A New Idea of Community

January 31, 2007 at 4:55 pm (Soc3390)

 

The Significance of Virtual Communities was one of my favourtie articles to date. Recently I have noticed that many media sources have been criticizing different aspects of the web saying that it is full of predators and that it has helped establish a more obese youth. I think that this article was really interesting because it looked at the more positive effects that the internet has had on our culture.

For instance lets take a look at what community use to mean, basically it had alot to do with where you lived, where you went to school or where you went to work. People had to associate with other individuals who were in close proximity to themselves. Today however due to technological advances such as the internet people on different continents can easily become associated and stay in touch if they so choose.

Back when I was younger my group of friends was limited to the kids on my street and the ones at my school, very rarely did I associate with people outside of these two realms. However when I moved from Ontario to Calgary I wanted to stay in touch with many of the people that I had grown up with, thanks to the internet and the phone I am able to remain in close contact with several people which would have become strangers to me ultimately because of physical distance.

I think that the internet like the article alludes to, provides a way for people to meet other people with common interests which they most likely would otherwise not have come in contact with. I think that the web gives kids and adults alike a chance to meet people that have similar interests to themselves. The internet opens up this whole new world where people who feel like outsiders in “their communnities” can establish meaningful relationships with people who may be further away proximity wise but may be more similar when it comes to their values and beliefs.

Some people have argued that we have become too technological and that our kids are substituting real life interaction for virtual ones. I do see the point of this statement but I believe like anything thing else moderation is the best solution. I am not suggesting in my blog that virtual communities should take over our lives, I think that face to face interaction is extremely important now and that will also be the case in the future.

My point is this I think that virtual communities are something that we should embrace or at least consider. For many people who may feel different in regards to their peers it would defianately be beneficial for them to get online and meet people with similar tastes. Basically I don’t think that virtual communities should consume our lives but it might be a good way to get people meeting other people that 1) they otherwise would never have met and 2) may foster similar interests to themselves.

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The Inside Scoop on Pan’s Labyrinth

January 30, 2007 at 10:41 pm (Movies)

So I decided to go to a movie this weekend with a friend and we agreed that Pan’s Labyrinth seemed like a sound choice (personally I wanted to see Smoking Aces but this movie seemed like a good compromise). Anyways for those of you who don’t know what this movie is, it is this really dark kind of fairy tale about a little girl.

The story is in spoken in Spanish and has English subtitles so if you are like me you might need to bring your glasses so you know what is going on. The story takes place in the postwar repression of Franco’s Spain (I totally had to look that up).

Basically this little girl’s mother has married this horrible man who is a prominent firgure in the war and is in essence, the evil bad guy of the story. While the war is raging on in the country side the little girl starts to have fantasies about these mystical creatures that lead her into a difficult and utterly horrifying journey of her own.

I am going to stop there because I don’t want to give any more away for those people who might want to watch the movie themselves. What I want to recommend is that if you are at all squeamish stay away from this movie.

I myself have been known to sit through some gruesome scenes but this movie was far more gory than I had anticipated. The explicit torture that was shown was enough to make me turn my head for a good portion of this picture. I could not believe how much detail was depicted and how graphic the movie ended up being

I really do not want to discourage anyone from seeing this film it was really fantastic when you reflected on it as a whole. The story was creative, the shots were amazing and the acting was really perfect (the little girl was so talented). Overall this movie was one of the most original that I have seen in quite some time.

I just want to give people a better description of the types of violence to expect because I was completely shocked by it. Here is a little clip to hopefully entice you to go out to the movie theatre and watch it while at the same time maybe giving you a better understanding of what this movie is all about.

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Grey’s Controversy

January 30, 2007 at 3:12 pm (Television)

 

I know that a lot of people in our class love Grey’s and I am no exception. I love the characters in it and the plot line is also pretty interesting. However the brilliance of the show has been overshadowed as of late by the ugliness of prejudice. By now I am sure that everyone has heard the details behind Isaiah Washington’s two outbursts.

I can honestly say that I have no sympathy for the man and think that he should be fired. I know that I am not alone in this regard, they did a vote on Extra or something and the outcome was pretty overwhelming in its verdict. I don’t remember the exact numbers but it was something like over 80% of the viewers thought that he should be fired.

So why hasn’t it been done? At this point the only thing Washington has to do is go to counselling which is barely a slap on the wrist. This is a big show that is bringing in a lot of money, I don’t understand why they would risk viewer’s for a man that has spoken such hateful words on at least two occassions.

If you watch interviews with a lot of the cast members it seems like they are equally opposed to his behaviour and ultimately this situation must have led to some tension on the set. How awful would it be for T.R. Knight to have to go to work knowing that Washington has been pretty obvious in his beliefs surrounding gay people.

Some people might argue that his character is essential for the show but I would disagree. All they have to do is make his hand injury one that can’t be fixed and have Christina say no to his proposal and bye, bye Dr. Burke, people would get over it.

I know that this is a long rant but I just want Grey’s Anatomy to go back to being that fun show that I wanted to watch every Thursday, that show where ultimately the entire cast of characters came together to help people and gave me that one hour of blissful entertainment. My sister argued that it is still a good show but for me it is just not the same.

I really think that this clip really sums up everything and gives a better idea of what is happening behind the scenes at Grey’s Anatomy. I think that it is really sad that people are still so hateful and I really hope that Washington pays for what has been said. Finally I just want to throw out my support to T.R. Knight (George O’Malley) he is awesome and has always been my favourite cast member!

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The Rebel Sell

January 24, 2007 at 5:27 pm (Soc3390)

I loved this article and found that it provided a very different perspective of the anti-consumerist attitudes that many people may relate with. The mention of Fight Club (one of my favourite movies) also probably had a lot to do with my enthusiasm towards it. 

Using Fight Club to critique mass society was interesting but I think that the movie American Beauty made the issues in the article a little more clear for me. Like the article states this movie show that rebellion against mass society is far different then rebellion against consumerism.

This article brought me to recognize some people in my own life who have tried very hard to “rebel against the masses”. I like everybody else know people who won’t listen to that music, watch that show or wear those clothes because it is too “popluar”. They are trying to avoid certain brands however they become the ones that are most brand concious. 

I know that I was once extremely anti-consumerism (or so I thought) I didn’t want to buy anything with brand names because I thought that people who did so were just to interested in their projected image. I like many others however have succumbed to the more popular styles and I have to say aware of not only what I have but what others have as well.

I think that the article is right to talk about how anti-advertising does in fact create consumption of products. I know that when a commercial comes on showing some new gadget that is “cool” because it is different I want it. 

It is like when I first got my bellybutton pierced I thought that I was going to be different and stand out because I had this novel idea. Well it turns out that the majority of my friends now have that same piercing. I also think that the same thing is happening with tatoos where once they were in the minority now they are a huge commodity (Miami Ink).

Basically I think that we are fooling ourselves to think that choosing what we consume will deviate us from mass socitey in the end it does nothing but shift the norms of our peers.

Alright I know that I said that American Beauty was a better example of what the article was trying to get across but I love the movie and I think that it shows alot about our beliefs in conjunction with consumerism so I’m just going to throw in a scene about anti-consumerism from the Fight Club movie.

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The Office

January 24, 2007 at 1:13 pm (Television)

This really has nothing to do with what we are learning but I love the show so I have to write about it in my brand new blog. First I can not say how happy I am that Pam and Jim seem to be flirting and affectionate once again. When those two team up you know that the pranks that they pull on Dwight or more recently Bernard are going to awesome.

I’m also really glad that Dwight has been brought back to Dunder Mifflin by Michael (how funny was the scene where they were “reunited”). Dwight is a staple of the show and it would not be nearly as funny if he left.

I am also quite partial to Ryan and Toby their facial expressions are more hilarious than a lot of what they say. Finally we have to truly appreciate the genious of Michael Scott although a lot of his rants are so embarassing I can hardly watch.

Finally I can’t wait until Thursday I promise you that I will have much more to say about The Office on Friday so stayed tuned. I’m really hoping that there are some other fans out there so if you love the show let me know.

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Review of Jackass 2

January 24, 2007 at 12:14 pm (Movies)

Alright I know that I am a couple months behind some of you but I just saw the second Jackass movie this weekend. I personally think that these movies are really funny and I good way to kill a couple of hours, however I know that there would be many people that would disagree.

 My Mom for instance hates these movies and thinks that not only are they a waste of time but that they also promote imitation that could potentially cause minors or adults to get seriously injured. I think that my Mom and many other critics might actually be right in their evaluation of this programming.

I think that because the stunts performed in these movies seem easier to copy and have fewer drastic consequences kids think that they can achieve the same outcomes as the “professionals” taking part in the orginal segments. The thing is kids today know that taking a gun and copying the Die Hard movies is wrong, however jumping off a roof with a giant ball or physically harming their friends seems to be a fun idea that kids can actually do themselves.

I still love these movies and will continue to watch them if they keep getting made, but I do think that letting kids watch without explaining what could happen could potentially produce drastic and horrific results.

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Violence in the Media (Gormley)

January 18, 2007 at 12:11 am (Uncategorized)

Being a Psychology major I have heard of the Bobo experiment in numerous classes. Children witness violence being committed and then partake in the same sort of behaviour. It seems that research has provided many experiments that conclude that being exposed to violence causes people to participate in violent acts themselves. I am really not so sure that this is the case. Being a person who watches countless movies and TV shows that depicts this type of behaviour I can honestly state that I have never shown any violent tendencies. It is hard to believe that people commit murders and other violent crimes simply because they saw it on TV. I really enjoyed how in the article when they analyze Mr. X stating that he is the one who was in fact exhibiting anti-social and aggressive behaviour. I do understand that in the past couple of years the media has taken over our lives and there seems to be an exaggerated number of violent acts however there has always been violence in the world. There have always been wars, racism and murders, I just think that people are trying to take a very tentative look at what the problem is and end up blaming socities shortcomings solely on specific media outlets.

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My First Blog

January 12, 2007 at 7:08 am (Uncategorized)

Alright so I have to admit that I was a little nervous about this blogging business but to my surprise thanks to a little help from my computer savvy little sister I think I’m starting to get the hang of it. Honestly this class sounds like a lot of fun and that is actually the reason that I signed up for it. I didn’t even know this course existed until late Wednesday when my friend Kelly sent me a text saying that I needed to join and after seeing the syllabus I realized that there was no way I could justify not taking it. I’m really hoping that after years of obsessing with all things pop culture this passion will finally apply to something other than the countless trivia games I have dominated, I guess that I will have to wait and see.

One crucial thing that I’m hoping to get out of this class is to become more computer literate. After reading some of the other blogs that have been posted I realized just how far behind I really am. The only reason that I have heard about Nexopia (did I even spell that right?) or Facebook is because I have two little sisters who spend ridiculous amounts of time on them. I have never used MSN (I know that that sounds hard to believe but sadly it is true) and I can’t work my iTunes without a little help. Hopefully this blog will get me more interested in all things popular in the computer culture.

Finally since this class is about different forms of media I would like to throw out a couple of my favourite movies, TV shows, books and music.

Movies: I am going to have to go with some 80’s classics here The Breakfast Club and The Goonies are my all time favourites! Some more recent choices include The Departed, Donnie Darko and V for Vendetta.

Television: Now I have to admit this is probably where I spend more time than I should. The shows I just can’t miss are The Office, E.R., Grey’s Anatomy and CSI and if you watch these shows you will realize that they all air on Thursday’s so it’s safe to say that you better not bother me on Thursday night. As much as I love these shows my top three favourite T.V. shows of all time I am sad to say have been cancelled they were Arreseted Development, Alias and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. They will be missed however now that they are off the air I definately have more time to watch other T.V. shows (sad but true).

Books: Alright it’s embarrassing but you would be lying if you said you didn’t also like the series I have to say that I  like Harry Potter and I can’t wait for the next book and movie to come out, however my favourite book of all time is On Fortune’s Wheel and I also like to read romance novels. For any girls out there who love cheezy romances if you haven’t read Samantha and the Cowboy I would suggest picking it up.  

Music: I’m going to be honest I don’t usually listen to music unless I am going for a run or am in the car but a couple top picks would include Death Cab for Cutie, and Metric. And I know that this final choice isn’t music but I listen to his CD in the car all the time so I’m going to have to throw out the comedy of Dane Cook.

Alright well I guess I finished my first blog ever and I have to say that it wasn’t that bad, I actually kind of enjoyed it. 

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