Farewell!

I’m a bit disappointed that this is our last post. I’ve had a great time posting (and just might start my own blog, email me if you’d like to follow!) and reading everyone’s views on the different topics we have talked about. One type of media that I’ve created pretty regularly is making videos with photos and music. I’ve made multiple videos like this and I think it’s a great keep sake to look back at a trip or event. In this video, I’ve let you into my life a bit. I show you some of my background in dancing, culinary arts, traveling and taking some cool photos. With the topic of media, I’ve backed this video with the song Good Life by OneRepublic. I think this is a good song to close out the summer with. Enjoy!

Thank you for following!

Rachel

Super Mario Bros.

As far as the game playing, I just went to Google and looked for ‘free online games’ and nothing really seemed to interest me that much. But then I realized that a few months ago I was playing one of those games on Facebook, MyVegas. It’s a slot game that you play, you gain coins and you can actually cash the game coins you earn into real things in Las Vegas: like a free drink or appetizer, all the way to tickets to a show or a free hotel room. My sister lives in Las Vegas and I thought it would be awesome to get some prizes to use whenever I went to visit. It’s not the most exciting game, you just watch your numbers climb, but hey, you can get free stuff. One of my friends was playing it for almost a year so he could use his winnings when he went to EDC in Las Vegas.

The Craig A. Anderson article on the myths of video games was pretty interesting. There was definitely some good information and I liked that they pointed out that violent video games can in fact lead to more aggressive behavior, fighting, and even violent criminal behavior. It seems like most parents don’t think about this aspect. Now, I know MOST people with some common sense (not everyone has this) can differentiate from reality and fantasy. There are a lot of kids out there who can’t. We’ve all heard about the accidents that can happen when kids are playing around with a real gun. They think it’s cool at first because it’s just like the movies or games, until it goes too far.

I was never really into any of the more violent games because, let’s be real. I’m quite the baby when it comes to horror movies, so if I’m playing a game where something is coming after me, something I have to kill, I just get scared and hand the controller to someone who knows what they are doing!

As far as why people play video games, I think it’s mostly to pass the time with an interactive challenge that is a subject of the person’s interest. I grew up with a bunch of boys in my neighborhood. I would always try to play video games with them but hey, I sucked at playing, so they didn’t let me play very much. We would mainly play all the old Super Mario Bros. games and Donkey Kong, etc. Those were pretty awesome. When I got a little older and had a Playstation 2, I was into the Disney game Kingdom Hearts (which I still can’t beat!) I used to ask the boys over to come help me with the levels I was stuck on. You know when you get all into the game when you’re whole body is shaking and your shaking the controller just hoping it will help. I was also really into the Guitar Hero games. I figure if I can’t actually learn to play, might as well rock out like this! (except none of that Rock Band stuff, the drums are hard!)

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Thank you for reading!

Rachel

Truth or Truth?

Parody news can be pretty entertaining, at least for those who understand the definition of the word ‘Parody’. I personally don’t have too much experience with new parody. I’m not hooked on the shows like Stephen Colbert or Jon Stewart. I have seen them before, and sure, I like them because I understand that they are playing a character and it’s a parody about the news, and that their show should be taken with a grain of salt. (or hell, the full margarita).

I think Colbert did a great job by drawing attention to the subject of the migrant farmworkers. Even though he was acting out of sorts and complaining about the day at work, which only ended up being about 12 minutes? He was still able to show what a typical day or work looked like. Maybe people who don’t really think about how they get their food were shown how much work it actually takes: hours in the sun, or sorting, or counting, and muscle pain that might come with it. Hopefully it can teach them to appreciate their food more, especially if they don’t want to be doing the field work.

In general, I think parody news can be pretty worthless and that it’s main focus is on entertainment. I do think it can be somewhat valuable for people that might not really watch real news programs and just want the general points of an issue with the entertainment factor. These parody shows do provide an amount of facts to them, you just have to find out what that amount is: what’s true and what’s not. Personally, I’m not a regular viewer of these shows, but then again, I don’t regularly watch actual news shows either. (that sounds horrible.)

I’ve added this video just for kicks. It’s with Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon playing ‘Truth or Truth?’ It’s pretty hilarious.

Thank you for reading!

Rachel

Would you like to Super Size that?

I remember watching Super Size Me, and thinking, “Man, that’s a LOT of McDonald’s!” It made my stomach hurt just watching it. I can see how it was seen as a ‘gimmick’ because no one is actually going to eat McDonald’s for EVERY meal, EVERY day. But at least it can show the health risks of fast food in general.

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I liked that the article talked about documentaries being honest, independent and productive. I’d like to think that most of them are honest, however you have to watch where they get their information from. Most are not independent to be able to make it into theaters. I also think that most documentaries in general are pretty productive, depending on the issue.

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There is one very powerful documentary that I think everyone should see. It’s honestly, pretty hard to watch, and you might need a box of tissues. (which I didn’t know, so I left with a soaked sleeve…attractive). It’s called Earthlings. I think you can find it on Netflix. It’s about how animals are treated for their fur, for food, and other purposes. It’s a very graphic film and should not be taken lightly. This definitely had an impact on me, and make more aware of where I get meat and poultry. (right after, I did want to become vegan….for about a week, but hey, I tried). But coming face-to-face with what happens to these animals really makes you think. Fur has never really been an issue for me. I’m not really a fan of wearing fur, and if i were to get anything it would be fake. I think everyone can benefit from viewing this film. My suggestion is to not watch it alone though. Help each other through it, then watch a comedy movie after to lighten the mood.

I’m exciting to hear about the documentaries everyone has seen! A couple others worth mentioning: Buck Angel and Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead

Thank you for reading!

Rachel

Ahh… Advertising

The program The Persuaders was a very interesting and informative insight on advertising. The first thing that jumped out at me was when they said once you start advertising (as a company), you can’t stop because the competition for consumers. It might be a long shot, but this made me think, can advertising have a same qualities as an addiction? Once you start, you can’t stop. Once you put your final product out there for the world, you’re instantly working on the next one, the next fix. Advertising is everywhere and I can see how people can get so caught up in it.

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The next idea that caught my attention was when loyal customers were compared to cults. They were to find out why people join cults and apply that knowledge to brands to have those die-hard loyal customers. We all know people, and ourselves, that have the specific brands we like or prefer. Whether it’s Tide, All or OxiClean, Shell or Chevron, Starbucks or a local coffee shop, we all have those go-to brands that we tend to pick up. With brand loyalty, in my own experience, and I’m sure I’m not the only one, I was raised with a few main brands. The few that I think of are condiments. (and this is probably because I’m hungry.) These brands were the same at every family gathering and are probably still the top brands today. There’s the Best Foods Mayonnaise, Heinz Ketchup, and French’s Mustard. Now, I tend to gravitate towards these brands because they are something that is familiar.

Another interesting idea that was brought up was the use of TiVo and DVR. This gives us the ability, and the luxury, of skipping through the commercials. However, NEVER skip the Superbowl commercials! That’s my rule for you. With skipping the commercials, the idea was made that the products and companies should be in the shows so that even if we are skipping the commercials, we will still be exposed to their products. I personally don’t think this is the most thought out plan. It might just turn the shows into one big infomercial, and that would not go over well. Unless it’s the Magic Bullet, ShamWow or OxiClean, then I might tune in, because who doesn’t love those ones?! I’m sure we’ve all had those late nights when nothing was on and we found ourselves watching a solid half hour of an infomercial. Now usually it’s that time when you’re lounging on the couch, half a pint into some Ben & Jerry’s (yet another go-to brand of mine), when the infomercial comes on: “Do you want to make a change in your life? Are you lazy? Do you want to look better? Then get this typical fitness program.” Perfect timing right? Thanks for making me feel 100 times better about eating this whole pint in one sitting….

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But then again, that could be their strategy. They know if you’re up that late, you’re probably snacking. That’s when they think, “Now! Move, move, move! Make them feel bad about themselves so that they will buy our product!”

It’s always crazy to me to think about how much goes into advertising and how often we are exposed to it.

Thank you for reading!

Rachel

Honey Boo Boo vs. Fatty Poo Poo

“This is where the bar was just a few years ago. It was lowered here when President Clinton got a blow job in the oval office and suddenly men who were just getting blow jobs in alleyways thought that they weren’t all that bad.” -South Park

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“The bar” has been constantly been getting lower and lower and we as a society are tolerating it. I think we have a big part in allowing this to keep going. We are the ones that support these kinds of shows by watching them and giving them our time. Now, I admit, I do like my fair share of reality shows, yet somehow I still have a “bar” myself. There are shows and movies that I personally think are too “stupid”, “ridiculous” or a “waste of time”, yet I turn to other shows that other people might think are “stupid”, “ridiculous” or a “waste of time”. Where did my ‘bar’ come from? Why are we so drawn into reality shows that are not actually ‘reality’?

In Andy Dehnart’s piece he said, “Reality TV is at once a window and a mirror, showing how real people react and interact in extraordinary situations. It also forces us to consider how we’d respond — and how we are responding to what we watch.” How many times have you been watching a reality show and have been judging the people you’re watching? Ragging on them for how they act, what they eat or what they wear? I know I have done that. We are all guilty of it. And who are we to judge? We’re probably sitting on the couch, watching this show, splurging on pizza and ice cream, and we’re judging the lives of people we don’t know? What would they think about us? Egan Morrissey said that reality TV often gets defined as ‘trash’, which I too have heard. She mentions that “people can pretend that they don’t like seeing other people act like idiots…” but we all know what comes next. Isn’t it entertaining to watch someone act that way? It’s amusing? I’m sure a bunch of people watched The Jersey Shore just for this reason: the drinking, the fighting, the drama. Did we really think they were making ‘smart’ choices?

In Kathleen Parker’s article, talking about Honey Boo Boo, she states, “Obviously, people watch because it is so awful. You can’t believe it and so you keep tuning in.” That is definitely true. How else could this show get the amount of ratings for one of the top TLC shows? Parker also says, “Responsible parents steered their children away not only to protect them but also because, we were taught, it wasn’t right to enjoy the misfortunes or disadvantages of others.” I think this is a big reason why people might watch reality shows as well. As much as people might hate to admit it, you know that you have it better than someone else. This is not a good reason! but it’s probably a common one.

I think ‘the bar’ has been lowering because we allow it to. We have gotten lazy and don’t want to work towards the standards we once had. Now, just about anything is tolerable in a sense. What will it take to turn things around?

I’m not sure, but please excuse me while I go binge watch some more South Park…

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Thank you for reading!

Rachel

Radio

I found the podcast this week really hard to follow and I hope I’m not the only one who had a hard time. I did catch how Iggy Scam was explaining the evolution of the radio and how at first the station he listened to was really exciting and started to play some local rap. Them it got into how all the stations were beginning to sound the same by replaying the popular songs over and over again. I find this happening even today. I was on my way to Sacramento, which is about an hour drive from me, and i have 3 or 4 radio stations plugged into my car, and two of them would consistently be playing the same new songs, and it definitely gets annoying pretty fast!

As far as my own experience with radio, my older sister and I used to listen to it all the time. We would record our favorite songs onto cassette tapes, (did anyone else do that?!). We also thought it was cool to make our own radio “show” with our neighbors, which was really just us recording ourselves talking and singing! Also when I was little, radio Disney was THE show to listen to. This was one of my favorite channels and they always played my favorite songs.

In our articles this week, I had no idea that Pandora was actually losing money! I used to use Pandora, but now I currently use Spotify. It makes complete sense that the radio ratings went up with hurricane Sandy. In a natural disaster like that, we can’t rely on the internet always working.
As far as what i think the future of the radio in society will be, I think it will decrease overall. I do think that with natural disasters and events like them, people will turn back to the original radio form. I personally don’t listen to the radio as much as i used to. Today was the first time in a long time. I hope that we can all keep this form of music and information alive and well!

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Thank you for reading!

Rachel