Sunday, December 9, 2012

Reflecting on my Blogs Expansion

I want to start off by saying thank you to my fellow bloggers who have viewed this page, you've helped me reach 800 views!!!

     I always thought of blogging for English 1A as a creative exercise for homework. We get to write about how we feel about something, and respond to an issue or someone's writing. I want everyone to know that if you think that this is just some silly school blog, than you're wrong.

    I learned this semester by viewing my audience of my blog page that there's people reading my blogs all around the world. I was shocked to learn how many people around the world were reading what I wrote for our English class, especially since I never sent my link out to anyone. Here's the stats that I saw today when I looked into my audience and where the viewers came from:

United States
United Kingdom
Hong Kong

My favorite blogs that I did this semester were Evantureland (Our advertisement blog on our ideal community) and The Great Evantures (5 photo collage). I'm majoring in filmmaking and I love creative writing so I felt that our ideal community blog really let us be free to express how we would like society to be and how it can be improved  upon. I also liked my Great Evantures blog because I was able to express where I came from, where I am, and where I hope to go.

Even though I may be done with English blogs now, this blog page will go on and I will continue to update it. I've been inspired from learning that people around the world are actually reading what I'm writing. I didn't get a chance to finish my video on Global Warming yet, but when I do this will be the first place that I post it up on.

My best work is yet to come, for this creative writer hasn't even scratched the surface of his full potential.

The Great Evantures

Life is what you make of it.
Life itself is an adventure.

The Beginning
I grew up in Southern California, where I became a passionate skateboarder. I loved skateboarding, I lived to ride that board and compile a bunch of footage and edit my skateboarding videos. I started off in 6th grade with a board and my bag of tricks was empty. As I grew, I progressed, and I worked my way up to becoming a sponsored skateboarder.

The Transition
As I grew older I began to realize that there is so much else in the world besides my board with four wheels. I began to realize that the SKY's the LIMIT. I began to feel this urge inside of me telling me that there's some job out there with my name on it that could influence others in some way. I was in high school when I realized how much I enjoyed creative writing and filmmaking.

The Present
Now I'm in college, pursuing my dream to become a filmmaker. I've got a few short stories and scripts under my belt now, but I know the that the best is yet to come. I've merely began my journey of education in my field. I know I have so many mistakes to make and lessons to learn. I've always loved art and stories, now I'm studying the art of storytelling through filmmaking. I love waking up after dreaming of a script or story and knowing that since perfection is always going to be out of reach, that leaves me with limitless room for improvement. I can try and master something that will never be mastered and I'm fine with that because that means my next piece can always be better than the last one. Right now I'm working on a short film that's going to be my best yet and I'm looking forward to completing it real soon.

The Future
As it says in my fortune "Allow yourself time - you will reach success." This represents how we have control of our destiny. I will not rush my own projects or try to jump into anything that I'm not prepared for. I will be calm, collective, and ready for problems to arise because a big part of making films is having a knack for problem solving. I can't get furious when there's a sound issue or something, I just need to be prepared for the worst and thing of how I will get past the roadblock in my way. I must decide if I will go around it, climb over it, or just break right through it. Either way I will be ready for obstacles to arise before me along my journey into the art of filmmaking.
There's always two sides to every story, as there's two sides to every coin. There's always the good and the bad, two paths to choose from. We always must decide which way we will go when there's a fork in road that we call life. I may not be able to predict the future or my outcome, but at the end of the day our fate is within our own hands. Our success is measured by one person only and that's ourselves. You must have self-confidence in order to take pride in your work. Progression is made by the individual striving to do better than before, to improve on what they're working on. As Chris McCandless said, "If you want something in this life,  reach out and grab it." 

The Dark Side                                                                                   The Bright Side

Into the Wild: The River

Chris endured sixty-seven days in the wild when he realized that the gentle knee-deep creek he had easily crossed had became way deeper due to the rain and snowmelt from glaciers high in the Alaska Range. Throughout the novel we see how strong of a man Chris is and how much he goes through on his journey, and this really symbolizes how he's just a man. People aren't perfect and no one can do "everything" right, we all have our flaws, imperfections, and our fears. Some people can control their fears better than others.

We come to learn that Chris isn't a good swimmer and that the Teklanika had went from a creek to a whitewater river. Chris is in fact afraid of the water. He believed that he would've been pulled into the rapids long before he could've swam across the river.

Chris wrote in his journal, "Disaster…. Rained in. River look impossible. Lonely, scared." He felt that he would've died if he attempted to cross the river. On page 170 it describes that Chris could've possibly mad it across the river before going into the rapids or catching hypothermia, if he dog-paddled and hopped along the bottom as he drifted downstream.

This is a real turning point in the novel because now Chris really begins to see that he may get stuck in the wild and that he can't leave whenever he wants. This is when reality wakes him up from this beautiful landscape and he realizes that this is the wild, where he has gone unprepared for the worst which is coming upon him.

Into the Wild: Chris and I

Chris McCandless was a man who loved an adventure to say the least. He saw the worst in society, and the best in some people. On his way to Alaska, he touched a lot of people's lives. When he got too close, he had to leave an continue the journey he set forth upon. Not only did he want to live in the wild alone, but he went unprepared and knew that there was a chance he wouldn't come back. It's unfortunate that he wasn't able to come back after he had learned so many lessons about life. As he said "Happiness only real when shared."If he thought this way before he left, he may have not gone to Alaska and/or if he did he may have not gone alone. 

I have a few things in common with Chris, one is that I too love a great adventure. Chris loved to tell stories of his life and as I filmmaker I can really relate to his passion to not only tell stories, but live them as well.

Chris went through a lot of stress when he found out that his dad was living two separate lives, I have divorced parents but I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to figure out that your dad secretly has another family with another woman.

I feel like what Chris did was selfish in a way because he didn't just leave his family and friends by going to Alaska, but he didn't go prepared and he went alone. There was nothing safe about what he did   and he knew that and would likely come to regret it in the end.

     Chris didn't like the way society was and he was a very smart young man. I wish he could've had a greater desire to influence others because I feel that he had the potential to become a very successful writer. In the book and the movie you see how much of an impact he had on those that he encountered on his way to Alaska and he had the potential to make an impact on people at a much larger scale if he didn't go "Into the Wild".

     I feel like I connect with Chris's concerns about society, but unlike Chris I want to share my views with others as much as I can, that's one reason why I want to become a filmmaker and I just wish that chris realized that happiness is only real when it's shared before he left so that his life lessons didn't cost him his life.

Family Values Decreasing as Technology is on the Rise

With technology on the rise people have been spending more time checking their e-mails and less time keeping in touch with their family. The love is still there, but the appreciation of being together isn't as strong as it use to be. When you only see your family over the holidays, you realize how different things are now than they use to be.                                                                                                                                                                                             When text messaging while driving became illegal because it was such a common cause for accidents, people should have realized how obsessive we've become to using our phones and computers.
Watching T.V. use to be something special, it use to be a family event that happened once a night. Now people watch multiple shows everyday and it's not "special" anymore and it's definitely not the family event it once was.

People are spending less time together in person and are spending more time signed into Facebook updating their status. Sure Facebook helps people stay in touch, but when you're checking your page under the dinner table or under a desk in class you know that it's consuming a lot of your time and attention.

If people weren't so obsessed with their virtual self their would be less time on the computer and the phone and they would give more attention to their family around them.

     They say that your family is always there for you. Some may say that's not true and that their social networks are always there for them, but they are wrong. They are always there to be on their social network. You can't replace the love of your family by having over 1,000 friends on Facebook. When it comes down to it, your best friends and your family are supporting you and they deserve to have your attention and time more than your electronic devices.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Global Warming, Things are Heating Up

Global warming is the most import problem that mankind has ever faced, the future of the world is in our hands.

This growing issue is acknowledged but the sense of urgency is not there, and it needs to be in order for us to make the drastic changes needed to preserve what life we have left on earth.

Politicians like Paul Ryan argue that global warming doesn't exist, but pictures don't lie and they represent how REAL global warming is and how serious of an issue it is as well.

I don't know how much clearer the message can be, there's no denying the fact that if we don't make a change that Al Gore is right when he said, "What we take for granted might not be here for our children."

The world needs to acknowledge that global warming should be our top priority. Over the last nine years approximately 4,500 U.S. soldiers have been killed in Iraq. War is expected to have it's share of casualties.

 If these pictures weren't strong enough evidence for people to take global warming seriously, you would think that the European heat wave of 2003 that killed nearly 35,000 people would make people think twice about the reality of global warming.

 All around the world there is snow and ice melting faster than ever before. What we're seeing is a decrease in the amount of glaciers which elevates our sea level. If this continues there will eventually be no more ice in the world, fresh water supplies will become scarce, and some of are favorite places in the world will be under water.

So you're probably asking yourself, how did we get in this mess, but more importantly how will we get out of it?

There's a few things we need to take a look at before we can jump into the solution.

A major contributor to global warming is the amount of carbon we emit, there are more people in the world than ever before now and cars, trains, and airplanes are being used more than ever as well.

Our carbon emission is building up greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere, which are trapping solar radiation within our atmosphere. Thus, our world is becoming hotter and hotter.

Our biggest problem lies within going from a competitive market to a cooperative market. We need to stop doing what makes the most money and start working on using products that make the world a better place.  

Instead of pumping gas into all of our cars and releasing tons of carbon, we could be using biomass fuels.

What's biomass fuels?

Any plant or animal matter used to produce energy is biomass. Biomass fuels are renewable and widely available, most importantly they are carbon-neutral. Not to mention that the production of biomass fuels can provide employment in the rural areas.

There are so many different alternative sources of energy that we can use that will reduce the expansion of greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere.

There's the power of the sun, the wind, and water.

Windmills have been used for a while, but if they can become more mainstream and common it will only help the fight to contain global warming from causing more damage to the world we inhabit.

Solar panels are becoming more common and are now often seen on top of houses, but they can be used more too. Solar panel cars are very rare, but they are better for the environment then the cars most of us drive.

Still we see that there are alternative sources of energy and that we can utilize them more than we are now. Technology has been advancing rapidly, hopefully our efforts to reduce the greenhouse affect and the expansion of global warming advance rapidly as well.

We need more people to contribute to the effort of resolving global warming and in order for us to provoke this change, we must act collectively and let our voices be heard and our actions be seen.

Monday, December 3, 2012

What Race are You? ... The Human Race

What is race?

Race is a cultural method of classifying human biological variation.

Race is not a biologically valid or meaningful concept, yet race is a powerful social construction that varies from society to society.

     Racism may not be as common as it once was, but it still exists. Some people simply carry the beliefs that were passed on to them by their parents and so forth. Science has proven that everyones DNA is over 99% the same, yet racism still survives. You may find yourself asking why is race still a big part of our culture. One major reason is because the media hasn't changed still depicts differences between race and it shows in their depiction of their characters.

     Stereotypes live on in TV shows and in their ads, with "target audiences." If you look at the Brady Bunch and the Prince of Bel-Air you can see huge differences in the plots of the episodes and the writing, as in the dialogue of the families. Both families are successful, but they have different "family" values and they speak to each other very differently. Even their opening songs and intros are completely different, and even though it may be a different time period you can look at other family shows and compare them to one another.

     In one episode of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Will needs to work with kindergartners to get enough credits to graduate high school, this is something you would never see in the Brady Bunch show. Their stories aren't as radical, for example the Brady Bunch might be looking for a lost dog while Will is trying to prove to his uncle that he is a man and should be treated like one.

    Until George Lopez had his show, I never heard of a tv show about a hispanic family. I've still yet to see a show about an asian family. There are a lot of stereotypes out there and there's also a lot of ethnicities and races not being represented equally on television.

     I'm not saying that there is some specific way to get rid of racism and these stereotypes, but if we get the media to stop portraying this division of races we will be taking a step in the right direction. By getting TV shows to portray how people are similar to one another rather than how they different, we will be giving kids a more positive message that there is no race besides the human race.

Next time you see one of these show ask yourself two things, is this giving a positive representation of people in general or is this simply another source of media contributing to the stereotypes of different races?


Phil Collins says in one of his songs "Two worlds, one family," he may have wrote that for Disney's Tarzan movie, but I still think we should live in one world with one family and we shouldn't let anything get in the way of making that a reality.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Grey: Movie Review

     The Grey is about John Ottway (Liam Neeson), who snipes wolves in Alaska to protect oil workers. He goes on an airplane with a bunch of the workers who are going home, but they crash in the middle of the wilderness. John takes charge of the survivors who are stranded in the woods, where the wolves are at the top of the food chain.

     This movie wasn't great or amazing, but it was really good for a suspense/thriller movie. I liked the plot, the hunters became the hunted, and I found this movie to actually have some symbolism. There's a note that he keeps with him, it's the item of significance, but I can't tell you more. You will just have to see the movie to find out.

     I definitely recommend this movie to someone who likes action/suspense movies. Liam Neeson, as usual, does a really great job playing the protagonist of this movie. I also found it interesting that the director was also the writer. I think the script really fit the way that this movie was filmed, so Joe Carnahan did a great job with that.

     Overall this movie is really good, but not great. I would give it a B in it's genre, but as a movie overall probably a C+. I'm kind of a tough critic, but if you like suspense you should check it out because they do an exceptional job at keeping you on the edge of your seat.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Billy Bathgate

     E.L. Doctorow's novel, "Billy Bathgate," is a story about a young man growing up in the Bronx during the Great Depression. Billy grows up without a father figure and has a desire to work for successful, big time, mobsters of the Great Depression. He is taken under the wing of Shultz, the leader of one of the most notorious gangs in Brooklyn. As Billy works his way up in the gang he finds himself questioning his actions and motives. Billy comes to a point where he has to make up his mind, is he in or out?

    I really enjoyed this book a lot. I would say that this is like a noir version of Tom Sawyer, it may be hard to understand but this is a darker tale with a similar plot. Both Tom and Billy are growing up in hard times, but Billy isn't in the "country" but the Bronx. He's not doing small time crime, but he's working for a top dog gang. He comes to see things no one could imagine to see at his age now. I felt like I really connected with the time period of the book, the 1930s, and it was interesting to see how people in the city lived through the Great Depression. This book is pretty graphic, but if you liked The Giver and the Godfather than this is a good read for you.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Skechers Ad Deconstruction

 In this advertisement Skechers shoes are being marketed. They use the familiar sex sales technique to hook its audience. This ad shows a man who is with a beautiful woman which represents both success and happiness in our culture. This ad symbolizes that what you have determines what you get. They are showing you that this young man's pair of Skechers shoes has helped him attract this lovely woman. This ads message is that if you're cool, if you like action, and if you want a woman like this one that you should buy a pair of Skechers shoes. 

   The ad is effective in drawing your attention with the cliche sex sales hook, but to me this ad is unsuccessful overall. I'm a young man, which whom they are targeting in this ad,  and my opinion on this ad reflects their success to make sell their product. After the hook draws my attention the ad fails to retain my attention for three significant reasons. The first one is their slogan, "We put the  S in action!" I don't understand it because it's like a joke without a pun, no one laughs and there's that odd moment of silence. My second reason is that it doesn't make sense why they're in the snow, it doesn't connect with any of the other elements of the ad. The slogan doesn't connect with the environment and neither does the product nor it's hook. It leaves me with the impression that they are suppose to seem "cool," but I feel like it only complicates the message of the ad. The last element of this ad that sticks out to me is the whip, what does it represent? It has nothing to do with the background, but it is action like the slogan. Still there's no s in whip or action so it just really disconnects me from the ad. 

This ad would be better if she didn't have the whip, if she had Skechers shoes too, and lastly if the slogan had to do with being cool. If they wanted to make it better with the action theme, they should take away the glacier element and replace is with fire. I think this Skechers ad is a lot more successful than this one.

    This ad is so more effective to me for several reasons. One reason is because it's simple to understand and the message's delivery is very effective. They are using a celebrity, Karl Malone a.k.a. The Mailman because he always delivers the goods. Karl Malone is one of the most famous basketball players, this Hall of Famer has the second most amount of career moments. This ad attracts basketball fans and it especially targets older/middle aged men because Malone is retired and the ad says "Get back in the Game," which implies that whoever they are targeting has left the game. This to me really connects with it's target audience and has a simple effective delivery compared to the unsuccessful sex sales hook that failed to connect with it's target audience.


     There are so many problems in the world today, but to me one sticks out more than the rest. Global warming is a serious issue that everyone should take seriously. We should use more alternative fuels and sources of energy. I believe that we must work on making tomorrow better than today because it's the right thing to do.

     Not only will expanding our production of alternative sources of energy to help preserve the world's environment, but it will create more jobs and stimulate the economy. What makes humanity so great is that it learns from it's mistakes and there is always hope for tomorrow to be better than yesterday and today.

     Michael Jordan once said "Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen." In this society our community works together to make it happen. We know what we want, what we wish, and we won't stop until we get the job done.

    We want a world with cleaner air, less environmental damage, and most importantly we want to dedicate our lives to improving our world.

     Knowledge and choice are big parts of our culture. We use our knowledge to make decisions on what and/or how we are going to do something. Everyone's vote counts, there is no higher authority than the community as a whole. All of our propositions are proposed by a committee or a petition. All of our proposed propositions and laws are decided by our community's popular vote. Our votes can override anyone or any organization in the community and it's up to us to apply our knowledge to our votes to better our community.

    It's our use of our knowledge that separates our community from the rest. There is no one who is poor and no one who is rich, violence is created through a feeling of shame that turns into rage. Since their are no inequalities socially and economically our community works better as a whole and as a result there is little to no violence. Our community does not tolerate crime and our committee decides how to handle crimes accordingly by applying dispensary action, but our community has the opportunity to override their decision with the popular vote. Usually acts of theft or violence result in being exiled from the community, but acts of crime are very rare.

     Although Evantureland's primary focus is on making the future better than today, there are still a variety of jobs. You do what you want to do without any creating any socio-economic divisions, in other words it's up to you to decide whether you want to be a doctor, farmer, engineer, or scientist and you won't be treated differently socially or economically. Same pay and social status, no one is inferior or superior to another.

This community is devoted to changing the world with our innovations and environmental products that can reshape our world's use of energy and gasoline. Our social and economic structure can be used to influence other communities that look to reduce their rates of violence and increase production of products that help preserve the environment.

We don't want to run the world, we want to teach it, we want to change it not for ourselves but simply for the future of our planet and all of it's inhabitants.

Friday, October 12, 2012

What I Received from The Giver

There were a lot of things that really stood out to me in the book and connected with some aspects of our culture. Here are just a few of them.

     In the community there is no violence because of sameness and to me this symbolizes how our world still has violence between people because of differences. The community in The Giver works so cohesively because of Sameness and I think that Lowry is trying to tell us that our culture is divided and there would be less violence and more cohesiveness if we accepted our differences for one common goal, to make the world a better place.

Einstein once said, "If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed." We shouldn't mind other's beliefs on things such as religion and we should put aside our differences and be good simply because it's morally the right thing to do. We should want to better mankind regardless of cultural and religious differences and try and avoid violence at all costs.

     I found it interesting how in The Giver the community is controlled by their lack of choice, while we are divided by our choices. We've been learning how the media and advertisers are dividing us by our interests and we our divided within society by our choices. Just think of the way people perceive someone to be by their appearance, we're judging people without even knowing it.

     I believe that Lowry is implying that we have choice, but are we always making our own choices? In other words, are some of our choices being made for us by others? We've learned in class that our choices are definitely influenced by others. I think Lowry is showing us that this is what happens if we lose our freedom of choice, she is reminding us to stay in control of our choices rather than being controlled by our choices. We should try and make our own choices and not judge others on their own choices.

    Lowry creates the community without emotions and color and it really made me think of how much we take our vision for granted. People in my history class can't even stay awake through a black and white video and it represents how some people forget that at sometime that black and white videos were all we had. Before that, there were no motion pictures.

    I'm glad that we have color now, but I think that everyone should see something in black and white to appreciate what we have today and not to take it for granted. The world is a beautiful place and I'm glad that we have cameras to take pictures, because as they say a picture is worth a thousand words.

     In the Giver we see how people are separated by their age and treated differently based on their age. Elders live in the House of the Old, their is the Childless Adults area, and the nurturing center. We come to learn in the novel that the Giver is rarely used and only used when something comes up that's never came up before. This shows how our society takes elders wisdom for granted.

    I believe that younger people simply don't have the patience they once did to listen to elders. They are so excited about video games, Facebook, and life in the fast lane that they find it hard to sit down and hear of an elder's advice or hear a story of significance from their life. I just think that our culture is beginning to take elder's wisdom for granted. When Rosemary died the Giver lost her memories, we need to remember that we don't get to just download our grandparents memories and that time is limited so you should take the time to learn from someone with lots of life experience.

    I believe that the last paragraph connects with how Lowry sets up the family unit that does not have love and has kids and parents selected for one another. They are created by genetic scientists. Lowry shows a family that has no love, no grandparents, no warm feeling around holidays. What she wrote connects with us today, the family isn't valued as it once was.

    A family watching a televisions show together once or twice a week was really common back in the day and now everyone has cell phones, they're on the go and they don't want to slow down now to take leisure time. I believe she's saying that families should stay close and not drift apart like how they seem to be in today's culture.

That was just a few ideas that came to me as I read the novel and I thought that it signified what some writers call a "cultural crisis."

The Giver: Sameness, Good or Bad?

     In Lois Lowry's The Giver Jonas is selected to be the Receiver of Memories and he comes to learn that when his community decided to go to sameness they were getting rid of color, emotion, and choice. At first the Giver tells him it's to "protect" them from making the wrong choices. He told him how differences and emotions played a role in the creation of war.

I thought it would be nice to take a look at the benefits of sameness and society without sameness.

       Benefits of Sameness

  • There are no fears, no war, and no pain.
  • The community does not miss the freedom of choice because they have not experienced it and they have not heard of it.
  • There is no bad weather.
  • There is no love, but there is no sadness as well.
  • Death is not publicly acknowledged, they perceive that someone released has moved to Elsewhere.
  • They do not know what lies beyond their community, they do not know the world as a whole but there is no desire to learn that which they have not been taught. Questions are rarely asked, which means there are no feelings of concern or doubt.
  • They are genetically modified by scientists, no one is that different. Since no one is that different the society is believed to get along better and more cohesively.
  • The absence of color strengthens the absence of choice, no one envy's anyone over clothes or possessions. 
  • There is no stress to make decisions and since the community makes decisions for you, you can't make the wrong choice because you have no choice.
  • With the absence of knowledge you do not know of a past, you only know what the community wants you to know and that's all you need to know in life.
  • You do not want to know more because you do not know that there is more to learn and that the community is restricting it from you.
  • There is no real family, family units are assigned by the Committee of Elders. When children grow up their parents go to live with the Childless Adults, then the House of the Old and there are no grandparents. No family love means no love lost.
  • With a Receiver of Memories you do not need to suffer from pain, anger, and sorrow.

     Benefits of Differences

  • There are fears, there is war, and there is pain and suffering. There is individual strength that allows people to conquer their fears, to fight wars, and to over come pain.
  • We have the freedom of choice and we embrace it. We will fight to keep it because it is took a long time to get and we aren't going to let it just go out the door.
  • There is bad weather, but it allows us to value the days that are better than others.
  • There is sadness, there is grief, but there is love that conquers all.
  • We acknowledge death and while we know that we aren't immortal we know that are days of life aren't limitless so we value every breath we take.
  • We know of other towns, cities, states, countries, and even planets. We know that there is so much more than our community and that's why we desire to learn more, the room for knowledge is limitless. That is why we ask so many questions, because we want answers.
  • We have made major advancements in genetic engineering but we have not been genetically modifying people, at least not that I know of. We have lots of differences, but all of our DNA is over 99% the same anyway. We know people with differences can work together cohesively and it's something that people have been trying to improve on together.
  • Color is something that is often overlooked, but we value the beauty of color and we love the freedom of choice that comes with it.
  • We make our own decisions, and we make mistakes but we try to learn from them. We try to prevent history from repeating itself.
  • We value our freedom of knowledge, we are limitless in what we can do with what we learn because we don't have books that are restricted.
  • We have grandparents, we love our families, and we grieve over our lost ones but our grief symbolizes more than just our suffering, It symbolizes how much that person felt to us, it means that their life strongly impacted yours in a positive way and that your love for them goes on. You miss them because they were there for you and you were there for them, but our own life continues and our family's bond remains strong.
  • We have no receiver of memories because we have our own memories, which are priceless.

     I appreciate our world and all of the differences that come with it. There may be suffering, but there is pride in our accomplishments. There is pride in not ourselves, not even our just our country, but as humans. We strive to do better than before, to learn and create things that we never could've imagined, to boldly go where no one has gone before. Most importantly there is hope.

Albert Einstein once said, "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning."

Thursday, October 11, 2012

"Perfect" Sentence

In a world where perfection is unreachable, the room for  improvement is limitless and I strive to continue to progress not only as a filmmaker but as a person.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Influential Athletes

     Sports have became a big part of the American culture. Whatever sport you follow, you root for "your team,"and in away by playing for a specific city each team has a target market. People look up to athletes as role models and a lot of people are inspired by some athletes. I've found that companies using athletes are target marketing, such as the ad below for Hanes.

Michael Jordan in an advertisement for Hanes.
     This is ties into Joseph Turow's essay "Targeting a New World," because being an athlete or a fan of Michael Jordan is part of someone's lifestyle.

     Tattoos have became mainstream in society,and now they have became very popular among professional athletes. If you're watching basketball, baseball, boxing, or football you will see a lot of tattoos. In John Leo's "The Modern Primitives" he describes how we have a cultural crisis at hand. Body-modification has spread, but you rarely see athletes with piercings. Here is a picture of the athlete who really brought tattoos and piercings to the public eye.

Dennis Rodman

     Dennis Rodman is a prime example of what John Leo would call a member of the body-modification movement. In Stephanie Dolgoff's essay "Tattoo Me Again and Again"she described how each one of her tattoos represented an event in her life. Dennis Rodman, like Dolgoff, is the type of person who is who he is and proud of it regardless of what others think. I'm sure that he would agree with Dolgoff in that his reasons for getting his tattoos make sense to him and that's all that matters. He didn't have the best reputation in the NBA, he was always looked at as a loose canon. Regardless of his actions on the court, he represented a change in professional sports with his tattoos, piercings, and dyed hair. Now if a player dyes his hair, has tattoos, and/or has piercings they don't stand out like Rodman once did. This supports John Leo's theory of people in the body-modification are having to go to extremes to stand out from the crowd now, and maybe in some ways it may represent a lack of power in willing to change the way things our. Cultural crisis or just modern society, either way athletes are influencing us more and more through the media.

Heres a link of an article discussing how athletes are being used in the media for advertisement purposes.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Skullcandy's Target Audience

     Music is a big part of our culture. In a way what you listen to represents a part of who you are. This advertisement above depicts Kevin Durant wearing Skullcandy headphones. This ad is targeting basketball fans. It probably leans towards young men because Kevin Durant is a young basketball player who was a big part of this years U.S.A. Team that won the gold medal. Kevin Durant isn't the only basketball player they  have sponsored. They have used a lot of famous young professional basketball players to make basketball fans want to buy Skullcandy headphones.


I believe that young men  have become Skullcandy's primary target.

     Skullcandy has a not only a basketball team, but a skateboarding team as well. I'm a big basketball fan and I was a sponsored skateboarder and I know that a majority of basketball fans and skateboarders are young guys.

     I remember meeting Eric Koston (the one with the hat that's not backwards) and I can tell you that everyone in line to meet Koston was a young man. 

     As a skateboarder and a basketball fan I find these ads to be effective towards their target audience. I was in Best Buy when I stopped by the headphone section. My cheap headphones died out on one side so I needed new headphones, but I didn't want to shell out the money to get Beats so I bought a Skullcandy headphones. So far the headphones have been pretty durable with decent quality. I found the Skullcandy headphones to be worth the $30 compared to Beats $100 or more headphones. Maybe they know that some young men don't want to spend a lot of money on headphones or can't afford a more expensive brand such as Beats.

(Remember I'm talking about headphones, not earbuds.)

     I'm definitely part of Skullcandy's target audience. Skullcandy may be narrowing down their target audience, but it seems like the more these advertisements narrow down their audience the more personal their ads become.

Advertisement's Message Dissected

     Everyday we are surrounded by thousands of ads telling you that you will be better off with their product rather than without it. These ads appear on television, buses, billboards, online, and it's come to the point that ads will follow you wherever you go.

    These ads are always portraying a beautiful skinny young woman or a tall, dark, and handsome man who's also buff. They want you to believe that you will benefit from their product and that you will be closer to becoming whoever they are depicting in their ad.

     As humans we are always striving to be better than we are and that's the bait the advertisement companies use to lure us in. People can't be perfect and to me that means that our possibilities in life are limitless.

     Who would have thought that the annoying commercials screaming for our attention everyday could symbolize limitless possibilities in life. They tell you that you aren't perfect and once you realize that perfection isn't possible you realize that their claims are dramatically exaggerated. There is no product that can change who you are, but only what you have.

     Persuasion and manipulation are advertisements weapons, it's up to you to remember that all of these ads hire models who make a living off of their looks. Appearance is something you are (usually) born with and products may claim to benefit your overall look, but it's the identity that remains the same. It's your personality that makes you who you are.

     Remember next time you see a commercial that you aren't perfect. You will never be perfect and that's what makes life so AMAZING. Since perfection is out of reach, there is always room for improvement.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Hopefully my Video on Technology


Technology: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

     This video is about technology and how it is beneficial and destructive. Without technology there would only be the real world, no virtual or multi-media world. Humans use of technology is growing rapidly. The question arises, how does technology affect us today?  


Friday, May 4, 2012

The Magnificent Seven

     The Magnificent Seven is one of the best Westerns, if not the best Western ever made. This film was directed by John Sturges and it starred Yul Brynner, Charles Bronson, and one of my favorites, Steve McQueen. This film is an Americanization of the famous Japanese movie known as the Seven Samurai. The Magnificent Seven was released in 1960, and I chose this movie because movies today revolve around computer generated images and it's hard to find a movie that's well directed with an all-star cast like this. Too many people around my age don't even know who Steve McQueen is, he's been in so many great movies like the Great Escape, Bullet, not to mention his TV show Wanted: Dead or Alive.

     The Magnificent Seven is about a Mexican village of farmers who are terrorized by a gang of bandits who take whatever they want, and leave the villagers with minimal food. The villagers are sick of growing all of their crops and having the bandits come and take almost all of it. The villagers ask the elder what they should do and he tells them to get guns and fight back. A couple of the villagers go to America to get guns, but realize that it's smarter to hire gun slingers who know how to use guns so that they can help defend the village and teach some of the villagers how to use guns. The villagers witness a classic Western battle in the movies sub story, which gets them to ask Chris (Yul Brynner) for help and he helps gather the rest of the men and assemble the Magnificent Seven. It's up to them to help defend the town from the 40 bandits who rob the hard working villagers.

     This movie has amazing shots, great music, and as I said before an all-star cast. John Sturges did an an outstanding job and that's why this movie is considered one of the best films ever made. I wouldn't want to sit in the director's chair for this movie because it's such a masterpiece I can't see anyone doing it any justice trying to change it in any way. I don't say that very often, because I'm an aspiring filmmaker.

     This is a serious movie with some light humor, but it fits like a glove in this brilliantly written movie. This movie covers prejudice topics and stereotypes that were accurate for the setting of the movie. The movie has a great message, to stand up for what's right and the passion to do it because of the morality behind it not necessarily for some type of monetary reward. I have to give credit to the Seven Samurai, because without that film this one wouldn't have ever happened. I will have to add the Seven Samurai to my Netflix list.

Here's a quote of when the villagers ask the old man for advice on what to do about the gang of bandits terrorizing them.

Hilario: Even if we had the guns, we know how to plant and grow, we don't know how to kill.
Old Man: Then learn, or die! 

Here's a quote of the leading Bandit talking to one of the Magnificent Seven about the villagers.

Calvera: If God didn't want them sheared, he would not have made them sheep. 

     I definitely recommend this movie to anyone who loves a well written action movie with great actors and good message. Obviously not everyone enjoys Westerns, but this isn't your average Western, it's the Western that stands alone. As much as I love Clint Eastwood's The Good The Bad And The Ugly and John Wayne's Stagecoach, I can't compare those great Westerns to this outstanding movie. If you have the patience to watch this two hour movie and enjoy the trailer below give it a shot.

Here's some interesting facts.

     One thing that stands out to me is that Eli Wallach, Calvera (the bad guy), is one of the stars in another hit Western called the Good the Bad and the Ugly. I also recommend that movie if you want to see another good Western, but as I said before I believe the Magnificent Seven is a better movie overall for an audience that is not just into Westerns. Yul Brynner got married on the set and used a bunch of the props from the movie in his wedding. Yul Brynner also decided to stand on a little mound of Earth in every shot   he was in with Steve McQueen, because he wanted to appear taller than McQueen and without that little mound they were only a half an inch apart. In the movie McQueen actually casually kicks the mound down every time he passes it. Steve McQueen wanted to act in this movie but his schedule for his TV show Wanted: Dead or Alive wouldn't allow him to do so, so while he was "out sick" from a car accident he shot this film. Yul Brynner also had a problem with McQueen, even though Yul Brynner is the one who recommended that they have McQueen in the movie. Brynner was worried that McQueen was upstaging him in the movie, when Brynner and  McQueen were together on screen McQueen did things such as shaking shotgun shells or taking off his hat off to check the sun to draw attention to his character. Yul Brynner became so worried that he hired an assistant to count how many times McQueen touched his hat while Brynner was speaking, the body count was 55. One of the best-known scores ever composed was in the Magnificent Seven and was composed by Elmer Bernstein, who ironically also did a score for the parody of this film, the Three Amigos. 

It's been an honor reviewing one of the best films ever made, and I appreciate this film a lot more now that I'm older and studying filmmaking. This is definitely a film that influenced many long after it's time, this is one of the vey first films that had a sub story at the beginning that introduced some of the characters but had nothing to do with the real story it lead into, besides introducing the villagers to the gunslingers.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Comparing Andy Singer Cartoons

     The cartoon that I chose from What Matters in America was by Andy Singer and it was titled quitting fantasies. It's on page 259, it shows how this employee wishes he could say to his boss and what he actually says to his boss. He wishes he could tell his boss how bad he is, and for his boss to tell him how important it is for him (the employee) to stay and not quit. In reality he asks to resign and the boss says "Good! Get the hell outta here!"

     This represents how what we wish would happen doesn't always happen, especially at work.
      The cartoon I chose to compare it to was another cartoon done by Andy Singer, and is posted below.

     Both of these cartoons show that "you can't always get what you want". The caveman who wants more isn't happy and the business man of today who has practically everything isn't happy either. It shows how people who are happy from only materialistic items can never have enough and never be satisfied. The man in the other cartoon wants to tell his boss how it is and quit, but feel wanted by his boss. He ends up losing his job, but feels completely unwanted and doesn't even tell his boss what he wants to.

     These cartoons are about two different scenarios. One compares the past and the future while the other compares one's fantasies to his reality.

     I believe the similarity between these cartoons is in the message.

      I interpreted it to mean that happiness doesn't come from what you have but what you do with the life you've been given. People are always trying to have more, what they have is never enough. That's why people aren't satisfied even when rule the world and morph it into what's convenient for themselves rather than what's best for the world as a whole. Technology can always improve and people need to realize that people themselves as the human race can improve not only for themselves and the future of mankind, but for the world we live on.