Blog 13 Art

I’m the complete opposite of an artist and I have no artistic talent whats-so-ever compared to my sister who has tons of artistic talent.  But once in a while I like to think I take pretty okay picture so here are some pictures from some of my trips with my family.

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In Zion Canyon, Utah, hiking towards the Double Arch Alcove which was too massive and we were too close to actually be able to take a picture but its a pretty cool sight to see.  We were just hiking through the trail and I happened to look up and thought that we should take a picture from this angle because we probably won’t see it again.

Just before taking a dining cruise around Cabo San Jose as the sun was setting in the background.  It was just kind of a random picture to take of the scenery.

Flying over the clouds on our way to Cabo San Jose.  I’ve always thought what it would be like to be able to touch the clouds or fly over or in them but in an open pilot seat rather than behind the glass of a passenger seat.  I also liked the way the shadows looked on the clouds and how they went on into the horizon.

One more picture of Cabo San Jose at a beach.  It was hard to actually get a good sunset picture but this one is ok, just for the memories.

An alright picture from our very own Redwood Bowl at HSU. I liked the way the fog made the forest look eerie behind the goalpost.

Dusk picture at my families ranch in Mexico.  I thought the clouds looked really cool as they were coming through the mountains.

I have a much better picture of the Grand Canyon which I also actually have framed in my room cause I thought it was just a completely awesome picture that I’ll never be able to recreate but I can’t seem to find it anywhere.  The Grand Canyon is probably my most favorite trip because its incredibly beautiful where it almost appears to be unrealistically fake like a painting.  Hope you enjoyed some of these pictures!


Blog 12 Video Games

I’ve played video games every since I owed my very own Nintendo 64 when I was around 7 or 8; but at the time the only games I really played was Mario Kart or I would watch my dad play 007: GoldenEye because it was too difficult for me to actually play from my lack of coordination with the controller.  Moving onto the next generation of consoles, or Nintendo’s GameCube, I would be too scared to play Resident Evil (which was about zombies) after, again, watching my dad play which was enough for me to enjoy so I would play games like Super Smash Bros: Melee.  I didn’t really start to play any first person shooters (or violent games) until the Halo series came out and even then I would mainly play the cooperative campaign with my dad since I needed help completing the game and it wasactually really fun to finish the game together. 

Following Halo, I went through the Call of Duty phase and would play online with my friends after practice and really got into gaming for quite a bit to the point where it was a daily activity.  Looking back, the main reason why I really played so much was because I was able to go online with friends on play on the same team against random opponents.  Without them, I definitely would not have played as much or taken it as seriously because we were playing to win instead of achieving individual rewards.

I really enjoyed playing all of these games, and they were exciting to me in their own ways even if I was just watching it being played.  I can’t really relate to a time I have been bored with video games because by then I just wouldn’t play then.  I guess if there was a main reason why I would get bored of playing would be because the game became very repetitive and didn’t offer any variety as you progressed towards the end of the game. 

Nowadays, its been a while since I’ve touched the controller but when I do have the chance, I usually find myself playing and alternating between NCAA Football and Batman: Arkham City.  I played football in high school so the biggest reason why I play NCAA is because its a way for me to kind of escape reality and go back to playing a sport that I would probably never legitimately play again.  As for Arkham City, Batman is hands down my all-time favorite superhero so its just fun for me to play as Batman and explore his city while stopping crime.

I think people play video games because its another outlet to our disposal to take a breather from life and relax just like some people watch TV/movies or read books.  I don’t believe video games is necessarily bad for you as some people believe unless it is negatively impacting your life just as an addiction would.  

Blog 11 Parody News

Looking back, I can not remember what the last parody news report I had watched if I had even watched one previously. So I have very little experience, if any, with parody news such as the Stephen Colbert Report.

In my own opinion, I believe Colbert’s farm stunt was worthless in the end and just viewed as entertainment to laugh at a serious issue. It does bring recognition to the United Farm Workers and immigrant farm workers but the actual show does not do much for them beside mentioning that any American was invited to work with the farmers. Even then, only 16 Americans showed up to work.

If anything of Colbert’s report was of value, it was this testimony with United Farm Worker’s President Arturo Rodriguez before Congress where they were able to discuss the issue of immigration in the United States. Although Colbert played a persona, as usual, they were able to discuss the topic with people that can actually do something about the issue which was the most valuable part of his report.



Blog 10 Documentaries

When I had first originally watched Super Size Me, I was disgusted and I told myself I would never eat fast food anymore; scratch that, I would never eat McDonald’s anymore.  As the years went by, I wasn’t as grossed out by McDonald’s anymore and I’ll consume if it I was with friends and they wanted to grab a quick meal.  Although I had previously watched Super Size Me and other short documentaries about the health hazards of fast food, I didn’t mind eating it at the time as long as I didn’t eat it very often.

The most recent documentary I have seen was Blackfish, which is about the captivity of the Orcas in SeaWorld and in particular the whale Tilikum.  Blackfish raised a ton of awareness concerning the ethics of having such massive animals in captivity but I haven’t seen any progression on releasing these animals into the wild.  Personally, I think their enclosures are way too small for these animals and I believe if we would like to see them, then we should try to view them in their natural habitat.  When asked the questions if Blackfish is honest, independent, or productive; I think it is the most honest of the three categories because there are many facts behind Blackfish and against SeaWorld.  I’m unsure about the films independency other than it was backed by Magnolia Pictures and CNN Films.  As for its productivity, I think it raised awareness about the inhumanity within SeaWorld but did not go farther than that to do anything for the whales.


Blog 9 Advertising

Frontline’s The Persuaders starts off with “every where we go, we are bombarded with advertising”, and I believe that is completely true.  In smaller towns and cities you may not see very much advertising but when you visit a big name city like Las Vegas, where there will be thousands of people, you will see advertising everywhere you can look.  From the on cars to billboard signs, advertising surrounds Las Vegas in order to inform everyone everything that is happening in the city. 

The Persuaders also mentioned the opportunities that marketers look for to advertise in Hollywood and used that example of Cast Away’s story with FedEx.  Personally, I think its really smart for brands to use movies to advertise in because it opens up the field of possible consumers.  The entire movie does not have to be based on a certain brand as we see in Cast Away for it to reach out to the audience.  It can be a short 10 second scene that shows the brand in some way and it will still have some what of an impact on the audience.  For example, one of the most common types of advertising we see in movies are for cars which are only involved in the movie for a short amount of time. 

We’ll never be able to escape the constant bombardment of advertising because it is essential for the companies to reach out to us so we can buy their products and in return the company will see success and thrive. 

Blog 8 Reality TV

As a culture, I think its pretty difficult to set a bar on how far we will go to make profitable media.  I mean it is possible for the bar to go pretty low but as long as people are watching the television show, it does not really matter how low the bar gets as long as the station is profiting.  The only way for the people to not allow the show to profit with an already low-set bar, is to not show the show at all so that the station stops creating episodes.  However, that is almost impossible to do because we as humans still see it as entertainment and we’re probably going to watch it regardless no matter how bad it is.

As Token said in the South Park episode, “the bar is determined by society and its not something that can just be raised up”.  I’ll have to agreed with Token because as long as society is watching the shows, they are accepting it and the bar would not matter.  It would take a very long time for a standard bar to be set if a bar is set since it is determined by society and society is made up of thousands of individuals have all have different opinions. 

In the ‘Its Here to Stay’ article, the author states that “as long as audiences continue to tune in, networks will continue to offer reality television as entertainment” simple because it is “simple economics”.  I will also have to agree with because the audiences will allow networks to create more seasons since they are making money off the shows.  So in my eyes and realistically speaking without some kind of crazy show being made that is similar to The Hunger Games for example, the bar has no limit or the limit is very low, since it will be based off the acceptance of society and how big of an audience will sit through the show.


Blog 7 Radio

Act One

To my understanding from some of the points that were made on “This American Life”, the radio started off small.  Such as a few teenagers who broadcasted because they loved “finding unknown songs, putting them on the air, watching them become hits; the satisfaction of watching the science of radio marketing actually work…and the moment they get there numbers”.  So to me it seems that broadcasting on the radio was just something fun to do and it became addicting because you can see your numbers fluctuate and how the station influenced the popularity of music.  More and more people began to use the radio and listen to it so that is how the story of the radio began.

Act Two

The radio in my own life and experience only really had two functions: music and listen to sports as they happen if I am unable to watch it.  I never really used the radio to listen to the news or things that are happening around the world unless the station is on commercial or there is a talk show between the music that is being played.  But now that we can use aux cables to plug in our ipod or phones into the car, I hardly ever listen to the actually radio because I would rather listen to my own music without commercial break.

Act Three

The future of radio in society, as I see it, will always be in our society.  It is a reliable source of communication in the event that we can not communicate through the internet and our phones.  Radios may evolve in some way but they would probably still have the same concept of functioning.  As we see in the fictional apocalyptic world, ‘I Am Legend’, the main character Robert Neville broadcasts on an AM frequency to try to contact any survivors that are living nearby.  We see the same thing in the TV show The Walking Dead when Rick Grimes tries to communicate with anyone who is in the city of Atlanta.

Now I know these are pretty far fetched from actually happening, but in modern day we know the military still uses radios to communicate amongst themselves and in the events of a natural disaster, people turn to the radio for information.  So I believe the radio will be around for a long time in our future.

Blog 6 Music

At first I had a bit of trouble decided on who was my favorite artist, album, or song because I just could not choose from the artists that stand out to me.  However, when my girlfriend had asked me if I could choose to go to only one of the concerts from the list of artists, the answer became clear: Scott Mescudi, also known as Kid Cudi.  Now after reading through our professors essay “Don’t Stop Believing” I had to revisit and listen much the music and ask myself if it is honest, independent, and productive.

When we look at Kid Cudi’s image that he creates with his music, it matches with the person he seems to be.  Unlike the early images that Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber had created for themselves which was not who they truly were.  Kid Cudi’s music has always reflected who we was since he first started creating his music which also shows how independent he is.

I believe Kid Cudi’s song ‘Man on the Moon’ expresses his independence with the line “I’ma do what I do, so do you”.  In the beginning of the song he says he does not care what other people think about him and later on hints at his music independence by answering the question why does his music sound so different with a simple ‘why not’.  These lines show us that he produces and sings his songs without very much, if any, outside influences leading me to believe he is an independent artist.

However, I do not think his music can be very productive since it does not influence society in a positive or negative fashion.  Kid Cudi simply does not produce music directed toward society as a whole.  The music he releases has more of an energetic and chill vibe for listeners to enjoy and have fun in their ‘Pursuit of Happiness’.

Blog 5 American Porn

I knew the adult industry must have been pretty large and had to be making a ton of money but I had no idea how much money they were making prior to watching American Porn.  To hear that one of the film series was making a “profit of ten million dollars” was really surprising and makes you realize how giant the industry is.  It seems as if it is a industry that will never go out of business especially since their “international business is growing in 30-something countries”.  This tells us even more of how much the industry is expanding by spreading into other countries also. 

Another thing that I was surprised by while watching the video was hearing about all the lawsuits that were against the adult industry kingpins because they were offended by the porn that was being made and sold.  I could see the offense if it was in view or it was easily accessible by their children but other than that I would not have thought that other adults would be offended by it since it is natural for them to engage in sexual activities with their partners also. 

Going off that, the sex shop Hustler Hollywood was said to be really successful even though their shop has glass windows to make it visible to the public with the hope to “break the stereotype that sex is dirty”.  Now it is strange that the shop has glass windows so it would make sense for adults to be offended if they did not want their kids being able to see whats inside when they walk by.  But, the fact that it is so successful goes to show that people are comfortable with going in and purchasing from the sex shop rather than them being offended that there is a sex shop in view for every to see into.

Blog 4 Books

Growing up through elementary, junior high, and even high school, I was sort of a bookworm.  Although by the time I had reached high school, I wasn’t really reading on my own anymore, I was reading what was assigned to us and I still enjoyed it for the most part.  In college however, I hardly ever read now and that including the assigned readings sometimes unfortunately.  That is probably because I do not make any time for reading books anymore or I just haven’t read anything that has really caught my interest. 

Even though I do not read books as much as I think I should today, I would say that books have had an impact on my life.  I don’t really know how much or how it had an impact other than doing what books should be doing to one who reads them.  Books can expand your imagination, knowledge, vocabulary and stimulate emotions as if your were watching a movie, TV show, or a video game storyline and I think its important for everyone to read books as they grow up.
As for the wider culture, it appears that “98 percent of the adult population” is considered literate.  Maybe this is not directly related to reading books but even so it is great news to hear that that much of our population (although it may not appear so sometimes in my opinion) is considered to be literate.

Personally, I would prefer a book in my hand rather than an e-book since I’m not to fond of reading things on the computer screen otherwise I would get distracted easy or just get tired of looking at a screen.  To my understanding, e-books is a popular trend and I was surprised to see that “e-books still represent a small percentage of the overall book market” and was found to be eight to ten percent of sales.  I was surprised because that percentage seems almost insignificant compared to how popular e-books have become was also one who believed the perception “that in a few years there will be no books printed on paper”.

Some Good News from the World of Book tells us that the books being sold were at a recent all-time high even through the recession.  In the end, its pretty awesome to see so many people who continue to read today after reading McSweeney’s article regardless of it being a book or e-book.