpretation of beauty is as diverse as our own fingerprints the media perpetuates to us that there is only one type of beauty. This "beauty" is now see cross-culturally and not just within western civilizations.

I thought the documentary, "Killing Us Softly," was very informative. I think it's interesting how skinny models are these days and how we as a society perpetuate this look over and over in all types of media. I think there is definitely a connection between technology and this idea that it is hot to be this thin. Before airbrushing and other digital touch-ups, I don't see how this look could have gone so main-stream like it seems to be today. I do not think it is a coincidence that the cases of eating disorders in young girls continue to rise. It makes sense considering many of the body-types after touch-ups are unrealistic and unattainable by any human being.
I liked how Kilbourne spoke about how men are affected by advertising. They may not be impacted in the same ways as women, but I feel they are impacted none the less. The amount of men receiving cosmetic surgery these days seems to be higher than ever before. I think this may have something to do with how they are advertised to. A lot of men in ads are ripped. Not only are they mega muscly, but they are depicted many times as ultra-masculine. Unlike women, these looks are not unattainable by men. They could look like this, the easy way being cosmetic surgery and steroids. I think ads that promote this masculine look are encouraging men to live up to this standard and producing feelings of inadequacy if they can't, just like with women.
I also found it interesting when Kilbourne was talking about this relatively new way that food is being connected with sex. This seems like such an odd idea to me, it makes me wonder where this idea came from. I think there might be a connection between this idea and the way our society is hyper-sexualized. The way we have always seen food is the way society perpetuates ideas about sex. For example, food is good. Sex can be good. You can feel guilty after eating. You can feel guilty after sex. It's okay to indulge yourself once in a while. It's okay to indulge yourself in sex once in a while. Food can be a reward, so can sex. I can go on and on and yes it seems kind of far-fetched but the point I'm trying to make is part of our society being hyper-sexualized, is we hyper-sexualize things besides sex including food, if that makes any sense.
Kilbourne talked about some positive changes being done to change the way we are being advertised to. She specifically talked about the weight issue and models in the fashion industry. I think that this is a really good thing considering it is one of the most dangerous trends today. I know it's probably a ways away but it would be great if we put more value on health and teaching young people how to be healthy and love their own bodies the way that they are. I think if this was the normative message, people, especially young people, would have more self-esteem, and less incentive to buy in to material advertising.

It's interesting to consider how men are impacted by ads that include the "perfect" female. Kilbourne hinted at the idea that men judge these models to the women that surround them in an everyday setting. If that does in fact happen, then the standards of the average guy are going to rise. But how likely is that? It's difficult for me to imagine that Joe Lunch Pail, the most average of dudes, very literally thinks that he can get the super model looking woman. What makes it more difficult to imagine is that these super model looking women are about as rare as a four leaf clover. The desire for a grown man to want the model looking woman can easily be compared to the seven year olds desire for a rare pokemon card. Kilbourne actually makes a point of saying that fewer than 5% of women actually look the way that the majority of models do.
Also, the use of technology can be an absolute insult to the female (and likely male) models that are within the pages of magazines or on commercials. In the documentary the audience is assaulted by images of cleavage, legs, stomachs, asses and just about every other part of the human body. However, more likely than not, those body images were shown without the use of the models face. If the models face was show, in the case of females, the expression aided in the passive or overly sexualized position they were in. So, they are very literally only being used for their bodies! Thats true even if their faces are shown, but it's almost worse when all they want, or at least all they intend to use, is a shot of your boobs. That in turn really makes me wonder, and I also think it's inevitable, if models, mostly female, feel some sense of degradation. Or do they feel proud. Or do they feel guilty in upholding the impossible image of women that they know will be exposed to millions of women that do not, and almost cannot, ever look like them.
I initially, like others in the class, found it annoying how good Kilbourne looked. Nice clothes, nice necklace and clearly had her war paint on. However after a while I kind of realized that she, just like EVERYBODY else, wants to look good for what ever reason. But she has found a balance in looking good and doing so in a healthy and practical manner. It would have rad if she had made a point of that. Maybe if she had linked the image of the "overweight" model in the one magazine she showed to looking good in that healthy and practical (real life) manner.

I actually seen an older version of "Killing Us Softly" but I couldn't remember it so well where and when, but it was very similar to the older one. I was somewhat sad that the video didn't talk much about men and the queer community when it comes to understanding the effects from advertisement it was basically all about women and how advertisements can hurt us. It made me wonder if the queer community gets affected as bad as straight people or does it not affect them as much since the advertisements usually show straight people when there's some kind of romance going on.
I will admit, because I grew up with advertisements, I feel as though I have to get a paler skin and skinnier. It doesn't help that movies and TV shows also reinforce that certain body type and it's difficult to become confident about my body type. But I do realize more people are complaining about how skinny those models (that are most likely digitally enhanced) that they get disgusted. It also doesn't help when the BMI isn't very useful knowing if a person is healthy. I have friends that just have a fast metabolism and they try to gain weight but they can't. My brother is "overweight" but that's because he does a lot of sports throughout the whole year.
When it video comments about plastic surgery and the "ideal" body image for a girl, I was thinking about how in Korea, it's a common thing to get plastic surgery. Especially for the eyelids to make the eyes look bigger and sometimes the nose so there could be a bridge. Both of those characteristics seem very Caucasian to me and I feel as though Asia's ideal beauty lies in Caucasian characteristics. And sadly enough, in Korea, looks do matter. It gives you a higher chance to get a good steady job. For people who want to become celebrities in Korea, even if you have a talent in singing or acting, if you don't look good, you usually won't get picked by the company. If Korea was so judgmental on appearances, it's no wonder that it has one of the highest rates for cosmetic plastic surgery and plastic surgery is a cultural norm. In my opinion, I would only accept plastic surgery if it's for health concerns such as burn victims.
In Asia, using celebrities (even American celebrities) are commonly used for advertising. If Asian celebrities are commonly known for their plastic surgery, it makes sense that the cultural ideal of beauty is hit extremely hard. Even though it's mostly girls that get cosmetic surgeries, many of the men do it too in Korea.
I am curious why we have such a bad contradiction when it comes to beauty. There's the virgin whore dichotomy that is often used in advertisements. There are adults that wear more of the children styled clothes and vice versa. And there are people who say that beauty isn't everything wear a lot of make-up and dress up very fancy (like Kilbourne).

This isn't the ad I brought to class, but I've just came across this ad in a magazine. It is an ad for a Marc Jacobs perfume called "OH, LOLA!" The ad covers the whole back page of a Glamour magazine. It features Dakota Fanning in a nude dress fanned out around her with white polka dots. She is sitting back with a huge bottle of the OH, LOLA! Perfume in between her crotch. You can see that it's really in there because of the creases in her dress. At the top of the ad it reads "The New Fragrance for Women." So I decode this as: buy the perfume, it is the new way to make you and your vagina smell good and men will perform oral sex on you just to smell the perfume. My apologies, this is a little vivid but it is how I am reading this message.

One way to analyze this ad is through it's correlation. In the ad, all the colors are of the same shade. The background is a soft pink, Dakota Fanning's dress is very soft pink to nude colored, and the big bottle of perfume itself is a light passion fruit pink, which is bolder than the rest of the colors. And I must also mention the bottle of perfume is very appealing and pretty. The colors all relate to the bottle of perfume. Also, if we could connect the product to a body part, it would obviously be to the woman's vagina just because the bottle is placed right in between the thighs. That sends off a very sexual message linked to the perfume. The soft pink colors make the message very subtle and passive. The look on Dakota Fanning's face is kind of like "Look what I have in between my thighs, new perfume to make my vagina smell good. Get some."

Also, in relation to the video, "Killing Us Softly," the speaker talked about different ways women are portrayed in many ads. In the OH, LOLA! Ad, Dakota Fanning appears to be "experience but virginal" for obvious reasons with the perfume in her vagina. The colors give off a very girly, young and innocent vibe that will eventually blossom with the new perfume. Even with the name, "OH, LOLA" refers sexualizing a young girl. Usually, when I see anything with the word "OH" it usually gives off a signal of someone having a double take. It's like a guy giving a girl a second look, but this time it's like "OH.. You're a little grown and sexy now." Dakota has a very white and pure face with no makeup, small boobs and a short dress, which makes her look young, innocent and "fuckable." In addition, whenever I hear of Dakota Fanning, I just think of her while she was a young child actress in many popular movies which is weird to see her all sexualized.

This ad is quite sexual at first glance; you can see she is very intimate with the bottle of perfume. Then you realize, "OH" look at all the tricks this ad is trying to play with you. However, it won't trick me into buying a $50 perfume at Bloomingdales.

Blog Post 7

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On Tuesday my group analyzed an ad for Bed Head "Candy Fixations" hair products. The ad shows a woman on a red background wearing a bandeau top and licking a lollipop. The ad has the phrases "Scrunch me, prep me, tease me: introducing new Candy Fixations. Playful styling products for the ultimate, delectable texture experience." The sign is that the product provides "delectable" texture for your hair. The signifier is the hair product itself. The signified is the delectable texture. We used color mainly to analyze this ad. The background is red and white swirled, the woman is wearing a red top and her lips and lollipop are all shades of red, even her hair is kind of pinkish. The red color makes the reader think of candy and sweet stuff, which matches perfectly the "candy fixations" products. The slogan "Scrunch me, prep me, tease me" and the way the woman is eating the lollipop makes the ad provocative and sexual. We also thought the name of the product featured, called "Totally Baked," could be a drug reference since the ad is a little psychedelic. The product is clearly geared toward young women since the model looks very young.
The objects in this ad are correlative. The background is white and red swirled like peppermint, the woman is wearing a red and white striped top, has candy-pink lips and hair and is eating a lollipop. All these objects convey the candy theme of "candy fixations." The ad also appeared to have kind of a retro theme, because of the woman's top and her hair, which is curled up like a 50's beehive. That kind of hairstyle definitely shows how well the product works, but it's funny that they would use an out-of-style hairdo to sell their product to young people.

My initial reaction to the Killing Us Softly: 4 documentary was that I never realized how much I DIDN'T analyze the meanings of ads. I can remember myself, prior to taking this class, paging through magazines aimlessly not paying attention to provocativeness of each shocking ad. Most of the ads that Kilbourne displayed in her documentary were very shocking to me and made me really realize that advertising has come so far in terms of having hidden meanings. I am definitely guilty of viewing the "ideal" female body in terms of the model advertisements that seem to have flawless skin and perfect body tone. Kilbourne touched on this topic and I completely agree that technology, mainly photoshop, has lead our society to believe that the ideal image for a woman is nearly impossible to achieve and that in our journey to try to achieve this ideal image we must purchase countless products that promise to make us look like the models using them. This leads to another topic that was brought up by Kilbourne, the issue of the attainability of these advertising images. The images of models in ads are not attainable because there is too much retouching done to make them look absolutely perfect in every aspect. For example, there is no possible way that any human can completely get rid of their pores. Probably the most surprising thing to me that I learned from watching this documentary was that advertisements sometimes use different body parts from more than one person to create one body image. First, I never knew that this was even possible. Second, I am just wondering how this makes each of the models that are used for the ONE body image feel; to know that your lips, for example, were the only desirable, useful part of your entire body. I think that that is absurd and shows that our society is obsessed with perfection because of how images in ads are shown. It is like a cascading event, ads make our society want to be perfect and in turn advertisements are forced to enforce this by imaging perfection as ideal.

Another thing that I found very interesting that the documentary brought up was how ads tend to dehumanize women by turning them into things (such as a Heineken keg cooler) which, in turn, may lead to domestic violence. This is very surprising to me but makes sense because of how the women are being dehumanized, which makes it easy for men to see them as objects rather than people with feelings and emotions. To go along with this, Kilbourne also talked briefly about how men are depicted in ads. They are shown to be bigger, stronger, and more powerful. These are all common stereotypes of masculinity that most men actually do desire. I think in this way, men advertisement images have less consequences because they are just reinforcing masculinity.

While watching the film killing us softly, it really made me consider how big of a role advertisements play in my life. Kilbourne talked a lot about advertisements sending messages to us unconsciously, and how many people believe they are not affected by advertisements. I am one of those people who feel as though I block out the messages that advertisements are trying to send me, but its hard to know if that is really the case or not. Watching the documentary made me wonder how many of those ads have played a part in who I am today, and how many of those ads have shaped my beliefs about myself and others, even though I believe they haven't. What struck me the most was watching how drastically advertisers could photo shop people, especially when they are literally cropping and pasting different parts of people onto another. In many of my other classes we are discussing advertisement, and its interesting to see how drastically they have changed, yet they still have one general focus: to persuade people to buy products that they don't essentially need to live, and how many of those products are in a sense exactly the same. When advertising first began, the main goal was to persuade Americans to buy products they didn't need, they wanted to start a culture of consumerism because of the new invention of mass-producing products. Clearly, advertisers have succeeded, but in a very harmful way to society. One thing that really doesn't make sense to me when it comes to the portrayal of women in advertisements is the ideal to be grossly skinny. Every psychology class I have taken has proven that what men find most attractive is a women with curves, and if what those advertisers are trying to do is make women believe that that is what men what, they are completely false. Although the idea that women should buy products, dress a certain way and even look a certain way to appeal to a man is an issue, the same is true for the way men are portrayed in ads. Men are portrayed as super muscular, very strong and very powerful, but not every women desires a man based on those qualities. Kilbourne is right on target with the fact that our culture of consumerism needs to change; the hard part is enacting that change. Watching her documentary really made me wonder what needs to happen in order for that change to take place. With the amount of harm the advertising industry has put on American society regarding women being objectified, and the beginning of men being portrayed in that same sense, as well as issues with body image and self esteem, makes me wonder what is going to come next, what drastic event is going to happen, to make advertisers realize they need to take a different approach in selling us their products.

My advertising example was an advertisement from Apple for the iPhone. It contains a hand with the pointer finger extended touching the iPhone. The back ground is dark the only illuminated object is the iPhone and the hand touching it. The text reads "Touching is believing" and then there is some light text underneath that gives information about where we can buy the phone. In regard to William's paper the advertisement is for a commodity and shows that commodity. We do not ask yourselves the question of why touching an iPhone would make us believers, more importantly believers in what? The advertisement wants us to believe in the iPhone as a commodity. The phone is portrayed as sleek and slick, if we want to be sleek and slick as the advertisement suggests, we better get an iPhone.

The structure of meaning in the advertisement is the biggest puzzle of this particular ad though. It almost bares looking over the advertisement again and asking why they chose the statement "Touching is believing". We see the hand touching the iPhone and the meaning of this visual appears to be the ease of the iPhone for its user. It was the first phone that had a touch screen after all, however when we touch the touch screen it's not necessarily any different than touching an older model and we do not necessarily believe in iPhone more than before. However, the meaning becomes clear on further analyses. The background is dark and the only objects illuminated are the phone and the hand. The phone then becomes beneficial to us as a society. The phone is taking us out of the darkness that we were in prior to the phone's advent. The finger touching plus the illumination makes us believers in the phone.

The sign is the illumination after the touch of the phone. The signifier is the iPhone and signified is the feeling of ease with the use of the phone. These are important to distinguish because they further create the meaning of the iPhone and eventually will effect are decision on buying the phone or not. The sign of bright illumination gives us a meaning of escape from the darkness of the world surrounding the iPhone. This gives us a feeling of being at ease and then we see the side of the iPhone and the ability to actually touch the screen of the phone to operate it. The signifier, the iPhone, is what Apple is trying to sell to us and they have accomplished it with this ad, because they create a pleasant meaning surrounding the iPhone and this makes us want to buy an iPhone.

The text of "Touching is believing" is derived from "Seeing is believing". These are the copy writings that make great advertisements, because they are simply. We automatically know exactly what they are trying to say in the copy writing. We see the product of the iPhone and the hand with the finger touching the phone so we know what the advertisement is selling. It's a simply advertisement that is very good and effective.

Ad prompt

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In class on the Tuesday I brought in the ever so classy, Softcups ad. I feel that this ad demonstrates more then one sign. One is that periods are gross as a sign, the signfier could be that she is having fun without it, and the signified periods are no fun. Second is that Softcups make you a more fun and cool person as sign. The signifier could be the girl in bed in a fun colorful room, and the signified could be the fun you would have without a period.

My ad has very intentional color. The colors are bright to make the product appear young, and to remove the sterile idea that white colors should have demonstrated. The condition of the room could provoke memories of younger possibly college times. This ad also has a paragraph of writing, none of which provides any real information about the product. Lastly the picture of the image itself is very small and placed in the corner.

On Tuesday,I brought to class an ad from what presumably is a gender-neutral news-related magazine,The Economist.The ad was about a white All-New Range Rover Evoque car.In the background was a sky-blue environment with sparkling red, while and purple lights surrounded by sky-high story buildings.There was also a long bridge descending onto the city center. The sign for the ad is that having such an imposing car in the city is really cool and nice.The signifier is of cource this All-New Range Rover Evoque.The signified is the presence of power in a cozy city as the one in the background in the ad.There is a text question at the top of the page that asks "In the city that attracts millions,could a car like this be as magnetic?" The color of the car even speaks of luxury,style, and capability such that it would exude unprecedented presence especially for the rich and upper middle class men because given the luxury of the car,I don't think working class men can afford such,with all due respect to them.And although it could also mean women could buy such and attract men,it's more likely men would be more inclined to buy such a car than women would.And when such a busy city with millions of people from all walks of life show up at various entertainment centers,nightclubs,bars, and hotels,millions feel your presence as a man with the Benjamins,perhaps.Many such men would like to "belong" to their class or type of men to proudly know who truly they are or who they represent.If they don't,they are "left behind" by their peers,which is not a good thing because not acquiring such a luxurious car would mean you are "missing in action" (MIA).

Ad Blog Prompt

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On Tuesday I brought in an ad that my group analyzed. The ad involved a hybrid-car sitting in front of a steakhouse. The steakhouse had a cow on top of it and bright-red lights. The steakhouse also had yellow christmas lights hanging from it. It appeared to be nighttime in the ad as well. The signifier of the ad was the combination of the car and the steakhouse together. The signified is the idea of manliness, showed by the western looking steakhouse with the brick road in front of it and the cattle on top all surrounding the car. The sign of the things combined was that the hybrid car is manly. To further analyze this ad I will use the idea of colors. The black sky shows the night and that the steakhouse is nightlife for these people that drive this car. The red light that shows the steakhouse is very bright and draws attention to the fact that it is indeed a steakhouse. The car is a sleek silver that reflects all of the surrounding light in the picture, helping it stand out among all other things right along with the red sign. The ad is meant for "hick" people who normally would drive trucks and such and shows that people of that area can drive hybrids as well, possibly when they do things like go out at night.
This also fits under the idea of a contrasting ad. Normally at places like steakhouses, more masculine places for farmers or ranchers, or more generally "countryfolk", you would find big trucks or at the very least an SUV. While even farmers are thought to be "environmentally friendly", they usually work with things that guzzle gas and are more concerned with getting jobs done than thinking of fuel efficiency. Also, maybe it is thought that country people do not go out at night like people in the city do, but this steakhouse is a place that "hicks" can relate to as a dancing venue to take their woman, such as shown by the couple dancing in the window. The man is wearing a cowboy hat and boots, furthering the idea of a rancher. The car is a contrast for what we would expect in this picture as a truck. The contrast provides a certain bit of shock value and to be honest, the car looks sleek and cool in the lighting it is in. The ad shows that people live in the country and use trucks to work and such can still own small hybrid cars, even if they are only used as a leisure vehicle to take on a night out on the town.

Jace Frederick

Do not post any DQS for Thurs

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FREEBIE WEEK.
No one posted any for today and Thursday we will be spending most the time watching a documentary with its own DQs. But please read the very few pages I assigned because I will refer to them in our discussion.
Thanks!
Melody

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