May 1, 2007

Cultures of Coffman

I observed the area in Coffman called The Cube. Earlier this year I had no idea that this place existed. I would always walk past it's upper level entrance by the Washington Ave bridge and wonder what was inside. By the looks of it on the outside I always imagined it as a bus stop or just a glass box One day I finally noticed that people were coming out of the doors. It wasn't the most exiting thing in the world, but the mystery behind the glass was figured out.
Judging from the outside I figured that it would be a small food cour with stores surrounding the seating areas. I was proven wrong by first walking through the hall connecting it to Coffman. There was a printer/copier store and Gopher Express on the left of me. I noticed that most people in the copy place seemed like foreign students there to copy important documents. They all were using the machines with out the aid of the workers. It was pretty much a self service center, which made it more efficient for college students on the go. The Gopher express had professors, staff and students going in and out. they all were buying quick foods, like sandwiches, candy bars and soft drinks. Their wasn't a specific class or gender it was random. They seemed to be the type of people who didn't have the time or resources to make their own lunch, that's pretty much expected from a college.
There was also a Starbucks and post office. There was an abundance of different races and people through out the cube. Many people seated were in groups and converted the tables into desks. The individuals that were sitting alone had heaphones on and were kind of created their own place to work. By havin their head phones on they were shutting out the noises of mutiple conversations and cofee blenders. It was a good place to go study and for a quick meal.
The view was just the Washing Ave bridge connecting to the west bank. I liked how there was a patio for sitting outside on nice days, but it was pretty grey. All of the chairs and tables were grey. The walls were blank except for a few photos of campus on one wall by the communication kiosks. It wasn't really inviting and it felt empty for a small space. The high roof definitely made it seem larger than it appeas and adds inerest to the grey tones of the area.
This assignment was a nice change from just staying in the classroom. It was good to watch the environment around and not focus on just writing down ideas. Alhough, it felt weird watching people It was interesting to not only worry about getting something done, but observe the surroundings and cultures of the Cube.

April 24, 2007

How I see the suburbs

To me, the word suburb is synomous to bland. Think about it, all the houses, people, and cars look the same. Everything is clean cut just like the lawn. The neighbors will complain about every little thing. Weed in your yard, your tree growing onto their property, and even accidentally gettlng your dog loose once or twice. There is so much space that I can do cart wheels and fit a pool in my back yard. It's really privacy and space, yet at the same time I feel watched. My neighbors like to stay in their yard or look out of their window at us. It is easy to get lost because the streets are coldasacs or go around only certain neighborhood called Pine Ridge, or something else that has to do with the woods. There are only corporate jobs or assembly ones for the company headquaters like Best Buy or Medtronic. To get anywhere you need a car. There is little or no bus routes to the mall or library. All your money goes to upping your neighbors yard, car, or pool. It all seems so perfect, but I can't stand it for too long. Sooner or later I couldn't wait to leave all of the seclusion behind me.

I first lived in Minneapolis for most of my life, in middle school my family moved to Brooklyn Park. My parents chose the place because of work and a "better" neighborhood for their kids to grow up in. The quietness drives me up the wall, literally, me and my friend would climb onto my roof to look at stars and my neighbors would complain about the "noise" that we were causing. I've lived in both areas for about the same amount of time and now since college started I'm back in the city. I call it " my Home". In the city there are always people out and about going to there many destination down/up town. The bus can get you anywhere! I love it. Where else can I go to get Vietnamese and German food on the same street? The suburbs there is lack of diversity in income, culture, and lifestyle. Which is why I prefer the cities.

April 11, 2007

Advertising and People of Color

This article addresses most of the racial stereotypes in the commercials. Yes, they were true, but that was long ago. These were commercials from more than a decade ago and hopefully no one is ignorant enough to believe them. It is disappointing to know that they reinforce the stereotypes though. Mostly, you see commercials that deal with gender roles these days. Like for house hold products, the woman of the house is seen using the product and not the man. That's a whole different subject but it still is related to stereotypes and how they are portrayed on tv.

These commercials are a falsely picturing the groups of people involved. Today, the issue is being resolved because their is more integration of people from different ethnic groups. There's this pad commercial that has a white lady doing some kind of martial arts to stop a water tower from leaking. Usually people associate martial arts with asians so at least that wasn't done. Also I was not surprised about these commercials, instead of having these stereotypes displayed in the commercials, they are done in a comedic way. Comedians take these stereotypes and use them in their jokes. It's funny but kind of bad because it seems that only comedians that makes these jokes must keep it in their racial groups. For example Dave Chappelle and Carlos Mencia. Although, they do make fun of other ethnic groups, most of it is accepted. I think that is kind of weird, but I think it's because America knows that they are just being funny and don't mean for the jokes to be offensive.

April 3, 2007

Femisnist Article

This article pointed out many things in the Disney movies that I never observed. I didn't realize how the women are always the antagonists, except in Beauty and The Beast. When my niece was 4 years old she asked me, "Why are all the step moms bitches?" I gave her this look and she and asked her to repeat her question, she changed it to witches. Even as a young child I never thought of it that way and didn't see the correlation with the females in the same movies that my 4 year old niece was watching. Her step mother is my older sister so I thought she was talking about that, hopefully not. It's amazing how smart pre-schoolers can be.
I had always hated Disney movies because all of the singing and the female characters were too girly. The article also pointed out that the women are absent in the climax of the movies, like fight scenes I guess. I realized that it was true. I don't remember that much from the movies, but I think it's mostly true. Often, the females fall asleep some how or they are trapped and need to be rescued by the prince. I'm not surprised because the females are portrayed as delicate flowers and are powerless unless they are the antagonist.
Although the authors did make sense at certain times, it was very analytical and in a bad way. I would never see those movies as that. It is expected of fairy tales to have a prince save the day. The authors contridicted eachother by saying that Pochahontas and Bell were exceptions. They were "rebellious" and had to give up themselves for love. Naturally, the movies would change with the times and that's why the women had different mindsets and went for what they wanted.
Simply, I think these movies are made to enjoy and should not be looked into too deeply.

March 26, 2007

In Living Color ....White is Cool

I was infurated by the statement that Al Campanis made to Ted Koppel about how "blacks may not have some of the same necessities to be, let's say, a field manager or perhaps a general manager". I find that totally untrue. If given the opportunity and if the person has the desire to do so, anyone can manage the LA Dodgers. I wouldn't even want to imagine how he would respond to women managing sports (not that I know of any, besides from high school). The author was right in stating that the exclusion "was justified on the basis of biological "difference"". It is unfair to say that blacks are only capable of do the sport and not have top corporate positions or manage the team. I don't understand how people in these days can be so narrowminded and idiotic like Al Campanis.

When thinking of shows that depict iferential racism was difficult because it's "invisible".I could think of a places though. Does Abercrombie and Fitch fit into the category of inferential racisim because they portray the store as mainly forwhite people? There has been a huge (if not multiple) law suit(s) over minorities being put in the stock room while white employees are greeters and sales associates. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the store to me is overtly racist. I have never seen any black, asian or latino posters of these models nailed to the wall or greeting you at the door. They don't come out and say it, but to me the image they portray is that "White is cool" which is what makes it inferential i guess. These clues lead you to think that the store is for "cool and rich" white kids. I don' t understang why that label sells to so many, including minorities. I feel sorry for them wasting their money on that crap. I've seen differently at Hollister which is owned by A&F, but I think that is to avoid anymore law suits again.

The overt ones were easier to think of like Will and Grace, South Park, Chappelle's show. Although it is wrong to exaggerate and reinforce the stereotypes it is undoubtedly funny to most. I think it's more humorous to those who don't take it more seriously as others and there are just those that are ignorant and still find it funny.
This is the most I have ever written on my blog. I hope that it is at least some if not all relevant to the topics discussed in class today.

March 1, 2007

Class and Virtue

Parenti's view on TV's portraysl of the upper class as virtuous is proven wrong by the show Smallville. Lex Luther is heir to Luther Corp. He is friends with Clark Kent who is a simple farm boy. The show portrays the upper-class(Lex) as a manipulative villian who uses black mail to get his ways. In contrast his good friend Clark is a super hero and has higher values than Lex. Even though Lex has a fortune and any other materialistic things, he's not really as happy as Clark because he has to scheme to get his fortunes.
This show is an example of how the rich can have everything they want but still be unhappy. Lex has family issues just like anyone else but his are so difficult to resolve unlike normal people.

When people see shows that have the wealthy as successful in their finances and personal lives the less fortunate look at them with envy, but when the wealthy go through the same difficulties and personal issues more attention is payed to those details and that becomes the focus of attention.
In general people like to see bad things happen to rich people and that's what makes a show worth watching.

February 15, 2007

I'm racist and I like Will And Grace

I know that I'm not racist. I have had pre-conceived thoughts of different types of other people, but that is not racism. The author calls it a siblingism though. This article applies to everyone around the world. I would like to meet a person who cannot relate to the article, everyone is prejudice, sexist or biast in someway or another although we don't like to admit it. Today, not everyone wan'ts to admit it because we all want to be politically correct and not hurt anyone's feelings. The article was very short in itself, bu it did have a point. To me, most of the things were obvious already and I'm like "what else is new?".
The Will and Grace article was very opinionated and i know that was the whole point of the article. Mehta did prove the point intended and I was covinced by the end. I do enjoy the show no matter how much it is exaggerated that is what makes it funny. Because it is a comedic show many of it's characters are expected to be exaggerated, especially stereotypes. If it was not then the show would just a drama, not a dramedy.

February 6, 2007

Cop Killer

This week's reading brought up all these feelings inside me, mostly confusion. All the name dropping that the author did was probably for writing reasons. Other than that it was hard to understand the differnence between the events following the release of the song. It would have been nice to have the background info that Becky provided at the beginning of class. After hearing the story my opinion of the article was even more cemented.
I thought that the author provided a understanding of the contreversy going on behind the song. I like how it told of the tripling of the album's sales instead of the decline that the opposers wanted. It gives truth to the saying that " Any publicity is good publicity" even if it's bad.
In class we dicusse the issue of there being a "black thing" or a "white thing"; for this case I think that it is mixed. It is bad to generalize the issue like Mackenzie said in class, but back then I think the black community was easier to relate to what happened more than white people. When Ice-T said it was a "black thing", he was probably saying that because some one with the same background was killed and people outside from that wouldn't get it.

January 29, 2007

Anne Lamott

I really enjoyed this piece. The way that it is written is casual and comprehendable. It was quite short and got right to the point for me which was another plus. Unlike the "Ways of Seeing" assignment, I only had to read this once and I understood what the authort was saying.
I can relate to her best when she would get side tracked by doing other tasks before actually get to the writing. Even my roommates take at least 4 hours for a 3-5 page paper. When she encourages the reader to "just get it all down on paper" was kind of weird. I think it's a waste of paper unless you're typing. If your not going to use the material then why write so much just to throw the unused idea away.
It was a surprise to find out that professional writers also go through the same process. Not really a surprse, but good to know since I thought professionals sit down in front of the computer and magic happens. The idea of just putting down what ever thoughts for the draft is silly but in the end it could be worth it in the end.

January 20, 2007

Ways of Seeing

The reading assigned for the week was "Reading and Writing About Art" and "Ways of Seeing". What interested me was the first article. Prior to reading it, I felt confused about what "Art" really was; especially when it came to comtemporary art I don't know how to react. I like how the article pointed out that contemporary art can reflect current events. I never really thought of it that way. To me contmeporary art was just something thrown together. I now have a better appreciation for it now each time I visit the Weisman or the Walker.
It was helpful in explaining what high and low art is also. Though, who is really to dictate what can be high or low? In general art cannot be defined by anyone. What I consider to be art could be trash to some one else or visa versa. People will always have different views when it comes to one thing or another. I depends on knowledge, experience and perception of the viewer.
The second article, "Ways of Seeing" gave me a headache. I don't understand what the author meant by "mystification". There was a good point made about observing the expressions on painting though. It was helpful on pointing that out on this piece. When it came to these portraits I never thought to interpret expressions or lighting. For me, Tto have some knowledge behind the piece of art is helpful in interpreting it.