February 22, 2010


YouTube Does Spinal Tap, and Falls Short of Christopher Guess

February 2, 2010

Ok, everyone knows what YouTube is.  Your grandmother, elementary aged cousin, and preschool acquaintance  have all recently uploaded videos of last month’s snowfall on to YouTube.  Originality points are lost in this posting, but this one is kinda funny.  Really.  Wallpaper’s Video Blog follows the half-coherent ramblings of members of the band Wallpaper, producing 3 minute sprockets of faltering story lines and rambling-on monologues, while making time to  incorporate the Amazon rainforests and the Pope into the mix.  The group essentially produces the types of videos you made yourself in the 7th grade, but even though poor quality seems to be the theme they’re running with, Wallpaper‘s videos retain a certain charm.  Front man Ricky Reed takes the leading role in most of the video blog sessions, and results in something you’re a little unsure of.  Video number 4 opens with Reed’s quest earn more sales for his band’s (Wallpaper) cds than the newly released Grand Theft Auto IV.  In response to the failure, Reed hops a plane for the Amazon rainforest, which is immediatly  followed up with a promising “to be continued”.  The posts are, in actuality, a lame attempt at self promotion, but I appreciate the DIY, minimalist spirit of the posts, and, well, they’re just silly.  It’s what YouTube is there for, amateur camera-phone two-minute snippets of things you don’t quite understand.  but they’re sort of funny, and you have two minutes to keep you from productivity.  To their credit, Wallpaper’s music is of a higher standard than the videos, or at least slightly more clever.  Think weird Al Yankovich without all the bad parodies.  Songs like “Txt Me Your Love” and their remix of “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell” have a few good one-liners to boot.

Research Paper..

November 15, 2006

For my research paper, I have choosen to explore a history of lipstick advertisements, and comment on the changing “ideal” for women over time via the media.  My topic may be a little broad, so I will more than likely limit my view to simply Maybelline lipstick advertisements, or another common brand, and go from there.  I believe that I’ll find that the demographic has moved away from the “busy mother” demographic and moreso to a younger, more urban audience.  I have found a few websites on the subject, such as one from wikipedia (which deals with the Maybelline’s history and etc.) and another from mind advertising (which gives an advertising profile of the company).  I still need to find a lot of articles and research to support my argument, but overall I believe this will be an enjoyable assignment. 

Education depositing…questions for a 2nd reading

November 8, 2006

1. I feel that a problem posing classroom would be, for the most part, self taught. In an attempt to break down the relationship between “repressive authority figure” and the observer, one needs to take an active participation in the subject matter, and would thus be responding to the thought progression of oneself, as opposed to the teachings of another. In addition, I feel that such a class would deal more with the present tense, and not the past as the majority of classes do. This is a way in which to incorporate ourselves within a “conscious of consciousness”, by harping on relevancy for the student. As for what exactly a problem posing classroom may resemble, I believe that it would probably bear the closest resemblance to a modern day philosophy class. The educator is there moreso as a provoker than a spoon-feeder, and the students question the world in which they partake in a very general realm.

2 . Praxis is defined as a custom, or habit; it can also be described as a “practical application of excercise from a branch of learning”. Freire uses this to mean that utilizing education and relating it to day to day life is an aspect of human nature. He defines what it is to be human by adding knowledge and interelating it to the world around us. As for alienation, Paulo Freire uses this in the context of meaning that a “banking” education system, what most of us would relate with a normal classroom setting, seperates the student from the learning experience, and serves only to teach regurgitation, yet not education. Alienation is taken to mean a diversion, a quarantine, in this case, from participation/ involvement in one’s awarenss of their surroundings, in their knowledge of the world.

3. Freire, if being placed in said role of “teacher”, is fairly guilty of going against his own teachings. As opposed to inspring the reader to get in touch with their stream of consciousness by proposing retorical questions, Freire talks at the audience. He spews information to the reader, in the expectations that they will “bank” the material given. However, in Freire’s own defense, it is a little to difficult to encourage the reader to partake in an interactive experience when one is reading; the epitomy of educational banking in that you read to ingest, not necessarily to interact.

research paper …

November 1, 2006

For my research paper, I want to research a variety of lipstick ads (a huge symbol of feminity) and how they have changed over time. In doing this, I hope to also observe how different ideals have evolved over the years, and get a closer look at what shapes beauty.

Question 4.

October 26, 2006

Ths is a Ralph Lauren ad selling a new fragrance. In this picture a rather pretty, affeminant, elitist looking young man (the complete conterportrayal of masculinity) is about to kiss a rather attractive female. The ad sends a clear message to the viewer. See, if you smell nice you can get really pretty girls.

This is an additional Ralph Lauren image, but a different sort. This ad also portrays a rather elitist looking figure, however, he’s much more masculine and defiant than the one in the above image. He’s staring directly at the viewer, challenging anyone who dares to face him. He’s wearing cologne, but he’s rugged and athletic, sending the message to the viewer that it’s ok to have the best of both worlds.

mulling over Bordo’s essay…

October 26, 2006

1. Well, Susan certainly does take her time mosying along page after page in a near redundant effect to project her opinion. I must admit, upon first glance of the essay, the daunting task of reading thirty or so pages of continual droll on the evils of the advertising world truly threatened to fart all over my day’s happiness. Several or so moments of deep contemplation later, I decided I’d be good and actually read the essay (though tagging along on a trek to 7-11 nearly won out), and was actually pleasantly surprised by Bordo’s stylistics. Her words are light and airy, but by no means meaningless or unthought out. And as for her exceeding use of the printer, while this could have been a sign of irregulated ramblings, Bordo’s piece is quite the contrary. She has the reader in the palm of her hands. Her easygoing, relaxed style makes her words rather likeable, and enjoyable to read. However, at the same time, she has managed to hold full control of her essay at all times; it’s been rather well blueprinted. I feel that I enjoyed her work to the extent that I did partially because this control and pace she has set for her essay, is something that I struggle with in my own writing. Organization has never exactly been my strong suite, and on occasion, my essays are a little unstructured and difficult to follow. Having read this, I shall look to “Beauty Rediscovers the Male Body” as an example to help better my own essays.

2. As I mentioned, I really liked the way in which Bordo choose to organize her essay. There are several different subsections, making different points whilst all nevertheless relevant to her central statement. “Beauty Rediscovers..” consists of six different sections; Men on Display, Thanks, Calvin!, Rocks and Leaners, Honey, What Do I Want To Wear?, Male Decorativeness in Cultural Perspective, and My World…and Welcome to It?. Each piece has a seperate and distinct tonality from the other; each in which Bordo’s styling’s vary considerably. While in some sections she sticks more to informing, to generalizing information and such, there are others in which her fire seems to come out. Subjects in which she is passionate about or struck a particular nerve are more than evident, and that passion really adds a lot of interesting flavor and perspective to her piece. If rating the above sections, I’d have to say that Thanks, Calvin! is probably the loudest of them all for the above reason. Bordo’s passion adds to her stylings in this piece, going so far as to provide the audience with the slightest bit of shock value. As for a slower section, My World, and Welcome to It seems to be a little less fiery than some of her other passages, and takes away from it just a tad.

3. Susan Bordo spends a considerable amount of time remarking on the positions and eye contact of the subjects of many advertisements, and what exactly they convey to the viewer. She also remarks heavily on just what it is to be “under the microscope”, to sacrifice oneself so vulnerably to scrutiny’s harsh tongue. Bordo comments on two contrasting philosophical viewpoints, that of Simone de Beuvoir and Jean-Paul Satre. Beauvoir on the one hand, believes that the absence of one’s gaze proves brings about insecurity. That is no one wants to look, if no one notices, than we must not be worth anything. The look is approval, it is the bar by which we judge ourselves. As for Satre, her view of the same gaze is rather contradictory. She finds it to be suffocating, picking each detail apart by scalpel to be mercilessly examined. She wishes only to be free of the judgemental stares of others, to frolic entirely on one’s own, and in essence, be truly free. Bordo tended to agree with Satre’s paranoia. She believes that once all of our behavior’s appear naked, that we cringe in having been so exposed, for having drifted so far from normalcy’s par.

research paper

October 25, 2006

For my research paper, I was going to analyze the change seen in a brand of makeup advertisements, such as Maybelline. I feel that comparing the changing (or, perhaps, lack of change) views of beauty over the short span of the advertising lifestyle would be a very interesing project.

Attempt at demystification and misogony

October 11, 2006

I suppose that in the case of the past’s mystification, the media may be a contributor as to our own skewed perspective as to what actually happened “back in the day”. Millions of advertisements idealize and romanticize major world or cultural events, in an attmept to recruit a widespread target audience. They attempt to symphathize with the common man, a ploy of consumerism in which ads portray a set time period and seem to strive to understand the problems of the everyday. This seems to be the case in both of the Kotex advertisements. The first one, a stylistically cartoonish ad from the 1950’s, is an etiquette guide of sorts. It stresses the need for every woman to remain perfectly poised and stylish, without fail at all times. After Miss Manners has finished instructing you in which fork to eat with, she hits you with a Kotex logo. The ad has a very direct connection here, with a rather obvious message; buy me, I exert poise and grace! It’s a typical ad for the day. It brings about the stereotypical role of a woman, and how she must, above all, get through each day with a smile and perfect posture, the standard procedure for a gal of such times. The next advertisement is from the 1970’s and depicts a young woman (whom within her confining schedule, couldn’t seem to manage to find the time to finish dressing) and is above all, stressing femininity, going so far as to flat out harp upon the femininity of their new “deodorizor”. This ad portrays the sensual mystery a woman is said to portray many a time (be a question, be an answer), and also, the great air of confidence and self assurance. It tends to appeal to a slighly liberated, feministic crowd, (as I’ve been told there were a few of back then) while keeping a delicate portrayal (further emphasized by the flowers swaying in the breeze). Now, I have taken the liberty of being assigned to find two other similar advertisments (similar in the sense of selling a certain lifestyle), and who better to endorce buying what you want if life won’t hand it to you than Budweiser? Yes, now we all know that we can count on the beer industry to portray a certain image, no one has exploited the life we’ve always wanted quite like the creators of spring break and the St. Pauli girl. Our first advertisment is an old, from around the 1940’s, and was seemingly individualistic to me. It portrays a group of pilgrims walking through the snow, the air afresh with hard work and discovery. Those hard working knicker bockers, you know what they deserve after a hard day splitting logs and indians? Why, yes, it is a Budweiser. This ad manages to compare the hardships that every man faces to those that their forfathers faced so long ago. The advertisment has manipulated the image to encourage men to forget their hard work and frustrations and just drink instead. Go ahead America, drink yourself into submission, it’s good for you. Now, over the years, Budweiser has changed it’s image just a tad. It did, however, happen to like the idea of letting go for a little while, and converted it into a lifestyle. Yes, you can live every man’s fantasy, as the limber brunette prouding donning only her Budweiser suggests. Party, live it up, and be just let go.

(Fourties from the Fourties, and other good times through the ages).

Drink it all inbudweiser-40.jpgbudweiser-06.jpgbudweiser-80s.jpg

Susan Douglas Reprival

October 5, 2006

1. Stylistically, I really enjoyed reading Douglas’ piece. She comes accross as rather cynical and witty, and just a tad bitter, in the best sense of the word, of course. While I would not describe myself as overly feministicat all, there are many of Douglas’ points that I agree quite strongly with. Susan is almost less likely to portray a feministic approach, so much as a request for modesty and equality in the media. She, as the majority of those do, feel that the media is portraying an image of women as things, mere objects to be played with at will, and Douglas is trying to fight said oversexed media image. Her portrayal of a woman is moreso on as an equal, without any need to hide behind products or conceptions of any sort. Douglas struggles for women to be at peace with themselves, to be confident in themselves as they are, with no need for Enjoli.

2. Douglas’ anti-narcissistic rantings have a tendency to put the media and the grand advertising monopoly-tiers as the baton twirlers in the campaign for the exploitation of women, and thus, their lowered self image. Her essay zeroes in on the evils of media images, advertisement after advertisement, pulling each one apart to harp upon the evils, and how each personally desecrates each woman’s view of health and realism. I believe that, to some extent she is right. It is cruel and probably considered societally irresponsible to reek a profit based solely off of conjuring insecurities and exploiting them. However, the role of the insecurity lies solely in the hands of the consumer. Yes, those who consume the Revlon eye-lifting, pore-minimizing, wrinkle-reducing, anti-ugly cream are to blame for this media crazed cycle, and it is a cycle. Advertising’s there because it works; Sexual references, and racy ads sell, and have since the beginning of the industry. It is not, as Douglas implies, a byproduct of the yuppie revolution. The only question is, can the cycle end?