July 16, 2007

RR nickle and dimed

I love this article, I actually found myself reading beyond what I had originally set my goal as. I gagged when she described the “decomposing lemon wedges and the water-logged toast crusts in the sinks at the restaurant, especially when she started talking about the lack of hand washing in the restaurant. It makes me think about when I have gone to restaurants, were they as unhygienic? Is that mystery green sauce on that pasta or pasta supposed to be green?

Her description of the supervisors “whose job it was to monitor…for signs of sloth, theft, drug abuse, or worse? reminded me of some supervisors I’ve had. The portion about having to clean the floor with a decrepit vacuum cleaner reminded me of a specifically sadistic supervisor.

The informal, first-person perspective of this paper is awesome. I always love this method of persuasion, because much as people like to think that they are logical human beings that think everything through rationally, they aren’t. This method of persuasion is so much more effective than other methods, and this article effectively brings its target audience to the author’s point of view.

July 7, 2007

On Cop out

I read Christpher Sieving’s essay on how “white power had to repress Ice-Ts black knowledge by seizing control of it and making it mean in very different ways.? Now I have to ask a question. Are my eyes deceiving me, or is this actually a peer reviewed work that believes Ice-T was unfairly treated by the media?
He made a song called “Cop Killer,? in this song; he describes the killing of a cop. He justifies it by saying “A pig stopped me for nothing.? Police risk their lives so that I can be safe, I will feel sympathy for the police long before I feel any sympathy for people that not only call for the killing of cops, but profit from it.
A song that calls for the killing of cops is evil. Hating that song isn’t evil, it should be common sense. Ice-T was not the victim of racism, he profited from the apparent belief that an attack on a black man, or a black idea, can’t be just an attack on an evil man, or an evil idea.
I could go into excruciating detail about all of these points, but I have decided not to. I am tired of hearing women and minorities whine about how they are the victims or media oppression. These topics have become cliché, and I am tired of arguing them. Suffice it to say, if this is all that college English has to offer, I think other than grammar, it has absolutely nothing worthwhile to contribute to society.

June 28, 2007

RR # 2 Homosexual Batman

So Batman Forever is really trying to sell homosexuality and is an allegorical clash between "democratic corporate cpitalism" and "predatory capitalism." Well, I guess if the media wants me to be a gay communist there isn't anything I can do. Time to break out the rainbow colored hammer and sickle. Seriously, I really did like reading this article, if only to read about the "masturbatory self consumption of Bad Capitalsim"
I found it strange though that midway through, the author turned to the marketing strategy of the movie. This line was interesting, but wasn't on topic. If you are going to do an interpretation of Batman that says it is trying to make all of America into homosexuals, why do I need to know about its marketing strategy?
I really wish we would read research papers that would really help us understand what is expected of us and what we really should be looking for in our own papers. The previous paper was marred by lack of clear direction for some students.

June 13, 2007

Intro

After reading the introduction to the world is a text, I am struck by the fact that so far, we have not read a formal paper, and I am so glad of it, because informal writing seems to be a much better way of communicating ideas. The best, most correct, and informative work does not matter if no one reads it, and this author keeps our attention by talking directly to the reader in informal language.

I do think though that the author digressed too much in his study of signs. I spent much of that chapter saying to myself “What!, you mean that signs are symbols and some things have meanings that others attach to them? Blasphamy I say!? If ever there was an example of reading too much into something, that was it. I wrote that last sentence, and then saw the reference to the Semiotician Ferdinand de Saussure and now I want to ask these questions, “Who decides to become a Semiotician?? “Who decides to spend their entire life studying signs?

The portion on reading advertisements interested me, not because I didn’t already know that companies such as Starbucks and Tommy Hilfiger use this exclusive, rich, cool image in order to attract customers, I just really like seeing it in print. I wonder how many people just go through life not realizing that they are being manipulated like that and how can people be so dumb as to believe that if you drink beer, it will make you cool and really hot women will surround you and have sex with you. Then I remember that many Iraqis believe that the glasses that soldiers wear allows them to see under women’s clothing and I come to the conclusion that yes, people are that dumb.
The author is right that people need to read more into things and not take things at face value. We as a society and a species are cognitively lazy, and it has come to bite us in the posterior quite a few times now. I look back and I think about the times I haven’t read deeper into things and just accepted things at face value.

Overall though, the book looks like it will be extremely helpful in the coming course. Quite frankly, I need myself to be able to look deeper into things, and I definitely need to improve my ability to write formally, and I think that this book can set the stage for that.